28 March 2011

MD Gov Subsidizing Failed H2O Heaters

I guess the state of Maryland has not learned the consequences of subsidizing environmental policy.

That said, I do think there is some merit to alternative energy at the end user level if only to get "off the grid" and be more self sufficient.  Additionally, it would mean that the end user / individual would be less reliant upon the .gov, so I wonder if they see the unintended consequences in their actions?  Probably not, they are legislators after all. 

Limiting Impact of Speech

While most libertarians would agree that SCOTUS properly ruled in favor of the Westboro Batnuts earlier this year, I for one believe that we can limit the impact of their antics.  (Since the press seems to give them limitless attention that they don't deserve).  

Now, Carol County (and maybe even the whole state) is poised to limit the ability of the Batnuts to protest at funerals by increasing the "buffer zone" distance for permitted speech.

I know that in this posting, there is a bit of contradictions and irony, but that is a fraud I am willing to commit.  If SCOTUS says we have no right to sue for monetary damages based upon the brash and indigent speech that is spewed forth by that of Westboro, then the families of fallen soldiers, popular celebs, or anyone that dies tragically with enough media attention should have the ability to not be subjected to speech they don't wish to see or hear.  In that, we are not limiting the ability of the turds to drone their message, but the state can and should restrict their ability with which to use public lands (road right of ways and sidewalks, ect) to protest.

This is truly a compelling interest in its purist form, and one that is fully supported by a majority of the people.  The scope of such a limit does not impact the ability of the attention whores to whore before the cameras for the depraved press, but it does make sure that police officers don't have to stop any vigilante justice seekers from Molotov Cocktail-ing the rejects all the way back to their "pearly gates."  While as we hear the likes of the anti-gun movement shout for common sense restrictions, this prime example of restrictions which are temporary and benign towards enumerated civil rights does protect the rights of both classes of individuals; something that anti-gunners don't seem to be bothered with.

No matter what Carol County and the State of Maryland do, I'm sure these Westboro Batnuts will be back through the state, trying to seek attention.  Should they attempt to breach any buffer zone intended to prevent their harm towards a fellow man, then I certainly wish God to strike them down through some fine lighting bolts of furry from above (and not through the vigilante justice implied could happen above).  After all, irony is a dish best served cold.

27 March 2011

Maryland Monday (Coming tomorrow)

As a resident Behind Enemy Lines, and for the fact that I neglect the Maryland aspect of this blog a bit, I'm going to start focusing exclusively on the state on Mondays.

Not to say where I might not get a bit of other stories thrown in from time to time, but I'm going to start following the disgusting politics of this state a bit more and keep the geo-politics to the other days of the week (and the Financial / Economic stuff to Friday). 

Hey, it is my blog, I'll do what I want

Civilty (Codeword for Lib Rage) + Sad Panda Alert = Attack Against Researcher

I'm not 100% certain why the left likes to attack people whom produce alternative views and statistics (considering they are soooooooooooo tolerant), but their vitriol knows, no bounds. 

Paul Krugman is a douche extraordinary that wishes he had 1/10th of 1% of John R. Lott's credibility.  Besides, Mr. Lott actually has a degree in economics and doesn't just shill for the Gray Lady.

(Note:  I don't care of Krugman actually has an econ degree, graduate degree, or PhD, he's a Keynesian putz that has dedicated his blog, columns and other print materials towards ever more print, borrow, and spend policies in a hope that eventually, when capitalism falls, he and his socialist buddies can implement their leftist Bolshevik revolution). 

Imagine That! China Leading on Safe Nukes!

It seems that the United States doesn't lead on much these days, but this is something that I could actually cheer for China on.  Safer nuclear technology that still generates electric, but a meltdown would actually cause a self imposed fission shut down.  Meaning, at least in theory, safer fission and less risk of accidents like that of Chernobyl or Japan.

Generic Trader's Desktop

From ZeroHedge and John Lohman, the generic Trader's Desktop.

Side note: I hate it when Excel or another piece of productivity software automatically fills patterns for you, thinking it is smarter than you. 

Click through for the full size and description. 

Russian Nuke Lighthouses

H/T to MilitaryPhotos.net for this coverage of defunct and decaying (literally) nuclear powered lighthouses. 

Like (almost) all Russian engineering, something to be observed from afar.  

26 March 2011

QOTD: The World is Just a Trailer Park

While debating Canada taking over the NATO command of Libyan actions, and adding in the irony that the Canadian government just took a vote of no confidence in the PM (which passed), AK Fan and I lamented for the days of the cold war.  Simply because during that era, at least we knew who the players were.  From AK Fan:
The world truly is a fucking mess.  Like we've joked about before, you ALMOST have to miss the cold war.  Sure we were always on the edge of destruction, but you have the US/NATO and you have the USSRF.  Everyone else stayed the fuck out of their way.
Pure and simple, the two major players kept each other in check.  Yes, there were proxy wars and actions on the periphery, but for the most part, the world was a fairly stable place.  The US also did not need to have this policy of freedom export upon the level that we do today, knowing full well that we might find ourselves up against Ivan himself if we over stepped our bounds and threatened his interests.  The cold war kind acted as it's own mediator in a civilized suburban neighborhood.  There were rules of detente along with weapons inspectors (the good old Reagan doctrine of "Trust but Verify").  Of course, the clandestine game was probably at its best during that era which gave us some of the best books and movies of all time.  

