Sunday, October 31, 2004

Cigars and who owns YOU.

Over at Samizdata they have an interesting post on Cuban cigars and how the government rules you no matter where you go.
For years, more precisely since 8 July 1963, Cuban cigars have been a banned pleasure for U.S. citizens but at least when abroad they could legally indulge. Earlier this month the department's Office of Foreign Assets Control has announced that Americans are barred from not only purchasing Cuban goods in foreign countries, but also from consuming them in those countries.
Sounds good right. No matter where you are the government it there watching you. If the government does not like your actions, or your cigar brand they can do the following.
The penalties for violating the prohibitions include maximum criminal fines for individuals of $250,000 and imprisonment for up to 10 years. Corporations can be fined as much as a million dollars.
While I find this offensive and damned enslaving this post is not about cigars.

Samizdata quoted and linked to an old post on their site that is worth reading if not for this one section.
American civil society is something I admire and which spreads the values conducive to liberty as no other society currently does... but American citizenship particularly (more than any other advanced nation's citizenship) is rather like being branded like livestock. To have that brand means that, unlike almost every other state on earth, the US government will always claim a pecuniary interest in the private property that you acquire, even if you live outside the USA and make your living outside the USA and keep your assets outside the USA. Unlike other countries, which by and large lose interest in you the moment you step outside their borders, the USA actually makes itself your super-owner. The USA do not just claim a territorial monopoly on the means of force, it actually claims to own part of your labour regardless of where you are. It owns your labour not because you are in America, but because you are a citizen. That is the reality of how the US state actually sees its people (i.e. that citizens are the property of the state) even though that is not how most US citizens perceive the nature of the 'relationship'. Yet that is what I think the truth is beyond the perception: The USA does not just control land and what people do on that land (all states do that), it actually claims ownership of the anointed inhabitants themselves regardless of where they are.
................
In much the same way that if I ever marry again, I will not even tell the state because I refuse to accept it is anyone else's business, so too I urge people to regard their passports as an imposition, not a privilege. Treat your national passport as a way of getting to stand in the shorter line at the airport and not some sacred document. You do not have to be a citizen to be a member of a society, regardless of what the state says. If I can find a way to marketize citizenship, that might be my next entrepreneurial venture. Hmm... maybe 'Free American Passport with all purchases of fitted kitchens over $5,000: order a fitted Italian marble bathroom at the same time and we will throw in a Italian citizenship and 1,000 Frequent Flyer Miles!'...

Yes, I like the sound of that.
Somewhere along the line the government forgot what their job was. The government was established when the first form of government under the articles of confederation did not work. The government is supposed to serve us by doing things we as individuals cannot do.

Now with documents needed to travel(passport for international and photo ID for internal), work(social security card is required), and even marry(marriage license and blood test results) it seems we live and thrive at their whim. The balance is off. The balance is way off.
OSCE update and what little information they release.

With the September email from Urdur Gunnarsdottir saying that they would release the list of poll sites to be visited I have followed this, and gotten nothing. When the OSCE had their first major news conference and announced the heads of this mission and other positions I had hope. They also announced that the first group of 25 would be arriving. Still nothing.

So here I sit, two days before the election, and no list of the sites they will visit.

I can show you some information that I have found.
Here is the main list of the core players on the OSCE team here in the US.
Rita SUESSMUTH
Head of Mission
Germany
Stephen NASH
Deputy Head of Mission
UK
Ian MITCHELL
Political Analyst
Canada
Joseph MIDDLETON
Legal Analyst
UK
Vladimir LYSENKO
Election Analyst
Russian Federation
Michella KUEFNER
Executive Assistant to Head of Mission
Germany
Julian CHEASLEY
Logistics Officer
UK
Ron GOULD
Election Analyst
Canada
Nikolai VULCHANOV
ODIHR Election Adviser
Bulgaria
Vadim ZHDANOVICH
ODIHR Election Adviser
Russian Federation
Konrad OLSZEWSKI
ODIHR Election Adviser
Poland
The regular group of European politicians and NGO's(non-governmental organizations). Outside of the fact that Rita SUESSMUTH was investigated for some possible flight time abuse while in the German government there are no skeletons in these peoples closets.

Now I did find online the handbook for the observers and what they are to "grade" us on.
The manual HERE is a simple read with no real shocks, but a few small items of interesting information


OBSERVER CODE OF CONDUCT
Listed below are some general principles and rules, which all observers are required to follow:
Observers will maintain strict impartiality in the conduct of their duties, and shall at no time express any bias or preference in relation to national authorities, parties, candidates, or with reference to any contentious issues in the election process;
Observers will undertake their duties in an unobtrusive manner, and will not interfere with the election process, polling day procedures, or the vote count;
Observers will carry the prescribed identification issued by the host government or election commission, and will identify themselves to any interested authority upon request;
Observers will not display or wear any partisan symbols, colours, or banners;
Observers may wish to bring irregularities to the attention of the local election officials, but they must never give instructions or countermand decisions of the election officials;
Observers will base all conclusions on well documented, factual, and verifiable evidence, and should fill out a statistical survey form of polling stations visited;
Observers will refrain from making any personal or premature comments about their observations to the media or any other interested persons, and will limit any remarks to general information about the nature of their activity as observers;
Observers will participate in post-election debriefings, by fax or telephone if necessary;
Observers must comply with all national laws and regulations

The manual goes into more detail on how voting visits will occur and some rather humorous reminders on possible activities.
Observers should be deployed in teams of two persons. Depending on geographic conditions and on what is found at polling stations, a team of observers may visit between 10 20 polling stations during the day. Observers should be reminded that election observation is not a race to visit the greatest number of polling stations, and sometimes it can be equally beneficial to visit fewer polling stations for a longer period of time.

Yep. No race here people. I will admit I thought the observer would be at one place only the entire day, but it looks like they can travel. Will this entice them to want to go to the poll stations local activists and outright liars are complaining the most about. They could end up going from one politically caused hotspot to another. Unless they have a set route of sites this part could heavily be abused.

At the end of the manual was an annex called "Model election day checklist" . You might find it interesting.
OSCE / ODIHR Election Observation Mission
Polling Station Report
Observer team
Names/initials Team number/Accreditation numbers

Polling Station
Electoral District Polling station name/number Type of station

Time of visit
Arrival of team Departure of team
Number of voters registered at the station
Number of voters voted at(time)

Before entering the polling station
Please assess the general atmosphere. Listening to voters and other bystanders will be helpful.
Please specify details on back of form.

Was the polling station difficult to find? Y/N
Was the physical access to the station difficult? Y/N

Did you observe any of the following:
Intimidation of voters? Y/N
General agitation and disturbance? Y/N
Campaign posters and materials? Y/N
Campaigning activity? Y/N

Inside the polling station: People present, polling environment
Please specify details on back of form.
Members of the Election Commission How many?
Which parties?
Representatives of parties/candidates Y/N/DK Which?
Domestic observers Y/N/DK
Media representatives Y/N/DK
Security forces Y/N/DK
Unauthorised people Y/N/DK

Was the polling station overcrowded? Y/N
Was there campaigning inside the station? Y/N
Was there campaign material inside the station? Y/N
Was the information displayed for voters correct and complete? Y/N

Inside the polling station: Voting procedures
Please assess each step in the voting procedure in turn.
Please specify details on back of form

Problems with identification? Y/N
Problems with registration? Y/N
Ballot papers/documentation not signed/marked/stamped? Y/N
Insufficient or wrong ballot materials? Y/N
Booths not secret?Voting outside booths? Y/N
Was more than one person in a booth at once? Y/N
Problems with assistance to blind/illiterate voters? Y/N
Ballot box not sealed properly? Y/N
Ballot box not visible by Commission? Y/N
Other problems? Y/N
Approximate time taken to process one voter
Any questions about mobile ballot boxes?


Family Voting observed Y/N
Please specify details on back of form

Disruptions of polling
Please specify details on back of form

Had voting been suspended at any time? Y/N/DK Details?

