Friday, November 30, 2012

The national debt ceiling, falling again.

Rachel Lucas wrote "Let it burn?", regarding the blanket "more of the same debt, debt, and tyranny" proposal to avoid the looming national debt ceiling confrontation -- as Obama pitches in for his next four years of unfettered whatever.

So I wrote Dr.  Coburn, US Senator, Oklahoma.
Dr. Coburn,

I have seen a synopsis of Secretary Geitner's nebulous budget proposal regarding the much anticipated deficit ceiling collapse.

Please agree to Secretary Geitner's proposal with a couple of stipulations.

 1. Immediately defund and abolish the EPA, DEA, ATF (or whatever it is called this week), the Dept of Ed, Dept of Labor, and TSA.
 2. Expire all Presidential appointments in the last 5 years that did *not* receive full Senate endorsement, and place a term limit of 8 months on all future out-of-session Presidential appointments that might, under *any* interpretation, warrant Senate review.
 3. Require the House to ratify *any* change of taxes, fees or penalties under any existing or proposed Federal regulation or law.
 4. Forbid any surveillance of anyone in the United States without a current, specific to the individual, court ordered warrant. Forbid any database of search or surveillance results not pertaining to court ordered searches and surveillance. Forbid secret "No Fly" lists or any other barrier to communication, commerce, transportation, travel or other personal liberty that is not both available for common public scrutiny and managed by publicly identified entities in a public and open fashion, similar to court sessions open to the press and the public.
 5. End the CRA, and any other program intended to redistribute the wealth. ("Don't expect to build up the weak by pulling down the strong", Calvin Coolidge). Tax bundled securities as a separate entity of wealth, at 10% of debt balance per year. The balloon of  debt not secured by tangible assets is a serious threat to national security, and must be reduced to a minor risk.
 6. No more continuing budget resolutions. Require a budget balancing expenditures next year with receipts from last year. No more borrowing it forward.

I think this would be a reasonable response to the Obama administration's requests.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

The Klein Bubble and me

Tam at View from the Porch found a quote that middle aged white men are set to vote against Obama, just because.

I am a white guy, though past what most consider middle age. And I am as determinedly against what President Obama wants to do now, as I was when I first heard him.

It isn't the race thing. It is the fact that he doesn't act as if he grew up in America, which he didn't. It is the fact that he had to be coached, over a significant period of time, after he gained the public's attention, to respect the American flag, and that still bothers me.

Valerie Jarret, Chicago slum lord, as Obama's personal advisor, communists on his appointees list, his unconstitutional "we cannot wait for Congress", these bother me.

Bobby Soetoro enrolled in Indonesian school as a citizen of Indonesia, and no paper trail later of Barack Hussein Obama changing his name back from what his parents gave him, or restoring his US citizenship. That bothers me.

According to verified aspects of Obama's autobiographies, he spent his college time isolated and depressed. That bothers me. An Illinois governor was convicted of selling Obama's Senate seat, yet no one wanted to investigate whether someone bought it for Obama in the first place. That bothers me. While serving in the US Senate, then-Senator Obama did not work with anyone, and no one would work with him. That bothers me, because it looks like President Obama is both ignorant of what the Constitution demands of the relationship between Congress and President, and dismissive about the limits the Constitution places on both branches of government. President Obama has certainly shown that he will not (or can not) work with Congress, and further, is incapable of getting Congress to meet it's own responsibility, such as passing a Federal budget.

This administration routinely ignored and obstructed Congressional investigations and hearings, subpoenas, and requests for information. This bothers me.

Barack Hussein Obama claims his African American heritage; I cannot see that he claims much of any of his Caucasian heritage (or knowledge of and respect for the Constitution).

Obama has moved in subtle ways to undercut gun ownership in America. He instituted a plan to shred all used brass (cartridge casings after they are fired, such as for training purposes). This directly impacted the civilian ammunition market, since there are not enough cartridge casings manufactured new each year to supply both the military and the civilian market. Civilian ammo typically uses the "fired once" casings returned by the uniformed services. Shredding the cases made them useful only as bulk brass, useful primarily to the Chinese. This motion was revised to apply only to calibers larger than 1/2 inch (.50 caliber), under pressure on and by Congress. It seems that the likely shortfall and price hike in the civilian market also threatened training budgets for police forces, and other security organizations. This  rumble through the ammunition industry was little acknowledged by the mainstream press, and it bothers the hell out of me because it wasn't the only underhanded ploy President B. Hussein Obama has pulled.

I don't much like the fact that President Obama could sit in church in front of a raving racist for twenty years, then leave that church without looking back. That doesn't speak well of his commitment to his faith. And claiming that the racist message preached regularly didn't impact him doesn't speak well of his understanding of faith, of taking home a message from his worship.

No, I have thought quite a bit about why I voted against President Obama before, and will again.

I also intend to vote against my representative, Frank Lucas, for failing to move to impeach President Obama for any of the apparent violations of the Constitution and law that seem to have happened. Congress has a solemn responsibility to check and balance the powers of the President, and I am convinced that the House of Representatives, one and all, have signally failed to perform their Constitutional duty. Not one member should win re-election, after failing so utterly in their sworn duty.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

OK, I got carried away.

Sharon Astyk posted a very good piece, De-Partisaned: What Would You Sacrifice to Save the World? One of the comments set me off.  JDA commented:
From an outside view (lefty but not US) it looks to me as if the US left (if they deserve such a label – I mean the democrats) is plenty willing to compromise on just about anything. It’s just that the Republicans aren’t.