Unfortunately, as I analogized, the world has degraded into that of a proverbial trailer park.
 The world is really a big cluster fuck; since the fall of the wall, it has turned into one big trailer park.  Unfortunately, I think that a trailer park could manage the world better than the numb-skulls running it.  On the economy they'd just say "Fuck you, you didn't pay your loan, so we put your pick-em-up-truck on the record and toed yous ass down to the junk yards, now leamme alone so I can drink ma beer."
Never one to be outdone, AK Fan makes the analogy even simpler:
See, right now the world is a trailer park.  The problem is the US is the cop who tries to keep order but, while he's there to enforce the law, he's also fucking half the wives in the park.  Further, he's helping them pay their rent with $20's he prints up on his HP copier.  At some point, it just can't continue. 
Folks, this is the world in which we live...Welcome to the Trailerhood

Human Targets

While most of us would not advocate to be Human Target(s), it has to be exceptionally nerve racking and scarry to REALLY be a human sniper target

Brit SpecOps guys (and their NCOs) do appear to have just as much moxie as their Yank counterparts. 

Tip of the Spear: USCG Response Team Vid

A pretty cool vid from the Military Times, about the Tactical Response team the the US Coast Guard employees for territorial water (and I would assume even foreign water) hijackings. 

All I have to say is that operators have big pairs of brass ones, along with exceptional skills developed over numerous repeated training runs. 

Quick Action (NOT!)

Well, THAT didn't take long.

USA not pulling back on its involvement in Libya.  Herm...O-man keeping his promises or at least doing what he says?  Noooooooooooooo...that's for common folk, and after all, he's important!  He's the most talented orator since FDR!

Wired's assessment?   "As they stand up, we sit down [to stay a long while]."  It's just the current doctrine of intervention by force is more like a bad game of musical chairs.  Would someone finally shut off the music, permanently? 

Sub-Tech Upgrades

Sub-Tech is truly, super cool.  Even cooler are the pictures from the Arctic where development of new sub-comm systems is taking place.

I guess I really should stop reading the fictions books about subs and read the real books about subs.

25 March 2011

Medal of Honor Day

Swing on over to ITS Tactical, and check out their blurb on Medal of Honor Day.

To all Medal of Honor recipients, thank you.  And of course, that thanks is always extended to your brothers in arms as well. 

USA Screwed & FedGov Budget

Next time you debate someone on military spending versus entitlement programs and how the former instead of the latter is bankrupting us, make sure they see this chart.

Yep, that's right, 58% of all Tax Revenue AND federal borrowings go to fund social security, medicare/medicaid, and unemployment insurance / other entitlements.  Defense, a mere 20% of the total budget (or roughly $700 billion) amounts to only 32% of total tax revenues.  This shows that defense spending, though large and impressive and still as much or more than all other countries' combined spending, is NOT a large number when compared to social programs.  Defense budget moaners and code pink members please take note that building planes, manning ships, and fighting foreign wars of aggression would be fully funded and met without sending us further into debt all by itself.  Unfortunately propping up failing social programs that rely upon an ever growing society just can't make that argument.  Further, this graphic shows just how large and damaging Obama's budget deficits truly are.

Once the morons whom get this education via these pie charts, I urge them to take the full crash course found here (or here).

Last, just for the record to all those enviro-wackos out there...please realize that since you champion reduced populations the world over, you need to make a sacrifice of a reduction in people or a reduction in welfare.  Returning to a popular theme around the globe, It's ALL ABOUT Demo(graphic)s!  The USA currently produces about 2.1 children per adult, which is the bare minimum for population growth.  (Actually, it is the threshold for population maintenance / growth).  Since most of the social programs are funded via taking revenues from working and young people (those paying into the system), an aging and or stagnant population trend turns the traditional pyramid scheme upside down (since the tax base will be the same at best or declining at worst).  

Obama has gotten one thing of his presidency right, he has certainly brought us change.

Fed, FedGov Budget, Purchase Power of the Dollar: Three Things that Need Fixing

Yesterday I read this detailing two major things (discounting the The Mogambo Guru ranting style).  First, the value of the dollar today, is less than what a quarter dollar would purchase 40 years ago in 1971.  Second, the US government spent a cumulative $15 billion from 1789 until 1900 (not adjusting for inflation, but you see the idea).

Yikes!  Those are small numbers when compared to today's debt.  Running the numbers, you get roughly .11% of the current country debt, was accumulated in the first 100 years of the Republic.  YOWSA!

Which leads me to this posting over at BigGovernment.com, which details the history of money in the first of a several part series. 

Click through, watch the video, get educated, and I'll post up the next part of the series when I see it.

QOTD: Milton Friedman on Greed

Milton Friedman on greed, presented in it's raw and most powerful form.

Inflation; The Real Tail that Wags the Dog

While it is no shock that the news has been fairly down trodden this week, an excellent analogy from the guys over at the Daily Reckoning on how inflation is the "bad dog" on the street.

