Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Murdering the “American IDEA”

How much stuff do you own?  Is owning stuff the reason for your day to day existence?  Is that why you toil?  Does owning stuff make you materialistic?  I don’t think so.  Owning stuff is simply the result of individual desires to trade personal productivity (earnings) for some stuff they may not have, say a teevee or a car.

But individuals owning stuff, especially if they own more stuff than some other individual or individuals, is what consumes the United States government.  The U.S. government feels that all incarnations of stuff must be redistributed, whether they have a right to or not, and if they do not (and they do not), the United States government and the lackeys ostensibly serving American individuals’ interests promulgate some feel good law to force individuals to comply with their redistributive policies.  The United States government is attempting to kill the “American IDEA.”

The Gunslinger, at Gunslinger’s Journal, has some additional thoughts on this topic and states them in a post titled Why Stuff doesn’t make us “Materialistic.”  The opening three paragraphs.

America is an IDEA. It’s not about an accumulation of cool “stuff”.

Communists, aka Democrats/Progressives/Socialists are all about the “stuff”. They see ours and want it. And they believe that when they get it, they’ll have what we have. That they’ll be “equal”.

What they don’t get is that our stuff is just the byproduct of our IDEA. And without it there just isn’t that much stuff to go around.

Linked via American Mercenary.

Posted by John Venlet on 03/31 at 06:53 PM
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Kiss My Ass, Too, Westboro Baptist Church

Freedom of speech, no matter how despicable the speech, should be inviolable. 

With that said, I hope the asshats who make up the membership of Westboro Baptist Church rot in hell.  Despciable beasts, all.  I hope they burn, along with their “Thank God for dead soldiers” signs.

Dad of a fallen Marine perseveres against protests at military funerals

Posted by John Venlet on 03/31 at 04:22 PM
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Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Hutaree Hysteria

Hutaree hysteria is in full swing.  Drudge carries three separate links on the Hutaree story, plus a clickable link which reads BIG SIS MOVES ON ‘MILITIA’.

Based on these stories, and what I am seeing on the local Michigan teevee news, one would not be remiss in believing that this here Hutaree group was a hugely influential weaponized juggnernaut about to blitz the United States, bending said states to their crazy brand of dogmatic religion wherein Obama is the AntiChrist and the police form the legions of the Devil, and institute some form of America sharia law.

Fortunately, not all individuals have succumbed to the Hutaree hysteria and some rationality is still within grasp.  Brian Doherty at Reason still retains his rationality, Reynolds has a number of rational links also.  Ed Rasimus is free of Hutaree hysteria, and William N. Grigg is clear eyed.

I am free from hysteria, also, but am prone to laugh uproariously.

UPDATE: Corrected spelling error, but still laughing uproariously.

Posted by John Venlet on 03/30 at 07:47 AM
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Monday, March 29, 2010

Advice We Shouldn’t Have to Give When Dealing with Cops

Flex Your Rights will soon be releasing an instructional video titled 10 Rules for Dealing with Police.

Here are the 10 rules, in short form.

1. Always be calm and cool.

2. You have the right to remain silent.

3. You have the right to refuse searches.

4. Don’t get tricked into waiving your rights.

5. Determine if you’re free to go.

6. Don’t do anything illegal.

7. Don’t run.

8. Never touch a cop.

9. Report misconduct: Be a good witness.

10. You don’t have to let them in.

In a post titled 10 Rules For Dealing With Police: Prudence and Subservience, Ken at the Popehat blog astutely comments on rule number 1.

See, if your goal is not to be abused, wrongfully arrested, falsely accused, searched without probable cause, or proned out on the pavement because you irritated someone with a gun and a badge, then “don’t be mouthy to a cop” is excellent practical advice. But dammit, we shouldn’t have to give that advice. The concept that you should expect to be abused if you aren’t meek (or, to be more realistic, subservient) in dealing with public servants ought to be abhorrent to a society of free people. Courtesy is admirable, and unnecessary rudeness is not, but rudeness ought not be seen as inviting government employees to break the law. But the reality is that our society largely issues apologias for, not denunciations of, police abuse. The prevailing belief is that claims of abuse are about lawyers or crooks trying to game the system, that people accused of crimes generally committed them, and that cops are heroes of the sort who deserve the benefit of the doubt when their account of a roadside encounter differs from that of a citizen. Our society, for the most part, indulges cops in their expectation that citizens will be subservient. As a result, “don’t talk back to a cop” remains tragically apt practical advice.

