bull, rodeo, cowboy

President To Have Power To Disable Private Network Internet Access

The Senate Bill is S773 ... it failed to pass earlier this year because it would have given the President the power to "turn off the internet" in case of a "cyber emergency", but did not sufficiently define what such an emergency would be.  Never fear, communist sympathizers!  The bill is is being re-written and a new draft of it surfaced last night

If the government wants to protect our financial institutions and government networks, why give them the power to disable any network?  why not only those related to national security or the specific financial institution?

Some scenarios we, the citizens of the United States, could face if this were implemented:

- if our financial institution (or any financial institution) were under attack, our ability to access our own accounts (and therefore $$!) could be taken away for as long as the President/Government feels is necessary.  This is similar to locking & blockading banks to prevent "runs on the bank".  It's already annoying to be on vacation or at the gas pump or about to pay for a meal and suddenly the bank has put its own 'security hold' on your account ... imagine the chaos that would ensue should that happen to millions or billions of people at once? 
- the scarier scenario: our ability to access news and information.

would never happen, you think?  consider the following:

- the government has already asserted its power over controlling oil prices and thereby controlling our ability to travel by ground. 
- the government already controls, by way of an arbitrary "terrorist watch list", who can and cannot travel by air.  Perhaps a similar restriction to sea and rail travel is in the works?
- by forcing the switch from analog to digital, the government has made it incredibly difficult for "small guy" television broadcasts to exist, and has effectively shut out any citizen who was unable to afford the analog-to-digital switch requirements from receiving televised news.
- persons who subscribe to cable television, view television online, or use satellite already have their usage monitored "for programming purposes". How hard would it be for big brother to see what shows you normally watch?
- through the Patriot Act, public libraries are restricted in some materials they are able to make available.  At the time, you couldn't view a map of air currents, for example. (I'm not sure if that is still the case).  Your library records are easily obtainable by the government.
- As i reported earlier this month, the Obama Administration, manipulating and abusing what is known as "Fairness Doctrine" and having recently installed a "Diversity" Czar in the FCC is attempting to shut down network radio under the false banner of "promoting diversity" (the idea being that if there weren't syndicated programs on the handful of recently-increased available frequency bands, minorities would have more radio airtime).  As most radio-listening americans are well-aware, the REAL implications of this are that national news will be under government control and conservative talkshows, which make up the majority of syndicated shows, would be eliminated, removing 'competition' for the leftist government's dangerous policies. 
- Another bill is underway (may have already passed) that gives the president the power to declare an "emergency" that will authorize government agencies (including the newly created domestic army [1st Brigade Combat Team of the 3rd Infantry Division]) to surround, detain and isolate segments of the population and geographic locations for 'quarantine'.  This would effectively limit foot and bicycle traffic. 
- If the President or other government agencies suddenly have the ability to restrict or shut down all or parts of the internet, as is the fine-print aim of the Cybersecurity Act of 2009, what methods remain to alert the citizens of rights violations, dangerous strategies of the government, or other news?   

There aren't any.

We should be paying attention to these things.  We should be watching what chavez is doing to Venezuela right now.  We should be refreshing our memory of history ... WW2 the nazis and our own illegal imprisonment of Japanese Americans. 

This urgency ... whistle-blowing ... 'paranoia' or whatever you'd want to call it is not solely against the work of the Democrats or Obama. In fact, it's not even our Presidents who are to blame completely.  These policies are written and accepted by many of our elected officials, and those who they appoint to work with them.  You can point fingers at Bush (Patriot Act) or Obama (just about everything else) all you want, but these men are just conduits or puppets or spokespersons for who or whatever is behind this movement, and singling one president or one party or one talk radio host, actress, corporation or religion out as the guilty party is simply a distraction that we can't afford. While we're pointing fingers, this snake of dnagerous constriction is slithering beneath us.  Yeah, i scream and yell about Obama a lot ... but that's because he's the figurehead of the current cloud of stupidity that is hanging over our nation.  In three years it will be someone else's fault.  It's really the same reason i defend Bush ... you can't spend eight years blaming Bush for everything and then suddenly pretend the universe is all good with Obama. We were on a downward slope, and now we're accelerating. 

Sources:

http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/z?c111:S.773:
http://www.politechbot.com/docs/rockefeller.revised.cybersecurity.draft.082709.pdf
http://inforodeo.livejournal.com/46731.html
http://www.salon.com/opinion/greenwald/2008/09/24/army/
http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2009/08/28/senate-president-emergency-control-internet/
bull, rodeo, cowboy

Who's Afraid Of The Big Bad Wolf Hunter?

Grey Wolves have been Endangered/Protected my entire lifetime.  Today wolf tags went on sale. While in some respects this may seem a little morbid (almost like jumping at the chance to club a baby seal), I kinda wanted to own a piece of controversial history ... so i got a Wolf tag.

I was bit by a wolf once.  I was visiting a coven of vampires (seriously), and in addition to the creepiness of their keeping blood in the refrigerator and wearing little vials of each other's around their necks, they had a wolf pup. I don't know for sure, but my guess is that they had it illegally. They let it run around like a regular puppy, and it took a liking to my arm and my motorcycle jacket.  I was surprised at how razor-sharp its teeth were! They went through the leather as easy (or easier) than a sewing needle. I left that night with small cuts and a little bit of blood (and no, i didn't share) ...

There's a myth that goes around that "no wild, healthy wolf has ever killed a human being."  Unfortunately for white-folk-gone-native, their cuddly friend "The Mystical Wolf" has a long history of attacking humans.  While they don't attack us as frequently as they attack domesticated dogs, wild game or livestock, wolves have been documented attacking, killing and eating people.  Emily Travaglini-Wright was attacked by a wolf and was lucky enough to survive. The wolf that attacked her had attacked several other people previously, and was found in good health, except for a broken tooth.

Out here in the west, wolves are famous for killing livestock.  Contrary to the stories spread by urban naturalists and other broken spawn of hippie culture, not all animals only kill for food or to defend their young.  Wolves will regularly participate in "Joy Killing" - severely injuring a lamb or cow and leaving them for waste.  Graphic photos of what wolves are doing can be found online with a quick google search.

