Archive for the ‘constitution’ Category

A license to kill our own

March 9, 2010

What do you think?  Do you think a secret committee of government staffers can vote on who lives and who dies?  Stop and absorb that please.  Were you up in arms about the so-called Obama “Death Panel?”  Were ya?  Well it’s happening right now……

I saw an article in Newsweek, Can Intel Agencies Kill Americans? Pretty troubling to think about.  It’s another example of the slow deterioration in our fundamental right to be safe from our own government.  The director of national intelligence testified that United States intelligence agencies can assassinate United Citizens. It’s alleged that “… strikes specifically targeting Americans must first be approved by a secret committee made up of senior intel officials and members of the president’s cabinet.

Our right to due process is guaranteed to us by the Fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution.  It reads in part, “..nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law.”  This clause is in the Constitution to prevent the government from killing its citizens without some sort of due process.   We’re supposed to know what the government accuses us of, be able to present a defense and have a disinterested arbiter weigh the evidence.  Allowing a secret committee to decide who lives and who dies is something we all should fear.  That is an out of control government.

And don’t get me wrong.  I’m not saying that some of these people don’t deserve to die, but I don’t think having a group of government officials casting votes on which American citizen should be assassinated is the way to go.

As long as I’m alive I will still  GET OUTSIDE EVERYDAY!!!

I thought this was a fitting picture for an entry about an overly aggressive government.  In addition to this fire tower with all kinds of antennae on it there are a bunch of other towers at the top of the mountain.  If there were so many people that wanted to hurt us don’t you think they would blow up or cut down some of these towers.   By destroying one of these towers you could create a huge disruption for minimal effort.   Sure, there are lots of bad, evil, mean people out there, but not so many that we need to live in fear or abrogate our rights.  While your government wants you to think that you need to fear the other people, it’s your own government that you need to fear.

After a light snow.  Just a white pine with a little slush on it.  If you look at the slope of the land you can see that this is a pretty steep area.  I like hills.  I went to Indiana one time.  It was way too flat for me and there is no ocean either.

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Nazi Checkpoints

October 4, 2009

Drip, drip drip.  Chip, chip, chip.  The frogs in the pot don’t realize that the water is beginning to boil.

Citizens of the United States are supposed to be able to travel freely and not be subjected to unreasonable searches or seizures.  Although the Constitution doesn’t specifically mention “travel,” the right to travel has been a firmly embedded right since the Articles of Confederation guaranteed that “the people of each State shall have free ingress and regress to and from any other State.” There is also a long line of case establishing that states can’t treat newcomers differently than long-time residents unless the state restriction is necessary to serve a compelling state interest.

And in the 1999 SCOTUS case of Saenz v. Roe, 526 US 489 (1999) Justice Stevens notes:

The word “travel” is not found in the text of the Constitution. Yet the “constitutional right to travel from one State to another” is firmly embedded in our jurisprudence. United States v. Guest , 383 U. S. 745, 757 (1966). Indeed, as Justice Stewart reminded us in Shapiro v. Thompson , 394 U. S. 618 (1969), the right is so important that it is “assertable against private interference as well as governmental action … a virtually unconditional personal right, guaranteed by the Constitution to us all.” Id., at 643 (concurring opinion).

Then we all know, or should know, of course that The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated…” The operative word being “unreasonable.”  Generally government can’t stop us or search our person without having some reason to do so.  Government can’t go on fishing expeditions.  Government is supposed to know what specific contraband it is looking to seize and particularly where that contraband is likely to be found prior to engaging in any search.  Government is not supposed to set up so called “dragnets” where it nets the innocent as well as the guilty.

If you are seized you are not free to go about your business.  What constitutes a seizure can vary from state to state, but generally if there is a show of authority (men in blue, orders to stop, guns, flashing lights, badges and other such acts/things) and you yield to that show of authority/force than you have been seized and prevented from going about your business.

This is a confusing area of the law.  On the one hand the cops can set up drunk driving checkpoints because of the immediate danger that freaking dumb drunks pose to the rest of us.   On the other hand Indianapolis v. Edmund, 531 US 32 (2000) made clear, at least for the time being, that cops can’t set up checkpoints with the purpose of interdicting illicit drugs.  Interestingly enough the so called “Conservative Justices” – Scalia, Thomas and Rehnquist were in favor of allowing random police stops of citizens going about their business. As Rehnquist noted in his dissent random law enforcement checkpoints are legitimate to “…checking for driver’s licenses and vehicle registrations, and because there is nothing in the record to indicate that the addition of the dog sniff lengthens these otherwise legitimate seizures, I dissent.”  Conservative my ass!!  He is a Republican.

My definition of a Republican: someone who thinks the government can do nothing right unless and until it comes to kicking in doors, searching, seizing citizens, legislating morality, law enforcement and the military and than the government can do no wrong. I’ve never been certain how some people can hold two mutually exclusive beliefs.  That’s me though.

Anyways, now that the foundation has been built: 1. we have the right to free intrastate and interstate travel and 2. we have the right to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures let’s look at some startling violations that are happening as we speak.  Tipping point?  You decide.

Tipping point?  You decide.  Chip, chip, chip, drip, drip, drip.  The water around the pot of frogs slowly comes to a boil.

GET OUTSIDE EVERY FREAKING DAY WHILE WE ARE STILL ALLOWED TO DO SO!!!!

How many campfires did you sit around this summer?  I know one thing, not enough!!

37Here I am catching a crappy wave.

17So GET OUTSIDE EVERYDAY © and rip it up!!


Eminent Domain

September 30, 2009

The Fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution states, “…nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.” This clause of the Fifth Amendment is known as the takings clause.  It empowers the government to take private property for public use.  Maybe you know someone who had a few feet taken from their front lawn to widen a road or build a sidewalk.   The Fifth Amendment also requires that when governments exercise their right of eminent domain that “just compensation” is given to the owners of the property.   It allows governments to take private property for “public use” as long as just compensation is paid.

So the natural outcome is that we are all left deciding and defining what is “private property,” what is “public use” and what is “just compensation.”

Well a few years ago there was a big eminent domain case out of Connecticut, Kelo v. New London, 545 U.S. 469 (2005). The long and short of it, the way I understand it, is that Big Pharma Giant Pfizer wanted to build a plant in New London.  The city established a private corporation to oversee development in the area.  The problem was that a bunch of people still owned homes and lived in the area.  The question became whether government can while exercising its power of eminent domain take private property from some people (the homeowners) and give it to other private parties (the New London Redevelopment Corp. that was representing private interests).  The big question became what was public use and whether generalized promises of future jobs and future tax revenues could qualify as “public use.”  The Court has slowly allowed “public use” to be redefined as public purpose.    If the effervescent promise of future tax revenues qualifies as a great enough benefit, just about any government taking of private property can somehow be rationalized as public purpose.

Or as Justice Thomas wrote in his dissent, “Once one permits takings for public purposes in addition to public uses, no coherent principle limits what could constitute a valid public use…”  Why not take any house or business if some developer or business is able to somehow show that by razing the existing home/business and replacing it with a new business that government may get sometime down the road the possibility of additional taxes?

I would ask, where is the public use?  How is the public able to use the plant that Pfizer wanted to build?  We can’t so there is no public use to my non-black robed eyes. The public has no beneficial interest in a privately owned plant.  To me it appeared that this was a land grab by government to further the interests of private industry.

Do you think that private entities offering the possibility of future jobs and taxes is enough of a public use to justify government taking private property? I don’t.

The City of New London won and the homeowners lost their homes.  End of story?  Not quite.

The case was decided in 2005 so what happened to all of the new jobs, new development and new taxes.  I want to know.

As Jeff Benedict wrote in the Hartford Courant,

A few weeks ago I visited the neighborhood, ground zero in the famous battle between the city and homeowners. Here’s what I saw: a sea of brown dirt littered with old rusty nails, broken bricks and slivers of glass — the only signs that people once lived there. Every home has vanished. Nothing has been built in their place. The neighborhood is a ghost town, a scarlet letter on the city’s forehead.

No new tax revenues have come.  No new jobs have come.  No new “public use” has come.