Irregularities reported to you
Please enter here details of any irregularities in polling or campaigning reported to you, and of who reported these irregularities. Ask party representatives, voters themselves, domestic observers, and members of the election commission. Please note also whether you have been able to verify any of these reports.

Important
Please take time in the car to discuss your impressions of the polling station and fully complete this form. In particular, please enter the details of anything you saw or heard that appeared irregular or otherwise noteworthy.

Details and comments

Overall impression
In general, the conduct of the poll at this station was
Very bad Bad Good Very good


Well although it is Sunday I sent off the normal week flurry of emails to as many people in the OSCE who might have the list. If I get it I will post it as soon as possible. I have a strong feeling that they are keeping this list very close to their chest because of protestors and masses of alternative medias with their own agenda. So either they will release the list Monday night or Tuesday morning to cut their losses in the bad press department or they may not release a full list at all.


UPDATE:
I just received an email from Urdur that says right now they will be assigned to the following states
California
Nevada
Florida
Illinoia
Maryland
Virginia
also one or two may be added.

I find it strange that a key battle state like Ohio is not there, a place where major vote fraud has been found already is missing. I am trying to contact Jan Jooren as Urdur says he would be the one with the most information.

I will not be happy until I get city and voting station information.

Saturday, October 30, 2004

Well off to the hospital - Part two

Since the last weekends sleep study did not work out, mainly because I could not sleep long enough, I get to try again. So tonight back to the clinic to be wired up again for a second go, but this time with drugs.

My wife picked up my prescription for sleeping pills yesterday. I had asked for one or two, but got four. The doctor prescribed Ambien. From what my nurse mother-in-law says it is good, but I will have a hangover tomorrow morning. Oh well.

So off to the clinic I go.
Eminent domain verses outright theft and Kerry's role in it

The Democrats like to brag that they are the representatives of the little man, the regular Joe you might say. Always there to stand along side them against the oppressive machine of big business and the government.

Only one problem. Action speaks louder then words. Their actions suck, and Kerry's one the worst of the group.
Land Rights Network
American Land Rights Association http://www.landrights.org
Kerry Named Enemy of Property Rights


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 14, 2004


CONTACT:
Chuck Cushman
(360) 687-3087


League of Private Property Voters
Names John Kerry and John Edwards
Enemies of Property Rights

(BATTLE GROUND, WA) - The League of Private Property Voters (LPPV) today released an analysis of the votes of Senator John Kerry (D-MA) and John Edwards (D-SC) from the Private Property Congressional Vote Index from 1999 through 2003.

Every Senator and Representative who scores at least 80% receives a "Champion" of Private Property right is certificate. Every Member who gets 20% or less is rated an "Enemy" of Private Property Rights. Full size examples of actual "Champion" and "Enemy" certificates are printed in each Vote Index.

Senator Kerry achieved a score of "zero" on private property and resource issues all five years. Senator Edwards score was 14% for 2001, 20% for 2002 and "zero" for 2003 the only years he was in the Senate.

Senator Kerry was given the prestigious positioning in the scorecard by having his “Enemy of Property Rights”certificate printed full size inside.

Senator Kerry voted multiple times to stop death tax repeal and against ranchers with grazing permits. He supported stopping Klamath River irrigation, for political speech restrictions, against oil and gas exploration in national monuments, for international court powers, against forest fire protection funding, against the Healthy Forest Act, for a farmland land grab, for a tax break for land trusts, and co-sponsored the Conservation and Reinvestment Act (CARA), the largest land grab bill in history.

A greater search of Senator Kerry is record shows that in the late 90 is he opposed working toward energy independence by opposing drilling in ANWR on the coastal plain of Alaska, opposed the Private Property Rights Implementation Act, opposed RS 2477 Rights-of-way, and opposed sales of excess Federal land.

Senator Edwards opposed repealing the death tax several times, supported environmental pork projects, and a tax break for land trusts.

He supported political speech restrictions, opposed oil and gas exploration in national monuments, supported giving an international court powers over US Soldiers and others, and against fire protection funding.

For comparison purposes, President George Bush supported drilling at ANWR on coastal plain of Alaska, supported the Healthy Forest Initiative, supported repealing the death tax, supported exploration for oil and gas in national monuments, was against giving US Sovereignty to international courts, and supported forest fire protection funding.

The League of Private Property Voters is a national non-partisan coalition of over 600 co-sponsoring organizations including the American Land Rights Association, Alliance for America, People for the USA, Blue Ribbon Coalition, American Policy Center, numerous Farm Bureaus, mining, grazing, forestry and agriculture groups as well as most national, regional and local private property, multiple-use and taxpayer organizations.

The 2003 Private Property Congressional Vote Index is available in both printed form and on our highly regarded landrights.org website.

Go to http://www.landrights.org for the complete 2003 Private Property Congressional Vote Index including all the individual scores for every Senator and Representative.

Previous editions of the Vote Index are available at http://www.landrights.org as well.

- From American Land Rights and the Land Rights Network:

Of particular interest in light of his debate statements about making America less dependent on foreign oil is his record of having constantly fought against opening up a tiny portion of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) to oil production. Existing North Slope Production is running down. Opening ANWR seems a prudent place to work toward energy independence.

On April 20, 2004 Tony Knowles (D-AK), former Governor of Alaska, now running for the Senate, said: "With all due respect to the party's nominee, on the issue of responsible development of the coastal plain and meeting America is energy needs, John Kerry is just wrong," From a Kerry Press Release.

Kerry needs to be confronted with how he is going to make America less dependent on foreign oil.


Action Items:

-1. Make plans now to vote. Try not to let anything stand in your way.

-2. Call at least three friends to make sure they are committed to voting. Senator Slade Gorton (R-WA) lost his bid for re-election in 2000 because a small number of voters in Eastern Washington who would likely have voted for him did not get to the polls. That vote ultimately led to the US Senate changing hands. One vote really makes a difference.

-3. Go to http://www.landrights.org and look at the voting record of your Congressman and both Senators. This will tell you how they really voted on your issues, not how they said they voted.

-4. Print out a copy of the Private Property Congressional Vote Index off the website. Make a few copies for your friends.

-5. At the very least, print out the "Enemy of Property Rights”certificate for John Kerry off the website and hand them out to your friends. They'll love them. People in past elections have used these "Champion" and "Enemy" certificates as newspaper advertisements.
Right now there are several major cases in the courts that will help redefine the rights the government has been given in the constitution. Playing loose has become the norm, but maybe no longer.

The Fifth Amendment to the Constitution says 'nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.'. The amendments were added because the delegates to the constitutional convention were worried that the new federal government they were building on paper would be to strong and take the rights they had just fought for away.

The powers that they gave the government were limited and the limit here is "public use" . While the government has warped it the meaning is for schools, roads, and other public places. How does the government see this power is NOTHING like the original intent.
The city argues that its plan should override the plans of these people and the rest of the neighborhood's holdouts. It predicts the redevelopment project will yield more than 3,000 jobs and up to $1.2 million annually in property tax revenue benefits that it says make the project a "public use" for which condemnation is justified under the Fifth Amendment.

That's quite a stretch. In the context of eminent domain, "public use" traditionally was understood to mean government buildings and infrastructure-things like courthouses and roads. In 1954 the Supreme Court decided it could also mean eliminating "blighted areas."

That decision encouraged local governments to be creative in defining blight. Even neighborhoods that bore no resemblance to slums could be declared blighted if they were deemed "economically obsolete" or lacked amenities such as air conditioning and two-car garages.

But in New London, the city is not even pretending Fort Trumbull was blighted. Instead, it says the promise of more jobs and tax revenue is enough to justify taking the land - a rationale that has become increasingly popular since the Michigan Supreme Court endorsed it in 1981.