I mean, on climate, the way it looks to me is that the Dems say “let’s do something about AGW – a carbon tax!” Reps come back with: “carbon tax? typical liberals, taxes are the answer to everything! we’d prefer a market-based solution: cap and trade!” Democrats respond something like “OK, that could work too, let’s do cap and trade.” at which point the Republicans switch to “Cap and trade!? That’s COMMUNISM!!!” and nothing happens. . . the republicans look like they’ve lost all touch with reality, but no, I’m pretty sure they’re genuinely unable to compromise or even negotiate like grownups. But of course they keep taking advantage of the left’s willingness to compromise at every possible turn.
Things don’t happen in a vacuum. Politicians have a vested interest in keeping their office — they have families to support, and a community of politicians and bureaucrats (both governmental and in their respective political organizations) to support, to honor pledges made, in order to receive the support they need to continue in their office. In a democracy, they also have to adjust, along with their political organization, to changes in values and goals of their constituents, *and of those that vote for them*.
Large communities change slowly. If they are surviving (and sometimes when they are not surviving) they fear change as being worse than what they have. Change, after all, is measured in pain. Always. Call it learning, training, call it development or revitalizing, people’s lives lose at least an understanding of what tomorrow brings, and usually add burdens of learning new processes, new expectations — a return to a secure expectation for tomorrow will acquired only with the passage of time.
It doesn’t help the AGW community, that like the Democrats that measure success and graft of a federal program by whether all the money was spent according to Federal Acquisition Regulation specifications, the focus has been on wealth redistribution. They pursued, back in my day, methane *from cows*, on *leased* *federal lands*, in the *western United States* as causing holes in the ozone layer. My understanding is that less than 3% of released methane comes from animals. No one has shown me that there is more methane released from an acre of pasture with a cow on it, than that same acre left unpastured with the grasses left to grow and decay naturally. And no one has shown me that grazing by cows produces more methane that grazing by wild critters from bacteria up through mooses and elephants, including the full cycle of feeding through decay of droppings.
The AGW community could have made razing of forests their poster child for “we have to change”. Brazil’s claim to success a few years back “Poachers only destroyed 1,000 square miles of rain forest last year, we are winning!” or something like that, seems more on point. The Kyoto accords and followon plans targeted countries with money, not those with the least efficient and growing uses of fossil fueils. Emerging countries were targeted to receive money from rich nations to *expand* their use of fossil fuels. Either fossil fuel use is harming the environment, or money talks and the rest is just intended to keep the rest of the rabble entertained and distracted.
The Democrats and Republicans, like the financial gurus from Greece to Spain to Germany, have vested interests in their own security and their own ways of life. Criticizing that way of life is as effective as expecting the whales to emerge from the oceans and teach us all to swim.
The tyrant, the brutal, the bully, can certainly step in and actively destroy the security, the infrastructure, of those that they believe should change. We do that regularly. We potty train our infants, we make arrangements for our sick, injured, and elderly “for their own good.” And we strike and protest to deny cities and employers the ability to function and produce, we fund this revolutionary and that person that needs assistance, establishing ties and dependency into the future. We can paint our opponents as demons and evildoers, to disable their base of people that believe as they do. These are all effective ways to wield money and power. Most lose their effectiveness over time, to rebellion, loss of the leader — uncovered mis-truths.
According to Leo Frankowski, in a novel, the strength of democracy is that it resists change. The most efficient form of government is, I was taught in school, the benevolent dictator. The weakness of the benevolent dictator model is that before hand you cannot assure who the dictator will be benevolent too, nor can you assure a peaceful regime change to succeeding benevolent dictator. Democracy, on the other hand, makes it terribly difficult for anyone to do anything either astoundingly good or horribly bad. This is one of the aspects of the current administration that particularly horrifies me, a President that “cannot wait” for Congress is out of control, and a destroyer of democracy.
As an outsider, my take is that the Transition movements have made progress for some people, under governments tolerant of the different, the strange — those living their own lives as they choose and not as the government dictates.
Greenpeace generates lots of enthusiasm — and operated solely in the realms of finance. They raised funds, and ultimately only achieved temporary interruptions in flows of wealth. Money games don’t seem related to the air we breathe, and whether the garden produces this year.
Carbon taxes, cap-and-trade, these are money games. They were invented not to mitigate AGW — they were intended primarily to redistribute wealth. They were intended, at Kyoto, to enable developing countries to develop the ability to pollute and consume fossil fuels as their basic right. At least, that is how I understand the agenda and the effect.
I think there are some things we could be doing, like emphasizing re-tooling existing vehicles, instead of sending them as scrap across continents to be remanufactured. We could be emphasizing co-located residence, shopping, and employment, so that walking and bicycles make sense, rather than more efficient cars to commute 10 miles — or 50 — each day. It isn’t mass transit that is needed, but eliminated centralized business (i.e., wealth concentration) districts, and housing development as a wealth generating device rather than a long term place for generations to live. I haven’t seen much emphasis on that kind of thing, outside Transition efforts, My personal climate change bugaboo, massive and progressive deforestation, seems to me to be even more threatening than loss of farmland to city sprawl and highways, and loss of farmers, yet it receives only lip service if mentioned.
So keep your eyes on the Republicans and Democrats. They pay good money to keep you distracted that way.

- - -

Sorry, Sharon, that got way too long for a comment.

Monday, October 8, 2012

If I could recommend some things to Presidential Candidate Mitt Romney, on Foreign policy.

First step is to re-evaluate every foreign relationship, to repair the damage to America's interests in a stable, healthy world, and to establish where America's best interests lie.

Just as the mere stance and determination of President Reagan established a new dynamic after the appeasements of the Carter administration, President Obama's appeasement and one-world-order surrender of American will to other nations stands ready to be redefined -- and desperately needs to be redefined.

America's foreign interests should include freedom for Americans and American business to conduct their affairs in relative security, that America should be capable of responding effectively to threats against our nation, our citizens, and our military (in that order). Foreign aid works like welfare, it makes nations and citizens dependent on the priorities and direction of the government. Within reason, this can be a powerful social and diplomatic tool.

Energy independence of the US will be useless, as long as we depend on stable fuel access to international transport and manufacturers. Use of energy overall has to be brought down, we must localize our lives. The energy answer is less about gas mileage, than about living within walking distance (bicycles) of work, shopping, food, and modest amenities like furniture, clothes production, etc. High speed rail and solar cells to empower investors today won't answer as the foundations of our artificially energy-dependent lifestyles continue to erode. Building out to a local model can be done less painfully, if pursued on a global scale while we still have the transcontinental networks and relationships in place; now is the time.

Thank you.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

This snake, named Obama

The New York Times describes the "snake-bit" campaign of Governor Mitt Romney, running against President B. Hussein Obama for the upcoming Presidential election.

There is a pattern here.

Obama opponents have typically been discredited, pressured, and generally ambushed and "snake bit" all through B. Hussein's career.

B. Hussein, our President, has no ethics or morals, and was raised in the subversive lore of Marxism, from the time his parents moved to place him in a school with openly Communist teachings, to his Islamic schooling in (Indonesia?), the infamous enrollment card for Bobby Soetoro.

Meaning that this election, for me, is once again not about a Black President who, contrary to the spirit of the Constitution, was not raised in America, and is as Caucasian in  ancestry as he is in African heritage. This is about the rule of law, about ethics and morals, and about whether rule by rich oligarchs disguised as mob rule should prevail.

I don't agree with George Carlin's solution, to stay home because it doesn't matter. I think there are larger issues at stake. Not only is Obama operating outside the rule of law, and beyond the constraints of the US Constitution and his oath of office, but he surrounds himself with those that hate America, hate democracy, and disrespect the Constitution.

Every person that ever wore uniform in America's service, their descendents, their neighbors, should be appalled by and opposed to B. Hussein Obama.

And so should the New York Times.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Clint made the GOP day.

Clint Eastwood played the GOP convention. That isn't news. It isn't news that his performance, as opposed to scripted, moderated, planned, orchestrated political propaganda, upset many. Or that he entertained many, as well.

Welcome, Mr. Romney, to the real world. The best things in life often stray from the script, the plan.

At a time when America was girding it's loins for the polished presentation of Romney's campaign "message", distributed over several speakers for that repetitive impact that marketing types think matter -- Mr. Eastwood gave a performance. The gist of his message, that Mr. Eastwood feels strongly that President Obama failed to serve the nation, failed to keep the promises he made to get elected, and failed to answer, fully, to accusations, criticisms, and legitimate concerns.

Mr. Eastwood did not give a political "speech", in that the words he used were the message. Mr. Eastwood's content wasn't polished and vetted, and fact-checked. But what Mr. Eastwood, and many Americans, feels, that came across quite clearly, in what may well be a campaign-affecting moment.

The Republican party so-called "leaders" failed to recognize the value of nominating Sarah Palin, that the concept of change from "business as usual" was driving the excitement behind Mrs. Palin, as is the excitement behind Ron Paul. If Clint Eastwood's message is construed by the GOP to mean that the "business as usual" presentations and platforms and goals and values don't change, they, unlike Mr. Eastwood, won't be finding an audience.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Isaac vs. The GOP, climate change deniers, etc.

Billll's Idle Mind reports that tropical storm Isaac, headed for Tampa, FL at the same time as the Republican national convention, was purposely created to support the GOP convention.

It has been reported* that tropical storm Isaac heading toward Tampa, which with suspiciously good timing will arrive at the same time as the Republican convention, was in fact created for that very purpose by climate-change deniers supporting the Republicans. Knowing that the left would like to set Tampa on fire during the convention to try to embarrass the Republicans, the heavy rains are intended to literally dampen the enthusiasm of anyone looking to spend much time outdoors throwing things at cops.
OK, 'Fess up time. That "been reported*" part means *Some guy told [Billll]. Really. Climate change deniers didn't create Tropical Storm Isaac solely to suppress GOP deniers.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Obamanomics explained

Billll's Idle Mind explains economics as used by the Obama White House.

Better a million wage earners die in poverty under a bridge than one clever fellow be allowed to keep enough money to give one of them a job.


Saturday, June 30, 2012

Bill Whittle got it wrong on Afterburner

Bill Whittle on PJTV speaks what some think, that the ATF "Fast and Furious" gunwalker program was targeted to motivate gun control in the US.

Mr. Whittle, I think, missed the actual agenda. Pres. Obama was not relying on getting gun control through new laws being passed, or new regulations being issued. I personally think that Fast and Furious was instead targeted to support an *international treaty* intended to disarm civilians around the world in the name of "controlling the flow of arms".

