Thursday, March 31, 2005

"It's all pluses, no minuses,"

The city of Chicago, a bastion of individual liberties and rights protection, feels it is in need of big brother microphones in their police cars. Not just microphones in the back seat to record all of those evil doers. These are real big brother instruments.
Picardi said he's even experimenting with a Big Brother bonus for unmarked police cars: a tiny microphone positioned near the windshield so powerful it can pick up conversations on the street.

"You could pull into a street corner and, if there's a drug deal going on a half-block away, you can hear what's going on. You could have all the windows shut and the air-conditioning on and you could hear everything going on outside the vehicle," Picardi said.
Now you and I can see the multitude of ways they could be abused. Even the ACLU has started to grumble about them.

So what words do they use to defend themselves from the outcry over the microphones.
It's all pluses, no minuses," State Police spokesman Lincoln Hampton said
Now this story about the new technology in these mic's may not be as great if I had not read this story from New York and their use of technology in the fight against crime.
CBS 2 has obtained a videotape that the New York City police department doesn’t want you to see. It shows cops on surveillance just before last year’s Republican Convention in Manhattan.

But it is what they were checking out that is a little disturbing.

August 27, 2004, just before the Republican National convention a police helicopter hovers over the East Village covering the critical mass ecological protest supporting more bicycle use. Hundreds are arrested. The police helicopter is equipped with an infra red camera which records images by how much heat is given off, thereby enabling police literally to see in complete darkness.

The police dutifully survey the area, but then they focus on a couple in a passionate embrace kissing and fondling each other on a roof top terrace.

The police infra scope stays on the scene for a while and then pulls away, but then it comes back a second time to watch the couple and then a third time.

However, it must be said that the couple is in complete darkness only an infrared thermal detecting camera could see this scene. The police scope then comes back to follow the woman and the warm footprints of her bare feet.
I am sure that Chicago and New York, being the nice little police states that they are, will find that the abuses that WILL occur can be labeled simple aberrations in their minds and not worthy of stopping their drive to control the masses in a big brother fashion.

How did the New York police respond to this high tech, on the clock, voyeurism?
After mulling over its response for 24 hours and all CBS 2 got out of police headquarters was a no comment.
The police have lost the desire to answer to the people. Unless there is a riot, or lawsuit they lose, they answer to the powers that be. Screw you and me.
"If it weren't for those meddling kids and their darn dog blog, I would have gotten away with it!"

I wonder how many politicians and government officials say that to themselves whenever one of their actions is exposed by the non main line media (blogs). Used to be that most government could do what they wanted and get away with it, as long as you were friends with the local editor or newspaper owner. But today one slip of the tongue, or a misplaced word, and everyone knows about it. The days of one hand washing another seems to be gone.

I find a certain visceral pleasure whenever a story is widely broadcast and an official backs down. The one I like the most is when the Green bay police started to finger print for speeding tickets. The MLM did not jump on the story enough but with the bloggers pushing it they realized how bad they looked. So they quit doing it with this statement.
“The news media blew it out of proportion,” he said Tuesday evening.
So where is our scooby snack? The MLM media likes to look at us with the view that we are mettlesome amateurs. I have to say I like being a mettlesome amateur.

Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Linky love

My wife and I had some fun this weekend and did a project together just to see the results.

Here is a tease to get you to go to her blog and check it out.
Lube me up baby

I was not sure when the desire to scream first arose. when I read the article the first time, or when I realized that these people are in charge of our children for much of everyday.
Montgomery County schools require a doctor's note for children to use sunscreen. Howard County requires a note from parents, and the lotion must be stored in the nurse's office. Anne Arundel students, by contrast, may carry and apply sunscreen with impunity.

A bill pending in the Maryland legislature, however, would require school health officers to make sure students are allowed to wear sunscreen when they go outdoors on sunny days, a right that is not universally recognized in schools, according to cancer prevention advocates.
.................
Four school systems require a doctor's order for students to apply sunscreen. Eleven require at least a parent's note. Eight systems require students to leave the product with the school health officer. Rules can vary from school to school within each system.
.................
"We wouldn't want them to be sharing them with other kids who might have a hypersensitivity," said Donna Heller, health services manager for Howard County schools. "Even with hand and body lotions, we require a note from the parents."

Montgomery County schools treat sunscreen as an over-the-counter medicine. A student must bring in a doctor's note to apply it, and only older students are allowed to carry it with them at school.

"If you had a very young kid, and they put it in their eyes, it could hurt them," said Judith Covich, Montgomery's director of health and student services.
I am struck wordless over the nanny mentality here.

Fear for our children.
My castle is mine, and their castle is theirs

One of the debates in the 2nd amendment area is the ability to possess a firearm while at work, or in your vehicle while at work. For most it is a cut and dry belief and they're right and you're wrong.

Only problem is that I think they are looking at the issue with tunnel vision.

When any issue arises we need to look at it from more then the second amendment viewpoint. For me I have to say that a basic belief called private property is as important in this debate as the second amendment.

My house is my castle and because of this I have many rights here. I can tell you not to smoke, I can tell you not to put your feet on the coffee table, and I can tell you to just get the hell out of my house if I want. Why? To put it bluntly because it is mine and not yours. The old "I am the king of my castle" rule applies. I make the rules.

Now a business should have the same rights. They should have the same right to tell you not to smoke, or even not to have a firearm. You may not like it, but it's their land, building, and place of employment. I agree it is your vehicle, but it is your vehicle on their land. They win.

Now you have the right to walk out and get a job elsewhere, you have the right to take your business to another company, you even have the right to say they are total asses. But for me, you do not have the right in their castle to believe that your rights trump their rights of property.

As a Mormon I would never go into a persons house and demand that they not have coffee for breakfast because I am against it, or even to take the opposite extreme and demand they have fish for dinner Friday if I were Catholic. The simple fact is that they make the rules for their house, their business, and their life.

If you don't like it then leave. But do not get so self absorbed that you feel your rights wins over their rights. That's the basic beliefs that has pushed the gun grabbing community for to long. They believe their rights are more important then yours. A group of people I do not want to be related to in any way.

Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Secure flight - Not that secure, or honest.

The government has just released its GOA report(PDF) on Secure flight and it is not good. The program and our privacy.
"This review, mandated by Congress, effectively stops the launch of Secure Flight," Sparapani said. "Of the 10 areas that Congress asked the GAO to evaluate, the TSA has only addressed one. Because so little progress has been made, the GAO cannot certify the program and TSA cannot launch Secure Flight."

TSA was expected to launch Secure Flight in August. However, the GAO report shows that this program is behind schedule, that its core components - such as the ability to match airline data against watch lists and the reliability of those watch lists - remain uncertain, its privacy impact cannot be determined, and that its ultimate financial cost has not been calculated.

The GAO noted that TSA has not addressed the identity theft problem, which as the American Civil Liberties Union has repeatedly pointed out would render the whole program a meaningless Maginot Line.
The report, as all good government reports, goes out of its way to not be to harsh and even candy coat the issues.
The report starts by saying this
"TSA is making progress in addressing each of the key areas of congressional interest...."
In another words they are moving, maybe in circles, but there is movement. For a government clone even a circle is good.

Then when it address each of the 10 areas congress wanted addressed their status is listed as
"underway"
Not failed or even screwed up. Just "underway".

Since they 10 issues were address in Public law dated Oct 18 2004 you would think they would bend over backwards to look good for the ones who control the budget. Maybe the TSA just doesn't care what others think. In this age all you have to do is yell terror and you can do anything you want. Civil rights be damned.

How far do I trust the TSA?
Just Friday, the TSA’s own inspector general reported that the agency had deceived the public about its role in gathering the personal data of around 12 million air travelers to test Secure Flight. That finding only further proves that the agency is not capable of protecting and respecting privacy. That report found that the public, the media -- even Congress which has oversight of the TSA -- were all kept in the dark about this gross abuse of government power.
I think that shows you how far you and I should trust them.

UPDATE
More here and here
Another database on the horizon

It seems the government can not find anything that it does not feel should be tracked by large databases. Databases filled with information that it gathers under force of law.
A proposal by the Education Department would force every college and university in America to report all their students' Social Security numbers and other information about each individual -- including credits earned, degree plan, race and ethnicity, and grants and loans received -- to a national databank. The government will record every student, regardless of whether he or she receives federal aid, in the databank.

