Wednesday, November 25, 2009

500 Mayors against illegal guns, huh?

Well, you can count at least one common citizen in the list of people "against illegal guns". However, my idea about being "against illegal guns" and the mayors across this nation may be a slight bit different...

It would seem that these 500 mayors who are against illegal guns are actually for the notion of making all guns illegal for certain people who haven't been convicted of any crime. My notion of being "against illegal guns" states that there should be no such thing as an "illegal gun". In Texas, even convicted felons regain their right to self-defense five years after they get "off paper".

A good while back,Rahm Emmanuel is taped saying this:

The ad, in case you haven't looked at the text, gives the following facts:
1) Major Nidal Malik Hasan was suspected of having terrorist links. The FBI
had monitored Hasan, reviewing 10-20 communications between Hasan and
Anwar al Awlaki – an al Qaeda recruiter who acted as a “spiritual advisor” to
two of the 9/11 hijackers.
The last time I checked, it wasn't against the law to speak with clergymen, regardless of what religion you subscribe to. Let's also not forget that the US gov't seems to have serious credibility issues, regarding who was even responsible for hijacking those planes. AT LEAST FOUR of the men our government claims were "suicide 9/11 hijackers" have long-since turned up very much ALIVE, wondering "What the hell are you talking about?".

2) Hasan passed the federal background check that is designed to prevent
criminals and other dangerous persons from obtaining guns.
This article leaves out two very important pieces of information. First and foremost, it doesn't tell WHEN Hasan purchased his handguns. For all we know, he could have done it ten years ago. Second, lest we also forget, some states (including TX) issue concealed handgun permits to active-duty military personnel. Persons with state-issued firearms licenses such as the Texas Concealed Handgun Permit do not undergo a "background check" us "normal people are subjected to, that is run through the BATFE...instead, their permit number is recorded, their photo identification is verified, and the sale is made on the spot. Still, as having only read this advertisement, I don't know if he purchased these handguns long before he ever contacted the alleged "terrorist-linked imam".

3) FBI counterterrorism officials were not notified when Hasan purchased a gun.
This very well may be the case, but I can assure you that it has ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to do with the average American being able to purchase a handgun. If the FBI was watching Hasan, and the BATFE did not notify the FBI, this is merely an example of government incompetence. Either the FBI did not notify the BATFE that they were watching Hasan, or the BATFE knew the FBI was watching him and simply failed to notify them. There is currently no law that prohibits such sharing of information...and with the passage of the completely unconstitutional "USA Patriot Act", such information is shared even more easily. Well, at least it should be, as this was one of the fundamental reasons for having the Patriot Act in the first place.

4) Major Hasan used that gun to kill 13 people and injure more than 30 others.
Well, duh! This fact is presented for sensationalist purposes, and nothing else. It has no bearing on HOW the man was able to purchase his firearms, which firearms were used, why the man was being supposedly "watched" but was allowed to kill so many people, et cetera. It merely states that several people were killed by a madman with a firearm.

Now, I'm going to tell you a few reasons about why I have such a profound distaste for Rahm Emmanuel.

First and foremost, I am on a "watchlist". I found this out in February of 2003, as I attempted to board an airplane to fly home from Illinois. While I am not on the "no-fly list", I know I am on the list of "security selectees". Information as to what put me on this list has never been disclosed to me, supposedly for matters of "national security". That was in 2003. It has been almost 7 years since I found this out. I have never been convicted of a crime more serious than a misdemeanor traffic offense.

Second, what Rahm Emmanuel won't disclose, is that he himself is an army veteran who served during the "Gulf War". The reason he won't disclose this fact publicly is because he is not a veteran of the UNITED STATES ARMY. No, he was serving in the Israeli Defense Forces. Of course, he claims that he was working "as a civilian, changing brake pads". He won't admit to the widely-known fact that he was working on tanks belonging to the government of Israel, as a member of the Israeli army. The Israeli government (not necessarily the people themselves, as I have met my share of Jewish Israeli citizens who are openly Jewish as well as openly TOLERANT) has had a long-standing history of being anti-Islam since before Israel even became a recognized modern nation.

Third, take a good look at the podium Emmanuel is speaking at in the video. It wasn't shot from a government gathering, but before a convention of Brady Campaign supporters who seek to eliminate ALL firearms. Notice that he speaks so strongly against the National Rifle Association. The NRA and the Brady Campaign are "enemies" like professional wrestlers are enemies. People who understand our government's unending quest for disarmament of the populus know those controlling the Republican party side with the NRA, while those controlling the Democratic party side with The Brady Campaign...even though they collaborate to write gun control laws.

If you want to see what people who really oppose gun control have to say about it, I'd check out Jews for the Preservation of Firearms Ownership or Gun Owners of America.

If this supposed "terror gap" bill were to ever pass into law, I can assure you that I will be making two trips the day I hear about it. The first will be to my local firearms dealer, so that I may be denied the right to purchase a handgun based solely upon my being "suspected". The second will be to my attorney, and I will happily fight this case all the way to the Supreme Court of the United States of America.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Wars, and Rumors of Wars!

Someone has apparently fired up the old rumor mill again, getting all the buzz going about the Blair Holt Act (HR45) that died a quiet death in congress earlier this year. In case you are unaware of what HR45 was, it was the bill that made our democratically-controlled government responsible for more private gun ownership than any other time in the past 150 years.

Among the many requirements of HR45:
1) A man may not possess any semi-automatic rifle with a detachable magazine (all but three of the semi-auto rifles in this house), or ANY handgun (revolver, semi-automatic, or even single-shot) without a license issued by agents working under the authority of the Attorney General of the United States. The licensing requirements aren't much different than the requirements of actually purchasing a firearm from an FFL dealer...other than the fact that you are required to provide a passport photo, a signature, a set of fingerprints, and the license fee. The Attorney General has the authority to set additional requirements of licensing. It must be renewed every five years.

2) Any sale of such a firearm must be recorded and reported to the US Att'y Gen's office. The federal law prohibiting a federal registry of firearm ownership is, by the Blair Holt Act (HR45), annulled. Agents working under the authority of the Attorney General (most likely, the BATFE) would be allowed to inspect any licensee to ensure that you had your guns in a locked cabinet, which effectively renders them useless for their intended purpose of defense of life, liberty, and property. No firearm shall be transferred between two private parties, without going through an FFL dealer with specific exemptions regarding inheritance and the like.

3) It is a crime to allow access to a firearm by a child...even your 17 year old son for the purposes of hunting a deer, and that child is involved in a COMPLETELY ACCIDENTAL shooting of another person.

Now here are the reasons why this is a bad idea, in general. First and foremost, there's the SECOND AMENDMENT. It says the RIGHT (read: RIGHT, NOT PRIVILEGE) to keep and bear arms SHALL NOT BE INFRINGED. "The People" are not "the militia", the army, the national guard, the coast guard, the air force, the marine corps, or the local police department. No, "The People" are EVERYONE NOT USING A FIREARM IN THE COURSE OF GOVERNMENT EMPLOYMENT, STUPID. If I have to pay a tax in order to possess a firearm, that "right" just became a "privilege". When it becomes a crime to possess a firearm without paying a tax, I have lost my RIGHT to possess a firearm.

Then we have left the regulatory authority in the hands of unelected bureaucrats, we have essentially handed over our rights. There is nothing in this bill that will prevent (in the name of "public safety" or "the children", of course) these unelected bureaucrats from telling us we need to have six separate gov't-issued photo ID cards, the name of our employer, the name of our ex-wife, any campaign donations, et cetera as part of our licensing requirements. There's nothing stating that they're prohibited from allowing only those who pass a $4,000 "safety class" and paying a $300 tax stamp from owning an "assault weapon" designated solely upon the basis of its cosmetics. Lest we forget, even before the Clinton-era "Assault Weapons Ban", the assault weapons listed in the law were responsible for only 2% of all firearm-related homicides.

Third, it places actual criminal liability upon people for not adequately preventing crimes against themselves. I currently keep a loaded pistol in the console of my locked vehicle (in accordance with the law, of course), for the purposes of self-defense when I am on the road. Anyone who has ever driven through Houston's 3rd Ward (or for that matter...Freeport, TX) at night understands the importance of being armed. Should someone break the windows out of my vehicle and steal everything I own inside it, including my pistol, I am facing a five-year prison term if the thief was under the age of 18 and shoots someone with it.

Thankfully, this bill died a quiet death on the floor many months ago, as it rightfully should have. Again, thankfully, people keep firing up rumors of its imminent passage. I say "thankful", because it is these same fearmongering people who spread false rumors that keep the rest of the world thinking about what Uncle Sam is trying to do to every chance they get.

Disarmament is, and has historically been, a precursor to slavery. This has been true of every tyrant nation in the history of mankind, even the United States of America when we prohibited slaves from possessing weapons out of fear of insurrection. Whilst armed, we are a nation of citizens. If we are disarmed, we become a nation of subjects to the government, regardless of whatever title our leader chooses to utilize.

Lest we forget, the Jews of Nazi-controlled Germany did not have their firearms registered by the Nazi government. It was the previous Weimar government that ordered registration of firearms, and that list was merely inherited by the Nazi government when Adolf Hitler rose to power. He then picked and chose who he wanted to remain armed, and confiscated the remaining weapons from all other "unreliable persons" who chose to follow the law.

