Saturday, November 27, 2010

Rethinking Waterboarding

Yes, I know, all nice people are in agreement that waterboarding is bad. But this article has some interesting points:
This twitchiness has been made worse by the consequences of President Bush's claim in Decision Points that the waterboarding of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed prevented terrorist attacks on Canary Wharf and Heathrow Airport.

One of the reasons the left have been so taken aback by Bush's statement is because it gets to the heart of the use of waterboarding. For too long the left have been trying to squeeze waterboarding into their definition of torture. In part because of this, the debate over waterboarding has become dictionary-centered in that in order to debate whether waterboarding is acceptable in certain circumstances, you first need to define exactly what you mean by "torture." This has drowned the debate in tedious exchanges of definitions by bureaucrats, academics, and elected officials on both sides of the Atlantic.

Consequently, it has been simply assumed by a large section of the public (especially with Obama declaring it to be an illegal weapon of torture) that waterboarding equals torture, and therefore, if we allow "torture" on just one person, then we are legitimizing torture on everyone. As a result "that makes us just as bad as them." Every logical step in this argument is flawed, and yet it is still widely believed.

Therefore, waterboarding, along with softer techniques such as sleep deprivation, have been abolished on the basis that "we must stay true to our principles," as if America and Britain were somehow founded on the principle that no terrorist must be kept awake past his bedtime.

What President Bush's claim has done is cut through the theoretical niceties and the dictionary definitions in order to present a solid fact: waterboarding was practiced on three people, and it prevented attacks on Canary Wharf and Heathrow Airport. These attacks would have been devastating and would have almost certainly led to the deaths of thousands upon thousands of innocent British citizens.

In the face of this terrifying reality, the lefties flipping through their dictionaries for the correct definition of torture and debating the meaning of the words "necessary" and "force" look quite pathetic.

What President Bush is doing is presenting a choice. The title of his book is Decision Points, and this moment is a decision point for the citizens of both America and Great Britain. The first choice is about what we would prefer to have happened in the past -- thousands of British deaths in a terrorist attack that may have dwarfed 9/11, or Khalid Sheikh Mohammed experiencing a sensation of drowning.

Yet it also asks of us a more pressing question for the future.

The fact is that hardened criminals such as Khalid Sheikh Mohammed will not give up information just by having a light shone in their face (although not too bright -- we wouldn't want to permanently damage their eyesight!) These people are well-trained to resist interrogation and are ideologically motivated. They do not fear death, and they do not fear pain. In the future, there are going to be more cases where vital information can be attained only via waterboarding and similarly strong methods.
Read the whole thing.
When the next attack comes, and it will, I wish that it could confine its harm to those who want to prevent this interrogation tool. But it won't, and it will kill as many people who would have used it as those who would not. And the shame of it all, is that the victims never really had a chance to voice their opinions.
Of course, we could just subject them to a TSA search. That is too degrading though.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Why Obama Won in '08 and Why He Won't Win Again.

It is common to look top history as a template for evaluating current situations. While helpful, it is not exclusive, and sometimes, the wrong lesson can be learned from the exercise. For instance, supporters of President Obama often cite to either President Clinton after the 1994 elections, and how he was able to be re-elected or even Reagan after the 1982 election and the damage done to his chances of re-election because of the economy. But I believe that neither of these examples is a good road map for Obama's re-election.
But first, we should look and see how it was that Obama was elected in the first place. As a junior senator from Illinois, he had no significant accomplishments aside from a key note address at the 2004 Democrat convention. During the 2008 campaign, he must be given credit for manipulating the system that should have provided Hillary with the nomination in his favor. He was able to overcome the superdelegate problem by basically co-opting those who weren't for him to begin with. During the campaign, the motto was always "Hope" and "Change." But it was the non-specificity of those two words that were both their genius and his downfall. After all, can Obama really be blamed for what we understood Hope and Change to be? If you look at his speeches during the campaign, there were zero specifics. Everything that we imagined him to promote, he never did. We simply imposed it on him.
Now honestly, it is our fault that we elected him in spite of his lack of accomplishments. After all, during the campaign, he pointed to running a campaign as his most significant accomplishment to date. Otherwise, he was a "community organizer." Now just what the heck is that? And how is that qualifications to become President?
Again, it is our own darned fault that we elected him, but when it comes to 2012, will we fall for it again? Will the silver tongued orater be able to use his teleprompters to inspire us, or will we simply look at him and think "he doesn't mean a word of what he is saying." My thinking is that in 2008 there was a high degree of Republican in general, and Bush in particular fatigue. Whoever won the nomination for the Presidency from the Democratic Party was going to become President. But there won't be Bush fatigue in 2012. In fact, some surveys actually show GW Bush to be more popular than Obama at the moment. Additionally, Obama lacks the political acumen to do a self assessment that is honest. So far, the President seems to blame his failure to inspire with his policies on poor communication skills (irony alert) and that we are all scared, so we don't think clearly. Nowhere in that assessment is the idea that his ideas aren't popular. In fact, that is his Achilles heel. He can't believe that people wouldn't agree with his assessment of the situation. There has to be something that is obscuring the ability to explain his message. Fox is often used as the villain, but it cannot explain the vast majority who reject Obama's policies. The administration's inability to fathom that Americans are not another special interest group to be bought off with give aways is going to be the reason that Obama doesn't win re-election.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Will Your Lawyer Fit in the Overhead Compartment?