The government's plan is to track students individually and in full detail as they complete their post-secondary education. The threat to our students' privacy is of grave concern, and the government has not satisfactorily explained why it wants to collect individual information.
Now maybe on the surface this may not be open to abuse. But can you honestly tell me that you would trust your government with such information about your life? Somehow there always seems to be backdoors to things when the government plans them.
Researchers at the Education Department say this mammoth project would give them better information on graduation rates and what students pay for college.
Since there are already many methods to gether this type of information I have to say their clams, on the surface, do not hold water.

Saturday, March 26, 2005

Conducting funeral today

Last Monday my FIL passed away and today I get to conduct the funeral. while it is mainly introducing the people who will speak and the ones giving the opening and closing prayers it is still going to be stressful for me.

Jay passed away at home instead of some impersonnal hospital. While there was no one main illness involved there were many smaller ones complicated by old age.
James Baxter HAYNES JR.
Rutherford

March 21, 2005
Of Smyrna, TN, passed away Monday, March 21, 2005 at his home. He was preceded in death by his parents, James Baxter Haynes, Sr. and Virginia O. Apple. He is survived by his wife, Ruth Noretta Kane-Haynes; four step-daughters, Kathleen, Patricia, Elizabeth and Martha; one step-son, Michael; sister, Millie Cass of Reno, NV; two brothers, Tom Haynes of Houston, TX, Jimmy Haynes of Woodland, CA; and 16 grandchildren. He was a member of the Fraternal Order of the Moose for many years and an employee of NEC, Inc. of Nashville for 24 years until his retirement in 1997. He will be missed. Celebration of life will be conducted at 3 p.m. Saturday, March 26, 2005 at Woodlawn Funeral Home. Visitation Saturday, 1-3 p.m., at WOODLAWN FUNERAL HOME, 660 Thompson Lane, (615) 383-4754; A Dignity Memorial Provider.
I really do not like funerals. In a year and a half span I went to three as a youth, father, grandfather, and my favorite Aunt, and have disliked funerals them since.

Friday, March 25, 2005

This is not good in my view

After the GOA report about the people on a government watch list LEGALLY buying firearms the gun grabbers have started using the terrorist chant as much as Bush has, and the FBI seems to like it.
FBI Director Robert Mueller is forming a study group to review the law that let suspected terrorists buy guns in the United States after they cleared background checks.

Mueller unveiled his plan to form the Justice Department working group, which will include the FBI, in a letter sent Wednesday to Sen. Frank Lautenberg, D-N.J. The group will also review the government report issued earlier this month that said more than 40 terror suspects were able to buy firearms in the United States last year because background checks showed they had no felony convictions and weren't illegal immigrants.
So here we have a government official saying that they will form a committee, the most ineffectual form of anything, to study an issue that involve our basic rights?

My fear is that this will be used as a back door to pass more draconian laws involving firearms and watch lists. Brady must be laughing her rear off.
Democracy is not freedom

If you were raised in a country how far would your loyalty to your country go? If the country you grew to love and find hope in falls from your grace how would you protest? Simply put, if the country you are a citizen to does things immoral and down right evil then do you owe it loyalty past that point?

People like to us the term Democracy, freedom, and the United States interchangeably. The only problem is that one can exist without the other. Just look around the corner people.

Freedom is not the United States of America. America is the physical manifestation of the idea of freedom.
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. --That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, --That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness
To insure these rights the government is established to help defend them. Simply put we have our freedoms and our rights, the government is there to help us keep them.

Now democracy is not a freedom. It is an act that we enjoy because we are free. But as each coin has two sides democracy can lead to the loss of freedom. So at best democracy is a tenuous balance between freedom and the tyrancy of the masses. I never liked that term "tyrancy of the masses", mainly because it was over used by the democrats during elections they lost. But for one time it is bitterly true.

During the McCarthy period and the infamous blacklists we lived under a patriotic tyrancy. Your need to declare your loyalty to a nation and not the ideals the nation was founded upon. Loyalty oaths, to me, are the most offensive sign of a disfunctional society. They were prevalent during the cold war and today their bastard offspring are raising their heads in some subtle forms.
Voters in Estes Park, Colo., removed town trustee David Habecker from office Tuesday in a recall election that hinged on his refusal to recite the Pledge of Allegiance at town meetings.
Mr. Habecker, who lost by a vote of 903-605, said he is considering whether to pursue further legal action to overturn the recall outcome, arguing that the voters had infringed upon his First Amendment rights. A 12-year trustee and self-described agnostic, Mr. Habecker refused to stand for the Pledge because he objects to the words "under God," which he described as unconstitutional and "un-American."
"It was a conscientious objection on my part. To take a loyalty oath before the meeting starts -- that's not American," Mr. Habecker said. "This country was founded on religious tolerance. This wasn't religious tolerance."
His opponents, who organized as the Estes Park Citizens for Responsive Government last fall to push the recall, said the trustee's anti-Pledge stance showed that he was out of touch with his constituents.
So the new McCarthy'ites have struck again. Here they do not see a man who objects to a religious line that was put in during the McCarthy period so the elected representatives in Washington could show their true blue god fearing loyalty. They see a man who must be a vile sort of evil and just anti-American. I bet he even steals candy from babies the bastard.

Now I am not objecting to the election. If fools want to vote for all the wrong reasons then let the idiots vote. If they feel he is not one to represent them then vote vote vote. But what is this saying about them. The article, and others on the subject, never mention anything but the pledge issue. No other issues were brought up. No financial scams, no sex out of marriage, no pork barreling. Just one issue. The pledge.

So here we have a prime example of why democracy does not mean freedom. Freedom is the ability to say, feel, and act on principle. It is when you are punished that freedom is gone, and something more sinister takes its place.

While I do not like to use the term Nazi because it has become the most fashionable term to label any right wing individual who supports Bush I have a quote from an earlier post that fits this one so nicely.
The new Nazis are Mommies in Minivans. I don't know exactly how they got this way, but there are a lot of them, and they seem to be everywhere.
So for the near future every politicians should realize that their every action will be judged not just for what it is on the surface, but what it says about your loyalty to the United States.

Thursday, March 24, 2005

I think he asks a fine question

I was directed to eternity road a few days ago and had to sit on this post because he asks a question that is not easy to answer.
Why? Why should the State, which institution has more bloodshed to its credit in a single century than private parties have amassed down all the ages of Man, have the power to decree some men and some weapons licit while others are not? How can the State, which ceaselessly strives to increase its power over the individual, justify forbidding the individual to arm himself against both State excesses and private predations? And how can anyone who understands the immense danger the State poses to human well-being bless its usurpation of this all-important privilege?
My belief is that the state should stay the heck out of the gun control business. There is nothing good to ever come from state sponsored gun control and limitations.

There has been a flurry of reports during the last year about gun control laws and their effects on crime. They all say, even the one initiated by gun grabbing Clinton himself, that they have NO real effect on the desire to lower the crime rate. Regretfully they do not look to see if large overbearing gun control laws at the state or federal level help raise crime. That is an area they do not want to ever tread on.

How much should we trust the state? Not far.
Well at least they now admit they do not give a damn.

The police live in a wonder world where they can enforce tax collecting to pay for their salary, yet by law do not have to do their job.
Lasnik quoted case laws that "a state's failure to protect an individual from private violence, even in the face of grave danger," doesn't violate constitutional rights.
But now they are openly voicing their utter contempt for the unwashed(anyone not a cop) masses.
A state trooper was suspended for 15 days without pay after he was recorded on a 911 tape saying "too bad" to a caller seeking help for a man injured in a motorcycle accident.

State police said the dismissive answer by Trooper Robert Peasley did not affect the response time to the accident involving Justin Sawyer, 21, who died of a severe head injury a week after the crash last August. Peasley was suspended on Monday.

Russell Shepard, a friend of Sawyer's, called 911, which was routed to the state police barracks in Montville. When he reported the accident, Peasley said, "Yeah ... too bad," and hung up, according to a tape obtained by WTNH-TV.

Shepard said he was shocked, believing he reached a wrong number.

Another friend made a second call. "Yeah," the officer responded. "Help will get there. Shouldn't be playing games ."
The police like to chant the theme that if faced by a criminal you should retreat and call the police. They forgot to mention that you should hope to get a cop in a good mood or you're screwed.