Such an international treaty was mentioned in mainstream media several times over the last decade, and includes mention of Secretary of State Clinton participating in international negotiations on such a treaty, the contents of which was deliberately kept secret from participating nations, including US citizens.

I believe the international treaty tie-in is the reason that President Obama invoked Executive Privilege; he is continuing to pursue gun control in America via international treaty, as the documents that Congress requested would confirm -- that Fast and Furious was directed not by Sec'y Holder, but Sec'y Clinton and President Obama.

Please support all explorations into misconduct regarding the ATF arming Mexican Drug Cartels. I note that most of the weapons involved are *still* out there, and not necessarily unused, nor being kept outside America.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

That "wimp woman" meme

Tam at View from the Porch isn't amused at the "I cry more than you think" meme for "I am woman".
She is woman, hear her bleat.

Sorry, the meme's listing doesn't sound actually femininely oriented.

Most of it sounds like most folk I know, of various genders and persuasions, at various, usually private or distressed, times.

My understanding is that the workplace in general is a male-created, artificial environment meant to take as much advantage of workers/employees/managers/etc. as possible, for the best profit of the executives/owners. That is, modified slavery, without regard or interest in the well-being of the worker, the worker's family, and an explicit bar to letting life's traumas and responsibilities intrude into the company's race to revenue.

So how is it that measuring the aspects of a person that delineates "woman" is measured in her ability to participate in an artificial, manipulated environment just as subserviently as a man?

The major distinctions between men and women fall mostly in the realms of procreation, of creating and raising children. For the rest, distinctions of gender are learned from examples of cultural limits and expectations.

Wafting poetic about various cultural artifacts of "men's work" and "equal pay for equal submission to exploitation" are as pointless as "But the master hit me with the whip harder than he/she hit you!".

There are many people that have found ways in their lives to get around, or to exploit ("Hey! I'm a woman! I strip for a living!") their experiences and capabilities ("Why, yes I can mow the lawn before supper!") Others that haven't found the examples and opportunities to overcome obstacles to what they want should be encouraged and nurtured. Unfair rules ("But, officer, the road was clear from here to Kingdom come, and the posted speed of 15 MPH makes no sense here in rural Utah!") should be changed.

And mostly, the underlying assumption that meeting someone else's expectations will achieve happiness or virtue has to be challenged. Vigorously, frequently challenged.

Monday, May 7, 2012

European votes - suicide or apathy?

“Europe’s voters don’t know they’re committing suicide — or don’t care.”

Rachel Lucas wrote about Europe’s voters don’t know they’re committing suicide — or don’t care. She quotes the National Observer Online article Europe, R.I.P., by Arthur Herman dated May 7, 2012.
. . Maybe, or probably not, and America won’t wake up either, and we’re all doomed.

I don't like the assumption that changing the course of Greece and France in their quest for self-control, for economic prosperity, and for resolution to the lingering debt problems is a bad thing. The disaster used to plunder Greece, euphemistically called "austerity", is nothing of the kind. And it hasn't helped Greece, only the self-serving banks and international entities that fear their fortunes are at risk.

It is going to take something different to turn things around. Debts can be repudiated -- what could be the harm, when the world already knows that most of the debts in question are already forfeit. The government can nationalize the assets owned by non-Greeks -- recovering their utilities and infrastructure plundered by the vultures in previous go-rounds. And Greece can decide to stop being a nation. They could decide to petition the UK, France, Germany, the US, China, Austria, Italy, Turkey -- almost anyone -- to become a territory or state within another entity, and hand over the problems to someone else.

Whatever the direction that Greece, and France, too, take, it needn't be the death of the nation. This election might end the multi-national corporate interest monopoly on control in Europe, but that isn't the same thing as suicide for Greece. Banks, international investors, and various multi-government constructs might be abandoned, but that doesn't mean that the Greeks and French should care -- the citizens of Greece and France weren't benefiting anyway, only the major financial institutions.

Governments and major financiers and banks have been playing money games to buy votes, and instituting rot in modern society. The games have to end; maybe they will, in Greece and maybe France.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Advvertising vs. politics

There I was, taking an Advertising Specialties Institute survey on

What type of promotional product would you most like to receive from the list below?

You know? I can't think I want to promote either Mittens or B.Hussein. Not even for a nice shirt or ball cap.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Recreation in Transition

Rob Hopkins writes on "Does Transition mean buns of steel?"

One of the things that YouTube does is to offer you other videos you might enjoy once you’ve finished the one you’re watching. . . Plenty of head-scratching here therefore when . . one of my talks is accompanied by a featured video called ‘FlexMini Firmer Buttocks’

Apparently the Buns video only showed up in the UK.

One of the commenters, Jennifer, responds that some folk over 60 still cycle long distances. This is my response to Jennifer, with all respect:



I think there is another side to physical activity.

Many of us on the cusp of 60 or past grew up under the influence of cultures at home, that were handed down from times of harsh necessity. Gardening, carpentry, masonry and other construction without power tools set standards of "work" that emphasized strength, endurance, and manual skill. The emergence of power tools is still transforming that expectation.

But the insidious changes come from mass media. From cartoons to watching talking heads relate news, it is demonstrated that "work" today is measured in cash received for intangibles. Where the odd clerk task used to be acceptable but not highly revered, today governments and big money make desk work and computer work the epitome of desirable work.

Here in America, the "war on poverty", the "social safety net" and unemployment payments tacitly approve not working at all.

Cycling for pleasure, like watching TV or playing video games, or the proliferation (and cash flows!) of professional sports is a form of recreation. My grandparents relied on drink and cards, and family gatherings, for recreation in odd, cherished hours. Modern life presumes a degree of indolent lifestyle, even in the absence of affluence, without the physical activity of earlier times or the lifestyle discipline of those actually affluent.

In one sense, then, I suppose Transition recognizes the need for lifestyle change. One of the impacts of that change is to choose to reject the application of cheap energy to eliminate boring, repetitive, and/or arduous daily tasks. but I suspect the (desired?) impact will be bodies that are tougher, and people less engaged in frivolous obsession with body shapes and coverings. That is, the buns might tighten, along with the rest, but fewer will be paying attention.

Gardens will be tended, food and shelter secured, families will thrive. Those are reasons health is needed. Active skills are useful in helping neighbors, or in rebuilding after ravages of weather, flood, fire, and other mayhem.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Hilary Rosen, Ann Romney, Work and apologies --Apples and oranges

According to USA Today, "Hilary Rosen says Ann Romney never worked 'day in her life'"

Wednesday night on CNN, Democratic strategist Hilary Rosen said Romney, who raised five now-grown sons, had "never worked a day in her life." Mitt Romney had said earlier that his wife had relayed to him the economic concerns of women around the country.

Oh, come now.

Yes, Mittens probably did make the comment that his wife told him of the economic concerns of women around the country. She might have experience that counts, maybe, after growing up and living affluently a life of privilege. She might have heard valid issues and insights from others; I am not about to claim she is stupid, unstudied, or that her inputs are misleading.

Ann Romney, like other governor's wives, was likely active in various causes and issues, was involved in much relevant discussion, and has come to be learned and respected on various topics. Just the fact that this far into the campaign season, this is the first headline that I have seen her make tells me she is competent and not a political dummy. (Yes, I do think it takes savvy and poise to stand around quietly next to the spotlight and not make waves. Not everyone can do it competently.)

Rosen made the simple observation that Ann Romney isn't a working professional, managerial, executive, trade, or other level of employee with an employee, supervisor or executive's knowledge and experience of working in the workplace.

This is different than assessing whether what one does is "work" as in "energy expended to accomplish a task".

Comparing Ann Romney's views, as a non-participant, of workplace and national economy issues, would be like soliciting George Clooney's guidance on toilet bowl cleaners. It might be relevant, but I wouldn't bet my company -- or my nation -- on the inputs.

