Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Bill Still: worth a peek.

Hat tip to the increasingly useful Karl Denninger.

For anyone who needs to be caught up on the insolvency problem in less than ten minutes, this is pretty clearly stated.


This guy's politics are admirably absent from the discussion.  Love it.  Perhaps I'm being naiive here, but I like to think that's because more and more people are recognizing that politics--all politics--is the problem, and not the solution.

Quoth Robert LeFevre:
Government* is a disease masquerading as its own cure.

Amen.

____________
*Some make noise over "corporations" being a worse problem than "government", which makes no sense since corporations are literally and wholly creations of government.  That these two entities collude with one another is in no way newsworthy, and is very useful as a red herring;  those who insist on pursuing the entirely semantic argument merely divert attentions away from meaningful dialogue.  (The colluders love that, by the way.)

Answer me these questions three...

Beautifully stated by Larken Rose:
Sometimes very simple questions can cause profound cognitive dissonance. Here is a series of very simple questions I like to pose to people at random, especially if I want to make their heads explode. (For the record, my head was long ago exploded by these simple concepts, so I’m not claiming superiority here.)

1) Can you delegate to someone else a right which you don’t have? For example, if you don’t have the right to punch me in the nose (just for fun), can you GIVE the right to do so to someone else?
...
2) Can TWO people delegate a right that neither of them has? For example, if TWO of you want me to be punched in the nose (but neither of you has the right), can you GIVE a third person the right to punch me? What if 50 of you wanted it? How about a million people?
...
3) If people cannot delegate rights they don’t have, where did “government” get the right to do what it does?
...

It's worth reading the discussion too--Rose presents it much better than I usually do.  And so, it's now part of the library.  :-)

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Cyber World War One

From the Center For a Stateless Society.  Great article, containing this fabulous giggle line:

If the price of keeping Joe Lieberman in power is you staring over a plow at the ass end of a mule all day and lighting your home with candles or kerosene at night before collapsing on a bed of filthy straw, that’s a price Joe Lieberman is more than willing to have you pay.

The real money lines are elsewhere, but good snark is always appreciated.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Assange in British custody. (Bet he turns out to be made of wood!)

Remember this line from the film Se7en?
Tell me, what was the indisputable evidence you were going to use on me right before I walked up to you and put my hands in the air?

Via Chris Floyd I learn that Julian Assange is now in British custody, having "turned himself in".  In some ways that seems anticlimactic, but I'm sure Assange has his reasons.  He even published a message in The Australian before doing so.  Among its contents:

WikiLeaks has a four-year publishing history. During that time we have changed whole governments, but not a single person, as far as anyone is aware, has been harmed. But the US, with Australian government connivance, has killed thousands in the past few months alone.

US Secretary of Defence Robert Gates admitted in a letter to the US congress that no sensitive intelligence sources or methods had been compromised by the Afghan war logs disclosure. The Pentagon stated there was no evidence the WikiLeaks reports had led to anyone being harmed in Afghanistan. NATO in Kabul told CNN it couldn’t find a single person who needed protecting. The Australian Department of Defence said the same. No Australian troops or sources have been hurt by anything we have published.

This matters not, of course, to those who call openly for his murder, or worse.  Those who lie continually, professionally, simply cannot abide having their secrets exposed.  (How telling is it that, for all the sanctimonious bluster about the grievous potential harm these leaks might somehow cause, that there is almost no denial of the veracity of their content?  That, itself, is astonishing.)

Now, of course, the international wolf pack can have their way with him, and (as usual) will probably thoroughly enjoy that.  Assange, of course, will turn out to be a witch (just you watch), and we'll burn him at the stake with great fanfare.





The real story, of course, is not Assange at all, nor even WikiLeaks itself, but the idea of WikiLeaks.  What will become of it?  The modern example has now been set.

What will we do with it?  We've got a choice, and it's time to decide.  (And let's be very clear about this:  Master will make note of our response, and act accordingly.)

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Nope, no irony here...

This is an effin' Onion headline, right?

As senior Obama administration officials discuss prosecuting Julian Assange, and as Sen. Joe Lieberman suggests the New York Times should be investigated for espionage, the U.S. State Department puts out a press release celebrating World Press Freedom Day.

It's getting so you just can't physically keep up with all the stupid anymore.

From Radley Balko at The Agitator.

The virtual war flares up.

(And obviously, by "the virtual war" I am speaking of the war against every one of us, by those who claim to represent us.)

This is good news only in that it is continuing evidence that someone (in this case, WikiLeaks) has found a way to hit Master where it actually hurts, prompting every sort of flailing, desperate response.  Via Brad at Wendy McElroy's site:

This was inevitable:

1. Every WikiLeaks server, it seems, has come under DDoS attack shortly after coming on-line. A private individual has claimed responsbility for at least the first attack.

2. After PostFinance -- the Swiss Post Office's banking arm -- froze Wikileaks' account, a pro-Wikileaks group, "Anonymous," launched a DDoS attack yesterday on PostFinance.

3. A DDoS attack was also launched against PayPal's blog site over the weekend, "apparently prompted by PayPal's decision to cut off money services to WikiLeaks last week."

4. Presumably in retaliation, a web site used by Anonymous came under attack yesterday from an anti-Wikileaks group.

As I said yesterday: in cyberspace, everyone has a nuke. And they've started to fly. Keep your head down, and stay safe.

He's right;  this was of course inevitable.  What's depressing is that these "anti-Wikileaks" actors might actually be operating privately.  Let's be honest:  there would be no surprise--not one bit--if we some day find out that some or all of these attackers are actually on the public dole in some way or another.  Wouldn't be the first time, wouldn't be the last.  If you're honest about the cui bono question, you have to admit that--because the whole point of destroying WikiLeaks is to preserve the state's "right" to secrecy and deliberate lying to that same end--the concept of patsies, stooges, bag men, and, uh, creatively-incented goons is absolutely and inherently an "on the table" option worthy of investigating.  (And if you don't think "your" government is capable of this sort of deception, you have been asleep at the wheel and really should wake up before you hit something.)

