Tuesday, May 31, 2011

TSA admits it steals your stuff.

We dropped someone off at the airport on Friday, and in so doing I saw this verbiage on a TSA sign at the check-in counter:

TSA recommends you not pack the following items in your checked baggage:
  • Electronics (including laptops)
  • Fragile items
  • Jewelry
  • Cash
Thank You

Hm.  That's for checked bags now.  Isn't that interesting.  None of that was a problem before TSA stopped on by to protect us from "an endless series of hobgoblins", and it certainly wasn't stated as a reason for TSA's "important mission" in the first place, so what gives here?  I can only imagine two possible rationales:

  1. Checked bags are now routinely used for pickup kickball games.
  2. These items are now routinely stolen from checked bags.

Seriously, did I miss anything there?  (Perhaps they just micro-EMP every bag to make sure that nothing in it works?  Well, even then that doesn't exactly change the point, and besides, only possibility #2 would cover all the recommended items...)

But even then, what really stuck out at me was the "this was not a problem before TSA" angle.  Yes, I understand that correlation does not imply causation, but since official science seems to forget that rule every time it wants to make a self-aggrandizing point (always at our expense), perhaps a little petty speciousness can be forgiven.

I've written many times before about how the state tends to produce the very problems that it then empowers itself to solve (and which it is in no way incented to "work itself out of a job" by actually solving), but this would seem to be a pretty literal example, wouldn't it?  No problem before TSA...TSA arrives (trumpet fanfare and release of doves)...Now, there are suddenly problems.  Must be "the bad guys" doing it.  (Oh, and you can't criticize the TSA, either--almost forgot about that point--because that would mean that you're an "antigovernment extremist".)

Anyway, if TSA were a private entity or person, would their tacit admission in this "recommendation", given the events of history, not suffice as evidence to be used against them in a prosecution?

Oh yeah, right.  How stupid of me.  The government prosecutes.  It cannot be prosecuted.

My bad.

(It's always my bad, get it?  Even if they come in and Jose me with a SWAT team, and later can't find a thing to pin me--well, my corpse--with.  It's still my bad.)

This Memorial Day...

...I admit I'm with Arctic Patriot when he says that

I am completely unable to get Jose Guerena's murder out of my head.

Just so.  Jose Guereña served his government "in the sandbox" (whatever you may think of that), only to come home and get summarily executed by its standing army*.

The more we learn, the worse it gets.  Among the honest responses (meaning:  those that do not come from a police union), the most utterly generous way to view this atrocity is to describe it as completely incompetent, Walter Mitty-ish (only with real corpses), and inexcusable in practically every way that matters.  The best technical description I've read so far (long, but the analysis is worth it) is here.

It is hard to put into words how much anger cases like this (for it is but one) brings out, in perfectly rational people.  As Billy Beck put it:

And they killed Jose Guerena in no time at all. "Jose Guerena". That was his name. Man, it gets hard to remember them all. This government should be taken at its word ("war"), and there should now be a running memorial of this reasonless slaughter, going all the way back through its ages now. It's been forty years of murder in the War on Drugs, all of it running down to a time when the skies must thunder with widespread realization of its end-logic:

They're just murdering us, now, at will. The courts have, recently, done diligent work at clearing the ways for them right into and through your homes -- do you understand? -- and the integral procession of the thing must be that once they officially disapproved of what you could do in your own home, they had claimed you, and that means right up to and including your life.

Many people are starting to realize that they, too, are Jose Guereña, or could be at any moment of any day or night, anywhere in the country.  And the thought of contemplating one's own fully-sanctioned murder just tends to produce strong reactions.

The police apologists, the "just a few bad apples"ists, the "it can't happen here"ists, the "you're being melodramatic"ists, the "cops are militarizing just to be able to catch up"ists, the "gawd, you're so negative"ists, the "there's a place for SWAT teams in this country"ists, the "they just want to come home after their shifts"ists, have nothing left but their own empty catechisms.

Jose Guereña wanted to come home at the end of his next shift too, you fucking jackasses.

But we all know, by this time, how these things work out.  (We've got so much experience, after all.)  The character assassins have been working hard to support the work of the corporeal assassins, although their stories shift daily like the bad con artists they are.  The Establishment will tell us all how important it is that the Drug War's valuable work continues because it is just so darn profitable because any day now it will actually start paying off after forty years of failure.  And of course in the end, we will be reminded once again that the badge is not so much a shield of authority as it is a shield of immunity.

Doubt that?  Just watch.  Bettin' money is on "no charges filed" and "acted within policy".  UPDATE:  That didn't take long.  Done.

As has been said more than once today, Jose Guereña was a United States Marine, and he died horribly in a war.

* Yes, the cops are the "standing army" the Founders warned us about.  Even if you believe that our overseas military marauding does nothing but endanger our interests, safety and security, that's still all entirely theoretical compared to what's happening every goddamn day here at home, at the nightsticks, Taser barbs, and muzzles of the Fatherland Security State.  (You've stopped pretending and just call it what it is now, right?)

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Texas bends over for TSA.

Okay, not a surprise, I guess, but disappointing nonetheless.  (Hat tip to Denninger.)

Texas legislators made a valiant stand to outlaw the invasive patdowns that the Transportation Security Administration adopted to punish as a second option for people who didn’t want to go through whole-body-imaging scanners (aka nudey scans). Texas state representative David Simpon authored a bill that would make any patdown that involved touching private parts a misdemeanor that would mean a $4,000 fine and possible jail time for TSA officials doing their jobs.