Mittens surely intended his remarks to endear him to women engaged in the informal (not measured in cash) economy by implying he gets the scoop on their concerns from his wife, that he listens to his wife and that she influences his policies. Mittens also likely wanted to imply that including his wife's inputs bolster's his understanding of the economy and concerns of everyone. Rosen's snipe at "not having worked" is a direct attack on the second, implied (and specious) part of the message.

What I don't see in the exchange is any attack on women not engaged in the formal, cash-measured, workplace-based, labor union influenced, speculation driven economy. Rosen pointedly struck at a fatuous political claim that his wife has broad and relevant economic experience that bolster's Mitten's candidacy, despite evidence that Mittens instead is a tool of special interests and less a responsible driver of sound economic policy than a privileged twit from the land that kept re-electing that Senator that drove his secretary off a bridge and left her with the car.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Constitution protects votes, but not other rights?

Billll's Idle Mind picked up on arguments by Colorado Senator Bob Bacon, D-Fort Collins that voters cannot be required to prove their identity, because that might prevent some voters from being allowed to vote.

Someone should ask him if all that ID and background checking required to exercise ones right to bear arms also fails to pass constitutional muster.

The IRS requires citizens to certify their identity when paying taxes; when seeking employment; and when opening a bank account or other credit card arrangement, so they can actively seek those that haven't paid taxes, and have the records in their possession (banking records, as of the Obama administration) to 'verify' that the tax report is 'correct'.

So much for "presumed innocent until proven guilty". So much for the "Land of the free".

Thanks, Billll.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Wow. Is it history, coincidence, or neighborhood security?

The NY Times carries an article, "Fugitive Slave Mentality", about the Zimmerman/Martin killing in Florida.

I have to wonder -- does this in-depth analysis of the deep-seated racial bias of Zimmerman and the local police chief take into account how abysmal America is at studying history?

The piece quotes a 1793 Fugitive Slave Act, and a court case from 1844 regarding those interfering in recapture of slaves escaped from Kentucky to Michigan. The judge instructed the jury that those interfering broke the law because they failed to take the slave catcher at his word. The parallel the NT Times author draws is the comment by the police chief that he took Zimmerman's claim of self defense -- supposedly at Zimmerman's word. this despite three witnesses that have come forward to confirm Zimmerman was down and getting his clock cleaned by Martin, and the obvious injuries from a beating that Zimmerman bore. It seems to me there was more there than simple "take the white (or Hispanic) man's side" mentality.

I mean, what is the chance that the police chief in Florida is a student of slave laws, and court proceedings (and judge's instructions to juries) from Michigan?

On the other hand, the opinion piece by ROBERT GOODING-WILLIAMS doesn't actually mention why the neighborhood where Zimmerman took part in the neighborhood watch program set up the neighborhood program, why Mr. Zimmerman was part of the watch program and outside, keeping a watch on his neighbor's property and families. Mr. Gooding-Williams doesn't discuss what cultural profile Mr. Martin might have resembled -- law abiding, family guy, pursuing legitimate business -- in someone else's neighborhood. At a time that the neighborhood has taken to actively and publicly keeping a watch for untoward activities and persons. I mean, one account places the incident, and Mr. Zimmerman, in a gated community. How come none of the accounts mention that Mr. Martin was near his home, or why he was in a restricted access community?

What few have claimed, yet, is how this incident fits with President Obama's Federal Hate Crimes law, passed weeks after being sworn into office. This is the bill that officially defines a "protected" class of citizen. That is, no white and heterosexual person in America can be the victim of a Federal Hate Crime. By law. Only other races and gender proclivities.

For my money, except for President Obama's law, it appears to me that Mr. Zimmerman is the victim of racial hatred, expressed and exploited in mainstream media by hate-mongering "leaders" and "activists". And that impedes finding justice for Trayvon Martin as well as for George Zimmerman. Because the last thing the racial bigots care about is justice. They make their money, their social status, and get their axes ground by exploiting the hate of others.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Minorities and TEOTWAWKI

Demi W. commented on JMG's "Waking Up, Walking Away" post on The Archdruid Report blog. Demi claims that the poor, and especially minority poor, will face dire threats to survival as the collapse of peak oil and the end of the age of industry continues. She claims that the middle class will panic first, as they attempt to retain the trappings of privilege.

I am an African American female "prepper" who lives in a largely Hispanic area (urban Phoenix, AZ). My take on the whole peak oil issue is that the average ethnic minority in this country most likely sees the peak oil issue as less of a threat to their way of life. IMO, for whites, the peak oil issue and overarching sustainability movement is about trying to adjust to life in a way that allows them to minimize the impact to their standard of living as much as possible and there will be MUCH resistance.

On the other hand, for many ethnic minorities, their struggle has always been about survival on the most basic level. They are not bogged down on whether or not they can live with downsizing to a smaller hou[se] or going from two cars to one, as many do not and/or never have owned a vehicle or needed one for that matter, to get back and forth from their jobs to their suburban homes. Likewise, riding a bike or taking a bus wouldn't necessarily be a major transition for inner/urban city ethnic minorities, IMO.

In the end, I think that it is going to be hard for ethnic minorities to go off to some rural area or small town and feel accepted, especially during a crisis, because, from experience, I tried rural living in South Carolina,for a few years and I by no means felt "welcomed" at any point or time.

To Demi W.,

There is much truth in what you say.

If you look at Sharon Astyk's writing, and here from JMG, they both focus on survival being related to individuals making good choices.

Sharon discerns between the formal economy -- the fancy numbers that President Obama and Wall Street make up and throw around -- and an informal economy. The informal economy is a web of interlocking relationships within families and communities, where the "economy" cannot be measured in dollars, but in exchanges of work, of goods, and of assistance that have nothing to do with monetary value. A child doing chores, care for the sick and elderly, showing another to garden successfully, these are examples of "value" flowing through an informal economy.

I grew up on a farm in Iowa, when some farms were still the old agrarian model -- a family operation, a place to raise children (the Amish and Mennonites still adhere to this view) and live, depending more on what was raised on the farm than what could be purchased with the cash crops, and depending on skill and available resources than the pesticides, seeds, and fertilizers that could be bought.

What TV advertising and merchandising, so-called modern education, and local and federal governments have made of farming, today's agribusiness, is an entirely "formal" economy function.

I am not a part of a minority race, though growing up on a farm is, I contend, a minority culture. There are many of various races I respect and work with; also many I don't trust and avoid. I think of myself as more culturally aware than racially aware. There are those that are prone to violence, aggression, and hate, and I tend to avoid them, whatever culture or race in their background.

Walking Away

I think the observation Demi W makes about leaving urban existence for an economic environment less entrenched in the formal economy is reasonable, and applies to all people trying to "escape".
In the end, I think that it is going to be hard for ethnic minorities to go off to some rural area or small town and feel accepted, especially during a crisis, because, from experience, I tried rural living in South Carolina,for a few years and I by no means felt "welcomed" at any point or time.

Any community, like any family, is aware that some outsiders mean them harm. When their history of outsiders includes arrogance, disdain, disrespect for custom, or criminal acts -- they tend to regard outsiders as potential threats. Where the entire history is that outsiders have brought resources of help, growth of the community, and security -- they will be welcoming until the community notices problems.

Rural towns and areas have seen their share of predators, of government programs and marketing ploys that have cost people and families, sometimes dearly. In the South, the legacy of the post-Civil War era of occupation and exploitation by "Northerners" is still a potent force, especially in communities but lightly touched by the flows of cash and excess of modern education, modern marketing, and modern "development".

Walk away -- from cultural baggage

One big problem is cultural baggage. The way you have lived, the rules and preferences that have given one comfort and security. The rituals and celebrations you observe, the values of what is good and what is preferred, the shared history with your community. Culture. This is baggage that hinds you into a community.

What TV sitcoms and marketing, what government programs, what job offers and other reasons stories of relocating assume, at bedrock, is that there is one, single culture that is "America".

While much is made of racial tension, my own observation is that the real problem is cultural tension. I have known too many people of various races that live comfortably within the dominant American culture to believe otherwise. It is the cultural differences, the clinging to beliefs and values from "the old country" or imagined by demagogues that keep people apart.

