Friday, December 23, 2011
Apparently, demanding that people show a photo ID is supposed to reduce voter fraud. Well, sorry, but it just ain't so. Why? Because this "voter fraud" you keep hearing about simply does not exist. It's not that ineligible voters aren't voting, but rather, that people simply aren't casting ballots for people who don't exist.
I'm not sure how it's done in other states (or even in other districts here in Texas)...but every election I've ever voted in, which has been quite a few since I became eligible over a decade ago, has had election officials sitting at a table with big print-outs in front of them. In order to vote, one must have possessed either a voter registration card or a photo identification card.
In order to vote in any of these elections, a person must accomplish the following:
1) Be a registered voter.
2) Have a registered address of residence within the specific precinct.
3) Possess either a state-issued photo identification card, OR a valid voter registration card.
When you walk to the table, you must show one of the cards aforementioned, so your name may be checked against the rolls of registered voters.
In order to vote "multiple times" in such a situation not requiring a photo ID, a person must do the following:
1) Obtain a voter registration card in the name of someone else.
2) Ensure that such a person is a registered voter in the precinct.
3) Ensure that such a person has not already voted.
So yeah, that's pretty much it. In order to commit voter fraud in the manner this law is supposed to protect us from, you'd have to jump through a shitload of hoops. You'd have to collect a bunch of voter registration cards, travel to each precinct, hope the person is still on the voter rolls, and hope you don't get recognized.
The first part is the real kicker, seeing as how voter registration cards get sent to the voter's physical address of record. You'd have to be robbing a lot of mail boxes.
Now let's see who this disenfranchises...
1) The elderly.
2) Those with no other need for a photo ID.
3) Those whose photo ID cards have been confiscated by the state.
Let's say I'm 80 years old. I'm disabled and cannot drive. I get SSI direct-deposited to my bank account. My kids handle all my shit. No need to pay for an ID card...unless, of course, I want to vote. Too old to matter? Well, that's only five years older than the front-runner for the GOP election!
Let's say I'm a day laborer and have been for the past five years because the job market sucks donkey balls, and I live in an area that negates the need for an automobile. I have no need to pay for an ID card...unless, of course, I want to vote.
Let's say I've been pulled over by state troopers looking to increase the state's revenue, and I refuse to waive my 4th Amendment rights. My driver's license that I've paid for has been confiscated and replaced with "yellow papers" for the next month, and a court-ordered provisional driver's license for the remainder of the arbitrary suspension of my normal driver's license, regardless of whether I'm ever even prosecuted for the alleged offense. If I want to vote, I'm required to pay for an ID card...even though I've already done so.
Do most people have a valid and current state-issued ID? Absolutely yes, for reasons not related to voting. Does every legal voter possess a state-issued photo ID? No. Is voter fraud running rough-shod over this nation, as a result of not having a law requiring a photo ID? Absolutely not, and insinuating that it is, is simply retarded.
Now, the most important question to ask...DOES THE POSSESSION OF A STATE-ISSUED PHOTOGRAPHIC IDENTIFICATION CARD COST MONEY? Of course, it does. If one is required to expend money for the purposes of voting, that constitutes a "poll tax" and is quite simply illegal. There is no ifs, ands, or buts about it. It's unconstitutional to require a poll tax in order to vote.
Thursday, December 15, 2011
People claim that it only applies to Al Qaeda sympathizers, but I call bullshit on this claim. The language is overly broad, and allows for just about anything to be construed as a "belligerent act".
Thanks to the horrific legal precedents set forth by the Bush and Obama administrations, the qualifications for being labeled a "terrorist" pretty much consists of anyone voicing an opinion going against the grain of our government's standard propaganda.
Bush and Obama have both acted in a manner that provided legal precedent excusing the violation of constitutional rights for American citizens abroad, imprisoning and/or killing these American citizens (including children), because they were captured or killed "on the battlefield" in the "Global War on Terror".
Well, the latest NDAA (btw, congress & president pass and sign one every year and have done so for decades) allows for the inclusion of the United States of America to be considered part of the "battlefield" in our "war on terror". That's right, even your own personal bathroom is considered part of the "War on Terror".
Remember how you jokingly made remarks about "screw that terrorist", when we killed Awlaki and his kid via drone strikes, when all he did was make DVDs expressing opinions? Remember how you made jokes about the Obama family Christmas tree ornaments, so you could "hang one from a tree in the privacy of your own living room"? Remember how you said "FUCK THE POLICE" after that ticket you got for not wearing your seatbelt? Remember that Gadsen Flag sticker on the back of your truck? Remember that time you bought that AR15, and mentioned something about how the 2nd Amendment wasn't about duck hunting?