Most of the news on this subject i've found has been from the point of view of ignorant city-dwelling fantasty-prone wolf-huggers who either think that reducing the population is against the laws of nature or who are against animal "murder" regardless.  To the former, I point out something a hunter said: "These wolves were introduced from another area, so i have no problem killing something that has come to my land unnaturally". To the latter, I have to ask: Whose life is more important, the baby lamb, the domesticated dog, or the grazing cow, or the vicious, wasteful wolf who will kill and kill again? 

The handful of other articles on the subject simply attempted to show that all hunters in line for a wolf tag were gun-crazed inbreds.  These stories failed to reach that goal.

Stepping back and looking at the arguments, I see that all sides have the same thing in common: Their arguments, in swaying far to the left or far to the right are inherently flawed.  What is needed is balance.  Yes, wolves used to be there ... but now domestic animals, new houses and live stock are there.  Should we burn down those way-too-big-for-a-single-guy's-summer-home houses and restore the land back to its natural condition, or should we force the farmer who is raising sheep so the wool can be knit into some hippie-gone-mallrat winter parka to kill his sheep and give up his land?  Most wolf attacks on humans have been on humans who were hiking or camping in public forest. If these bands of wolves hadn't been killed to near extinction, do you think you would have ever had the opportunity to go out into "nature"? Would REI have risen to it's loft position among yuppies and poseurs if "the wild" really was still wild? 
On the flip side, wolves and other predators ARE an essential part of the food chain.  They thin out over-populated herds of wild game and smaller predators, which helps protect these wild animal populations from becoming infested with disease or starving to death. Still, you have to understand that one reason wild predators are attacking livestock and domestic animals is because their natural prey are lower in number or have relocated, thanks to the suburban growth of resort towns and 'isolated' luxury homes.

I seriously doubt i will kill a wolf.  The nearest pack is still a hundred miles away, and since the average pack's territory is only 77 square miles, I't would still be a pretty long walk for me to go out and shoot one.  Besides, I have no use for anything we can't eat, and I don't know of any good wolf recipes.  I bought my tag as a piece of history.  What a lot of anti-hunters don't realise is that money brought in by licenses and tags goes toward wildlife conservation, and that money funds a larger portion of wildlife conservation in most states than any number of non-profit groups and Leonardo DiCaprio-sponsored junk-mail ever could. Hunters are also one of the largest, most knowlegable and most effective wild-animal protection groups ... because they - not your fat, pot-smoking Portland cousin - are out in the wilderness and can report animal sightings.  Hunters also have more to gain in the well-being of animal populations than those who simply 'appreciate' what they see in their NG magazines or on Animal Planet ... because if the animal populations are in trouble, the hunter can't hunt. 


SOURCES:

Government's Position:
http://fishandgame.idaho.gov/cms/wildlife/wolves/
http://fishandgame.idaho.gov/cms/hunt/wolf/wolfrules.pdf

Somewhat Neutral (The Way news Oughtta Be!):
http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/outposts/2009/08/idaho-wolf-hunt.html
http://media.www.isubengal.com/media/storage/paper275/news/2008/03/12/Outdoor/Wolf-Hunting.In.Idaho-3263258.shtml

Wolf Attacks on Humans:
http://www.hcn.org/issues/315/16084
http://www.aws.vcn.com/wolf_attacks_on_humans.html
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wolf_attacks_on_humans
http://www.wildsentry.org/WolfAttack.html
http://www.amongwolves.com/ (see story on Emily Travaglini-Wright)
http://www.mexicanwolf.0catch.com/Human%20Toll%20articles/six_injured_in_rare_wolf_attack.htm

Wolf Attacks on Livesock and Pets:
http://www.montanacattlemen.org/Wolf_Reportings (WARNING: Graphic Photographic Evidence!)
http://ginacobb.typepad.com/gina_cobb/2008/12/-wolf-pack-attacks-dog-peta-unavailable-for-comment.html
http://www.klamathbasincrisis.org/wolvestoc.htm
http://www.oregonlive.com/opinion/index.ssf/2009/05/wolves_ranchers_deserve_to_pro.html

But Wolves Are Cuddly Totem Animals (For White Man In Prius):
http://stanford.wellsphere.com/green-living-article/wolves-in-danger-from-the-us-government-once-again/698499
http://mainehuntingtoday.com/bbb/2009/01/21/idahos-wolf-hunting-rules-will-be-ineffective-illegal/
http://www.alternativeconsumer.com/2007/01/20/oppose-the-idaho-wolf-hunt/

bull, rodeo, cowboy

Pondering Politics of Presidency

With the terrible debt that our country has been in, and with the trillions of dollars that Obama has pumped into failing businesses, banks, and liberal businesses with his "stimulus" plan, i would imagine that a candidate with a shining past record of turning huge debt into profit might be just what the country wants in 2012. 

here are some of this candidates qualifications, according to a wikipedia bio:

"In 1990, [CANDIDATE] was asked to return to [FORMER EMPLOYER], which was facing financial collapse. As CEO, [CANDIDATE] managed an effort to restructure the firm's employee stock-ownership plan, real-estate deals and bank loans, while increasing fiscal transparency. Within a year, he had led [FORMER EMPLOYER] through a highly successful turnaround and returned the firm to profitability without layoffs or partner defections.

[CANDIDATE] left [FORMER EMPLOYER] in 1998 to head [AN INTERNATIONAL EVENT]'S Organizing Committee.

[CANDIDATE] served as president and CEO of the [INTERNATIONAL EVENT] held in a [WESTERN CITY]. In 1999, before [CANDIDATE] was hired, the event was running $379 million short of its revenue benchmarks. Plans were being made to scale back the [EVENT] to compensate for the fiscal crisis. The [EVENT] was also damaged by allegations of bribery involving top officials, including then [EVENT]'S President and CEO Frank J. J and [EVENT] vice president Dave J were forced to resign.

On February 11, 1999, [CANDIDATE] was hired as the new president and CEO of the [EVENT] Organizing Committee. [CANDIDATE] revamped the organization's leadership and policies, reduced budgets, and boosted fund raising. He also worked to ensure the safety of the [EVENT] following the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 by coordinating a $300 million security budget. Despite the initial fiscal shortfall, the [EVENT] ended up clearing a profit of $100 million, not counting the $224.5 million in security costs contributed by outside sources.

[CANDIDATE] contributed $1 million to the [EVENT], and donated the $825,000 salary he earned as President and CEO to charity.

