Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Going on a Lawsuit Hunt

The linked article details the trials and tribulations of three poor, misunderstood Jewish men who strapped duct-taped black boxes to their bodies, with what appeared to be wires running out of them, went into the lavatory together while the third stood guard outside, and began parying loudly, all while in flight.

It turns out that this was all part of a ceremony:

The men began praying out loud in Hebrew shortly after takeoff on Flight 241 from Mexico City. Flight attendants alerted the flight deck, which then called the tower and alerted law enforcement. When the plane arrived at Los Angeles International Airport, it was met by the FBI, Customs and Border Protection and airport police....

...During weekday prayers, some Orthodox Jewish men wear teflillin, or phylacteries - black leather straps wrapped around the left arm and around the forehead. The straps are connected to small boxes with tiny scrolls containing Jewish scriptures. Many Orthodox Jewish men also wear a prayer shawl called a tallit under their clothes, with knotted fringes at each of the four corners.

However, I can’t figure out what part of the ceremony requires them to go to the lavatory together while another man stands guard, anxiously glancing at the cockpit door and around the cabin.

This is not the first time that this has happened. The suspicious activities of these men, along with their unwillingness to go along with flight crew demands, leads me to believe that they were purposely in search of a religious discrimination lawsuit against the airline. I can develop no other reason why these men were dumb enough to do all of this, and why they felt like it couldn’t wait until they were safely on the ground.

Before you go there, I am not anti-Jewish or anti-religion. I am pro-common sense, and I just fail to see how these men could have reasoned their way into believing that this was a good idea. They are lucky as hell that some passenger didn’t straighten them out. I’m not sure what I would have done in the same situation, but I would certainly have been on a razor’s edge ready to dish out some ass-whoopin’ if I got any indication that their intent was anything other than honorable, I can tell you that much.

That being said, I can tell the difference between radical muslims and orthodox Jews, so I might not have been that worried, knowing that they were Jews and not Muslims.

I know, I totally just went off the PC reservation by suggesting that Muslims are more likely to commit terror attacks than Jews. Its just that, well…


Just Freedom Fighters, Fighting for Freedom and Such‏

The MSM has left this story unreported. It obviously does not forward the narrative tht israeli’s are bad and Palestinians are good, and that Palestinians are just poor, downtrodden but otherwise good souls who are being treated badly by the evil Jooooo oppressors.

I’ve linked to Borepatch for this story, because he tells it better than I could. I can’t type when I’m this upset and angry. My soul aches for these poor people.

It seems that they are celebrating in Gaza over this. I guess they really feel like infants are valid targets in their fight for freedom.

Of course, the reporting of this in the MSM, when it was even reported at all, ran the gamut of biased reporting – referring to the Jooos as “settlers” instead of as “the Fogel family” and not commenting on the fact that most of the evil Joooos killed in this were under 6 years old, one of them was only three months old. Real victory for the Palestinian cause, there, huh? There was also a general reluctance to comment on the race and breeding of the Paleoswinian bastards that did this.

The worst headline of all, thanks to Ace over at AOShq, was the following:

Israelis suspect Palestinians in settler killing.

Indicating that there was no proof that it was paleoswinians that did it, and that it was just the evil Zionists blaming Palestinians unfairly for the killing, and going on the offensive without proof. This, of course, ignores the reality, which is that the Muslim Brotherhood actually took responsibility for the killings and celebrated them - dancing and handing out candy in the streets of Jerusalem

The Alamo

Okay, random-ey randomness for today brought me to a discussion over on Mostly Cajun, All American and Opinionated, regarding the heroic last stand at the Alamo by a group of about 180 Texas Volunteers who fought to the last man against Santa Anna and Mexican oppression.

I do not want to minimize the sacrifice of those men. Most of us today would never even consider something to be worth dying over, and many men would see no problem with compromising their morality and their principles as long as it kept them from being slaughtered. The men in the Alamo were real, true men, who willingly died over what they thought was right.