Under the previous eight years of George W. Bush, this nation saw a rape of its constitutional rights unseen under the administration of any other American president. Everyone thought surveillance of emails, phone calls, et cetera was all good and fine if it was done by our government for the purposes of "national security", to protect us from "terrorism", et cetera.

Well, now we have Barrack Obama in office. Under the legal precedent set forth by Bush, Obama now has a ridiculous amount of power of the average American citizen...and there's nothing we can do about that now. It became legal precedent because no one stood up to stop it when it started.

What we can do now, as a nation, is to prevent further usurpation of our rights by insisting that our governmental leaders currently in power reject the notion of further intrusion of our rights under the guise of "protecting America". We can elect leaders who will repeal the legislative damage that has been done, as well as appoint judges who will not stand for unconstitutional abuses of our rights.

Get involved. Support local candidates who will raise holy hell about the abuses of our rights at ALL LEVELS OF GOVERNMENT, whether they be from President Obama or from a lowly police chief in Clute, TX. Make your voice heard. Don't allow your voice to remain silent, as silence does not equal vigilance. Only YOU are able to allow yourself to remain free, you can count on no one else to do it for you.

Never cave in to a "slippery slope" of allowing certain freedoms to be done away with, for ANY CIRCUMSTANCES, FOR ANYONE, in the name of "safety", "security", "patriotism", or anything else of that sort. Remember the old saying..."Give 'em an inch, they'll think they are rulers!".

Friday, November 13, 2009

How "gangsta rap" made me even more of a Libertarian...

Okay, if you STILL haven't figured it out yet, Libertarianism is that radical notion that you don't actually own another human being. Under this philosophy, you still have the right to own personal property, make decisions for your own children while they are still minors, et cetera. You don't, however, have the right to tell another human adult how to run his or her life...with a few minor caveats. These are pretty basic, really. The first exception to this rule is if you are the paying employer of someone who willfully enters into employment for you. The second would be when another person, by virtue of his actions, directly prevents you from exercising your own natural rights. Other than that, you have to grin and bear it...just like they have to do, when you live your own life the way you want.

One of the biggest parts of the libertarian philosophy involves the role of business in our lives. We, as citizens of these United States, have the opportunity to work hard and make our lives better because of this hard work. Government (the "G-word" so hated by Libertarians) has long-since had its dirty little hands in business, and the two dominant parties have seemingly opposing (yet strikingly similar) views of what is good and bad when business and government intermingle.

The republican party has long-since touted itself as the "free market" party, yet nothing could be further from the truth. Democrats, on the other hand, have also mislead Americans by claiming that they represent "the common man".

While I have a tendency to harp on the US War on (some) Drugs a bit more than I probably should at times, I'm going to use it tonight for the reason that it provides an all-encompassing scenario in which the Libertarian ideal may be explained. Just for kicks, I'm going to use some old-school gangsta rap to get that message across!

For those unfamiliar with the recordings of Ice-T, you may know him as Odafin 'Fin' Tutuola from the television series "Law & Order: SVU". Pardon the language, and pay close attention to the message.

Now, let's get back to the Libertarian ideal of self-ownership. In the video, we see that there's a seedy underworld of drugs, machine guns, pimping, prostitution, violent assaults, and just about every other thing unlawful and unwanted you can think of.

Moving right along, let's look at other places where personal freedom is valued and respected.

In Amsterdam, where authorities turn a blind eye to drug abuse, we don't have rampant drug-related gang violence. You can go to any decent cafe and buy your 31 flavors, if you choose. In Houston, TX (60 miles away from where I'll sleep tonight, and drugs are outlawed), it is highly likely that there will be at least one homicide involving drugs because tonight is a Friday night. If you're shooting smack on a crowded Amsterdam streetcorner, you're likely to go to jail...but you aren't likely to see a news report about a heroin dealer's dope house getting raided by the Amsterdam SWAT team after a year-long investigation.

In Nevada, some lonely truck driver will be getting his rocks off in a whorehouse, and he'll be paying his hard-earned money to do so. A lawful and licensed prostitute will perform sexual favors for this truck driver, and may even be interviewed for an HBO reality TV series afterward. Again in Houston, TX, we will likely hear within the next month about how an underground prostitution ring (most likely involving minors or illegal immigrant "sex slaves"), and the cops will likely have driven past at least a dozen of these whorehouses on their way to the one they are busting.

I may or may not have consumed my fair share of Mexican horticulture in my younger days, but I can assure you that it wasn't a D.A.R.E. program or a threat of going to jail that kept me from smoking crack for all of my almost 31 years. No, rather, it was common sense. While I may have dated some women that even my own mother probably wouldn't approve of, I can honestly say that I've never paid for sexual favors...but if I wanted to, everyone knows where Clinton Drive is at. Government regulation has not lessened the demand, nor has it lessened the supply, for drugs and hookers. All government interference in the problem has accomplished is an increase in price.

Is prostitution good for the mental and physical health of anyone involved? Of course not. Everyone from your shrink to your priest will tell you that being a hooker OR buying a hooker is bad for your head...and that doesn't even cover the STD aspect. Drugs? Same issues. It's bad for your mental state on so many levels, and it ravishes your body.

This leads us to two interesting issues we, as a supposedly free society, must deal with. First and foremost, what right does any person have to tell another adult what to do with his or her body? Second, what effects are government intervention REALLY having on the situation?

CAPITALISM. It's been a "dirty word" for so long that it's not even funny...but it's what makes America keep on rolling. It's also ingrained into the human psyche. We want better for ourselves, and this is just human nature.

When you outlaw something on the basis of "morality" (as is the case with the republican party) or "for the common good" (as is the case with the democratic party), and yet the people still demand it, you have opened up the doors for true capitalism in its most raw and unrefined form. It stops being a system according to the laws of free civilized men, and becomes the law of the jungle.

I do not "support" or "advocate" drug abuse or prostitution. What I am advocating is the removal of government prohibition of the sale of drugs and sexual favors. I understand if this isn't making sense to you, because I run into that quite a bit...but take a second look.

In the video presented above, you see the Original Gangsta glamorizing the "pimpin, hustlin', gangsta lifestyle". The "get in my way, and I'll beat you down or just shoot you with my illegally-obtained weapons" mentality is prevalent, as are the products purchased by his ill-gotten gains.

When you outlaw something the people demand, the demand is NOT going to stop. Crack addicts aren't going to stop craving crack, just because you said they will get locked up for being in possession of crack. When you make it something that costs $80 a day because of prohibition, as opposed to $8 a day it would cost if there were no criminals willing to overcharge for the privilege of smoking a substance your government says you aren't allowed to have.

Prostitution, likewise, isn't going anywhere. There's a reason why it's called "The World's Oldest Profession". In Nevada, where licensed prostitution is legal, you have women who fill out applications and take physicals to ensure that they aren't spreading disease. They are vying for openings at brothels, who have no trouble in attracting women who want the job. In Texas, where prostitution is illegal, we have abusive pimps who make outlandish amounts of money selling the services of "sex slaves" who are often underage illegal immigrants.

So the real question comes down to this...even if you don't support the notion of smoking crack or boning hookers...has government involvement really "helped" the situation? No, not really...

Every morning, I look at the Houston Chronicle's website. We continuously see drug-related shootings, and illegal immigrants being forced into the sex trade.

Obviously, smoking crack and selling your cooter are both bad for your health, physical and mental. But ask yourself this...if you had to take your pick, would you ABSOLUTELY HAD to have someone selling crack to someone in your neighborhood, would you want it to be Hajji at the Kwik-E-Mart up the street, who wouldn't hesitate to call the cops if it got out of hand, or would you want unlicensed and unregulated gangbangers selling crack behind the Kwik-E-Mart who wouldn't hesitate to shoot you if you got in the way of a sale?

If you ABSOLUTELY HAD to have someone pimping a whore in your neighborhood, would you want it to be a heavily-armed member of MS-13 renting out a 12 year old El Salvadorian girl forced into the business to pay off her smuggling debts, or would you want it to be a scumbag former used car salesman who now rents adult hookers in a zoned portion of town after they've been properly inspected and licensed?

You obviously aren't going to stop drugs and prostitution. Drugs and prostitution will always be run by unsavory characters. You have your choice...would you rather that drugs and hookers be regulated and licensed by the state, or would you rather they be regulated and licensed by whoever has enough stroke to control that corner tonight?

The choice is yours. Hopefully, you will see the folly in our flawed system of prohibiting personal freedoms, and will begin to vote Libertarian.

A wise man once said, "Popular speech doesn't need to be defended...but all speech must remain free." Actions, like speech, must remain free, even if we don't agree with them. If you think certain actions are wrong or immoral, make it your mission in life to teach others that such actions shouldn't be a part of someone's life. I didn't need a D.A.R.E. program to keep me from shooting smack...the Alice In Chains album "Dirt" did enough for me. I didn't need a law against prostitution to tell me that I shouldn't bang a hooker...the "consequence education" slide show did that for me.

Government intervention in the form of DEA, vice cops, et cetera has done irreparable damage to so many innocent people that its effects cannot be quantified. We haven't even begun to attempt to tabulate the damage done to people by willful criminals who see an opportunity to engage in unlawful activities, because society and our legislature has deemed something to be "immoral".

If a liquor store sells a gallon of Vodka to a person, and that person drinks it in one sitting and dies, that person is responsible for his own actions. Under the laws of many states, doing the same thing with cocaine can literally end in a death sentence for the seller. Merely selling a particular quantity of a drug can literally give a person a life sentence in all states.