It should be noted that revolvers are never sarcastic and will not claim they have no duty under the constitution to protect you. Just my .02$.
The more corrupt the state, the more numerous the laws. — Tacitus (A.D. 55?-130?)

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Good read.

I have almost lost hope for the political parties to come to their senses and realize that they are not our parents. This article says nicely that the republican party has lost it.
In coming years, political historians might look back and try to pinpoint the day or week or month that the Republican Party shed the last vestiges of its small-government philosophy. If and when they do, the week just past should make the short list. For it was in this last week that the Republican-controlled Congress made it clear that it sees no area of American life -- none too trivial and none too intimate -- that the federal government should not permeate with its power.

It can all be summed up in two words: steroids and Schiavo.
Now before I start a nice rant here I want to put a line of separation between the party leadership and the republicans on the street. The leadership is so out in right field they cannot even comprehend that they are wrong. They have built a machine of power and hammer down anything that gets in their way. From political speech to the new TV moral watchers at the FCC. The street republicans have not lost it...yet.

Why has the republican party gone overboard? I feel Clinton was the match that started the right wing fires burning. His womanizing, his shady business deals, and his cow-towing to the Chinese enraged them and drove them over the edge. They cannot go back. To retreat from the actions that are involved in would be a major defeat and the end of the republican party.

Do I have hope for the parties? Not much. But since I feel both of them are corrupt and self serving then I will not be disappointed when they do. I just don't want the country pulled down the drain when the two parties in power collapse.

The only ones that can save the parties are people with common sense and the ability to think. Like these people.
Republicans in the Colorado Senate have stalled - at least temporarily - the effort to ban smoking in public places statewide.

Senate Minority Leader Mark Hillman of Burlington said all 17 Republican senators are opposing the bill because it infringes on personal freedom and property rights.

"I don't smoke, and I think it's disgusting," Hillman said. "But I'm sick and tired of all these nannies running around telling people what to do."
Republican or democrat, there are still some people who use their brain while in office. I just wish there were more.
Beating your child

There is a trend occurring across the country to rename schools because they have been titled with a persons name that is un-PC. Normally because either they were a slave holder or sometimes simply white.
Parents, students and teachers at Berkeley's Thomas Jefferson Elementary School will soon vote on whether to rename their school because the nation's third president was a slave owner.

The question of whether to rename the school has been debated for more than two years -- since several teachers, including an African American mother of three former Jefferson students, said Jefferson's moniker offended them and suggested a name change.
.................
Jefferson Elementary School is not the first to go through such a process. In 1999, Columbus Elementary School in West Berkeley was rebuilt after it was found to be seismically unsafe, and it was renamed Rosa Parks Elementary School - but only after intense debate about whether Cesar Chavez was a better alternative.

Also, James Garfield Middle School was renamed after Martin Luther King Jr. in 1968 and Abraham Lincoln Elementary School was renamed for Malcolm X in the 1970s.
Abraham Lincoln?!?!?! WTF. I thought he would have been ok on the list of PC people.

For me it is simple. They say that these people are bad because they had slaves, said things people do not like, or one of a thousand other slights.

When this nation was founded it was founded on the idea of freedom. I wish the government still believed that, but that is for another post. They sat down and wrote a document that was simply brilliant. It was a first step in achieving freedom for all. They did not sit down and come to the realization that all are free and that everyone should vote. What they did was take the first stumbling steps in a long process of learning about rights and freedoms.

The ideas of liberty did not occur in full bloom. What happened was the first step. The basic idea of freedom. It was followed by strife and even civil wars to learn that all are free. No matter the race, sex, or national origin we had to learn the full meaning of freedom.

So what they are doing by foolish acts like this, in my view, is beating a child. They are implying that since they did not go from being subjects of England to full universal freedom then they must be punished. Just like beating a child because he did not go from sitting and drooling to running in one simple step. The extreme ignorance of the process of freedom shows no bounds here people.

I almost have given up hope on this country people. We curse the founders of this nation for the simple fact that they were not all knowing and righteous. The schools and society have taught us to hate the ones who took the first steps towards freedom. How screwed up is that.

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Coalition of the "unwilling to give up our rights"

It would easy to dismiss the people who rant about the patriot act as the result of to many black helicopter theories or not enough lithium. The only problem with that logic is that the coalition of people who are finally starting to see the patriot act as a crime against every right is growing and gaining voices.
BELLEVUE, Wash., March 21 /U.S. Newswire/ -- The Second Amendment Foundation (SAF) today endorsed efforts by Patriots to Restore Checks and Balances -- a coalition of organizations and interests that includes the ACLU, tax reformers, medical privacy proponents and gun rights activists -- to have certain sections of the Patriot Act reviewed. The coalition is meeting Tuesday in Washington, D.C.
............................
"As it stands," Gottlieb continued, "the Patriot Act also permits the government to seize certain personal records from third parties, whether they are doctors, attorneys or even the neighborhood librarian, and they could not even tell you about it. Whatever happened to the concept of attorney-client privilege or doctor-patient privacy? Many people are concerned that such authority might threaten our Fourth Amendment rights.

"Because another section of the Patriot Act also could also ultimately be abused to stifle legitimate protest by various organizations, there are definitely First Amendment issues that should be addressed," Gottlieb added.

"While these issues do not directly relate to the right of individual citizens under the Second Amendment to keep and bear arms," he observed, "a threat to any civil right is a threat to all of them. While there can be little doubt that the authors of the Patriot Act had the best of intentions, sometimes it is true that good intentions are the stuff from which the road to Hell has been paved.
We now see the patriot act being used for fighting gang members, idiots with pointers, and casinos. They swore on their mothers grave that they would limit the patriot act to only fight terrorism. Even then some people tried to call the government on such a statement.

So is the patriot act bad? I do not think bad, but it is a worst case example of a knee jerk reaction to the 9/11 terror attack.

"Never let a problem become an excuse."

They have used the 9/11 crime as the problem for the infringement of a lot of liberties. The patriot act should die and government officials who abuse it, and that is a growing number, should be prosecuted.

Monday, March 21, 2005

McCain Feingold Insurrection

With the blog world up in arms at the possibility that the FEC may try to put controls on us I find this piece of satire worthy of note.

Beware It's . . . Felonious Mom!
The saddest epitaph which can be carved in memory of a vanished liberty is that it was lost because its possessors failed to stretch forth a saving hand while yet there was time. — JUSTICE GEORGE SUTHERLAND (1938)

Saturday, March 19, 2005

Jump through the hoops now!!

Karl Wagenfuehr started to notice that the Port Authority has put up signs forbidding the use of cameras. So he took photos of the signs. He wrote this at BoingBoing.
When I first saw the slick signage at the Holland Tunnel, I was very sad. They have since added these "No Photo" signs on the GW and the Lincoln tunnel, and every time I see them, I feel a mixture of anger and helplessness and sadness. Soon enough, you just get used to it, and begin to forget that it ever was any different. "Why would you ever have wanted to take pictures inside a tunnel anyway, Grampa?"
He says more so go and read it. It is rather depressing.

He posted the photos here for all to enjoy, and hopefully to thumb his nose at this latest over reacting to the terror spectre.

One photo, this one, had a line that mentioned you could not take a photo or even draw an image without permission. So I hunted down the rules about photography and what is needed to take a picture on the PATH rail system.

This is a lot of stuff so I will end this post with the hoops they have put in the way. This is the rules to take one photo.
IX. Photography and similar activity.

A. The taking or making of photographs of any portion of the PATH system is prohibited except as provided herein.

B. The taking or making of films, video recordings, and drawings or other visual depictions are subject to the same prohibitions, restrictions and procedures as are applicable to photography.

C. Photography which involves any of the following must comply with the requirements of the Extended Photography Policy and Procedures, in addition to these Rules:

1. Exclusive use of any area or any railcar or part of a railcar.

2. Exclusion of members of the public, PATH or Port Authority personnel, or PATH or Port Authority contractors from any area or any railcar or part of a railcar.

3. Use of equipment other than handheld equipment with self-contained power sources.

D. 1. No person may take a photograph of any portion of the PATH system unless he or she is accompanied by a representative of PATH.