In this case, either they are, or they're not.  If they are officially tied to the state--well, hey, we already know to expect that from the kind of people who would exploit the good will of the masses to letigimize theft, fraud and murder.

If they're not--if they really are operating privately--then it's just sad to see continued examples of slaves fighting so hard to perpetuate their own enslavement.  Apparently, Master has done its propaganda work well.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Awesome.

For anyone who wants to make an issue of who or where this is:  I don't really give a rat's ass.  Neither the who nor the where, in any way, can diminish this what.  (Even if it turns out to be a pure police-state propaganda production in the finest false-flag tradition, the spirit of George Hayduke is still on display here.  Faan-freakin-tastic!)


Quote of the day.

How about this comment to an Agitator post on Sunday?

The United States does not have the rule of law. Absolute immunity is antithetical to the concept of the rule of law. You cannot have both.

Nailed it.  In every detail.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Now this is funny.

Hat tip to Karl Denninger.

WikiLeaks is, plain and simple, one of the most important happenings in modern history.  You can tell just by observing the ridiculous things that governments and their apologists do, to try and make it go away.*

The latest is that the US Department of State has apparently issued a threat to anyone who actually reads the documents, because, see, they're still classified.

From Democracy Now:

The U.S. State Department has imposed an order barring employees from reading the leaked WikiLeaks cables. State Department staffers have been told not to read cables because they were classified and subject to security clearances. The State Department’s WikiLeaks censorship has even been extended to university students. An email to students at Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs says: "The documents released during the past few months through Wikileaks are still considered classified documents. [The State Department] recommends that you DO NOT post links to these documents nor make comments on social media sites such as Facebook or through Twitter. Engaging in these activities would call into question your ability to deal with confidential information, which is part of most positions with the federal government."

Now that's funny.  The FedGov lecturing anyone about the importance of honesty, good character and fidelity to a solemn promise is always good for a larf.  And how about the simple, brilliant absurdity of documents now in the public domain still being classified

Snarky semanticists might point out that Master, here, is ostensibly only addressing its "employees" with the threat.  Presumably this is on the basis of, you know, all of its employees making a promise not to partake of the double-secret, Drogan's Decoder Ring, X-K-Red-27-technique, classified information in the Wikileaks documents.  But as the above notes, this also applies to prospective "employees" in the form of students, and hey, let's not kid ourselves:  who here wants to suggest that Uncle Sam would hesitate to come after any one of us if, in its sole discretion, it decides that we know too much?

(It's also not lost on some of us that the threat specifically mentions social networking, as the implied means of snooping and sniffing to produce evidence of...not respecting information that doesn't belong to you.)

In the end, though, the beauty of Wikileaks is that it exposes the state for what it is:  coercion and violence, and nothing else.  The massive attempts to shut down access to the documents.  The open calls for the murder of those who have done nothing but deliver on the empty promise of state transparency.  (Anyone here think that WikiLeaks would ever have happened in a world where the state did not lie about...well, everything?)  The mendacious attempts to shift all moral culpability from the perpetrator to the messenger.  And here, the threats against "its own" in a pointless attempt to shut the barn door after all the horses have got out.

It'll be something else, tomorrow.

Because they're still classified.  What an effin' hoot


_________________
* It's not a new story.  Zeus was pretty pissed at Prometheus for doing the same thing, and likewise handled it in an entirely authoritarian way.  (For any authoritarians reading this:  note that although Zeus certainly gave Prometheus the business in punishment, what he could not do was undo what had been done.  Also, on the "legacy" topic which seems to occupy you folks so much:  remember that Prometheus is usually heralded as a great champion of all mankind, and has been ever since all this happened.  Have a nice day! :-)

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Quote of the day? No. Better than that.

So far I'd say it's the quote of the year.  And that's after the healthcare debacle, official claims to absolute power, a nauseating midterm election, and various and sundry other atrocities and indignities.

Radley Balko:
FB friend's suggested TSA slogan:  "Exploring the vas deferens between liberty and security"

Poets walk among us.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

A reminder...

...that we should always keep our eyes on the ball.  Let's face it, it is so ridiculously easy to presume the worst of the TSA--and be amazed only that we weren't cynical enough, in the end--that a claim such as a possible exemption for orthodox Muslim women is somehow no longer quite absurd enough that it couldn't be true.

As it happens, it may not be true at all.  Via the redoubtable Wendy McElroy:
The rumor: The Department of Homeland Security may exempt Orthodox Muslim women from the sexually invasive scanners and physical exams that others must undergo as a prerequisite of air travel.

...

Nevertheless, in the wake of Napolitano’s unwillingness to flatly answer no, parts of the blogosphere and media have exploded with speculation and anger. (See this segment from Sean Hannity’s show on Fox News.) To support the claim that the exemption had been allowed, some websites link to this CNSNews.com story, although it does not support the claim.

...

Thus, based almost entirely on an impromptu and awkward response by Napolitano, a myth has been constructed and surrounded by “evidence” that amounts to little more than speculation dressed-up with a few cherry-picked statements from Muslim organizations.

The “Muslim exemption” is a dangerous myth because it strengthens the TSA by making its critics appear to be foolish conspiracy theorists. It turns protesters against one another rather than uniting them. And, finally, it feeds a basic source of TSA’s strength: fear and resentment of Muslims.

She's right, of course. 

This is not, of course, to give TSA a pass.  That unconscionably vile mob has fully earned every nasty assumption you could make about it, even if some of them turn out to be untrue.  Consider:  McElroy's last point brings to mind a great line from Kevin Smith's delightfully amusing film Dogma:  "...and [Cardinal] Glick's the kind of asshole who would bless his own [golf] clubs for a better game."


But we should always keep our eyes on the ball, and not pursue rumor until we know it to be true.  (You know, like the old Russian joke:  at least wait for it to be officially denied in Pravda.)

Monday, November 22, 2010

Nailed it.

I think there's more than a thousand words in there.


H/T Radley Balko;  pic is (happily) attributed to David Vincent Wolf.