Do you remember the MIAC report? Howsabout the multiple official state government memos and brochures saying that potential domestic terrorists may be identified because they oppose abortion, support the constitution, own "large caches of firearms and/or ammunition", or even merely wear Levi's 501 button-fly jeans?
Well, folks, let me give you a hint. Those in power don't give a flying rat's ass about your petitions. They don't care about who you vote for, because they know they are the majority. Did I mention that more than 90% of our senate voted in favor of this bill, as did the majority of the house? Writing my congressman ain't gonna change it. My congressman voted against this bill already. What good would writing someone else's congressman do? It's not like he can count on our votes!
No, let's look at things realistically. 70 years ago, the Nazi government took power and started enforcing a police state. If you spoke out against the government, you were brutalized, both on the streets and in the courts. They made it a point to demonize certain segments of society...and then they passed laws stripping the rights of these certain segments, claiming they were "enemies of the state".
These segments included gypsies, homosexuals, Jews, political dissidents, and the handicapped.
They were rounded up on trucks at gunpoint, loaded into cattle-cars, and shipped to extermination camps. Sadly, EVERYTHING they did was "legal" according to the sovereign laws of the nation. While the Nazis were tried, sentenced, and hanged according to the London Charter of 1945, their actions were perfectly legal according to the laws of Germany.
That's something to think about...
Thankfully, this nation has prolific users of the interwebz. We have knowledge available to us that was unheard of 70 years ago. On this year's "Black Friday" (the shopping day after Thanksgiving), BATFE/FBI background checks for purchases of new firearms by private individuals spiked to an all-time high...in spite of the fact that private firearms sales have been rising steadily since Obama got the nomination.
The registered hunters of "fighting age" (18-38) in Wisconson, if organized, would comprise the world's largest light infantry force...surpassing that of even the official US military. That, of course, is just one state. We haven't even started talking about Texas yet.
I've given up on fear, I'm just getting bored. The worst they can do is kill us, right?
Monday, November 28, 2011
Attention: DAVID ASHBURN, CHIEF OF POLICE, ANGLETON POLICE DEPARTMENT
This is a formal written request for copies of the following records, as they pertain to the DETAINMENT, ARREST, BOOKING, PROPERTY CONFISCATION, FINGERPRINTING, BOND HEARING, and RELEASE of BARRY HAYES ***** on NOVEMBER 22 of 2011, CASE #2011******, for the alleged offense of FAILURE TO IDENTIFY:
All audio and video recordings created by electronic equipment inside the patrol car of OFFICER JANA BLAHA.
All audio and video recordings created by electronic equipment inside the patrol vehicle of the PATROL SERGEANT ON THE SCENE OF THE ARREST.
All audio and video recordings created by electronic equipment inside the ANGLETON CITY JAIL BOOKING AREA.
All audio and video recordings created by electronic equipment inside the ANGLETON CITY JAIL FINGERPRINTING AREA.
All audio and video recordings created by electronic equipment inside the ANGLETON POLICE DEPARTMENT HALLWAYS AND LOBBY.
All audio recordings created by electronic equipment, of all RADIO TRANSMISSIONS from OFFICER JANA BLAHA, the PATROL SERGEANT ON THE SCENE OF THE ARREST, and the DISPATCHER OF THE ANGLETON POLICE DEPARTMENT.
The arrest report for CASE #2011******
In the interest of simplicity and cost savings, I would prefer digital copies of these records in a commonly-readable format. If digital copies in a commonly-readable format are not available, analog copies will suffice.
Upon receipt of this request, please acknowledge receipt and provide details as to when I may pick up these records, in writing, to either my email address at firstname.lastname@example.org, or via hand delivery to my physical home address of 10** N Ch******, Angleton TX 77515. Since I am expected (per your own instructions during our telephone conversation on 11/22/11) to provide this notice in writing and hand-deliver it to the police station before these records will be considered for release, I figure it is reasonable to expect the same from you, in the event that you are unable to provide acknowledgment and pickup details via your publicly-funded email account.
Tuesday, November 22, 2011
In the wee hours of the morning, I'm getting up hours earlier than I need to...so I can deal with a four month old puppy, a 92 year old grandmother, and a girlfriend trying to get to school an hour away.
I had to run out to my Jeep for something (I honestly can't even remember what it was, now)...but I inadvertently locked my keys in the vehicle. About the time I realized this, it had begun to pour down raining. It was also right about this time that I realized I had left my jacket in the passenger seat the day before. So there I am, with a window cracked open 2”, trying to manipulate a bent coat hanger between the window and my Vent Visor...without having to rip the Vent Visor off the side of the Jeep.