Unfortunately, inflation is the politically expedient way for the US government (and Federal Reserve) to reduce the burden of the budget and trade deficits.  In effect, monetary inflation to decrease debt burden in real terms is defacto debt default.

Keynesian (not) Top 10

Since we have seen some ludicrous statements by economists stating that Japan's GDP will recover as they rebuild, a (not) Top 10 of ideas that Keynesian money printers should think about employing to assist the US recover.

Obviously, bombing our own road ways to generate construction projects is contrary to any economic doctrine, but hey, if natural disasters are positive impacts upon the Jap's econ, why not just make some man made disasters here?

Got Broke?

Broke?  Nah, we aren't THAT broke!

We're only THIS broke!   And getting broker!  Errr, that's some good English, huh?

24 March 2011

No Land Invasion

Well it is very nice to know that there will be no land invasion by US Marines on the Shores of Tripoli.  I am sure some of the grunts are thinking "Damn, I wanted to kill me some Ghadaffi!"

It's nice to know that there is a clearly defined (portion) of the plan of action in Libya.  What's that you say Mr. President? 
The exit strategy will be executed this week in the sense that we will be pulling back from our much more active efforts to shape the environment.
Oh, so we have no exit strategy?  NICE!  Wait, what?  You say the Germans are pulling out their assets?  NATO can't agree on anything?   We've nearly run the Navy (Brits that is) out of it's stock of Tomahawk cruise missiles?  I hope their success rate of hitting targets is slightly better than taking out pharmaceutical factories (that may or may not have been actual Jihadist training and weapons facilities).

Stealing from AK fan, this is precisely why NATO is a joke.  Additionally, with this kind of infrastructure and munitions on hand, who in their right mind thinks that the US will be pulling back on any of the action in the coming days?  Not me.

Other Civil Strife We Aren't Involved In

Just so we are clear, here are the other Civil Wars that we are not spending political, monetary, and military capital upon.
  • Syria
  • Yemen
  • Bahrain
  • Saudi Arabia
And that list is just in the middle east.
  • Ivory Coast
  • Egypt
  • Greece
  • Portugal
  • Ireland
  • Itally
Those are the countries in the headlines from across the ponds that have been having to deal with civil disobedience, budget problems and fears of government crackups.  (And as of last night, Portugal has cracked up).  

Very Interesting times.  As the saying goes, this summer is gonna be hot!

Ben Stein on Illegal War

Just because he is Ben Stein, and because you should read his through provoking opinions, I present his case for (against) Libya.

Fukushima Fifty

While I have not commented on Japan, I must say, those people have it rough right now.  I hope and pray for them and their recovery from this disaster.  It is simply not within the realm of my mind at how horribly some of their people are suffering.  May the generosity from their neighbors to their allies offer them enough compassion to deal with the mental anguish and torment that will certainly affect some of them for many moons to come. 

That said, there are some true heroes over there making sacrifices of life (or at the very least body) to stave off further effects from the stricken Fukushima Nuclear Facilities.  May these Fukushima Fifty succeed in their efforts to stop the disaster that continues to inflict the pain upon Japan. 

Hunting Yeti Institute

Something tells me that the [hunting]Yeti Institute isn't about hunting this kind of Yeti.  And oddly enough,

At any rate winter may be over, but the desire to pound some fresh POW is always there.  Conspiracies or otherwise.

Mil-Tech Re-do

When the military gets their hardware right, it's right!

Wired has a nice look at some of the assets being used wasted on Libya and how they are just iterations of earlier weapons.

Spanish Festival Obama Effegy

When other countries start to make Cinderella effigies of you (which they then torch at their annual festival), something tells me the bloom is off the rose.

23 March 2011

Challenging Beliefs

A multi-linked, multi-tiered posting today, but to help explain the last statement in my QOTD, I find it necessary to prompt you to read this about how we as humans are hard wired to buy into our beliefs despite data to the contrary.

Over the course of the last week or so, I have contemplated some things like "Are the liberals right about war" and something off the wall like "Is Capitalism the purist form of Communism."  I know, I know, those are some pretty outlandish thoughts to ponder.  Possibly even further out than my little messily average American brain can handle. 

While I haven't yet formulated opinions upon those two specific thoughts, I do know that I am becoming a bit of a renaissance man.  As such, I attempt to read, learn, and improve myself and my knowledge of the world, its history, and its potential course on a daily basis.  Attempting to gain the knowledge and historical reference that modern public schools failed to instill (dating back as far as my Baby-boomer generation parents), I am realizing that through a prism of historic perspective, can one understand today's world.  Further, after the linked article depicts (though it is related to personal finance and some politics), our beliefs are exactly that, personal thoughts upon which we either chose to live with or reject.

Humans are inherently fickle.  Our tastes and our minds change, but often, our core beliefs stay exactly the same.  I am coming to realize as I self educate, that only a strong willed individual can question what exactly they believe, and not be scared to be wrong. 

I guess that means that all liberals are inherently one of two types of people; ostriches or tyrants.  Ostriches portrays those who wish to ignore the reality of the situation, sticking to their core beliefs no matter what the actual outcome of the world (the cowards).  Or, they are tyrants that impose their ill-gotten notions of reality upon others at the expense of liberty and justice.  Let me not forget those of the zealous right whom prefer to wield the power of the bloated big government against social issues that they fully believe to be the scourge of everything inherently evil in the world.  Our political leaders are only human themselves and as such, we shouldn't come to expect much more from them than ourselves.  This is especially true when self interest in the form of money and political power is to be gained from ignoring reality and common sense. 