The Institute for Justice, which represents the plaintiffs in Kelo, emphasizes the sweeping implications of the jobs-and-taxes argument, which the Michigan Supreme Court itself renounced last July, just a few months after the Connecticut Supreme Court used it to approve New London's land grab. "Any home can be condemned because few if any homes can generate as much tax revenue or as many jobs as an office building," I.J. noted in its petition for Supreme Court review. "Any small or medium-sized business can be condemned because the land will always produce more taxes as a larger business."
Translation: If they can find something that will produce more taxes for them then screw you. This messed up view is called the "jobs-and-taxes argument".
But there has been several victories lately and the tide is turning.
So once again.
Senator Kerry achieved a score of "zero"on private property and resource issues all five years. Senator Edwards score was 14% for 2001, 20% for 2002 and "zero" for 2003 the only years he was in the Senate.
While I am not happy with Bush in any real way, this is a darn good reason to not vote for Kerry.

[Thanks to Heartless libertarian for the lead]

Friday, October 29, 2004

Beware the Cube.

The government has created a giant department called homeland security that encompasses so many fields. With their desire to "protect us" from everything bad they have opened themselves up for some proper humiliation.
So far as she knows, Pufferbelly Toys owner Stephanie Cox hasn't been passing any state secrets to sinister foreign governments, or violating obscure clauses in the Patriot Act.
So she was taken aback by a mysterious phone call from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to her small store in this quiet Columbia River town just north of Portland.

"I was shaking in my shoes," Cox said of the September phone call. "My first thought was the government can shut your business down on a whim, in my opinion. If I'm closed even for a day that would cause undue stress."

When the two agents arrived at the store, the lead agent asked Cox whether she carried a toy called the Magic Cube, which he said was an illegal copy of the Rubik's Cube, one of the most popular toys of all time.

He told her to remove the Magic Cube from her shelves, and he watched to make sure she complied.
Washington has build themselves a department that covers everything out there. From writing romance stories to even taking pictures the department of homeland security is there to protect you. Everything now comes under the heading of homeland security.

Eric Arthur Blair you were right sir.

Thursday, October 28, 2004

Welcome to the 2004 RockyTop Roundup Halloween special.




Halloween means two things to me, pumpkins and kids in costumes. So with that in mind welcome to this holiday's grouping of articles from around the RockyTop brigade.
The small pumpkin icon are for the second story some of them might have submitted.


Donald Sensing is back at ONE HAND CLAPPING to everyone's happiness and blogging on "American legitimacy and the UN". Glad to see you again sir.


Cathy at Domestic Psychology seems to be having some sleep issues.(adults only now)
My advice to her is caffeine, lots and lots of it.


Len Cleavelin tells of the connection between Groucho Marx and a book that I love, and feared as a youth.



Aunty Goob at goobage has a bit of a Fat Rant on her site(scroll to Oct23 please). One issue close to my heart, and belly.


Jim Pfaff blogs at Opinion Times on "The Role of Government : The Emerging Campaign" and why what we have today is not what we are supposed to have.


AlphaPatriot has submitted a well worked out voters guide for this upcoming election. Full of information on where to go for early voting and party links galore, even ones I have never heard of. Who knew we still had a prohibition party here?


Wordjunky posts at Great smoky on becoming disillusioned with his old political party and why. He is just one of many from what I hear.



Barry at Inn of the last Home posts on the Blogger laws and they make sense.



Michael Silence at No Silence here posts on the "No,no's" of signs in public areas. A good example is included.



Deb at Sugarfused took a nice drive and wants you to enjoy the scenery with her.


Orfinanny, at Scurvy Wench, wants to lead you to the words of someone else about the upcoming election. Be gentle with her, it's her first RTB get together.


Blake, at NashvilleFiles blog, reports that the new sales tax deductibility may protect us from a future state income tax. Good news all around here.


Tennessee Ruck at Voluntarily in China reports that he was pleasantly surprised to watch the debate live on TV, but even there in Asia the democrats have a "get out the vote" campaign at work.



Theparsonsfifth, at You'll Always Find a Fifth, tells about the ernest efforts of a Democratic party worker out canvassing for money and his "W" hat..


Thomas Nephew, at newsrack blog, gives his top ten reasons why Kerry is the person to vote for.



Say Uncle delves into the issue of the proper handgun for someone with a physical impairment who wishes one for self protection.




CYB, at Bob Stepno's other Journalism blog, makes me feel old when I have no idea what Ipoddor or podcasting is. Thanks guy!



I am proud to present to you all my wife's first blog, Harelipfrog, and my new nephew Matthew born last week(she airbrushed out his winky in one photo).

--------------------------------------------
Now for some holiday linkage

The pumpkins you buy today will be piles of goo in a week, so why not get real looking "fake" pumpkins?


Learn to carve a pumpkins online with this flash presentation.


The pumpkin wizard. Cut some of the best pumpkins ever this year.

Have a safe and fun Halloween to everyone.
Things that make me want to scream

One thing is cursing online. No. The cursing does not bother me, it is the cuteness of how some curse. For example.
Go f*** yourself
verses
Go fuck yourself.
Now if you read the first one you KNOW what it says even with the asterisks. Then why add them? Does it alleviate the pain and suffering of the world or something?
asterisks are the blog way of covering your mouth with your hand and giggling when you say a curse word "did I say that?"

Also this
I kicked his a$$
verses
I kicked his ass.
Now using other symbols that are similar and deliver the message does not do anything but make me want to scream. Since you added the "$" symbols instead of the "S" does that mean you have not cussed? Sorry but you just did, so why use the $ sign?
If the letters used, an "A" followed by two "S"'s mean one thing, then an "A" followed by two "$"'s means the same thing. You have cussed in the modern computer self censored style of today as similar as if you had used a foreign language of the same meaning..
Using a$$ is the same as using the following
asno-Spanish
âne-French
Esel-German
asino-Italian
a$$-Modern self censored style

Some say that cussing is a sign of a uneducated person, according to my aunt. Words that 100 years ago would have gotten you beaten are today the norm. Words and their usage change and go into, and out, of style.

If you want to cuss then cuss damn'it. Don't play with the words and feel that since you did not say it then you are safe from sin or something.
Just one of my personnel pet peeves.
Picking the lesser of two risks

Andrew Sullivan, of the New Republic Online, is endorsing John Kerry for President. While most are not surprised I find his words unusual.
Most people supporting Kerry are doing it for either of two main reasons. Either they vote Democrat regularly and that's good enough for them, or they are voting against Bush. Voting against Bush seems the latest fashion statement for many. Without a firm grasp on what Kerry does support, except the removal of Bush, they vote for him.
Andrew has put a twist on it.
The phrase "lesser of two evils" often comes up at this time every four years, but this November, I think, it's too cynical a formula. Neither George W. Bush nor John Kerry can be credibly described as "evils." They have their faults, some of which are glaring. They are both second-tier politicians, thrust into the spotlight at a time when we desperately need those in the first circle of talent and vision. But they are not evil. When the papers carry pictures of 50 Iraqi recruits gunned down in a serried row, as Stalin and Hitler did to their enemies, we need have no doubt where the true evil lies. The question before us, first and foremost, is which candidate is best suited to confront this evil in the next four years. In other words: Who is the lesser of two risks?
So according to him his vote is not against Bush, but his actions and the risk they create. An interesting way of looking at it. He does not hold back punches against his choice either.
I know few people enthused about John Kerry. His record is undistinguished, and where it stands out, mainly regrettable. He intuitively believes that if a problem exists, it is the government's job to fix it. He has far too much faith in international institutions, like the corrupt and feckless United Nations, in the tasks of global management. He got the Cold War wrong. He got the first Gulf War wrong. His campaign's constant and excruciating repositioning on the war against Saddam have been disconcerting, to say the least. I completely understand those who look at this man's record and deduce that he is simply unfit to fight a war for our survival. They have an important point--about what we know historically of his character and his judgment when this country has faced dire enemies. His scars from the Vietnam War lasted too long and have gone too deep to believe that he has clearly overcome the syndrome that fears American power rather than understands how to wield it for good.
The problem I have with this whole "lesser risk" line of thought is that it is a lie. His own words hammer and eviscerate Kerry for a lackadaisal resume.
If he truly thought that he was picking the lesser of two risks then why limit himself to two risks. In the entire article his lack of any third party candidates shows he has either not considered all the risks, or this is his way of voting against Bush without seeming to be part of the herd mentality that is so prevalent. Having read the platforms of other third party candidates I can honestly say they would be a fresh breath of air, and a lesser risk.
So his words seem less an endorsement, then a self justification for his actions when in the election booth.
So when I finished his article about whom he wants in office I was disappointed that he does not even see the forest for all of the trees.

