Friday, April 30, 2010

Are Your Individual Rights Contingent Upon Citizenship?

The controversy over Arizona’s passing of their version of an “illegal” immigration law is raising hackles, receiving praise, and generally bringing forth all types of commentary.  If you desire to read some commentary which may cause you thoughtful discomfort, go and read The Rights of Man, the Privileges of Citizen, which was written by Jim May and posted at his blog The New Clarion.  A short burst of thoughtful discomfort.

The invocation of national sovereignty as justification for arbitrary immigration controls operates on the unstated premise that individual rights (to life, liberty, property etc.) are contingent upon citizenship (a state-granted status), instead of being inalienable to the person.

Posted by John Venlet on 04/30 at 03:27 PM
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Double Bag It, Please

A real short story, Double Bagger, regarding the nickel fee charged if you need a bag for your groceries, amongest other things.  Made me chuckle.

Linked via dispatches from TJICistan.

Posted by John Venlet on 04/30 at 03:11 PM
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“Logical, if Absurd,” Conclusions

History has shown us, think of the former Soviet Union, and continues to show us, think of China, North Korea and Cuba, the natural progression of commie (word), planned, societies.

America is currently in the planning stages, and has been for some time, of a planned society, controlled life, if you can controlled living life, under the direction of the powers that be in Washington D.C. and in local state governments, with results which we can see and experience on a daily basis.

The most recent manifestation of this State controlled living, here in America, is ObamaCare (DeathCare).  Where will this lead to, as private individuals and private businesses are milked drier and drier, to fund the vision of controlled living?  Some examples, unfortunately current ones, are available for individuals to consider.

Doctors in southern China are working around the clock to fulfil a government goal to sterilise — by force if necessary — almost 10,000 men and women who have violated birth control policies. Family planning authorities are so determined to stop couples from producing more children than the regulations allow that they are detaining the relatives of those who resist. About 1,300 people are being held in cramped conditions in towns across Puning county, in Guangdong Province, as officials try to put pressure on couples who have illegal children to come forward for sterilisation.

The above quote is taken from a UK Times story, which I lifted from the blog Wintery Knight, which I was led to by a post at Lex Communis titled Only Communists would think that it makes sense to actually implement bad science fiction plot ideas.

The author of Lex Communis, Peter Sean Bradley, has additional examples for you to consider, and ends his post on this brutal reality this way.

The common thread might be the Communist belief that human beings are just sophisticated animals, and, therefore, there is no ontological barrier against using human beings like animals.

It is said that truth is stranger than fiction because fiction has to be plausible, which seems accurate until some utopian humanist gets involved.

Original link to this news via Blazing Cat Fur.

Posted by John Venlet on 04/30 at 02:41 PM
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Census 2010 - Knock, Knock, Neo

In the first movie from The Matrix trilogy, the main character, Neo, is awoken from a somnolent state by a seemingly nefarious intrustion into his computer.  Little does he realize, at that instant, that he is still thoroughly, deeply, and nefariously ensconced in a sleep so deep that upon being re-introduced into a wakeful state, reality, it almost kills him, which brings me to the subject of Census 2010.

I first posted about skipping the census as a civil disobedience idea back in April 2009, and followed up that post with many additional posts on refusing to participate in Census 2010.

Unfortunately, this peaceful means of Americans expressing their disgust, enmass, with the burgeoning size of the United States government, and the government’s intrusion into all aspects of American life, has fallen flat.  The current numbers for participation in Census 2010 show the mailed in response rate at seventy-two percent (72%), which leaves approximately forty-nine million households which will receive a knock on their GPS marked front door, starting tomorrow.

Based on an AP news story posted at MSNBC, titled Census mail results could be trouble for 5 states, here is what individuals who have not participated in the census can expect.

...But he (Robert Groves - ed.) said it remained uncertain how that will translate to “how the American public reacts when we knock on their door.”

“The census is not over,” said Groves, who noted the non-respondents were disproportionately low-income, lesser-educated or renters. “For those of you who haven’t been counted in the 2010 census, this is your moment.”...

At training sessions this week, temporary census workers were instructed on the protocols of conducting interviews, such as how to tabulate answers on race (let people self-identify if they’re multiracial, but a label of “American” isn’t a sufficient response), where to ask questions (outside, since census workers should not ask to enter a person’s home) and carrying proper identification (government badges and a “U.S. Census Bureau” bag).