And in another follow-up story, AP writer Katie Nelson notes, “But what of the promised building boom that was supposed to bring up to 3,169 jobs and $1.2 million a year in tax revenues?”  There are no new jobs.  There are no new taxes.  There is no public use.  They took the land, kicked the people out of their homes and gave nothing back.  Government is controlled by monied vested interests.

Like I always say, if it can happen to them, it can happen to you.  On notice is on guard.

GET OUTSIDE EVERYDAY!! ©

p1010025Just a pretty summer pond.  In a couple more weeks these trees will be ablaze with color.  I was walking about and I saw some scraping at the base of a tree from where a woodpecker had gone to town.

p1010024So I thought to myself that these scrapings would be great tinder for a firesteel.  I didn’t get a fire going, but I guess the point is to always be aware and on the look out for what you may be able to use.

Now that summer is winding down I hope to get back a bit more to blogging.

Why should we?

July 14, 2009

I mean really.  I’m trying not to use profanity, because I don’t know you folks and someone shouldn’t write anything on the Internet that they wouldn’t say to their mother or sister.

Anyways…did you see that federal buildings are vulnerable to attack? The Government Accountability Office (“GAO”) sent undercover ops carrying bomb making supplies into federal buildings.  Once the agents made it past security and metal detectors they assembled the make believe bombs and carried them all over the buildings.  The GAO attempted to penetrate 10 buildings and they were successful 100% of the time.  One of the security (ahem) professionals was sleeping and another was found using a government computer to run a porn website.  Talk about double dipping.

Which reminds me of another older story I saw, GAO: Investigators pass security at 19 airports with bomb parts.

So it’s pretty apparent to me that our Government is as ineffective at securing our airports and buildings as it was responding to hurricanes, or getting to some victim when they are getting their head kicked in and 911 is called.  The Government can’t do it.

Also, anyone who has spent time in a correctional facility will tell you that the guards can’t keep drugs out of prisons.  Why should they when their is so much money to be made by guards smuggling drugs into prisons.  So the Government can’t even keep drugs out of a walled, concertina wired fortress like a prison either.

We’ve been giving up our privacy ever since 9/11.  We’ve been forced to take off our shoes and subject strangers to our dirty, stinky feet.  There are cameras on almost every street corner or traffic light.  We get stopped at roadblocks, and our free movement as US citizens is limited.  It’s getting harder and harder to exercise our Second Amendment rights.  Even protesters are locked into Free Speech Zones.  (I thought the whole US of A was a Free Speech Zone.) They’ve been tapping into our email, Internet browsing, blogging, telephone calls and banking activity.  Think about that, every time any of your info is sent electronically, it is sifted and sorted and compiled and filed by Big G Government.

WHAT FOR!?!?!  All of these Big G Government trespasses into our private affairs obviously don’t have the desired effect of making us safe.

Why do we stand for it!?!?  They search my pockets to make me safe and people still smuggle bomb making materials into protected buildings and box cutters onto planes.  I get stopped for having a Swiss Army Knife on my key chain.

The reason Big G Government is spying on us and limiting our privacy and civil liberties isn’t to make us safe, IT’S TO TRACK US, ANALYZE US AND FIGURE OUT WHO MAY BE A THREAT – POLITICAL OR OTHERWISE.

and my digital camera is back so I can share with you, beg of you and plead with you to GET OUTSIDE EVERY DAY!!! I used to work with one of the best attorneys in the state.  She went to all of the best private schools, high school, undergrad and law school.  This particular attorney had no idea that bees had to pollinate flowers for her to eat an apple, peach, pear or orange.  So I know some reading this may have 1,000 acres in corn, but some other people might not know where corn comes from.   The corn around me is about five feet tall.  This is the male cornflower.  It spews pollen.

P1010009Hopefully a lot of the pollen falls down and lands on the female parts…

P1010012The pollen then fertilizers each little kernel of corn.  If you ever get an ear that has the kernels all messed up it’s most likely due to some sort of problem with when the flower was pollinated.  Because corn is wind pollinated (not insect pollinated) you have to plant more than a few plants in order to get good pollination.  So the next time you sit down to have an ear of buttered corn stop and take a second to thank the farmer who grew it for your table and the miracle of nature.

Deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed

July 4, 2009

Surfing up in Maine for the weekend so I figured I’d let some other people do the writing for me.

READ IT.  READ IT. READ IT.  READ IT AGAIN. You owe it to every person who has died in the name of the United States.

The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America

When in the Course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

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. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security. — Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present [FILL IN THE BLANK] King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.

He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.

He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.

He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of Representation in the Legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.

He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their Public Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.

He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.

He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected, whereby the Legislative Powers, incapable of Annihilation, have returned to the People at large for their exercise; the State remaining in the mean time exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.

He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands.

He has obstructed the Administration of Justice by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary Powers.

He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.

He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harass our people and eat out their substance.

He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the Consent of our legislatures.

He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil Power.

He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation:

For quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:

For protecting them, by a mock Trial from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:

For cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world:

For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:

For depriving us in many cases, of the benefit of Trial by Jury:

For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences:

For abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighbouring Province, establishing therein an Arbitrary government, and enlarging its Boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these Colonies

For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments:

For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.

He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his Protection and waging War against us.

He has plundered our seas, ravaged our coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.

He is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation, and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & Perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation.

He has constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive on the high Seas to bear Arms against their Country, to become the executioners of their friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their Hands.

He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.

In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Prince, whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.

Nor have We been wanting in attentions to our British brethren. We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations, which would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our Separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace Friends.

We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these united Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States, that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. — And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes, and our sacred Honor.

John Hancock

New Hampshire:
Josiah Bartlett, William Whipple, Matthew Thornton

Massachusetts:
John Hancock, Samuel Adams, John Adams, Robert Treat Paine, Elbridge Gerry

Rhode Island:
Stephen Hopkins, William Ellery

Connecticut:
Roger Sherman, Samuel Huntington, William Williams, Oliver Wolcott

New York:
William Floyd, Philip Livingston, Francis Lewis, Lewis Morris

New Jersey:
Richard Stockton, John Witherspoon, Francis Hopkinson, John Hart, Abraham Clark

Pennsylvania:
Robert Morris, Benjamin Rush, Benjamin Franklin, John Morton, George Clymer, James Smith, George Taylor, James Wilson, George Ross

Delaware:
Caesar Rodney, George Read, Thomas McKean

Maryland:
Samuel Chase, William Paca, Thomas Stone, Charles Carroll of Carrollton

Virginia:
George Wythe, Richard Henry Lee, Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Harrison, Thomas Nelson, Jr., Francis Lightfoot Lee, Carter Braxton

North Carolina:
William Hooper, Joseph Hewes, John Penn

South Carolina:
Edward Rutledge, Thomas Heyward, Jr., Thomas Lynch, Jr., Arthur Middleton

Georgia:
Button Gwinnett, Lyman Hall, George Walton

Get outside everyday!!

Have you seen these before?  They’re Indian Pipes.  It’s also called the Ghost Plant. Boo!!

p1010009It’s a saprophytic plant, which means that it feeds on dead organic matter. Boo!!  Because it doessn’t have chlorophyl it doesn’t photosynthesize and that’s why it’s white and not green like most plants.  The Native Americans made some powerful potions from the root tea.  It was used for such things as: convulsion, fits and epilepsy.

In A Texas Town

April 30, 2009

This is the story of race, law, constitutional rights and incompetence.  Have any of you heard of Regina Kelly?  The crimes against Ms. Kelly took place in Hearne, TX, but they could have occurred in any city in any state against any of us.  If what you have seen out of your own government over the poast 10, or 20 years isn’t enough to convince you that it could happen to you, then you haven’t been paying attention.

In 2000 Ms. Kelly was a young mother of four, who was swept up in an illegal police raid.  She was told to either plead guilty and get ten years probation or face possibly being found guilty and face 99 years in prison.

But as can be heard in any of our Halls of Justice across this fine land every single day, “But I didn’t do it.”  And the defense counsel can be heard everyday saying, “It doesn’t matter.  You choice is to plead guilty to a lesser charge or risk trial and get who knows how much time.”