In Which we observe their frothing jones for a Ministry of Truth

Okay, class, what's the most important thing to take away from this news?
This is hardly a surprise but, this morning (as previously announced), the lame duck Senate Judiciary Committee unanimously voted to move forward with censoring the internet via the COICA bill -- despite a bunch of law professors explaining to them how this law is a clear violation of the First Amendment. What's really amazing is that many of the same Senators have been speaking out against internet censorship in other countries, yet they happily vote to approve it here because it's seen as a way to make many of their largest campaign contributors happy.
That's right. The committee vote was unanimous.  Roll that thought around in your mind for a while.

To paraphrase Chris Floyd:
They are not an aberration of the system. They are the system.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Useful idiocy, nicely summarized.

Very nicely done article on the modern incarnation of useful idiocy, by Giordano Bruno.

First, he nails the symptoms:
Americans are masters of avoiding responsibility for bad assumptions. I have seen middle-aged women cry, actual tears, because they have been proven incorrect on something as simple as the price of dishwashing detergent at the grocery store. I have seen full-grown men throw wild-eyed tantrums and even threaten people with death because they couldn’t handle being wrong about the correct score of a football game. I once saw a man froth at the mouth and shout vicious obscenities for 20 minutes straight because he refused to believe there where more than three ‘Jaws’ movies (I wish ‘Jaws: The Revenge’ didn’t exist either, but I’m not going to have a spasm over it). I have seen little old ladies physically attack people because they were embarrassed to be wrong, not realizing that their response was far more humiliating and self deprecating than just being “mistaken”. I have, indeed, seen the glory of overgrown babies in action.
This is similar to what I was trying to get at here, but Bruno handles it better.  And how about this simple but effective image?
Their ability to think is limited to memorization. The problem with this way of viewing the world is that it excludes critical thought, intuition, empathy, and wisdom. It traps us in a box composed of all the things we have been TAUGHT, but keeps us from the things we could discover on our own. Useful idiots are walking talking toasters; all they take is bread, and all they make is toast (and the occasional pop tart). Frankly, I’m bored with toast.
Simple image;  very powerful metaphor.  Carry it just as far as you like--it works.

Bruno later follows with an implicit description of the perfect slave system being the one in which the slaves, on their own, invent and perpetuate the justifications for their own enslavement:
The useful idiot is not just the guy chugging down GMO milk filled with udder puss, anyone can do that and not be useful. No, the useful idiot is the FDA official or the corporately paid scientist who SELLS us on the purity of the milk. He’s the local dentist who laughs at you when you question the safety of all that fluoride accumulation in your bloodstream. She’s the nurse who threatens to call CPS because you don’t want your newborn baby injected with half a dozen mercury laced vaccines two months after they exit the womb. The useful idiot is the guy who received his standardized academic neuron rinse but never learned that the first rule of academia used to be ‘question everything’.

World view is really a battle between inherent conscience, common sense, and the conditioning of our era. Even a single root misconception, like the belief in the legitimacy of the false left/right political paradigm, could easily skew the whole of a person’s vision to a sea of truths. The useful idiot is not only conditioned himself, but he also becomes an agent of that conditioning in others. When confronted with a truth outside of his established world view, he almost short circuits. He has lived most of his life with the ideas and propaganda of others slogging around in his skull. To be faced with the possibility that all of that time, energy, and devotion, was worthless, is almost too much to bear.
And finally, this passage really spoke to me personally:
Why bother trying to communicate with these dimwits at all? Are they not the very definition of a lost cause? Perhaps. I can say with a certain authority, though, that some of them can be introduced to awareness, especially since I used to be one of them...
Yeah, me too, although my origins were from the opposite end of the conventional spectrum than what Bruno describes.  (I suspect that this may be one of the reasons I have such a strong pull to try, rather than give up.  Perhaps it's like a personal penance.)  I'm pretty damn thick-headed, but the fear of self-hypocrisy is apparently even stronger.  After a lot--a lot--of purgation through shooting honest arrows at what I thought I knew, it's amazing how much things have settled down.  I still shoot the arrows--in the interest of, er, health maintenance--but they almost always just bounce off, any more.  This makes me happy.

It's a great article.  Do check it out in full.



______________

Hat tip to one Mark Laythorpe, via Kent McManigal on Facebook.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Best election day thoughts seen so far.

Butler Shaffer, "Can Liberty be Advanced Through Violence?"
We have conditioned our minds to think of ourselves in conflict-laden ways, be they nationalistic, religious, racial, gender, or other forms of separation. Our political masters have trained us to think of one another in "we/they," "us" against "them" categories, divisions that are – like the scapegoats upon whom we play out our conflicts – changeable to suit the political needs of the moment. The fear of unseen "communists" that helped fuel the Cold War, has morphed into the concealed "terrorists," with each serving the same purpose: to expand the power and plundering of the state. Only by our individual ending of such divisive thinking and discovering the inner sense of non-contradictory wholeness that respects the inviolability of our neighbors’ lives and interests, can we become free ... We will not become free when the state goes away. Rather, the state will go away once we are free.
And, to close:
Albert Einstein got to the essence of the problem when he declared that "force always attracts men of low morality." I understand how being frustrated by others as we pursue interests we are entitled to pursue can generate intense feelings of anger. But it is not out of reactive rage or desperation that we can discover our individual freedom and the resultant liberty we can share with our neighbors. It is such divisiveness that keeps us enslaved to the state. We need to discover what we share with one another, namely, a respect for our individuality that can arise only from the integration of our rational and emotional energies into a focused intelligence. If mankind is to avoid the fate of being the first species to intentionally make itself extinct, we must transform our own minds, and abandon our ageless and contradictory efforts to force others to be free!
Until a fight comes to my door, I will engage myself in ways to avoid it. And the best idea I've yet seen in that regard is to withdraw consent, whenever and however possible.

"Hail, Ares".

It's no secret that I'm a fan of William Norman Grigg's writing, and it's no surprise that he's written yet another humdinger here, which begins with Establishment shill David Broder's recent little-bit-too-candid remarks about how the current administration could stimulate its economic mojo if it would just, you know, start another war.  You know:  if it was good enough for FDR, it's good enough for BHO...