2. No photograph shall be taken of any specific location, device or structure if such representative advises that such photography is prohibited because it will create an image which could be used to aid in the planning of an attempt to disable, destroy, avoid or circumvent any operational, safety, security, evacuation or emergency response device, structure or procedure, or which could be used in the planning of an attempt to commit an act of violence or intentionally cause disruption of rail service or public panic within the PATH system or a part thereof. If possible, a suggestion for alternative photography in PATH which would not have such an effect shall be made by the PATH representative.

3. A photographer and all members of his or her party shall follow the directions of such representative made for the purpose of preventing unreasonable interference with PATH operations, maintenance and construction, and to preserve the health and safety of the photographer or others.

4. A photographer may protest any direction made pursuant to paragraph (2) or (3) in the same manner as an appeal from the denial of a permit as set forth herein.

E. No person may take any photograph within PATH unless he or she has been issued a permit therefore by PATH as set forth herein.

1. A permit application shall be submitted in writing no later than thirty-six (36) hours preceding the commencement of the activities for which the permit is sought, and no earlier than seven (7) days preceding the commencement of the activities for which the permit is sought.

2. Permit application shall be submitted in person to the PATH Permit Administrator, or the designee thereof, during the hours of 9:00 AM to 10:30 AM and 1:30 PM to 3:30 PM, Monday through Friday, excluding holidays.

3. The permit application shall set forth the type, time, location and duration of activities to be conducted, and the name, address and telephone number of the person making the request (in the case of a group, it shall be sufficient to supply the name, address, and telephone number of the person who can be contacted if problems arise concerning the granting of the request). If a person making the application indicates an affiliation with an organization or group, the name and address of a local representative of the organization or group to act as a liaison will be requested; however, refusal to provide such information shall not be grounds for denial of a permit.

4. Permits will be granted on a first-come, first serve basis depending on the availability of escorts. An application will be denied in whole or in part only if: (a) the presence of visitors in a requested location would unreasonably interfere with PATH operations, maintenance and construction; (b) if the conduct cannot be performed without creating an image which could be used to aid in the planning of an attempt to disable, destroy, avoid or circumvent any operational, safety, security, evacuation or emergency response device, structure or procedure, or which could be used in the planning of an attempt to commit an act of violence or intentionally cause disruption of rail service or public panic within the PATH system or a part thereof; (c) if the location requested may not be visited safely by persons other than PATH or other operation, construction or maintenance personnel; (d) the application is incomplete; or, (e) the application discloses that the activities to be performed thereunder will violate these Rules.

5. A permit will be issued, or the application denied, by the PATH Permit Administrator or a designee thereof, no later than 5:00 PM of the day following submission of the application, excluding Saturdays, Sundays and holidays recognized by PATH. The reason for the denial of an application or any part thereof shall be set forth in writing.

6. (a) Upon the denial of any application for a permit, or the failure to issue a
permit by 5:00 PM of the day following submission of the application, excluding Saturdays, Sundays and holidays recognized by PATH, the applicant may submit a written appeal to the PATH General Manager, or a designee thereof, setting forth the reasons why the application should be granted.

(b) An appeal shall be submitted in person to the PATH Permit Administrator, or a designee thereof, during the hours of 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM, Monday through Friday, excluding holidays. The PATH Permit Administrator, or the designee thereof, shall cause the appeal to be delivered to the General Manager, or a designee thereof.

7. A written decision denying the appeal, or issuing a permit, shall be made no later than 5:00 PM of the day following submission of the appeal, excluding Saturdays, Sundays and holidays recognized by PATH. If no decision is issued by 5:00 PM of the day following submission of the appeal, excluding Saturdays, Sundays and holidays recognized by PATH, the appeal shall be deemed to be denied on the basis of the original decision denying the application.

8. A decision made in response to an application for a permit or an appeal of a denial of a permit shall not disclose information which could be used to aid in the planning of an attempt to disable, destroy, avoid or circumvent any operational, safety, security, evacuation or emergency response device, structure or procedure, or which could be used in the planning of an attempt to commit an act of violence or intentionally cause disruption of rail service or a public panic within the PATH system or a part thereof.

9. Any person whose application for a permit has been denied may seek review of the final decision denying such application in a proceeding commenced pursuant to Article 78 of the Civil Practice Laws and Rules of the State of New York, or action in lieu of prerogative writ in the courts of the State of New Jersey.

10. The General Manager of PATH, or in his or her absence, the person designated to act in his or her stead for general management purposes, may withdraw or suspend a permit for photography in the event of, and during the pendency of, an emergency condition such as a snowstorm, fire, accident, power failure, transportation carrier schedule interruption, or other condition of such nature and character that the conduct of permitted activities would cause a danger to persons or property during the pendency of such emergency condition.

11. For the purpose of this regulation, “holidays” refers to the days set forth in VII (D) (13) above.
All this for one photo.
Mr. "I'm the only one in this room professional enough, that I know of, to carry this Glock .40" is in the news again"

The news of this story has a quote that will be remembered for a long time. Not for the poetic nature of it but the stupid act that followed such a boast of bravado.

Turns out Mr. Professional is in the news again and not to his liking.
An investigation has been launched to determine who leaked the home video of the undercover DEA agent shooting himself at an event sponsored by the Orlando Minority Youth Golf Association.
................
Experts in the field said that the undercover agent should never have been videotaped because it could put the agent's life at risk, Local 6 News reported.

"It puts a lot of undercover agents in jeopardy if their faces are videotaped," the masked agent told Local 6 News. "His identity is burned. His identity is known as a police officer and its a potential personal safety hazard to himself as well as his family members."
Now this story has an image from the video blurred due to his super secret identity.

Here is what they showed and I also included what a other sites showed when they linked to the video.



So my question is why is he suspended. The article said to investigate who linked the video. But how can someone leak a HOME video they recorded. If he did not want to be recorded he should have said so. Maybe he is suspended because his stupid machismo act endangered every kid in the room. Now that is a good reason to suspend him
From the mouths of fools.

In one city a storage locker manager defended himself and his property from criminals, in another police are about to suffer the reprecusions of the court house shooting. what do they have in common? Comments made by fools to the reporters that show a bias to their own self interest and lack of understanding.
While police said the manager was lawful in defending himself and the property, they do not encourage people to take the law into their own hands.

Lt. Ron Donnelly suggested citizens call the police and be the best possible witness to help the investigation.

We don’t want citizens to be put in harm’s way,” he said.
Harm's way? Well lets see. Whom do criminals like to rob and victimize? Unarmed people or armed cops? It seems he does not understand that we are in harm's way and the need to defend yourself will carry you through harm's way. So this statement is the first fools statement
."It stinks. S-T-I-N-K-S," said Charlotte-Mecklenburg Detective Dave Holland, who co-heads the Charlotte Brotherhood of Police Officers.

Without being able to bring in their guns, he said, the officers in the courtroom would become merely targets.
Without their guns they would be targets the fool says. I guess that puts you at our level when in the courthouse. Unarmed and under threat of jail if you do carry.

So here we have to cops who do not understand that we are in harm's way everyday. Yet when they are about to be put into harm's way by being disarmed he thinks it "S-T-I-N-K-S".

Well "T-O-U-G-H S-H-I-T"
Both the oligarch and Tyrant mistrust the people, and therefore deprive them of arms. — Aristotle

Friday, March 18, 2005

The best reason possible.

I can debate the right to carry concealed that the state has usurped. But this one line says it all.
Lasnik quoted case laws that "a state's failure to protect an individual from private violence, even in the face of grave danger," doesn't violate constitutional rights.
The strange thing is that they take our money in the form of taxes under threat of arrest and jail to provide a service they do not have to deliver.

But we do not have a constitutional right for the state to protect us from street crime in my view. What we do have is a constitutionally protected right to protect ourselves. Regretfully that is the one under threat daily.
"At the end of the day, however, it was not the police, but rather private assailants who inflicted those harms upon them. Although the injuries that occurred on Fat Tuesday are tragic, the state of the law in this circuit and this state simply does not impose liability on the city, the chief of police, and the former mayor in these circumstances."
So with a wash of their hands they walk away and consider the matter closed. Well to put it bluntly they are wrong. They take our money to provide a service and they do not then they, the government, are the criminals.
A bit blood thirsty today

Eugene Volokh had penned something that is raising the ire of a lot of people on their blogs
Something the Iranian Government and I Agree on: I particularly like the involvement of the victims' relatives in the killing of the monster; I think that if he'd killed one of my relatives, I would have wanted to play a role in killing him. Also, though for many instances I would prefer less painful forms of execution, I am especially pleased that the killing — and, yes, I am happy to call it a killing, a perfectly proper term for a perfectly proper act — was a slow throttling, and was preceded by a flogging. The one thing that troubles me (besides the fact that the murderer could only be killed once) is that the accomplice was sentenced to only 15 years in prison, but perhaps there's a good explanation.