Beliefs are a powerful thing and are often contradictory to reality.  Man isn't made to understand everything he believes but those whom know what they don't know, can often cope with the world in a far easier way.

Sorry to hijack your blog folks, but attempting to understand the philosophic and psychological aspects of thought are completely relevant to our country's course.  I now return you to your regularly scheduled programing. 

We're for These Guys?

Just so we are clear here, these are the rag tag rebels that we are spending $100 million+ a day on?  I am just a bit curious to know precisely what is our return on investment?  Is it oil?  Perhaps it's the hearts and minds of men?  Or will it be more Islamo-fascists hating our "imperialism" and "Zionism?" 

These are our monsters?

QOTD x2: Searching for Monsters

From founder John Adams: 
Wherever the standard of freedom and independence has been or shall be unfurled, there will be America's heart, her benedictions and prayers, but she goes not abroad in search of monsters to destroy.  She is the well-wisher to the freedom and independence of all.  She is the champion and vindicator of her own.
Should we interpret this quote to mean that the United State should be an isolationist country?  Perhaps that argument could be made, but unfortunately it is only true in theory.  Throughout the history of mankind, there are morally righteous cases to be made for going to war or waging conflict against other nations, but those cases are made with opaque colored glasses.  If one side is right, and one side is wrong, who has the righteous clarity to play referee?  (Often, the winner of the war, I suppose.  It's a deep philosophical question without a correct answer). 

So why do we engage in such conflicts when our founder warned against seeking conflict and "troubles" to be "correct?"  It is even harder to answer that question.  There is no mandate for the USA to play referee to the world when there are human rights at stake by anyone other than ourselves.  We chose to intervene in one civil war, but which other civil wars are we neglecting?  True, we can alter world events and change the course of history into the future should the right tactics be used, the best results achieved, and the evils eradicated, but it's time we start asking "at what cost."  (And I mean not just monetary terms).  
Battle is the most magnificent competition in which a human being can indulge.  It brings out all that is best; it removes all that is base.  All men are afraid in battle.  The coward is the one who lets his fear overcome his sense of duty.  Duty is the essence of manhood.
Patton was a pure student of history and realized that often times, just one simple event changed the course of mankind for forever.  Further, the general realized that battle was only ever, at best, a necessary evil; one he emphatically hated.

As the last beacon of true freedom in the world (that which is quickly dimming and dwindling for its own people), should we be looking for monsters?  Should we be engaged in Libya while still trying to win the hearts and minds of Iraqis and Afghans?  Or should we realize that perhaps our doctrine of spreading democracy and forging peace with friendly nations should no longer be spread by the spear, but by pure example?  Should we switch from a manifest destiny of military action, foreign aid, and good will towards all men (enemies or friends), and once against turn inward to concentrate upon our own?  

I'm sorry dear reader, I've been doing a lot of pondering upon my beliefs lately, and I find myself questioning just how much I claim to know (or believe that I am right).

19 March 2011

Sneaky Red Russia Spending Money on Weapons

Cold war?  What cold war?  We don't need to spend $700 billion on new tech and weapons systems.  No no, our friends (enemies) will do it for us! 

Or, at least that's what the Russians are doing

Pres That Would Restore Standing, Reinforces More World Sitting

Gibbs already jumped ship, and now that Hillary-Girl is set to do the same, it would seem that the greatest president to form a coalition of the willing since President Lincoln, might be loosing a little bit of polish on the turd. 

In recent weeks we have seen the President's ability to be a fluid and dynamic decision maker in the face of the chaotic world simply be, well, simple, ineffective, and uninformed.  Therefore, it comes as no surprise that the foreign media is really taking him to task on his lack of leadership.  (Perhaps they can take him to task on his golf habit, or his success and failure at picking the NCAA B-Ball Champs).

Something tells me that the geopolitical-economic crises will continue to degrade over the next 2 years as we wait for the worst president ever to finally leave office.  Let us just hope that someone on the other side of the political isle isn't completely stupid and wants to push the non-crisis solving issues of right-wing social issues (you know like gay marriage, abortion, and God in schools).  Serious reforms are needed now as our republic hangs on the debt cliff before we can worry about spending political capital on the outlier issues.

I know what the response will be "but Reagan didn't compromise on his principles!"  Ahhh, yeah he kinda did at times, and further, no one is saying that we should abandon those principles, we just shouldn't die on our own swords at this time.  Retreat in war, while sometimes construed as cowardice, is in fact a smart (and or) diversionary tactic.  The namesake of this blog has a famous quote:
A good plan, violently executed now, is better than a perfect plan next week. 
As General Patton explains, we have good plans now to fix the major issue, and we should NOT wait to execute them to perfectly execute one with the social issues. 

18 March 2011

MD State Bank

Because we don't have enough government induced calamities, a State Run bank would be an EXCELLENT idea!