Anyway, that's typical territory for Grigg.  What really caught my eye, specifically, was a passage at the end:
With the current depression growing deeper and nastier, the Obama administration and the banking cartel controlling it have run just about every option in the Keynesian playbook, save one: The "Hail, Ares!" play Broder suggests.
Hail Ares.  Now there's a complete image in two words.  I don't know if that was Grigg's original idea or if he heard it elsewhere, but I'm gonna remember that one.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Congratulations, America, you just elected the Establishment. Again.

You can now go back to acting surprised at how bad things have become.  How uncivil.  How warlike.  How anti-humanitarian.  "Gosh, wherever did all this ugliness come from?"  And before long you will have fresh, new cause to be shocked, shocked that the people you just put into Current Occupancy aren't really what they told you they would be after all, and you can act surprised about that too.

That's okay.  That can all be tolerated with a nudge and a wink.  What can't be tolerated is actual change, in which the rapacious advance of the Establishment against its own(ed) serfs is actually, you know, like halted, or arrested, or even mildly inconvenienced.

But fret not;  the System appears to be healthy and running fine.  With today's show of support--by prostrating yourself in supplication to ask ever so compliantly of Master to please, please reform itself using some shiny new Master-approved choices...but only insofar as might be permissible under Master-approved rules and Master-approved arbitration--you've served your purpose, legitimizing the next term by your participation.

They've got their "mandate" now.  That's all they ever really wanted.  You've done your part.

And if any of that alarms you, don't worry.  You will graciously be allowed another chance to "make your voice heard" in two more years.

Just don't go doing something crazy, like not participating.  My word, whatever would happen if the governed didn't consent?

Monday, November 1, 2010

A modern sophistry.

Seen (ad nauseam) on Facebook:
I hate taxes, but I love roads, firemen, some cops, traffic lights (but not when they're red) the Coast Guard, schools, medical help for people who can't afford it, so I pay them anyway. (borrowed from Sanity rally top 100 signs ♥ )

Really?  And here I thought people paid taxes because if they didn't, the state would hunt them down and murder them.

(Anyone who doesn't believe this is hereby invited to prove me wrong, by way of personal example.)

Taxation sure is a funny thing, isn't it?  The, uh, gentility suggested by the rally sign might suggest that most people would voluntarily enter into such an agreement, and perhaps many might, if given the choice.  But there is no choice.  Somehow, when the state gets involved, we are told the system only "works" when we force everyone to do it the same way, even those who might peaceably provide for themselves and even others.

Look:  if what we're going for here is "sanity", let's by all means start by casting aside the sophistries which try to paint the brute, naked force of mob rule as something other than what it is.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

How to vote on election day.

Uh, no, this isn't some traditional, inane list of endorsements, nor a badgering exhortation not to miss This Incredibly Important And Historic, Life Changing Election. Why, you ask? Don't worry, that will become self-evident very quickly.

No, this is just a simple description of the mechanics of casting any vote in a political election--without all the doublespeak/sophistry that usually accompanies it. Consider it a public service to those who might be on the fence. (It also serves as a more complete response to those who insist that I Do My Part, although this is probably not what they have in mind.)

So! Here's what it takes to vote on election day. Are you up to it?

Step 1: Delude yourself that you are not simply legitimizing the problem.


Fail to recognize that voting, within any system that uses the political means to achieve its ends, is simply legitimizing aggression through mob rule. Fail to recognize that bickering about the size and shape of the armed mob does not make the mob, its purpose or its actions anything other than what they are. Fail to recognize that a vote "for the lesser of evils" will never, ever, ever, ever, ever be interpreted as anything other than a "mandate" for the victor--and at the end of the day is still a vote to legitimize evil.

Fail to recognize that no one in history has ever voted himself real liberty--much less liberty for his neighbor. Fail to recognize the inherent conflict of interest attendant to the same entity creating, interpreting, and enforcing the set of rules that (said same entity insists) are supposed to bind us all. Then, fail to recognize the singular source of all those catechisms about working within the system, being a good citizen and upholding the rule of law as the ultimate demonstration of your humanity.

Invent excuses for those you deem "swell guys". They, alone and unlike every other that came before them, would never, but never abuse their power or make things worse. That is: fail to recognize the racket for what it is. (Hint #129: anyone who represents any sort of real change will be invited off the stage by the traditional players.) Convince yourself that "if voting could change anything, it would be illegal" is just a clever semantic joke without any real substance.

Consider or invent any sort of sophistry imaginable, just so you can continue to convince yourself that working within the system is the only way to actually achieve results.
Tell ya what, I'm going to just stop there, rather than go on for hours.


Step 2: Play the Ultimate Absolution Fantasy Quest game.


Observe the "choice" of Establishment-approved candidates from which you are allowed to choose. (It is getting increasingly difficult to tell these apart, since their only differences, despite all the clamor and noise to the contrary, are trivial and usually simply prurient.) Cast a vote for the wannabe tyrant of your choice. (Yes, they're all wannabe tyrants. By definition. They want the power to force others to Do The Right Thing via the strongarm of the state, in your name, and with everyone's money. Remember, you chose to ignore all that in Step 1. Just pick the most velvety glove you see and go with that.)

Then, you do the Absolution Shuffle: free your mind from further worry. You have Done What You Can Do. It's in The System's hands now. If things go south from here, you can always absolve yourself further by proving you voted for The Other Guy. You have now validated your License To Bitch.

Step 3: Revel in your moral superiority.


For days on end after voting, affix various physical and virtual "pieces of flair" to yourself, sanctimoniously offering to the world that "I voted". Well, good on you. You have discharged the duty you learned about in Civics class, and proven that you know how to take orders and follow the rules. You have played your part in deciding who gets to play with the guns of the state for the next term, without raising any serious challenge to the legitimacy of the very Establishment you are voting to "fix". (Oh, it's fixed, all right: did you not choose from among the Establishment-approved candidates in the Establishment-approved election constructed, monitored and interpreted by Establishment appointees?) Yes, you're a Cool Kid now. Come get your cookie.