Next time you go to the airport and decide that you are not interested in increasing the amount of cumulative radiation so you opt out of the X Ray vision run by perverts, you will then have to go through a manual groping including your most private spaces. Don't feel like getting a hand job, even though it's free? Well buster, you will just have to sit there and like it, even if you do decide that rape is a pretty good reason to bail on your airline tickets.
Yes, you will be held against your will by armed agents of the federal government and questioned until they are satisfied. And if you don't, you will be subject to possible arrest and a fine of $11,000. Now never mind how bad the whole bargained for acceptance aspect of contracts with regards to flying is, you now have a completely new third player in the deal. And they won't take no for an answer. You will be either sexually assaulted, or wrongfully imprisoned without even the merest of proof to detain you.
We say we are doing this to prevent terrorism. Seems to me, they have already won.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Giving Them the Respect They Deserve

From Reason:


The most amazing thing about the TSA is how absolutely stupid they are. It's almost like America has been punked and we haven't woke up enough to say WTF? Every one of their areas of searching are for some previous attack. How long ago was it since the shoe bomber? And yet we still pull off our shoes for inspection. More than three ounces of a fluid? Can't have it, so four or five of you are going to have to get together to bring on enough for a bomb.
Everything that they are doing is purely reactive. They justify it by saying that they are just "following procedure." That is the excuse they give for not thinking. But watching this will have to make you think that we are not doing it right.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Relooking DADT

The administration is plowing ahead with the fierce moral urgency of now, to deal with gays in the military. Not. Instead they are waffling around, waiting on the 9th Circuit to try and figure out what they are going to do since the district court in California just ruled that Don't Ask, Don't Tell is unconstitutional. But is it unconstitutional?
There is no right to join the military. You can actually be denied for being too tall, or too short, too skinny or too fat, too young, too old it doesn't matter. Missing a limb? Highly unlikely that you will be able to serve. Have asthma? Good luck in some other endeavor. Of course my favorite is the criminal history one. Have you ever used a gun in the commission of a crime? Well just keep on moving junior. We only want moral killers here.
The point of all this is that the military selects its own replacements. And the biggest issue is that the new recruits can fit in and adapt, and yes they can. The military has over 200 years in figuring out how to get young men and now women to fit in. Now some may say that this is no different from when women were fully integrated into the military. But that is a rather poor example. For when women were first integrated they were held to the same standards as the men, and when they couldn't compete equally, there were new standards created that were less difficult. This just caused an increase in the resentment of men toward women and an increase in their harassment. It took close to 15 years for acceptance of women, and even then it was with a recognition that not all women were going to compete equally with men in feats of physical performance.
Sure, some of it was ridiculous, for example, a 175 pound male carrying a 120 pound rucksack and gear is going to be under tremendous stress. But a 120 pound woman carrying a 120 pound rucksack won't be able to move. And they don't make scaled down rucksacks, rifles, bullets, meals or anything else for that matter so that she can carry on the same as a man. This is not to say that there aren't women who could do it, but they are in the distinct minority. Overall, the idea of legislating equality through the military is not a good idea.
Besides, the one thing that no one takes into consideration is the young enlistee who realizes that the military life is just not for him or her. All they have to do is to tell their superiors that they have feelings for members of the same sex, but haven't acted on them yet, and they will have an Honorable Discharge in weeks.
Eventually, the military is going to have to let gays in who will serve openly. But that is a matter for those who are serving to deal with, not social engineers. Until that date, let's just keep the current system which requires everyone to mind their own damned business.
It's really not that hard to do.