That being said, I find a massive amount of fault in the concept of “dying for your country.” I could not put it better than the late, great George S. Patton, who stated bluntly that “No bastard ever won a war by dying for his country. The way that you win a war is by making the other poor bastard die for his country.”

The same great man also stated that “fixed fortifications are a monument to the stupidity of man.”

And Fixed fortifications are exactly what the men at the Alamo fought and died for – and their deaths were exactly because of their decision to fight within a fixed fortification.

Consider this. David Crockett became famous for his early-in-life exploits with the Tennesee Volutneers, fighting Indians with a rag-tag group of other white volunteers and allied Indian Tribes. During his time as a Tennessee Volunteer, Mr. Crockett fought countless guerilla style campaigns and helped to win the war against the Indians. He knew the value of guerilla tactics. He understood the concepts of striking hard and fading away before your enemy could strike back. He knew that facing a superior force head-on was futile, and that a paltry number of men, appropriately trained and brutally motivated, could bring entire armies to their knees by attacking supply infrastructure and leaving the regular army alone.

So there is no excuse for his decision to hole up behind some adobe bricks and wait for Santa Anna to surround him and his crew, leaving them no escape but surrender, victory, or death. You cannot limit your options like that and call it a tactically sound maneuver, and fighting from within a fixed fortification does just exactly that. It was monumentally stupid, and I say that despite the fact that I have the utmost respect for David Crockett and his men. I understand that I am criticizing the national heroes of Texas, and that that is offensive as hell – but I cannot help but wonder what 184 dedicated, dangerous men like those men at the Alamo could have done if they’d shed themselves of their cannon, traveled light and fast and with the goal of making Santa Anna’s life as miserable as possible for as long as they could. I’ll bet that they could have delayed him longer than they did behind the walls of the Alamo, and I’ll bet there would have been a damn sight more of them available to help Houston at the final battle (if that battle even happened at all – an unfed army cannot fight).

Anti-Gunner Logic

See, the thing I don’t understand is that when these anti-gun folks get themselves in a bind, the first thing that they do is call 911 so that they can have a man – with a gun – come out and fix their problem for them. They seem to fail to realize that in that situation, the evil gun is actually protecting them. All I am saying is why not just be a man with a gun yourself and cut out the middle man instead of waiting in fear for the 15 minutes it will take your knight in shining armor to show up and save your butt?

Update on MLK Parade Bomber - Spokane, WA

So after my long-winded rant about jumping to conclusions, it turns out that the news’ conclusion that the perp was a white supremacist was correct after all. It still doesn’t change my opinion that jumping to that conclusion was the wrong thing to do, because it doesn’t change the fact that the entire suspicion was based on speculation (and hope that it wasn’t another Muslim thing).

It is sort of like how I do not really respect Sherlock Holmes as being a great intellectual, as so many are wont to do, because he doesn’t really solve his cases by logic or deduction, he just makes assumptions based on very little evidence, sticks by those assumptions, and then invariably finds out that he was right all along. That isn’t reason or logic – that is luck. Same thing goes here. Just because they ended up being right does not mean that they did the right thing.

Most Recent "Oh Noes!" Moment in Education‏

I read an article the other day in which the author had gone into “the sky is falling” mode because schools are no longer teaching cursive writing. in her words, “the teachers are so busy with high class loads, unrelenting testing demands caused by “no Child Left Behind”, and the changing world into which these kids will be living that they no longer have time to teach things like cursive writing…”

I also understand that they have stopped teaching children how to use a type-writer, too. In fact, I heard just yesterday that there isn’t a single kid in our local graduating class that knows Morse Code, much less the fine art of telegraphy.

The world is coming to an end and the sky is quite obviously falling.

We are all. Going. To. Die…

…or not.