I am being perfectly serious, by the way. I like civilization, but some forms of savagery deserve to be met not just with cold, bloodless justice but with the deliberate infliction of pain, with cruel vengeance rather than with supposed humaneness or squeamishness. I think it slights the burning injustice of the murders, and the pain of the families, to react in any other way.
Now I have a lot of libertarian leanings and feel the state should not have the right to take a life.

But....

There always is a but. If you honestly believe that you should be judged by a jury of your peers then they should be the ones, and only ones who decide what your sentence is. Short, long, or even death.

Now why I say that is because the system we have is broken. After the jury passes judgment the family is almost always left out in the cold. The lawyers, state, and the ACLU then heads the party. Sorry but no

If Scum 1 hurt your family then your family should have the right to decide how to hurt him. Blood thirsty? Hell yes. But let me reload the ammo for the firing squad. Let me tie the noose. Let me polish the connections on the chair. Let me get involved in hurting the one that hurt my family and I so much. The family, the secondary victims, should be the true final say on a persons punishment.

I did a fast news search on google and the first news story said this.
Hot tub murder sentence appealed
ic Scotland.co.uk, UK - 56 minutes ago
Lady Smith, a High Court judge, provoked outrage after she sentenced Shaun Alexander to 17 years for the double murder last month. ...
Sorry but my family is worth more then 8 1/2 years each.

But that is socialist heaven Scotland. So I scrolled down to the first American article.
Lingo-Perkins gets life sentence
Jacksonville Daily Progress, TX - 1 hour ago
... was convicted in connection with the March 10, 2000, kidnapping and murder of 18 ... After reading her life sentence - which carries a minimum of 40 years before ...
Again my family members are worth more then 40 years in a health care provided, free education jail paid by my family in the form of taxes.. Hell no!

The final judge should be the family. Not some damn judge with re-election on his mind or a desire to right the wrongs of a nation for past crimes and slights.

Some would say we are above such savagery. Call it savagery. I call it closure.

Thursday, March 17, 2005

Kill the kittens to protect nature

Sounds horrible, but it is for "NATURE". This article has thrown a little light on a subject that I have not read much into, but will now.
Wisconsin is considering allowing residents to shoot feral cats in part because a respected study found that felines kill between 7.8 million and 217 million birds in Wisconsin alone. Data from a Michigan study suggest that some 75 million birds are killed there just in the summer alone.

Estimates for how many birds cats kill in the United States vary almost as widely. The lowest estimates are around 100 million and go up to the 2.5 billion, though the consensus seems to hover around half a billion. What this leaves out, of course, is that many vulnerable bird species are particularly threatened by cats (and, alas, sometimes dogs as well), a non-native predator that often kills small animals for the fun of it.
It does sound horrible to let people kill cats but the numbers they give relate to another issue at hand. DDT.
This raises an important insight into what is really going on here. The objection to DDT and pesticides has a great deal to do with the fear of technology and material "progress." For example, Carson's memory is still invoked regularly by the anti-pesticide movement today. Anti-pesticide activists claim that some 67 million birds die every year from such chemicals. In other words, compounds that make food cheaper and more abundant for everybody kill between 10 and 20 percent of the number of birds killed by cats every year. And yet, environmentalists are terrified of making cats a major issue, because it will split the movement. An official at the World Wildlife Fund calls the cat issue a "third rail" for environmentalists.

Whether DDT was as bad for birds as Carson and her heirs claim is still the subject of great controversy. What is not controversial is that the bans and regulations Carson's work implemented came with real costs. In the Third World, malaria continues to kill millions because Carson-induced DDT phobia. The bias against pesticides produces lower food yields with no proven benefits for human health.
This is the issue at hand. DDT and other pesticides that can do so much good are banned because the ecological nuts scream about the damage, yet the numbers when placed by what common cats do seems to show that GIANT number is not as big as you would think.

How many people die every year from Malaria and starvation that DDT and pesticides could save? The greenies like to talk about our impact on nature, yet they have no problem fighting to protect little "Oscar the cat" and his impact on nature because Kittens are cute and pesticides are made by large corporations, and we know all big business is evil. Right?

Reminds me of when they were first planning Wind powered generators for the Nantucket area and the elite of the liberal class protested this clean power because it would look ugly, mess up their yachting, and may kill birds. In another word they want clean power, just as long as it does not impact their view of nature.

Wednesday, March 16, 2005

The games they play.

In what they are describing as an unfortunate incident three members of the government did not show up for a bill thus killing it.
Tory attempts to introduce a new Bill designed to strengthen protection for householders who tackle intruders have run into the sand after three MPs failed to turn up for a crucial committee hearing.

The blunder by Chris Grayling, Andrew Mitchell and Hugo Swire - seen as deeply embarrassing for the party leader, Michael Howard - means the Householder Protection Bill will have no time to become law before Parliament is dissolved for the expected general election on 5 May.
.......
Paul Goggins, the Home Office minister responsible for the Bill, said: "The Conservatives are all bluster on law and order. Michael Howard is always more interested in one day's headlines than in doing anything positive. His leadership is a mixture of opportunism and incompetence in equal measure
Sorry but I do not buy it for a second. This bill was big news. Headlines talked about it. With crime on the upswing the people wanted it

The fact that they had an "oops" among three members seems to me a way of spreading the blame. Instead of one falling on his sword for the party they have three so the anger will be less for each. This is a simple political trick and they hope the people buy it. The problem is that they likely will.

When will the masses there realize that the government there has no real desire to empower the people. People with power are a threat to the nanny state.
How to rank your clothing

Level 1
Fresh out of the laundry and smelling snuggle fresh

Level 2
Worn a few times time only and still good to go

Level 3
Slight smell so it is now a house shirt, besides it is your odor you're smelling

Level 4
Wife takes shirt from you to wash because even you are offended by the smell now

This can be applied to jeans and shorts also.
It is not the function of our government to keep the citizen from falling into error; it is the function of the citizen to keep the government from falling into error. — Justice Robert H. Jackson

Monday, March 14, 2005

Conflicted here folks

In life everyone makes some small rules for themselves. Some are simple like they will always call their wife if they will be late. Some are political such as never shopping at a store that has a no-concealed sign on their door.

Well this is the crux of my problem. I have a self rule that says I will never buy from a company that advertises by spam or pop-ups.

Sounds simple but I am at an impasse. I was going to sign up for a movies deal such as the ones Netflix or Blockbuster offers. Trouble is that to sign up for one of them I have to break my own rule.

Blockbuster
From Cockeyed.com
I'm frustrated that a legitimate company such as Blockbuster Video would have spam sent out on their behalf.

On January 3rd, 4th, 6th, 9th, 10th, 11th and 13th, of 2005, I've received their offer in my inbox to join their mail order DVD rental service. How many more times are they planning on sending it? A hundred? A thousand? Maybe every time I send it back, they send out a new one.

I've included images of these spam emails on this page.

I don't know anyone who is disappointed or regrets joining Netflix, the leader in online monthly movie rentals. Netflix consistently beats out Blockbuster in critical comparisons.
So this makes them look like someone I do not want to deal with.

Also throw in the fact that their "no-late fee" program is not in a single store in my entire area. They have pushed that on TV and radio. Only problem is that they do not tell you that there does not seem to be as many store participating as they want you to believe.

Netflix
From just a few minutes ago there was this on my screen

So we have netflix advertising on pop-ups. So that puts them on my crap list.

So here I am wanting to subscribe to one of them and knowing that to do so would break a rule. I have heard that Amazon is planning on getting into the business of video rentals. Maybe I should just wait for them to start up.

Any thoughts here people?
"It is for your own good"

Nashville has joined the ranks of other cities who install cameras for safety. In a few years they will join the ranks of cities who find out that they have no real effect on crime but will deny it to the press till the day they die.
Metro police within months will set up a network of surveillance cameras so officers can monitor residents' activities and eavesdrop on conversations in the popular downtown area and other crime hotspots, Police Chief Ronal Serpas said last week.

