Friday, July 27, 2007

Activists arrested in row over protest flag, allege abuse by Buncombe deputy

I'm not sure what I'm more upset about in this story...

A couple had a flag flying upside down, which signals distress, as a political statement.  So far, so good.  They're told by one sheriff they're fine, then get harassed by someone driving a vehicle with government plates and wearing fatigues.  Shortly thereafter, after making some changes, including adding some decorations to the flag, they're harassed by another deputy for alleged flag desecration.  Push comes to shove, and depending on who's story you believe, either the couple got violent or the deputy did.  In any case, they go to jail and the neighborhood is wondering what the hell just happened.

Here's what disturbs me:

North Carolina has a flag desecration law, even though the Supreme Court ruled a federal law unconstitutional.

A sheriff was willing to let a violent situation get out of control over a clear First Amendment issue.

There are still people in the world who think the Constitution is nice in theory but not in practice, and those people are willing to fight for this country (evidenced by the wearing of fatigues).

If you're not scared by chest-thumping "patriots" yet, you haven't been listening...

Flagged down: Activists arrested in row over protest flag, allege abuse by Buncombe deputy | Mountain Xpress News |

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

On Watch at Atomic History

A very well written story about Marines who were asked to watch nuclear bombs explode at close range by our government.

Remember, this is the evil of all government.

Life: atomic bomb, atomic blast, bomb testing - tags: , , ,

Norfolk and visitor with a holstered .45 are tangled in a Catch-22

From the Virginian-Pilot - a man attending a street fair in Norfolk were harassed by police for open-carrying.  When asked to disarm or leave, he protested saying there was a problem, whereupon he was arrested.  The DA declined to file charges, but the man is looking at a harassment case against the police.

Lesson?  Know your rights and stick to them, despite what the "authorities" tell you.

ARTICLE: Norfolk and visitor with a holstered .45 are tangled in a Catch-22 (The Virginian-Pilot -

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Executive Order: Blocking Property of Certain Persons Who Threaten Stabilization Efforts in Iraq

As someone on put it, Fifth Amendment, RIP 1787-2007.  Killed by George "What Constitution?" Bush and Dick "I don't see no Bill of Rights" Cheney.

Let's pick this apart a bit, shall we?

Basically, the order blocks the property and interest in property of anyone who is in or enters the U.S., if that person has engaged in violence to undermine the reconstruction of Iraq.  They can't bring it here, send it there, or do anything with any of their property (which is undefined in the document - are we talking real estate, business assets, the clothes on their backs?)

My second thought (after considering the demise of the Fifth Amendment) was: when do we block Bush's and Cheney's assets?  How about Haliburton shareholders assets?  Seems to me that the Bush Administration has been the biggest purveyor of violence aimed at destabilizing the economy and government of Iraq - somehow I don't think the administration seems it that way.

Anyway, on to the document: Section One defines the affected folks as those committing violence, those who help folks commit violence, and those who get something from those who commit violence.  Those people now have their property blocked.

Think of it this way - your cousin robs a liquor store completely  unbeknownst to you.  If he stops by to pay you back to $50 he borrowed, using the loot he stole; or you told him where a liquor store was because he asked, you're now just as guilty.  Well, maybe not just as guilty, but just as punished, according to this order - remember we did say the Fifth Amendment was dead, right?  Due process, freedom from self-incrimination, no taking private property - all fair game to be rescinded in the face of an endless war and a President with no principles.

Then there's Section Two, which basically says evading the prohibitions is prohibited, which is kinda like getting arrested for resisting arrest.  Conspiracy to evade is also prohibited - in other words, talking about how you might evade the prohibitions is prohibited.  But the First Amendment died years ago, so this is not as immediately tragic.

Section Five is also interesting - Bush has determined that his ability to enforce this is adversely affected if we tell people they're on the blocked list.  So that's the last of the Fifth Amendment and part of the Sixth gone as well - no grand jury presentment, and certainly no informing the accused of the nature of the offense or confronting them with witnesses or letting them mount a defense or summoning a jury.