To those that do not know, cursive writing was invented as a way to hand-write a lot, more quickly, and with less hand fatigue caused by lifting the instrument off of the paper with every letter. In a time when the only real way to write something was by hand, cursive writing allowed people to write longer and faster, and it was invaluable.

Think hard now – when was the last time that you wrote anything other than a quick jot on a post-it note? A complete sentence? A few sentences maybe?

How long has it been since you filled up a piece of paper with your handwriting?

In the current day of portable typing devices like laptops and even smart phones, writing by hand is becoming more and more obsolete. Printing in standard letter form, by hand, is literally something people only do to write quick reminders and thank-you notes to other people. I spent months of my childhood learning cursive writing – months which could have been better used learning how to program a computer or plan a proper diet for myself once mom was no longer around to cook for me. It has rarely come in handy (if ever) and all of that time would have been much better spent learning to type on a QWERTY keyboard – something that was not in the curriculum of my grade-school days, apparently having been superseded by more important things - like learning to write cursive.

This reminds me of the constant cries that places like China and Japan are leaving us behind in terms of general education of our young people. Technically, yes, their kids have a better knowledge base, when only pure facts are considered, than ours do at graduation. Yet, it is Americans who continue to out-produce, out-think, and out-earn every other people on the planet, despite this, and I think that this is in large part due to the fact that we spend a lot less time learning stupid facts about things that we don’t need to know*, and a lot less time learning useless things like cursive writing.

*What I mean by this is that yes, they outscore us in Astrophysics at High School Graduation, but who gives a shit? 98% of Americans will never need to know or learn Astrophysics, so why waste time with it? Why not do exactly what we do, and reserve it for specialized higher education for people that actually want to go into a career in Astrophysics instead of teaching it to everyone, including the majority of people who won’t ever need to know these things, will never use them, and could give a shit less about them?

Ponder of the Day - War Crimes

So if President Bush’s decision to incarcerate the detainees at Guantanamo indefinitely without trial made him a war criminal, then what about President Obama’s decision to continue that policy, and to even take it a step further and allow the continued incarceration of folks that have been acquitted? How much do you want to bet that the “fair” and “intellectual” left won’t even pay mention to the cognitive dissonance that had them branding one President a War Criminal for doing exactly the same thing that another President is doing, and yet President #2 is the light bringer and purveyor of hope.

As I’ve said since day one of this debacle; if you have enough evidence to convict them of a crime, then try them that convict. If you do not have enough evidence to convict them of a crime, then how do you have enough evidence to detain them indefinitely? It is either there, or it isn’t. Di they, or didn’t they?

Try them or release them, because if you can’t try them, how can you be sure that they even deserve to be incarcerated?

Trouble's a' comin'

I’m sure I’m going to read this in 20 years and laugh my ass off at my naivety. In fact, I pray that I do, because if that is the case, then I will have been proven wrong, and society did not experience a multitude of big, nasty changes and possible total breakdowns in the next few years.

Right now, though, I just can’t see any way around it. We are spending ourselves into a hole so big that it can never be overcome, and we are completely unwilling to make the tough choices necessary to fix the problem.

Here is what I mean. Our national debt is 14 trillion, when last I checked. Our budget deficit is 1.5 trillion, also when last I checked.

The toughest, most extensive and most heavily criticized (for being too much, not the other way around, surprisingly) budget reduction program submitted to date by House Republicans calls for 64 billion in cuts to the budget. I want to emphasize that this will never pass, because almost everyone, including the great Harry Reid (un sarcasm) is saying that it is far too “ambitious” and cuts way too many “necessary programs” with no concept of the fact that it doesn’t matter how “necessary” something is when you cannot fucking afford it! When ordinary Americans cannot afford something, no matter how much they think it is necessary, they go without. The government, on the other hand, thinks it just gets to tax those same Americans more so it can continue to fund its $500 dollar toilet seat addiction.