Like most city, county and state governments in Hearne, TX there was a drug enforcement task force.   Although drugs were available in all the neighborhoods of Hearne, TX the authorities made a conscious decision to only concentrate their efforts on the housing projects and poor, black people.

The ACLU complaint alleged that the the City of Hearne and Limestone and Robertson Counties engaged in racially motivated and targeted drug sweeps.   “Each sweep results in the detention of virtually every member of an entire, neighborhood, as well as the warrantless searches of many residents’ property and person.”  Also, “the African American community is held in a state of lockdown, with officers of the Task Force, City and Counties as well as officers employed by neighboring counties and cities, searching and detaining innocent residents, often in handcuffs, for lengthy periods of time without warrant or cause.”

So because it’s such a compelling story a movie was made about the events, American Violet.

Who among us can’t relate to the fear of getting railroaded by The Man?

The other interesting thing is that when the movie studio was trying to promote the movie and placed posters in stores around Hearne what do you suppose happened…

The premiere was well attended, though getting the word out was not easy. Father Robert Herald, who hosted the event, said someone dressed in a SWAT uniform advised local merchants to take down the movie’s advertisements.  “They were told it might go better if their poster was removed,” Herald said.

I am SHOCKED, shocked that The Authorities would use our tax dollars and send around guys in uniform to suppress free speech. NOT!!

Is the scourge of drugs so bad as to warrant the destruction of civil rights?  Are you willing to trade your civil rights in return for the false promise of the elimination of illegal drugs?

The War on Drugs and the War on Terrorism are nothing but great schemes put in place by the PTB to desensitize Americans to government abuse.  Now we are accepting of road blocks, having to take our shoes off to fly and warrantless wiretaps.

GET OUTSIDE EVERYDAY!

p1010105This shot is taken from the top of one of the little humps that I sometimes walk.  It may be tough to see, but that mountain in the distance is Mount Wachusett.  You can ski there in teh winter if you don’t mind ponying up 50 bucks.  It’s a ways away.

Went to a friend’s friend’s farm to get a load of manure.  I love manure.

p1010110Some horses that they own.  Are you friends with any farmers so you can get manure from them?  If not make friends.

Don’t get the flu.

p1010112

234 years ago

April 21, 2009

April 19, 1775.  The Boston Massacre (where an escaped slave, Crispus Attucks, was shot and killed) and the Boston Tea Party both had already taken place.  British troops were marching from Boston to Concord, Mass in order to seize hidden stores of militia supplies. Once the colonists found out about the column of British regulars headed to Concord the alarm was sounded.  Bells from town to town rang out, warning guns were fired, bonfires were lit and war drums were beat.  Due to previous conflicts with Indians the colonists had a very effective early warning system developed.  Militia from all over Massachusetts mustered and started on their marches to Concord.  Early on the morning of April 19,  1775 as the British regulars came into the town of Lexington they were met by Lexington militia men.  Although commanders on both sides  ordered their troops not to fire, most likely a drunk in the tavern fired the first shot, and then all Hell broke loose.  The colonists vastly outnumbered were routed and the British started on to Concord.  In Concord there was resistance and a  small  skirmish took place at the North Bridge.  By now additional militia continued to arrive and the Redcoats beat a hasty retreat back to BostonDuring the entire 15 mile retreat back to Boston the Redcoats were picked apart by the colonists’ militia.  By the next morning militia from all over New England had arrived and now numbering 15,000+ laid siege to the city of Boston.

The Revolutionary War had begun.

Because I live in the cradle of liberty I like to celebrate the birth of our republic and the fallen.  Besides, I like the sound of fife and drum and the smell of gunpowder in the morning.  In 1775 the Lincoln Militia was the first to arrive in Concord and faced down the best trained and best supplied army at that time, the British war machine.

p1010003The day started at 06:30 at an old cemetery in Lincoln.  If you notice you can see militia men standing in front of gravestones.  It was a nice foggy morning.

p1010004As a name was called the former farmer and present soldier moved away from his grave and joined his comrades in formation.  Fife and drum played on.  It brought tears to my eyes.  This was the 42nd year marching for the  gentleman in the foreground with the reddish coat (and carrying his musket in an unsafe manner).

The captain called the troops to order and we began our march onto Concord.  Many towns around here have contingents of Minutemen that do different events throughout the year.

So on April 19, 1775 as the alarm was spread Minutemen from throughout New England started their march towards Concord.  You can pretty much march with any group.  This year we marched with the Lincoln contingent.  Some groups start their march at 03:30 in order to arrive in Concord on time.

p1010010The roster was read and thanks were given.

p1010009And off for our six mile walk to Concord for the big parade.  Along the way fife and drum were played and musket was firedIt is really quite moving to be walking the same roads that the Minutemen did so long ago, with folks wearing the period correct clothes, playing fife and drum and shooting musket.

It helps to remind me of the sacrifice that sometimes need be made in order to keep a peoples free from tyranny and oppression.  And give thanks to those who helped to secure ours so long ago. They died so that our children may be free.

p1010011Flags were laid upon memorials and graves.  This is where one group of Lincoln Minutemen met another group.  People came out of their houses to watch us march on the same road that our forefathers marched on 234 years ago.

p1010012And another musket salute for the fallen.

p10100131More fife and musket in the dawn.

Here was a fun and celebratory family that really gets into the spirit of the holiday with their own cannon fire.  BABOOM!!

p1010016It may be tough to see, but this joyous family had four different cannon set up from itty bitty to pretty big.  Boom echoed throughout the neighborhood.  A couple little fires started in the woods so the garden hose was dispatched.

p1010017Crossing a swamp on the way to Concord.

p1010018Arriving in Concord about two hours later.

p10100201A salute from the cavalry who fell in behind us.  Great old fashioned parade with corkguns, American flags and cotton candy for the kids.  There is no place I would rather be on Patriots’ Day then commemorating the dead and their deeds on the same lands where their feet tread.

So please honor these Minutemen.  These brave souls who left hearth and home to venture into the unknown and whose fortitude pointed the colonies down the road to self rule.  Just think when those church bells rang out on that April evening and the Minutemen came running from their homes they had no idea what to expect.  They probably worried that their farms may be burned to the ground by the British.  Although none expected a shooting war, they never knew when they may see their wife or children again….if ever.   And their families left at home did nor know when their husbands, fathers and brothers would return home….if ever.  And some never did.

By the rude bridge that arched the flood,
Their flag to April’s breeze unfurled,
Here once the embattled farmers stood,
And fired the shot heard round the world.
The foe long since in silence slept;
Alike the conqueror silent sleeps;
And Time the ruined bridge has swept
Down the dark stream that seaward creeps.
On this green bank, by this soft stream,
We set today a votive stone;
That memory may their deed redeem,
When, like our sires, our sons are gone.
Spirit, that made those heroes dare
To die, and leave their children free,
Bid Time and Nature gently spare
The shaft we raise to them and thee.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Civil disobedience

April 4, 2009

I have been involved in a number of protests over the years.  I love a good march or protest. I’ll try to tell you what I know about how large groups of people react so if you ever g20decide to cowboy up and actually exercise your constitutional right to peaceably assemble to petition the government for a redress of your grievances as opposed to sitting on your butt pecking away at your keyboard you may know how to behave.  Then again you may be just walking past a demonstration and get caught up in it by either the demonstrators or the police with a giant fishnet.  That’s right during the 04 Repub convention in NYC the police used snow fence like a fishing net and scooped up everyone on the street.

g20-3Plus, I bet over the coming years we see more and more public displays of disaffection.  So even if you don’t plan on going to a protest you may nevertheless find youself caught up in one.

g20-1First, if you want to be safer you are better off in the center of the crowd.  More action happens on the edges and periphery.  Stay in the center of the crowd and you will be less likely to get grabbed by the cops or hurt by anyone.  You can see that the young gents to the left chose to disregard my advice and they are on the edges of the crowd.  The guy on the ground was obviously rewarded for his efforts with a thump and a lump on his head.

Always have an escape plan.  Be wary of being with a crowd in a narrow street or alley way.  A big crowd of people can act as one big wild animal if they get startled.  You do not want to be in the way of a stampede of people trying to escape teargas or rubber bullets.  Always have an escape plan.  Look for a doorway or even an alcove built into the side of a building that you can duck into.  Whatever you do do not fall down.  If you have to, look for a big planter or base of a statue that you can climb up on.