And if that wasn't disturbing enough, Section Six gives presidential powers to the Secretaries of Treasury, State, and Defense when it comes to enforcing this.  Admittedly, they're part of the Executive Branch by fiat and precedent, but I haven't seen any of their signatures on key pieces of legislation, have you?  Constitutionally, I don't think they're entitled - but then again, that's why we have Executive Orders, ot get around pesky Constitutional issues like who can do what and when.

And finally, Section Eight says there's nothing you can do about it.  Read it closely - once you get through the modifiers and dependent clauses, it says the order doesn't create any right enforceable at law by any party against the U.S.  So there's the rest of the the First Amendment done, that whole pesky petition government for redress of greivances thing.  I'm thinking the only partial Amendment left is the freedom of religion portion of the First - as long as it's a Christian religions, and it has to be a religion, none of that new age crap or atheism treason.

If you're not disturbed by this administration yet, you haven't been listening.

Executive Order: Blocking Property of Certain Persons Who Threaten Stabilization Efforts in Iraq tags: , , , ,

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Military support for the republican candidates » The Truth @ The Spin Factor

While I'm not a big fan of an active federally controlled military (the Constitution mandates funding a long-term Navy only), it was good to see lots of military folks supporting Ron Paul for President.  The blog article below shows the breakdown - an update to it shows more good numbers for Dr. Paul.

Military support for the republican candidates » The Truth @ The Spin Factor Tags: , , ,

Monday, July 16, 2007

Man-made island fit for a Bond villain up for sale - for £4 million | the Daily Mail

Interesting - part of a series of fortifications built in the 1860's off the coast of Portsmouth, UK, is up for sale.  If I had the scratch, I'd buy it, and here's why:

In the comments to the story, someone made reference to no more screeching tires, football hooliganism, etc.  Someone then referenced that the owner would not escape the poll tax.  Both missed three key points:

  1. The property is a mile from shore - there is no land assault possibility.
  2. The property is fortified - armored concrete built to withstand naval assault.
  3. The property had (or maybe has) room for 80 cannons and anti-aircraft weapons to help stave off air assault.

Add to that a fresh water supply from under the sea and your own generators for electricity, and you have a fortress the government cannot penetrate easily.  A few extra million will get you the defensive weapons you need to keep the tax man away for a while.

Man-made island fit for a Bond villain up for sale - for £4 million | the Daily Mail

Friday, July 13, 2007

Man Freed After Flag Desecration

Wow.  Just... wow.

There's a law in Florida, updated as late as 1970, the makes flag desecration a crime, and someone was actually arrested and kept in jail for a few days because of it.  It took the DA to say, "We're not pressing charges, let him go," to effect his release.  I guess no one in Florida since 1919 (when the law was written) has read the Constitution or understood the Freedom of Speech clause in the First Amendment.

One quote in this story got me:

Tampa police spokeswoman Laura McElroy said the arresting officer was not aware of the Supreme Court's decision.

So, a law enforcement officer was not aware of a decision that affects the laws he's supposed to enforce?  I could see that might be the case if this was some weird city or state code violation that was affected by an apparently unrelated Supreme Court ruling, but flag desecration has been a hot issue in this country since the 1989 SCOTA ruling - I cannot believe this officer didn't know about it.

Ironic though, isn't it - I find the folks who don't want you to wipe your ass with an American flag are those folks who support Bush & Co. wiping their asses on the Constitution?  Then again, on second thought, that's not ironic, that's simple logic...

Man Freed After Flag Desecration tags: , , ,

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Bush admits administration leaked agent name

MSNBC's headline is a bit misleading - Bush didn't fully admit anything, but did say it was likely someone in his administration that leaked Valerie Plame's name.  However, the stickler for me is this:

President Bush on Thursday acknowledged publicly for the first time that someone in his administration likely leaked the name of a CIA operative, although he also said he hopes the controversy over his decision to spare prison for a former White House aide has "run its course."