Here is a graph that shows the national debt, the budget deficit, and the almost universally lamented, far too “ambitious” proposed cuts to the current budget.

Can you see the cuts? Look closely, it appears to be just a thickening in the X-Axis line over the words “Proposed Cuts.” Pretty “ambitious”, huh?

Have I made my point? Not yet? Okay, try this on for size:

You live in a family that has an income of $50,000 per year. If you sported numbers like the Federal Government, this would be your story:

You would owe $308,370 in debt.

You would spend $84,361 per year, despite only taking in $50,000 per year, which means that you would be putting the difference of $34,361 on your credit cards every year, adding to your deficit next year as you struggle to make payments and interest on the existing debt.

And you would be telling everybody that tries to help you that a suggested cut of $1,400 (a bit over $100 a month) out of your $84,361 budget is far too ambitious and simply not attainable.

Can you see why I think we are in trouble?

Even the most ambitious, most aggressive, and largest cut that has been proposed does not even show up on a graph compared to the total budget and debt. Even the bravest of our representatives in government are only willing to suggest that we cut $1,400 out of an $84,000 budget when we are already spending $34,000 more than we already have. If this is all the further we can go, and it appears that we can’t even get this far, then why even bother? A $64 billion dollar cut will change nothing, so why even care?

The entire house of cards appears to be collapsing around us as we speak, and our representatives are arguing over $1,400 out of a $34,000 deficit. They don’t see it. They don’t get it. They are preparing to crash this ship of state into the rocks, and are quibbling over whether the decks have been swabbed enough – it won’t matter when she sits at the bottom of the ocean, I can assure you.

Like I said, I hope that I am wrong. I hope I look back at my archives in 20 years and laugh at myself. I hope that we continue to live free and with a high standard of living, for the sake of my newborn daughter and her children. But I don’t think we will.

To My Apparent Superiors and Caretakers at the Washington State Patrol‏

And especially to the officer that pulled me over yesterday for talking on my cell phone while driving:

I have seen officers in your employ driving down the road at 20 miles per hour over the speed limit, while typing on the keypads of the laptop computers that are mounted in your cars, while keying the hand-held (NOT hands free!) radio in your car and writing down an address on a piece of paper at the same time, and yet you are going to try and tell me that I am a danger to myself and all those around me because I am having a conversation while driving (something I can do all the time, and legally, by the way, with people who are in the truck with me – I fail to see the difference).

I don’t care if you think that your training makes you capable of doing these things while my apparent lack of training does not. I’ve seen the basic training of patrol officers. In fact, I’ve participated in it through the “explorer” program back in the days when I thought being a gun-toting government enforcer might be a good career path. None of your training prepares you for distracted driving any more than my apparent lack of training does me. I’ve been talking on the phone while driving for almost 15 years, and you are welcome to look up my driving record to see how many accidents I’ve been in and how many infractions I’ve been issued. To save you the time, I will fill you in:

I’ve been in one traffic accident in 15 years, in which I was rear-ended by a driver who could not stop in time. I was aware that this was about to happen, had searched out all escape routes, found none, and managed to pull ahead as far as possible to dampen the collision before it came and yet still avoid hitting the car in front of me.

I’ve had one speeding ticket in 15 years, the circumstances of which I still feel make it fully excusable.

As long as you are willing to consider yourselves my better and not subject to the same laws that I am, I am not willing to follow whichever ukases you choose to not follow yourselves. I have no plans to endanger my family or those around me, and assure you that having a conversation while driving in no way does either.

Until one of your myrmidons catches me driving recklessly as a result of distraction from having a phone conversation while driving, and until you, too, choose to live up to the standards that you are empowered by the people to enforce, I hereby respectfully suggest that you get fucked.

That is all.

She's Here!