Wednesday, October 27, 2004

Download Fahrenheit 9/11

This movie has become a lightning rod for the left and right in this country. Only problem is that a lot of people would like to see it without putting a single shekel in that fat bastards Moore's pockets.

Well as luck would have it the movie, with his blessing, is now online. I have no interest in watching it or hearing it, but some of you might.
Michael Moore has made several Public Statements that web sites should pirate his movie. He cares more about getting rid of Bush than making money. He says he has already made plenty of money on it and he wants people like me to spread it around. So I'm relying on his statements as a grant to spread it around.
He has several formats for you to download and watch.

Enjoy.

Tuesday, October 26, 2004

The raid took place last fall, pre-dawn, and it lasted three hours.

She made no threats and committed no crimes, but the simple act of researching a subject in the library had her end up being visited by the men in black vests with deadly firearms.

Ashcroft likes to say that the patriot act laws that effect libraries will not be used for fishing expeditions and such. I say bull.

This story, Writers Are Terrorists, is just a symptom of a larger disease.

[End the War on Freedom]
This is just to delicious to not talk about.

It started with a story of a giant ass pile of explosives missing in the middle of a conflict. Not just pounds missing but tons, hundreds of tons. This was big, and not in the physically big department but the politically big department.

Well as jackals run in packs the other newspapers picked up the story, and with little to no real fact checking, went into a feeding frenzy worthy of any national geographic wildlife documentary. For days they put it on the front page with titles worthy of the best yellow journalism out there.

Campaigns battle over missing explosives
Kerry hits Bush over missing explosives
Kerry aims for explosives as Dubya 'blunder'(I LIKE THE DUBYA WORDING- MAKES THEM SOUND SO UNBIASED)
Kerry demands answers about missing explosives
Kerry says missing explosives are one of "great blunders" of Bush administration
Missing explosives leave Bush red-faced
IAEA Tells Security Council of Missing Explosives in Iraq
Kerry: Bush Won't Own Up to Bad Decisions

But a small problem. Reality set in and the real news started to get out. The explosives were not there when our guys first took the place.
Ooops is not a big enough word for the pie on their faces, but will they back off. Now they are into the whole "you should have gotten there faster" meme.

But if what Drudge is reporting CBS has taken another big blow to its unbiased claim.
News of missing explosives in Iraq -- first reported in April 2003 -- was being resurrected for a 60 MINUTES election eve broadcast designed to knock the Bush administration into a crises mode.

Jeff Fager, executive producer of the Sunday edition of 60 MINUTES, said in a statement that "our plan was to run the story on October 31, but it became clear that it wouldn't hold..."
..........................

The LA TIMES claims: The source on the story first went to 60 MINUTES but also expressed interest in working with the NY TIMES... "The tip was received last Wednesday."

CBSNEWS' plan to unleash the story just 24 hours before election day had one senior Bush official outraged.
I want to see how CBS explains itself out of this mess if it is true. Doing a story like this right before the election is done for only one result. The destruction of a campaign. CBS needs to file themselves as a political action committee fast for tax purposes.

Monday, October 25, 2004

New push for good laws in England

The News Telegraph has started a campaign for common sense self defense laws in Great Britain. I applaud this action as it is long over due.
The Sunday Telegraph today launches a campaign for the law to be changed to give householders the right to use whatever force is necessary against intruders.
Our initiative follows last week's fatal stabbing of Robert Symons, a schoolteacher, who disturbed a burglar at his family home in Chiswick, west London.
It is backed by Mr Symons' mother, Amyra, who said yesterday: "I agree with your campaign totally. The law must be changed." Victims of crime, MPs and victims' charities are also supporting the campaign.
Now while this is news worthy one item in this article made the point that there needs to be change.
They noted several cases of horrifying attacks.
"The chap had a knife and so I was entitled to have a go at him. I think, in law, if he's got a knife, I think I'm entitled to kill him, but I don't know what the law is in detail.
"It is a funny thing to try and manage with the law because your reaction in those situations is immediate - you don't stop and think: 'Gosh, what does it say in the book about this?'.
"I'm an ex-Royal Marine so my reaction was quite active and wholly motivated by self preservation. I would certainly have tried to finish him off if I had something in my hand at the time, but that is a reaction, an instinct. Whether it is legal or not I don't know."
...................................
"The law just isn't strong enough. The robbers aren't frightened of the law, they act as if they can do whatever they want to do. You should not be prosecuted for injuring an intruder."
..................................
"No longer is an Englishman's home his castle. We are denied the right to defend ourselves and our family, and the law must be changed."
.................................
The present law stands justice on its head," the man said. "If you can't defend your home, what can you do? Both times I have woken and heard burglars in the house, I have felt angry and afraid but have had to leave them to it.
"The definition of 'reasonable force' should be broader. The burglar should expect anything. A change in the law would, undoubtedly, have an effect on our decision to go or stay."
..................................
"I didn't know what to do or what I should do. To be honest, I'm still not sure where the law stands. Now I keep a rounders bat and a crowbar by the front door. If something like this happens again I will use them, regardless of the consequences. Because of this, I support your campaign."
..................................
Yesterday, he greeted the news of the campaign enthusiastically. "This is good," he said. "What goes on now is a disgrace.
"Nobody is going to do to me what those people did, ever again."
One common thread is most of their cases is a fear of the law. Yes they fear the criminals, but the law also worries them. Also with the fear is a confusion about the law. What does 'reasonable force' mean? This is the point that makes their case that change is needed badly
The law permits the use of "reasonable force" as a method of self-defence against intruders. What "reasonable force" constitutes, however, is difficult to define, leaving vulnerable people unsure of what force they can use to protect themselves and their homes. The Home Office, admitted to this newspaper last week: "There is no definition of what is 'reasonable force'."
No definition. You can be charged with assault if it is not "reasonable", but what the hell that means is not even understood by the government.

The people live in fear, in the countryside the farmers are far from the police, and disarmed. They live in a society where the simple act, and to me it is a simple act, is complicated by law and possible imprisonment by the ones who say they want to protect you. When the law has reached this level of interference with your right to protect your family then the law is bad. Plain and simple.

Does this have a snowballs chance in hell of succeeding? Not really The system in Great Britain is all encompassing. It is the schools you go to, it is the doctors that treat you, it is the unions you belong to, and it is the only ones to go to for change. The system likes its controls and will not give it up without a fight. The use of lethal force rests legally in the hands of the government, and illegally in the hands of the criminals, the rest of the people are screwed.

Sunday, October 24, 2004

Maybe it's the water

A simple story. A guy comes home and finds burglars robbing his place, he shoots one and then things get a little strange.
The man who shot and killed a would-be thief in his yard will not face murder charges after a Gloucester County grand jury voted against indicting him.
Neighbors had protested when Robert J. Clark Jr. was first charged with murder after slaying a man who was trying to steal his all-terrain vehicle from a backyard shed.
......................................
Authorities initially charged Clark with murder, aggravated assault and a weapons offense after he killed William Hamilton April 26. The grand jury voted against indicting Clark on those charges or any others, including lesser offenses such as manslaughter.
Sounds good. Robbers meet home owner, home owner has firearm, bad guy is shot, grand jury tells him to go home.
But wait! When the government does not get the charges they want they get upset.
After the shooting, prosecutor Sean F. Dalton defended the charges, saying that New Jersey state law does not allow the use of deadly force to protect property. That's still his argument.
Spokesman Bernie Weisenfeld said prosecutors are considering all their options on where to continue, including presenting the case to a second grand jury.