[CANDIDATE] was sworn in as the 70th governor of [EASTERN STATE] on January 2, 2003. Upon entering office, [CANDIDATE] faced a projected $3 billion deficit, but a previously enacted $1.3 billion capital gains tax increase and $500 million in unanticipated federal grants decreased the deficit to $1.2 billion. Through a combination of spending cuts, increased fees, and removal of corporate tax loopholes, by 2006 the state had a $700 million surplus and was able to cut taxes.

[CANDIDATE] supported raising various fees by more than $300 million, including raising fees for driver's licenses, marriage licenses, and gun licenses. [CANDIDATE] increased the state gasoline tax by 2 cents per gallon, generating about $60 million per year in additional tax revenue. [CANDIDATE] also closed tax loopholes that brought in another $181 million from businesses over the next two years. The state legislature, with [CANDIDATE]'s support, also cut spending by $1.6 billion, including $700 million in reductions in state aid to cities and towns. The cuts also included a $140 million reduction in state funding for higher education, which led state-run colleges and universities to increase tuition by 63% ..."

So, as you can see, despite a few maneuvers that probably angered some people, three times in a decade he managed to change huge deficits to profits.  to see it in numbers:

Failing business:  Financial Collapse  to  Profitability (without losing partners, while increasing fiscal transparency)
[EVENT]:  -$379,000,000 short of goal  to  $100,000,000 profit (he also added a $300,000,000 cost - a security budget - which was filled with $224,500,000 in contributions from outside sources)
State:     -$1,200,000,000 deficit  to  $700,000,000 profit

Amazingly also for an East-coast politician, there are no scandals in his background.  He's always been straightforward in his dealings and faithful to his wife (who suffers from MS).  In fact, the only two complaints that his competition were able to dredge up about him are that over the course of his political career he has "changed" his views on a couple issues (abortion and gay marriage), and that he's a devout member of an organized religion (which really shouldn't worry anyone, because his religion doesn't hover over him and direct his political decisions, and having a 'religious test' for president is in violation of the U.S. constitution.  Past presidents Kennedy and Reagan both dealt with this). 

If these minor things trouble you, consider this:  It is perfectly normal for a person, over the course of their career, to learn and re-evaluate their opinions on subject matter.  What sets this particular candidate apart from others (like flip-flopping Kerry or promise-breaker Obama) is that our new candidate is pretty starightforward with his views and hasn't employed the same bait-and-switch politics as many of our current Dems.

While i agree with his views on abortion (he is pro-life) and gay marriage (he is pro traditional marriage), i may be in disagreement with his pro-gun-control stance ... however i am not completely certain what that is. 

source:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mitt_Romney

bull, rodeo, cowboy

Lies with a Little Truth

Over the weekend i watched a 9/11 conspiracy video called "9/11 Revisited: Scientific and Ethical Questions", which was a presentation given by former BYU Professor Steven E. Jones on February 1, 2006 at Utah State Valley College (sponsored by The Center for the Study of Ethics).

As much as you'd think i love conspiracies ... well, i do ... but i don't always go along with them.  I don't believe the "grassy knoll" bit, i don't believe the "9/11 was an inside job" bit, etc.  I do, however, believe in giving an equal chunk of my ear and consideration to alternate viewpoints, so I watched the DVD with my wife and took notes.

Professor Jones was a physicist, and the first portion of his presentation was scientific and provided a lot of specific data that called into question the fall of the World Trade Center buildings, specifically that of WTC 7, which was not hit by a plane.  All other fluff aside ... just looking at the scientific evidence and numerous video of buildings that had fallen over (earthquake), those purposefully demolished, and those that burned, it is actually a far stretch to suggest they imploded, falling pretty much in place, solely as a result of the planes hitting them.  This isn't saying - nor does he say - that this indicates that the jets didn't really hit, or that the entire thing was orchestrated by our own government (that "inside job" bit).  It is simply saying the odds and the science are greatly stacked against the entire collapse being the result of the impact and subsequent fire in each of the two buildings. 

After watching video of WTC 7 - the smaller skyscraper that was not hit by a jet - falling, my first reaction was "i need to find out what was in that building, because it looks like a controlled demolition and was probably used to destroy something important that could have been discovered in the chaos and destruction of the other two towers".  This was probably due to our recent X-files marathon ... but it was really the first thing that crossed my mind.  Lo and behold ... ten minutes later he reveals that WTC 7 was a CIA/FBI and DoD building.  Makes sense, and when we consider no one died in that building and the public wasn't injured (as far as we know) in its destruction, i almost want to say "who cares, then?"  It's probably one of those "government cover-ups" that is good for the country. 

Halfway into his presentation, however, i began to see signs of strong bias.  I don't recall whether it started at the off-hand remark about "Fox News" or just before, but as Prof. Jones deviated from his area of expertise, he began relying more and more on 3rd-hand script and agenda.  He'd laid the groundwork for "something else" being involved in the destruction of the buildings, and used that to begin inserting the seeds of conspiracy.  First, FEMA was in town for a training exercise (on Bio-Terror) scheduled for 9/12.  They were stationed down the street from the WTC's.  Then there was this military budget thing going on with Rumsfeld, and this cancellation of a pentagon flight.  Someone also said that WTC2 had a 36-hour "power down" issue oveer the weekend of 9/8-9/9, and there had been numerous evacuation drills in the weeks prior. 

This is all good and great, and supports the idea that someone may have suspected the WTC buildings would be a target, and that we needed to be as prepared as possible.  The WTC buildings were, afterall, the scene of a prior terrorist bombing only a few years before.  given the intelligence that was reported shortly afterward ... the whole Mohammed Atta thing ... including the "match is about to begin" intercept, it's likely they had a rough estimate of the time of a possible attack.   It does not, however, support the idea that some sinister group of individuals in our government planned and carried out the attacks.