The bill passed in the House, but floundered in the Senate after the feds threatened to cancel all flights out of Texas if it passed. Texas U.S. attorney told senators in a letter that Texas didn’t have the right to pass a statute that would conflict with federal law, per the U.S. Constitution. In this case of Texas Hold’em, the legislators weren’t willing to call the feds bluff; they folded.

Jeez, it's even worse than if they'd just never blown the smoke in the first place.

Next week's edition of The Libertarian Enterprise should be lively, methinks.

In the meantime, remember your flying pasties.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

What Jeff Cooper made possible.

YouTube is a wonderful thing.

I bring up Jeff Cooper's principles and teachings a lot, but have had some difficulty in locating resources that really bring some of what Cooper made possible, to light.  A while back I ran across the writing of one Jim Higginbotham, which is eminently worthwhile in its own right.

What really stuck out at me, though, is this very short video of Higginbotham in action:

There is so much "right" in this short segment that I thought I'd post it here as a reference.  I'm not quite sure that I buy into the need for sending that many shots downrange before reassessing, as a matter of theory (the "Mozambique Drill" was documented as a solution for the failure to stop), and there are some differences of opinion on both the specifics of the reload and how to do the "are there other attackers?" scan, but these are relatively minor points.  The big thing is:  if that is your response to a lethal attack, you will probably survive it.  (And, chances are awfully good that any subsequent attackers will immediately recognize their total failure in the victim selection process and get away with all due haste.  :-)

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Stewart Rhodes continues to impress...

...with this recent take on the Guereña hit (because that's bloody well what it was)

This policy of using SWAT to serve search warrants on gun owners simply because they are armed, and where there is no long history of violent crime, has got to stop. I think taking a stand over the use of SWAT against this young Marine in Tucson is a good place to start. And we also need to demand some answers from Pima County Sheriff Dupnik about exactly why this young Marine was left to bleed out while paramedics were prevented from treating him for an hour and fifteen minutes. Jose would have had a better chance if he had been shot in Iraq, where a corpsman would have braved enemy fire to treat him.

As we head toward Memorial Day, I find it disgusting that this young Marine survived two tours in Iraq and returned home to a family who was no doubt relieved and grateful to God that he had survived war, only to be gunned down in his own home, by his own government. As a veteran, I am just plain ticked off. But also as the Founder of this organization, I am convinced that we Oath Keepers veterans need to step up with as much resolve as we expect the current serving to do. We ask them to “steel their resolve” to do what’s right by their oath. We veterans need to do the same, and we Oath Keepers need to take the lead on encouraging other veterans and veterans organizations to step up.

As I've said before, I can't get behind the OK for philosophical reasons, but if it's going to exist, I'm pretty happy that someone like Rhodes is at the helm.  I suppose I might yet have to change my mind about that, but not yet.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Hayek v. Keynes

Hat tip to JD Tuccille on this;  I missed it the first time,

but caught it the second.

Worth watching.  Both cover almost all the nuances of the, ahem, "conversation", and do it well.  As Tuccille put it originally:

Explaining the massive hurdles you'd have to overcome to impose a "rational" controlled society to people -- the sheer impossibility of substituting government planning for the values and preferences of millions of people -- is often a lost cause. Eyes glaze over, yawns are politely stifled (or not stifled at all), and the virtues of freedom and dynamism get lost in the vast disinterest many people harbor toward matters philosophical. Frankly, people want bad times made better -- and they're not interested in hearing anybody tell them that the cure is usually worse than the disease.

So, don't waste your time boring your friends. Instead, point them toward this video, the work of economist Russ Roberts and creative director John Papola, in which free-market economist F.A. Hayek and liberty-distrusting economist John Maynard Keynes lay down their opposing views in rap form while out on the town.

No, really -- it's good.

Yeah, it is.  A nice resource!

But see, it's different: BHO, unlike GWB, wouldn't lie about OBL. (Or WMD, for that matter.)

Brilliant, brilliant, brilliant.

Monday, May 2, 2011

So, did you get the message in OBL's death?

It seems that OBL is now officially dead.  Well...at least: proven, habitual liars have now declared that he is dead.  Just as the same gang of proven, habitual liars brought him to our attention in the first place, and told us all just exactly who he was, what he had done and how dangerous he was.  And what we could Do About It.

But now, this news...Do you understand what this means?

No, seriously:  did you get the message?  Its importance really cannot be overstated. Here it is:

You can now stop criticizing your leaders.  They have Come Through For You.

See how that works?  Now is the time to Pull Together, people!

Now is the time to drop any petty squabbles like...oh, let's see, what's going on right now, that a cashed-in chip or two would really help the Establishment out with...hey, here's one:  how about Mexicans and Americans murdered in the service of a cynical political positioning ploy gone "wrong", starting at ATF and going up through Main Justice, almost certainly State, and very likely (in one of those "either knew, or should have known" ways) the White House itself, with classic stonewalling and cover-up behavior at every level?

That's just one example, today.  There are other things, too--there always are--financial insolvency despite ongoing claims of improvement and health, continued worldwide marauding (in the name of "peace"!), the perpetually escalating war against all of us through building the modern police state (as always with tyrants, "out of necessity"),  and the ongoing leaks and discoveries that those pesky little people make (despite the best efforts of today's "open and transparent" governments) which continue to prove that there is nothing, nothing that the state can tell you that you can be certain is the truth.

Yeah, now is the time to stop talking about all that.  Just STFU.

And know--know--that since they "accomplished" this critical mission, that now is the time to write the next mission's blank check.  Do it...before our "enemies" strike again--and before all this petty bickering tears "us" apart.

Write the check, pay it, and STFU.  That's your job, people.  It is now time to let your betters do theirs.

(Didn't you know?  That's the way all protection rackets work.)