Wasn't happening. I ran back inside, grabbed something a bit more rigid (this time, a wooden yardstick), and also ripped a “head hole” and a pair of “arm holes” out of a large trash bag. So I run back outside, wearing a black trash bag (and a ball cap, because the rain keeps getting on my glasses), and try to use the yardstick. No avail, it's flexing too much and it's too long.
So I go for round three. I'm out there with the fireplace poker. Yes, I've literally wedged a fireplace poker between my window and my plastic Vent Visor. Right about this time, “Angleton's Finest” decides to show up. “Hey, you got a slim jim?”, I ask. “No. Can I see your driver's license?”, she replies.
Anyone who knows me knows that I'm in no mood to deal with the police, EVER. Reason being? Personal experience shows that, at best, they're useless. Most likely, they're there to cause problems.
So, naturally, I said “No.” Not forcefully, not in an impolite tone of voice, just an assertive “No.” I waved her on, because I had popped the door lock switch open, and had gone inside to discard the fireplace poker and trash bag.
She again asked for my identification. “My name is Barry Hayes Rhodes. That's my Jeep. You're in my front yard.”.
We go back and forth. She informs me that she needs to be absolutely positive that I am who I say I am, and she has the authority to do so because she has witnessed me “with my hand in the window” of my own vehicle.
She tells me that she's going to take me to jail, if I don't produce a state-issued piece of plastic...because, apparently, the reality of the situation isn't quite good enough for her. Nevermind, of course, that she has no legal recourse to take me to jail, and doing so would be a violation of both state law AND my civil liberties. She goes on to threaten my own grandmother, who is now standing in the doorway, with jail for “interfering with an investigation”...which also would have been against the law, because my grandmother did nothing but assert facts (facts that did, in fact, point out the obvious...the officer was trespassing on private property, I did own the vehicle, and I did in fact live at the house).
She kept it up. “Show me your ID, or you're under arrest for Failure to Identify!” Well, having known the law for quite some time, I informed her that she was not in compliance with the law...but, fuck it, LET'S RIDE!
So I get cuffed and stuffed, and she's still trying to act like a hard-ass in the car. I informed her that I'm not going to hold court in the back seat of some half-ass wanna-be cop car...and if we're going to jail, we should be on our way. “This is MY arrest! You don't get to tell me what to do!”
Oh, wow, where have I heard that one before? Oh yeah. It's that last state trooper that arrested me (charges dropped!). At least this dizzy bitch had the nerve to at least arrest me before saying it, but I digress.
So we get to the jail. Cops are crowding around. I finally get out of that pansy-ass halfway cop car they've got me shoved into, and I ask her. “Can you get these handcuffs off of me now?”
Once again, forever being Betty Jane Badass, she replies “Not while we're in the sallyport!” All the while, I'm just thinking...WTF are we waiting for? We finally get inside the city jail, and some guy who insists on perpetuating the stereotype of “overweight and overpaid city cop” starts booking me in.
He sees my name, and asks me if I'm related to a man commonly known as my father. “You're goddamned right, he's my father. Does he know you?” Said man goes on to ask me various questions, and gets to the part where he asks me where I work. “That's not important”, I reply.
At this point, he asks me something along the lines of “What, are you one of those 'Republic of Texas' guys?” “Come again?”, I ask, not sure where he's going with that line of questioning. “Those guys hate everything about me.”
I inform said cop that I don't hate him, I just don't quite understand his motivations. He asks me why I do what I do for a living. I tell him that I'm good at what I do, and I enjoy helping people. Tells me that's why he became a cop, because he likes to help people. I look down at the very prominent red ring on my wrist, left behind by the handcuffs, and set my gaze there for a few moments...long enough so he has to look at it, too. I ask him, “You're helping me?”
“Well, when I have a murderer, I don't help him.”
That lasts for a few questions, and then he turns it over to the woman who arrested me in my own front yard. She gets to the property confiscation section of booking, and brings up the issue of jewelry. “I know you've got a chain around your neck, I'm gonna need that.”
I'd give my third nut to be able to capture the look on her face, when I took it off and handed her my handcuff key that was dangling from that chain. Then came the part where I was supposed to sign for the property they received. She handed me a digital keypad (screen was broken all to hell, I might add), and said “Sign this”. I informed her that I would need to see what I was signing for. She pointed at my belongings, and said “You're signing for all of that.”. I told her that I would need a list of all of the belongings that were being logged in, prior to signing anything. She tells me she can't give me a list, it's on the computer. I point to the printer to her right (my left), and inform her that I can't see the screen she's looking at. She takes the touchscreen away and signs (unlawfully, of course), “REFUSED”.
Then we did mug shots, and she got to the tattoos section. She asked where they were, what they were, etc. Then it was to the cell. Then out of the cell, after hearing my name called. And being told to step back. And then to step back further. Wow, control issues much?