[another theory]  If they did suspect an attack, and for some reason suspected a bio-terror attack on the WTC, suddenly - especially in the interest of public safety - having FEMA bioterrorism "drills" scheduled got equipment into the area (without frightening the public OR alerting the terrorists), and planting intense-heat thermite explosives in the buildings ahead of time (should the buildings need to be burned to the ground with intense heat, since decontamination of two of the largest buildings in the country may have been difficult, if not impossible) ... when planes hit, instead of some sort of bio-agent, perhaps the decision was made to use the explosives to cause a controlled fall of the towers rather than allow the possibility (no matter how miniscule) of the buildings toppling over uncontrolled, causing more damage.  Maybe the smaller fires generated by the impact actually triggered the pre-existing explosives ... i mean ... there's a reason you don't store flammables near an open flame, right?

but leaping to this idea that Bush/Cheney orchestrated this attack on our nation's own soil, with our own people as the victims requires an unwavering belief that the government is completely corrupt - corrupt enough to cause great harm to itself to reach an end goal of ... what?  Still, many people are more willing to go on this kind of dark faith rather than use common sense ... so Jones continues ...

He first builds his case against rational thought and trust of the government by displaying some of the more ignorant comments by a handful of his students (unless we are to believe he only has ten students).  He selects those which represent the ideal liberal stereotype of a 'neo-conservative', and then begins seeding the presentation with trigger words ('neo-con', 'conservative', 'fox news').  Playing up his affiliation with BYU, he abuses a quote by Joseph Smith to imply some sort of docrtinal basis for his attack on elected officials. 

Jones then begins to quote alleged documents "proving" Bush/Cheney/Rumsfeld/others had discussed "another Pearl Harbor" ahead of time.  Making the best of circumstantial evidence, since this attack was another "Pearl Harbor" to the younder generation, Jones makes the simple and obvious jump that because that phrase (may have been) used in a prior document, when Bush calls the attacks "a new Pearl Harbor" he is is making the solid bridge between the discussion of attacks and these particular attacks being carried out, and that bridge "can only be" Bush's involvement in the attacks.

I wanted to throw my shoe at the television as this was happening, but i didn't. 

Next up, he shows quotes of what Bin Laden said immediately following the attacks on 9/11.  Specifically, Jones quotes the following:

"I have already said that I am not involved in the 11 September attacks in the United States. As a Muslim, I try my best to avoid telling a lie. I had no knowledge of these attacks, nor do I consider the killing of innocent women, children and other humans as an appreciable act. Islam strictly forbids causing harm to innocent women, children and other people. Such a practice is forbidden even in the course of a battle. It is the United States, which is perpetrating every maltreatment on women, children and common people of other faiths, particularly the followers of Islam."

Shocking! What? We were told Bin Laden admitted he did it! Actually, we were initially denied the video of bin laden because the government feared some coded messages were in it. 

Jones then rushes into the video of "bin Laden" that looks nothing like him, and tosses out a couple other denials by bin laden and then the 'admissions' on the video. 

seems like a pretty clear picture, now, doesn't it?  bin laden peacefully denied being behind the attacks, and then 'we' must have fabricated a video of him claiming to be behind it.

true to liberal propagandaic form, we were dropped a couple bytes and rushed through to other things before our thought process could identify any errors or ask any clarifying questions. 

Had he been giving a fair and unbiased speech, we would have learned that Bin Laden's very next sentence attempts to implicate Israel (Islams other enemies - Jews!), and throughout the remainder of his speech, he stops very short of rallying Islamic radicals, and instead lays blame for the attacks on other countries who "also refuse to be slaves of the USA", and pridefully exclaims that, according to his sources, "the death toll is much higher than American officials are claiming." 
Does that sound like a guy who doesn't consider the killing of "innocent women, children and other humans an appreciable act"?  No.  It sounds like a guy trying to manipulate what is going on to his advantage, deflecting the blame toward his other enemies and rivals, and using gang-psychology (there's a lot of other guys that don't like you too, and look - they are mostly countries sympathetic to my cause!) 

Jones ends the presentation attacking Bush for not jumping up, frantic, when told that "America is under attack" ...

I was disgusted at how the Center for the Study of Ethics and whoever else made the DVD played up his affiliation with BYU.  The announcer at the beginning even stated their reason for drawing so much attention to Professor Jones' affiliation:  the (assumed) credibility of Jones as a 'conservative' made his anti-Bush presentation seem more valid. 

Based on the things Jones said, I doubt he was as "conservative" as they tried to make him out to be.  Though he twice mentions his respect for Reagan, shortly after this presentation was filmed, Jones' presentation had further devolved into a more anti-Bush weighted rantfest, culminating in his push for the impeachment of both Bush and Cheney.  While I agree in the founder's concern that we have the right to free speech, I am also not in the least bit surprised that Jones was dismissed by BYU (or 'retired while under paid leave') for his inflammatory accusations against the President of the United States (at the time), for not following the normal process of 'peer review' (his papers were found to be - unsurprisingly - biased).  I don't know if it played a part in the disciplinary action, but certainly the abuse of scripture would have probably been unacceptable by his private ecclesiastical university.


sources:
http://www.public-action.com/911/oblintrv.html
BYU PROFESSOR STEVEN E. JONES: 9/11 REVISITED - Scientific and Ethical Questions, Untah State Valley College, Feb 1, 2006
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Steven_E._Jones
bull, rodeo, cowboy

Health Care Myth Tracking

I'll admit it ... i haven't been tracking the health care debate much. Why?  Because i think having an optional national plan is a good idea, regardless the restrictions. As it now exists, health insurance companies charge insane amounts of money to self-insure.  If you try to get insurance while guilty of being pregnant, being old, having diabetes, having been a smoker in the past 3 years, or any other number of conditions, good luck!  Despite paying for our pregancies out of pocket anyway (insurance companies generally don't cover 'natural birth', considering nature more risky than the surgeon's knife), insurance companies we checked out wanted nearly triple for my wife what they wanted for me & the kids combined because she was pregnant/just had a kid. (A healthy baby boy, by the way!)

That said, my number one gripe about a national plan is that, like all other government programs, all tax-paying americans will be forced to dish out more of their hard-earned money to pay for those who aren't hard-working, as well as the handful who are and just couldn't afford health insurance because they were paying too much of their income to the government in taxes or are stuck working a low-paying job under some millionaire because they can't afford to 'go into business on their own'.
Our family is one of those families.  Self-employed with four employees, we ended up owing more money in taxes than i'd made at most of my prior jobs in a year on something most americans aren't even aware of: "self-employment tax".  Self-employment tax is a way the government collects for current welfare and existing healthcare programs.  Most americans don't know about it because most americans work for someone else.  You don't really come face to face with this until you escape the slavery of working for someone else.  Your employer faces similar charges, but usually those are taxes that they get by filing as a big corporation, and there are certain other kickbacks a corporation receives.