Police hope that the audio and video captured by the cameras will not only catch criminal acts but deter some from committing crimes, Serpas said.

Such police-monitored surveillance systems have been deployed in other major cities across the country, amid complaints by privacy advocates.

Serpas hopes to sidestep similar criticism by not hiding Metro's cameras. The local cameras will have visible police logos and flashing, blue lights that rotate.
When I first posted about this bad act for PR I pointed out the lack of reality in the whole camera debate.

Memphis has had cameras since 1996. Almost a full decade. This earlier article said this
Memphis – A 12-camera system was installed around the central business district in 1996. Cameras are monitored 24 hours a day at a special station in the Criminal Justice Center. Police officials have said no records have been kept of crimes spotted by the cameras, but there have been only a handful. Criminals quickly learned to steer clear of the areas being watched by the video cameras mounted atop downtown buildings, police said.
So from this view I can tell that no records were kept because recording failure looks bad and that criminals are not dumb enough to do things where the cameras are.

Now the government/police views this as a good reason to buy more cameras.

The fact that they refuse to look at the ultimate in a spy camera society and learn the lessons needed. England has more cameras per person then the entire world. They also have some of the most draconian firearms laws in a democratic nation. Now do they live in a happy place. Well with crime climbing every year and some of the worst numbers out there in almost every crime category I would say not. The problem is that when a government gets an idea in their collective minds it is impossible for them to hear the truth no matter how it is delivered..

These cameras are just another PR stunt that will lower crimes in the small areas they can view. Crime will move elsewhere.

ADDED NOTE:
The court house shooting has a horrible example of the utter uselessness of cameras. In a jail with cameras at every door a man walked out and killed innocent people.
ATLANTA — A surveillance camera captured Brian G. Nichols' surprise attack on a Fulton County sheriff's deputy, but no one in the control center noticed the assault and sent help, said a law enforcement official who viewed the security tape.

The camera, one of more than 40 stationed through the Fulton County courthouse, showed 6-foot-1-inch Nichols overwhelming Deputy Cynthia Hall and escaping with her gun. Hall was escorting Nichols to a holding cell before his rape trial resumed
...................
A video camera, which is supposed to be monitored by two guards in a command post, shows the two arriving in the holding area between two courtrooms, according to a law enforcement official who viewed the tape.

The video shows Hall guiding Nichols, whose hands are still handcuffed behind his back, face-first into one of two open cells.
..................
The muscular, 33-year-old Nichols then lunges at Hall, knocking the petite, 51-year-old woman backward into another cell. Both disappear from camera view.

Because there is no audio recording with the camera, it is unclear whether Nichols shot Hall or caused her severe head injuries by hitting her with his fist and knocking her to the concrete floor.
In a jail, a place covered with cameras and it did not stop this from happening. It simply recorded it. Cameras will not stop crime.
Rocky Top Brigade

The RTB has many new members. Here they are in all their glory

ChristianLibrul at Not In My Bible
Chris at Dr. Johnson's Cat
Elizabeth at Harelip Frog
Dave at American Dissent (returning member)
Jason at The Piho Post
"Franklin" at Tennessee Values Authority
Smelvis at Donkey Top
ML at Mountain Laureate
C.I. at Abused by Illusions
Alice at 10,000 Monkeys and a Camera
Wallym at All About Wallym
Gecko at Open Your Mind
Jeff at Jeff Blogworty
Shawn at Mr. Rocky Top

I would like to say a big hello to everyone of them...Including the one I sleep with.
Daddy knows bets, so shut up!

In Illinois a politician has decided that your body is his to control.
Reacting to an apparently growing fashion fad in Europe, an Illinois House panel on Thursday voted to make it a crime to implant jewelry in someone's eye.

Rep. Kevin Joyce, D-Chicago, told members of the House Judiciary Committee on Criminal Law that thousands of Europeans are on a waiting list to have the cosmetic procedure performed.

"I don't think it should ever be done," he said, citing health and safety concerns.


Now I am sure that I am an adult and have no reason to go ask big daddy government for permission to do something.. The utter gall that this man thinks he has the right to control our body is the ultimate sign that Kant was right in his view of governments.
A Government founded upon the principle of Benevolence towards the people-after the analogy of a father to his children, and therefore called a paternal Government" would be one in which the Subjects would be regarded as children or minors unable to distinguish what is beneficial or injurious to them. These subjects would be thus compelled to act in a merely passive way; and they would be trained to expect solely from the Judgment of the Sovereign and just as he might will it, merely out of his goodness, all that ought to make them happy. Such a Government would be the greatest conceivable Despotism; for it would present a Constitution that would abolish all Liberty in the Subjects and leave them no Rights
Now I will admit that there are some opponents to this bill. Only problem I have with them is their reasons for opposing this bill.
But some lawmakers on the panel questioned the need for Joyce's legislation, House Bill 481. Tattoos and body-piercing are legal, they said.
So since they feel they were so benevolent to us by ALLOWING us to body pierce and tattoo they feel that the kids people should be allowed this privilege. Thanks for nothing you law passing hypocrites.

So would I ever do the eye art? Heck no. But the idea that they want to make it a class4 felony with one to three years in jail is the prime example of why I do not like the government system we have today.

IT'S MY DAMN BODY SO BUG THE HELL OFF GOVERNMENT

Sunday, March 13, 2005

Flying without ID
It can be done, but possibly with a high price.

Brad Barnhill was going to have to take a flight and decided to resist by following their rules..to the letter. That is what pissed them off so much. To my intense enjoyment.
I had to fly out to Kansas to help with the final arrangements for my last grandparent. I decided to challenge the ID requirement with the Gestapo.

I printed a boarding pass thru the website for the airline, so that I did not have to go to the ticket counter. I packed my belongings for travel in one suitcase so that I did not have to check a bag. If you avoid the ticket counter at check-in, then you avoid the one of two places they can ask for ID. They can check at the ticket counter and at the gate.

Because the requirement for ID is in your contract of carriage with the airline, not with the Gestapo. There is no statutory or regulatory requirement for anyone to show photo ID to the TSA. It flat out does not exist.
It may exist, but it they do not seem to want people to know about it. Secrets and all.

What happens when he says no to the rent-a-cops is delightful to read.
When I got to the entry, the person there was not TSA, she was a rental cop. Pretty fuscia jacket and all. Handed her my boarding pass and an FAA flyer from the site. She looked at me and asked for ID. I asked her why. She was dumbfounded. Took her awhile to say, I need to know who you are. Let me introduce myself. I am called Brad. How else can I help you? I need to see your driver's license. Do I need to have a license to drive in order to board an aircraft? I ask. Silence. You have to show me identification. I would be pleased to show you identification as soon as you show me the statutory or regulatory requirement to do so.

So she closed her position by pulling the band across the entry and walked me over to someone more "experienced." Got some dirty looks from folks behind me in line. The new guy was not TSA. Gave him a flyer. Pretty much the same conversation with the new guy. He closed his position and walked me over to the next person. Got a "Thanx a lot buddy." from someone in line. Told him that my essential liberty was more important than his temporary safety.

The next person was older, but just as clueless. Handed her a flyer. Same conversation. She was talking to another much older woman.

Collectively, they had no clue. They discuss whether they should call Metro(police). I asked them what law was I breaking. I told them if they had me arrested that would be a shame, when all they have to do is call over the TSA. They paged the head honcho TSA guy. Took him a little time to get there.
So right after the confusion of one of the herd not following orders their first primal thought is call the police and have this "rebel" arrested. Now this knee jerk act on their part says so much about the separation between the ones with power and the ones without. They feel, and know, they have all the power in the airport. That is the issues that bother me about the entire TSA and homeland security.

The best way to show why I have such anger against TSA goons and their cohorts is this section.
I introduced myself and handed him my boarding pass and a flyer. Do you have ID? he asked. Sure, I said. Are you refusing to show the ID? No, I am not refusing, I am simply asking for your statutory or regulatory authority for me to do so. Without blinking, he walked me to the head of the first class line and asked me to put my stuff on the belt. He told the girl at the metal detector that I was designated as a selectee. I thanked him and he went about his business elsewhere.
There it is in a nut shell. He questioned their right to demand ID and because he questioned them he was titled a selectee.