If you are there to protest don’t allow yourself to get herded into a Free Speech first_amendment_zone1Zones.   This is the free speech zone from Boston 2004.  What you thought the whole country was a free speech zone. Haha.  Like I said you better get off of your butt and cowboy up.  A Free Speech Zone is basically a cage where the authorities want all of the protesters to go.   Whether you are pro or con on whatever the issue is the authorities want to stick you in a cage.  Don’t let it happen.  You will be in a closed in area who are in favor of issues that you are opposed to and no one that you want to influence will be around to see you.

Look for the authorities.  Beware of who they are.  Cops and feds too will dress up in plainclothes and infiltrate the crowd. It’s not hard to spot them if you open your eyes.  They look like cops who are dressed as protesters.  Some of them will even have earbuds.  You know the look, short hair, overly muscled, shirt is untucked but looks very out of place, like it’s the first time the shirt has ever been untucked.   Cops have even been known to instigate a problem.  If you can, identify the plainclothes authorities.

7077744Marching takes a lot of energy and water.  Make sure that you bring your own bottled water to stay hydrated.    I’d also suggest bringing safety glasses,  a bandanna or better yet an n95 or n100 mask.  if the tear gas starts going off you can soak the bandana in water and cover you face.  Safety glasses will help with tear gas, mace or flying objects.  I’d also recommend bringing some easy food with you like granola bars or fruit.

I’ve seen quite a few citizens bloodied in the streets of London.  I’m not generally a fan of attacking the authorities and I do feel badly for the Bobbies, but I think it’s about time the citizens start to strike back.  It’s not right that the Bobbies bloody woman and hit folks in the head for being on the streets protesting.  Maybe a few rocks, sticks on molotov cocktails might put the balance of power back into balance.  That’s the breaks when the authorities hurt citizen, the authorities best expect to get hurt by said citizens.

I don’t know enough about William Ayers to condemn the guy.  I’m not sure how instrumental he was in the wicked deeds of the Weather Underground.  That being said the guy is now an academic.   Ayers was hired by a Boston College student group to speak on the state of democracy in America.  The Boston College administration canceled the event. Think about the irony. I’m not a fan of Ayers and I’m not going to defend what he did during the 60’s.

My point is, what does it say about the state of big D Democracy in the United States when someone who is supposed to speak on Democracy has the even canceled because it offends “The Administration.”  No need for a speech.  I think we were all taught a lesson.  Want me to teach it to you?  THERE IS NO DEMOCRACY IN AMERICA that the authorities don’t allow you to have!

BTW what do you call someone who destroys private property and shoots at uniformed officers of the state?

You know, you got that word in your head?  Do you?  What do you call folks who destroy private property and shoot at agents of the government?

Well how about our forefathers that threw cases of tea overboard into Boston Harbor and shot their muskets across the North Bridge in Concord, Massachusetts.

I don’t like Ted Stevens.  I don’t like his politics.  I don’t like his bridge to nowhere.  In my opinion he is a dirty politician.  None of that matters. Our government hid evidence and tried to prevent witnesses from testifying. That’s more than wrong.  It’s tyranny.

Get outside everyday!

p1010043Mmmmmm, gorgeous babling stream with moss covered rocks.  So lush.  So plush.  The sound was equally as pleasing as the sight.

p1010046I love the way the roots of this old birch are like tentacles coming up from the earth to grab the ground.  I like the way the roots have become covered in bark to protect themselves.  What a grand tree.

It’s wrong.

January 26, 2009

Torture is wrong.  I know some may disagree with me.  I’m against torture for a number of reasons: I don’t think that it is effective, it’s illegal, I think that it lowers our moral standing around the world and I think it puts our service people at risk.  One day when I was driving I saw this sign and liked it.

p1010003Sign in front of the local Quaker Meeting House.

1. Torture doesn’t work.  I know that someone will say anything to end pain and suffering.  That’s the crux of it.  Even in an imaginary ticking timebomb scenario like you see on 24, a committed terrorist is just as likely to give bad info to end his suffering as accurate info.  Then we have a ticking timebomb and the good guys going off in the wrong direction.  It’s tough enough to find a needle in the haystack without making the haystack any larger.

2. Torture is illegal.  Our constitution forbids cruel and unusual punishment.  There is no doubt that torture is cruel and unusual.  We’re trying to get info by applying cruel and unusual physical and mental mistreatment.  Torture is also illegal under UN conventions and international treaties that the US is a party to.  Holding a gun to someone’s head or waterboarding are both forms of mock executions and therefore illegal under both US and international law.

3. Torture lowers our standing around the world.  At one time the US was the shining beacon of hope.  Not so much any longer.  Now our major export appears to be weapons and war.  At one time we would speak out against rogue regimes that practiced torture, now we engage in the same acts that we once decried.  It’s pretty tough to condemn others who torture when we do the same stuff and send our captives to places like Syria and Egypt to be tortured.  Now we even outsource torture.

4.  It’s a race to the bottom.  If we torture their guys than how can we legitimately complain when they torture our guys.  When we engage in torturing captives it places all US citizens at greater risk.  As someone who still carries the scars of torture, ask Senator McCain about torture.

Is there anything we won’t do?

winter24Taking a rest.

winter4It’s tough to see here, but this is what we call a bowl.  We like to ski bowls because you can go side to side and downhill the whole time.  It means a longer ride and more turns for less effort.  Right before this picture was taken I took a good spill.  I was skiing down one trail, crossed another trail, went over the lip of this bowl, followed the fall line where a little frozen stream runs and then did a face plant.  Oh well.  No falls, no balls.

Mr. Anonymous

January 8, 2009

Our government likes to spy on us.    Not only do they like to spy on us, but even worse, they DO spy on us.

Due to § 215 of the Patriot Act the FBI can just draft a National Security Letter, without any judicial oversight, and go into your local library or bookstore and demand all of your records.  http://www.nytimes.com/2005/08/26/politics/26patriot.htm

Fortunately the average librarian has more balls than the average congress person. Think about that.  Librarians care enough about your privacy to fight for it and congress people?  Ha!

Uhhh, in case you’re under 20 years old, in the old days OUR Government needed a search warrant, but that was before we were trying to protect our ostensibly free society’s freedom by chilling our very freedoms.

Or OUR  Government can get a “Sneak and Peek” search warrant under § 213 of the Patriot Act, again with very limited oversight, and search your house like creepy, crawly burglars and never even notify the property owner of OUR Government’s trespass.  http://www.lawsch.uga.edu/academics/profiles/dwilkes_more/37patriot.html

Or how OUR Government gets all hot and bothered listening in on all of our phone calls, checking all of our Internet activity and scanning our banking records.  http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,1966132,00.asp Seriously man, I’m not making this stuff up.

Then Our Government takes all of these petabytes of data that Our Government collects on us and they sort it and sift it.

The NSA is in charge of the data mining program that Our Government is running on all of us citizens. http://online.wsj.com/article/SB120511973377523845.html?mod=hps_us_whats_news

If you told me ten years ago what the coming decade had in store for our privacy rights I would have thought that you were out of your mind.  “Never in the United States!” I would have said.

So with that simple background you’ve been warned that you are most certainly being watched, recorded and analyzed.

I know that I’m already on some lists due to my associations with some groups and believe me I’m not talking anarchists, white supremacists or militias.  If you belong to any political group at all you are under suspicion. The Feds are doing it and as someone on another blog pointed out (sorry I forgot who otherwise I’d credit you) the states are doing it too.

So what to do?  Just as you should never voluntarily consent to a search, no matter how nice those LEOs seem, we’re usually better off by trying to cover our tracks a bit.  I mean why make it easy for Our Government to collect data on us.

I’m no computer wiz, but I know that it is easy to track my Internet history.    When you access a website it’s easy to tell where you are geographically located.  Every computer has an address/phone number associated with it and it’s tracked with no effort at all.

You leave little breadcrumbs everywhere you travel in cyber space.

I recommend using anonymizers.  An anonymizer will help to cover your tracks a bit.