Moreover, the truth of it is that many cops will interpret an assertion of your constitutional rights, however politely delivered, as a rude challenge. They are supported in that view by four decades of “law and order” talk that classifies constitutional rights as mere instrumentalities of crime, not as the rules by which we have chosen to live.

Shame on us if we put up with that.

Well said.

Linked via Radley Balko who titles his post on the subject On Flexing Your Rights. Or at Least Meagerly Trying to Hold on to Them.

Links to clips from the instructional video can by accessed at Popehat, Radley’s site, and .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

Posted by John Venlet on 03/29 at 03:43 PM
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Submarine Escape Training Is Not New

Reynolds links to a Wired Magazine article titlted Navy’s New Escape Trainer Helps Submariners Avoid a Watery Grave.

Wired’s short piece reads as follows.

Getting out of a plunging Navy jet is simple: Pull the eject lever. Escaping from a disabled nuclear sub? A bit trickier. You first have to climb into a full-body buoyancy suit (which later transforms into a one-man life raft), then scramble into an escape chamber, seal the door, inflate the suit, and hold on tight as the lock is flooded with icy water. Then open the hatch and try not to panic during that long float to the surface. Luckily, the US Naval School in New London, Connecticut, now has a facility that lets sailors perform not-so-dry runs. The 37-foot-deep, 84,000-gallon tank — the first of its kind in the US — offers exact replicas of the escape chambers in Virginia— and Los Angeles-class submarines. Perfect for teaching sailors how to rise to the top.

What may be “first of its kind” about this facility would only be; to my knowledge as a former submariner who served on the first Los Angeles class sub (SSN688); that the escape chambers at the facility are “exact replicas” of the escape chambers within both the Los Angeles class and Virginia class subs.  There is nothing new about the dive chamber facility itself.

Submarine escape training has been going on for decades.  Pearl Harbor, where I participated in sub escape training, had a dive tower where hundreds of bubbleheads went through sub escape training, while wearing only a Steinke hood, rather than the new MK-10 Submarine Escape and Immersion Equipment (SEIE).

Wired should have done a bit more fact checking.

Posted by John Venlet on 03/29 at 02:01 PM
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Lessons From A Flat Roof

I’ve been working on a flat roof which covers my back porch.  The roof leaked a bit as Winter was passing into Spring, something which has occurred in the past, and I thought that this year I would fix this leak once and for all.

The first step, of course, was to tear up the old rolled roofing and tar paper to reveal the wooden decking.  Not an exceptionally pleasant task, but a definite must to do the job right.  Roofing nails in the hundreds needed to be pulled, decades of accumulations of roof patch cement and stubbornly clinging rolled roofing needed to be chiseled clean, hammer blow by hammer blow.

Once all the accumulations were removed, even an untrained eye such as my own could ascertain that larger issues than simply a leaking roof needed to be contended with.  Sections of the decking, and the supporting joists, were dry rotted, barely bearing the weight they were designed to support.

The offending tongue and groove decking needed to be removed, board by board, and as each piece was removed, it revealed that another, and another needed to removed in order to get back to sections of the joists which were unspoiled wood, and could be depended upon to actually support the roof decking and be structurally sound.

Once these preparations had been completed, I was fortunate that I could sister in new 2 X 8 treated lumber to the existing joists, rather than having to resort to a complete demolition.

As I was working on this project, I considered how it related to the current state of affairs within these United States.

As Americans, we believe that the foundations of our freedom are sound, as the covering for our freedoms appear intact.  The Constitution of the United States, and The Bill of Rights, still protect us from the government, and yet there are leaks.  Americans are advised that the leaks in these protections are minor, that Congress is laboring mightily to ensure that the leaks are addressed, patched over and monitored for future problems, but there are larger problems than the leaks in these protections which Americans must turn their minds to.

