- The Boy Scouts: doing their best to close the gender gap. (Yeah, don’t ask me how that became their mission.) By Eagle Scout Jim Bovard.
- And don’t even get my friendly local Scout leaders started on the Michelle Obama-inspired (recently) new requirements for the cooking badge. Where’d the fun go? Any kid who had to learn cooking that way would probably avoid the kitchen for the rest of his life.
- You want to be treated with dignity? Behave with dignity. (Via ML who, like me, doesn’t agree with all Ringer’s points but thinks the overall piece is spot on.)
- Six months later, they still haven’t been able even to question the cop who slaughtered Tamir Rice.
- Religion of peace. C’mon, moderate Muslims. Step up, please.
- The loathsome Section 215 of the USA-UnPatriot Act is set to expire next month. (I love sunset provisions.) Congress actually seems to be in a reform mode — well, a reform-ish mode — about the surveillance state. Courts, too. But I’m picturing the heads of the Uber-Government (in the No Such Agency and other places) cackling wickedly and rubbing their bony hands together over their Black Mamba capes. Laws? Regulations? Courts? Constitutions? Bwaaahahaha! The little fools! Don’t they know they can’t stop us?
- How to take over a small country. (The kind of humor that really isn’t funny.)
Archive for the ‘Government’ Category
The Sugar Pine Mine situation in Oregon, which a lot of people have been cautiously watching, is not yet (and hopefully won’t have to become) a stand-off with the Bureau of Land Management. But according to David Codrea, Oath Keepers (bless ’em) has been on the scene to provide security as the confrontation remains tense.
Oath Keepers is looking for responsible volunteers (no agenda-driven grandstanders/provocateurs) to support them at a noon rally in Medford, Oregon, today. They are also looking for a camp cook, medical personnel, and other volunteers with specific skills. They may need other help in the future, as well. Potential volunteers should take their lead from Oath Keepers and (other than for today’s rally) should contact local Oath Keepers organizers in advance; don’t just show up.
Josephine County, where this situation is developing, is one of the poorest (if not the poorest) county in Oregon. Much of it is remote and in many ways it is a forbidding, if utterly gorgeous, place. Like many areas that rely on income from natural resources, it has been economically crushed by regulations and there has been quiet hostility building for years between the people and the fedgov.
Josephine County is part of the State of Jefferson, a unique area that takes its identity seriously even if Jefferson statehood was never officially sanctioned.
Whatever happens with the Sugar Pine Mine dispute, expect interesting developments out of Jefferson. Eventually.
Where were you on April 19?
On April 19, 1993 I was on a long drive toward a client’s headquarters when I heard the Branch Davidians were burning. For some reason I hadn’t taken the siege very seriously to that point (even though I’d taken the earlier Weaver siege as seriously as I’d ever taken anything in my life). Just a bunch of Jim Jonesy cultists, I thought. I figured the FBI would wait them out until Koresh got done with his preposterous “seven seals” manuscript, then peaceably arrest and later release most of them. Cause you know, why would the FBI want to do more harm now than they and the ATF had already done? Silly me.
On April 19, 1995 I don’t recall where I was physically. I just recall wondering how anybody could attack ATF and FBI offices and manage only to kill innocents, including babies and toddlers. Oh, why did it have to be babies and toddlers? I recall thinking, “Oh sh*t, everything gets a lot worse from here.” (Rince and repeat 6-1/2 years later.)
So where were you? Physically, mentally, politically, and otherwise during those two cruelest months?
On this April 19, I’ll be out in the sunshine, sweating as I move leftover materials from last year’s house projects to better, more long-term places. On this April 19, I’m two days past having rid myself of those three heavy boxes that were my last tangible connection to the Weaver tragedy.
The intangible connections are harder to shake. Impossible, actually. But sunshine, sweat, and decluttering help. In the end, there’s nothing to do but go on living.