Census workers also are being told to be respectful if homeowners refuse to cooperate, to keep data confidential and to alert supervisors if there are signs of danger.

“This is your moment,” as Groves states, to continue to refuse to participate in the census, if you have refused to participate to this date, as a means of peaceful, polite civil disobedience, and this refusal should be respected, per the census bureau’s instructions.

Knock, knock, Neo, reality is at your door, and will soon be at mine.  I’ll be waiting, peacefully and politely.

Posted by John Venlet on 04/30 at 01:03 PM
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Billy Beck - The Most Dangerous Man in America?

Is Billy Beck the most dangerous man in America?  Bill Clinton seems to consider him as so, and quotes him, paraphrasily, in a talk at the Center for American Progress.

I’ve been aware of Billy Beck for just over ten or twelve years, now, reading most everything he has written that I could find on the internet, and exchanging a number of emails, and I have never found, or even considered him, as a dangerous individual.

But let’s let Billy address the question of his danger to America and Americans himself.  Scott Ott has interviewed Billy, and you can listen to Scott’s interview in a post at Ott’s website titled Meet the Man Whose Words President Clinton Thinks We Should Fear and Guard Against.

Via Billy Beck.

UPDATE (09.27.2013):  Repaired link to Scott Ott interview with Billy Beck at PJTV as the interview is no longer hosted at Scott Ott’s website (I wonder if Mr. Ott took down the interview at his website due to his running for political office).  Note that PJTV now requires a basic membership or higher in order to listen to Scott Ott’s interview with Billy Beck.

Posted by John Venlet on 04/30 at 12:45 PM
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Danger - Tea Partiers - Danger

Quincy, IL, sends out riot gear clad police to confront Tea Party protestors, who are quite lawabiding and peaceful.  The Quincy, IL police department then issues a BS filled official statement, regarding these Tea Party protestors, which is thoroughly refuted by the viddies taken by private individuals (viddies can be viewed at link) who are attending the protest.

As if this perception of peaceful Tea Party protestors as exceptionally dangerous by an arm of the State is not bad enough, regular Army personnel, stationed at Ft. Knox, have also included Tea Party protestors as an exceptionally dangerous element in a recent military exercise scenario.

This week, I was contacted by a number of civilian and military personnel (enlisted and officer ranks) who expressed concern about a military exercise scenario proposed for Ft. Knox, the U.S. Bullion Depository. (For the record, I called Ft. Knox security for an official comment and received the standard reply: “We are not authorized to discuss this exercise.”)

As with most such exercises, the Ft. Knox scenario outline occurred in stages, as if real time intelligence was being provided at various intervals. The first intel advisory I received was issued on Friday, 23 April 2010, and identifies the terrorist threat adversaries as “Local Militia Groups / Anti-Government Protesters / TEA Party.”

You read that right: “TEA Party”!

As the writer of the above quote notes, this is an “ominous political precedent,” and indeed it is, so I am cautiously encouraged to read this also.

The military officers and enlisted personnel with whom I spoke are all dedicated uniformed Patriots who are loyal, first and foremost, to their oath to “support and defend” our Constitution “against all enemies, foreign and domestic.”

Their concerns about this exercise mirrored my own…

We are living history, America, right now, today.  What will be recorded about these times when we are dust?  Will the record show the decline of America into Socialism and collapse, or will the record show America throwing off the chains which are even now being added to, link by link, and arising as a true nation of liberty, freedom and opportunity?

Army Preps for Tea Party ‘Terrorists’

Linked via Western Rifle Shooters Association.

Posted by John Venlet on 04/30 at 07:27 AM
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Thursday, April 29, 2010

Non-responsive Philly Cops

The headline reads, Philly Cops No Longer Responding To Fender Benders, and I’m wondering how this news is a bad thing?

The unsecure will undoubtedly be quaking in their boots, but that is simply a learned behavior, taught, naturally, by the State as it accumulated more and more power unto itself, at the expense of self reliance.

If in a fender bender, which, as the term implies, is a minor accident, why impede the resolution of a private matter between yourself, the other driver, and your insurance companies with the force of the State?  There would be only one reason, I think, for an individual in a minor fender bender to summon the interference of the State, and that would be the individual who thinks they are the aggreived party in said fender bender desires to have the State inflict additional damages and punishment upon the other involved party, as compensation for their anger, inconvenience and lack of self worth.

Posted by John Venlet on 04/29 at 04:37 PM
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Has Adam Smith Been Misinterpreted?