We don't have healthcare right now.  we lost our business when tax season came, and in addition to having lost (mostly) our jobs, being in tremendous debt to the government, being in debt for our home, and having three children to take care of, we just can't afford insurance, so every illness that eeds to get checked out, every medicine, and every x-ray, blood test or check-up we have comes out of our own pocket.  Though supposedly "4 out of 5" american's don't have health care, most people probably don't realise how expensive 30 minutes at the cardiologist or 5 minutes with the family care nurse actually cost. 

The current trend with the media is to go "mythbusting" the handful of spooky stories about the healthcare program being pushed by our wannabe-socialist government.  I hadn't been aware of these myths (which was surprising, given the large number of 'radical right wing extremist' (to quote Napolitino) organizations i get emails from ... groups like the Libertarian Party, the NRA, the John Birch Society, the Republicans, and the numerous 'survivalist' blogs i subscribe to).  In fact, the ONLY place i've heard these myths is from the promoters of the healthcare program themselves, and from the news media.  This isn't to say that freaked out Springer-watching white trash and little old ladies in Ohio aren't passing a handful of emails on to their friends, but the "anti-healthcare movement' isn't anything it's made out to be.

How are these myths becoming so public, then?  Like McCarthyism and "ratting out commies", the Obama administration (specifically the White House itself) recently began soliciting rumours and chain letters that were unfavorable to the President in its "facts are stubborn things" "fishy emails" blog.  Nevermind that it is illegal for the president to create lists against the public ... the whitehouse blog specifically states:

"There is a lot of disinformation about health insurance reform out there, spanning from control of personal finances to end of life care.  These rumors often travel just below the surface via chain emails or through casual conversation.  Since we can’t keep track of all of them here at the White House, we’re asking for your help. If you get an email or see something on the web about health insurance reform that seems fishy, send it to flag@whitehouse.gov"

according to 5 U.S.C. § 552a, the President cannot collect and maintain records describing how any particular individual chooses to exercise their 1st Amendment Rights unless a specific statute  or the individual themselves authorize the collection of such data, AND it is used appropriately by law enforcement agencies.  pretty much this sounds like it means if you forward an email to some friends, and they forward it, then someone sends it to the White House, Obama can keep track of the person who sent that email to them, but cannot use any of the other names in the email headers on the chain email. I guess we've got his word that he won't look at those names ...

but wait!  just last week, numerous people were a bit freaked out that the White House sent them a spam when they'd never signed up for a mailing list.  The White House apologized, but the "act first, apologize later" strategy looks strangely familiar (campaign mudslingling strategy of the Left!), and, as we learned from the campaign, when you put the lie out there, retracting it later is incredibly ineffective. (Later news indicated the email spam - about health care reform - the White House sent out WAS a result of data collected from forwarded emails).

i'd imagine they are trying to lump healthcare myths into the category of 'threats', so the exemption: "maintained in connection with providing protective services to the President of the United States or other individuals pursuant to section 3056 of title 18" can be used to avoid any legal issues.  Talk about loopholes!

The blog page is still there, but the email address has been taken down, and now directs senders to a special new White House propaganda page: http://www.whitehouse.gov/realitycheck , where you can watch well-crafted video spots and see eye-catching graphics designed to officially tell you not to believe anything you hear about healthcarefrom anywhere other than the White House. 

did i mention that Hugo Chavez is systematically shutting down or taking over media outlets in his country?

It is important to keep in mind that a strategy of frontal confrontation is rarely the 'winner'.  The most effective attacks come through the back door or are surprises that sneaked in close while there was a distraction.  While the most accessible venue - the news - is waving around the "look at these crazy myths!" banner ... while the average citizen is snickering at the "over 80 death board" and the "no vision care until you're blind in one eye" stories, the more disturbing legislation is sneaking in on various bills.  

-  The healthcare bill itself has a section making it obligatory, for example, for Social Services to visit your home before, during, and after pregnancy.  Not only would this be expensive (where would all the money come from to hire the snitch squad to enter your home? Taxes!), but the horror stories of the current "guilty until proven innocent" child welfare services are too numerous to make any intelligent person think this is a good idea.  (I should probably point out a connection to the designs of the devil - for those readers of religious conviction - what danger is it for the poor to be subject to such a law? 
The children of the poor who fail the inquisitions would be taken away and placed into foster care.  Foster parents will - if the existing trends continue to infect our culture - be 'qualified' by lacking religious affiliation or promising not to 'inflict' it upon the children for which they provide care, because "progressive" athiest activists will insist the home care be as sterile and 'superstition free' as our public schools, to provide an "equal" upbringing. Your child who had a dirty diaper on the day you couldn't afford food and welfare happened to show up would be taken away and denied the opportunity to be raised with exposure to your religious perspective).

-  Another law going through right now that gives the government power to "quarantine" entire cities based on a simple declaration from the president.  (if you haven't been following all the conspiracy news, the government has already built several large, barbed-wire encircled "FEMA camps" around the country, and you can find photos of those camps and their stores of unmarked busses all over online). 

"Change" is here, and with it are the further losses of America's values and rights.  Don't believe the myths on either side without checking the facts and details first.


sources:
http://www.jbs.org/freedom-campaign/5204
http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/Facts-Are-Stubborn-Things/
http://www4.law.cornell.edu/uscode/html/uscode05/usc_sec_05_00000552---a000-.html
http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2009/08/17/white-house-makes-security-changes-web-site-following-complaints-unwanted-e/


http://politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com/category/health-care-fact-check/
bull, rodeo, cowboy

Do you think "In God We trust" should be removed from our nation's currency?