"And now we're going to move on [emphasis mine]," Bush said in a White House news conference.

Any now we're going to move on?  What the fuck?  Bush admits someone in his administration likely committed a federal crime, and you just want to move on?  No - not yours.  Can you imagine any other citizen admitting to a crime, and then looking at the police and saying, "And now we're going to move on"?  How long do you think that would last?

I've heard it before, but I'll add my name to the list - this man needs to be impeached.  Once we figure out time travel, I'd support retroactively impeaching him in 2001.

Bush admits administration leaked agent name - Politics - tags: ,

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

AlterNet: Blogs: Video: Michael Moore Rips Wolf Blitzer on CNN: "Why Don't You Tell the American People the Truth" [VIDEO]

File this under "Know thy enemy, know thyself".

In case it's not painfully obvious, Michael Moore is a socialist who wants no part of a free America.

AlterNet: Blogs: Video: Michael Moore Rips Wolf Blitzer on CNN: "Why Don't You Tell the American People the Truth" [VIDEO]

Reason Magazine - Silence Is Golden

Nothing much else to add - Internet Radio is close to gone.  Guess I'll never discover any new music I like anymore...

Reason Magazine - Silence Is Golden

Saturday, July 07, 2007

New Hampshire Says No to Real ID Program

The NH legislature passed a state bill banning Real ID, and NH Governor John Lynch signed it - welcome to the club, guys.

Interestingly, the NH legislature called Real ID "contrary and repugnant" to the NH and U.S. Constitutions, which it is, certainly - however, it's ironic that they thought banning smoking in bars and restaurants was OK by the Constitution.

Let me be clear - I'm glad they took a stand against Real ID, but liberty minded folks don't need fair-weather Constitutionalists.  We need people who realize that principles aren't something you can ignore when the political wind blows counter to them, a costume you put on when you want to look like a principled decision maker.

So... the NH Legislature took a popular and newsworthy stand against the Real ID and cited the Constitution, and previously took a popular and newsworthy stand with a smoking ban and ignored the Constitution.  What do you think was the real motivation? tags: , , ,

Friday, July 06, 2007

U.S.Circuit Appeals Court throws out ACLU Challenge to Secret Spying program

Details at the link below, but here's my take:

If you can't show you're affected by the secret spying program, you have no standing to sue to find out if your affected by the secret spying program.

Folks, we had a revolution over less bullshiat than this.

How Appealing

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Sometimes being an American makes me ashamed

Apparently, seven in ten of you think the government should take care of people who can't take care of themselves.

If you're one of those seven: Do you even know what that would entail?  How do you define "take care of themselves"?  How do you provide to fund that entitlement?  Assuming I can take care of myself now, and that you have a plan that means I pay more taxes to make sure some needy folks have food and shelter - how long do you think I can hemorrhage money to take care of the needy before I become one of them?  And when I need to be on the dole myself, who the hell is going to pay for my necessities?

Here's an experiment I'd love to see someone try: start paying for a needy family right now - head down to a homeless shelter and pick someone or some family to help.  Even better, let's do this like government would - have someone else pick the person they think is most needy.  Then, give them them a place to stay, buy them groceries, add them to your health insurance, clothe them, and take care of their needs for a year or so, no strings attached, no demands, no nothing - just support from a concerned citizen.  You'll see that we don't a government program to help the needy - all we need is more brave new souls like you to step up and put your money where your mouth is.

Pew Research Center: Trends in Political Values and Core Attitudes: 1987-2007 tags: , ,

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Parasite Economy Latches onto New Host

This is a month-old commentary from Cato, but it's still current in geological time...  Basically, it laments the politicization of Google, comparing it to the politicization of Microsoft a few years ago.  It's a different view on the Google v. Microsoft battle you hear about amongst lawmakers, and it's dead on.

Parasite Economy Latches onto New Host tags: , ,