Interesting essay in the New Statesman, regarding Adam Smith, titled The economist manifesto, which was penned by Nobel Prize winning ecnomist Amartya Sen.  The preamble to the essay reads as follows.

The 18th-century philosopher Adam Smith wasn’t the free-market fundamentalist he is thought to have been. It’s time we realised the relevance of his ideas to today’s financial crisis.

The preamble leads into a disccusion of the relative importance of Smith’s contributions to the field of economic thought.  Specifically, Sen’s essay delves into whether Smith’s book, The Wealth of Nations, subsumed into ignorance Smith’s first work, The Theory of Moral Sentiments, to the detriment of economic thought today.

Posted by John Venlet on 04/29 at 01:08 PM
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Voluntarily Trading Time

At what amount do you value an hour of your time?  Is it ten dollars, thirty dollars, one-hundred dollars per hour, more?  The value you assign to an hour’s worth of your time may vary, depending upon what your time is spent on.

In the currrent economic climate, the value of your hour’s worth of time may be depressed, or possibly not readily and voluntarily tradable, thus underground economies and rather unusual barter markets.

Here’s an interesting way to barter your time, in one hour trades, Time Banks.  Time Banks describe their purpose, beyond voluntarily trading time, as a social change movement.  Here is how Time Bank is supposed to work.

At its most basic level, Time banking is simply about spending an hour doing something for somebody in your community. That hour goes into the Time Bank as a Time Dollar. Then you have a Time dollar to spend on having someone doing something for you. It’s a simple idea, but it has powerful ripple effects in building community connections.

Each Time Bank has a website where you list what you would like to do for other members. You look up Time Bank services online or call a community coordinator to do it for you. You earn Time Dollars after each service you perform and then you get to spend it on whatever you want from the listings.

With Time Banking, you will be working with a small group of committed individuals who are joined together for a common good. It connects you to the best in people because it creates a system that connects unmet needs with untapped resources. To see what happens each week when you are part of Time Bank is deeply fulfilling, especially if you are helping to make it run.

I have not fully reviewed all the information (there is alot) at the Time Bank website, which is linked above, but the idea has implications which could be far reaching.  Well, at least until the IRS decides to tap these voluntary trades, as Karen De Coster notes.

UPDATE: Oops, I neglected to link to the original story.  Time & teamwork

Posted by John Venlet on 04/29 at 12:28 PM
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Sheep or Goats, It Doesn’t Matter, They’re Both F*cked

Eric S. Raymond considers the rise of long-term unemployment in a post titled Sheep from Goats: the rise in long-term unemployment, and concludes his thoughts this way.

The unemployment numbers and the deficit numbers aren’t simultaneously going crazy by accident. They’re two facets of the same systemic illness, two major symptoms of what I have previously dubbed an Olsonian collapse. It took us twenty years longer, but we’re now reaching the same crisis point the planned economies of the Communist Bloc hit around 1990. The regulatory megastate is in the process of being destroyed by its own contradictions.

If you hit that “Olsonian collapse” link, you’ll read an an excerpt Raymond posted from a review of the book Uncivil Society: 1989 and the Implosion of the Communist Establishment, which reads as follows.

This is less a story of dissidents, so-called civil society, than of the bankruptcy of a ruling class–communism’s establishment, or “uncivil society.” The Communists borrowed from the West like drunken sailors to buy mass consumer goods, then were unable to pay back the hard-currency debts and so borrowed even more. In Eastern Europe, communism came to resemble a Ponzi scheme, one whose implosion carries enduring lessons.

This quote causes Raymond to state.

I found myself wondering “And this differs from our political class…how?”

Indeed.

Posted by John Venlet on 04/29 at 10:33 AM
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The “Science” of Fundraising

Warren Meyer has taken a look at A Report Outlining the Research Needs on the Human Health Effects of Climate Change (pdf 80 pgs), published by the Interagency Working Group on Climate Change and Health and states the following.

Do you remember the State Science Institute report on Rearden Metal?  If you were like me, you thought that this ridiculous report was an exaggeration, a literary device to make a point.  But as in so much of Atlas Shrugged, I am finding that it was no exaggeration at all…

Remember, the point of this all is not science, but funding.  This is basically a glossy budget presentation, probably cranked out by some grad students over some beers, tasked to come up with scary but marginally plausible links between health issues and climate change.  Obama has said that climate is really, really important to him.  He has frozen a lot of agency budgets, and told them new money is only for programs that supports his major initiatives, like climate change.  So, every agency says that their every problem is due to climate change, just as every agency under Bush said that they were critical to fighting terrorism.  This document is the NIH salvo to get climate change money, not actual science.