Then it was to the fingerprint machine. We apparently didn't do this earlier, because she couldn't figure out how to work it. That kinda made me laugh. This broad arrested me for a crime she thought I might have committed, and then couldn't figure out what to do after she arrested me.
Six hours later, I finally get released after having my father come up and piss away a day's wages on a cash bond. This is, of course, after I've already burned a day of vacation on JAIL TIME for a crime that I've neither committed or been convicted of.
After receiving my property (and yes, I made it a point to prominently display the handcuff key that I'd EARNED on my previous experiences with unlawful arrest), I asked her to tell me specifically which particular section of the state penal code I was violating.
“Well, it's on your citation”. No, actually, it's not. It's the local PD's code. I want the specific state law you kidnapped me at gunpoint over.
She didn't know it. She had me locked in a cage for SIX GODDAMNED HOURS, and threatened to arrest my grandmother for “interfering with her investigation” of it, but didn't know it. She told me to take a hard left and walk through that door....and she'd go look it up, and provide me with it.
Eventually, a city clerk provided me with a Post-it Note that had the particular penal code statute number on it. Big surprise, nothing in this morning's actions ever came close to violating that statute.
This is what I'm paying you for, OFFICER JANA BLAHA? This is what my family is paying you for? For you to act like a bully? For you to threaten a 92 year old woman with arrest, because she points out your failures? I'll see you in court, dear. Toodles...
Saturday, November 19, 2011
Fuck my life.
Thursday, November 10, 2011
Honestly, I don't see a problem with it. I think it's not only in line with the teachings of Christ, it's also in line with the beliefs of our founders. That said, let's go over a few points...
Okay, before anyone goes and calls me an anti-Semite, let's clear something up. I don't hate Jewish people any more than I hate anyone else. I don't hate people based upon their religion, skin tone, national origin, etc. I strongly dislike people who are assholes. In my lifetime, I've met maybe half a dozen “openly” Jewish people. I use the term “openly”, because I'm quite certain I've met more than six Jewish people in my life...but, much like people of other religions, they don't always feel the need to shove their beliefs down your throat. That said, I did grow up in a predominantly Southern Baptist suburb on the Texas gulf coast, so there just ain't that many of them around here. The two Jewish kids I went to school with were cool as hell, and made for great drinking partners when we got older. The guy who went off on the LaRouchePAC reps at school was kinda an asshole. The Jewish chicks in my Mathematical Reasoning class were nice, but they were dumb as a brick like the rest of the sorority sluts in that class. So pay attention. I don't hate “Jewish people”, I just can't stand assholes.
Moving right along. Israel is, by far, our largest foreign policy issue. We give more money to Israel than any other nation on earth, even though its' population is roughly twice the size of Houston, TX. Because of their long-standing feud with the Palestinian Arabs since the UN Partition Plan of 1947, the rest of the Arab world has held animosity toward us. Anyone with an objective view can see that the Arabs in that situation got royally screwed, and as a result, the Arabs got pissed and started a war. It hasn't stopped. Israel came out on top, because we keep giving them so much money and so many guns. The fact that Israel's air force consists of modern fighter jets, instead of a few guys with shotguns in a hot air balloon, speaks volumes about the amount of money and guns we give them...especially when one considers their extremely small population.
This foreign aid to Israel is the main reason the Muslim population has their “death to America” parades. Why continue it?
THE THREAT OF ISLAM
Or, I suppose, maybe we should call it “the lack thereof”. It's impossible to start a rational discussion about the subject of Islam, without someone quoting something to do with “Sharia Law”, “Militant Islam”, or this crazy notion that all terrorists are Muslims.
First, imposing “Sharia Law” is illegal in this nation, for the same reason that imposing any other law based upon religion is illegal. We have this thing called the First Amendment. Many like to quote a New Jersey case, in which a protective order was not granted based upon a couples' culture, which was quickly shot down in appeals for this very reason. Sharia law DOES make itself present often in civil disputes, in which 3rd Party arbitrators are used...but it is CONSENSUAL AMONGST BOTH THE PLAINTIFF AND THE DEFENDANT, just as any other 3rd Party arbitrator would be. A judge must approve the judgment. It doesn't matter if they are Muslims wanting to use Sharia, professional baseball players and owners wanting to use accountants, or two hillbilly meth heads wanting to use a Magic 8 Ball. If both parties agree, they have a right to settle their differences how they see fit. Get over it, you aren't involved and you aren't bound by it.