You can pay $ to buy an anonymizer or you can download a free one.  Here are some free ones that I’ve used.

http://anonymouse.org/

http://www.hidemyass.com/proxy/

http://www.shadowsurf.com/

http://www.proxyforall.com/

Shhhh and keep it moving along please.  Nothing to look at here folks.  Keep it moving.

Pics- Just Get Outside Everyday.

33

About a third of the way up (click on the pic) in the center is some hawk that we saw.  It doesn’t look like a redtail to me, but I guess it could be his winter colors.  This bird was maybe 18-20″ tall.  That is one big MFR bird. Click on it to see him puffed up in all of his delicious raptor magnificence.

xc1Just a beautiful snowy field.   Those snow coverd pines are dreamlike.   Mmmm.  Mmmm.   Good.

The Police

January 5, 2009

They’re not there to help you.  The police are your enemies.    The police are the sole of the shoe of the jack boot of government.  And they like nothing more than putting it into the back of a citizen as they grind the citizen worker’s face into the pavement.

There was an armed robbery at a car wash in Portland, Oregon.  http://www.katu.com/news/36878034.html The car wash attendant shot the hapless robber in the face with a pressure washer and the robber ran off.  Hahaha.  All’s well that ends well, right?081230_robbery_best

the hero
chris_truax210
employee/victim

The men in blue are summonsed  I guess to take a report and they must have run a background check on the hero slash victim slash vigilante. Well it turns out that the victim/vigilante had his own run in with the law seven or so years ago for a DUI.   So what do the police do?

They arrest the guy, the employee who saved the day, who saved his boss from being robbed.  They arrest the guy who chased off an armed robber without hurting anyone or getting hurt.  They arrest the guy who practices a little atom of street justice.  They arrest the guy who did what the police are incapable of doing.

Blah, blah, blah if you defend it or enable you  are are just as bad.  Save your excuses for someone who cares to enable the growing black cloud of government intrusion.  It ain’t me babe. (B. Dylan 1964)

Jeesh, maybe next time our hero (and other potential heroes who read the story) may not be so willing to get involved.

The police are your enemies.  The police have one thing in mind and that is to *uck with us citizens.

Clang, clang, clang go the handcuffs.  Spray, spray, spray goes the mace.  Bang, bang, bang go the bullets.  Fist, knee, elbow to the citizen’s face.

Don’t speak with them.  Don’t answer their questions because it will be used against you.  All the modern day police care about is making their numbers, busting citizens, throwing people in the can, getting the fines and fees and seizing as much property as possible.  Did you know that your local police get to keep the proceeds gained from the sale of seized property? Then they get to buy more cool black police toys.  Oh, how they like to use all of their cool black police toys because it makes them feel like big men.  You know the black police boats, the black police bikes, the black police ATVs, the black $500,000 command centers, their cool black tazers and so on.

Man how the police love to trot out their cool black police toys.  How they love to put on their elbow and knee pads, bust windows and kick in doors.

I have regular interaction with law enforcement and the court system.

My advice-

Our Great, Grand and Glorious Constitution protects us.  The cops need a reason to search your house.  They need a reason to pull your car over.  They need a reason to get you out of your car.  They need a reason to stop and question you.  They need a reason to search your person.

If the police show up at your house don’t ever let them in unless they have a warrant.

If the cops want to speak to you step outside and speak to them on the stoop/steps of your pad.  Once you invite the cops inside they’re like rats, rodents and roaches looking around your house for some reason to hassle you.  (Come on angry LEOs reading this post.  You know it’s true.  Help your fellow citizens.) They’ll walk away from the front hall of you place to explore other rooms too.  While you’re talking to the cop they’ll walk down the hall to the bedrooms or go into the living room.  You can’t let this happen.  Never let em in unless they have a warrant.

Cops are like vampires.  They can’t come in unless invited.

If you get pulled over remain polite, but answer as few questions as possible and answer as simply as possible.  Don’t tell them anything.  One answer, even if said innocently, leads to more questions.  Don’t give them anything to use against you.  They are professionals.  Anything that you say will make it into their report and then recited in court to be used against you.

I read a police report the other day, “I activated my blue lights and the Mercedes SUV drifted over into the travel lane and then drifted into the breakdown lane.”  BS!! See this is what they do.  What happened was that the officer activated his blues and the SUV pulled over just as he should have.  The way the officer is framing the facts though is that the driver of the  SUV did something wrong by ‘drifting’.

Don’t argue.

They need a reason to pull you over.  Don’t give em any reasons.  Check the lights of you car – brakes, headlights, turn signals and license plate.  Make sure that they all work all of the time.  Just like a pilot walking around his plane for the pre-flight check.  You gotta do it.  If you live in a must wear seat belt state then wear your seat belt or risk interacting with Agents of Our Government.  The cops are looking for a reason to pull you over.  Don’t give them one.

The answer to the question, “have you been drinking?” is always NO!  It’s not I had just one.  One never means one.

Don’t give them a reason to get you out of your car.  “I only had one” is enough of a reason to remove you from your car.  Then it gets easy for them – “unsteady on your feet, swaying, bloodshot eyes, smell of booze, thick tongued, slurred words.” They can make it up.  And they do. And they do.

DON’T EVER CONSENT TO A SEARCH.  NEVER. EVER. NEVER.

The answer to the puke, crap, piss question, “well if you have nothing to hide you won’t mind having me take a look”  is always – “I’d prefer not” or “do you have a warrant” or “I do not consent to a search” or “I’d like to speak with my attorney before I agree to anything.”  If possible voice your non-consent loud enough for passerby and witnesses to hear you.

If they threaten to bring a drug sniffing dog out if you don’t consent then let them do their job.  Your lawyer can argue about it later.  They need a reason to stop you, remove you from your car, prevent your free movement and get a dog.  If their reason isn’t adequate your lawyer may be able to get any evidence tossed later on.  Even if you have nothing to hide never consent to a search. We have to keep Our Government honest.

The big thing in our putatively free democracy is “Custodial Interrogation.”  Once you are in “Custodial Interrogation” all of your Constitutional rights kick in.  In most states the key whether you are in “Custodial Interrogation” is whether you are free to leave.  Therefore, the question to always ask any cop who is preventing you from going about your business is, “am I free to leave?”  Always, ask the cops that question, “am I free to leave?”  If you’re not free to leave then they gotta read you your rights.  If they violate this you walk.  We gotta keep Our Government honest.

A lot of innocent people are locked up every year.  A lot of innocent people get beat up by cops every year.  A lot of innocent people are hassled, have their possessions searched or destroyed or have their sacrosanct rights violated by the police every year.

If the police hassle you without a reason or if you feel like you’ve been a victim of police abuse then call the local chapter of the National Lawyers Guild (“NLG”). http://www.nlg.org/

Interesting history with the NLG.  The American Bar Association didn’t allow black attorneys to join as recently as the early 20th century.  The NLG formed in response to that.  The NLG is the oldest national bar association that does not discriminate based upon race.

p1010110The view from the top of one of the little  “bumps.”

p1010112This is one of the trails down.  It is steeper than it looks.  This is expert cross country skiing.  Good times.

My 9/11 call

December 30, 2008

By now everyone has heard the story of that murdering, dirty, mad animal that dressed as Santa and then went to his in-laws house to shoot a little girl in the face and  murdered nine people in cold blood.

In case your house is the underside of a rock, “The embittered divorcee who dressed up as Santa Claus and murdered nine in a Christmas Eve massacre killed his ex-wife, former in-laws and three of her siblings, depriving 15 children of at least one parent.” http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/northamerica/usa/4000560/Santa-Claus-gunman-lost-job-and-wife-before-murdering-inlaws.html

So the news ghouls are now broadcasting the 9/11 calls that came in from the house as Santa used his homemade flame thrower. ‘my daughter was just shot in the face.’

I’d like to write how my 9/11 call would have gone-

“I just shot Santa in the head can you please send some elves to clean it up. HaHaHa!”

If you don’t carry a firearm and have the stomach, time and patience to do so you are not doing everything that your fellow citizens, city and country require of you.  Our civil rights are like our bodies, if you don’t exercise them they atrophy.