Go and read the excerpt from the report, which falls between the two quotes above, which Meyer has posted at his site, and you’ll understand why I titled my post on this as above.  Warren’s post is titled Something for Atlas Shrugged Readers.

Posted by John Venlet on 04/29 at 10:07 AM
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“The Day of Reckoning Will Come”

When building a structure, one must ensure, before the first board or steel is raised in place, that the structure’s foundation will support the whole.  This is no less true in constructing a building, than an economy.  The problem, is, that economies cannot be built by tinkerers clothed in authoritative and coercive garb who erroneously believe they are Atlas, mightly supporting individual lives with one hand, and wielding a whip in the other.  An self supporting economy, which encompasses and raises a firm structure around the whole, can only be built through voluntary cooperation between individuals free of the whip.

The worlds’ house of cards economies have experienced troubling times these past couple of years, and though the cards have not totally collapsed, yet, they totter precariously.  Greece, we are informed, is tottering most precariously, but is it the only card?

John Couretas, at the Acton Power Blog, has a roundup, with links, to various thoughts on the shakiness of the card which is Greece.  His post is titled Re: Die Hard — The Welfare State.

NOTE:  The link in Couretas’ current post, to his original post titled Die Hard - The Welfare State, misdirects.  The correct link is here.

Posted by John Venlet on 04/29 at 09:35 AM
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If It Only Took A Broom

How does an individual deal with a dangerous stray dog, and by extension, a pack of strays, canine or otherwise?  Can the strays be chased off with a broom?  If only it were that simple, when dealing with dangerous strays of the otherwise nature.

Joan of Argghh! considers the above in view of an actual experience at the blog Primordial Shack in an essay titled Dangerous Strays.  From the essay.

Yet I see dangerous strays within my boundaries, their angry, snarling faces telling me that they’re going to stay no matter what. Shouting epithets at me and challenging me for the country I have worked for, paid for, paid taxes on, and cherished with all my heart, all my life. They want to grab at what many others have worked to earn and hide behind the gleaming teeth of their power-grabbing masters.

Via Eternity Road.

Posted by John Venlet on 04/29 at 09:22 AM
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Soylent Green, Lite, Legislation

Though the geekWithA.45 references Larry Niven’s The Jigsaw Man, I also think that Soylent Green, lite, is also an apt analogy to this news.

New York State Assemblyman Richard Brodsky nearly lost his daughter, Willie, at 4 years old when she needed a kidney transplant, and again 10 years later when her second kidney failed.

“We have 10,000 New Yorkers on the list today waiting for organs. We import half the organs we transplant. It is an unacceptable failed system,” Brodsky said.

To fix that, Brodsky introduced a new bill in Albany that would enroll all New Yorkers as an organ donor, unless they actually opt out of organ donation. It would be the first law of its kind in the United States.

Listen up, New York State Assemblyman Richard Brodsky.  Though your parental love for your daughter is readily understandable, and commendable, this gives you no authority to attempt to force others to provide for her welfare to secure your personal enjoyment of her in the future.

Proposal: All New Yorkers Become Organ Donors

Posted by John Venlet on 04/29 at 08:34 AM
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Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Hutaree Hysteria II - The FBI Doesn’t Know Anything

When the news regarding the alleged Hutaree militia plot was in full bloom, I posted Hutaree Hysteria, commenting,

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.

Today, it appears that the Hutaree hysteria, may be just that.

An FBI agent who led the investigation of nine Michigan militia members charged with trying to launch war against the federal government couldn’t recall many details of the two-year probe yesterday during questioning by defense lawyers.

Even the judge who must decide whether to release the nine until trial was puzzled.

“I share the frustrations of the defense team … that she doesn’t know anything,” U.S. District Judge Victoria Roberts said after agent Leslie Larsen confessed she hadn’t reviewed her notes recently and couldn’t remember specific details of the case.

Even more interesting, is that the prosecutors in this case were actively attempting to keep the FBI agent who supposedly knows all, but doesn’t know anything, off the stand.

By all appearances, at this point in the game, this case is nothing more than Hutaree hysteria, and yet the nine individuals arrested remain behind bars.

FBI agent short on details on militia inquiry

Story link via Drudge.

Posted by John Venlet on 04/28 at 11:35 AM
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