And for some reason this all reminds me of that other T.S. Eliot poem, “The Hollow Men.” Don’t read unless you’re up for a downer. Complete with scholarly annotations. It was a favorite of mine when I was young and bleak. Now I’m old and much happier, but some things truly don’t change.
Been feeling distracted and tired lately. Concerned about money. Not “OMG, how will I keep the lights on?” money issues. More like “How do I juggle all this?” It’s temporary (vehicle repairs, taxes) and I’m not asking anything from anybody. Everything is fine. Just know that right now I feel muzzy-headed, unclear on many of life’s little details, as if I want to crawl back in bed by 9:00 a.m., and for some reason also ravenous for protein. Preferably protein saturated in honey and brown sugar (so it’s a good thing I made beef jerky the other day, yes?)
Anyhow, I don’t have much for you right now, so I thought I’d just share a little email exchange from the weekend. It’s the kind of communication that should make you glad you didn’t opt for a career as a freelance writer.
Background: I wrote a S.W.A.T. magazine article asking, “Do we have a right to rebellion?” The article isn’t online, but basically I was answering that statist eejit Paul Begala’s multi-idiocy remarks from earlier this year. Then some “expert” answered me.
Before I get to the exchange itself, I’ll acknowledge that, yes, I’m well aware that some readers here deny that any such things as rights exist. Consider your point to be noted in advance. We have a right to differ. :-) But my position in the article was that we damn well do have a right to rebellion, Mr. Begala to the contrary.
For the rest of you who consider discussions of the nature of rights meaningful, on to the exchange.
Drat! I told Jim I’d include his latest in yesterday’s links post. Then I forgot. So here you go. A question follows.
President Obama recently suggested that mandatory voting could cure some of the ills of American democracy. Mr. Obama observed that compelling everyone to vote is one way to “encourage more participation” — perhaps the same way that the specter of prison sentences encourages more people to pay taxes. While there are many good reasons to oppose mandatory voting, compulsory balloting could help Americans recognize what their political system has become.
Mr. Obama declared that “the people who tend not to vote” are “skewed more heavily toward immigrant groups and minority groups … and there’s a reason why some folks try to keep them away from the polls.” If minorities vote at a lower percentile rate, that is sufficient justification for destroying everyone’s freedom in the name of equality. The fact that blacks had a higher turnout rate than whites in the 2012 presidential election is not permitted to interrupt the progressive victimization narrative.
Mr. Obama declared, “It would be transformative if everybody voted” …
Yup. You damn betcha it would be transformative. Transforming a once-free country into a third-world statist hellhole. For starters.
Picture it: you get tased or jailed for “failure to v*te.” The IRS adds a “failure to v*te” tax right next to your “failure to buy Obamacare” tax. Your most robotic neighbors drag themselves to the polls and robotically vote for whoever promises more goodies.
Nah, not gonna happen. Well, not the part about tasing, most likely. The rest of it? Oh yeah. Mostly there already.
While we’re on the subject of third-world politics what are some of your “favorite” ways that the U.S. is being made over in the image of Woody Allen’s Bananas?
It’s a fascinating and amazing thing that the last two elections have given the U.S. (among other less desirable things) a strip of cannabis legalization that runs from southern Oregon alllllll the way out to the tip of the Aleutian islands, within spitting distance of Russia.
I can’t imagine there are going to be too many “Mr. Doobees” stores out there on the islands. But in a vast stretch where once ruled the hysteria of Harry J. Anslinger, a new legal business is taking shape. Now all we need is for British Columbia to join us and the north coast weed freedomization will be complete. (And yes, yes, yes, I know that state-controlled legalization isn’t Libertopia; can we just stipulate that and not quibble?)
I’m still trying to wrap my brain around the fact that legal pot is affecting rural areas even more than urban ones. Makes sense, of course. Ag product. Cheap land. Small towns hungry for development. But still.
Even my little area is poised to benefit, and with that in mind our local Chamber of Commerce and Economic Development Council pulled together a terrific panel discussion earlier this week to answer questions from us locals.