Now, let's look at “militant Islam”. It's no different than any other hard-line religious order. It's usually based upon a warped interpretation of a religious text, amongst people of low IQ and less education. That said, “militant Islam” wasn't responsible for 9/11. Total failure of those we are forced to depend upon to protect us, because .gov refuses to allow us to protect ourselves, is solely to blame. Let us not forget, the official government story of 9/11 says it was perpetrated by 19 men who were armed with $2 box cutters available at any Dollar General. Even before 9/11, you'd catch a ration of shit if you tried to board a plane with a Buck knife in your pocket. Motive wasn't responsible for 9/11, total government failure was. If a person can hijack an airplane with a box cutter, he can hijack a plane without one.
Moving right along, the claim that “all terrorists are Muslim” isn't true. It isn't even remotely close. The tactic of suicide bombing was made famous by atheist communists known as the Tamil Tigers. Car bombings have been around almost as long as cars themselves, and were made famous by Catholic Irishmen...made so famous, in fact, that there's even a drink named after it!
The fact of the matter is, most Islamic people in the world are of North African, Western Asian, or Middle Eastern descent...and these people really hate America, because America has been meddling in their business since the dawn of the 20th century. That's one hundred years of discontent. We have imposed sanctions upon their governments resulting in starvation and bombings, we have funded oppressive monarchs, we have removed democratically-elected leaders and replaced them with oppressive dictators, and we have done it chiefly in the name of protecting the business interests of large American corporations.
Is it so wrong to see this as the problem, as opposed to blaming it on the popular religious belief in the area?
The United States is trillions of dollars in debt. That's TRILLIONS of dollars, with a “T”. I don't think it's wrong to suggest that we stop giving foreign aid to EVERYONE (yes, even Israel, our biggest welfare queen). It is not only bankrupting us, but our foreign aid always comes with strings attached. Many times, these “strings” do not benefit the common man in the nations we provide this “aid” to. Often, it enriches corrupt governments and the US corporations which benefit from it.
What good is so great that it requires cooperation with corrupt and oppressive governments?
It is, by any reasonable logic, completely wrong to say it is “isolationist” to deny monetary and military aid to another nation. In fact, our founders felt the same way.
To use a localized example, imagine your neighbors are having a very loud domestic dispute. She got caught using the joint checking account to pay her “on the side” man's car note. The dispute has now gone into the front yard, where the entire neighborhood can hear and see it.
“Isolationism” is the idea that she cannot seek refuge at your house, use the telephone to call her boyfriend-on-the-side, cannot ask you for a band-aid because he slapped the shit out of her, cannot ask you to watch the kids, etc.
“Non-interventionism” means you don't go over there with your snubbie .38 and bust a cap in his ass, because he got upset about his paycheck being spent on the guy that's boning his wife...but if you feel the need to put her kids in a safe place, give her a band-aid, let her use the phone, etc, that's cool.
Is it really wrong to suggest that we aren't the world's policeman?
Like it or not, there is no “national defense” motive to killing American citizens without trial. There is no “national defense” motive to invade another sovereign nation...regardless of whether the non-state party who attacked us may or may not have originated from that nation. The American people have yet to be provided with proof that the Afghani government sponsored the attacks of 9/11, or even knowlingly provided safe harbor for those who would. We have yet to be shown proof that Iraq was ever even remotely connected to 9/11, had ever attacked us, or even remotely posed any threat to our national security.
In the meantime, the past decade has seen the largest influx of illegal immigration on record. We now have “border patrol checkpoints” 250mi inland, supposedly to combat the problem. Our current president does not give a damn about the issue. Our past president wanted “guest workers”, and decided to enrich his friends with a “virtual fence” consisting of a bunch of high-tech motion sensors and cameras...instead of an actual fence.
Meanwhile, this nation's borders are as porous as a bathtub made of chicken wire. The “invasion” occurs as I type this, and our National Guard is powerless to stop it...because, when they're given orders to gear up, they're being sent to the Middle East.
Why, instead of defending America, would you insist on spreading our military so thin that it becomes as useless as the Roman army during the days of Nero?
Thursday, October 27, 2011
That said, let's go over a few facts here.
A) The Holocaust was bad. No denying that here. It was some pretty twisted shit, people being slaughtered in the name of religion. That's why I think it was some pretty twisted shit. People were being slaughtered for their beliefs, not because people were being slaughtered for being Jewish.
B) The Holocaust is NOT what brought about the modern-day nation of Israel. The "zionist" movement began in the century preceding Hitler's rise to power. It wasn't some new idea that the UN just decided to think up one day, it was started back in 1870 when Hovevie Zion started the first of 20 new Jewish settlements in Palestine (yes, that's what it was called when Britain ran the place). The "zionist" movement was, ironically, initially supported by wealthy Europeans with anti-semitic views who wanted to see Jewish people leave these European nations.
