You’re looking at three heavy boxes on that bottom shelf there. They’re physically heavy because they’re full of paperwork. But much bigger deal: they’re emotionally heavy because they contain everything I own that’s related to Randy Weaver and the horrors his family endured. Correspondence with Randy from jail. Notes from his trial. Notes and photos from my visit to his home (including the spot where son Sam was murdered by fedthugs).
Deadlining this week as well as doing my small bit to get The Zelman Partisans ready for its next big step (look for it mid-April, Lord willing and the crick don’t rise). So blogging is a bit slow. But got some links for ya …
Personally, I think if they can’t afford to pay for their own first-class travel, the whole scurvy bunch of ‘em ought to just hitchhike and stay in hostels. And what the heck is a “first lady,” anyhow, and why should any sane human being want one? She wouldn’t be worth it even if she cost only $1.98 in upkeep.
Fabulous opening line: “It’s spring, and just as the appearance of shoots and buds makes you optimistic that winter is departing, so too are there signs around the country that make you optimistic that our leviathan state is, if not departing, at least starting to retreat.” New Mexico abolishes asset forfeiture without criminal conviction.
The .sucks domain is almost here — and its price structure makes it look like a very clever shakedown scheme.
Who gives a rat’s patoot about hearings? They’re just political theater, signifying nothing.
But Operation Choke Point has rightly been called “the greatest government overreach that no one is talking about.” (OCP has been called that, in fact, by the guy heading up today’s hearings, Rep. Sean Duffy of Wisconsin.)
Why this matters: Because it shows how some obscure, unelected entity, ostensibly having zero to do with firearms, civil rights, business ethics or anything other than insuring bank deposits, can get a bright idea in its head (or have one politically implanted there) and become part of the endless effort to destroy gun rights. It also shows the dirty “how” of the dirty business: pressure, innuendo, and the general creepitude of mission creep.
Who needs, you know, actual laws (however bad)? Who needs stormtroopers in the streets to enforce outrageous diktats? That’s so very, very twentieth century! All you have to do these days is whisper the “right” message in the “right” ears to turn legal business people into pariahs and begin the process of gradually destroying an industry — and the human rights associated with it.
What every well-prepared … um, prepper should have: the world’s first portable, grab-n-go flame thrower. (I really can’t decide how far the tongue is in the cheek on this one.) (Tip o’ hat to MJR)
Bovard on the “food security” charade. That whole “food security” business has always grated with me (it’s so blatantly trumped up). But Bovard doesn’t just let it grate. He knows his stuff on this topic.
Over at The Zelman Partisans Nicki Kenyon describes, far better than I ever could, the contrast between the “new” JPFO and the genuinely new spirit and reality of TZP.
Some very cool things are being worked on behind the TZP scenes and Nicki gives a glimpse of them.
I was going to just write a line or two here about the “new” JPFO here while linking to Nicki. Because Nicki really says all that needs saying. But [roll eyes] my line or two turned into a rant or two. If you want to hear what I have to say, click the “more” link. But above all, see what Nicki has to say.
I haven’t yet read this thoroughly (dogs are guilt-tripping me about their morning walk). Given that I live in a blue state, but in a local area that is quite a different shade of blue than the big metros, I might weave a few thoughts of my own from Borepatch’s narrative later.
I just love reading predictions. Economic. Political. Psychic. No matter. It’s amusing (and a good reminder not to get too cocky). ‘Cause they’re always wrong.
Economists have a special talent for being wrong; they’re right up there with psychics for how egregious they can be. (And just like psychics, they like to edit themselves after the fact to show how “right” they were. The guy who got 9 out of 10 predictions wrong will put up advertising banners touting the one he got sort of semi-correct.) But that’s another story.
Today the “everybody’s always wrong” topic is TEOTWAWKI.
Understand, this isn’t to knock anybody. I perfectly well understand why we need to think about future scenarios, even if our best predictions can only end up being approximations. In fact one of the two articles I’m highlighting below is quite well-thought-out.
It’s just that everybody who ever predicts the future is wrong. Period. Whatever happens always happens in a different way than we think it will. The future may “rhyme” with our predictions, but it will never match them — and it rarely, rarely even comes close to what we envision. That’s just life, not anybody’s fault. But the reason that matters is that, whatever happens, we’ll need flexibility to deal with it.
If we think TEOTWAWKI is inevitable (and we’re kinda secretly hopeful it is so we can haul out our Super-Duper Whizzwhacker cannon and start blasting away at zombies), then we may end up wasting a lot of money, energy, and emotion if zombies never come knocking. OTOH, if we’re sunnily convinced that things just aren’t going to get that bad, we may end up so stunned by reality that we stand there numb and dumb while the zombies run over us.
It’s from the wittily named “Committee on Responding to Section 5(d) of Presidential Policy Directive 28: The Feasibility of Software to Provide Alternatives to Bulk Signals Intelligence Collection; Computer Science and Telecommunications Board; Division on Engineering and Physical Sciences; National Research Council ” and its aim is apparently (not their words) to find better ways of targeting everybody rather than just randomly spying on everybody. (It’s a fine distinction, I know. But when you’re well-connected enough for the fedgov to let you serve on the august CORTS5(d)OPD28TFOSTPATBSICCSATBDOEAPSNRC such distinctions matter to you.)
The report is officially to be released on Friday. (And you know what a Friday release means; the fedgov wants it ignored.)