If a person is willing to risk 25 years in prison for the sale of a controlled substance, what makes you think he gives a damn about your kids? On the other hand, liquor store clerks can make a legal paycheck every week...but may be fined or arrested if they sell to an underage person, which makes them check ID before selling a gallon of Vodka to someone.

In Nevada, if you lack the necessary paperwork, you go to jail for pimping or whoring. If you have the necessary paperwork, you become a part of the lawful workforce. In Texas, there is no paperwork for legal prostitution, which makes everyone involved a "criminal" if a person is willing to risk jail for pimping an adult, what makes you think he's unwilling to risk jail for pimping a child?

Again, I direct you to the video...and this time, pay close attention to the lyrics.

"Lock me up, a genocidal catastrophe...there will be another one after me. A HUSTLER."

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

A bit of objectivity in the wake of Ft. Hood.

Today, we as a nation watched on television, while the second-largest US military installation in the world held a memorial service for more than a dozen people gunned down by a Major in the US Army a few days ago.

Many have called this an act of "terrorism". Maybe it is. If the shooting was done with the purpose of creating terror in the hearts and minds of his fellow Americans for the purpose of advancing a political agenda, it is terrorism. If not, it's a mass homicide that does not, by definition, meet the criteria of "terrorism".

Some have called him an "enemy combatant". So long as it is truly known that he is being labeled an "enemy combatant" strictly because he was actively engaging military targets for the purposes of aiding the war effort of the enemy or for the purposes of waging war against the United States and her people, he is an "enemy combatant". If not, he's a mass murderer that does not, by definition, meet the criteria of "terrorism".

Furthermore, the interwebs have been lit up by claiming that the entire religion of Islam is comprised solely of "enemies of the United States". To that, I call bullshit. Unless, of course, someone has re-written the Koran since a year or so ago when I read it.

Why do we have more instances of "terrorism" committed by self-proclaimed Muslims, as opposed to self-proclaimed Christians? Don't be stupid. How many predominantly-Christian nations has the US invaded lately?

This guy was a nutcase, plain and simple. He just happened to be a nutcase who also happened to be affiliated with radically violent people who chose to associate themselves with Islam. Does this happen quite a bit with people who associate themselves with Islam? You're damned right, it does. It also happens quite a bit with any other group of people who are living in or share a kinship with those who live in places where an occupying force has taken over their homeland.

For instance, the idea of "suicide bombings" weren't started by Muslims, but rather by a group known as the Tamil Tigers in Sri Lanka. While they are a secular organization, they were oppressed by the majority...and pioneered the use of a "suicide vest" for military action against the oppressing force.

In Northern Ireland, "The Troubles" between the Irish Republican Army and the British army date back for more than eight centuries. Yes, that's right, EIGHT CENTURIES. While the real issue is regarding the power struggle between British empire and Irishmen who want to be free, both sides frequently bring religion into the equation, as most Englishmen who subscribe to religious belief are Anglican protestants (the "Church of England"), while their Northern Ireland counterparts are Roman Catholic. Both claim Christianity as their religion, and they fight each other while denouncing their opponents' particular views on religion.

In Mexico, the Chiapas natives have been persecuted and oppressed for so long by the Mexican gov't that songs have been written about them. Much like in Ireland, the Middle East, and damned near everywhere else a war has been fought, the plight of the Chiapas does not center around religion, race, or culture. It's about control of the land, and control of the people...which eventually traces back to MONEY.

Before digressing further, I'll say this...prove that he was an actual affiliate of a "foreign terrorist organization", and not just a sympathizer, and I'll call this a "terrorist action".

I sympathize with any group of people wanting to be free from tyranny and willing to fight for that freedom, including the IRA. The Irish Republican Army has been labeled a "terrorist organization"...not just by the British gov't they've been fighting for 800 years, but also by my own government. I happen to be of partial Irish descent. If I were to go on a shooting spree, would you call me a "terrorist", even if it had ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to do with anything whatsoever related to that issue, and was just because I was a bit nuts and got pissed off at traffic in downtown Houston that morning?

Some call him an "enemy combatant" because he knew a guy who knew a guy who's third cousin married the stepsister of a guy who went to junior high with a guy who once met one of the 9/11 hijackers...and he also had skewed political views. Prove to me that this was an actual military action, and not just the work of a deranged man with a gun who shot a bunch of people and also happened to pray to God while calling him "Allah", and I'll agree that it was the work of an actual enemy combatant. The way I see it, it was the work of an American citizen with mental issues, a different religious upbringing, and a pair of handguns. It doesn't mean the guy who sold me a sixpack tonight is secretly plotting to kill me because I bought a sixpack, and Allah doesn't approve of light beer with a hint of lime flavor.

While we're on the subject of "militant Islam", I'll be right up front with you. Islam, like Judaism and UNLIKE Christianity, is severely lacking in the whole "turn the other cheek" area. Jesus tells me to love my enemies. The Prophet Mohammed tells Muslims to, well, basically fuck up their enemies in the most brutal manner possible.

That being said, what constitutes an "enemy" of Islam? According to the Koran (you know, the ACTUAL teachings of the Islamic religion, not the words of some "radical Islamist cleric"), you aren't deserving of death until you invade the homeland of a Muslim. Hmmmm, where does that sound familiar? Oh yeah, that's right. I knew I had seen that somewhere. It's that Gadsen flag hanging on my wall. According to the Koran, a Muslim is PROHIBITED from doing harm to anyone, including "infidels" like us, unless the homeland is invaded for the purposes of taking over.

Regardless, I'll come right out and say it. I support our troops, who owe an allegiance only to the Constitution of these United States. I do not, however, support our government's actions overseas. Our invasion of Iraq was complete bullshit...not to mention, completely illegal under every applicable domestic and international law you can think of.

Our mission in AfPak is a completely different fuckup. First and foremost, our "mission" stopped being morally justified the moment we decided to limit our assault to only those who attacked us, and began including all who "engage in acts of terror"...namely, because we as a nation continue to support those who engage in acts of terror, even to this day. Second, we never really dedicated the necessary resources to truly "get" Al Qaeda and the Taliban, we simply keep feeding money to corporations who build "drones" that drop bombs on wedding ceremonies. Third, we really don't have a definable enemy, and keep fucking up whoever our "enemy of the week" happens to be. Let's just say there's a reason cliches become cliches...and tonight, I'm gonna party like it's 1984.

If the United States wants to hold any moral high ground WHATSOEVER, it will do the following things:

1) Withdraw troops from Iraq IMMEDIATELY, and apologize to the Iraqi people for invading their sovereign nation. Seriously. We had no cause to be there, and we turned it into a giant fuckup. I know Saddam was a bad guy. Is Iraq really any better off today, than it was ten years ago?

2) Start showing some testicular fortitude, Barrack. Seriously. Grow a pair. Stop worrying about elections in random 3rd World nations, and focus on the task at hand. We, as a nation, know who the enemy is. It is Al Qaeda and the Taliban. Not some guy who used to date a chick who knew a guy who went to high school with a dude who drove a cab for the Taliban's third in command, but Al Qaeda and the Taliban. Stop worrying about the political implications, and focus on the 6'6" Arab with the dialysis machine strapped to one hand and the microphone in the other. You remember him, right? Osama Bin Laden? He's half-dead from nature, let's get the job done.

3) Start implementing the necessary actions to make the first two a reality. Those in Iraq due for leave in the coming months need to be sent home. Fresh arrivals to, and those destined for, Iraq need to be redirected to Afghanistan. Gen. McChrystal says we need more boots on the ground. Go hard, or go home. Anything less than the best shows me that my government is more concerned with prolonging the war than it is with actually winning it.

If we are to accomplish our mission of bringing the perpetrators of 9/11 to justice, we must focus on that...and ONLY that. If we extend our mission to ANYTHING ELSE, our mission fails. End of story. In addition to failing that mission, we will also manage to piss on an ant pile that will come back to bite us, as it has repeatedly done. When we expand the scope of our mission to include anyone who sympathizes with those who hold ill will toward this nation, we've expanded our mission to include 80% of this planet. Our military is the greatest on Earth...but we ain't that good. When we piss off that many people, we're going to have idiots like this jackass in Ft. Hood thinking they have an actual reason to go on a shooting spree.

Then again, had we not been shitting in the sandbox to begin with, 9/11 likely wouldn't have happened. I'm not saying it was right to kill several thousand innocents. At the same time, I'm saying I understand where the hatred comes from, and our elected leaders are the cause of it.

I'm not saying it's right for your neighbor to shoot your kid...but if you continuously usurp him for your own gain, insult him because you can, attempt to run his life for him, and bitchslap him when he doesn't do what you tell him to, you should reasonably expect him to hit you where he's most able to do the most damage. It's what I would do if I were him, and had no other means of fighting at my disposal. Right and wrong take on a whole new meaning when you put it into that perspective, do they not?

Above and beyond all, I'm not saying I'm supportive of the mass murder at Ft. Hood, nor am I saying I understand the motivations behind it. I do, however, say that this nation has placed itself in a considerable amount of danger when it decided to start picking on every "little man" in the neighborhood. One on one, the little guy doesn't stand a chance...but he might just slash your tires in the middle of the night, regardless of whether you kick his ass in the morning. He's also going to have the support of all the other little guys you've picked on.

My prayers go out to the families of those who have lost their loved ones...not just at Ft. Hood, but in all of our warzones abroad and all of our criminal episodes at home. We need to take serious stock of our actions, and ask ourselves this: Is this what Jesus would want me to do?