C) Israel's government is NOT a theocracy, it is a secular government whose citizenship happens to be largely dependent upon ones' affirmation of religious belief. Ironically, it's affirmation of the very same religious belief that led so many Jews to the gas chamber. Seems to me like it's something they'd want to shy away from? Laws regarding religion, I mean...not one's faith.
D) Prior to the UN Partition Plan of 1947, the population of what is now the modern-day state of Israel consisted roughly of 66% native Arab, 11% native Jew, 22% immigrant or first-generation Jew, and about 1% "other". The land was divided in half, with 2/3 of the population getting shafted in favor of 1/3 of the population...most of whom were foreigners. Could you imagine if the UN decided to give half of the US back to Mexico, because they needed a "homeland"? I'd be shooting, too! Now, imagine that the Chinese were supplying warplanes and tanks to the Mexicans, so they could occupy even more!
E) The majority of Jewish people do not live in Israel. Sixty percent of them, in fact, live elsewhere (mainly in the United States, whose Jewish population is roughly equivalent to that of Israel, hovering around 39% in America compared to 42% in Israel).
F) Israel receives more foreign aid from the US, than any other nation on earth...even though it is roughly only seven times the size of Rhode Island, a state which happens to be smaller than the county I live in. The vast majority of Israeli men below the age of 26 are either in the Israeli Defense Forces (military), or are paid welfare to study the Torah. Those in the productive sector of their society are forced to pay income and other taxes, to the tune of over 43%, so the Israeli government can cover what our massive amounts of foreign aid won't cover.
G) To date, the nation of Israel has the infamous dishonor of being the leader of the UN's list of Human Rights Council resolutions for their repeated abuses of basic human rights...and they often commit these human rights abuses with weapons, tanks, and bulldozers which are both made in and funded by the United States of America. In addition to "foreign aid" in the form of cash, Obama has requested military aid to Israel totalling over EIGHT MILLION DOLLARS PER DAY, FOR THE FISCAL YEAR OF 2011.
H) While exact figures are not known, Israel's nuclear weapons stockpile is estimated to be smaller than only the US, China, UK, and Russia. It is, to date, the ONLY nation in the Middle East region to possess nuclear weapons...and they, like the M16 rifles carried by the IDF infantryman, were bought and paid for with money borrowed by the US taxpayer.
I) During the ongoing Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the overwhelming majority of Palestinian casualties have been children under the age of 14. While it has been said that this occurs because Palestinian fighters (I refuse to use the term "terrorist", because the only difference in the warring parties appears to be religious affiliation and funding) commit acts of war in civilian populations. Well, yes, there is truth to that statement. However, it is also true that Israel is a fairly small nation, and cities are where the "strategic" targets of both sides happen to be. Unlike the forests and battlefields of WWII, tanks roll through the streets. Why? Because both parties are fighting for control of the cities in question. Both sides are attacking civilian populations, because both militaries are interspersed within civilian populations. It's common sense.
J) Israel has kept aid flotillas from reaching Palestine, using their naval and air forces, for the purposes of denying Palestine basic necessities that cannot be manufactured at home or imported due to military-enforced embargoes and otherwise must be smuggled into the Palestinian-occupied lands.
K) Israel has destroyed more than TWENTY FOUR THOUSAND Palestinian homes. Most are destroyed due to "military needs of the IDF". Some are destroyed because they were built without a "permit" from the Israeli government, on Palestinian land. Some are destroyed because someone merely suspected of "terrorism" may have lived in or known someone who lived in, or been related to someone who lived in, the home. To date, the Palestinians have never destroyed an Israeli home as a matter of punitive action.
L) Israel has built over 200 "settlements" on lands taken from the Palestinians since the 1947 Partition Plan.
M) Israel currently holds more than 220 political prisoners, and refers to them as "administrative detainees".
N) Israel has erected steel fences and other barricades around Palestinian-occupied lands, and restricts the movement of Palestinians at gunpoint in a manner similar to the Soviet Union's occupation of East Berlin.
So, there you have it. This is why I say "I do not support giving guns and money to Israel." It's not because I'm some evil Jew-hater, or I "support terrorism". I think both sides should lay down their arms and "just give peace a chance". If they're unwilling to do that, I say let 'em fight it out...but without my money. Certain people may use the line "Blessed by those who bless Israel, and cursed by those who curse Israel", because it came straight from the bible.
I'm cool with that. Somehow, I just don't think nuclear weapons and welfare are a "blessing".
Saturday, October 15, 2011
1) A backpack. Preferably one with multiple pockets, which makes it easier to organize things. If you're able to get one with MOLLE webbing, all the better. If you're able to pick up a MOLLE vest and spring for multiple pouches, even better!