Behind the typically unreadable bureaucratic prose, there are some revealing bits. I warn you, it’s as boring as dirt, but if you want a copy of this report, just drop a comment using a functional email address in your login. I’ll email it to you.
But of course, receiving an email from me will mean that you fall under section 3.1 (“Contact chaining”): “Communications metadata, domestic and foreign, is used to develop contact chains by starting with a target and using metadata records to determine who has communicated directly with the target (1 hop), who has in turn communicated with those people (2 hop), and so on. [And hey, pretty soon, you’ve got Kevin Bacon in your terrorist network!]”
So maybe you’re better off just clicking the “Contents” link on the NAP site, ‘kay? It’s all there, anyhow.
The Agitator who sent the .pdf is — he knows for sure — one of the Target People. He’s had those red circles painted on him for many years and is quite used to it. He sent along some familiar, but always worthy, advice (I’ve massaged the words a bit to disguise his identity):
Think of it from this perspective: If your adversary has documented that they always chase down red balloons, well, give them a sea of red balloons to chase down.
I once established that the govt was beyond obviously reading emails between me and an attorney. These communications were considered privileged and off limits under all laws (didn’t stop the government).
“So they like reading do they?” I told the attorney.
Then I emailed multiple 10,000 page documents to the attorney in rapid succession. I gave them all the red balloons their little bureaucratic hearts could ever desire.
I’m not sure how well the attorney might have appreciated that. But you get the picture. :-)
Chortle. Mexicans (presumably Mexican yuppies) are now importing pot from the U.S.
Sigh. I really thought the Buddhists were better than this. Okay, it’s not Buddhists. It’s the gummint of Myanmar, so not exactly the heart of enlightenment. But still people, get a clue. If you have to force others to respect your holy men, it’s clear you don’t actually think your holy men are worthy of respect on their own.
Another powerful one from Mike V: “The E.N.D. Game and the End of Games.” While I hope it never comes to shooting, certainly the nabobs are better targets than their almost endlessly replaceable minions.
Summer of the Eagles
By Jackie Clay
Mason Marshall Press, January 28, 2015
205 pages, trade paperback or Kindle edition From Amazon.com
or the publisher (scroll down to buy)
When Jess Hazzard rides through the gates of the Wyoming Territorial Prison, he wants only one thing: to get away from people as far and fast as possible and be alone.
He’s just served five hellish years for a crime he didn’t commit and is looking only for peace. But first he has to earn money, and here his reputation gets him in trouble. Not only is he known as a rapist, but as a gunslinger, and a “half-breed” Apache. Nobody will hire him and the cocky young son of the one rancher who extends a hand wants to kill Jess on sight for no better reason than to build his own reputation.
Jess moves wearily on — until he stumbles upon an ambush in progress. He rescues a rancher, Sean Thursten (pronounced “Seen” because his mother got the name from a book; a nice touch), from certain death. They quickly learn to trust each other. And at Sean’s ranch in the Wind River Mountains, Jess finds temporary refuge, a family of sorts, and ultimately hope, love, and salvation.
That’s Summer of the Eagles by BHM’s own Jackie Clay. It’s a new western published by Mason Marshall Press (aka Oliver Del Signore, BHM’s long-time webmaster).
Now, I’m not going to go quite so far as likening Jackie to Shakespeare and Twain (sorry, Jackie). Not even as far as Louis L’Amour. Not quite yet, anyhow. But I will say that this is a good first novel, a page turner, clearly a work of love, and well worth your time.
The characters are well-drawn. Jess, Sean, and the people around them are likable, and you feel Jess’ weariness, wariness, and despair in every line. You also feel his satisfaction as he takes to the tasks of ranching (and to some extent, farming). And this, of course, is where Jackie’s writing shines. She knows what she’s talking about when it comes to everything from training horses to harvesting hay. Better yet, she applies her real-life knowledge to the service of the story. (You never feel as if she’s stopping to explain anything. Her expertise is well-integrated into Jess’ tale.)
Even the cover art — painted by Jackie herself — perfectly fits the dark, stormy, energetic mood of the story.
I’ll be very much looking forward to more Jess Hazzard stories.
The book has a few pacing and style issues. For instance, a wolverine hunt that’s peripheral to the main action occupies nearly as much space as the dramatic romance at the novel’s heart. (Of course, some of you guys would prefer it that way, I’m sure. :-) ) But pacing and stylistic niceties come with experience. The main thing is that Jackie’s a fine storyteller who has created strong characters and a wonderful setting that readers are going to enjoy in more books, hopefully for years to come. Up next: Autumn of the Loons, due this summer.
Greylocke, who’s now making the drives (from unopened, buyer-supplied USB sticks), asked me to post a reminder.
Seems only a handful of people have so far taken him up on the offer. And it is for a limited time, so if you’re interested, check the instructions, then go for it.
He’s hoping somebody else will step up to take the project over from where it was left when his colleague Scott died. He also writes: “I am hoping to bring some more capability to the project by finding someone to write an app for android phones so they can be used as a packet ham radio station with a ht like the baofeng uv5r. That way you can have somewhat secure digital comma with the least amount of gear just a ht a cell phone and a cable to connect the two. Maybe a fold up twinlead j-pole to increase the range.”
Um … if you understand what he just said (and don’t ask me!) and you’re interested, please use the link above to get in touch with him.
Even if all that was as Greek to you as it was to me, the bootable drive with survival files is still a good thing to have. And believe me, it doesn’t require much technical knowhow to use.