Fortunately, the proposal failed in committee.  Unfortunately, the mentally deprived Delegate will attempt to bring it back next year.  Has anyone ever noticed the transitive properties between bad legislation and zombies?  They just never seem to go away (as in never die). 

W00T! We're Number 1 In Something! (Wine Sales)

Take that Frenchies!  We're a Number 1 producer of something

The Federal Reserve Board: Organizing for QEx Justification

Inflation is an evil thing, despite what any Central Banker will tell you.  Inflation will also eat at everything that people use to survive, not through a lack of supply but through a lack of ability to afford what you need.  Additionally, the tool of the monetarist and the friend of the politician, printing money (or in the modern parlance tacking on some zeros to the money supply) is the easiest way to decrease the debt burden, maintain Ponzi-schemes of social programs, stealthily steal wealth, and increase nominal tax receipts to the government. 

Yet, if you listen to those in charge of the money supply in this country (Federal Reserve Board), they think that technological progress will always outpace the price increases caused by monetary inflation.  Of course, as those who interacted with the encased and protected cartel leaders demonstrate, you simply can't "eat an iPad."  The citizens on Main Street (self included) realize that technical innovations are nice and nifty, but unless they put more money in our pockets to keep up with the ever increasing cost of gas, food and clothing, we have no hopes of purchasing the fun toys that are things like iPads (or preferably the ever increasing cost of things like ammo).

What is the Richmond Fed Bank's answer?  Oh, that's simple!  They have decided to create a "community council" to advise them on the "real impact upon the common men and women found in low to moderate income areas." 

Excuse me while I wail with laughter over in that -----> corner!  Men and women who dawn the Banker's uniform (read expensive suits) and control the knobs and levers that they think "improve" our economy and our standard of living want to interact directly with the people most affect by their misguided "solutions" to our recovery?  Here's a solution.  Be the independent voice that your charter was supposed to make you, and tell the politicians that we aren't bailing out the banking industry, the auto industry, or the Treasury market which allows the failed zombie institutions to remain that of the walking dead. 

Oh, that, and take your community council crap back to your marble buildings and compound money creating computers, and shove all your 75/25 cotton/linen material up your collective whoo-ha's! 

17 March 2011

Just so I Can Beat Uncle! Corp Deploies New Sniper Rifles

Since Uncle usually beats me (and everyone) to everything, from the Military Times, the USMC is set to roll out semi-auto sniper rifles to units.

Funny how the more the US attempts to go high tech, it comes back to an Cold War enemy's idea of designated marksmen tools.  Simply put, KISS is a very good method of making for efficient fighting tactics.

Military Misuse

A buddy of mine whom has been to the sand box used to talk about fishing in the Euphrates river with hand grenades.  Contrary to conventional thought, he explained, you did not simply pull the pin and toss the 'nade into the river.  Doing so caused a splash and a sound that chased the fish far enough way before the fuse ran thin and the incendiary went boom.  The key was to wait for a concentration of fish, pull pin, toss just high enough into the air so the grenade was hitting the water at precisely the time of it's explosion, and thus the concussion (and not necessarily the shrapnel) caused the fish to go belly up.  Obviously, the winner of the fishing derby's "pot" had the most fish per hand grenade, or at least that's how the story went.

While this story is very plausible (and even more so over beers and welcome homes), from Cracked, we get the top six military misuses.  Ice cream making air plane?  Yep!  Cooking with C4?  Yep, we make the Mythbusters look pedestrian?  Ga'day Govnah!  Tea heated with a kettle for you sir?  Or perhaps a machine gun?  It's snowing but we ain't got a sled!  RIOT SHIELDS FTW!  You've got mail!  (Delivered via Cruise missile).  And finally, lighting a cig w/ a Nuke! 

It's hilarity!  So roll over to cracked and read it there. 

15 March 2011

Amish Key to Defense of 2A?

An interesting twist to the Illinois FOID card has just sprung up; AMISH!

Living in the Amish Paradise is about to be not so pretty, provided the leftists and anti-gunners in Illinois proceed to force the state's Amish gun owners to have their pictures placed upon their FOID cards.  If you are familiar with the devoutly religious Christian sect, than you certainly will recall that their religious beliefs strictly forbid having a photograph taken.  Until last week, Amish FOID holders were exempt from having their picture taken by a matter of policy.  Now, a rule change has put that in jeopardy.

Freedom haters appear to hate freedom no matter what its form.  Illinois should just make it the official state sport to destroy any and all individual freedom (especially that of religion and gun rights).  It simply wasn't enough for the administrators of that state to out gun owners' personal information and make them ideal targets for thieves of both their personal property and information, their compelling interest in a sissified state demanded they go further!  Nope, the AG and the State Police Director couldn't possibly stop there, they had to attack one group's religious beliefs forbidding facial photography, which will effectively deprive them of their Second Amendment rights.

Oh, and while we're at it?  Let us throw in the inherent rights to be secure in property and home.  Since the Amish religious teachings attempt to make their followers leave society along and be left alone by society, a complete invasion of privacy occurs.  No matter, the state will just publish some pictures of Zebadiah and Matilda, and they won't know the difference while they get to keep their guns.  After all, it isn't like the Amish have TV's or get the newspaper.  (I assume that they do not read the newspaper, but I could be 100% mistaken on that embellishment).  Nah...the state can't be bothered with the fact that they have taken food directly off the table of a self-sufficient culture, or a self-reliant culture that has the means to defend itself.  After all, help is only a phone call to 911 dispatch away.  Oh wait a second!  NO PHONES! 