In the traditional, historical form of marriage within the Christian community, where the husband is the head of the household and the wife is subservient to the leadership of her husband, each new bride will face this kind of cultural shock. She will face having to replace all she knows of right and wrong, of who is in authority, of her duties and loyalties, as she leaves life in her father's home and makes a new home for her husband. The wise and caring husband faces a dauntingly similar task, of reconsidering all of his own cultural identity in terms of being part of a family and no longer of his parent's family, of being responsible for nurturing his wife and children to come. Both assume new identities within their community, no longer just a mere adult, but now a family, a couple recognized in a community event, a wedding.

Physically moving to a new community is the simple part.

Becoming part of that community demands that the rituals and celebrations observed, the values of what is good and proper, and the shared history all come together; the newcomer must choose to live in the culture of the new community.

That means learning to act in ways that the community expects and respects. Learning to make choices and decisions based on values accepted and expected in the community. That means learning who is related to whom, who is who's relatives, who was neighbors in the past couple-ten decades, which members of the community are frowned upon, which are considered cherished burdens. It means that the culture of the new community must become the foundation of life at home, at work, and in your relationship to others.

In many communities with ties to older, Christian ways, definitions of "decent" attire can vary widely. The 1960s introduced the "Sexual Revolution" -- that conflicts direly with many family values, especially in smaller communities with a communal history in Puritanical or "conservative" Christian teachings.

Pride and identity

The resistance to accepting and adopting the culture of a new community, or changes in a community, might express itself as "pride". The belief that the values and preferences of one's youth, or past, or recent community, is good and right is expected. But it must take second place to learning to live in the new or changed community.

In modern America few talk about "identity". There is an assumed racial identity, but that I think is divisive, and diminishes us all.

Since the 1960s much has been said and evoked about sex between adults. It has been accepted by some that a marriage is between a man and woman (or some mix of genders), that there is little difference between a married couple and "living together".

I disagree. A marriage is a cultural event of the community, that happens to involve those getting married. A marriage re-defines the identity, permanently, of those getting married. Regardless of the religious recognition and component of a marriage rite, the community collectively recognizes and accepts that the individuals involve are no longer single, but part of a family. The community will make different opportunities, and express different expectations, of the new family members.

To many cultures with strong traditions of family and marriage there is a distrust of those that see no harm in cohabitation, in expressing an intimate relationship outside the bounds of marriage.


Some communities see those that work as being "regular" folk; those living without directly working for someone as being a burden on the community. Such a community, perhaps especially if there is a strong rural tradition, will view askance any newcomer that isn't accepted for work by someone respected in the community. Applying for work, after all, requires convincing an employer of one's worth to an enterprise, one's suitability in demeanor and temperament to be an assent in the workplace, and by extension, in the community.

Receiving funds from the government, from a trust fund, from a pension fund, does not carry the assumption that one has been approved. Think of getting a job in a new community as meeting a girl's father, and getting his agreement before being allowed to date the girl. It doesn't matter if it irritates (or scares) anyone. In many communities, some ritual of "acceptance" will be expected.


The End Of The World As We Know It. Where some see a violent and massive crumbling of civilization, others see a gradual overall decline in numbers of wealthy, both middle class and upper class, with a widening breech in culture between the poor and those not poor. Most foresee local and intermittent disruptions in availability of energy, of food, of security and comfort.

If one were to choose to move to a community less entangled in the formal economy, the time is when the choice is considered. Every day delayed spends another day of one's life in something that is to be abandoned, "walked away" from. And the later in the collapse you try to find a safer haven, the more stress will be on that haven, and the tougher the ordeal to get there and to be admitted. Getting physically relocated is the mere start of the effort. Once there, you have to make a new life, in the midst of a new culture that few are minded to help you learn.

Whether your race is an important part of your identity or not is a personal choice, just as all cultural perceptions and identifications are a personal choice.

Just be ready to walk away from your current culture.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Permadesign, vs. Wal-Mart and Capitalism, and energy of transportation.

Some terms for this writing.

Permadesign -- the design, or planning efforts, of a permaculture effort to raise food and preserve habitat in harmony with nature. At least, that is my current understanding of permaculture.

Capitalism -- Government oriented toward sustaining the social and economic practices of creating industries to make products from resources, and to sell those products. Capitalism, and industrialism, make use of relatively inexpensive resources to create more valuable products and resources, principally to concentrate wealth from customers into the hands of those accumulating and exercising money -- capital.

Wal-Mart -- One of several chains of stores in a capitalist economy, focused on fair quality goods at moderate prices.

Like many stores and other retailers, including shopping malls, shopping districts, strip malls, and "downtown" business districts, Wal-Mart intends to draw customers from a significant distance, usually in excess of comfortable walking distance of up to 1 1/2 miles. Some stores and malls expect a shopping reach of 40 to 100 miles.

A Saks Fifth Avenue or other "high end" store relies on customers that shop once or twice a month -- or a few times each year. A hardware store might expect customers to visit weekly "in season", plus a few times a year for other needs.

But the shopping mall, the strip mall, even Grand Avenue shops, as a group, expect to draw customers from a distance, and to draw them regularly for varying needs.

Each customer travels to the store or group of store. When travel is not by foot, then commercial energy is expended. That is an indirect energy loading of the commercial enterprise on their community.

For that matter, consolidated schools, central county and local and state offices do the same, they impose the expense of time, energy, and resources on their community to make the retailing, drivers license and various taxing activities cheaper for the vendor. Consolidating schools trades energy of parents and community to gather children to a central location for advanced career paths for administrative staff.

I would find credible a community's interest in energy issues, when building codes favor walking access to shopping and employment for residences. The interest should shift from employers that draw employees and/or customers from long distances, to walking distance access.

Leavergirl at Leaving Babylon writes about how designs for permaculture make an assumption that they have a clean slate, a godlike right to dictate what some local piece of nature will be like, instead of growing what nature has established into a new, permaculture kind of sustained growth and usefulness. has a more pointed element, "Native Landscaping" -- using plants that don't need watering, once established. Not only is water considered to be the next limiting factor to continuing life as America has come to know it, but water inevitably means energy use. Thus, native landscaping, or xeriscaping as sustainable landscaping is known, is a proven energy saver.

Which actually brings me to Wal-Mart. And Lowes. And Jay's Ranch Supplies (Ponca City, OK).

These are all retail outlets, depending on customers to buy what they sell. And none of them take efforts to identify the varieties and uses of plants that are well suited, without special care, to years-long growth in a sustainable fashion.

Yet Wal-Mart, Lowes, and the city of Ponca City each claim to be energy conserving, and be interested in sustainable approaches to business and life.

Huh. Not much Transition to reduced energy dependency here.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Forced choices

Billll (Billll's Idle Mind) opposes government-mandated abortion services that offend religious teachings.

An example might be to counter someones argument in favor of abortion, for example, by asking if there should be any limits to it at all. The first trimester? The third? How about the 45th, . .

How about letting the historical Church rule apply, the one that says a person becomes a person with Confirmation (about the age of puberty, and demonstration of learning Church dogma)?

Or we could use the version of this that was incorporated in the original limits to compulsory education, "completion of the eighth grade, or age 16, whichever comes first".

I could accept a compromise. Let women and their families that believe in God, or at least understand their place in family and community, choose otherwise. A first trimester rule makes sense to me. The scary part is where the government gets involved gets into pressure and legally forced application.

The opposite to "abortion", is too often "botched, illegal abortion", "suicide", and "criminal and/or poverty way of life for mother and/or child". Or "destruction of community and family ties and dreams of a good family life". Or "descent into life under public welfare".

If churches, businesses, schools, or cigar clubs open their doors to non-member workers and non-member customers, they are a public business, and have to accept the whole public, and meet all public employer and public business and school requirements.

The devout bus driver, or devout owner of the bus company, cannot pick and choose who rides the bus, or pick and choose which laws offend her/his faith.