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Abortion Kills! Oh, wait...

Okay, so today I read several friends' facebook postings on how a cosmetics firm was using "dead babies" in their wrinkle cream, in the most horrible of hack-jobs by an anti-abortion group.

Anyhow, a product called "Neocutis" is now on the market, and an anti-abortionist group has been propagandizing them as a corporation of people who profit from "killing babies". Well, not really. I'm not saying that's not the way the "Children of God for Life" are making it out to be, I'm just saying it's not really true. They really aren't throwing dead babies into a blender to make grandma's wrinkles go away!

Let's go over some facts here:

1) The CoG website states that Neocutis is "exploiting the remains of a slaughtered baby for nothing more than pure vanity and financial gain".

2) The manufacturers of Neocutis (henceforth referred to as "Neocutis") had NOTHING to do with the termination of the life of that fetus. You'll notice I said "fetus", and not "baby", because that's what it was. The choice to abort was not made by Neocutis, but by the potential mother of that fetus. That choice was between herself, God, and her own conscience...and absolutely no one else.

3) The hospital that performed the abortion willingly donated the fetal remains to an institution of research, for the purposes of producing a line of fetal cells. That research institution IS NOT affiliated with Neocutis.

4) The purpose of the creation of that cell bank was to research and create new treatments for burn victims.

5) The chances of a miscarriage actually occurring naturally, in a sterile hospital environment, are so rare it's not even funny. You don't make an appointment and have a natural miscarriage.

6) Absolutely none of the original fetal tissue has ever been used to manufacture any medical or cosmetic product, only the offspring of these cells have been used.

Without fetal tissue, thousands of lives would now be gone. This wasn't fetal tissue that was "commandeered" for the purposes of setting up a skin cell bank, this was fetal tissue bound for the dumpster. Good or bad, it is what it is.

Medical researchers recognized the potential of fetal tissue, because God gave them a functioning mind, allowing them to see this. As a result, modern medicine will now be using this technology to save countless lives. If you don't think so-called "dead babies" should be used for such things, I challenge you to step inside the Shriner's Hospital for Burned Children in Galveston, TX and tell that to those kids. You know, actual children, who are suffering through a hell on earth that you'll never experience if you're lucky.

In the grand scheme of things, burn victims are among the hardest patients to treat, but the skin cells from that one aborted fetus has provided more than enough of its offspring to handle the needs of research and production, with plenty to spare. As a result, this cell bank has found a way to increase its financial income by selling off the byproducts of its cell line.

I don't know about you, but I can't possibly see how using the byproducts of something that has been destroyed by someone else as "sacrilegious".

Think about it like have something that was once a wonderful thing. In its current state, it will never achieve the greatness that was once possible. Instead of being discarded, it is donated to someone else, to produce something that will be used to save lives. So much product is produced, in fact, that overstock is sold off to others for uses other than those deemed "philanthropic". The new product works, but is definitely not considered "essential" or "useful" for anything other than providing for human vanity.

By purchasing this original raw product, the producer of the new product provides financial compensation to the producer of the original product...which allows this producer to have more funding for research, which will in turn save more lives.

At the same time, those willing to purchase this product have something they want, by paying the people who pay the original producer for something they need to produce the second-hand product....which is how the free market works.

By casting a cloud of infamy over those who produce wrinkle cream by using cells created by the byproducts of a dead fetus destined for a landfill, what you are really doing is telling an untold number of actual suffering people they don't deserve to live because a dead and otherwise discarded fetus was used to create the medicines and techniques necessary to save their lives.

That's something to think about, isn't it?

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

An open letter to the Police Department of Clute, Texas

To Chief Mark Wicker, Det. Scotty Harris, and the rest of the Clute PD:

I am writing this because I am a concerned citizen. No, I am not a citizen of Clute, TX, I merely work there. I work for a privately-owned corporation located just a few blocks from your station. In addition to providing goods and services to the rest of the Clute and its surrounding communities, the company I work for also provides many of these same goods and services to your department (at discount prices, I might add, for both police AND private vehicles). Also, I have personally generated thousands of dollars worth of sales tax in the past two and a half years I've been working in Clute, on top of the many more thousands of dollars generated by my coworkers every year. It is your patrol cars I see on my way in and out of work every morning and evening, not the cars of the Angleton PD.

The reason I write this letter is because I am losing faith in your city's ability to properly protect and serve the residents and "non-resident visitors" (such as myself), after hearing of the events of the past few weeks.

Anyone who knows me can tell you that I am very much concerned with the actions of those elected, appointed, and paid by the people to serve the people. Where the police are involved, the Clute PD appears to be doing just fine apprehending criminals, and I have no complaints there, seeing as how I am not a criminal. My biggest issue with the Clute PD, as with just about every other police department I've ever encountered, is the willingness of certain officers to violate the basic and essential civil liberties given by God Himself and protected by the first ten amendments to the Constitution of the United States of America.

Please pay attention to the bolded sections of the first and fourth amendments:

Amendment 1: Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

Amendment 4: The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, , papers and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

To Chief Mark Wicker...when you were instructed to search and seize the papers of Facts reporter Katlynn Lanham, it was not upon reasonable suspicion that the papers were evidence of a crime having been committed. This is, quite simply, because a report compiled with the use of taxpayer money is not "privileged information". Furthermore, it is certainly no excuse to say that you only did what you were "told to do". If you need further information on that subject, I would gladly refer you to a few hundred Nazis...except that we've already hanged them, for "just following orders".

The fact of the matter is, quite simply, that you did what those in a position to terminate your employment were telling you to do, with complete and utter contempt for the highest law of this land. Not only did you attempt to obstruct the operation of a free and open press in violation of the first amendment, you also violated the Fourth Amendment's protection against an unlawful search and seizure. As Clute's highest-ranking law enforcement officer, I think you owe an apology to that reporter for violating her right to be secure in her person, papers, and effects...and you owe every single person that would ever travel through the city of Clute for any reason whatsoever an assurance that the officers of the Clute Police Department will not be permitted to unlawfully search and seize the property of private citizens. We all make mistakes. Being a man does not mean you're perfect; but rather, admitting when you have acted imperfectly.

To Detective Scotty Harris...while I only know Chief Wicker from what little professional interaction I have had with him (so little I doubt he would even remember me), I do remember sitting through an entire semester of sociology with you. We shared quite a few differing opinions, but I think your heart and mind are in the right place.

I do, however, have a few issues with the way you publicly insulted many people in this county with the remarks you made concerning the issue at hand, myself included.

First and foremost, let us not forget that a person need not be a resident of Clute, TX to help put food on your table. As I stated above, I personally gathered enough money for the city of Clute to pay about a month of your salary last year. Regardless of that fact, it is your job to serve every person who happens to be in the city of Clute, TX for whatever reason, and I am one of those people at least five days a week. Essentially, what I am getting at is quite are employed to serve me, from the time I enter the city of Clute until the time I leave it. I didn't force you to become a policeman, this is a job you willfully accepted of your own volition, no different than my own job in that respect. Since I DO contribute to your salary, I would appreciate it if, in the future, you would not tell me and others like me to "get a life" and "become a productive member of society", because we are the ones who allow you to do what you do for a living.

Second, I am quite concerned over your publicly-expressed opinion that it is legal for an officer to perform an action that is so blatantly illegal, because this can result from only one of two causes. Either A) you are uneducated, concerning the protections of the first and fourth amendments of our constitution, or B) you are fully aware that your chief's actions were unethical and unlawful, and you are choosing to put your superior before the citizens you are paid by and sworn to serve.

If we are speaking of the former, this is a problem easily remedied. I know you are an intelligent individual, and you should have no problem with being able to study up on constitutional law and how it concerns the actions of law enforcement. If our problem is of the latter sort, it is a very serious problem, because it means you cannot be trusted to fulfill your duties as a law enforcement officer without being willing to break the very laws you are sworn to uphold. I seriously hope our problem resides solely with a misunderstanding of the fourth amendment.

To the other officers of the Clute Police Department...I have never had anything but positive interaction with any of you, while you were in uniform or out of it. It is my sincere hope that this situation does not change, because I do spend such a great deal of time in the city of Clute. I am trusting that the countless hours of training and education each and every one of you has been through will not be wasted on the idea that some "code of honor" within your department will require or even allow you to turn a blind eye, if one of your fellow officers should ever break the law, even if ordered to do so from his or her superiors. You not only have a professional obligation to enforce the laws of this land, but you also have a moral and ethical obligation to ensure that yourself and your fellow officers are following those same laws.

In closing, I would hope that anyone who reads this letter takes it to heart, and sees it for what it is. I have no ill will toward any member of law enforcement (Clute PD or any other agency), except those who would use their badge to justify an illegal, immoral, or unethical action. Call it like you see it, because the truth will set you free.

-Barry H. Rhodes

Friday, October 2, 2009

More about the FLDS raid...

The very first post of this blog was in regard to the awesomely ass-backward and unlawful manner in which the Texas Children's Protective Services went about carrying out a raid upon the Fundamentalist Latter-Day Saints, after CPS received reports of ALLEGED abuse by a habitual liar claiming to be an "escaped 16 year old sexual abuse victim". Turns out, she was actually a 30-something woman in Colorado.