Thats right, when at first you don't succeed, try, try again. A grand jury is there for many reasons, one is stop the action the prosecution wants to do here,
Now is what the NJCourtsonline.com says about a grand jury
The primary function of the grand jury is to determine whether there is a prima facie (Latin meaning at first glance) case leading the grand jury to believe that a crime was committed and that the accused committed the crime.
So at first glance they say "NO CHARGES". But not good enough for the state, New Jersey has some of the harshest gun laws in all of the anti-gun states.
In short, the grand jury serves as a screening mechanism to protect citizens ftom having to respond to unfounded charges

Just like what is happening here. The prosecutors have the legal duty to back off. I have no doubt in my mind they will not. NJ is like many other states with harsh gun laws. They will try their best to charge him with something. It is politically advantageous to do it.
The grand jury is there to not only decide if charges are needed, but to protect us from the state when it is out of control.

Self defense in New Jersey is odd.
"... The use of force upon or toward another person is justifiable when the actor reasonably believes that such force is immediately necessary for the purpose of protecting himself against the unlawful force by such other person on the present occasion."
As it was 2-1 odds I would say he had a right to be worried. But looking up self defense in New Jersey I also found this.
In addition, one can under limited instances use force in the protection of others (NJSA 2C:35-5). Limited force under certain instances is also afforded in the criminal code for the defense of personal property (NJSA 2C:3-6C).
"Limited instances"??. What a screwed up place. So if you see someone being attacked you need to call immediately the New Jersey bar association to see if this is one of those "limited instances" and if the weapon you have is not on the restricted list..
Vigilantism is the one extreme of gun usage, the other extreme is the legal handcuffs that the people in NJ and other states live under. Both are wrong.
Happy birthday to you
Happy birthday to you
Happy birthday dear Universe.
Happy birthday to you


Sorry I'm two days late but I still love you.

Friday, October 22, 2004

Well off to the Hospital

Nothing major, more like a sleep center. I am going to have a sleep study done on myself in preperation for some surgery in the future. To make sure I will not gasp and die on the table I need to sleep while some scantily clad Sweedish nurses bulky slavic looking nurses with mustaches watch me.

So I will not be posting until tomorrow. Have fun.

UPDATE:
Spent an almost sleepless night on a hard bed. Since I was only asleep for about 1 1/2 hours at the longest stretch I will likely have to go back and do it again but with a sleeping pill. So a sore back and a return date was all I got. Nurse said I did have apnea but the insurance needs 2 hours of sleep to make them happy.

The nurses were nice and had no mustaches, but none were Swedish damn'it.
Rocky Top Brigade update



Well the RTB is sure growing and we have a rather diverse group joining.

Nathan at Holding Down the Fort is a Tennessee native, and President of the Shooting Club at UT. What a great combination.

Cube at Sandcastles and Cubicles is a Memphis blogger, But I will not hold the Memphis part against them. But he does think that Jack Daniels should go back to the higher proof so he is ok in my book.

John at Somewhere Near Marker XIV is a UT grad student here in Knoxville. With this comment in his profile

Unlike a dog, how can a turtle ever be naked?
hmmm....well if you have
a big enough hammer....
I just like the heck out of him for that statement.

William at You'll Always Find a Fifth is (best I can tell) from Knoxville and right now is on his way to North Dakota to pheasant hunt.).

Austin at Mocephus blogs out of Johnson City.

Jim at Opinion Times is a former Tennessean blogging out of Arizona, who writes "I’ve got a Big Orange T on my Ford Pickup and I believe you chose the best Field Load for your club." Good enough for me. He has been blogging since Dec. 2003 so is old in blog circles.

Clark at the Clark Stooksbury blog is a Knoxville native and freelance writer.

Dan at Library Monk is another South Knox blogger who writes about library science, information technology and other things.

Philip at Soulfish Stew is a new blogger out of Smithville Tennessee.

Nathan at MooreThoughts.com is a Nashville attorney who blogs about "Conservatism, Freedom, Capitalism - A Continuing Celebration of Virtue"

Ned at Land Surveying Weblog blogs about, well, land surveying and other property issues. Believe it or not a rather good blog with good stories. A blog on typewriters helped in the Dan Rather lynching so maybe one day land surveying will bring down someone.

You know him, you love him, and some of you love to hate him -- he's Lobbygow at Dope on the Slope, a former Knoxvillian blogging from the rooftops of Brooklyn NYC and the world renowned creator of Thursday Invertebrate Blogging.

And last but certainly not least, Meanderthal is a new group blog manned by an intellectual SWAT team of writers, including Lobbygow, Julie, er, Hildegard von Auer, Robert Loest, some guy who calls himself Gypsyfrocksbedlam (a suspected fugitive from a certain local alt-weekly believed to be on the lam in NYC), and none other than CAFKIA, a/k/a Reydog, a/k/a ne'er do well biker-philosopher-warrior-poet and man-about-town Dupree. With a tag team of troublemakers like that you know it's got to be good. Just like that! (P.S. It's worth taking a stroll through their archives.)

Carolina Yankee Bob at Bob Stepno's Other Journalism Weblog. Dr. Bob recently relocated from Boston to Knoxville to teach at the U.T. School of Journalism and Electronic Media.

The Tribe One blogzine Restore Knoxville (designed by Doug McDaniel) where you can learn about the people and the neighborhoods and the history of Knoxville.

So hello to all the new people in the RTB as they join us in the fight for truth, justice, and a good single malt Scotch whiskey for around $20.

Thursday, October 21, 2004

Is MTV supporting terrorism?

A young Collinsville Illinois student is in trouble for threatening other students. Now how this will end up is still far in the future, but what she is being charged with has raised a few questions for me.
A Collinsville High School student accused of making what police believe was a false threat Oct. 7 to shoot fellow students has been charged under the state terrorism statute.

A 15-year-old girl, whose identity was being withheld by authorities, was charged as a juvenile Monday with making a false terrorist threat, said Collinsville Police Maj. Ed Delmore.
.............
"At this time, the information we have received was she did this as a joke," Delmore said. "But it is not something we would ever take as a joke. Those days are long gone."
So this young girl ran her mouth, and who hasn't in this world, and is in trouble. No problems on my side until I see that it is a charge related to the new terrorism act.
In 2002, the Illinois General Assembly strengthened state laws against terrorist acts, citing the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. According to the new law, "terrorist act" is defined in part as "any act that is intended to cause or create a risk and does cause or create a risk of death or great bodily harm to one or more persons.
Now I understand that this is just part of the law, but it seems so wide open that a lot of stupid "Jackass" type of stunts could even be called "terrorism".
Half or more of what they do is open to the view that it creates a risk for great bodily harm. If a community gets its knickers in a bind and wants to shut down an MTV production will they simply arrest everyone? "Create a risk" is open to a lot of interpretations and expect the government to use the version that gives them the most power.
I see it becoming a vogue issue to use terrorism as the base for any argument that the government uses to get their way.

Wednesday, October 20, 2004

Teresa Heinz Kerry has a bad day
Blog translation in progress

Teresa Heinz Kerry gave a nice interview and I have put it through the ACME blog translation device(BTD). Lets see what she said.
"Well, you know, I don't know Laura Bush. But she seems to be calm, and she has a sparkle in her eye, which is good,"
BTD-She's has a pulse, for now.
"But I don't know that she's ever had a real job — I mean, since she's been grown up. So her experience and her validation comes from important things, but different things."
BTD-Since she stayed at home she is a fat assed nothing who knows only her about her soap operas.

Now realizing this might have insulted most of the stay at home moms in the United States she released a statement. Lets see how that translates
"I had forgotten that Mrs. Bush had worked as a school teacher and librarian, and there couldn't be a more important job than teaching our children.
BTD-Kiss up, kiss up, kiss up. Stay on the NEA and Unions good side.
As someone who has been both a full time mom and full time in workforce, I know we all have valuable experiences that shape who we are.
BTD-Well that's what the Au Pair said in her weekly reports to me on my kids.
I appreciate and honor Mrs. Bush's service to the country as First Lady, and am sincerely sorry I had not remembered her important work in the past
BTD-No more tequila shooters before interviews. Damn you RedRocker's Reposado.