Concealed carry is a huge responsibility.  One needs to practice enough to become proficient.  You need to learn the law so you know when deadly force is or is not defensible. You need to prepare yourself psychologically and understand that drawing a weapon instantly makes you an enormous target.

I wish someone at that Christmas party was armed and ready.  Maybe it wouldn’t have turned out differently or maybe it would have, but at least someone may have given them a fighting chance or enough time to make an escape.

There are sheep, shepherds and wolves.  What do you choose to be?

I was out skiing and saw some deer tracks so I followed them. Why not, right?  Wouldn’t you?

deer hole

deer hole

There may be an official name for this.  If there is please let me know.  This is a hole that a deer slept in the night before.  If you look closely (click on the pic) you can see that the deer was aligned vertically in the hole.  Its butt was at 12 and head at 6.  If you look real closely you can make out where its ear may have laid in the snow.

And one more-

p1010093You can see where its legs were under it too, the little hoof prints.

Our government

December 13, 2008

For the people, of the people and from the people.  Interesting concept in dreamland.  Application of our supposed democratic republic in reality though, well that’s something different.

From the movie Independence Day:

“PRESIDENT: I don’t understand. Where did all this come from? How did this get funded?

MOISHE You didn’t think they actually spent ten thousand dollars for a hammer and thirty thousand for a toilet seat, did you?”

Do you?

Article I, § 8 of the Constitution is pretty clear, Congress gets to spend the money.  It’s part of the separation of powers.  That’s why the line item veto is unconstitutional.  Allowing the president the authority to veto specific items in an appropriations bill is akin to empowering the executive to controlling the purse strings. Clinton v. City of New York, 524 US 417 (1998) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clinton_v._City_of_New_York

The Constitution requires bicameralism (both houses of congress have to approve a bill) then the bill needs to be presented to the chief executive for him to sign, veto or do nothing(pocket veto).  There aren’t that many options.

If you prefer to keep your head buried in the sand then stop reading now and go read the comics.  I call them the way I see them.

So what happens when things get fakakta (that’s yiddish for pooh, not Winnie.)?  That was the problem with Iran/Contra.  Congress didn’t approve the action or the financing so there were no checks and balances in place.  No oversight.  The president at that time did it all.

This is where it’s going to get crazy, and quite frankly unbelievable.  I don’t want to believe it.

What am I trying to get at?  What if I told you that elements within our government may be running illegal drugs in order to fund black operations?  Do you get that, that rogue elements within our government could be running illegal drugs in order to fund operations without congressional approval or oversight?  It’s illegal.

Now the president’s “extraordinary rendition” program is well known.  You know the program where we take suspects and fly them out to countries like Eqypt and Syria in order to be tortured.  Yup, that’s right we even outsource torture now.  You might ask yourself why if Syria is on the list of those who get a lump of coal do we send prisoners there.  Interesting, huh?

“Outsourcing Torture – The secret history of America’s “extraordinary rendition” program.” http://www.newyorker.com/archive/2005/02/14/050214fa_fact6

So you got that so far?

So what would you think if some of the CIA planes that were used to transport suspects to be tortured in Syria or to Gitmo were later found crashed with tons of cocaine on them?  Well I hope you’d find that interesting to say the least.

Let me put it together for you again, elements within our government may be smuggling illegal drugs in order to fund black operations without congressional oversight.

I’m sorry to maybe open your eyes to what your own government is doing.  It’s terribly disheartening when we have spent so much $ and ceded so many of our civil liberties to the War on Drugs to only discover that our government could be at the center of it, or at least directly involved.

Do you doubt it, then let me know.

“MEXICO CITY (AFP) — A private jet that crash-landed almost one year ago in eastern Mexico carrying 3.3 tons of cocaine had previously been used for CIA “rendition” flights, a newspaper report said here Thursday, citing documents from the United States and the European Parliament.  The daily said it had obtained documents from the United States and the European Parliament which “show that that plane flew several times to Guantanamo, Cuba, presumably to transfer terrorism suspects.”

http://afp.google.com/article/ALeqM5j6QonBKKMo2gw1e3ql-xUcQEZbVg

This is some crazy Shiite, huh?

CIA Torture Jet wrecks with 4 Tons of COCAINE

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oszATUJ4IRE

The last rays of sunlight glint off its wings of the plane, which looks for all the world as if it were carry potentates from the US Department of Homeland Security to a conference on drug interdiction at a posh Cancun hotel.

Except this plane isn’t carrying diplomats or FBI agents…

Instead, it is loaded with 128 identical black leather suitcases, each tightly packed with cocaine, an incredible quantity of cocaine, 5.5 tons in all. Stenciled on the side of each suitcase was a single word: Privado.

Inside the suitcases, the packages of cocaine were stamped with different symbols: a scorpion, a star, a horse, among others, as though they were going to different drug gangs for onward smuggling up through Mexico to the U.S.”

http://www.madcowprod.com/08232006.html

“A Beechcraft Super King Air 350 (N675BC), registered to a suspected CIA front, Aviation Enterprises, Inc. of Wilmington, Delaware, was recently spotted alongside a Russian-made AN-124, suspected of being a major drug transport cargo plane, in Colombia.

The “specially configured” King Air flew from Tampa to Guantanamo Bay on October 22, 2007. From 2002 to 2006, the King Air was registered to Prewitt Leasing Inc. of Bedford, Texas.”

http://www.opednews.com/articles/opedne_wayne_ma_080401_is_cia_using_renditi.htm

The Real Drug Lords
A brief history of CIA involvement in the Drug Trade
by William Blum

http://www.serendipity.li/cia/blum1.html

4th Amendment

December 6, 2008

This is how it’s done.  They don’t come to your house and ask for your guns.  It’s the slow drip, drip, drip against the constitutional bedrock foundation of our country that slowly, but surely wears away our rights and erodes our freedom.  They listen to your calls. They search your emails.  They check what you buy and from who.  They track your Internet searches and what books you take out from the library. They know if you’ve been a good, compliant, orderly citizen or someone who dares to think, to challenge, to speak out.

That’s how it begins.

fort_gordonNow, by the way, any time you hear the United States government talking about wiretap, it requires — a wiretap requires a court order. [my emphasis]” President Bush 4/20/2004http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2004/04/20040420-2.html

“Washington, D.C. – The Bush administration is trying to convince a federal judge to allow a law that grants retroactive legal immunity to U.S. telecommunications companies, while the Electronic Frontier Foundation aims to proceed with a case that claims they violated constitutional rights by transferring private communications of Americans to the National Security Agency without warrants.” [my emphasis] 12/02/2008http://www.tgdaily.com/html_tmp/content-view-40403-118.html

“The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized” [my emphasis]Fourth Amendment, U.S. Const.

http://www.usconstitution.net/const.html

If you haven’t read the entire US Constitution then click the above link and read it.  It’s not that long.

Does it bother you, or are you willing to trade Liberty for security and deserving of neither?

Over 350 of our elected representatives voted in favor of allowing ATT, Bellsouth and Verizon, among others, to throw open their switches for the government agents’ prying eyes, ears and hands.

Are you willing to trade Liberty for security?

Does it bother you?  Does it?

It’s also Congress that passed immunity for telecomms in the second place, the first place being of course the government putting splitters in all the switches of all of the telecomms except for Qwest.  Qwest had the good sense to know that it was wrong.

Granting immunity is a good enough reason to not have voted for PE Obama who voted in favor of immunity after originally speaking out against immunity.

This isn’t politics.  This is serious business. The government is snoopy, snooping in all of our businesses, all of the time, 24/7.

They track your phone calls, your banking transactions, your Internet searches, your emails, the books you take out from the library and who knows what else or how they might be sorting and analyzing the data.    Beware or you may get a lump of coal.

Please study the names following my pics carefully.  Any of them who voted in favor of immunity and against our Constitution should be voted out of office next chance we got.  Did your senator or congressman vote against your protecting your privacy?

But first a pic-

Muskrat den

Muskrat den

Would you have spotted this or just thought it was a big pile of leaves?