CPS, with the help of the local county sheriff and his tank named "Bubba" (yes, they actually brought a real-deal armored personnel carrier to the scene, in hopes of getting into a Waco-style shootout), executed warrants signed by judges that were based solely upon unsubstantiated (read: TOTAL BULLSHIT) reports of abuse by this woman. One of two things happened here...either those responsible for obtaining the warrants lied to the judge in their legally-required sworn affidavits of probable cause, or the judge unlawfully signed warrants without the necessary probable cause. Either way it went down, the FLDS "compound" was raided illegally.

Don't get me wrong, I think it's kinda creepy to be doing the doggy-style with a 16 year old girl if you're old enough to buy your own cigarettes, and I very clearly stated that in the previous posting. However, that doesn't change the fact that these people were raided by the police, in violation of the law.

Are they guilty of the charges presented? In all likelihood, probably so. That doesn't change the most important fact of this case, however. First and foremost, the law was violated in order to raid the compound, seize more than 400 "children" (I put it in quotes, because several of these "children" were, in fact, legal adults at the time of their kidnapping). To date, all but one of these "children" have been returned to their parents...even though their parents have been forced to submit to all manner of intrusive and rigorous scrutiny by local authorities, without so much as the slightest bit of proof of any wrongdoing.

Moreover, any evidence of wrongdoing by FLDS members at their Texas "Compound" will result in ONLY ONE OF TWO POSSIBILITIES...and neither of them are really good.

1) All evidence obtained in this raid will eventually be thrown out on appeal, which will result in the overturned convictions of probable child molestors. This is good for America in general, but bad for the probable victims of molestation.

2) The evidence obtained in this raid WILL NOT be thrown out on appeal, which is good for the probable victims of abuse...but happens to be very bad for those who value their constitutional rights.

If a judge can say "yes, I know your rights were violated, but it was a means to an end!", what does that say when your neighbor doesn't like what you've done with your lawn and decides to call the police and say you're making child porn in the garage? What about when your ex-girlfriend gets pissed off at you, and tells the cops you're growing pot in your living room?

Are you willing to let police go through your personal and private belongings, merely because someone claims over the telephone that they saw something, just because "the children" might be protected?

Do you see what I'm getting at? If we are willing to allow the essential constitutional rights of even the worst of humanity to be violated, we are merely setting ourselves up to have our own rights be violated. Remember when everyone you knew was more than willing to allow warrantless wiretaps to protect us from "terrorists", because the president said we needed it? Well, how do you people feel now that the NEW president has declared you and me to be "terrorists"? Still feeling willing to allow warrantless wiretaps?

Remember the words of Jesus..."Whatever you do to the least of my brethren, you also do to me." Well, the same holds true of American citizens...whatever rights of the most sick and depraved amongst us you have violated, those same rights of mine have also been violated. Either you believe in the constitution, or you don't.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

More thoughts on the "Mandatory Blood Sample" law in Texas...

Well, let's see I've previously posted, Texas now has a law stating that officers can use force to extract a blood sample from those merely suspected of Driving While Intoxicated, provided certain conditions have been met.

Okay, before I go any further, I will reiterate the fact that I fully understand the dangers of drunkenness on a public street. For those reading up on this blog for the first time, my brother was killed by a drunk driver. It happened in the wee hours of January 1, 1996.

In the spring of 2002, I was stopped on HWY288B for the "offense" of driving 4mph over the speed limit, by a DPS State Trooper named Robert Dornak. Yes, the very same Robert Dornak that lied about the report of a traffic accident involving the death of a Deputy Sheriff who was improperly standing in traffic on a foggy morning. The very same Robert Dornak that "voluntarily resigned" after it was alleged that he had falsified his time cards.

Because I had no money to hire an attorney and was under the impression that it was somehow "cheaper" to plead out, I took a plea bargain and claimed Nolo. Sadly, for every dime I would have spent on an attorney to fight the case, that money was given back to the state in the form of probation fees, "drug and alcohol awareness" classes, my court-ordered fine, time missed from work for community service and probation meetings, insurance premium increases, et cetera.

NEVER plead out on a criminal case, unless you are guilty and you know it. If you are guilty, I have no pity on you. If you are innocent, FIGHT IT WITH EVERYTHING YOU'VE GOT AND THEN SOME!

Four years later, I was stopped after being seen by another Texas Department of Public Safety Officer. His name is Adrian Barlow. Yes, I'm talking to you, Mr. Barlow. Remember that name, folks...because if you run into him, STAY AWAY FROM HIM. He is a liar, and will not hesitate to arrest you if it can help to run his numbers up.

You see, Trooper Barlow claims that he saw me driving without a seatbelt. From a moving car. In the middle of the night. Measurements were taken, of my car and a standard Ford Crown Victoria of the current model as driven by Trooper Adrian Barlow. At the speed claimed by the trooper, he would have had less than TWO TENTHS OF A SECOND to see such a thing.

Of course he tried to pretend like he was pulling me over for not wearing a seatbelt, and tried to act like he didn't see me pulling out of a bar, but the video showed otherwise. It also showed how he lied his ass off about me being "confrontational", having "slurred speech", and "being off-balance". Regardless, none of these really became an issue until he asked me if I had ever been arrested for DWI before. Not "convicted", but merely "arrested"...and yes, if you're wondering, I very openly admitted to the fact that I had been arrested for DWI. Oh yeah, I also very clearly heard him make the call on the radio for my arrest record, prior to asking me that question.

Regardless of these two lying tax leeches and their willingness to completely disregard the rights afforded me by my state and federal constitutions, there is one little fact that we must address here.

Now, it is "lawful" for an officer to hold me down at gunpoint for the purposes of drawing blood from my arm, if he claims that I am Driving While Intoxicated. Interestingly enough, mere "probable cause" is enough to allow an officer to draw blood from me by armed force, but not enough from my best friend...even if we were pulled over in identical circumstances.

It has nothing to do with age, race, creed, sex, or anything of the sort. Nothing, of course, other than the fact that I have a prior conviction for Driving While Intoxicated. However, at the time of my plea agreement, there was no such thing as a law saying that I might have blood evidence seized by an officer in the absence of a warrant, as the result of my conviction. There was no such law in place. In the absence of a previous conviction and other circumstances such as a child in the vehicle at the time, the officer must obtain a warrant to draw blood.


Monday, September 14, 2009

It's sad that so many people accomplished NOTHING on Saturday...

On this past Saturday, a mass of people that some say could range between 1.5 and 2 million people (google the pictures) marched on the capitol in protest of "ObamaCare".

Unfortunately, it will change ABSOLUTELY NOTHING. Why do I make such a claim? Well, it's quite simple. As sad as it is, I am quite certain that while a good many of these people are fully aware of what's going on in this nation, there are at least ten times as many who are using this movement as nothing more than a propaganda mechanism of the republican party...and doing so under the guise of libertarianism.

I attended a protest rally during the first of the "modern" Tea Parties, it was the one at Jones Plaza in Houston, TX on April 15 of this year. While I enjoyed seeing that many libertarians gathered in one place, I was disheartened by the way that the event had damned near been hijacked by what are known as "Neo-Conservatives". The entire concept of the "Tea Party" organization was supposed to be a protest against ever-encroaching government.

While I was happy to see a massive amount of libertarians up in the mix, I saw a huge portion of that crowd being nothing more than the typical "right-winger". They aren't concerned with freedom, but rather, their own personal brand of fascism. Maybe you don't know who these hypocritical asswipes are, but I'll clue you in:

  1. So-called "pro-lifers". Yes, these people who will donate untold amounts of money to help fund anti-abortion legislation, donate their time to "pregnancy help centers", et cetera...but haven't done a GODDAMNED THING to ever help the life of a single solitary child living in an orphanage. You see, that would be far too troubling, helping out the life of an ACTUAL child, as opposed to a POTENTIAL child. What really gets me is the fact that these people are, with the exception of the Catholics in the bunch, typically very pro-execution! When literally one out of every thirteen condemned persons since the reinstatement of the death penalty has been RELEASED FROM DEATH ROW BECAUSE OF EVIDENCE OF INNOCENCE, it leads us to wonder how many innocent ACTUAL people have been murdered by the state. For those claiming they "are anti-abortion because it uses tax dollars to kill", did I mention that it costs TWICE AS MUCH MONEY TO PROSECUTE A DEATH PENALTY CASE than it does to prosecute a "life without parole" case...and then incarcerate that person for the remainder of his life? Don't tell me you're "pro-life" because of the tax dollars being spent, if you support the death penalty. For that matter, don't tell me you're "pro-life" AT ALL, if you support the murder of innocent people at the hands of the state.
  2. The "I support the War on Terror" crowd. These people are amongst the worst, IMNSHO. Untold billions upon billions upon billions pissed away. We haven't even begun to start speaking of the human cost here. What have we accomplished? Eight years later, and NOT A GODDAMNED THING. Iraq is still fubar beyond words, so much that the Iraqi government is telling us to GTFO...and we're the ones that put these guys into power! Afghanistan? Are you kidding me? Our government can't decide if we're going to allow the opium to grow because eradicating it will strip everyone of their money, or destroy it all because it helps fund terrorists. The Taliban keeps blowing up our troops like it's the cool thing to do. Our television reports keep telling us how we've "killed the #2 Al Qaeda man". That must be the most dangerous job in the world, seeing as how we can't seem to find a 6'6" Arab in Afghanistan, especially when he's got a dialysis machine strapped to one arm and a microphone to the other. Did I mention that several thousand American servicemen have died fighting this war? What about the amount of money that our government is pissing away like it's free?
  3. Then we get to the bottom of it all...the GLENN BECK SUPPORTERS! I don't even know where to start with this jackass. Part of his "9/12" program states that we must accept God. Okay, I am a firm believer in Christ...but, ummm, what about the people who aren't? Do they not get to care about not having free-market health care? What about Beck's support for the War on Some Drugs? Just because Glenn Beck is a "recovering alcoholic", what gives him the right to say what others shouldn't put into THEIR OWN bodies? Okay, so the booze didn't work out for you. How are you gonna say that my grandma shouldn't have been allowed to do bonghits when she was dying of cancer? What about Beck's unabashed support for the so-called "Patriot Act"? How are you going to stand up and preach about the evils of socialism when you support the destruction of half our Bill of Rights? How?
So I guess that's why I'm so pissed off about the fact that almost two million people decided to march in Washington...mainly, it was just a big jerk-off session. Absolutely nothing was accomplished. The mainstream media made it appear to be nothing more than "tens of thousands" if it were somehow less than the "Million Man March" that had maybe 50k people show up. Still, even when they decide to concede that a million or so people showed up, what will they say about them? Oh, probably nothing more than the fact that they are "republican hypocrites"...and sadly, many of them are.