The point is, the state of Illinois and other state that require "ownership" cards create de facto registration.  As this article proves, an individual need not suffer from a confiscation of personal property to be denied basic and protected civil rights.  The infringement occurs at the precise time onus regulations are placed upon an individual.  By shifting the burden from the state to the individual to prove any form of "need" or to place a scarlet letter upon the identity of a gun owner, the free exercise of freedom has been lost.  Further, when these infringements violate multiple Constitutional protections, the state's compelling interest test should fall on its face in a court challenge.

I don't expect to see the media coming to decry these actions like when officials from some states forced Muslim Women to shed their burkas for drivers license photos, considering it is an agenda with which they agree.  But let me stem the comparison before it starts; there is no Constitutional protection upon drivers license.  No one forced the Muslims to give up their religious beliefs through a rule change, and further, there is a compelling state interest to know exactly who is driving and who isn't (as well as a civil responsibility with respect to torts and liability lawsuits).

The mere fact that forcing a culture to betray its religious beliefs to exercise an enumerated civil right, should give us all motivation to continue the pursuit of pure firearms freedom (and other freedom).  After all, as seen here, it is truly the right that protects all others.

11 March 2011

Is the Ocean's Colour Keeping You Up Nights? ME TOO!

Phew!  I'm glad someone is finally going to figure out what colour the Atlantic Ocean is!

Perhaps they can figure out who shot JFK while they are at it?

Realm of Unpossible: Drunk Sherrifs Don't Shoot People!

Because sheriffs officers would never drink and shoot drunk!  It is simply UNPOSSIBLE!

Maryland, maintaining the average citizen is not as responsible as people wearing the badge since the days of Jim Crow.

Spain's Speed Limits 'Bore' F-1 Champ

It isn't often that you see a Formula 1 champ talk politics (regardless of how political the F1 series actually is considering the FIA is like the UN of auto racing) but that is exactly what Fernado Alonso is doing

On the final Friday in February, the Spanish Government slashed the speed limit from 74.5 mph (considering they use kph over there) to 68 mph, in an effort to extract higher fuel efficiency.  The champ of the most prestigious racing league in the world basically said "I'll be bored."  I guess anyone addicted to speed, or used to driving in excess of 200 mph for work, would be bored at pedestrian speeds. 

Considering the measure is reactionary to the conflicts ongoing in the MENA (Middle East / North Africa) and rising oil prices, Spanish officials said they would reduce commuter rail fare to entice lower automobile use.  Though, just like any good government intervention, the law of unintended consequences rears its ugly head.   With these new measures in place the government stood a chance to loose out on more than $680 million in tax revenue from fuel use and associated economic activity.  Taking into account Spain's debt problem, and the fact that their bonds have been going Tango Uniform, something tells me that the "conserve until we die from higher interest rates" will only last so long (as politicians can deal without revenue like a vampire deals without the dark).

After all, it seems that the only thing conservation ever actually conserves is a lack of lower tax rates (or soverign debt crises).

1000' Zones: Fail at Food Distribution Too

 One thousand foot zones are good for more things than just guns apparently (sorry that this is a month old).

Seems as though Old El Passo (not the salsa or taco brand) has a thing against mobile food vendors and thus prohibits them from stopping to do business within 1,000 feet of any brick and mortar restaurant.  Regardless of the insanity of preventing free enterprise, perhaps one could find a way to incorporate the "bicycle lunch" whereby people have to pedal to transact for their meals.  Think about the business opportunity as customers get exercise for free while they pay you for their lunch.  It's a win-win for the customer as they get a BOGO.

Something tells me though, vending beer to someone on a bicycle could create a potential liability for DUIs.

08 March 2011

Your Author has Been...

Considering I fell off the face of the map in February, I guess I should clue you in to what I was doing with my limited "spare" time. 

I'm not going to lie when I say I am a huge Tom Clancy fan.  If I count correctly, this is the sixth novel I've read by the best modern writter (in my not so humble opinion) of the last 30 years. 

Originally published in 1986, the plot is based on a war of agression by Russia and against NATO (for reasons you'll have to read the book to find out).  If you've read the book Hunt for Red October (or seen the lame attempt at making it into a not so great movie) , you'll like this book as one that war games a conventional conflict between the super powers of the cold war.  If you are at all interested in naval tactics, specifically sub warfare, than you better block out some time and hide from your spouse (though I do thank my wife for being understanding when my nose is into a good book).  If you like something that will make you turn the pages one after the other, and you don't consider yourself a heavy novel reader like myself, you'll enjoy this historical "what if."  

I have also started another book right after finishing this one; a biography on Ike.  So, I'll offer a quick blurb about that once finished.  And yes, dear reader, I have not forgotten about a book I told you I started many moons ago.  That one will proceed after I finish Ike's biography. 

Until the next "book club" update, happy reading. 