Just Wait Until They Are Unionized.

A TSA worker pulled down a woman's shirt, exposing her breasts to everyone in the screening area. And the workers who missed the escapade could always review it on closed circuit security cameras.
None of them have been fired. Apparently, this is just fine for TSA behavior.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Killing Entrepreneurship

Cutting the Deficit

So many times, we are told that tax increases are the only responsible way to reduce the deficit, never cutting because it is too difficult. And to show how hard it is, the New York Times has included a handy calculator so that you can test your plan. I tried my hand at it and came up with this version.
But they didn't have a lot of choices that I wanted to do. First, end all subsidies. No business subsidies, sugar, peanut, ethanol, solar power, anything. The government should not be helping anything, because as soon as it does it distorts the market, and it's usually distorted in the direction that the lobbyists wanted, not in the direction that is good for everyone. I know a lot of people will be screaming that the "Green Revolution" can't happen without subsidies, and they are probably right. Which is just my point. If it makes sense economically, the government doesn't need to help. If it doesn't make sense, then we shouldn't be doing it.
I would also eliminate the Depts. of Energy and Education. So far, their track record from before their existence to now shows that they have failed in improving the situation. In the business world, these are defunct and defective organizations. Spin them off and sell them off to private investors. I would also direct the Dept. of Agriculture to look at selling public lands. It is true that Montana takes in more federal dollars than it pays out, but that is partly because the feds own so darned much of us. Take and sell it and you have the immediate effect of cash plus the long term benefit of not having to maintain the property. It would also open up land for private development which raises income which can be taxed.
Now for the fun part, the military. I know my friends in Great Falls might object, but we need to get rid of the land based missiles. Their cost versus their probability of use cannot be justified. The B-2 at least has a dual use capability, and if we kept about a third of the Trident class, we would still have enough to remain a credible deterrent without as much costs. We also need to address the major challenges to our interests are going to be terrorists and the Chinese. The terrorists are going to continue their low level of conflict, much like a bad infection, and it will require light and flexible forces that can go anywhere and fight anywhere. Probably 8 divisions of light or medium weight (Stryker units) divisions, and four heavy.
The Chinese on the other hand are a much more conventional force and would require higher levels of what we used to call "heavy" formations of armor and artillery. But we couldn't take China on right now in any event. Their Hundred Million Army is too much to engage directly, and luckily, they are a predominantly continental based force, so the greatest threats are going to be Viet Nam and Siberia.
There is the possibility of a sea borne invasion of Taiwan, or even possibly Japan. for that reason we should have four carrier groups. We only need to control the seas of one ocean at a time, not the current seven, and of that force you need one on station, one going to station and one returning, with one more as a backup.
The Air Force should be cut back to enough F-22 and F-35 wings to create air dominance in one theater, and sufficient heavy lift aircraft to move a light division in seven days. The need for future fighters has to be set aside until we get the budget under control.
Overseas bases should not be eliminated. Everyone of those was paid for in American blood, and it would be too expensive to have to reclaim them if we needed them again in the future. Their staffing should be reduced to enough for caretaker status only. But we cannot give up access to bases in Germany because they are a quarter of the world closer to anywhere East than the CONUS units are. Same with Okinawa.

Well, these are just a few ideas for cuts. I would also redo the tax code by making it a flat tax and exempt income under $30,000. The many loopholes and exemptions are just rife with the possibility of corruption. And I think I will put the rest of that idea in another post.

Things That Make You Go Hmmmmm.

This is the no kidding headline:
Castro: Far-Right Takes Over U.S. After Midterms
So, if Castro calls you Far Right, and the Democrats call you Far Right, does that mean they are at the same point on the continuum?

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Barkus Justice?