The motto has been on our currency since 1864, after the horrors of the U.S. Civil War awakened stronger religious sentiment in the nation's people.  It became the official motto in 1956. Our nation's founders included phrases like "Nature's God" and "Creator" (capitalization intended) in our Declaration of Independence, and there are other references in other founding documents.  Our nation is still  77% people who identify themselves as "Christian", with an overall total of 81% of people who identify themselves as belonging to some form of "organized religion".  To remove this piece of cultural history and recognition of one of the core beliefs that inspired the design of our country in the first place ... is like demanding that slavery or the holocaust or the Japanese internment be stricken from our nation's history books because discussion of such things hurts or offends some people. Our country is a country of diverse beliefs and lifestyles, and to continue to erase and erode all facets of life to make one bland identity-less & uniform nation will serve more to undermine individual values than to promote them.  All people need to be more tolerant, and tolerance begins with self: accepting difference rather than forcing it to hide.  In a democracy, the "voice of the people" is paramount - if the overwhelming majority of citizens of our country believe in some sort of divine creator, leave it.  If it offends you, ignore it - it doesn't hurt anything and it is a significant memento of where this country originated from in the first place.
bull, rodeo, cowboy

A Different Perspective on Tragedy

the other day there was a terrible air disaster over the Hudson River ... a helicopter hit a small plane. i think everyone was killed.

i don't like to make light of any tragedy ... and despite the tone of many of my posts, my true aim in this blog is to open up alternate perspectives, share other sides of the stories in the news, etc.

in this particular story, the mother/wife of the italian tour passengers who perished had missed the tragedy because she was shopping instead.

the media, as is par for this kind of story, are playing up the "luck" or "fate" or "miracle" of her narrow escape from tragedy. it's just like the 9/11 stories of employees not showing up to work, schedules being changed at the last moment, etc.  it's almost as if we see some sort of magic or (i would hope not) "heroism" in the good fortune of one who "happened" to narrowly miss tragedy.

what of the other sides, though? to a husband or child who lost a wife or mother, the terror of seeing your own death coming upon you, yet being alone, must be a terrible feeling. to know these are your last moments on earth, but you cannot share them with that one most important person ... that you can't say your last goodbye or hold hands as disaster eats you up because of a shopping trip must be one of the worst things that could happen to a person.  That something as material as shopping could have robbed or short-changed you of the biggest event in your mortal life has got to force a terrible contrast upon a person ... a tremendous spectrum with "things" on the one hand and "soul" on the other. 

before we railroad the shopper ... lets look at things from her perspective:

she made a decision that robbed her of those final moments, too.  i can only imagine the poor woman, sitting alone in her hotel room, in shock, staring at the bags before her, while maybe just past them lies an open but now useless suitcase.  to the survivor, there is a tremendous guilt where no one else might have even thought to place any kind of blame. 

accidents are not the fault of survivors.

still, i think it is important that we consider these things in any tragedy.  i think it is important we consider these things in our daily lives. maybe before you go to sleep for the night, make peace with your spouse.  when they are going out into the dangerous world, don't waste what could be a final opportunity to be with them because some little thing seems bigger than your family.  no television show, phone call, shopping trip, snack, videogame, book, or naptime is worth the time we allocate it when we forfeit those things which are important. 
bull, rodeo, cowboy

PETA lies again / UPDATE: Guess not ...

a little while ago, on a social-networking site, a 'friend' posted the following:

officialpeta: Bunnies drowned by gloating Petland employee:http://ow.ly/j4Oq

the fabricated (?) story says this:

-----


This photo was taken in the back room of a Petland store in Akron, Ohio, and posted on Facebook by Elizabeth Carlisle, who can be seen grinning as she holds two dead, soaking-wet rabbits by the scruff of the neck—rabbits she just drowned while on Petland's time clock. On Carlisle's Facebook page, she confirmed a friend's guess that she had drowned these two rabbits and wrote, "[T]he manager took the pic for me. [S]he reminded me that there were people outside as [I] was swearing at them to just hurry up and die but then she was so kind as to take this picture."

These horrific deaths followed what was apparently an equally horrifying life for these rabbits. Other comments Carlisle posted made it clear that the rabbits were drowned after sustaining agonizing injuries when they were allowed to "attack and eat each other." The rabbits suffered from "deep wounds all over," "an eye missing," what Petland staff "suspected was a broken jaw," and paralysis from the waist down—injuries that would not have occurred had these animals been provided with proper care and supervision.

Undercover investigations have revealed time and time again that companies that breed and sell animals are concerned about profits, not animals' well-being. We are urging Petland to think long and hard about what this incident makes clear: The company has no business selling any animals.

To prevent future incidents like this one, please, never buy from pet stores and urge Petland at the very least to stop selling rabbits.

Posted by Liz Graffeo
-----
here are some problems with the story:

first, as a voracious flesh-eating, fire-arm toting hunter, i can tell you:
* there just aren't many people who would kill just for fun. I hunt (for food), and i would never shoot an animal i am not going to eat or am not defending myself or my family from. I have a hard enough time squishing spiders.
* there are not many people who would kill bunnies for ANY reason, especially "pet" bunnies.
* there are not many people who would work a minimum-wage job, surrounded by stinky fecal matter from the animal kingdom, forced to clean cages and clean animals that pee all overthemselves who do not love animals.
* there are honestly very, very few people who would dye a streak of their hair an unnatural color who do not claim to be vegans, activists, pro-diversity, liberal, democrat, environmentally friendly, etc.  I know that's being 'discriminatory', but really ... count your 'alternative' friends and then subtract any of those who claim to adhere to eastern religion, belong to a grassroots organization or only eat 'organic food', and you'll see what i mean.  the girl in the picture may just as well be wearing a "Meat Is Murder!" t-shirt.
* speaking of clothing, she isn't wearing a Petland uniform.  
* PETA has a long-standing war going on with Petland.  Isn't it suspect that the arch enemy was dumb enough to paste a photo online that would give PETA more weight in their attacks?
* After searching Facebook (where the photo is alleged to have come from), and searching historical web archives of facebook, i discovered THE PROFILE AND PERSON DON'T EXIST. There are some Elizabeth Carlisles in Ohio, but one is an older woman and the other (who looks nothing like the PETA photo) has numerous liberal friends (Obama-ites, etc), which make it SERIOUSLY UNLIKELY that she's be a bunny-hating madwoman. There was also one who is a horse-lover, and
* The ONLY online information i could find about an Elizabeth Carlisle+Akron are posts by PETA themselves, including this one:
--------
Employee Seen Grinning and Holding Drowned Animals' Bodies on Facebook