… are set for today in Congress.
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.
- Seymour Hersh revisits the ghosts of My Lai.
- Give a corporation the idea that it’s a government and pretty soon it starts acting like one. (H/T PT)
- 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.
- Are we flushing gold down the toilet?
- Was this predictable, or what? Cops raid the pot club of Charlo Green, the former Alaska newscaster who announced on air, expletive included, that she was quitting TV for cannabis activism.
- Scientists think they’ve found the world’s largest asteroid-impact zone. If so, will be fascinating as future researchers trace its relationship to extinctions, climate, and more.
- Two great dog stories: Funny how even a dog that’s scared of people understands when (and how) to ask for human help; and heres a story about an Ecuadorian-Swedish mutt that’s just wonderful from scruffy beginning to happy ending. (H/T Shel in comments)
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. :-)
- The FAA sez you can’t post your little drone videos on YouTube. Hahahahahahahahaha! Now let’s see you enforce that, feddies.
- Now this woman was some spy!
- Kurt Hofmann ventures the thought that maybe the fedgov shouldn’t abolish the ATF after all.
- I’m as impressed with Kit Lange as Kevin Wilmeth is. And for similar reasons.
- The mysterious fate of Sharpton’s financial records. Hm. Maybe Hillary conveniently deleted them like she’s deleting herself.
I wake up every day around two or three in the afternoon, make a cup of coffee and turn on the news, just waiting for the day when it finally happens, the day that something finally snaps, and I am listening to Sheppard Smith breathlessly trying to describe shaky video of a mob of 500,000 or 800,000 pissed off taxpayers that has invaded Washington and are lining every street in D.C., armed to the teeth, and erecting scaffolding on the National Mall.
Actually, that’s not how I think it is going to go, but I promise you… what can not go on, will NOT go on.
Some language NSFW.
While I disagree with the “everything is a sickness” approach to problems, the article is otherwise spot on.
In one experiment, participants were left alone in a room for up to 15 minutes. When asked whether they liked the alone time, over half reported disliking it.
In subsequent studies, participants were given an electric shock, and then asked if they would pay money to avoid being shocked again. Not surprisingly, most said they would trade money to avoid pain. However, when these same people were left alone in a room for 15 minutes, nearly half chose to self-administer an electric shock rather than sit alone with their thoughts.
You read that right.
(Which is so not punny.)
Think about what this means. Just being is so painful that we are willing to hurt ourselves to avoid it.
And this is perhaps the saddest truth of all. I am created in the image and likeness of God, yet somehow that isn’t good enough for me. So I fill my Facebook feed and my calendar with self-important busyness to avoid just being. In the process, I not only miss out on the peace and beauty that lies within myself, but I also miss seeing that same beauty in others, because my manufactured urgency has covered it up with anxiety and worry.
- The newest, most shocking, and “scientifically proven” danger from legal cannabis! Stoned bunny rabbits! Srsly. Not from The Onion. (H/T JW)
- “The Envy of Frank Underwood.” Is Netflix the prime mover (and prime beneficiary) behind federal control of the Internet?
- Ever call your credit card company’s customer service line? They might have secretly voice fingerprinted you. If it’s such a great idea to prevent fraud, why aren’t they being upfront about it?
- Seems all that shrill weirdness coming from the hoplophobe ranks recently isn’t just a side-effect of “gun control.” Even some of the most major distracting drivel is apparently directly planned and paid for by Bloomberg. This is sophisticated psychological warfare in the guise of unsophisticated jibberish.
- Ilana Mercer on Hillary and her village idiots. ADDED: Tom Knapp has a different view on Hillary’s “emailgate.”
- Hm. I knew it existed but I never knew there was an “official” science governing it. This is even cooler than the “science” governing stoned bunnies — although come to think of it, this probably also applies to stoned bunnies. Not to mention wily coyotes.