If you truly care about your own freedom, you'll stop worrying about issues that matter only to you, and start worrying about the fact that EVERYONE'S FREEDOM is slowly being stripped away. Until then, do us a favor and stop pretending like you care...

Sunday, September 13, 2009

What September 11th means to me...

Two days ago, this nation had its annual "Patriot Day" remembrance. As I'm sure you're probably already aware, "Patriot Day" was so-named in honor of the attacks against this nation on September 11, 2001.

I remember that day very vividly. I was living with my aunt and her son in West Columbia, TX at the time. I was not working that day, and was mildly hung over when I woke to hear a man on the radio talking about the "horrific accident" that had just occurred in New York City's World Trade Center. I was about to reach over and turn off my stereo when I heard the man on the radio screaming "Oh, my God! There's another one!"

I ran into the living room and turned the television to CNN just in time to see the footage of the second plane smashing into the other tower. That was the "Zapruder Film" of my generation, with the 9/11 attacks being our Kennedy assassination. Our world changed forever on that morning.

Within a few months of the attacks, our nation launched an assault on Afghanistan in what has been called the "Global War on Terrorism" by our government. This GWOT soon spread to Iraq under the most baseless of pretenses. Sadly, this "war on terr'r" was also seen right here in our home country, being "fought" in the most immoral, unethical, and constitutionally unlawful manner you can imagine.

The so-called "USA Patriot Act" has given even our local police departments (not to mention our state and federal boys) unprecidented power and authority that this nation had never seen before, all in the name of "fighting terrorism". The overwhelming majority of crimes that have been prosecuted by using these new authorities have not been related to terrorism, but rather, to petty dope dealers. It would seem to me, as well as anyone with at least three cooperative and functioning brain cells, that those who actually have been prosecuted for "terrorism-related" offenses are nothing more than incompetent "wanna-be"-types...and most of these have been arrested through "sting operations" by the FBI, using criminal informants wishing to reduce their sentences. Many of these people have no knowledgeable ability to carry out any kind of attack on anyone or anything beyond the capabilities of your average urban gangbanger.

Oh, let's not forget the random high school kids we occasionally hear about, who get arrested for detonating "bombs" (read: HOMEMADE FIRECRACKERS) in trash cans and mailboxes. Oh yeah, Johnny and Jimmy McSuburbia are the real-deal American Jihad, let me tell ya! Placing a piece of dry ice inside a 35mm film canister was a prank pulled by my high school science teacher 15 years ago. Try doing it today, and you're likely to get arrested for "detonating a chemical device"!

Let's also not forget about the handful of civil liberties that we no longer have in this country. A good friend of mine once asked me, after we got into a heated discussion about this subject, "Specifically, what rights have you personally lost?". To him, I replied that I have lost every right denied to any individual citizen of this nation as a result of these supposed "anti-terror" laws.

He looked at me like he didn't understand, because I had never been arrested for failure to remain inside a "Free Speech Zone" at a protest rally. At the time, I had never even been to a protest rally! Federal agents had never (to my knowledge, anyway) performed a "sneak and peek" search on my house. They had never issued (again, to the best of my knowledge) a "National Security Letter" stating that they had reason to believe I was engaging in terrorist activities, in order to do a search of my financial records, my library history, my emails, et cetera without first obtaining a warrant signed by a judge.

But then again, they had done these to numerous other American citizens, and did so under the color of direct violation of our constitutional rights. Even the FBI's Director Mueller has allowed a report to be issued, stating that these so-called National Security Letters are (and had been) an often-abused tool used by members of his agency. If it can happen to others, it can just as easily happen to me...which means I no longer have the rights guaranteed by my 1st, 4th, and 5th Amendments. I no longer have the right to petition the court for a Writ of Habeas Corpus, if I am unlawfully imprisoned without charges, because the government has seen fit to do so with other American citizens.

I have been distrustful of "authority figures" since I had my first run-in with a pair of dirty cops following a juvenile arrest at the age of 15. Since I "woke up" after realizing in 2003 a few months into our war in Iraq that it was based upon nothing but solid bullshit and lies, I've been reading into the subject quite heavily, and have focused quite a bit on what is going on right here in America.

Non-violent political activists have been labeled as "domestic terrorists" by state police departments, who have infiltrated various activist groups who advocate everything from clean environmental policy to anti-abortion to the abolition of the death penalty. The FBI has trained "bloggers" to deliberately incite and intice people into making statements over the internet that can be defined as a "terrorist threat". Even though it became a bigger issue after the release of the MIAC report, our state police departments have been issuing all manner of "bulletins" describing asinine reasons for suspecting people of being "potential terrorists. The MIAC report listed people who yearn for a constitutional government and support third-party political candidates...but the Texas Department of Public safety thinks I might be a terrorist for a completely different reason. I WEAR LEVI'S BLUE JEANS! Yes, I'm serious...that was actually listed as a way to spot a potential terrorist, on a Texas DPS anti-terrorism bulletin!

Our local cops have become increasingly militarized, and their attitudes have shifted even further away from the "Officer Friendly"-type, to the point where many now seem to think of themselves as some twisted version of a stay-at-home military. The Sheriff's office of Harris County even discussed a plan to purchase MACHINE GUNS for patrol boats of his county's waterways! Ummm, this is Texas, not "the 'Nam"! Nearly all of our cops are now equipped with Taser hand-held electrocution devices, which were supposedly intended to reduce the number of times officers fired their duty weapons at suspects...but, as statistics have clearly shown, shootings have not decreased. Taser usage, as well as Taser abuse, have definitely increased.

So that's that, folks. I've always believed that they were "out to get me". Turns out I'm not being paranoid, they're really out to get me...and everyone else who thinks for themselves, and refuses to buy into the bullshit. It's been going on for quite a while. 9/11 just sped up the process quite a bit. I was in mourning on Friday. Not only for the nearly three thousand people who lost their lives on 9/11/01, but also for the loss of the American way. So sad, so shameful...

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

The "other half" of the second Amendment...

As of 9/1/09, the state penal code in Texas was altered regarding the regulations concerning members of our population that carry concealed handguns. On September first of this year, state legislation in Texas has removed the criminal penalty for the non-crime of displaying a Concealed Handgun License when asked for identification by a peace officer.

Okay, what does this mean? Prior to this change in the law, holders of a Concealed Handgun License (to be further mentioned as a "CHL") were required to display said CHL when identification was demanded by a Licensed Peace Officer at any time the holder of said CHL was, in fact, "packing" a concealed handgun.

Prior to a change in the law that occurred a few years ago, holders of a CHL were required to present said CHL at ANY TIME, regardless of whether or not they were actually in possession of a concealed handgun.

Well past years, we've removed the requirement to display a CHL when you weren't packing. Now, we've effectively removed (by removing the penalty) the requirement that you display your CHL period.

Here's my complaints about the whole CHL notion in general:
1) First and foremost, not everyone has the opportunity to spend an entire day of classroom and range instruction at a time that is convenient for the guy holding the CHL class. Some of us actually work for a living.
2) The entire CHL process is, in all actuality, rather cost-prohibitive for those who work a basic job. As a matter of fact, just the actual license fee alone costs almost as much as my first pistol did...and that doesn't even get into the cost of the actual class instruction, the requisite passport photos, et cetera.
3) When you have a CHL, your name goes into a state database...along with a number that is automatically tied to your driver license number.

I have not applied for a CHL, and will likely not do so, for the simple fact that I am lawfully allowed in the state of Texas to keep a loaded AND UNLICENSED handgun in my vehicle at any time, provided four provisions are met:
1) I'm lawfully allowed to own the handgun.
2) I'm not committing a crime of greater classification than a Class C traffic offense.
3) I'm sober.
4) The pistol is concealed from "plain view" (i.e. "you can't see it from outside the car").

Regardless of what the law actually ALLOWS me to do, I still have a massive problem with the state regulating the carry of a handgun at all.