I thought I was contending just with poor rolled roofing on my leaking porch roof, yet when I removed the rolled roofing and tar paper, I noted that a more insidious problem assailed me.  Rotting decking and rotting joists.  So it is with America.  Rotting decking and rotting joists are holding Americans’ freedoms in place, and unless the rotting decking and joists are repaired or removed, the illusion of Americans’ freedoms being protected is going to come crashing down on Americans’ heads.

At this point in American politics, a repair such as I am undertaking, sistering in new wooden joist lumber to support the whole, could still be accomplished, if Americans acted now.  The rot in American politics must be removed or buttressed with principled, uncompromising adherence to freedom.  If Americans do not act now, in all likelihood a complete demolition will have to occur, and the cost associated with such a demolition is not easily borne.

Posted by John Venlet on 03/29 at 12:35 PM
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“Do I Surrender My Rights”

What follows, is a letter written by a young lady who is a junior in high-school, who has been considering an education path which would result in her becoming a doctor.  She is not so sure, now.

“Do I Surrender My Rights?”

Dear Society,

I am writing you today to express my deep concern. I am but one of the many silent casualties of healthcare reform. Currently I am a high school junior who is considering my future. One path I am pondering is becoming a doctor. I am an honor student, active in sports, and am taking advanced placement college classes. The fact that I enjoy biology, chemistry, and helping others made me consider the long, arduous journey towards a medical degree.

Recently though, I heard a new phrase in the healthcare debate that gave me cause for concern, “healthcare is a right”. My understanding of a right has always been that we were born with it, and it can never come at the expense of others’ rights. How can you now lay claim to my hard work and future talents? I now feel that if I choose the medical profession I would become a second class citizen.

My dear American friend, after eight years of intense study, many more years of internship and residency, not to mention the hundreds of thousands in debt, I feel the price I am being asked to pay not just in dollars, but in my freedom is more than I can bear. I ask how many more silent voices in classrooms, from my fellow students with an equal passion for healing the sick, will never be heard in clinics and hospitals across this great country?

Alyssa Z

Linked via Paul Hsieh who titles his opening to the young lady’s letter Another Silent Casualty of Health Care Reform.

UPDATE:  Chuck, at From my position on the way, provides A simple definition of a right.

Posted by John Venlet on 03/29 at 10:58 AM
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On Female Suicide Bombers

News is just now reaching us in regards to the suicide bombing attack on the Russian subway.  A suicide bombing carried out by female suicide bombers.

Talking heads will be scratching their scalps attempting to explain why females would do such a thing, citing patriarchal society, chauvinism, lack of access to Estee Lauder products, or some such nonsense, when in reality, the use of females as suicide bombers is much more simple.

What simple genius it was to make a bomb team of young pretty women.  The world will do their bidding.  They ask and receive.  Doors open.  Guards go down.  It’s done, like that.

Quote from Martin McPhillips’ Corpse in Armor, Ch. 56, pg. 310, 2010.

Posted by John Venlet on 03/29 at 08:31 AM
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A Sleeping Giant or a Comatose Pygmy?

Arnold Kling pens a opinion piece, in regards ObamaCare (DeathCare), titled Health care bill woke a sleeping giant.  Kling opens his piece stating the following.

For many Americans, March 21, 2010, is a date that will live in infamy.

Though I would like to believe that Kling is correct about March 21 living in “infamy,” I think most Americans, even those opposed to ObamaCare (DeathCare), if queried about the significance of March 21st, 2010 would state, “Uh, that was the first day of Spring, right?”

Kling then ends his piece this way.

The point here is that health care legislation was just one battle. The overall war is larger. After Pearl Harbor, Japanese Admiral Yamomoto is reported to have said, “I fear all we have done is to awaken a sleeping giant and fill him with a terrible resolve.” So it should be with us today.

Kling is correct in noting that the ObamaCare (DeathCare) battle was “just one battle,” but it just one of many battles that Americans have lost and failed to learn from when having to turn and fight again and again.

Kling is also correct that the overall war is larger, but I fear that the resolve Kling desires would be infused into the American people is not a resolve to win even one battle against the State, but rather a resolve to adjust their chains for a more comfortable fit.

Posted by John Venlet on 03/29 at 08:06 AM
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Friday, March 26, 2010

Up and Coming Nomenklatura Candidate

Meet Jordan Johnson, President of the University of Florida Student Body.