Well, not really. As you may or may not be aware, Senator Barkus is going to plead guilty to one count of Criminal Endangerment and the dismissal of two counts of Felony Vehicular Assault.
This is one of the interesting examples where who you are matters when it comes to the administration of justice. Only not like you think. In this case we have a prominent Republican state Senator who was driving a boat that crashed into the rocks on the East shore of Flathead Lake, injuring our Rep. Denny Rehberg and others who were passengers. The fact that it is on the front page of the Daily Interlake is proof of the uniqueness of the prosecution at this level. Believe it or not, this was not the only boat accident resulting in injuries. In fact, it wasn't the only boat accident involving alcohol and injuries, but there it is, on the front page. And the worst thing is, that the Senator may actually receive a higher crime and punishment than if it had been Joe Montanan, normal citizen.
I am not going to pretend that I know better than his attorney who has a good reputation, but I think I would have challenged the original charge, since it seems to contemplate more the victims being innocent bystanders, and not passengers, but I am seeing this being used more and more nonetheless.
The charge that he is pleading to, Criminal Endangerment, is also known as the "Prosecutor's Best Friend." The relevant portions of the statute are as follows::
A person who knowingly engages in conduct that creates a substantial risk of death or serious bodily injury to another commits the offense of criminal endangerment.
MCA 45-5-207.
But I have a problem with this charge. First, "knowingly engaging in conduct." The prosecutors like to say that by driving drunk, you knowingly engage in the conduct. But Criminal Endangerment is unique in the knowing element because you have to deliberately engage in the conduct.
As a clarification, I will use Justice Nelson's explanation of the law. Three men stand in a field, One aims north and fires a gun into an open field. The second fires into a grove of trees, but he doesn't know that there is a house there, and the third fires at a group of houses. All three men engaged in the same knowing conduct - Firing a gun, but only the third man engaged in conduct that he knowingly created a substantial risk of serious injury or death. The second shooter did not know there was a house, and that is more akin to Barkus' condition than the third shooter.
For if you want to believe that Barkus does meet the standard for Criminal Endangerment, you have to believe that Barkus was trying to kill himself as well. For how could he predict that anyone, least of all him have escaped harm if that was his intent. No, his better charge was the misdemeanor of Negligent Endangerment which only requires that you acted Negligently, not knowingly. But because he is a celebrity of sorts, and the Left is out for scalps, they will get his.
Which is too bad, and just another example of the wrongful application of justice.

It's Fun to be a Victim!

Don't you want to be a victim too? After all, if it's not your fault, why should you be held responsible for changing? And the legacy of the statists is to make sure that everyone can be a victim. Of course we have to have some oppressor, so we will use the evil bastards known simply as the "rich." This is so much fun, because probably only five people in this country would say that they are rich. But if you are making $20k a year, someone making $40k a year has to be rich. And if you are making $40k, then someone making $80k definitely is rich. Unless you are making that amount, in which case those making $125k are rich, and so it repeats itself ad nauseum. But each person at the level of being "rich" as considered by someone else does not consider themselves to be rich.
During Obama's campaign, we learned that the rich are those making $250k a year. A nice neat definition, but why are they the ones who have to be rich? Why not the ones making $125k or those making $500k? It is an arbitrary and capricious number designed to inflame the masses who make less than that, more than a statement of policy.
I bring this up because the site Left in the West is being restored at least as some level by Rob Kailey of Wulfgar fame, and a commenter JC said the following about the loss of the middle class,
Put that story together with a few others:

* the Chamber of Commerce's promotion of offshoring;
* the rise of China to soon become the world's leading economy, and growing military might to match;
* the Deficit Commission's proposal to raise the retirement age, which will result in middle and low income workers having to work longer, in essence paying for the retirement of healthier and richer persons (reports show that the richest americans live on average 5-7 years longer than the unrich once they reach 65);
* the widening disparity in income between the rich and middle/lower classes;
* the different treatment the rich and powerful politicos get (Bernie Madoff excepted) vs. the unrich and minorities get in our criminal justice system;
* the rise of corporate personhood to a level commensurate with the flesh and blooded citizens and their right to free speech;
* the rise of corporate personhood in the guise of "defense contractors" as our country turns to mercenary corporations to fight out wars and clean up our messes when (Halliburton/Xe et al.) the military is unwilling/unable/unready to do so--the forewarnings of the coming of the "military-industrial complex" have been realized;
* the triumphs of ideology and religion over science;
* and among all this gathering doom, defense spending is on a rocket course upwards, ever building more bases, and expanding our empire;
* ad nauseum...

It truly is twilight in america. And when the fireworks come out, I will be watching them from afar...