If "your guy" wins, gloat tribally at every opportunity (rallies! stickers! signs! slogans!), and by all means milk the opportunity to use the Mob Rule justification for your actions: "the majority has spoken". But since the election was probably close, you wonder--openly--how so sizeable a minority could be so idiotic, uninformed, and in need of being Kept In Line (or, if those words are a little too jarring, try Kept From Getting Out Of Control). If things go south from here, it can only be because that annoying minority is being "obstructionist" or otherwise mucking up the perfect works. If "your guy" loses, predict the end of the world. But be careful: the only reason the world might end is because The Other Guy got elected instead of yours--which only proves that most people are idiotic, uninformed, and probably need to be better controlled.

Step 4: Burn the witches.


Never forget: this will all come around again in the next cycle. So, once you've chosen teams, you must start immediately the process of marginalizing your opposition anew. You know they're gearing up to come after you, so there's no time to lose.

It's a well-known fact that the intelligence of people who disagree with you drops precipitously following every election return. Make sure you let everyone know who cannot be trusted, who needs to be regulated and restrained--and always make sure that the Establishment has the right power to carry it all out. Your mantra words: "people like that just shouldn't be allowed to..."

Save your greatest bile for the heretics--the non-participants. Since the whole political process is propped up only by the legitimacy implicitly conferred by participation, under no circumstances can non-participation be tolerated. That, you see, is just irrational. My God, some of these people actually don't believe in Working Within The System--why, they must be knuckle-dragging prehistorics, of such limited intelligence that they can only breed themselves out of existence by not contributing to their own inevitable future.

Always interpret any insinuation that you, the voter, may have been deceived within or by the political enterprise itself, as prima facie evidence of simple provocateuring by The Other Team. No other explanation is acceptable. This just reinforces the evidence that your continued participation in the game is more important than ever before. After all, you've got skin in the game now, and have a reputation to protect.

Most of all, hold your head up high. You're better than they are. You've done your part. Now go tell everyone about it.


That's all there is to it. With these four simple steps, you're ready to rinse and repeat. (Don't worry, things will be just the same next time--your investment in the process can be reused year after year.)

Remember: you're principled, and rational, and now you can see how it works. The importance cannot be overstated. Others are counting on you to do principled, rational things. And so, dutifully, you vote.

Because not voting is insane.


_____________
Above comics from xkcd. Thanks again to Randall Munroe for the use of his work; please do not hold him responsible for mine. :-)

Flying Pasties

Oh, hell yeah.

Behold...Flying Pasties.


"On Freedom's birthday, Flying Pasties launched a new website at www.flyingpasties.com. Flying Pasties are meant to provide airplane travelers adequate protection from intrusive full body scanners while not interfering with airline security. For until now, citizens haven't had a proper way to voice their displeasure over the intrusive nature of airport scanners."

The art of the stickfinger salute is still alive, despite every Orwellian attempt to quash it. (Yes, I can see that the verbiage is altogether too soft on "being respectful" of our abusers even during the very act of the abuse--is not the name of the scanning device Rapiscan?--but it's still funny, and still indicative of that endearing human ingeneuity.)


_________________
Hat tip to this commenter at Claire Wolfe's Living Freedom blog.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Words fail me.

Actually, that's not quite true. I really can't come up with anything suitable about the idea itself...but I can offer a suggestion about its application.

We should get one of these into the hands of every enforcement thug we possibly can, with all the hype and hoopla possible. Even better, make 'em full-auto G18s. You know, so that the cops can stay ahead in the arms race (an easy sell these days).

And then, sit back and watch natural selection work.



Some problems just might take care of themselves.


_______________
Hat tip to Joel at The Ultimate Answer To Kings.

(I suppose I do have an idea about the concept, after all. This is the best candidate for the Waffenpƶsselhaft award I have seen in...well, probably ever.)

Monday, October 25, 2010

Denninger on the economic nature of the problem

Only thing worse than a gloom-and-doom economist is one who is probably right.

Karl Denninger seems to keep popping up on my radar, and he does have a way with the words, sometimes:
Funny how everyone forgets that the nuclear device that started all this crap is still sitting on the board room table, it's still ticking, and someone still has tape over the timer window so nobody can see how many more "ticks" we've got.
Now that's an image. That was from this recent piece. From another, there is this potentially powerful outreach to the public:




That latter article also is worth reading, despite Denninger getting a little form-letter-happy with all the emphasis and markup. One of the, ahem, "money moments":
Since the "corporatists" took over the Tea Party, starting with their bull**** invasion funded by the Kochs and the Palin clan, there has not been one word from ANY of them about bank fraud, wire fraud, corporate executives, Federal Reserve Chairmen and Treasury Secretaries STEALING the wealth of Americans.
I count myself among those who figured all along this would be the inevitable result of the "Tea Party", so this is hardly news. However, what it is, is an excellent summation of the problem in a single sentence. Why could I never support the Tea Party? Because it is inherently a political vehicle, which uses the political means to achieve its ends--and therefore because the above result was as inevitable as sunrise.

As more and more people are beginning to realize, we're not votin' our way out of this mess.

_______________
Hat tip to Pete at WRSA, among those who first clued me in to Denninger, and whose refrain is among the most resonant out there: "Do you understand yet?"

The 'torture euphemism generator'

Because sometimes you just gotta laugh, or you'll have to do something else.

From boingboing.net, on Friday:
Reading the NYT's stories about the Iraq War logs, I was struck by how it could get through such gruesome descriptions — fingers chopped off, chemicals splashed on prisoners — without using the word 'torture.' For some reason the word is unavailable when it is literally meaningful, yet is readily tossed around for laughs in contexts where it means nothing at all. It turns out the NYT has a reputation for studiously avoiding the word, to the point of using bizarre bureaucratic alternatives.

It must be awfully hard work inventing these things. So I thought I'd help out by putting together a torture euphemism generator that the New York Times' reporters can use to help avoid the T-word in their thumb removal and acid bath coverage.
Give it a look-see, here. A valuable public service for those who practice...uh...enhanced denial strategies.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

The New Eugenics, again.

Eugenics. It's baack!