This young man is primed and ready to be hired by the Obama adminstration, heck any bureaubot officialdom system would be pleased to have him on board, as is evidenced by the following.

UF Student Body President Jordan Johnson was cited for disorderly conduct by the University Police Department after demanding a SNAP ride to his off-campus home at about 1:45 a.m. Saturday…

When asked to identify himself, Johnson said, “You know who I am.”

When asked again, he said he was the Student Body president.

When SNAP employees Aljahra Lewis and Kendal Orgera refused to take Johnson and girlfriend Erica Rakow to his off-campus apartment, Johnson got angry and pointed out that, as president, he funded SNAP and used it to get home frequently.

After continued refusal, Johnson said “Student Government should pull its funding from this [unknown expletive] program.”

Yep, the State run education system is finally reaching its full potential in students such as Jordan Johnson, who has learned his political lessons well.

UPD cites SG president for disorderly conduct

Linked via The Obscure Store.

Posted by John Venlet on 03/26 at 01:25 PM
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Dogmatic Prayers

For individuals of faith, the efficacy of prayer is real.  For individuals on the last rung preceding perfect faith, prayer may be considered as a learned exercise in foolish futility.  So be it.

I think at the worse, a praying individual may receive only mental comfort from expressing their fears, hopes, or what have you when appealing to God (I used the word God here for simplicity of understanding - for good or bad*) for guidance.  At the best, the praying individual may receive what they believe is actual guidance from above.

Those thoughts occurred to me when I read, this morning, that The Church of England has published a book of prayers for voters.

The Church of England has published prayers to help confused and cynical voters ahead of Britain’s upcoming election.

Some snippets of the prayers.

“(The prayers) ask that the concerns of all may be heard and seek protection from despair and cynicism,”...

...“Thank you for caring about how our country is run, and that we have the right to vote for our politicians and government.” But it goes on to say: “Sometimes I wonder whether there’s any point in voting, whether anyone cares what I think.”...

...“Help me not to be cynical about politics and politicians, help me to remember that my vote can make a difference.”...

...“truth may prevail over distortion, wisdom triumph over recklessness.”

The Church of England would have better served its parishoners by publishing a book of prayers which petitioned God* to protect the people of the world from government, to raise them up as self interested and self reliant individuals coveting no man’s productivity due to their perceived want, for freedom from the violence of voting, so that “truth may prevail over distortion, wisdom triumph over recklessness.”

Church issues prayers for confused UK voters

Posted by John Venlet on 03/26 at 09:34 AM
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John Bergstrom, of Attack Cartoons, illustrates a Freedom-ectomy.

Posted by John Venlet on 03/26 at 09:05 AM
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“Pyramid of Moral Endurance”

The following quote is closely related to the thoughts expressed in Albert Jay Nock’s Isaiah’s Job which I linked to the other day.

In Atlas Shrugged, I discussed the “pyramid of ability” in the realm of economics. There is another kind of social pyramid. The genius who fights “every form of tyranny over the mind of man” is fighting a battle for which lesser men do not have the strength, but on which their freedom, their dignity, and their integrity depend. It is the pyramid of moral endurance.

Link to above Rand quote via Diana Hsieh.

Posted by John Venlet on 03/26 at 08:56 AM
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Not Yet Quote of the Day

From an inane Washington Post piece titled Iowa man joins protest against Obama and health-care reform.

“I’m not ready for outright violence yet. We have to be civil for as long as we can,” Millam said. But, he added, “we are watching the infrastructure of this country crumble under our feet. The government doesn’t want to hear us. We have to make them listen.” (bold by ed.)

How much longer can Americans hold out?

Linked via The Corner.

Posted by John Venlet on 03/26 at 08:47 AM
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That’s Low

Via Samizdata, links to two viddies of jets flying, as Jonathan Pearce states, “incredibly low.”  Yeah, they are flying incredibly low.

Viddie number one, with dust trails instead of contrails (1:45).

Viddie number two, again with dust trails, plus needle threading (3:31).

Wow!  Those are some exceptional pilots.

Posted by John Venlet on 03/26 at 08:31 AM
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