Evelyn Ann was born at 4:21 am on Wednesday March 2nd, 2011. She was 7 pounds, 12 ounces, and 19 inches long, and the most beautiful thing I’ve ver layed eyes on. I will chronicle some of the more salient points of the birth and subsequent trials when I get a bit more time, but suffice it to say these following things for now:

1.) Any claim that there is no such thing as unconditional love is woefully incorrect, unless you can imagine a situation that would cause me to stop loving my infant daughter with all of my heart. I assure you that you will find no such.

2.) My wife is absolutely amazing, and I will never ever see her the same again. She is a goddess among goddesses, and I cannot express how much I love her and admire her for what she was cpable of doing, and the amount of love and effort it took for her to do what she did. She is a great Mom.

3.) Babies are a lot of work and are exhausting.

I’m going to catch a quick nap and get back to work. More anon.

The Awesome is Strong with this One
A quick synopsis of the link details the promise of the father of a 5 year old boy who was brutally molested and murdered in 1975, to kill the bastard son of a bitch that did it when he is released from prison in the next couple of months.

I do not think that there is such a thing as repaying a debt to society at all, much less for something like this. No, you repay the debt to those who you owe it – the people to whom you are in debt, which in this case is the boy’s father. The boy’s father is demanding this son of a bitch’s life in repayment for the life of his son, which I think is a pretty fair trade. A just nation wouldn’t attempt to punish this guy for killing the bastard in whatever way he saw fit.

To be honest, I’m truly surprised that this sort of thing doesn’t happen more often. I can pretty much guarantee you that I’d do the same thing given a similar situation. If you hurt my kids, you will die. I don’t care how much time you do in jail to pay the debt. When you get out, you are a dead man, and you have my promise that it will not be a quick or easy trip as you throw off this mortal coil. My only quibble with this man’s actions is that he probably shouldn’t have told everyone and broadcast it to every Tom Dick and Harry on Earth, because now when this piece of shit disappears, the cops are coming after him first. As I said before, a just society wouldn’t care and would allow the father to dispose of this worthless trash in any way he saw fit, but we are not a just society.

Forwarding the Narrative‏ - Project Gunwalker

Remember the talk about the “Iron River” where the BATFE was claiming that there was a veritable “river” of guns being bought in the US and smuggled into Mexico in order to be used in the gang violence down there?

The BATFE posted this picture of a bunch of the guns seized from the “iron river.” Notice anything about these guns?

Yeah, I’m not sure I’ve ever seen grenades, an M203 machine gun, a LAW rocket launcher, or C-4 plastic explosive for sale at my local gun store. But that’s just me.

The BATFE is under orders from Janet Nepolitano to forward the agenda of gun control for nation security purposes. This, more than anything, has led to the “iron river” myth being created. Proof that this “iron river” does not exist is the fact that the BATFE has been walking guns across the border themselves, effectively becoming smugglers, in order to bolster the numbers of smuggled guns seized and therefore “prove” that it exists, and then use that “proof” to enact gun control laws here in the US.

Your government, hard at work, protecting you from gang violence by… errr… smuggling guns across the border to give them to the gangs…

…because that will make us all safer and forward the cause of freedom… …somehow…

…or something.

Heads must roll. To the top of the organization. Heads. Must. Roll. I am so flabbergasted by this blatant crisis manufacturing that I can hardly speak, and I am almost immune to surprise when it comes to things the government has done.


Real big time groundbreaking news, here, guys. This is world changing; life changing even. There is a new GAO report out that shows…

wait for it…

…that the government is extremely wasteful and pisses away your and my hard-earned confiscated tax dollars like DC itself was ablaze with a flame that can only be put out by snuffing it in a mile-high pile of dollar bills.

I’ll give you a second to gain control of yourself. I know, this is really shocking news. You good?

Alright, then.