2) Water. You need capacity for AT LEAST two liters of water, in two separate containers. I'll explain in a moment. Many modern backpacks have pockets for hydration bladders in the back that can be filled up and mounted with a flexible drinking tube, these are a Godsend. They keep your water out of the way, yet right where you need it. If that's not available, I recommend a milsurp-style canteen with a pouch that can be mounted on your belt or MOLLE gear.
3) Maalox liquid antacid. This is for when cops decide to start pepper-spraying you because you've annoyed the people working at the Federal Reserve. You mix this in your OTHER 1-liter container of water at a 50/50 ratio. OC pepper spray is an acid. That chemical burn sensation is exactly that...it's a chemical burn. Remove your contaminated clothing asap, and douse the affected area with your Maalox solution until you can get to a steady supply of streaming water to rinse it off for 20 minutes. You remember Uncle Elroy from Next Friday, right? It takes 20 minutes to rinse off the pepper spray. Maalox will help neutralize it until you can get it rinsed off.
4) A gas mask. Duh. What's the most effective crowd control device you can use, short of a belt-fed weapon? Why, it's tear gas! It doesn't necessarily "hurt" like OC, but CS gas does irritate to the point of making you wish you weren't there. It does provide an irritating sensation to the eyes, nose, mouth, and throat. If you wish to keep in the game, you have to protect your eyes, nose, mouth, and throat. You can purchase high-quality milsurp gas masks via mail order, with brand-new in-the-wrapper filters, for under $20USD via the interwebs. Israeli and European masks are most common. Get one that uses NATO-style filters, they're the cheapest to replace.
5) A helmet. But no, seriously. When the shit cracks off, you stand a very serious risk of getting smacked upside the head by Officer Friendly's billyclub. Or you might get hit in the head with some guy's bottle, because he can't throw it quite as far as he thought he could. Or you might get knocked down by a stampede of your fellow protesters when the cops roll through on horseback or mopeds. Regardless, if you take a hard enough thumping to the head, you'll wake up and realize you can't do math any more. Protect your grape, bro. While motorcycle helmets and hard-hats do provide protection, they also have their drawbacks. Motorcycle helmets are heavy as shit, and hard-hats fall off very easily. Your best bet is to pick up a bicycle helmet or a milsurp infantry pot. You can store it in your backpack so you don't stand out as "that guy" while people are simply marching and holding signs. Tuck your gas mask inside it when stored, so it doesn't take up much space.
5) A first aid kit. This should be common sense. You shouldn't go ANYWHERE without one of these, at least kept in your vehicle. Many newer cars even have designated storage spaces for them. If you know you're going to be in a large group of people with highly-charged emotions (like, for instance, a PROTEST RALLY), you should keep a first aid kit on your person. The potential for a person actually needing a first aid kit expands in relation to the size of the group. You need the essentials. Alcohol swabs, antibiotic ointment, gauze, ace wraps, first aid tape, insta-cold packs, etc. Also, stuff for minor injuries are good to have. Keep a healthy supply of bandaids in multiple sizes. Keep the "travel-size" bottles of Advil, Tylenol, and aspirin (keep all three, because people want/need pain relief when injured, and some people have allergies). You can have all of this packed into a space smaller than that of the average child's lunchbox.
6) A GMRS/FMS radio. If you're in a crowd of 100 people or more, it's nice to stay connected to your friends. Remember, cellular service can be shut down easily, and they've done it before at events like the BART station protest. In addition, a specific frequency can be pre-decided by protest organizers so attendees can be given informational updates about injuries, police presence, etc.
7) Earplugs. The G20 meeting in Pittsburg showed the world what the "LRAD" noise cannon can do. But it's easily defeated with an 85 cent pair of foam earplugs, unless you're right in front of it.
8) Food. If you're gonna be there all day, bring something to munch on. Keep it compact enough to comfortably carry with you. Energy bars, a banana, an MRE, whatever. Just don't get stuck in a park with hundreds of people, all day long, being hungry. And remember, foods made of sugar like candy bars and whatnot ain't gonna do it for you. Eat something that's going to give you something besides empty calories.
9) A camera. ALWAYS BE RECORDING if there's any encounter with the police whatsoever. Policemen are like all other tax-feeders. Some are great people, a great many are assholes...but at the end of day, none of them like to be exposed acting like assholes toward the public. Let us not forget, Anthony Bologna pepper-sprayed innocent women in the face on the sidewalk of NYC. Because so many cameras were present, he was identified in less than a day...and soon after, the entire internets knew where even his own mother slept at night. Cameras are your friend, unless you're a criminal.