The dire warnings of this dark image are sure to make us leap to action and call for - More government! After all, the problem is always going to be solved by government. The Chamber of Commerce promoting "Off shoring"? Well, let's raise the corporate tax rates here at home, and tax their overseas earnings as well. That will certainly keep those corporations at home.
The Deficit Commissions proposal to raise the retirement age comment is concerning to me, because it looks like this person is advocating privatization of Social Security. After all, if it was privatized, the individual contributor would be able to pass on their accumulated savings to their offspring, instead of having them roll over to fund the wealthy who live longer. I am not sure why this comment is here except to make people feel more helpless than they already do.
The widening disparity between the rich and lower classes is going to be helped how? Apparently by government intervention which will only serve to lock in everyone at their station and keep them from advancing. Again, I am curious as to why JC is advocating this system. Could it be that she doesn't want to be bothered by anyone who may become noveau riche?
The rest of her diatribe also seems to be one giant non sequiter. Except for the underlying theme that all of this would just be fine if only the government took over our lives. My favorite is how she fails to capitalize "america" as she talks about the upcoming fireworks.
I feel sorry for someone so young who is so sad about her future. Maybe she needs to go join a Young Americans for Freedom convention and get some hope that by working hard and taking risks, you can avoid be confined to a set spot on the economic continuum.
On the other hand, I kind of get the feeling that she enjoys her misery.

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

What is it With the Left and Free Speech?

I am noticing a disturbing pattern among the Left when it comes to Free Speech. What started this process was Ken Thornton at Electric City Weblog who said
My standard is the old fairness in broadcasting standard. All the mainstream media did fine and democracy did well under that. About 1988 was the death of that standard and the death of our democracy. Its death ushered in Right wing radio and Fox News and the false reality they create. The truth suffers and so does our democracy.
(Emphasis added)
The false reality is an interesting approach. Do those on the Left believe that anyone who watches Fox News thinks up is down and vice versa? Are the colors all reversed in their imagination of what those who watch would have?
Ahh, but Fox makes errors, there is no doubt of that. And if that were the standard there would not be a CBS News. Although to be fair, they did end up describing it as "Fake but accurate." And don't even get me started about the New York Times. The paper of record is becoming almost half the paper of corrections. And MSNBC? Their journalistic bona fides are best demonstrated here:
But it goes beyond just which news the Left is going to validate as being "accurate." Senator Bernie Sanders, (Insane, VT) wants to tell people who can own media outlets. This is a repeat of the canard that all news is philosophically conservative because it comes from corporations. This amusing logical fallacy has been refuted so many times, I won't waste your time here.
This is all part of the reaction of Citizens United decision and the removal of restrictions on corporate speech.Ironically, Democrats who keep tinkering with the corporate tax code, and as a result are driving business overseas, now don't want to hear from those same businesses when they are considering said legislation. The Left would be fine to allow unions free speech, but they demonstrate their ignorance when they think unions can exist without businesses.
The absolute lack of understanding that political speech cannot be regulated betrays the concerns that those of the Left are less likely to hold the Constitution in the honor it deserves. These are the same people who claim to protect constitutional rights. But it appears only those rights of abortion. All others are subject to suppression.

Monday, November 08, 2010

Leverage

Senator elect Manchin of West Virginia is being courted by the Republicans in the hopes that he will flip from Democrat to their side. The brilliant thing about this strategy is who is not playing.
While Manchin would probably fit in more with the Republican caucus than the Democrat one, it is still potentially viable. But if you are Manchin, think about what the message conveys - I am much more valuable than any other freshman senator. Harry Reid will be forced to offer some choice committees and support for Manchin's project for a plant that converts coal to diesel.
The Republicans in the meantime, can offer anything, because they won't have the necessary bodies to make a majority even with Manchin. Everynone wins, except for Harry Reid.

Sunday, November 07, 2010

What Does it Require to Give it a Rest?

The Left is always fascinated by a poll that shows some people thinking that Obama is a Muslim. They usually conflate the ones who think he is a Muslim with those who say they don't know, just to jack up the numbers. They also do it as a vehicle to declare that anyone who thinks so must be a racist. Now, let's just put that to rest. Anyone who thinks that believing Obama is a Mulsim must also automatically be a racist, are in fact racists themselves and aren't worth answering.
But the resurfacing of rumors would only further inflame the racists who are looking for any excuse to deflect the blame from the Obama administration for their failures. It serves no purpose but to distract.
Myself, I have been in Catholic churches for services, and that doesn't make me Catholic. I have been to a fundamentalist church that actually brought out snakes and started talking in tongues. I left before the service got carried away, but that doesn't mean that I believe in that variant of religion either. Can we give old Barry a rest on this subject?
Please?