You might have read my post a few days ago about that word and its relationship to a list that they say does not exist, but everyone else does.
The agency also acknowledges a so-called "selectee" list of those identified for extra scrutiny before boarding.

Melendez described the selectee list as "very dynamic and always changing. It's really not even a list at all."

He said a red flag is triggered when a passenger does something unusual -- buying a ticket with cash, for example, or purchasing a one-way ticket. He maintained that there are no actual names -- such as "David Nelson" -- on the list.
"Something unusual" in this case was to say "no" to the ID request. With him being one phonecall away from being arrested I applaud his cool demeanor and how it ended. I do though worry that he might have ended up on the list that does not exist.

Saturday, March 12, 2005

The Carnival of cordite #4 is up

Drop by as this weeks Carnival as there are several good links worth reading. Mark Wilson, the man who gave his life trying to stop the court house shooter in Texas last week is the subject of the first story.
Dear Federal Government

We want our answers now, or else

Yours,
Montana

Part 1 and 2

In what is becoming a regularly occurring act the Montana government is calling the federal government to the floor and demanding some answers about their actions.
In a letter(pdf) sent to the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) yesterday, Montana Commissioner of Political Practices Gordon Higgins asked ONDCP Deputy Director Scott Burns to provide information as to why ONDCP believes it is exempt from state campaign finance laws.

Higgins' letter was prompted by a complaint filed Feb. 24 by the Marijuana Policy Project (MPP), which had supported I-148, the medical marijuana initiative passed overwhelmingly by voters in November. Burns traveled to Montana on October 6, 2004, to campaign against the measure, but failed to report campaign expenditures as required by Montana law. At a stop in Billings, Burns was quoted by the Associated Press as saying that passage of I-148 would "help our kids get addicted to drugs." The Helena Independent Record headlined its story about Burns' trip, "Drug Czar Stumps Against I-148."

Higgins' letter notes that ONDCP has previously claimed exemption from Nevada's campaign finance laws. It asks Burns for "information about the scope of your responsibilities as Deputy Director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy that may lead you to claim immunity," to be provided in writing by March 23.
Again we find the federal government not following the laws of a state. This time the state is calling their bluff and not only demanding information but giving them a deadline.

His trips were for one reason only. Pushing to stop I-148 from passing. Using the regular scare tactics that politicians are known for he pulled out the old "what about the children" chant.

The main problem with that is I-148 was not a legislative bill. It was a petition based initiative that everyone who wanted to could vote on. Well it seems that when the people talk they said go for it. The initiative passed with a clear consensus.
Yes 275,373 - 62 percent
No 170,129 - 38 percent

Before the vote the drug czar spent a lot of time pushing for this bills demise and now the chickens have come home to roost. Montana wants answers. While the Federal government demands full disclosure on your campaigning under the McCain/Feingold act(spit) they seem a little less forthcoming when they campaign against voters.

One thing to note is that he used federal money to push against this bill. The constitution has something to say about that.
U.S. Constitution
Article I, Section 9
Limitations
Clause 7: No Money shall be drawn from the Treasury, but in Consequence of Appropriations made by Law; and a regular Statement and Account of the Receipts and Expenditures of all public Money shall be published from time to time.
So the drug czar seems to be saying to hell with Montana and the constitution.

My view is that they should press charges, the same type the feds would use against us if we broke finance laws. The federal government needs to be reined in fast.

I will admit that I looked up The Hatch act to see if the drug czar was bound by that law and his office does not seem to be listed. So his actions may, and just may, be legal under the hatch act, but since he used federal money it may be very illegal even at the federal level.

Friday, March 11, 2005

Laugh, and the world laughs with you; weep, and you weep alone
Look real stupid and they write about it for the whole world to mock you.

PART X

With the immortal line "I'm the only one in this room professional enough, that I know of, to carry this Glock .40. I'm the onl--BOOM!" this officer showed that maybe he needed a basic handling skill course again.
Remember the story of the DEA agent in Orlando who accidentally shot himself in April of last year, while teaching a gun safety class? The video appears to have hit the Internet.* It's uncomfortable to watch, but not graphic.

Best line: "I'm the only one in this room professional enough, that I know of, to carry this Glock .40. I'm the onl--BOOM!"

Second-best line: "See how the accidents happen? They can happen!" LINK
While I would say that he handled his ND(negligent discharge) nicely for the kids sake his less then slightly superior attitude adds some spice to the incident.
I understand that this may be an older video just getting out there.

The video can be found here, but be warned that there is a slightly adult banner add at the top of the page so it may not be work safe.

[Stop the Bleating]

Part I, II, III, IV, V, VI, VII VIII IX

Thursday, March 10, 2005

Revenge attack?

If the cat had been nuetered this could be a revenge attack. I would sleep lightly if I were this guy. At least barricade his door at night.
Call me a heartless bastard if you want but I do not buy it

The local paper and many others are full of the sad story of 30 Muslims being fired. Now the reason why is the main issue. The Muslims say they are being discriminated against, and the company is rather quite, but it is implied that the religious requirements of the 30 was effecting their work.
Faced with that difficult decision, Abdi H. Nuur removed his employee badge and walked away last month from his forklift driver's job at Dell Computer's Nashville plant. He and 29 other Somali Muslims say they were forced to choose between their faith and their employment.

Now the Metro Human Relations Commission is trying to intervene in a confrontation that pits American-style production quotas against Islam's requirement that its adherents pray daily when the sun sets.

''They told us that we cannot pray at sunset,'' Nuur said. ''They told us that we would have to wait for our break.''
Now at first you may ask why the company is being such a hard-case. Good question but I would like you to understand my point of view and why I call foul.

I am a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of latter-day Saints(LDS). As many religions I have certain things that I cannot do. Most are part of what is called the Word of Wisdom. It has many sections but the one most people know about is the one saying that we, as members, should not drink hot drink. That has been interpreted to be coffee and tea.

Now I ask you honestly. Would it be proper for me to get a job as a coffee taster or some other such nonsense then demand my boss allow me to keep the job? I also cannot smoke. Should I get a job at a place, Then complain and demand everyone else quit smoking because I am religiously offended? I guess what I am trying to get at is that they should have informed the company of this limitation on the work habits before they took the job?

So I sorry they are now without a job, but a company is there to make a product and money. Shutting down a production line or leaving an open space does not work. The company, as harsh as this sounds, is not there to bend over backwards for you the employee. They are there to make money.

The article mentioned that another company has gone out of their way to accommodate the Muslim employees there.
In 2001, Tyson Corp. opened a processing plant in Goodlettsville, where it packages meats for the region's grocery stores.

The plant's human resources director said the plant has two Muslim prayer areas. The company also posts the daily prayer times and accommodates the workers by rotating them off the production lines every evening when the sun goes down.
That is great and all but can this accommodating go to far? I think it is less that company not liking Muslims then it is the company getting tired of bending over for every group out there with their own lists of demands and requirements.

It should be noted that they were not employed by the company but by a staffing agency.
But that arrangement apparently came to an abrupt halt in February, with the firing of 30 workers. They were employed by Spherion, a labor agency that provides workers for Dell's Nashville operations, according to David Perez, the compliance officer for the Metro Human Relations Commission.
So since they were paying this staffing agency for workers who would work they have all the right in the world to ask for another staff that will work the line.

You may now call me a heartless bastard at your leisure.

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

New word for the day. "Selectee"

I was reading the latest GOA report titled "Gun Control and terrorism. FBI could better manage firearm related background checks involving terrorist watch list records"(PDF) . Simply put it was a report about why people the government does not like, and have committed no crimes are being allowed to have the same rights as other Americans, even though they are on "evil person" lists. The report lays the entire blame on the FBI for the most part, but reading in I found a new word.

Table 1, titled "Watch lists maintained by Federal agencies", is the standard list and nothing really new on most of them. The state department has a TIPOFF list described as
"in November 2003, the Terrorist Threat Integration center assumed responsibility for the function of the Department of state's TIPOFF counterterrorism program. The Terrorist Threat Integration center was created in Jan 2003 to merge and analyze terror-related information collected domestically and abroad in order to form the most comprehensive possible threat picture."
Standard look busy board.

But I can across a list I had not heard of. Under the section for Homeland security(spit spit) they listed two lists the TSA had. One was the much heard about no-fly list. Vilified across the country this list is always in the news. The second list was one that surprised me. Titled simply "Selectee list" I will admit I had not heard that name before.

