Thursday, April 21, 2011

Quote from Auberon Herbert

The State is created by the individuals. It is fashioned and re-fashioned by them at their own will and pleasure ... for their use and service, and when it does not satisfy their requirements, they pull it to pieces and reconstruct it. Men throughout their lives are included in many wholes…. Schools, colleges, clubs, associations, joint stock companies, co-operative companies, political parties, village or town organisations, and then lastly comes national organisation or the State; but in all these cases, the organisation is created by the individuals themselves…. [How] is it possible for any constructed and reconstructed things to be greater than those who construct it and reconstruct it? To indulge in any such imagination is to imitate the carver of idols, who, when with his own hands he has fashioned the log of wood, falls on his knees before it and calls it his god. (Free Life, July 1898)

Quote obtained from a Wendy McElroy piece titled Auberon Herbert by Wendy McElroy.

If you have the time, and desire liberty for all individuals, read Wendy’s entire essay regarding Herbert,  and then explore the Funadmentals of Voluntaryism.

UPDATE:  An animated video (4:05) which compliments the ideas of Herbert, posted by Perry de Havilland at Samizdata under the heading Asking people a very basic question….  The video is titled George Ought to Help.

Posted by John Venlet on 04/21 at 06:53 PM
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Do Machetes Qualify as Medical Equipment?

Why is President Obama authorizing sending so called Libyan rebels $25 million dollars of Americans’ money?  According to a Washington Times piece titled Libya rebels will receive $25M from U.S., this $25 million dollars is for “non-lethal” aid.

“The president’s proposed actions would provide urgently needed nonlethal assistance to support efforts to protect civilians and civilian-populated areas under threat of attack in Libya,” said Joseph E. Macmanus, acting assistant secretary of state for legislative affairs, in an April 15 letter. A copy of the letter, sent to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, was obtained by The Washington Times.

The new authorization for assistance would cover “vehicles, fuel trucks and fuel bladders, ambulances, medical equipment, protective vests, binoculars, and non-secure radios,” according to a memorandum attached to the letter.

I’m wondering, based on reading the above quote from the Washington Times, and after reading a Pajamas Media piece titled Mounting Evidence of Rebel Atrocities in Libya, wherein one can read this,

While the International Criminal Court has announced that it is investigating charges of war crimes against Muammar al-Gaddafi and other members of the Libyan regime, harrowing video evidence has emerged that appears to show atrocities committed by anti-Gaddafi rebels. Among other things, the footage depicts summary executions, a prisoner being lynched, the desecration of corpses, and even a beheading. The targets of the most serious abuse are frequently black African prisoners. The ultimate source of the footage appears to be rebel forces or sympathizers themselves.

What is probably the most harrowing of the clips depicts a public beheading. A man with a long knife can be seen alternately sawing and hacking at the neck of a man who has been suspended upside-down. The victim’s inert body is soaked in blood. The beheading takes place in front of a burnt-out building in what appears to be a public square. The Dutch public broadcaster NOS has identified the location as the main square of the rebel capital of Benghazi.

do machetes qualify as medical equipment?

Via small dead animals, via The Corner.

Posted by John Venlet on 04/21 at 03:50 PM
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Universal Forensic Extraction Device - UPDATE

In my post regarding the Michigan State Police’s possession and use of universal forensic extraction devices, yesterday, I noted that the Michigan State Police were attempting to highway rob the ACLU to the tune of $544,680.00 in response to their Michigan Freedom of Information Act request for records detailing the Michigan State Police’s use of said devices.

Two news stories shed some additional light on the egregiousness of this $544,680.00 price tag.

First, this information from a FOX17 News story titled State Police in West Michigan Say They Rarely Gather Cell Phone Data (as if the headline itself does not already cast a bright light on the egregiousness of the requested $544,680.00).

“It’s a forensic tool that I’ve used twice in the last five years,” said Schmitz, and MSP has five devices across the state.

If, indeed, the device(s) are so little utilized by the Michigan State Police, there is no justification whatsoever for setting so high a ransom for the data which the ACLU has requested.  Not to mention that in today’s digitized information age one can, with a few clicks of a mouse, and a link here and there, deliver vast amounts of information without leaving a chair.

The second news story I draw your attention is titled State Police want big bucks for public documents, which not only mentions the highway robbery being attempted by the Michigan State Police in regards to the release of ACLU requested data documenting the use of universal forensic extraction devices, but indicates that the Michigan State Police appear to have a history of attempting to highway rob requesters of documents detailing their activities.

So, maybe this ACLU request about these cell phone information-grabbing devices is an isolated incident (the charge of $544,680.00 - ed.).

Well, the Michigan State Police have charged more.

In 2009 the Mackinac Center for Public Policy was looking into how some tax money was being spent.  Kathy Hoekstra with the Center filed a Freedom of Information Act request.

“Well, what I was looking for was information related to Michigan State Police’s handling of Homeland Security money, federal money, $129-million in federal grant money.”

Basically, she wanted to make sure there was no fraud, waste or abuse.

Hoekstra received some audits for what she considered a reasonable fee, but she wanted more detail.  The Michigan State Police response was more than Hoekstra expected.

“Yes, more than two-million pages and the final tally of $6.8-million.”

LG:  Now, by my calculations, that’s about 13-percent of the State Police annual budget. (bold by ed.)

Neither of these reports lead me to conclude that the Michigan State Police, or any other government entity for that matter, desires for the truth to be known regarding the scope of their activities.

Posted by John Venlet on 04/21 at 12:18 PM
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Is It Pointless? - Another Lesson from the Documentary “Shoah”

I completed my viewing and study of Claude Lanzmann’s documentary Shoah this morning.  I’ve taken a good number of notes while absorbing this work, though in fact this note taking was not absolutely necessary, because the lesson(s) contained within Lanzmann’s contribution to the historical record of the Holocaust have been indelibly seered into my mind.

Though it may seem morbid to draw lessons for today from these horrible events, or seem a deprecation of them, it is not.  In actuality, there is an authoritative and dismaying indication contained within what follows which may very well explain, and most definitely illlustrates, why most individuals will not accept facts, even when they are staring them openly in the face.

The facts we Americans have to face in regards to our country are assuredly not imminent physical death, such as the Jewish people had to face, but we Americans must face the facts that the powers which control America and American individuals, both political and business, consider Americans not as sovereign individuals any longer, but as mere fodder, feeding not the machinery of death, but the machinery of the ever growing State.

So, is it pointless to attempt to inform and enlighten my fellow Americans to the dangers facing American individuals today as the federal government continues on its reckless course?  Is it an exercise in futility?  Is it pointless to tell the truth?  I confess that I think it is pointless to point out the danger America is in, more often than I care to admit.

I point you to a dismayingly illustrative example of the seeming pointlessness of not only telling the truth, but of the adamant unwillingness to accept the truth, even when it is staring individuals in the face and can be physically touched.

Shoah (film) Part 36/59  Total video length 6:37 - begin viewing at 6:00.

Shoah (film) Part 37/59 Total video length 9:55 - view from beginning to 5:45 mark.

Posted by John Venlet on 04/21 at 08:56 AM
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