Tuesday, October 19, 2004

Very bad timing

The whole country, well the red part at least, is sitting back and laughing at the Democrats proxies workers, the NAACP, paying people with crack to get registrations.

So when I saw this picture I realized what bad timing is truly like.



An unidentified volunteer hands out pill boxes with the Kerry-Edwards logo on them before a rally for Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry, Monday, Oct. 18, 2004 at the Century Village retirement community in West Palm Beach, Fla.
Now I understand that they are hitting up a crowd of older retired people who may need a new pill caddy. But what other messages could this be delivering?
Vote democrat and you will need extra bottles for all the crack we will hand out.
or
This is a badly times handout for your votes.(crack not included outside of Toledo)
I am thinking they are getting desperate.

I am not sure what is really going on behind the scenes, but the actions of both parties seem more desperate, and humorous at the same time.
Bad hair day?

This is running all around the net but I still want to post on it.
Politicians by nature should realize that cameras, even ones that are on their side, could be running at all times. History is replete with open mikes and cameras where you least expect them to be.

Who is the latest victim of a camera? Our own John Edwards. He seems to be having a bad hair day. Now I do not read more into his primping and fussing then there is, but it is a good cheap laugh.

Monday, October 18, 2004

Who to believe?

WorldNetDaily is crowing that the AOL straw poll is back after missing for two weeks and with good reason. It is showing a major Bush victory.
After a mysterious two-week absence, America Online has restored its straw poll electoral map, which continues to show President Bush holding a commanding lead in the race for the White House.
The interactive survey, which allows AOL users to cast one vote each month for a presidential candidate, vanished at the start of October, leaving many suspicious as to the cause of its disappearance.

How does it look now?



Looks like Bush will walk away with a victory, but hold on people. This is an AOL straw poll of AOL users.
This poll is cleared at the beginning of every month to allow members to cast a vote based on their current opinion. The Straw Poll was last reset Oct. 1.
Since straw polls are very inaccurate how does other polls look that have a broader base of sampling?



Ouch. This does not look good at all. This poll image is stolen from the side of Wasted Electrons who links to electoral-vote.com, a site that builds its own map that is not as Bush friendly.



Now this is the map I think is slightly more correct. They use a large sampling of polls to create a more accurate map in my opinion.

If anything the maps here show how confusing, and how nasty election day and the days right after will be. With Kerry sending out a thousand lawyers to prepare for battle this may be an election for the history books.
Knowledge is power
and is some places a crime


We just finished banned book week and this story relates to it in a nice way. Heck, this story is what banned book week was all about.
DO-IT-yourself guides to making guns have been given the green light by a Brisbane court.

But Australian Customs has appealed the decision and wants the man who imported them prosecuted.

The Sunshine Coast man was cleared of breaking the law when he imported the books and videos from the United States detailing how to construct the homemade firearms.

A Brisbane magistrate ruled that the books fell outside of Customs regulations.

Customs officers in Sydney intercepted a package addressed to Graham Carman's Beerwah home in December 2001.

Inside was a video Home Weaponry Workshop – a guide to constructing your own guns, and a series of books, Home Workshop Guns For Defence and Resistance, for handguns and automatic rifles.
.................................
The Act prohibits the import of publications that promote, incite or instruct in matters of crime or violence.
so it is not the book that is the crime, but what is in it. Australia is a socialist nation when it comes to its government relationship to the people. They have outlawed so many items that it is close to impossible not to be breaking the law when you defend yourself with an item. Handguns, rifles, and most firearms in general have been outright banned. Swords, cudgels, and in some areas bows and arrows have been banned and limited severely.

So has this achieved the level of peace and happiness that they desire? No. Crime is on the upswing and hooligans run loose.

So they have outlawed even the knowledge of illegal acts. A simplistic idea that does not take into account the amount of information that can be sent through the net, or carried on a small CD-R. Knowledge knows borders and attempts to control it have always failed.

Something to note from the article is that if he had a record of criminal acts it would have lead off the story. But since it did not, this is simply the malicious prosecution of another innocent guy who wants to know what the government doesn't want him to.

So for now he won this battle in the courts, but the government is a vengeful creature and will gets its pound of flesh one way or the other.

Sunday, October 17, 2004

Blogging notice

Blogging will be a little lighter then normal. I was invited, and have agreed to guest blog for a week at Stop the Bleating!. This is one of the first blogs I ever started to read regularly and was happy to get the invitation.

It seems it will be myself and several others guest blogging there on and off for the next 4 weeks or so. Drop by and say "Hi" and meet a new group of people.
When does vigilance become paranoia?

Your home is your castle is a tried and true belief of our country. Probably one of the most fundamental ideas that we have. Protecting that house means vigilance, but where is the line between vigilance and full blown paranoid delusions?

The duty of our government, in theory, is to be the vigilant one. To stand guard at the border and beyond so we can sleep safe in our castle. But on 911 2001 we experienced a shock that has pushed the government into a delusional state in my opinion. Now they see movement in every shadow, and even our own people are suspect. While I could rant about the Patriot act or any one of the numerous laws that have been created to fight this enemy I will point to one small glimmer of sanity that has been growing in the courts, one ruling at a time.

The latest glimmer is in 11th circuit court of appeals over a case of metal detectors and ones who did not want to go through them
Authorities began using the metal detectors at the annual School of the Americas protest after the terrorist attacks, but the court found that practice to be unconstitutional.

"We cannot simply suspend or restrict civil liberties until the War of Terror is over, because the War on Terror is unlikely ever to be truly over," Judge Gerald Tjoflat wrote for the three-member court. "September 11, 2001, already a day of immeasurable tragedy, cannot be the day liberty perished in this country."

City officials in Columbus, Georgia, contended the searches were needed because of the elevated risk of terrorism, but the court threw out that argument, saying it would "eviscerate the Fourth Amendment."

This is the glimmer I speak of. The courts are striking down some of the wilder laws and regulations more and more and I am starting to have hope. Maybe the nation is suffering through a post traumatic stress disorder and only now are we seeing what we have become and not liking it.

While the government huddles behind barriers afraid of the unseen enemy we need to get on with our lives. It is hard to when your travel is limited, your computer usage is tracked, and even your home loan is studied because of the patriot act.

We live in a time that may be a turning point in our nations path on this world. The people, you and I, are realizing that we have to move forward, the government is in the way. Their actions seem to think we are the enemies. I hope this court ruling is a sign of future victories against the insanity that Washington is plagued with.

Friday, October 15, 2004

John Stewart meets Crossfire

With the total failing of the media this election I just listened to what I consider one of the best interviews ever of the media talking heads.

We have the main newspapers taking sides, yet claiming a non-partisan position that only they believe. We have Dan Rather going over board to try to hurt the president, with fake and misleading stories. So seeing them on the defensive this one time was rather delightful.

John Stewart was invited onto Crossfire and he, in his own straight forward way, gave them a proper chastising. Hell It probably should be called a WWE slapdown. They might have brought him on to mock him, but he gave them tit for tat and, to put it plainly, embarrassed them with logic.
"Please stop hurting America" was the best line in the interview that he delivered. "partisan hacks" was also nice.

Now this has 56k, and 200k feeds, but it is worth the time to listen to it.
Bohemian Rhapsody

A pretty bad Flash animation that is good, in its badness.
Kerry verses Bush while singing the Bohemian Rhapsody.

Thursday, October 14, 2004

Fighting a beast UK style

In what can best be called blind obedience to the lost cause that an unarmed society is a peaceful society the police in Stockport England has given advice that can only be called stupid and idiotic.
A man, described as a "SERIAL sex beast" is attacking women and everyone is living in terror. The police have called up reinforcements and doing what they can but knowing that the police cannot be everywhere they offer advice to the possible victims of the "beast"
Police are advising women that if attacked reasonable force can be used in self-defence, including keys or hairspray,
Keys and Hairspray




Just reading that upsets me. He calls that reasonable force. Bullshit people. They will not stop him, and most likely will just piss him off more so the victim will be beaten even harder. This is the ultimate stupidity in an unarmed society.