In discussing the state abduction of Cheyenne Irish, William Norman Grigg (who is on your short list of must-reads already, right? :-) gets around to discussing the attitude that the authoritarians have regarding, uh, right-thinking. In his article, he quotes one Dr. Scott Hampton, of the sanctimoniously named Ending The Violence project, which Jonathan Irish was apparently required to patronize as part of his, uh, reprogramming. Grigg quotes Hampton thus:
"Tolerance does not require that you give up your hatred. It just tells you how to act when you hate. Not good enough," sniffs Hampton in his new book Tolerant Oppression. "It is time that we teach people how not to hate." What this requires, of course, is court-ordered reconstruction of individual attitudes using whatever leverage may be necessary -- apparently up to and including child abduction.
William Norman Grigg is not usually a man of understatement, but history suggests that he is absolutely so here. What we're talking about here is, ah, re-education, is it not? Look, peasant, you'll "give up your hatred", period, or else we'll have our thugs kill you.

Sure, huff and puff that "we're not there yet"...but remember, Jonathan Irish did not resist the forcible kidnapping of his newborn daughter in any meaningful way. Who wants to make the bet that, if he had, he would not be a dead man today? Would you bet your life on it?

Mark this episode well. Kinder, gentler words and an updated facade do not make an atrocity something other than what it is. The standard no longer is documented harm caused to another human being. It is no longer even socially outcast behavior that causes no harm, which was bad enough while we had that. No, the standard here appears to be political associations and even one's internal thinking.

Let's be plain. This is eugenics, all over again.

And the punchline is that even saying that--pointing out that it is just exactly the same sort of thing that led neatly into those tens of millions of state-murdered corpses in the twentieth century alone (not even countin' the wars, folks--this is just governments killin' their own people)--will get you a sanctimonious eye-roll, an accusation of "pulling a Godwin"--and of course the attention of the New Inquisition, in the form of the SPLC/DHS.

See how that works? Ya damn heretic...

You could try to convince a rational person that it really can't happen here, but you'll sound like an idiot trying to ignore the mounting evidence that it's already happening here.

Watch what happens. Things will get worse. History is unambiguous about that.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Uh, yeah, this is serious.

Whether or not this is setting up an October Surprise--who knows?--this is serious.

Via Wendy McElroy:
According to the father, the gist of the story behind this YouTube: because Oath Keepers is classed as or with 'militia' by the state, a man's (and woman's) new-born daughter was taken away. Apparently the man's connection to Oath Keepers is listed in official documents regarding the 'state-kidnapping'. I do not know if other reasons are listed as well.
That I first ran across it at McElroy's site is saying something in and of itself. Vanderboegh was certainly on it too. I suspect others will follow soon.

The statement at Oath Keepers, by Stewart Rhodes, is crafted about as well as it could be, given his position. (I can't in conscience actually support OK, since membership means literally being a part of the systemic problem--but if ya just gotta work within the system, Rhodes actually seems like just the sort of guy you want doing it.) From the OK statement:

We are doing all we can to confirm and document this. But if is IS accurate, and a newborn child was ripped from her mother’s arms because the parents were “associated” with Oath Keepers by simply being members of our online ning discussion forum, then this is a grave crossing of a very serious line, and is utterly intolerable. It cannot be done. It cannot be allowed to stand.

If it is true, then I will do all in my power to stop it. We will pull out all the stops, every lawful means of seeing that this child is returned to her parents and that all persons responsible are held accountable to the fullest extent of the law. There can be no freedom of speech, no freedom of association, no freedom to even open your mouth and “speak truth to power,” no freedom AT ALL, if your children can be black bagged and stolen from you because of your political speech and associations -- because you simply dare to express your love of country, and dare to express your solidarity and fellowship with other citizens and with active duty and retired military and police who simply pledge to honor their oath and obey the Constitution. It was to prevent just such outrageous content based persecution of political dissidents that our First Amendment was written.

If true, then this is as bad, and in fact worse, than any of the violations of liberty that our Declaration of Independence lists as the reasons for our forefathers taking up arms in our Revolution and for separating from England. We no longer have freedom at all if this is allowed to be done. And we will not let it stand.

...

This is the camel’s nose under the tent. We need to fight even this one instance of such a violation of the right to associate and to peaceably assemble, and we need to push back against the new world of thought crime that is being relentlessly pushed upon us. If this listing of mere association with Oath Keepers is allowed to be used in this case to justify, even in part, removing a newborn from the custody of her parents, with nothing else alleged about Oath Keepers except that the father “is associated” with this organization, that will have a sweeping chilling effect on the First Amendment protected rights of freedom of speech, peaceable assembly, association, and petition for redress of grievances for all of us -- and it will only be the beginning.

There is much more. Read the whole thing, and get the word out.

The serious part, of course, is what happens next. This is clearly, probability approaching one hundred percent, a test case. For anyone who's been paying attention to this landscape for the last few years, what it looks like is a fucking goad.
"Here's an idea...If nobody wants a 'civil disturbance,' why in heck don't they quit disturbing us?" - MamaLiberty

UPDATE 10/9: Goad, indeed. Grigg is on it.
The "association" referred to in that document consists of occasional involvement by Irish and his fiancee in an on-line discussion group involving the Oath Keepers. Mentioning this tenuous connection served the immediate interests of the child abduction bureaucracy, since it created a caricature of the father as a potentially dangerous "extremist." But it also serves the long-term interest of the Homeland Security bureaucracy by using Jonathan Irish as an indispensable defendant in a potentially precedent-setting case.
As with pretty much all things Grigg, highly worth reading.

I effin' knew it.

I've for a time suspected that Establishment shill Mark Potok was jonesin' for a Cabinet position.

How about this useful step along the path? According to Oath Keepers:
As the below document makes clear, Southern Poverty Law Center is Now Officially Part of DHS. The CEO of SPLC now sits on the DHS “Working Group on Countering Violent Extremism” along with the leaders of other So-called Non Government Organizations (but can we really call them such now that they are part of the government?) And select “law enforcement” officers such as the Clark County Nevada Sheriff, Doug Gillespie. What does the working group do? Make recommendations on training and how to use all of the local resources – police, social services, media, NGO’s, you name it – to fight “extremism. So, now no need to file a FOIA request to discover that SPLC is writing the reports naming constitutionalists as possible terrorists. Now it is in your face and the mask is off.
(Understand, in principle I can hardly support Oath Keepers, both because to qualify as a member you have to be part of the systemic problem, and also because I would rather abandon the rigged system than continue the futile effort to work within it. However, if someone is going to try, honorably, to work within the system to repair it, or at least retard the current slide into despotism, OK would seem to be a good place to start.)