Don't get me wrong, I think there should be a provision regarding felons in our handgun laws...but this actually brings me to another point. As of 1994, the Great State of Texas created what is known as the "State Jail Felony" classification of crimes. Whilst the punishment of a state jail felony is relatively minor by comparison of felonies that are listed be degree (from top to bottom: Third, Second, First, Capital), there is still that inconvenient little fact that someone convicted of the crime of being in possession of another person's credit card number is just as "felonious" as a person that has committed an offense of premeditated murder, as far as a removal of a person's rights are concerned. When you are convicted of a State Jail Felony, you are still required to have stamped on your state-issued driver license, in big red letters, "Convicted Felon"...which is no different than a man that has been paroled after imprisonment for raping and killing a 16 year old girl. When we cure this situation, maybe we can really work on some other issues...

Regardless, the state of Texas allows all felons the right to possess firearms AFTER five years from the date of release from incarceration or state-sponsored community supervision, whichever comes it should be. In a civilized society, we decide that a person's punishment is left to a judge and jury. When you have paid your debt to society et al, you are paid up.

Moving right along now...

Let's look at the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution:

A well-regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the People to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.

It just doesn't really get any more basic than that. So what the hell is my problem? Well, it's quite simple. For far too long, we've been concerning ourselves with the right to "KEEP", and forgetting all about the right to "BEAR" our arms.

Seriously. We keep fighting over what type of firearms we're allowed to still own.

As it stands, I happen to own a couple of "military-grade" rifles. They will penetrate a standard police-issue Class-IIIA kevlar vest, and are capable of using magazines worthy of being considered "very high capacity". At the present time, I currently own only 30rd magazines for them, because that is the biggest available at my local sporting goods store.

I also happen to be the proud owner of a Mossberg Model 500A shotgun. It sports a 20" barrel and an 8-round magazine. With two rounds, I can unload more ordinance downrange than an M16 with a full 30rd magazine...and do it faster, and still have six more rounds. What's more, I can reload my magazine "on the fly", without having to wait for it to become empty first. Using standard off-the-shelf 1oz slugs available at any Wal-Mart in Texas (at the bargain rate of around $1 a piece), I can penetrate the engine block of a police car.

Still moving right along...

I also happen to be the proud owner of a Smith & Wesson 9mm pistol. While this pistol holds 15rds in the magazine, let's look at a few things here:
1) There's not a single round available on the civilian market that will penetrate a Class-IIIA kevlar vest.
2) Its accuracy is limited to, at best, 25 meters.

The most important fact that I can mention about this pistol, however, is the fact that it is THE MOST REGULATED FIREARM that I currently own...even though it is the least powerful and least "destructive".

The only upside my "sidearm" has, over my long guns, would be the fact that it is CONCEALABLE...and yet, I am still not allowed to carry this pistol in the open, for all the honest world to see. In order to protect myself in public with said pistol, outside of my home or vehicle, I must purchase a license from the state and follow certain arbitrary rules and regulations concerning when and where I can carry this pistol...and still, I must carry this pistol in a manner that prohibits it from being seen by anyone else.

It would seem that my state allows me to "keep" arms, but it does not recognize my right to "bear" them. You see, a "right" is not something you have to apply for. You don't have to pay for it. You don't have to get your "rights" approved. You don't have to submit fingerprints and an official passport photo. Anything that would require such stipulations are not "rights", but rather, "privileges".

It appears to me that the state does not recognize my right to keep and bear arms, it merely grants me the privilege of doing so, provided certain conditions are met.

Texas, I'm really not impressed...

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Of God, Grace, and Government...

So earlier today, a cousin of mine made a very interesting statement via that wonderful abomination of the web known as "Facebook". I found it interesting because I wasn't exactly sure what she meant by "Legalism = the absence of Grace".

I wasn't confused by the words themselves, but rather, the manner in which they were used.

"Legalism" is defined as a strict adherence to the letter of the law, as opposed to the actual spirit of the law.

"Grace", when used in a religious context (I assumed, of course, that it was used in a religious context), is defined as "in the favor of God".

When I expressed my confusion about this, I was told that adherence to the letter of the law is an expectation of failure. I know this is going to come as a huge shock to all, but I couldn't agree more.

My confusion did not stem from the wording, but rather the fact that she was referring to God's law (as opposed to the law of man). Some may wonder what difference this would make, but it's really quite simple. The law of God is quite simple, and doesn't take a huge amount of intellect to understand the basic ideas behind His principles. The laws of man, on the other hand, are a vast maze of complicated edicts requiring extensive study before one can even get a mediocre grasp on them. For instance, the Texas Transportation Code has several hundred chapters...and that's not even getting into areas of public health regulations, penal codes, insurance codes, et cetera. The laws of God, by comparison, are extremely simple.

Speaking strictly of the laws of God, it is very possible to live ones' life according to the letter of the law...and still be in violation of the intent of the law. When one violates the spirit of the law, he has no judge but God Himself.

This concept, when applied to the laws of man, bring us to a bit of an issue. Man is a fallible creature, as evidenced by Romans 3:23. Romans 13:1-7 (the one that my dear cousin Billiam likes to throw out there, presumably due to his handcuff fetish and his knowledge that I have no respect for officers of the law that don't follow the law) tells us that we should submit ourselves to "governing authorities".

In a court of law, it is no defense to claim that you have followed the "spirit of the law", as opposed to following the law itself. Doing so may very well land you in prison, depending upon the circumstances. As such, we as citizens have but two our lives according to the spirit of the law and risk imprisonment, or live our lives according to the letter of the law ("legalism") and continue to live on the outside of prison walls.

An interjection of God's law into the laws of man creates a very problematic situation in and of itself. Even though the basic laws of God are fairly simple, there are plenty of people who have their own take on their precise meaning. If you need an example of this, look no further than to the fact that there are more separate denominations of "Christianity" than you can count on your fingers. Man is not God, pure and simple. Unless the Holy Spirit of the Lord himself starts chiseling traffic code and criminal law onto stone tablets, I think we need to be following the letter of the law...which, thank God, includes the 1st Amendment of the constitution that prohibits laws based solely upon religion.

Furthermore, we must look to the fact that a faith and following of God is expected, by God Himself, to be voluntary. It should never be forced upon someone, as this is not faith but spiritual slavery. If God wanted us to be forced to live according to His law, I have every firm belief that He has every ability to prevent us from doing otherwise...which leads me to believe that He OBVIOUSLY wants us to make the choice to follow Him according to our own volition.

Having had similar discussions with several people in the past, the most common retort has been the "Ten Commandments" rationale, stating that several of God's laws are already a part of man's law. Yes, we have laws against killing, raping, stealing, robbing, et cetera. However, we must also realize that while they are a part of God's law, they are a part of man's law because they deal with the violation of the rights of others. Other parts of God's law, such as the commandment against having masters other than Him, are specifically EXCLUDED from the laws of this land because they violate the right of a man to make his own choices.

So we're still left with the fact that "legalism", in the context of man's law, is an expectation of failure. Again, I couldn't agree with this more, but I do not feel that we should deny the need to follow the law as written. I feel we should, instead, work to repeal every unnecessary law we currently have on the books today, and leave only those which relate to the violation of the rights of our fellow human beings.

It's really quite simple, and essentially boils down to "Do Not Steal." If you murder, you have stolen someone's life. If you rape, you have stolen a person's physical affection. If you kidnap, you have stolen a person's liberty. I could go on, but you get the idea. The idea of "Thou Shalt Not Steal" is a fairly universal concept. It's present in the laws of both God and man.

No human being has a full understanding of God, and any attempt to interject His wisdom into our laws will result in a mockery of Him. If you need any real-world proof of this, look to the various theocracies of the world, where the "Word of God" is the basis of man's court system.

For the sole reason of man's imperfections, we as a society must strive to keep our laws to a bare minimum. Keep the Bible in your heart, your mind, and your actions. Keep it out of the legislation, lest you attempt to become the master over another in His name, for you are not God.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Pay close attention to Luke 22:36...

And while you're at it, pay close attention to this...

Now that you've seen that, let's have a bit of a history lesson.

In 1945, Germany unilaterally and unconditionally surrendered to end WWII...and trials went underway in Nuremberg for several of the Nazi higher-ups, as they were indicted as defendants charged with up to four separate crimes related to the armed aggression that started WWII, as well as the "crimes against humanity" relating to the enslavement and murder of Jews, gypsies, homosexuals, cripples, and others.

Nuremberg was chosen as the site of the first International Military Tribunal for two reasons. First, it was in the heart of Germany and was one of the few cities that weren't bombed beyond oblivion. Second, and perhaps most importantly, it was symbolic in the fact that Nuremberg was where the majority of the Reich's decrees were issued.

How is this relevant to a speech given by the President of the United States, 70 years after Nazi Germany's "Enabling Laws" went into effect? It's quite simple, really. In the course of WWII, at least 50 million lives were lost. It is estimated that more than between ten and twelve million civilians of Germany and its occupied territories through starvation, strenuous slave labor, and outright premeditated murder. At least six million of these people were murdered strictly for no other reason than being of a different religion. The rest of them were merely "enemies of the Reich"...homosexuals, gypsies, cripples, political dissidents, and various other random people.

But still, you does this pertain to a speech about detaining terrorists without charges? Well, first and foremost, it is currently ILLEGAL under domestic and international law to do so, and has been since back when the Bush II administration was doing it. Second, the "legally defensible" system advocated by Obama is the VERY SAME METHOD used by the Third Reich in Nazi Germany. You see, EVERY PERSON MURDERED OR ENSLAVED BY THE NAZI PARTY was "legal", according to laws written and passed by the Nazis themselves.

They issued decrees, they passed them through the legislature, and then used these laws to justify the enslavement and murder of millions of innocent people.