Full of WIN! Goreacle Designs Stink Making Devices for City of San Fran

While most of us here understand the law of unintended consequences, politicians, green-warriors, and environmental-wackos, don't. 

Thus, it is with great amusement I draw your attention to this article which reports that there is a stench wafting above the streets of San Fransisco during the summer months.  The ode to odor is apparently owed to that of an improperly functioning sewer system.  Somewhere in that statement there is a great story of irony.  Oh, wait, there is!

Yes, it would appear that in their attempt to "conserve" water (a naturally renewable, and harmless resource), the City of San Fran has decided to subsidize the purchase of low flow toilets.  Obviously, if the government subsidizes something that means that it has stopped moving, but for this instance it's really the shit that has stopped moving.  Without the lack of flow, raw, physical sewage is building up in the gravity and flow fed sewer systems where the waste is decomposing instead making its preferred final destination at treatment plants.  While the citizens of the city suffer from the skunky smell, the environmentally forward thinking (read ass backwards leftists) have found it is an easy problem to fix.  The solution?  Bleach.  Yep, you guessed it, BLEACH!

So, let me get this straight?  A city tries to "conserve" the "scarce" resource of water only to have now created a crisis of sewage stench?  (Of course this is a multiplied self created crisis that only California could achieve).  Instead of reversing the policy and undoing the cause of problem, those in charge of the sewer system thought it was more appropriate to dump about 8.5 million pounds of bleach into a system which ultimately discharges back to the resource that feeds it?  Que the Guinness Guys!

I'm sure you could imagine my laughter today as I read this along with the comments which were very amusing (your author going by a familiar name of WheresPatton).  Unfortunately for the citizens of USA, the diseases of California tend to spread to other parts of the country, which make for a double irony of sorts.  Let us hope that these failed policies will not traverse to my city of Baltimore.  Although, considering we get abundant spring rains that purge the system into the inner harbor every once in a while, I guess we shouldn't be to concerned over the smell.  The toilets and politicians on the other hand, well, that's still up in the air. 

Mmmmmmm Beer!

The question is, how good is 200+ year old beer?  Surprisingly, it's not that bad when it's been dredged up from a ship wreck in the cold waters of 165+ feet deep.

Either way, trying to find flavors from earlier periods of history is intriguingly awesome.  With today's micro (and even macro/micro brewing) evolving into new territories, it would be interesting to see how a reverse brewed beer would stack up against some of the best bottles out there right now. 

In the end, I guess they could just call this beer "skunk sunk."  (That idea is mine by the way, all right's and money whoring reserved).  (BTW:  Yes, I know this article is a month old tomorrow, I've been a severe slacker). 

05 March 2011

Toops Deserve Beer!

A renewed push to drop the drinking age down to 18 for military members. 

Works for me.  Old enough to die for one's country should mean you are old enough to consume adult beverages.  If adult hood legally starts at age 18, shall not that be the legal age for all non-minor child freedom? 

Please Dear God, Find Us a REAL Candidate for 2012!

Instead of this kind of candidate!  Really Huckster?  I mean, I have no problem with you being the next nominee and all, provided you stop preaching your holly bible crap!  (Okay, that is an absolutely, totally loaded statement).

Look, I'm as spiritual as the next person, but the whole my rights stop at your door step has got to start applying to the Federal Government and politicians in general.  I mean, Hollyweird is just that; F'in weird!  Don't want them to have more attention than they already garner?  Then don't talk about them which will certainly draw attention to them!  Besides, it doesn't help when it's on a topic that average Americans (your's truly) just don't GIVE A SHIT ABOUT!  (sorry for being ranty). 

I swear, politicians are just as bad as teachers!  They try to instruct upon which they do not know.  (No offense to the good teachers who actually don't just play in the system and do their jobs).  I honestly think that the born again's are attempt to preach in the public's eye and judge others really don't get the whole individual freedom or Thou Shall Not Judge mantra. 

Besides Huckster, keep your nose out of Queen Amidala's business! 

Wearable Sniper Detection Device

Providing Military Times coverage of what Uncle beat me to the punch yesterday (of course, I saw this on Thursday and was still trying to get other posts written). Wearable sniper detection systems are pretty bad ass! 

Just means that our snipers will now be even more deadly than they already are. 

QOTD: Right Grid

When you are taking out insurgents by dropping JDAMs (probably of the 2,000 pound variety, and in multiples) on their compounds, you better damned well hope you get the "right grid."
 Rodger.  Just hope I got the right grid!

Note:  Possible NSFW language, view at your discretion.

04 March 2011

Honesty in Banking; The Lack Thereof

This piece by Jonathan Weil is quite interesting in detailing some insight into honesty in banking (or if you are like me, what you believe to be the lack thereof).  

The biggest thing we should take away from this article?  Simple.  More banks were reporting revised financial statements in the years preceding the finance meltdown than they have in the last year or two. 

I don't know about you, but to me if things aren't getting better (without the fictions flotation of the Federal Reserve's POMO printing and pumping), wouldn't we see more banks revising earnings statements and not less?  Unless, as Weil speculates, things like Sarbanes-Oxley caused institutions to clean up their internal controls and financial statements before the cash (and thus contributing to it), it might make some sense.  This individual still isn't buying the smell however. 