Recent news is full of the absurd--the Voltaire sort of absurd. ("Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities.") And so now we have an organization which serves just exactly the same function as the Spanish Inquisition, doing such a great job at spottin' those heretics that the lovely folks at DHS want in on some a dat action.

Just wait. It'll get better. It always does.

Aw, someone rainin' on your tyranny parade? Just wave the Commerce Clause at it!

I originally saw this via Claire Wolfe, but it was Joel's words that hit me most:

You gotta admit, the thing is just...Awesome!

U.S. District Judge, George Streeh, of the Eastern District of Michigan ruled that Congress does have the authority to enact a key part of President Obama's healthcare law reform, requiring US citizens to obtain coverage by 2014. The day Obama signed it into law, the Thomas More Law Center had filed a lawsuit arguing that it was an unconstitutional tax outside Congress authority. The latest ruling said that under the ...

Wait for it...

... Commerce Clause of the American Constitution ...

THERE it is!

... a penalty could be imposed on those who did not get insurance coverage.

Ah, the U.S. Constitution's Commerce Clause! Is there nothing it can't do?

Y'know, the mornings have been getting pretty nippy lately. I wonder if I could get the CC to let the dogs out and bring me coffee in bed? 'Cause that'd be pretty cool. And much less annoying than this.

Ah, the gift for snark. Props, Joel.

Radley Balko covered it too, and his question,
For those of you who support this ruling: Under an interpretation of the Commerce Clause that says the federal government can regulate inactivity, can you name anything at all that the feds wouldn’t have the power to regulate?
got me to thinking about recent events. Regulating inactivity...

...hey, that's it! A new Establishment motto is born!
Yes, peasant. We can now regulate your inactivity. Hope you're on board. No pressure.

(If you didn't get that joke, look here, here, here, here, and here.)

Saturday, October 2, 2010

From the "Wish I'd Said That!" Files...

Deep tip of the hat to Joel at The Ultimate Answer to Kings.

In response to some hoplophobe's snotty list of twenty questions, designed to illustrate just how obviously we all need to submit to more authoritarian intrusions to solve any of our problems, one of Joel's readers began a response with this:
The answer to all twenty questions is the same:

You and I are different. I will not use violence to achieve my personal goals...
Okay, that sounds great but I've heard a lot of folks start with that and never go anywhere.

Not this time, brother. This is brilliant.
You and your ilk use violence to get what you want. Whether it is market outcomes that displease you or tools you fear and loathe violence is your first and only tool. It's quite pathetic really, how limited your imaginations have become. You can't even imagine solutions to most problems that don't involve violence. I typically have to choose from a myriad of options when negotiating a solution to a problem that troubles me; all you can ever do is demand new laws.
Unh. And just in case Miss Snottypants is unaware of the mechanics of how "laws" translate into violence:
You're also a coward, and unwilling to do the dirty work required by your reliance on violence. So you rely on others to pass "laws," hire men armed with the very same guns that so terrify you, give them costumes and costume jewelry, steal the money to pay for these parasites from their victims, and then set them upon me.
Unh. So much said in so little space. Why can't I manage to be that compact?

And then, the wrap. Whoever this reader may be, he--or she--nails it:
There's your answer. There is no frontier here, only a bleeding edge. Because you will try to have me killed if you can't make me agree with you, while I will go my peaceful way and do my best to ignore and shun you. I have trades to make and a life to live. There's really no point to further discussion with you, since the outcome has already been decided. By you.
Unh. While nobody "speaks for me", I sure do wish I had said that, 'cause it's near-effin'-perfect.


Oh, and Miss Snottypants? How's this for Supporting Exhibit A? (Full disclosure: I did not first run across this example at Joel's site, but he did have a link to it right there... :-)

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Pssh, it's just one little murder...

Via Radley Balko, today:
There are no mitigating factors, here. Obama is arguing the executive has the power to execute American citizens without a trial, without even so much as an airing of the charges against them, and that it can do so in complete secrecy, with no oversight from any court, and that the families of the executed have no legal recourse.

...

So yeah. Tyranny. If there’s more tyrannical power a president could possibly claim than the power to execute the citizens of his country at his sole discretion, with no oversight, no due process, and no ability for anyone to question the execution even after the fact . . . I can’t think of it.

Good information to have at your fingertips, the next time you're treated to the sanctimonious catechism that any comparison of modern America to 1930s Germany is, on its face, dismissible extremism, and in fact constitutes prima facie evidence of some race-based personal vendetta against the Current Occupant. Because gosh, it just couldn't be anything else, now could it? These are swell guys here!

(Get it, you self-righteous brainiacs? If you've ever wondered just how the Germans came to tolerate genocide, wonder no more. It happens just like this. Exactly like this. And by that I do not just mean the state's claim on every one of our lives--hell, that's been the wet dream of tyrants since the beginning of time--I also mean the public apologias, the rationalizations, the message that gets sent back to the tyrants as feedback that "you're doin' great, guys, go kick us some more heretic ass!" This accepting response will be duly noted, and acted upon with vigor, by whoever the current tyrant may be. You can mark that well.)

We're already "there". Just look around! At this point it's only a matter of degree, and of semantics.


It should be noted that it's only the lawsuit (and its response) that is new here. Chris Floyd over at Empire Burlesque has been writing about the issue for a good while now (I even saw fit to channel his thoughts for an Examiner article back in April), and chances are pretty good he'll get around to this development before long.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Seriously funny.

From the New York Times, dutifully informing us that our betters need even more, ever more, always more from us. It seems that dang Internet just isn't easily wiretappable, and so what we need is a new mandate to force it to be so.
But law enforcement officials contend that imposing such a mandate is reasonable and necessary to prevent the erosion of their investigative powers.
"erosion of their investigative powers". Now that is the funniest thing I've heard in quite a long time.