Some claim that what is currently happening in our nation is merely biblical prophecy fulfilling itself, as it is written in The Book. Unfortunately, the Bible is rather vague on such things, and we will never know for certain until the rapture comes. For this reason, I refuse to sit back and watch these things unfold in my back yard, while merely chalking it up to "The End Times".

I spoke out against Bush when he tortured 15 year old cab drivers at Gitmo. I spoke out when he argued that even American citizens can be labeled "unlawful combatants", and be held without trial or even charges. I spoke out when Obama's Chief of Staff Rahm Emmanuel wanted to say that any American citizen on a "watch list" would have their 2nd Amendment rights "canceled". I spoke out when I heard that the Army National Guard was advertising for openings for "Internment and Detention Specialists".

Well, ladies and gentlemen, NOW HEAR THIS. If this occurs on US soil, by agents of the US government acting under the auspices of US law, to US citizens, it's open season on all participants. No ifs, ands, or buts about it.

When you have taken away the liberties of a person based upon what you fear they MIGHT do, as opposed to something you have proven that they have done, you have effectively taken that person's life. That person may be technically "alive", but living in prison is no life worth having. This goes far beyond the constitution, this is a basic principle of civilized humanity.

It is said that this will apply only to "suspected terrorist enemies" captured on the battlefield, but the Bush administration has already proven that American citizens may at times be denied a trial before a jury of their peers. God help us all if American citizens are ever arrested on US soil and detained indefinitely without the right of formal charges, a bail hearing, or a speedy trial by a jury of ones' peers.

For those who would actively and knowingly participate in these crimes against humanity, I have but one thing to say to you. May our Almighty God have mercy upon you, because I'm not absolutely certain that several million honest Americans will. God willing, justice will eventually prevail in this nation again. Will you be in the witness box, or will you be waiting in line for your turn at the gallows? As always, the choice is yours...but also remember the words of Christ when you see me:

"I tell you the truth. Whatever you did for the least of my brethren, you did also for me."

Monday, August 24, 2009

What worries me about secession...

So it looks like people in the state of Texas are finally starting to grow a pair, and the "Texas Nationalist" movement is gaining a bit of momentum that goes beyond just seven rednecks getting slammed on Lone Star Light at deer camp. It has become a very serious Tenth Amendment issue, and our current state of affairs in this nation is leading many Texans to want to just say "Screw it, I'm out."

As bad as I think our federal government is doing us dirty and dry at every opportunity, I'm afraid of what would happen when document known as our "Bill of Rights" no longer applies to Texans because Texans are no longer citizens of the United States.

Don't get me wrong, I love the freedoms that this state actually allows me to enjoy. Unfortunately, Texans seem to have the same problem that many other people in this nation have...if you get more than ten of them in the same room and bring up the subjects of either "God" or "public safety", all respect for the rights of an individual (as well as good old sanity, apparently) go flying out the window.

The reason I bring this up stems from a discussion I had with a webfriend the other day, regarding his disapproval of the legalization of homosexual marriage.

Before I go any further, I'd like to point out several important facts.
A) I'm not gay, nor do I have any desire to ever get married again, so it really doesn't directly affect me in any way, shape, or form.
B) Marriage in the state of Texas, according to the law, IS NOT a "religious" institution. It is a legally-binding contractual relationship between two consenting adults and concerns property rights and certain privileges.
C) Procreation is not required for marriage, nor is marriage a requirement for procreation. The number of childless married couples and unwed mothers in this state are proof positive of this fact.

As such, there is ABSOLUTELY ZERO reasoning behind a prohibition of homosexual marriage in this state (or any other state in the union, for that matter) OTHER THAN RELIGIOUS REASONS...which goes directly against the First Amendment.

The queers living next door to you ARE NOT going to harm you, your children, your dog, or your property value by cementing their relationship via a legally-binding contract. If they're already living next door, what difference does it make if he introduces Twinkle-toes as "my husband" instead of "my life partner"?

You claim that it is an abomination before God, it goes against nature, et cetera. Well, the same set of rules that claim homosexuality is an "abomination" also say it's wrong to get a tattoo. I personally have a pair of tattoos and a brand on my chest. Somehow, I really don't think God loves me any less for it.

You claim it goes against nature. At what point did you decide you were straight? Oh, you didn't just wake up and decide that you like boobies? Funny, I didn't either. It's just something I knew...just like every homosexual will tell you, they just "knew".

So that gets back to my original point. We all know that the overwhelming majority of our founding fathers were Christians. Duh. This should be common knowledge. However, God also gave them the foresight to understand that God and government should never intermingle, as fallible men run our government. That's why we have those first ten words of our First Amendment, which state very clearly, "Congress shall make no law respecting the establishment of religion".

This state, as sad as it may be, is run by a bunch of uber-zealot hypocrites that love to have their dirty little noses in the business of everyone. We already have so many criminal statutes persecuting people for victimless crimes that it's not even funny. Before a couple of homos had to take their sodomy arrest to the supreme court (they were arrested after a drug raid found nothing but a couple of homos getting jiggy on the couch), it was ILLEGAL IN THE STATE OF TEXAS to get a blowjob. Yes, even if you were getting said blowjob from a FEMALE. If there were any such thing as "victimless crime", I think getting a hummer from your girlfriend would fit the bill...but sadly, this state keeps criminalizing acts that have no victim. They all seem to have one of two things in common...either it's "going against God", or it's "a detriment to public safety".

For instance, let's take a good look at one of our newest "public safety" regulations. If a particular jurisdiction erects the proper signage, it becomes a CRIMINAL OFFENSE to speak on a cell phone while driving through a school zone. Why would we have a law like this? Because it's "for the safety of the children"!

Unfortunately, this is nothing more than a selectively-enforced revenue generator that does ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to protect the welfare of our children. Do you honestly think that someone with so little concern for the safety of others that they'd worry about a legal restriction? Furthermore, when are we going to ban the application of makeup behind the wheel? Turning around to scream at your kids? Changing the radio station?

Our nanny state is the product of a bunch of pandering politicians who have sold (read: WHORED) themselves out to the highest bidder, and they like to keep coming up with random new shit to keep you a slave to the system. How do they get into such positions of power?

Sadly, IT'S BECAUSE WE KEEP LETTING THEM. You want to live free? Then you'd better start getting off your dead ass and doing something about it. What's sad is the fact that most of these dirtbags aren't even breaking the law when they come up with this trite crap. They're doing what their constituents have elected them to do.

Lest we forget, democracy is nothing but tyranny of the majority. If the MAJORITY of people say it's okay to kill and eat people if they have red hair, does that make it okay? On the same note, if the MAJORITY of the people say it's okay to deny a person the right to enter into a legally-binding contract that centers mostly around property rights, with another consenting adult, does that make it okay?

Remember the words of my nigga Ben Franklin...
"Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for dinner. Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote."

My biggest fear regarding secession is that our essential freedoms will be lost, merely because they aren't to be found in our state constitution. Many of our most basic freedoms have already been cast by the wayside in this state, and I fear that far too many more of them will disappear if this nation secedes from the Union...

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

A good day to be alive (sorry, no politics tonight!)

So my friend K decided to post some pictures of her young'un, as he was sporting his first 'hawk. I don't know what it is about seeing my friends' kids, but it makes this bitter cynic's heart just melt. This past Saturday afternoon, I was at a gathering in honor of my friend C and his wife J, to celebrate C's graduation from college and give them a send-off as they moved out of town so he could start his new job. While there, I realized that as we started to slowly drift away from each other, we've also missed out on seeing each other's kids grow up.

As recent as five years ago, we were still the tight-knit crew that considered each other "family". We still had time to answer each others' phone calls. If we knew it was going to be "one of those nights", someone would find you a place to crash on the floor.

Now, as was the case with C's youngest, we've drifted so far apart that sometimes we don't even know they've had another kid until a year or so after the fact.

It's really sad to think that I've lost touch with my friends in such a manner, I think it's just beautiful that we as a generation are making positive contributions to society by providing this world with wonderful children...especially when we, as a generation (at least in my crew), have learned from the mistakes of their parents and attempt to right those wrongs.

But enough of that sappy shit. I saw that photo of little Brody this evening, sporting his 'hawk, and I just got a hard-on for life. It's been far too long since I've been this happy. I can already see that look in his eye. He's gonna be a complete handful for his parents, his teachers, and anyone else that thinks they can keep control!

For that reason, I hope his mother introduces him to some good quality punk rock music at an early age, so he doesn't have to find its' glory fifteen years down the road. It's just awesome, and should be available to everyone, as there's always something to fit every mood and emotion. Happiness, confusion, anger, heartache, the loss of a loved one, apathy, and a general desire to set shit on fire.

Here's some stuff that compliments a good mood...

Here's some stuff for when you're feeling a bit confused...

And now, here's the soundtrack to a pissed-off mood...

Here's a tune for your broken heart...

And when you lose someone close to you (helped me a bit, screaming along to this at the top of my lungs in my garage, when I lost my brother)...

For when you're feeling a bit apathetic, there's always this...

And when it gets too much to handle, and you just gotta burn that mother to the ground...

And there you have it, son. Set the world on fire in your own little way. Hopefully, when you're old enough to understand all of this, we'll both still be around to sit down and discuss it over a cold beer or seven...

And for K(B)C...when he starts lashing out, and recognizing who he is, at least attempt to understand the nature of the beast. Do that one little favor for Uncle Barry, m'kay?