Saturday, November 06, 2010

Because They Won

Shortly after he was inaugurated, President Obama told the minority Republicans that he wasn't really interested in their suggestions about tax policy because as he said "I won." Well guess what? Karma has a real sense of humor.
Because of the lack of interest by the last Congress, the first step for the new one is going to be to complete the authorization bills for the 2011 fiscal year. The easy thing would be to pass a sort of continuing resolution that covers the remaining 10 months. But what if the new Republican House decided instead to do an across the board 10% cut? Just say to all of the departments that you have the same budget as last year, just 10% less, and deal with it because we have to start work on the 2012 budget.
Of course there would be a hue and cry and reminders of the government shutdown of 1995, but this time it would be different. First, it's not the whole Congress against the White House, it's just the House. But the play of it is that the American people want government spending brought under control and they are going to do it. If the Senate fails to pass it (and because it is a budget bill filibusters don't apply) the Republicans can blame the Democrats in the Senate who didn't get the memo from last week's election. On the other hand, if the Senate passes it and Obama vetoes it, simply point out how the Republicans are busy doing the job of providing for appropriations for next year, and they will get to the President's veto when they can.
The Republicans House will also have to pass a repeal of ObamaCare, but I think it is better if they wait on doing that until February or March of 2012. They will reinvigorate the base, and set the Democrats the unenviable task of defending anew the crappy piece of legislation.
For those of us who are fans of chaos and gridlock when it comes to the encroachment of our individual liberties, these are really good times.

Friday, November 05, 2010

Fearing the Government

When we were children, and even now with our children, they learmn that the police are your friend. That if you are lost or scared and can't find your mommy or daddy, you should go to a police officer and they will help you. And I am sure that most of the time that they do. But sometimes, officers who are not as professional as the old guys become far too much the cowboy, and rather than relying on the force of personality, they prefer the gun to settle things down. And it works, to a point.
Except if you want to have a friendly poker game at your house. Then, you better be prepared for a battering ram followed by gunfire.
A relatively routine raid of a low-stakes poker game in Greenville, South Carolina turned bloody yesterday night — as police tried to gain entry to a poker house. The game host, now known to be Aaron Awtry, 72, shot through the front door, striking sheriff’s deputy Matthew May with a bullet that went through his arm.

A vice squad in SWAT gear returned fire, hitting Awtry with multiple rounds in his arm and thumb … which was followed by a 20-minute standoff between cops and players, according to a spokesman for the Greenville County Sheriff’s Department. Both shooting victims were taken to the hospital where they are in stable condition.

There were 12 people and Awtry in the house at 502 Pine Knoll Drive when police arrived at about 9:20 pm last night. According to frontline witnesses, they had just finished a small buy-in dinnertime tourney … and a 1/2 cash game was just getting underway when someone saw 5-0 approaching on a security monitor. Before he could clearly vocalize an alert, a battery [sic] ram begin slamming the front door and players froze. Awtry, who players say has notoriously bad hearing in his senior years and presumably believed the game was being robbed, began shooting at the door with his pistol, firing “at least once” according to a player, “multiple shots” according to police. At least four officers returned fire at the door with at least 20 bullets from their higher-powered assault weapons.