And a muskrat-

muskrat

muskrat

Senators voting in favor of immunity YEAs —69

Alexander (R-TN)
Allard (R-CO)
Barrasso (R-WY)
Baucus (D-MT)
Bayh (D-IN)
Bennett (R-UT)
Bond (R-MO)
Brownback (R-KS)
Bunning (R-KY)
Burr (R-NC)
Carper (D-DE)
Casey (D-PA)
Chambliss (R-GA)
Coburn (R-OK)
Cochran (R-MS)
Coleman (R-MN)
Collins (R-ME)
Conrad (D-ND)
Corker (R-TN)
Cornyn (R-TX)
Craig (R-ID)
Crapo (R-ID)
DeMint (R-SC)
Dole (R-NC)
Domenici (R-NM)
Ensign (R-NV)
Enzi (R-WY)
Feinstein (D-CA)
Graham (R-SC)
Grassley (R-IA)
Gregg (R-NH)
Hagel (R-NE)
Hatch (R-UT)
Hutchison (R-TX)
Inhofe (R-OK)
Inouye (D-HI)
Isakson (R-GA)
Johnson (D-SD)
Kohl (D-WI)
Kyl (R-AZ)
Landrieu (D-LA)
Lieberman (ID-CT)
Lincoln (D-AR)
Lugar (R-IN)
Martinez (R-FL)
McCaskill (D-MO)
McConnell (R-KY)
Mikulski (D-MD)
Murkowski (R-AK)
Nelson (D-FL)
Nelson (D-NE)
Obama (D-IL)
Pryor (D-AR)
Roberts (R-KS)
Rockefeller (D-WV)
Salazar (D-CO)
Shelby (R-AL)
Smith (R-OR)
Snowe (R-ME)
Specter (R-PA)
Stevens (R-AK)
Sununu (R-NH)
Thune (R-SD)
Vitter (R-LA)
Voinovich (R-OH)
Warner (R-VA)
Webb (D-VA)
Whitehouse (D-RI)
Wicker (R-MS)
Senators agaisnt immunity NAYs —28
Akaka (D-HI)
Biden (D-DE)
Bingaman (D-NM)
Boxer (D-CA)
Brown (D-OH)
Byrd (D-WV)
Cantwell (D-WA)
Cardin (D-MD)
Clinton (D-NY)
Dodd (D-CT)
Dorgan (D-ND)
Durbin (D-IL)
Feingold (D-WI)
Harkin (D-IA)
Kerry (D-MA)
Klobuchar (D-MN)
Lautenberg (D-NJ)
Leahy (D-VT)
Levin (D-MI)
Menendez (D-NJ)
Murray (D-WA)
Reed (D-RI)
Reid (D-NV)
Sanders (I-VT)
Schumer (D-NY)
Stabenow (D-MI)
Tester (D-MT)
Wyden (D-OR)
Not Voting – 3
Kennedy (D-MA) McCain (R-AZ) Sessions (R-AL)

http://www.senate.gov/legislative/LIS/roll_call_lists/roll_call_vote_cfm.cfm?congress=110&session=2&vote=00168

And the house

Reps in favor of immunity YEAS    290 —

Ackerman
Aderholt
Akin
Alexander
Altmire
Arcuri
Baca
Bachmann
Bachus
Baird
Barrett (SC)
Barrow
Bartlett (MD)
Barton (TX)
Bean
Berkley
Berman
Berry
Biggert
Bilbray
Bilirakis
Bishop (GA)
Bishop (NY)
Bishop (UT)
Blackburn
Blunt
Boehner
Bonner
Bono Mack
Boozman
Boren
Boswell
Boucher
Boustany
Boyd (FL)
Boyda (KS)
Brady (TX)
Broun (GA)
Brown (SC)
Brown, Corrine
Buchanan
Burgess
Burton (IN)
Butterfield
Buyer
Calvert
Camp (MI)
Campbell (CA)
Cantor
Capito
Cardoza
Carney
Carter
Castle
Castor
Cazayoux
Chabot
Chandler
Childers
Cleaver
Clyburn
Coble
Cole (OK)
Conaway
Cooper
Costa
Cramer
Crenshaw
Crowley
Cubin
Cuellar
Culberson
Davis (AL)
Davis (KY)
Davis, David
Davis, Lincoln
Davis, Tom
Deal (GA)
Dent
Diaz-Balart, L.
Diaz-Balart, M.
Dicks
Donnelly
Doolittle
Drake
Dreier
Duncan
Edwards (TX)
Ellsworth
Emanuel
Emerson
Engel
English (PA)
Etheridge
Everett
Fallin
Feeney
Ferguson
Flake
Forbes
Fortenberry
Fossella
Foxx
Franks (AZ)
Frelinghuysen
Gallegly
Garrett (NJ)
Gerlach
Giffords
Gillibrand
Gingrey
Goode
Goodlatte
Gordon
Granger
Graves
Green, Al
Green, Gene
Gutierrez
Hall (TX)
Harman
Hastings (FL)
Hastings (WA)
Hayes
Heller
Hensarling
Herger
Herseth Sandlin
Higgins
Hinojosa
Hobson
Hoekstra
Holden
Hulshof
Hunter
Inglis (SC)
Issa
Johnson, Sam
Jordan
Kanjorski
Keller
Kildee
Kind
King (IA)
King (NY)
Kingston
Kirk
Klein (FL)
Kline (MN)
Knollenberg
Kuhl (NY)
LaHood
Lamborn
Lampson
Langevin
Latham
LaTourette
Latta
Lewis (CA)
Lewis (KY)
Linder
Lipinski
LoBiondo
Lowey
Lucas
Lungren, Daniel E.
Mack
Mahoney (FL)
Manzullo
Marchant
Marshall
Matheson
McCarthy (CA)
McCarthy (NY)
McCaul (TX)
McCotter
McCrery
McHenry
McHugh
McIntyre
McKeon
McMorris Rodgers
McNerney
Meeks (NY)
Melancon
Mica
Miller (FL)
Miller (MI)
Miller, Gary
Mitchell
Moore (KS)
Moran (KS)
Murphy, Patrick
Murphy, Tim
Murtha
Musgrave
Myrick
Neugebauer
Nunes
Ortiz
Pearce
Pelosi
Pence
Perlmutter
Peterson (MN)
Petri
Pickering
Pitts
Platts
Poe
Pomeroy
Porter
Price (GA)
Pryce (OH)
Putnam
Radanovich
Rahall
Ramstad
Regula
Rehberg
Reichert
Renzi
Reyes
Richardson
Rodriguez
Rogers (AL)
Rogers (KY)
Rogers (MI)
Rohrabacher
Ros-Lehtinen
Roskam
Ross
Royce
Ruppersberger
Ryan (WI)
Salazar
Sali
Saxton
Scalise
Schiff
Schmidt
Scott (GA)
Sensenbrenner
Sessions
Sestak
Shadegg
Shays
Sherman
Shimkus
Shuler
Shuster
Simpson
Sires
Skelton
Smith (NE)
Smith (NJ)
Smith (TX)
Smith (WA)
Snyder
Souder
Space
Spratt
Stearns
Stupak
Sullivan
Tancredo
Tanner
Tauscher
Taylor
Terry
Thompson (MS)
Tiberi
Turner
Udall (CO)
Upton
Walberg
Walden (OR)
Walsh (NY)
Wamp
Weldon (FL)
Westmoreland
Whitfield (KY)
Wilson (NM)
Wilson (OH)
Wilson (SC)
Wittman (VA)
Wolf
Yarmuth
Young (AK)
Young (FL)