It takes building the family, understanding that people raised in a good home should expect to make a good home and raise their children. It takes teaching our children they should *expect* and *be eager* to "become their parents". And that sex isn't just frolicking around like Hollywood or to satisfy cosmetic, fashion, and advertising hype -- it means that *first* to choose your life-long partner and co-parent. And avoid *learning* frolicking with lots of people because that learned skill is destructive of the happy home. I don't mean "abstain because it is healthy". I mean "choosing the wrong partners makes you less able to make a good family." And, especially, "choosing the slick, accomplished bed partner will never result in a good home for you and your family."

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Charles De Gaulle, that wit

Charles De Gaulle is cited as author of:
I have come to the conclusion that politics are too serious a matter to be left to the politicians.

Before Barack Obama, before President B. Hussein Obama claimed that he "couldn't wait" for Congress, I had always thought that De Gaulle's statement was witty, and humorous.

Sounding like this President, it just sounds like a scary premonition.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Angst at home for those serving in Afghanistan

Jessie at Rurally Screwed writes that she finally got a word from her husband, serving in Afghanistan.

I have been considering the story. Apparently the sergeant accused of the shootings was on his fourth tour, after twice being wounded, once a severe traumatic head injury.

One report I read cited some percentage, slim but noticeable, of such injury survivors that go on to commit violent acts.

While we wait to find if the father of two now ensconced in Ft. Leavenworth, KS, was in his right mind at the time, I have questions.

I know that the National Guard has been tasked for deployment more in the last decade or so than previously. And that there is an element in the government that treasures our troops serving in the Mid-East, as that gives our military infrastructure and core cadre experience and skill under fire, making them more effective for many years.

So -- was this sergeant returned to combat because of errant priorities on the part of medical, supervisory, or Department of Defense policies? Is this a consequence of budget and political strategy from the White House? If it turns out that sending that man into combat, again, was a blunder -- who needs their desk vacated to protect the rest of our service people from similar abuses?

I cannot imagine having to be the one to inform that sergeant's family of what he was accused of. If this was a lone act, that is horrible. If this was a preventable failure of a heartless policy -- that needs to be fixed.

I am not advocating discharges for anyone that fit any kind of "been injured, might go haywire" pattern. What I am advocating is assuring that service people are not misused when they haven't fully recovered from injury, and that treatment for injuries received under fire is competent.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Sex ed -- or family life?

I wrote my Senator this morning.
Dr. Coburn,

With all the national angst over sex education, where is the complementary discussion of the social and cultural imperative of raising a healthy and well-nurtured next generation?

Where are the social studies classes that express a national consensus on *why* young people and adults should have children?

We have focused on sex. It hasn't demonstrably improved America, or Americans.

I believe that a well-raised child will mature into an adult that respects his or her upbringing. That such a healthy and balanced adult will emulate their parents, form a family with a similarly responsible adult, and raise children in a similarly healthy manner.

We hear all manner of observations that child abuse perpetuates in following generations. Where is the attending emphasis that the purpose of a citizen must include forming a family and raising children to serve family, community, and nation (in that order)? If we are to decry child abuse, why isn't "patriotism" defined as "how many children did you raise to serve their nation?"

If children from the elementary grades are instructed that forming a family is important, we can define the importance of building that family. Of choosing a healthy life style, of insisting that we mate with someone of healthy background and lifestyle.

We can make the preservation or blurring of cultural divides a conscious choice, for them, rather than mere adolescent rebellion, flirting with family taboos, or echoing racial biases.

I suggest that America's founding fathers adopted certain Biblical strictures limiting sexual conduct outside marriage for the same reason they are in the Bible -- that raising sons for the army to fight the next generation's wars. America is rich enough in people today that such strictures on sex need not be continued -- but the need to raise children in the culture of the family, the community, and the nation of the parents remains.

It is *not* the government's place to raise "good" citizens. But I believe it *is* the place of compulsory education to expect all children in America to form families if they can, selecting mates well suited to making a family, and raising children in the culture of family, community, and nation. Teaching the culture of family and community, and even of the nation, is a matter of the home. The schools should inform about healthy nurturing, teaching values, the difference between disciplinary action to remediate problems and actual discipline, the will to complete a task.

In this context, I consider a family as a life-long joining of some number of adults to raise children. The children might be of natural birth, or adopted, the genders of the adults is entirely unstated. And, yes, I would prefer the IRS to adopt this model of family for tax purposes.

A social studies program emphasizing living to form a family instead of personal service or even personal gratification without regard for consequences, I believe, is the correct response to questions on abortion and divorce, and divided families.

This kind of flies in the face of the Sexual Revolution (STDs, broken homes, unwed mothers, etc.). I don't think it affects women's liberation, or racial concerns.

Friday, March 16, 2012

March 17. Is St. Patrick's Day a religious holiday?

America was enriched by Irish immigrants, though at the time they arrived, few were actually welcomed.

One of the traditions that the Irish brought to America was the celebration of St. Patrick's victory, driving the snakes from Ireland. I won't ask what at the bugs and mice that the snakes had been living on. That would be rude.

The shamrock, the four-leafed clover, the celebration of beer and Irish emerald green. These are all recognized symbols of the day. Named after a Catholic saint.

So, is St. Patrick's Day a religious holiday, or a secular celebration of a holy man?

Or just a different name to sell t-shirts and beer?

Monday, March 12, 2012

Is it the free trade, or the growth (and rebellion) of colonies?

Dr. Coburn,

I wonder if the current Federal Government hasn't fallen into the role of an empire of colonies (the 50 states and possessions).

I say that, because enormous taxation is levied on the states, to benefit those the government sees fit to benefit. Wealth is gathered into select (and possibly corrupt) hands. And the rights of the states to participate, to voice their conclusions, to object, has been shuttered.

Where in a republic, as I understand the term, the states collectively assign responsibilities to an overarching government, what we have today is an oligarch that arrogates powers and authorities to himself. The President, and at some level the Congress, have dismantled the relationship of Republic between the Federal Government with and among the states.

The problem I foresee is that colonies don't remain subservient forever. They rebel, establish their own priorities, take up responsibility for meeting their own needs and goals.

This thought occurred to me while reading the ArchDruid Report dated February 22, 2012. John Michael Greer holds a systems view of society and culture, and governments. His post contends that it is free trade that dismantles empires; I think instead that free trade is one of the arms of colonial management that exacerbates a transitory relationship. Colonies form, develop, and go their way. Empires, I believe, are inherently unstable. Either they grow or die, and each region of the empire likewise grows or dies. Any regional weakness weakens the overall empire; every regional strength accelerates the day that empire as a form of government will collapse due to conflicting interests.

The states of the United States flourished as members of a republic. I think now that the electoral college is probably one of the strengths of that republic. When US Senators were no longer selected by states but by popular election within states, that was a drastic move toward dissolving the needs of states to mind their own businesses within the frame of a republic.

Free trade among the members of the republic, the states, has shown itself to be a good thing. But I shudder to think what free trade does to empires, as the US slides further from a republic form of distribution of powers.

This might be at the center of a "no nation can long endure" moment that faces us now.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Mr. Billll nails Chicago tactics of the Left

Billll's Idle Mind eulogizes the euphoria of the liberals celebrating the demise of Breitbart.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Santorum, and religion vs. "the religious right"

The NY Times has a article today, on comments made by Presidential candidate, Rick Santorum.

“What kind of country do we live in that says only people of nonfaith can come into the public square and make their case?” Mr. Santorum said on the ABC News program “This Week.”

The part that bothers me the assumption that there is only one body of Americans that hold faith and vote, is this:

the question for both of them is how Mr. Santorum’s provocative and assertive outreach to the religious right will resonate with voters

. . because that isn't the message I got from Santorum. Santorum didn't espouse the doctrines or tenets of faith of any faith. He appealed to all who hold any faith.

No right-leaning Christian believer or organization is going to look at Rick Santorum, hear his words, and acknowledge Rick Santorum's faith and dedication to the Church of Latter Day Saints, the Mormons, and immediately conclude, "Hey, he wants to make my faith prevail over the Godless!" Not because Santorum despises or opposes, or champions, for that matter, any particular faith or belief.