A google search later I had the information. This list is for people they worry about. It is that simple.
The agency also acknowledges a so-called "selectee" list of those identified for extra scrutiny before boarding.

Melendez described the selectee list as "very dynamic and always changing. It's really not even a list at all."

He said a red flag is triggered when a passenger does something unusual -- buying a ticket with cash, for example, or purchasing a one-way ticket. He maintained that there are no actual names -- such as "David Nelson" -- on the list.

That contradicts the description law enforcement sources have given of selectee lists that contain reams of names tagged for extra questioning.

It also defies the TSA's own private descriptions. According to memos obtained under the Freedom of Information Act by the Washington, D.C., nonprofit group the Electronic Privacy Information Center, the TSA itself describes the selectee register as "the list of persons whom air carriers are required to 'select' for additional security screening prior to boarding."

The agency redacted a passage describing problems that have cropped up due to that list and its solutions for fixing them.

"If it was known and obvious how people are selected for added security, an attacker would seek to circumvent those protections by any means," Kennedy said. But, he added, while he understands the need for some secrecy, he said it is starting to erode public confidence in the TSA.

An even bigger problem is getting off the list.

The selectee list, according to security officials, often offers little identifying information other than a first and last name -- making it nearly impossible for Southern California's David Nelsons and the potentially thousands of others nationwide to convince airlines they are not the alleged bad guy
. "Really not a list at all" is the words from Transportation Security Administration spokesman Nico Melendez. Only problem is that GOA(Government accountability office) and other law enforcement agencies disagree with him.

So while the no fly list reminds me of the famous McCarthy black lists I guess the best way to describe the selectee list is "McCarthy lite"

Tuesday, March 08, 2005

Privacy has become a horrible joke.

The Department of homeland security has announced the appointment of twenty members to the Data Privacy and Integrity Advisory Committee. Now you would think they would pick people who would make you feel they were actually going to do something to protect your privacy. Lets just say that they have stumbled right out of the box with this pick.
The Department of Homeland Security has named Claria, an adware maker that online publishers once dubbed a "parasite," to a federal privacy advisory board.

An executive from Claria, formerly called Gator, will be one of 20 members of the committee, the department said Wednesday.
...............
In the past, Claria's pop-up ad software has riled some users who claimed it was annoying, installed without permission, and not easy to delete. Publishers also were irked about pop-up ads for a rival's product appearing next to their own Web sites. Catalog retailer L.L. Bean sued Gator for alleged trademark infringement.
I suffered through Claria once. You might know it as Gator. Whether you call it a virus, adware, or spyware it installs itself. No matter what they say they are scum.

So here we have a whore in the nunnery and it does not look good. Just another reason to mock and belittle the Department of homeland security. "Homeland security". Two words they obviously have no idea what it means.

Now who is this pillar of the community?
D. Reed Freeman, Jr., Chief Privacy Officer at Claria, Arlington, VA. Mr. Freeman, a Certified Information Privacy Professional, works on privacy issues with emerging technology at a small business. Previously, he was a member of Collier Shannon Scott, PLLC, and a staff attorney at the Federal Trade Commission. Mr. Freeman is serving a 4-year term.
He does have good credentials but the fact that after laying with pigs you end up smelling like them. So I have to say this is a blow against this committee.
Mr. Freeman is active in numerous professional organizations, including the International Association of Privacy Professionals and the Consumer Protection Committee of the American Bar Association's Section of Antitrust Law. He has been an Adjunct Professor of advertising and privacy law since 2000, and has authored dozens of articles on privacy law. He also co-authored the CCH Advertising Law Guide, a two-volume treatise, which was released in 2000, and is the editor of the International Association of Privacy Professionals' Daily Dashboard, a privacy and information security law newsletter distributed to over 1,000 recipients. Mr. Freeman holds a Juris Doctor degree from the University of Virginia School of Law.
Now some might say that to beat a criminal you need a criminal. This guy may know how unscrupulous companies act, he may understand how to take advantage of people so he can offer important information to this board. But in reality it show that this board will be just another PR stunt and its main job will be to insure our privacy while leaving open doors for the government to spy on us. The board is there to find loopholes for the government.

This is more circus in the increasing "bread and circues" society we live in.

Saturday, March 05, 2005

Another free firearm- If you win

Not sure how I missed this one. Guns Magazines Gun of the Month is up for offer here. A Marlin .45-70 stainless steel guide gun with a weaver classic



1895 Stainless Guide Gun
Action type: Lever Action
Caliber: .45-70
Capacity: 4+1
Barrel length: 18-1/2"
Overall length: 37"
Weight: 7 pounds
Finish: Stainless steel
Sights: Factory irons and Weaver 1-3x20mm in Warne QD mounts
Stock: Black Walnut
With this description who would not want it.
The lever action 45/70 carbine that can take on any kind of game can also take on any kind of weather. Our best-selling Model 1895G Guide Gun is available in stainless steel. The receiver, barrel and all major metal parts are machined from stainless steel, and most other metal parts are nickel-plated. It features an 18.5" stainless steel barrel with Ballard-type cut rifling, a 4-shot tubular magazine, an adjustable semi-buckhorn folding rear sight and ramp front sight with brass bead and Wide-Scan™ hood. The stock is American black walnut with cut checkering and a ventilated recoil pad.
Now this one requires you to spend 30 cents on a postcard.

TO ENTER CONTEST: Use a postcard (no envelopes, please). Send to GUNS Magazine, GOM FEBRUARY, P.O. BOX 502795, San Diego, CA 92150-2795. Entries must be received before APRIL 1, 2005.
Limit one entry per household.


Good luck

Friday, March 04, 2005

Paper bags and lobster tails

Gene Healy, of the Cato institute, has produced a new book called Go Directly to Jail: The Criminalization of Almost Everything. With 6 essays it is one I will need to get my hands on soon. Now the enormous amount of laws that we have to live under, and know as ignorance of the law is no defense, is something I have talked about before. The fact that there are so many laws that it will soon be impossible not to be a criminal.

In one review this was said
In "The New 'Criminal' Classes: Legal Sanctions and Business Managers" James DeLong discusses the general principles of criminal law that affect all cases, especially the lack of a "guilty mind" requirement in most modern criminal laws. Thus, someone who acts in good faith (even consulting with a lawyer before acting) can end up in prison. Which is what happened to Brian McNab.

McNab was a seafood importer who shipped undersized lobsters and lobster tails in opaque plastic bags instead of paper bags. These were trivial violations of a Honduran regulation - equivalent to a civil infraction, or at most, a misdemeanor. However, using creative lawyering, a government prosecutor used this misdemeanor offense as the basis for the violation of the Lacey Act, which is a felony. The prosecutor then used the Lacey Act charge as a basis to stack on smuggling and money laundering counts. You got that?

McNab was guilty of smuggling since he shipped lobster tails in bags that you can see through, instead of shipping them through bags that would frustrate visual inspection. He was guilty of money laundering since he paid a crew on his ship to "smuggle the tails." Although it turned out that the Honduran regulation was improperly enacted and thus unenforceable, the government did not relent. A honest businessman lost his property and his freedom: McNab is serving 8-years in prison.

You might be thinking that my summary of the McNab case is fishy. Surely I'm keeping something from you, since no judge would really sentence an honest businessperson so severely. But as Professor Luna details in "Misguided Guidelines: A Critique of Federal Sentencing," prosecutors, not judges, set the terms of sentencing. A judge's hands are tied by the Guidelines. The judge in the McNab case could not weigh McNab's success as a businessperson, his age and family ties and responsibilities, or his lack of any criminal intent. Although McNab was a criminal by accident, not design, the Guidelines required the judge to treat him as a member of La Costra Nostra. Professor Luna ably demonstrates that the Guidelines are not only unconstitutional as a matter of separation of powers, but also as a matter of due process, and more generally, the Guidelines violate any sense of decency.
If this is a taste of what this book goes into then I must recommend it to you.

If you remember just in the near past our dear government passed a 3000 page law without reading it. As long as the individuals got their cut of the law then they are happy.
Wherever standing armies are kept up, and the right of the people to keep and bear arms is, under any colour or pretext whatsoever, prohibited, liberty, if not already annihilated, is on the brink of destruction. — St. George Tucker, in his edition of 'Blackstone's Commentaries,' 1:300 (1803).

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 ...