As Awtry fell back into the poker room entryway, he balked, “Why didn’t you tell me it was the cops?”
But that was South Carolina, and we know that they are all crazy there. It wouldn't happen in Montana.
Except. Now I am relating this from hearsay of people who were there, so I can't vouch for the accuracy of anyone other than the people who told me are very reliable. Apparently, one of the legal assistants of the Office of the Public Defender in Kalispell lived across the street from a house that a friend of hers owns but is letting her young son live there. The legal assistant got a call from the son, saying that the police were wanting to come into the house because they suspected an underage party. The kid told them that they had to get a warrant (smart kid), so they left. Apparently, they didn't have enough information for a warrant, because unknown til later, the officers came back to the house, crossed onto private property in order to look into the windows of the house where they saw a young girl asleep on the bed in a bedroom. Naturally, the officers thought that she must be drunk. Now they had the information they needed to get a warrant (not really but this is Kalispell, where the right to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures doesn't apply).
The legal assistant had gone over at the request of the mother to see what was going on, and yes, there was an underage party going on. The assistant called an attorney she works for and was on the phone when the cops started banging on the door again, saying that this time they had a warrant. The assistant was still talking to the attorney (who can run on at times) when the cops entered with guns drawn. Luckily none were so clumsy so as to trip and fire a warning shot through some drunk kid. A cop approached her and ordered her to hang up, which she was trying to do by ending the conversation. When she didn't hang up, the cop smacked it out of her hand, where it landed still transmitting to the lawyer the entire unjust entry and arrest. To make a long story short, the legal assistant was arrested and charged with obstructing justice.
She pled not guilty and had to go to trial, where the cops lied about hitting her, and the amateur hour judge allowed in so much extraneous bs it was a miracle that the jury reached the right conclusion and found her not guilty. Now, I am not saying that officers have to be placed in jeopardy when they are doing their jobs, but trespassing, lying to get a warrant, then lying in court are not going to be justified by "officer safety."
What it really does, is instill a distrust of law enforcement by the people who's rights they abuse, and their friends and family. And yes this is Kalispell, but I know that similar things have happened in Missoula and Hamilton. Don't think it hasn't happened in your town. Or maybe some night, someone could be smashing your door in and start shooting at you, and it will all be perfectly legal under "officer safety."

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Making Every Vote Count

I was talking with a woman who works at Boulder where we keep all those with mental deficiencies, and she told me something shocking. Apparently, the staff there take advantage of the residents by telling them who to vote for. This is disturbing enough, but apparently, Boulder isn't the only place that happens.
So, if you want your vote to really count, go work or volunteer at a facility for the mentally handicapped. You could make your vote count over a hundred times more than it would otherwise.

I am sure that the Commissioner of Political Practices will get right on it. Snark.

One More Good Reason to Vote

Defeat the dominant paradigm.

Monday, November 01, 2010

The Price of a Man's Soul

Everyone has a price is a constant refrain, and I used to say that mine was $250,000 until I was given a cashier's check for that amount to bid on a sale on behalf of a client. Then I figured out that I would need a lot more than that if I was going to abandon my family friends and country forever.
I bring this up because Cynthia Yockey has an excellent discussion of stuff you know, but just never put together so well as she has. The Reader's Digest version is that conservatives are inherently optimistic. They believe that anyone can become president, just like Obama did, only we won't point out that he did. But conservatives as a rule do not believe in stultifying stratification of your economic condition.
Liberals on the other hand (and I really mean Leftists, but they stole the good name of liberals) are pessimistic.
The first fundamental idea of Leftism is that particular identity/grievance groups are members of a permanent underclass, which entitles them to pity and unearned privileges and money. This idea has been particularly attractive to black Americans and led to the Great Society welfare state, the destruction of marriage and the black family, the rise of race hucksterism and racial protection rackets and a holocaust of ambition, talent and genius in the black community because welfare rules punish these traits ruthlessly.
and secondly,
is that there is a privileged overclass who owe their pity and earned privileges and money to an ever-expanding list of identity/grievance groups in the permanent underclass.
Ms Yockey points out that the primary purpose of these beliefs is not to remedy the ills but power. The power to control others through the allocation or confiscation of wealth. They need the poor and repressed minorities for without them, the Left have no moral authority.
But the real cost of the Left's perfidy is that we now know the price of a person as determined by the government wage. At the present time if you are disabled you will receive the princely sum of $674 per month providing that you are disabled and unable to do ANY WORK at any place in the country. Six hundred seventy four dollars a month, and if you have too much in assets, you have to "spend them down" before you can draw the benefit.
The truly sad part of this inhuman trade in humanity is the government bureaucracy that would try at every turn to deny them benefits, and those pathetic people who actively seek out such a small pittance as a way to avoid work even though they aren't really disabled. The fact that the government would make a truly disabled person's life miserable by the delay and denials of their claims is justified by those pathetic people who would seek this benefit as a source of income for the rest of their lives is a testament to the failure of government sponsored largesse.

The Religion of Peace is Being Peaceful Again

Check it out.

A Man of No Consequence

No, Not Mark T. Though he would certainly qualify. No kids, today's answer is Barak Obama! That's right, the Leader of the Free World is going to meet with the host of American Idol and do an interview. What a stroke of genius! Think of all the untapped voters who can't be reached any other way.

Makes me start to long for the quiet competency of GW Bush.