He follows up with this line
but weapons should not be carried and they are urging joggers not to use personal stereos but to carry attack alarms.
No weapons? Of course, sheep are not allowed weapons. I figure a 200 lb beast verses a 130 lb tired female jogger the odds are that she needs a weapon and a darn good one.




The article mentioned that he had a knife in each of the cases they talked about. Now answer this honestly. Would you go to a knife fight with hairspray?

Mace, electric stun gun, keys, even hairspray(spit) will not stop an attacker. A handgun may not, but the odds are better that it will. Get one, learn how to carry and use it properly, and survive if the occasion ever warrants its use.

It is physically impossible to rape a .380 automatic people. Think about it.
Set up or good cover story?

The story about the offensive flyer that I posted about below just got a little more interesting. Craig Fitzhugh is coming out with both barrels blazing with a story of possible entrapment.
Fitzhugh insists the fliers were dropped off at the office by an unknown person and promptly thrown into a trash can outside the office by the two volunteers on duty that day.

Someone later came by and asked about the flier and was told they had been tossed in the trash. That second person then got one out of the trash and threatened to call the local newspaper, according to Fitzhugh's account.

"I had absolutely nothing to do with it at all," Fitzhugh said. "I'll do whatever I can to counter this, but it's hard to undo something you haven't done."
If this is true then he is the victim of a nice little set up.

But the other side of the election there seems to have a slightly different story
Dahl said a candidate should "be responsible for anything that appears in your headquarters," and that Fitzhugh had given varying accounts of the history of the flier.

"They gave it out to more than one person, as far as we know," Dahl said. "There is one person who brought it to the GOP headquarters."
..................
The Traditional Values Coalition issued a statement Wednesday denouncing the flier, saying that Fitzhugh "has been distributing" it out of his office.

Contacted in Washington, Andrea Lafferty, the coalition's executive director, said her group "had conversations with individuals in Ripley, one who went in there (the campaign office) and got it."
Now I will admit that the ONE "mystery" witness is a nice protection against cross examining. No real details and little proof outside of one flyer seemingly collected by ONE person just like Fitzhugh said. So unless the witnesses come forth, and they have no connection to the republican campaign I will say this sounds more and more like a set up.

Now what is interesting is that my wife said she saw the exact image a few days ago on ebay. What that means is unknown.

This image is more then the dirty politics that have become the norm this election. Make fun of Rich people, cowboys, ketchup, and waffles all you want, I don't care. But there is a line and the image is over it.

Wednesday, October 13, 2004

Politics in Tennessee just got dumb

Politics can be a hot subject and people do some real dumb things, but this is so extreme(SEE NOTE BELOW) that even I am amazed at its bigoted nature
Craig Fitzhugh, a state rep. here is Tennessee has been giving out the below flyers for a couple of weeks.



Now before you ask if maybe someone else had given them out read this.
Dyersburg, TN- Today, Republican nominee for State House District 82, Dave Dahl, denounced a flyer distributed by Democrat State Representative Craig Fitzhugh that attacks Bush voters and mocks those who are mentally challenged (flyer included). “Hard-ball politics is one thing and everyone expects tough battles, but using those who are born with mental disabilities for political fodder is disgusting,” said Dave Dahl on Monday from his campaign office in Dyersburg.

The flyers have been distributed for at least 2 weeks from State Representative Craig Fitzhugh’s campaign office on the town square in downtown Ripley, which also serves as the Kerry-Edwards campaign headquarters. Dahl said, “At first I really did not believe that Fitzhugh and the Democrats would stoop to such gutter politics, but then people started bringing the flyer to me at the end of last week. I was shocked and disgusted.”
From his campaign office. Makes me proud to be a Tennessean. Politics can be mean and dumb and a lot of things are done in the name of politics, but I would have trouble seeing how anyone could justify this handout, or what it portrays.
Being a politician he says the standard drivel
State Representative Craig Fitzhugh says he's motivated to seek re-election by his determination to better represent his constituents.
I wonder if they feel like this is how they want to be represented to the rest of the country? I hope not.

So give Craig a call and say hi! He will love to hear from all of you,
District Address
135 South Alpine Street
Ripley, TN 38063
Phone (731) 772-8978

Nashville Address
33 Legislative Plaza
Nashville, TN 37243-0182
Phone (615) 741-2134
Fax (615) 741-7041
Staff Contact: Eunice Golden

Internet E-Mail Address
rep.craig.fitzhugh@legislature.state.tn.us

[Clayton Cramer]

NOTE
I am not sure if the Tennessee GOP site is backing off the story or what but the page this image was on is now gone. I have found an alternate page with the orginal claims, but the image box is empty. Glad I copied it for you.
Asking the wrong question in the Netherlands

They seem to be having a supply problem in the Netherlands. The governments supply of marijuana is growing and they can not sell it fast enough.
There's a whiff of crisis in the air at the Dutch Health Ministry: It's sitting on a pile of pot that it just can't sell.

The Netherlands rolled out a program last year that allows patients to buy prescription marijuana at any pharmacy. Some medical insurance policies cover at least part of the cost, but often not enough to offset the pharmacy price.

In a country where any adult can walk into a "coffee shop" and smoke a joint for much less than the government price, many say the experiment is a bust.
Now before you start feeling bad for their governments problem understand that they caused the problem.
The government says packaging and distribution push up its prices, and acknowledges its program may be foundering. Of some 450 pounds in anticipated sales, only about 175 pounds have been sold, said Bas Kuik, spokesman for the Office of Medicinal Cannabis, an arm of the Dutch Ministry of Health.

The government sells two varieties ranging from about $10 to $12 a gram - enough for up to four joints. Coffee shops sell it for as little as $5 a gram, with only the highest-quality weed fetching prices comparable to the government's.
So how bad can you feel for a group that cannot understand that people will buy the same stuff, without a prescription, and probably better quality, cheaper then what they can supply?

I will admit I have wanted to go their one day and visit a "coffee" shop for the purpose of relaxation. I see the war on drugs as a total failure and it turning into a monolithic war on us. Some states, like the Netherlands, have liberalized certain drug laws. I openly applaud their efforts, but they are still blind to what a true free market is. They cannot compete with suppliers on the street.
"Why is it that a legal commodity is more expensive than an illegal commodity?"
Good question but bad wording. Look at it this way.
"Why is it that a government controlled and heavily regulated commodity is more expensive than an free market, unregulated illegal commodity delivered by people who want to make a profit and keep customers?"
Maybe if they start asking the right questions they will get the right answers. But I'm not going to hold my breath waiting.
You better watch your back Sinclair

In what is becoming a sign of the political games being played out in this circus we call a presidential election there are now open threats being made.
"Listen - they better look out there at Sinclair Broadcasting. ... They've stirred up a lot of hatred. ... I think they're going to regret doing this. They better hope we don't win."
Seems Sinclair decided to show a documentary about the Vietnam war protestors and their connections to the Democratic party. All legal and above board. But the Kerry campaign(as in campaign of intimidation) came out vocally against it claiming a fight wing conspiracy. With all this anti-film furor even more stations now are seeking to show it.
But why show it now?
Hyman said that Sinclair's decision to air the documentary was driven in part by a desire to pick up the slack from other broadcast networks, which have increasingly shunned news coverage in favor of entertainment programming.
So the big three would Rather make up news and show fluff then get their hands dirty.

So the Kerry campaign reacts with less then a gentlemanly attitude. Some would say this is simply another nail in the coffin of his election attempt.
What is two tons and upsets people?

A rock. A rock that delivers a message and will, most likely, be the center of several lawsuits to make him remove it.



Controversial gun shop owner Don Davis has moved into a new neighborhood. There’s no question which house is his.

It's big and bold, but some neighbors don't think it's beautiful. A four-by-eight-foot, two-ton monument sits in the middle of Davis' front lawn, complete with a light to illuminate its message at night. The monument features the American Eagle and an inscription of the Second Amendment.