For Immediate Release:
August 4, 2009

Contact:
Stephanie Bell 757-622-7382

Akron, Ohio --
After being alerted to a Facebook photo and discussion thread indicating that a Petland employee named Elizabeth Carlisle deliberately drowned two rabbits on July 28 at a Petland store in Akron, PETA wrote to Petland's founder, Ed Kunzelman, and its president, Frank Difatta, calling for an end to rabbit sales at the national pet store chain. PETA is also asking Petland to conduct an internal investigation of the incident and is calling on Petland's corporate office to support the criminal prosecution of Carlisle, if warranted, as well as to immediately review and strengthen company procedures pertaining to euthanasia and the treatment of sick and injured animals.
The Facebook photo shows a grinning Carlisle -- who worked at the Petland store located at 2000 Brittain Rd., Ste. 41, in Akron -- dangling two dead, soaking-wet rabbits by the scruff of their necks. Carlisle confirms a Facebook friend's guess that she drowned the rabbits, writing, "[T]he manager took the pic for me. [S]he reminded me that there were people outside as [I] was swearing at them to just hurry up and die but then she was so kind as to take this picture."
Carlisle's other comments indicate that the rabbits had been allowed to "attack" and "eat" each other (behavior that may have been caused by crowding and poor husbandry) while in the store's "care" and that rabbits had sustained injuries, including "deep wounds all over," "an eye missing," what Petland staff "suspected was a broken jaw," and paralysis from the waist down. The case is currently under criminal investigation by law-enforcement authorities.
"Petland has no business selling any animals," says PETA Vice President Daphna Nachminovitch. "Its management and staff seem unable to provide rabbits with basic supervision and care and don't appear to have anything close to a decent attitude toward them. But at the very least, Petland should follow the example of other national pet store chains and immediately stop selling these small, vulnerable animals."

For more information, please visit PETA.org.
-----

While this doesn't "prove" PETA made up the story, the statements provided by PETA also don't prove it took place. PETA has a long history of digging up the most anomalous and gruesome animal abuse stories, then inflating them to make them appear common place. In this case, it is simply one more attempt to portray Petland in a bad light, continuing PETA's attempts to shut down the chain. PETA makes sure, in both articles, to make it seem as if the injuries that (may have been) sustained by the rabbits were the result of some sort of lack of proper care/handling on the part of Petland, when they very well could have been injuries which occurred elsewhere, with the animals being 'dumped off' at Petland (as is often the case at pet stores). "Anti-" groups always like to tie the poor actions of one (a priest, an employee, a criminal with a stereotypical look) as the actions of all ... and whether or not this story turns out to be true, it is PETA's aim to bring down this store, not just the one or two employees who may have been involved.

As is already pretty obvious, PETA uses the same "media manipulation" tactics as other liberal "sources", like MoveOn.org, Democracy Now!, etc.  They present a realistic news story, but fail to provide useful sources (which would allow a reader to verify the validity of the 'discovery').  Where is the link to the facebook page?  Has Petland in Akron been contacted for comment (or declined comment?) The only links that are to be found are links back to the fabrication. A PETA blog. A PETA news release.  These are not valuable sources to substantiate the story; it is merely the liberal tactic of saturation.  They know that if they post the same misinformation in a handful of places, the average person isn't going to think "wow, here's another version of the story posted by the same people who broaght me the last one" ... instead, each time you view the misinformation, it will be further embedded in your mind, and a week or month later, most people will remember what they read/saw, but won't recall that it was suspect. 

That isn't the only tactic PETA uses, of course. Their ads are filled with sexual innuendo, and they do their best to position nude or semi-clad women at protests, on websites, and in their video ads.  They don't have to worry about offending people who may belong to a religion that frowns upon titillation and eroticism, because they know their main target are those in bondage to their own "free thinking" - those persons who feel a social or intellectual superiority to everyone else because their own vices are part of the established "alternative". 

sources:
http://ow.ly/j4Oq
http://www.akrongrapevine.com/ (liks to PETA.org)
http://www.facebook.com
bull, rodeo, cowboy

Are Radio Talkshows Protected By The Constitution?

I just saw the following news article on CNN.  It looks like Venezuala's America-hating Hugo Chavez just closed down unfavorable radio stations. 
I saw a quote recently that said something about how the first things oppressive regimes go after are the radio stations, because what is said on the air is more difficult to control than printed media and word of mouth.  I would suspect, then, that free broadcast radio is (in modern times) the pinnacle of free speech. 

Collapse )

Great to think it wouldn't happen here! Or could it?

You may or may not know that one of the (many) disturbing policies suggested by the incoming Obama administration and the democrats was a new kind of "fairness doctrine" aimed at radio programming. 
Radio programs are often syndicated. This is how you could live in Arizona or Michigan and get "America's Top 40" or "Dr. Demento" out of California when you were a kid.  It's how you can hear NPR programming across the country on your local station, and why radio talk show hosts like Rush Limbaugh, George Noory, or Glenn Beck can be heard nationwide.  It's why you've heard of Dr. Laura or Shock-Jock Howard Stern. 
The concept isn't that unique ... Television is also syndicated.  There are giant broadcast networks that predate the Cable Channels.  Saturday Night Live would only be available to residents of New York if that weren't the case, and only people in southern California would have seen BayWatch, 90210 or One Tree Hill.
Not really a bad thing, right?  Local stations still insert their local advertisement for local businesses, local news still airs.

Over the years, people of sure political persuasion have gravitated toward one form of transmitted media or the other.  Conservatives and Republicans largely listen to radio broadcasts, and Liberals and Democrats largely follow what comes out of Hollywood or shoots out of their television.  While some might point to some old-timer or nostalgic reason, another argument may be that hard working Americans tend to not have the option of watching television while working.  Whatever the case, Conservatives generally get their news and opinion-entertainment from radio shows like Glenn Beck or Dr. Laura, and Liberals generall get their news from comedy shows like SNL or The Daily Show.  Not trying to pick on anyone, but it's pretty much the truth.

The wider availability of radio, along with the predominance of 'conservative talk' shows has long troubled the liberal illuminati.  Joe-Bob Farmer, who lives 60 miles from the nearest bottled water vendor can usually pick up a handful of radio stations when television isn't an option.  I live in an actual town, for example, and to get "local" television here, we have to subscribe to a satellite service ... but i can easily pick up four good talk radio stations and a dozen music providers. 