The simple man looks for the simple explanation.  Or, even when dealing with complex issues, a prudent smart man should apply Occam's razor and look for the simplest solution, and even more so when the situation is complex and multifaceted.  That said, there are too many variables to truly know whether or not banks and financial institutions have been properly recording earnings through the muddy waters of the current Great Recession.  But just looking at the sheer numbers (lack thereof must be my favorite words today), one would think that as this recession wears on, and companies "come clean" to their investors, we would see those numbers rise to attest to some level of reliability in the financial reporting.

Until these things occur with enough saturation, banks and other companies will continue to carry their investments at mark to fiction.  Even as an accountant who is supposed to play that game, something is very morally wrong with the basis of this story. 

QOTD Double Bonus: Caution: Democarcy Working at Fail!

From Zero Hedge (of course):
If this is the way politics in America will be done going forward, when any party knows the only way to prevent passage of austere financial measures is by fleeing, one wonders: just what is the point of the US "democratic" system when a minority can hold up the majority just by taking the first one way taxpayer funded private jet out of the state?
 I don't think that needs any further statement.

QOTD: Living at the Expense of the State

From Frederic Bastiat:
Everyone wants to live at the expense of the state.  They forget that the state wants to live at the expense of everyone.
The state is the great fictitious entity by which everyone seeks to live at the expense of everyone else.
Presented by itself for effect.  Thanks to the Mogambo Guru over at the Daily Reckoning.

Slice of Life: Negativity vs Realist

My wife is constantly telling me "You're Mr. Negative!"  She is partially right in that I do tend to dwell on negative news.

Stock markets have been melting up (and then jitter worse than a June-bug lately with all the turmoil in recent days) only to meltdown.  Gas prices are surging.  The Maryland legislature has been pushing more anti-gun legislation along with backward thinking gas and liquor tax hikes.  Obama is still our President and Congress can't do anything but bicker about cutting the largest deficit in a single year known to man.  So on and so forth, you get the idea that right now there is just not a whole lot of good to look at in the world.

With that having been said, I have not had the motivation to write lately.

Circling back to the thread title I have to ask, how do we measure the outlook upon the country and the world in terms associated with geopolitical and economical stresses and uncertainties?  The headlines that have been amassed by the riots of last month in Tunisia, Egypt, Libya, and Bahrain, along with the Bolshevik style protests in Wisconsin over public sector unions, and the budget discussions in Washington are not the things that paint pretty mosaic pictures.  Quite the contrary; they flat out suck!  If we as individuals who follow worldly events and pay homage to individual freedom contemplate the events themselves and not necessarily the meanings behind them, what conclusions should we draw?

Protesters in foreign lands fighting their oppressors is very important and while it is not negative in nature per sé, it certainly speaks to a realm of potential death, destruction, and economic upheaval.  In Wisconsin, we see the same thing as the entrenched political machine is tooth and nail to prevent a systemic change that will start an unraveling in the status quo.  Of course, Washington is no different as the House pushes to cut some 100 billion spending (which is still less than 1% of the total Federal budget, yikes).

So where does all of this leave us?  Where does it leave our psyche?  Should we all dwell on SHTF or should we prep to the world's end?  Or perhaps we need to just say F'it, let's Quit Our Jobs and Move to Key West.  (While I don't advocate directly for the last one in that option string, I would certainly prefer it).  But, I digress, and in my long winded nature I have yet to make any points.

Thanks to FerFAL, he pretty much achieved what took me 3 months to finally pen out.  He discusses the practical need to be prepared for our worlds to be turned upside down but we can't completely forget that life is just that, life, and as such it always goes on.  Sometimes life moves with us, sometimes without us, and the best we can hope for is to be in it.

Often when asked by coworkers or friends "how are you?" I respond with "alive."  I think that it is important for us to remind ourselves sometimes that we are in deed, alive.  Considering that the alternative of death doesn't really affect positive changes upon the world, this is a good state of physiological normal.  While it would be nice to meet my maker of a natural phenomena (NO suicidal thoughts here as it goes against my spiritual beliefes), I am not ready to leave behind the things that I have in this world.  There are too many things to accomplish and too many people to protect (meaning, my wife and my family).  This means that while reviewing the news of the world, it is important to remain grounded.

As a libertarian and someone who believes in individual freedom, it is important that I (and my fellow libertarians) not loose sight of today's reality.  While we may not agree with the politics or religions of those in Egypt and other Middle East countries that have been perusing regime change, we should certainly admire them for the boldness of their initiatives, and their resolve.  It says a lot when impoverished citizens who have been enslaved by corrupt governments make strides to effect real change for their overall freedom.  I wish I could say the same for my country which has seen a cut and run strategy that has denied the citizen class the opportunity of a functional republican form of government.

Before rambling off into my return to blogging, I am going to leave this post written as a sort of mind teaser.  While I have certainly switched my feelings about our country on a day to day basis since first broaching the post title last November, my long term outlook has been of a downward trend.  Unfortunately, as semi-outlined above, that trend seems to agree with reality.  So dear reader, is being negative synonymous with being a realist? 

I would love to be proved wrong of course, but something tells me this summer is going to be hotter than the 60s and 70s combined.