Don Davis doesn't care what people think. He's the man some call eccentric and most consider controversial. He's the owner of Don's Guns.
When my wife and I purchased the house we lived in while in Kansas I had three requirements. The first was NO neighborhood association that had any control over what I did to my house. This guy seems to not care. He moves into a neighborhood with such a group and then breaks the rules.

Should speech be limited? No. But I kind of have less sympathy for him then most would. He knew where he was moving, and the limits. You don't like the limits, don't live there.
So I hope he wins the ability to keep it, but he knew before hand there would be trouble.
"All I can say is the hillbilly is here" he laughed.
So this may end up being just more bad PR for the second amendment.
AMERICANS WITH NO ABILITIES ACT PASSES CONGRESS WASHINGTON, DC

Congress approved sweeping legislation, which provides new benefits for many Americans. The Americans With No Abilities Act (AWNAA), signed into law by President John Kerry shortly after its passage, is being hailed as a major victory by advocates of the millions of Americans who lack any real skills or ambition. "Roughly 50 percent of Americans do not possess the Competence and drive necessary to carve out a meaningful role for themselves in society," said Kerry, a longtime AWNA supporter.

"This is why many of them voted for me. We can no longer stand by and allow People of Inability to be ridiculed and passed over. With this legislation, employers will no longer be able to grant special favors to a small group of workers, simply because they do a better job, or have some idea of what they are doing,".

Under the Americans With No Abilities Act, more than 25 million "middle man" positions will be created, with important-sounding titles but little real responsibility, thus providing an illusory sense of purpose and performance. Private sector industries with good records of nondiscrimination against the Inept include retail sales, which makes up 72% of workers with no abilities.

President Kerry has also set an example, personally selecting hundreds of Nonabled people for top government positions, including many cabinet-level jobs.

Mandatory non-performance-based raises and promotions will be given, to guarantee upward mobility for even the most unremarkable employees. The legislation provides substantial tax breaks to corporations which maintain a significant level of Persons of Inability in top positions, and gives a tax credit to small and medium businesses that agree to hire one clueless worker for every two talented hires.

Finally, the AWNAA contains tough new measures to make it more difficult to discriminate against the Nonabled, banning discriminatory interview questions such as "Do you have any goals for the future?" or "Do you have any skills or experience which relate to this job?" and "Are you awake?"

"As a Nonabled person, I can't be expected to keep up with people who have something going for them," said Mary Lou Gertz, who lost her position as a lug-nut twister at an automobile plant in Michigan due to her lack of notable job skills. "This new law should really help people like me."

With the passage of this bill, Gertz and millions of other untalented citizens can finally see a light at the end of the tunnel, said Kerry, "It is our duty as lawmakers to provide each and every American citizen, regardless of his or her adequacy, with some sort of space to take up in this great nation."

In an email from my mom
Gagging free speech?

The web has started to make an influence out of proportion to its size and that scares the ones in power.
Just a while ago they re-regulated free speech political speech. Creating the 207 groups that have had such a large effect this year they now have come to regret it. Bush and Kerry can agree that they do not like the political wild cards out there. A lot of other groups do like these wild cards.

But a recent court ruling that the FCC must control some political speech online has had strange reply from the government
A recent federal court ruling says the FEC must extend some of the nation's new campaign finance and spending limits to political activity on the Internet.

Long reluctant to step into online political activity, the agency is considering whether to appeal.
You read it right. The FCC does not want to get into this field and will appeal. I had to read that line several times to fully enjoy it.

Now what this control involves is up in the air. Will it effect Bloggers? John of Argghhh!!! just had his regular Wictory Wednesday, a group working against Kerry and for Bush. Will one day he have to register himself and report on his activity? Will we be forced not to talk for, or against, a candidate during the 30 days right before an election?

So here is the smuck that started the court case in the first place.
Fred Wertheimer, president of the campaign watchdog group Democracy 21 and member of the legal team that successfully sued to overturn that and several other FEC rules interpreting the law, said campaign finance laws should apply to the Internet because substantial amounts of money are being spent on online at election time.

The laws may not always apply to the Internet as they would to other venues, Wertheimer said, "but by the same token the Internet cannot become a major avenue for evading and circumventing campaign finance laws on the grounds that people just want the Internet free from regulation of any kind."
Democracy 21 is a strange group. Here's why
Democracy 21, and its education arm, Democracy 21 Education Fund, work to eliminate the undue influence of big money in American politics and to ensure the integrity and fairness of government decisions and elections. The organization promotes campaign finance reform and other political reforms to accomplish these goals.

Founded by Fred Wertheimer in 1997, Democracy 21's efforts have been recognized by The Wall Street Journal which observed that Wertheimer is "perhaps the capital's longest-toiling advocate of reducing the role of money in politics" and by Washington Post columnist E. J. Dionne, who has described Wertheimer as "the eminence grise of the campaign reform movement."
So they want to fight the big money forces and the ones who have learned how to make big money for a campaign. Dean really was good in this field and showed how the internet could be used. He probably redefined internet campaign tactics for years to come. So with this groups effort to "reducing the role of money in politics" I find a bit of humor on their webpage.
Democracy 21 and Democracy 21 Education Fund are supported by contributions from individuals and from a number of foundations, including The Pew Charitable Trusts, Carnegie Corporation of New York, The Joyce Foundation and Open Society Institute.
Yep. They want to fight big money and they take big money from giant power groups to fight it. Maybe it should read "old money groups fighting new money groups to keep their piece of the pie". That sound better.

Groups like this should realize that they are pawns. Yes pawns. With this court ruling the government will once again regulate something that was free. The word regulate and free should never be used together in any situation. Speech does not win, old power players do.

Tuesday, October 12, 2004

Eye spy a real bad law

Washington just passed an anti-spyware bill that is a major step in the fight against malicious programs. The vote had one lone dissenter. Ron Paul of Texas. I called his office to see why he would vote against such a popular bill. What does he have against protecting our computers.

They called back today. I talked to his aid and he enlightened me on why.
When asked why his statement of "it's not the role of the federal government to deal with this problem" rang true. He told me that the internet had grown pretty good on its own and that this was not the federal governments job. The states have many consumer fraud protection laws that deal with this and the issue would rest at the state level.

As someone who feels that the balance between the federal government and the state government has been out of balance to the regret of all for way to long I agreed with him.
The closest thing in the constitution that they can warp to get this power is this
Section 8
Clause 3: To regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several States, and with the Indian Tribes;

Since commerce and spyware/adware is partially connected they could try to use this, but outside of Washington most would not see the connection.

So the latest law by California against Spyware, while laughed at by many, is the most correct according to the separation of powers between the states and the federal government.

The aid did say this.
"lets keep the federal government out of the internet"
Starting to like Ron Paul more and more people

Now the law has some strange wordage that confuses me a little.
(a) Preemption of State Law-

(1) PREEMPTION OF SPYWARE LAWS- This Act supersedes any provision of a statute, regulation, or rule of a State or political subdivision of a State that expressly regulates--

(A) deceptive conduct with respect to computers similar to that described in section 2(a);

(B) the transmission or execution of a computer program similar to that described in section 3; or

(C) the use of computer software that displays advertising content based on the Web pages accessed using a computer.
So this looks like they just destroyed the protection laws of all other states. So once again the federal government draws all the powers it can into its den. Just f'ing great. So who thinks this will be anything but a true circle jerk when it becomes time for them to do anything?

But here is the real kick in the groin.
No person other than the Attorney General of a State may bring a civil action under the law of any State if such action is premised in whole or in part upon the defendant violating any provision of this Act.
So if you do get shafted by spyware this section looks like only the government can sue. Lets see how much you get after their cut.

So a bad law that looked good has been passed. All the power now rests in Washington, the ones who never return my calls or emails, and the only ones who can sue are the government.

To damn lazy

I'm a solid firearms enthusiast. I can't afford to be a proper gun nut, but I can hope. The news is filled with a solid effort to ...