In order to offensively insert their agenda into the minds of Rural America, the liberal illuminati needed to take out the existing feed and make their own flow more accessible.  Increasing television coverage would be expensive, but newer digital technologies were capable of delivering signal at greater distances with less power.  Solution number one was to sell the public on the "need" for a switchover from older analog broadcast systems to the newer digital systems, and part of that solution was to mandate the switchover - leaving providers with no choice. The town where i live recently gained 9 television stations (nearly all are Public Broadcasting). "Mission accomplished". Rural America now has access to the filthy softcore porn, inappropriate language and mass-marketing that had helped undermine urban america decades before.  But PBS is safe, right?  Unfortunately, the Obama administration decided that local PBS stations would lose their funding if they aired religious programming because a small portion of the funding for Public Broadcasting comes from taxpayers (despite 81% of American adults identifying themselves as members of some organized religion - 77% being "Christian" according to the same 2001 poll), so anything that smacks of religion or religious values cannot be aired on PBS, while shows and documentaries promoting homosexuality are promoted. 

So what to do about the steady stream of syndicated right-wing programs?  The answer was found in the exploitation of "minority groups". 
Some politicians (pushed by activists) crunched some numbers and found that there's not a whole lot of minority-owned radio.  Rather than trying to determine why (it makes sense, for example, that a group that makes up 2% of the population would not have more than 2% of the radio stations, right?), they proudly announced that "the reason why" there wasn't a lot of 'minority radio' was that all the "Big Networks" (kinda like "Big Oil", "Big Auto Companies", "Big Businesses", "Big Religion" ...) took up all the radio bandwidth. 

Excuse me for saying this, but [bad word]!!  Eliminating analog television freed up a whole lot of the spectrum, and in very few places was the spectrum already over-burdened in specific localities. Not that that matters ... the whole story is pretty weak anyway.

So welcome "localism" and "fairness doctrine".  The idea that the mere existence of syndicated "network" radio prohibits minority radio from existing.  The FCC created a "diversity" group (made up of the most militant of affirmative-action and opposition groups, but which isn't diverse enough to include straight people, white people, religious people, families, etc).  Congress also voted in favor of the "Fairness Doctrine", which many suspect will be a 'back door' to seizing control of radio stations and disbanding networks which currently carry content unfavorable to the liberal agenda. 

As it now stands, and with the direction things seem to be going, pornography has more legal protection than conservative talk radio.  When you consider the administration that launched this attack is the same one that strong-armed and intimidated smaller broadcasters during the election from airing an unfavorable (but truthful) ad about Obama's anti 2nd Amendment stance, it's pretty clear to see that unless someone can get some protections legislated, the United States may be losing a vital pillar of Free Speech. 

sources (accessed 08/01/2009):
http://www.cnn.com/2009/WORLD/americas/08/01/venezuela.radio.stations/index.html
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/06/16/AR2009061603201.html
http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2009/06/16/pbs-begin-phasing-religious-programming-airwaves/
http://www.religioustolerance.org/chr_prac2.htm
http://thenationalscene.com/obama-democrats-silence-conservative-talk-radio-guise-diversity-reincarnation-fairness-censorship-doctrine/
http://newsbusters.org/blogs/p-j-gladnick/2009/05/31/hush-rush-fairness-doctrine-being-repackaged-localism
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Demographics_of_the_United_States#Religious_affiliation
http://www.cnsnews.com/public/Content/Article.aspx?rsrcid=36590
http://www.nraila.org/media/PDFs/nra_memo_re_obamaads.pdf

bull, rodeo, cowboy

The Perils Of Global Warming Policies

One of the things that makes me happiest is finding "the rest of the story" on major issues.  After an argument with my wife (she's a bit quicker than me and aggravates me to a stupor before i can say what i want to say), i went online to find some information about GLOBAL WARMING. The topic came up because some friends in Seattle were "so there!"-ing about global warming because they just had a record high of 103° ... but where i'm at, we've had a cooler-than-usual summer, with nearly twice our yearly precipitation in just a couple months. 

I guess it's my belief that Global Warming is a misleading term ... while it may be accurate (and understated) for some, it is the opposite for others.  Perhaps the term should be "climate normalization".  Yes, species are dying off, yes, some of our industry contributes to some of this ... but the earth has a pattern of hot and cold cycles that would exist regardless man's influence.  In the new religion of global warming, man has lifted himself above God as a cause for change in the world.  I think i am uncomfortable with that.

Maybe i am wrong, though?  After all, a professor at my college forced us to watch Al Gore's "An Inconvenient Truth", and lectured incessantly about the validity of Gore's research.  I mean, she was a first-year english teacher who'd just begun teaching after haviung been a high school english teacher, but still, she has the title of "Doctor" ...
While watching the Gore-flick for the fourth time, i began to see some why-didn't-i-notice-that-before errors in his presentation.  For example, he claims that cars in Asia have better gas mileage than cars in the United States, but doesn't let you know that the major reasons for that are the modifications necessary for the cars to comply with our 'clean air' requirements ... pollution reducers which also reduce the power and MPG of those cars which are exported here.  Gore also measures the damage done by hurricanes in dollars, and uses the graph to suggest that hurricanes have become more powerful in recent decades (in actuality they have not, but the number of people living in hurricane areas has increased exponentially - meaning there are more dollars placed in the path of hurricanes than before). 

Imagine my excitement when i found the video POLICY PERIL online!  It details several important bits (important if you want to explore, with an open-mind, additional data about Global Warming):

- the retractions of data previously used to start the Global Warming craze
- the few areas where man's restrictions on industry have helped curb pollution
- the truths that are glossed over or manipulated to 'make a case' for global warming policies
- some dangers (like malaria, hurricanes and wildfires) that are not actually related to 'global warming', and why they are not
- some dangers (poverty, deforestation, increased carbon dioxide release) that are directly tied to Global Warming "prevention" policies 

to wrap it all up, they admit there ARE things we should do to protect the environment, and that (whether man-caused or God-caused) the earth's climate IS changing, but the ill-planned and dramatic measures being rushed through and enacted will do very little to combat the warming, but will do a lot to further damage economies, health, and the environment ... and tyhat some of the more effective measures are those most frowned upon by alarmists.

See Video: POLICY PERIL: Why Global Warming Policies Are More dangerous Than Global Warming Itself


sources:
http://www.globalwarming.org/2009/07/29/policy-peril-looking-for-an-antidote-to-an-inconvenient-truth-your-search-is-over-2/
http://ceiondemand.org/2009/07/17/policy-peril-the-truth-about-global-warming/
http://www.vancouversun.com/news/Global+warming+religion+First+World+urban+elites/1835847/story.html