So, let me ask you a question: Since government is pretty much the only entity on Earth that is in the business of spending other people’s money, has the power to extract more money from its subjects anytime it wants to at the point of a gun, and has a monopoly on the application – or even threat – of violence to get its way (since they have the only group of men with guns that gets to use violence to enforce their will), then why in the fuck is it surprising, shocking, a “bombshell”, or even “scathing” to point out that which is obvious; that the government is not the best choice to be keepers of our money, and is not the best choice for making decisions on how to spend it, and should be the last choice of who to give our money to in order to actually acquire anything of value other than waste and a few $500 dollar toilet seats?

How could anyone on Earth possibly think that the government will make better decisions on how to spend their money than they will, themselves, if they were to be allowed to keep more of it and use it in the way they see fit?

Republican, Democrat, or Whig, I don’t care - basic human nature dictates that when you are spending an asset that you did not labor to earn yourself, you don’t give a shit about it and will fritter it away like babies go through diapers. Basic human nature then asserts that government will always be wasteful, inefficient, and deaf to the people, because it isn’t their money that they are spending. They didn’t sacrifice or risk anything to “earn” it. They were given an allocation and told to spend it, and so they do – in the most unintelligent and wasteful way possible because there is no pride of ownership or sense of opportunity cost lost in pissing it all away.

But don’t worry, I’m sure that they are the best people for the job of being in control of our healthcare and healthcare decisions. Just plug your ears, scream loudly enough that the truth won’t trickle in, and keep telling yourself that government run healthcare is going to be just fine. “Government is a terrible servant, and a fearful master” - George Washington

The Place of Gubmint

Because these are people that no sane person would willingly wish into their lives, we must demand that they effect our lives as little as possible. As I’ve said before and I will say again – the valid functions of Federal Government include:

  1. Regulating commerce between the states and foreign interests. Not dictating. Regulating. As in, settling disputes and laying the ground rules on fair trade. This means commerce, as in, monetary transactions where goods and services change hands. Not the commonly-used definition, which is “anything that effects commerce at all” which is to more clearly say “everything”.

  2. Maintaining a military for common defense.

  3. Building the Interstate Highway system (the “Post roads” described specifically in the Constitution).

  4. Coining money.

  5. Ensuring that all states provide a republican form of governance (no, I don’t mean the Republican Party, you ninny, get an education).

  6. Collecting taxes from the various states, NOT THE INDIVIDUAL, to pay for the above.
The valid functions of State government are:

  1. Regulating commerce within the boundaries of the State. Not dictating. Regulating. Basically, setting up the UCC.

  2. Building and maintaining state roads and highways.

  3. Protecting the commons within each state from exploitation in whichever way is deemed most expedient.

  4. Collecting taxes from the individual, including those taxes that will be passed on to the feds. This allows the state to act as an intermediary between the feds and the people to check federal power.

  5. Setting about laws and codes, sticking to malum in se as much as possible, and malum prohibitum as sparingly as possible, to regulate the actions of those citizens who would not self-regulate without rule of law, and to punish those who choose to not abide by these rules.

  6. Provide a state-wide police force, restricted in power to only assist local police forces with technical needs when requested, investigate local police action if needed, and with no direct police powers over the people, themselves, except for over the local police.

  7. Protect private property rights and defend the individual citizen from all violations of his rights.

  8. Setting educational standards to be met by schools.
The valid functions of local (county, city) governments are:

  1. local codes and ordinances, including zoning, land use, and so forth, but heavily restricted to only the most basic, common sense rules. No factories in residential zones, and so forth.

  2. Provide a police force that is the only force that has direct power to police the individual, whose power is checked by the state police, and who’s mission statement, to serve and protect, not to discover and punish, is drilled into their heads every single dy, and fire anyone who does not fall into lockstep with this creed.

  3. Providing schools by whichever means is most practicable, with the caveat that vouchers for taxes paid for public schools shall be issued to whomever wishes to opt out of public schooling and use private schools, instead.

  4. Provide for local roads and maintenance.

  5. provide for utilities, water, sewer, etc by whichever means is most expedient.

  6. Lay taxes on the people to pay for all of the above.