The statement made, as I understand it, is to acknowledge that we have made the Christian festival of Christmas a national holiday. And to call it Christmas. That the Biblical Ten Commandments inspired those that wrote the laws that were the basis for many American laws, and acknowledging those roots is right and proper.

As for the Kennedy speech that Santorum mentions from 1960, espousing the separation of state and church, we must remember -- Kennedy faced an enormous obstacle of prejudice and fear -- over his acknowledged faith and membership in the Catholic Church. He faced tremendous opposition by those that feared having a Catholic President would necessarily mean that the Pope of the Catholic Church would be indirectly (or directly) ruling America.

Kennedy had to lay those fears to rest.

One of the other steps that Kennedy embraced to overcome resistance to voters wary of his Catholic faith, was to make a declaration. President John Fitzgerald Kennedy, JFK, vowed to be a President to all Americans, to everyone living in America.

Santorum should echo that pledge from long ago, to be a President to all Americans.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

We have police, so guns shouldn't be allowed. Susan said so.

Tam at View From The Porch noticed a little blurb from a well-meaning (probably, at least I hope so) lady.
When the Second Amendment was created, we were a nation of far-flung farmers. There weren’t any police departments, sheriffs or National Guard. The head of the family was all of those. He had to have a gun.

But today, we have law enforcement. Hunters use rifles, not guns. Now, no one is safe.

... Susan M. Kloepfer, Linden

One of Tam's commenters took issue with the statement right away.
Anonymous said...

"Far-flung farmers"??

How did they fling farmers back in the day--with trebuchets??

I have this image of colonial farmers zinging westward overhead like hefty cannonballs.

Makes about as much sense as the rest of the article.

Tam stated there were so many problems that she didn't have the breath to start. I started, anyway.


I recall the James Stewart, Lee Marvin, John Wayne movie, "The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance".

The theme of that movie was that "winning" the Wild West meant laying aside all those nasty weapons and relying on the rule of law, like "civilized" folk (affluent, influential Europeans, I guess). This is nearly the same as Susie's argument.

Of course, it was private men acting in defense of their community that actually dealt with the bad guy. Settled it using guns.

Back to Susan's plaint.

First, we aren't as affluent as the premise of "those that count", white, affluent folk, that is, as those folk were coming into economic and political prominence. Putting away the firearms for the Obamas, while they live in the Secret Service-secured White House, just makes sense.

For those making the news by being victims of random crime, house break-ins, and drug dealer riddled neighborhoods, that doesn't seem like such a winning argument. But then, those victims are often not white, or not influential, or not affluent. Gack, I hate how the anti-gun argument turns racist, so very quickly.

Second, the writers of the Constitutions, those working with and serving those far-flung farmers (I think at the time that the farmers wanted a piece of ground someone else wasn't using, thus achieving a social distribution as if they had been flung by some instrument of random and far-reaching dispersal. Anon 6:30, I think you mis-read the far-flung phrase. At least, I hope that part of the lady's story wasn't bent and twisted, and glossed over, like much of the rest of what she wrote.), those back then, looking at the newly formed nation, had two major worries of the time. First, was that it was the individuals, armed with their personal weapons, that supported the armies when armies clashed in Revolution, and the armed citizenry that denied the countryside to the enemy. Of course, that status of armed citizenry worked in California, restricting the initial Japanese attack to Hawaii, instead of the Golden Coast. I think Californias, like this lady, forgot that part of "national security".

The other primary concern of the survivors of the American Revolution was the reason for the Revolution -- tyrants. Unbridled rulers ignoring the good and will of the people, trampling rule of law, disregarding limits to authority. In the case that the government they designed failed to serve the nation in a reverential fashion, they intended that the same arms that launched the revolt against England would be in place. The purpose of this was not just to overthrow a future tyrant, but to give potential tyrants pause, to keep both foreign and home grown tyrants honest.

And that all goes before her argument falls against the results that the FBI has published, that in the last decade the communities and states that have increased gun presence and permissions, have each seen reductions in crimes. Including accidental shootings. Against crime it is the presence of armed citizens, usually meaning handguns, that is having an impact. Long guns would meet the national security and tyrant-repellent concerns, but not the national need to keep people of good will and good character in charge of their own community.

Friday, February 24, 2012

12 more died in Afghanistan protest, despite Obama apology

According to MSNBC, the protests in Afghanistan continue despite President Obama's apology for the burning of qurans at a military base there.

We certainly don't believe B. Hussein (where was he born, again, and why can't anyone find the birth certificate? Which treaties were negotiated in secret like AFTA? What do you mean, US agents and citizens are being killed with weapons hurried on their way to drug cartels by the BATFE?) Obama. Why should he expect people with deeply held convictions to believe his apology?

This is a simple but excruciating measure of the lack of presence of our American President in world affairs. Ignore him at your leisure (but guard your back), like the rest of the world does.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

I hope Hillary learns something, here. has an article on Poland's rejection of the ACTA international treaty. That was the SOPA/PIPA debacle that Obama and company wanted so bad they could taste it, only the truth interfered.

The US Secretary of State has been up to her eyebrows in these secret treaty negotiations. None of the contents of the ACTA treaty were made public until most nations had signed onto it. Here in the US, the secrecy was considered necessary to prevent "grave damage to the nation".

I hope that Secretary Clinton learns that adhering to honest negotiation, in full public view and with full disclosure, means that surprises like this angry rejection can be avoided.

The blame, though, goes to The One that sets foreign policy. President Obama has gone behind so many backs in his career, he doesn't understand how to be honest. And he doesn't see a reason to be honest.

I hope that Secretary Clinton takes this failure of the negotiations of the last four years to heart. And I hope the Republicans bring it home to roost on both of their doorsteps.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Why don't the Republicans . . .

I read today in the NY Times that the Republicans are planning to attack President Obama's oil and energy policies over the rising cost of gas at the pump.

Since 2005 the price of gas has varied almost entirely because of speculation. The ability of oil producing nations to increase production to meet price changes -- hit limits. Old fields take more work, more time, and more money to produce the same amount of oil, and new fields take a long time -- 10 years -- to bring production to market. The production limits are real, the speculation is often political, often whimsical or manipulative or both.

The part that I don't understand is why the President hasn't been called on his relentless and continuing apparent disregard for limits of law and the US Constitution on the authority of the office of President of the United States.

Why are the Republicans so reluctant to decry apparent disregard of required Senate oversight of important nominations, of manipulating or inventing Congressional recesses to "deam" recess appointments? What about carrying on implementation of ObamaCare after the law was ruled unconstitutional in Federal courts? What about unilaterally declaring CO2, a naturally occurring gas required for plants to grow, a hazardous waste in order to unilaterally, without Congressional oversight or concurrence, expand the powers of the EPA? What about continuing financial sleights of hand, forging on to increase the national debt in despite of Congressional mandates and discord?

What about disregard of bankruptcy law, in the gifting of GM to the labor unions while stealing the due possession of legitimate creditors and stock holders?

It seems to me that the Republicans, if they care about rebuilding a strong nation and strong economy, have a lot of important targets to aim at. Gas prices at this point are based on whim, not the physics of pumping a diminishing amount of oil from the ground.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

The voting poor, vs. the poor

Tam wrote about Mitt Romney's crude words, "I don't care about the poor."

I don't feign concern for the poor, either. Well, unless you count myself; I'm pretty concerned about me, after all.

One comment to her post, Anonymous 3:56 wondered:

I have to wonder how many of these candidates would be worried about the poor if the poor couldn't vote?

I think the poor would still be on the agenda, if the poor couldn't vote.

Let any segment of the population get too irate, and bad things happen. Women, unions, minorities, they all were capable of disrupting "business", all capable of destroying property and injuring or at least inconveniencing "voters".

The alternative to letting poor people vote is to define a class system, to restrict privileges and legal penalties by class. To use laws and government attention to control "undesirables". Wait, we already do that.