Reps against immunity NAYS    129 —

Abercrombie
Allen
Andrews
Baldwin
Becerra
Blumenauer
Brady (PA)
Braley (IA)
Capps
Capuano
Carnahan
Carson
Clarke
Clay
Cohen
Conyers
Costello
Courtney
Cummings
Davis (CA)
Davis (IL)
DeFazio
DeGette
Delahunt
DeLauro
Dingell
Doggett
Doyle
Edwards (MD)
Ellison
Eshoo
Farr
Fattah
Filner
Foster
Frank (MA)
Gonzalez
Grijalva
Hall (NY)
Hare
Hill
Hinchey
Hirono
Hodes
Holt
Honda
Hooley
Inslee
Israel
Jackson (IL)
Jackson-Lee (TX)
Jefferson
Johnson (GA)
Johnson (IL)
Johnson, E. B.
Jones (OH)
Kagen
Kaptur
Kennedy
Kilpatrick
Kucinich
Larsen (WA)
Larson (CT)
Lee
Levin
Lewis (GA)
Loebsack
Lofgren, Zoe
Lynch
Maloney (NY)
Markey
Matsui
McCollum (MN)
McDermott
McGovern
McNulty
Meek (FL)
Michaud
Miller (NC)
Miller, George
Mollohan
Moore (WI)
Moran (VA)
Murphy (CT)
Nadler
Napolitano
Neal (MA)
Oberstar
Obey
Olver
Pallone
Pascrell
Pastor
Payne
Price (NC)
Rangel
Rothman
Roybal-Allard
Ryan (OH)
Sánchez, Linda T.
Sanchez, Loretta
Sarbanes
Schakowsky
Schwartz
Scott (VA)
Serrano
Shea-Porter
Slaughter
Solis
Speier
Sutton
Thompson (CA)
Tierney
Towns
Tsongas
Udall (NM)
Van Hollen
Velázquez
Walz (MN)
Wasserman Schultz
Waters
Watson
Watt
Waxman
Weiner
Welch (VT)
Wexler
Woolsey
Wu

—- NOT VOTING    13 —

Brown-Waite, Ginny
Cannon
Gilchrest
Gohmert
Jones (NC)
Paul
Peterson (PA)
Reynolds
Rush
Stark
Tiahrt
Visclosky
Weller

Politics

October 30, 2008

I promise this won’t be an ongoing political blog, but the big party is next week. This is a tough one to write because politics right now is like a throbbing abscess. No matter what you say ½ the people are going to be mad at you. Some pretty nasty things are being said by everyone.  I sincerely apologize in advance.

I won’t be voting for Obama. I won’t be voting for McCain.

I don’t like Obama because of his position on FISA. Obama is for granting immunity to the telecommunications companies that threw open their switches and servers for the government’s snoopers. Although anyone is free to hang out with whoever they want, I didn’t like Obama’s explanation that he wasn’t in church on those Sundays. Come on, be honest. I wish Clinton just said, ‘yeah, you know what I did it and boy did it feel good.’ I wouldn’t have held it against him. I think Obama is also light on experience. He says that he’ll surround himself with good people, but I’ve heard that before and look where we are now. He, also judging by my latest American Rifleman, is an enemy of the Second Amendment.

I won’t be voting for McCain either though. He’s an angry man that acts on emotion and makes brash decisions. He was calling off the campaign then he started it up again. He was going to the debate, then he wasn’t, then he was. McRage is more like it. McCain is squishy on protecting our borders too. I don’t think Palin is qualified either. McCain can’t control himself.  Would you do this on a nationally televised job interview? 

So who am I going to vote for? It doesn’t really matter. In the state that I live in it’s already a done deal. My vote is irrelevant. That doesn’t mean that I am not interested. I don’t think I could be more interested if I saw Washington, DC burning. We need a viable third party. The binary system is killing us. Two sides of the same lousy coin.

Voting is probably one of the most important things that we can do. If you don’t vote, don’t you dare complain. Vote or shut up.

Read this before you vote: http://www.usconstitution.net/const.html

USConst

USConst

A Mayberry (http://anonymouse.org/cgi-bin/anon-www.cgi/http://www.mayberry-keepitsimplestupid.blogspot.com/) style rant has been building in me, but I know 50% of you are going to be mad at me for one or more off the following.

The $700,000,000,000.00 bailout should have been used to hire 750,000 at $70,000 per year and the remaining $175,000,000,000.00 used for infrastructure.  Think that would help the economy?

We need to bring our troops home. Okay, maybe not from Iraq, Afghanistan or West Monomalexico, but do we really need troops in 135 out of 192 countries around the world? We can’t afford it. Every one of the service people on each one of the bases might as well be living on a Chinese Mastercard. We need to shrink the Empire. This is aggression and corporate welfare, not defense. If the US military is being used to protect markets then the corporations should be billed for the service.

We need to cut government back. It’s just getting too invasive. Why does every police department need a $200,000 black RV command center or a SWAT squad dressed like ninjas? Terrorists aren’t going to attack some sheep festival in Maine. Look around you. If there were gobs of angry people out there that wanted to harm you and yours, how many targets do you see every day? Look around, a few committed people that wanted to hurt us could. Worry more about driving or falling off a ladder at home or any sense of retirement after our economy gets done evolving.

I don’t like the government spying on us. We need to elect people that will hold the government, banks, corporations and the telecommunication companies accountable. They’re supposed to get a warrant. The Fourth Amendment tells them so and at least one company, Qwest, said no to the Bush Administration. It’s gotten so bad that I’ve started using proxy servers and think twice about posting on some blogs.

I don’t like the Department of Homeland Security. It has a creepy name. It’s also the largest expansion of government in decades.

I don’t like cameras springing up on every street corner.

I don’t like government poking its nose in every small bit of business. Legalize everything, license it, organize the distribution and tax it. Everything. Drugs, prostitution, gambling. Why should the gangs have a corner on drugs, the pimps on the ladies and the Indians on the dice? Tax it, tax it, tax it. Criminalization doesn’t stop anything as long as demand exists supply will be there to meet it. You can get drugs in prison. Free the cops to get the really bad people that may hurt others.

Stop messing with sane people that want to own guns. I don’t worry about Mrs. Jones having a gun on the train. I wish more people carried. Okay, I agree with SCOTUS on this one, that reasonable regulation is well….reasonable. I have no problem with pretty much anything any of us now own. Restrictions on magazines or folding stocks is bogus. Should we be able to buy RPGs, I’m not so sure. Convince me. More people should carry and practice.

People complain about socialism. Do you still think that we have free markets? Do you? The markets are rigged. Trickle down hasn’t worked for me. I don’t like government bailing out the banks. I don’t like government buying “toxic” paper from Wall Street players or commercial paper from the Fortune 500. It really pisses me off. I’ve been paying interest, late fees, overdraft fees and ATM fees to these SOBs for my whole life and now they come to MY government asking for some coke and sympathy. No effing way. Live by the sword die by the sword. What’s been going on since August has been a looting of the People’s Treasury. They’re taking Trillions from your kids’, kids’, kids and giving it to the same people that gave birth to these Frankenstein financial instruments in the first place. Just a year ago I remember reading about Millions and Millions and Millions being given out in bonuses to the guys that created this mess. This is worse than socialism. At least socialism lifts the weakest. This is Trickle Up Economics of the worst kind. The middleclass is being exterminated, and very effectively at that, with barely a peep so far. 90%+ of We The People were against the bailout and Congress passed it anyways. I couldn’t be more disgusted.

I don’t have a lot of hope that our futures will be like our pasts. I’m really thinking that the American way of life is going to change, contrary to Cheney saying that, “it is not up for negotiation.” Hey, sometimes stuff happens and you have no choice.

Remember freedom of speech can only exist if you have thick skin. Freedom of speech protects the worst, most abhorrent things that people speak, not the things we all agree on. If it makes you mad you ought to support it being said. Your freedom is dependent upon how much of your neighbor’s crap that you are willing to put up with. Don’t call the cops on your neighbor until you speak with them.

You measure a democracy by the freedom it gives its dissidents, not the freedom it gives its assimilated conformists.”

Stay informed. Don’t believe the Media. Look at papers and websites from overseas too. There are too many liars and charlatans in the Media marketplace. Don’t trust them. I mean the guys you listen to too, not just the folks the other guys listen to. Don’t trust them either. Learn to spot bias not by being told who is biased but by reading enough so that you can tell when one person is favoring another.

When you go into vote day on the first Tuesday of November, do the right thing. Think about the past few years. Is your family better off, or worse off? Do you like the direction of the country? Are you more free or less free? Are our futures brighter or dimmer?

Vote for freedom, liberty, limited government intrusion. Hold them accountable and make them pay. We need to take our government back. It may already be too late. I hope that the guy who gets the most votes wins. I hope the guy who wins get sworn in. Unfortunately, I still expect something to happen between now and inauguration day.

Tomorrow back to regular stuff.