______________
Hat tip to the redoubtable Claire Wolfe.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

The Father's Day reconnect

There is just something about time with a .22 that non-shooters simply don't get. The proper term is probably "soul food", but somehow that doesn't quite seem right at the same time. And I suppose it hardly matters. Those who get it, will just nod knowingly, and those who don't, won't. (Those who want to get it, should of course contact someone who does, because that can be arranged, usually with considerable enjoyment by all involved.)

Yesterday I got a couple of hours to try out a local shooting site for the first time since landing in Homer. It's possible that I owe several apologies to various deities for the unconscionable length of that interval, but times have been
really tight and we've certainly been busy with the wee miss (who just turned 18 months and is a total blast) over the last year. "Begin again," as they say in Guitar Craft, and that's what I did.

It rained on me, on occasion
hard, but hey, it rains in Homer sometimes and that's no excuse not to train. It being a new venue for me, I figured that much of the time would be spent figuring out what sort of targets to use and how to place them. This place is clearly used for plinking pretty regularly and some things are fairly well thought out already. I learned a lot about how to use the space, and fortunately I think with just a little attention, targets should be pretty simple, with a couple options for working at 100-150 yards and a lot more at 50 and under. Actual training sessions--not requiring chronography or super-exact range estimation--should quickly become very fast to set up. The only big drawbacks are that you do have to be careful where you hit the ground hard (as remarkably clean as the place is, there still is some occasional glass and other pokey things around), and I do need a place where I can shoot at 300. I'll keep looking for the latter, and for the former a little judicious location-shopping and/or a good mat should work for the deck-hitting drills.

I tried out some new ammo for the Kimber 1911 rimfire. Although I have never in my life owned any other .22 that was picky about its ammunition, people swore up and down that I should try some CCI Mini-Mag (with its plated bullet) to improve functioning in the Kimber. So, I picked some up and I will say that it
was much better than with brick ammo, but still with too many failures to fully chamber (approaching 1 in 10) and the occasional hangup with too steep an angle of entry into the chamber. Frankly, I suspect this pistol just has a too-tight chamber and if I can find someone to ream it out another thousandth or two and polish out the juncture between the feedramp and the chamber proper, I'll have a fully reliable piece to work with. (It would be a little different if these were the sort of malfunctions that you could reasonably clear like you would with a centerfire, but...uh...no.) That said, it was really nice to have this gun running as well as it did; if I can get it to run like the .45 does or even close to it, this will be just exactly the training piece I wanted it to be. Hammers? Check. Ride the disconnector? Check. Hits right where I look? Oh yeah, and man, but those Bo-Mar style sights are nice.

I was pleased to find out that my skills have not deteriorated as badly as I'd feared. Turns and tracking greater than about 60 degrees were a little rusty, but the hits were still there. I used a rock to simulate holding Sabre for strong- and weak-hand-only pairs, and was happy with that. I still need to get a good solution for barricade drills, but fundamentals first!

I also brought the Henry lever .22 with me, and of course this was an absolute delight. That rifle has (touch wood) never,
ever malfunctioned on me, and with the little tang-mounted ghost-ring rear sight that Bob Parker installed for me back in Lakewood, it's as accurate as I am, and as fast as I am. Snapshots were a dream, even in the pouring rain. I focused on basic snaps, multiple-target drills, and the "rice paddy prone" position for longer shots. (I confess, I did not work on sitting and prone; this was partly the rain and also partly that this rifle does not wear a Ching Sling. Those two positions only come into their own when my arm is solidly locked to the piece. Next time, I'll have the Scout with me too, and will run the Rifle Bounce drill...rain or shine.)

At the end, to verify, I ran a two-target drill with the .45 and another with the Airweight J. Results were gratifying; although that J is the hardest-kicking gun I own (by a sight) and I always suffer blast marks on my thumb (because my thumb is trained to go high and winds up sitting right by the blast shield), you do not notice it until after the action is over, and the hits are right there. With the .45, of course, they're right there much
faster, much more pleasant, and possible much farther out. Either way, it's nice to know that multiple hits still follow hard on the heels of the signal--which frees me up to focus much more on awareness, and the preferred outcome of avoiding the fight in the first place. (I don't know about you, but that's why I train.)

All in all it was great fun, and also educational, and also comforting. Lots of notes taken, and actually I learned that I do still have two holes in my shooting battery--at least my
training battery. In these tough economic times, training with .22 makes more sense than ever (especially in the same leather gear), and I suspect that it wouldn't take too many sessions like this for a new .22 to pay for itself in the cost of ammo savings. (Yesterday, I ran 250 rounds through the two .22s, five through the J, and four through the .45--and got the results I wanted.) So, a Smith Airweight J in .22 (the model 317 AirLite is the likely candidate) and a Ruger 77/22 or CZ 452 bolt rifle with Ching Sling and either Scout Scope or ghost-ring sight, would give me the trainers for DA revolver and bolt rifle to match the Kimber rimfire 1911.

And hell, if nothing else, training with .22 removes the anxiety about finding all the empties for reloading! :-)

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Reloading - powder notes

A housekeeping post here; as I contemplate getting the reloading operation up and running here in Alaska, on the new sharply limited income, I am interested anew in powders that are maximally versatile across cartridges and loadings. If anyone is truly inspired by this post, I salute your geekitude! :-)


Possible powders for 308:
  • IMR 4064
  • IMR 4320
  • IMR 4831
  • IMR 4350
  • IMR 3031
  • IMR 4895
  • H 335
  • WW 748

Possible powders for 45/70:
  • H 322
  • IMR 3031
  • IMR 4064
  • WW 748

Possible powders for 30/06:
  • IMR 4064
  • IMR 4320
  • IMR 4831
  • IMR 4350
  • IMR 4895
  • H 380
  • H 414
  • H 4350
  • H 4831

Possible powders for 223:
  • WW 748
  • H 335
  • IMR 4895
  • IMR 4064
  • IMR 3031
  • IMR 4198