But at least the good poor people can vote, as long as they don't get convicted of a felony. And keep a residence and voter registration current. Even if that makes it look like we call "poor" those middle class people that can barely afford to live like middle class people.

And that those actually poor, that have given up trying to live like middle class America or never could, can't vote. Maybe what politicians refer to as poor voters is really just a scare tactic to sway middle class voters that fear losing more income, facing higher prices, and losing more ability to afford a middle class or wealthy life style.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Harry S. Truman got it right.

"All the President is, is a glorified public relations man who spends his time flattering, kissing and kicking people to get them to do what they are supposed to do anyway.

Harry S Truman, Letter to his sister, Nov. 14, 1947
33rd president of US (1884 - 1972)"

I think the part of President B. Hussein Obama's presidency that scares me the most, is that he cares nothing for what people are supposed to do anyway. He wants us to do what he wants, which violates the mandate for a President.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Hollywood -- panderer, miser

So, I just read's article on the new movie "Red Tails" (one of their articles). They point out that Hollywood as an industry rejected the notion of the movie, refused to get involved. An action movie with an all African-America cast, about racism in the US Army and in America, and how racism got in the way of fighting WWII. And how Americans, of various races, survived the conflicts.

So I checked. There is one theater in rural Ponca City, OK. Four screens, the Northpark Cinema Four, a Carmike Theaters theater.

And it *isn't* playing Red Tails. Nor is it playing "Haywired" (the movie I actually wanted to see this weekend.

And, you know, that whole SOPA crap just really hit home to me.

Here is Hollywood, advertising on local stations movies they flat out do not intend to show in my area (not within fifty miles). They are already advertising the DVD release. Their industry isn't about serving my community with quality entertainment, not Hollywood, not Carmike Cinema.

Now, Carmike I can see, picking and choosing which films to show. I mean, they charge an extra three or five bucks a ticked when they can flag a '3D' film. The one 3D film I saw wasn't worth the three bucks, let alone ticket+$3. And the 3D wasn't the part worth seeing, not for me.

So I kind of resent that they are holding for the fourth or fifth week a second screen of some Disney re-release, instead of an interesting new flick. You have to understand the theaters, I know. The theater gets to keep like 5% to 10% of the ticket price the first week or three, depending on the distributor and the contract the movie chain signs with the distributor. That is why "no passes for the first week(s)" thing. But the revenue share goes up, if you hang onto the movie for four or five weeks, so if 20 people go to see the movie the fifth week, the theater makes as much, or more as if 100 to 200 people see it opening week, barring popcorn sales. And leaving the movie there simplifies bookkeeping for everyone, so we see movies hanging on, taking the places that might have been used by fresher releases.

When a popular movie is well received and the community continues to return and return (Star Wars, Sound of Music, Shooter come to mind), this works out OK. Otherwise, not so much.

My own feeling is anger. If the movie makers are so disrespectful of my town they won't show, in movie theaters, the movies I want to see and that they are pimping hither and yon, then I care less about whether the "oh, by the way" fees and crap get enforced.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

SOPA - where is the porn?

OK, SOPA is supposed to be front money for the recording industry. I mean, Elvis' estate is still going big guns, making big money for a cherished few. Disney properties continue to reap the "re-release the thing every seven years to keep the market fresh and lucrative" windfall of ever-renewed copyrights.

But think back to cell phones receiving video. Think back to what made the internet grow.

It was dirty pictures. Pornography. Pics of folks frolicking like a day-time soap, with the sheets pulled down. It was porn that drove the new technology, that created the mass appeal that brought the prices down, so that Mom can hand 8 year old Junior his cell phone and wander off across Wal-Mart without the tyke bothering her.

Now we don't hardly (many of us) think of the internet as a place for porn. We think of news stories, and favorite blogs. Real, homey kinds of stuff we share with Mom. Well, we might show her P!nk's 'clean' version of Pretty Pretty Please video on, rather than the original "Fuckin Perfect" lyrics. Same song, different sensibility/market.

Now the internet tracks the sites we visit, so that marketers can better whack each of us with whatever they are pushing, from pirated purses to that getaway vacation on an Italian cruise ship. Oh. That was last week. Anyway.

The suits, lawyers, and marketing wonks have moved in and sucked up the landscape to make their careers and profits. Some of us remember when you couldn't see the traffic road signs for the billboards, as marketing jumped onto that marketing opportunity. They just moved to the so-called "information superhighway". Of course, most of us just take side-trips, but that is another story.

Fighting copyright crap is really fighting marketing crap. Marketing takes old, fossil ways of doing things, trying to capture the market and revenues, and usually in a piratical manner to cut the opposition's throat. That is what we are seeing with SOPA and DMCA and other sops to marketing. They have nothing to do with family values, with benefit to America except to enrich those with deep pockets and an intent to capitalize on whatever they can get away with.

So, where is the porn? Where is the interest of Americans that isn't driven by marketing. It isn't made by Apple. At one time is was the fishing pole, or the hot rod impromptu race car. Another time it was the bicycle, or the motor car, or the steam locomotive burning wood and pulling two cars if it was a bigger engine.

It might be the garden that Ferry-Morse and WalMart (cute packages this year, with only slightly higher prices than last year) aren't planting. Maybe (Baker Creek Nursery) or Richter's have a clue about gardening with heritage (sustainable) seeds and perennial vegetable gardens, were flowers are planted not for landscaping but for supporting bees and spiders (nature's bug predators).

It might be the John Michael Greer's ArchdruidReport, and, in planning for the long descent from economic affluence as the wealth generation from burning cheap fossil fuels dwindles as the fuels become less accessible and less cheap.

But it won't be protected by SOPA.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

OMG! Dilbert reads DayByDay!

OK, not Dilbert, but Scott Adams that writes the Dilbert comic strip on life in the dead-end corporate world. Today, Wally gets paid off for being discriminated against -- and he wonders what to do with a $1 billion dollars, now that he is one of the 1%. Pointy haired boss directs him to "the tiny unicorn with a golden key".

On, Damon (sorry about this link. It just seems the most cynical,apropos snark on the pursuit of the opposite sex, ever.) has been running for US President (from the comic strip). DbD has always been non-Demcrat, pits two sisters and their families across the liberal/conservative divide. The take is that liberals have good intentions but tend to make matters worse for the most people, and there *is* no voice for conservatives, since the Republican party is so heavily invested in business as usual, they are uninterested in Constitutional government, checks and balances, or the will of the Republican party let alone the American people.

DbD tends to lampoon President Obama as a throwback to the pre-Revolutionary war French king, with period costume and obsequious lackeys.

Another touch point of mine on the internet is a farmer from Indiana, Frank W. James. Mr. James is a professional gun writer of long standing, with several books to his credit, and several magazine articles and columns currently. Frank refers to the current resident of the White House as President Unicorn, with scant admiration.

It is seldom that Dilbert strays so far from mundane office politics and snark, even indirectly into Presidential commentary. To be fair, this might be a snide comment on the Occupy rudderless disturbances (with their support from labor unions and Obama's re-election committee). The 1% is an Occupy/Obama talking point reference. The unicorn, though has long been a symbol used by President B. Hussein Obama's detractors.

You go, Dilbert!

Monday, January 9, 2012

I voted Republican since Gerald Ford

And yet, I think Hillary Clinton might be the least-bad choice for America.

I think the Democratic party needs to jettison Obama for Hillary; that would be my preferred scenario. The NY Times' Bill Keller thinks a more likely scenario would move Hillary into the VP spot come November. That, I think, would be terrible for America, leaving the Obama tribunal at the top of the feeding frenzy pyramid. I shudder to think what an extra *month* of Obama will do.

But the Republican party has shown itself to be remarkably resilient -- and resistant to learning anything about why Congress is so mistrusted, why winning the election seems so at odds with what the Tea Party and even the Occupy movements signify.

That is, unless something radical happens between now and then, I don't see myself voting Republican this year. And most incumbents had better have a damned virtuous -- and conservative, constitutional -- track record.