10) A friend. It's always good to have someone with you to watch your back. It's better if that person is someone you know and trust. Strangers have a tendency to forget about you if shit turns bad. If no one at the event knows you, it's unlikely anyone will be working on bail for you until you're able to get to a phone in the event you're arrested. Keep that in mind...
Thursday, October 6, 2011
1) YOU DO NOT HAVE A RIGHT TO A FREE EDUCATION.
You don't even have the right to an education at some arbitrarily-decided upon "reasonable expense". Educators cost money. Facilities cost money. Would you work for nothing? Why would you expect an educator to work for nothing? Is someone supposed to just GIVE you your textbooks? Do they appear out of thin air, or did some guy like me have to put forth his labor in order to make those textbooks?
You have two choices here. You can A) spend your time at a community college for as long as you're able in order to keep costs down, and then take out student loans in order to cover the cost of your university degree. Or you can B) bust your ass, live on Ramen noodles and imitation Dr Pepper while sleeping on someone's couch, and barely survive through college. How important is that degree to you? Are you willing to sacrifice for it?
Or, you could C) do like I did. Learn on your free time. There isn't anything a university can teach you, from a "book-learning" standpoint, that your own personal studying can't teach you. I am a college drop-out. Most of the things I learned in college, knowledge-wise, could have been learned at my local library.
You do not have the right to suggest that someone else must provide you with an education. You could be getting an education RIGHT NOW. Yes, you might have to work at it. Yes, you might go hungry occasionally. Yes, you might have to work humiliating jobs that you hate. How much is it worth to you? You don't have the right to say that men with guns have the authority to take from others, so that you may have the ability go to school on their dime.
2) YOU DO NOT HAVE A RIGHT TO FREE HEALTH CARE.
Doctors cost money. Hospitals have a metric shitload of overhead. The cost of keeping things sterile, alone, is retard expensive. Is it right to charge $8 for an Aspirin? I don't think so...but it's not my Aspirin. It's not YOUR Aspirin, either. Did you go to medical school? Did you run 24hr shifts during an internship? No, you did not. These doctors did. The people who built these hospitals weren't GIVEN the property, they had to purchase it. The nurses had to work their asses off for their certifications. You have no right to take what they built.
If you have a bitch, take it up with state regulatory agencies that prevent competition in the health care field.
3) YOU DO NOT HAVE THE RIGHT TO A "LIVING WAGE".
You have the right to get off your ass and get a job. You have the right to take any job you wish to have...provided there is an employer that will hire you. If you have no job skills, if you have tattoos on your hands and neck, and you have a felony rap sheet, don't expect a six-figure salary unless you've been heavy in the rap game for a decade or more. You haven't earned it. You've fucked off your life. You've made piss-poor choices for yourself. Got a GED, neck tattoos, and an arrest record, and STILL want to make six figures a year without being able to bust a few lines? Get someone to teach you how to weld. You can work 7/12 on a pipeline, one job after another, and do it. But don't even bother if you can't weld, can't pass a piss test, or can't show up to work and put in twice the hours a typical working man puts in. Yes, you're gonna have to work at it.
4) NO ONE GIVES A RAT'S ASS ABOUT DEFORESTATION IN BRAZIL, THE LOSS OF WHALES OFF THE COAST OF JAPAN, OR THAT "GLOBAL WARMING" BS.
Worry about the immediate problems you face. Your water is being poisoned with flouride, your bank is giving you .5% interest on your savings and charging you 15% on a car loan, your government is borrowing money like a crackhead at a convent, and you're on the hook for the interest being paid to the Federal Reserve.
How the flying fuck does whaling, fur coats, the rain forests, bacon cheeseburgers, or hair spray testing play into any of this? What, are you that stupid? You're gonna need those leather boots, kiddo. They're far less likely to blow out on you than those trendy "green" sneakers you're wearing.
5) YOU DO NOT HAVE THE RIGHT TO LIVE IN A HOME THAT YOU HAVE NOT PAID FOR.
If you're protesting the illegal foreclosure practices of Bank of America et al, more power to you. If you bought a home and are pissed off because you tried to by a McMansion in the 'burbs and couldn't pay for it because you got laid off, tough shit. It wasn't your home, until you finished paying for it. Until then, it belonged to the bank, because the contract YOU signed said so. Don't like it? Buy a run-down ratshack in the hood, afford the payments, and dream of something better. Fix it up, get more than you paid for it, and call it a day. Otherwise, STFU. And yes, as I type this, I'm sitting in a wood-frame house that my family has owned for half a century. It's a two-bedroom woodframe house that my WWII-vet grandpa purchased for my grandma. I could go broke trying to afford something "better", but do I really need it? Not really. Do you need something "better"? Not really. I see it much like I see people trying to justify purchasing a $15k used car, when a $2k car does the same thing. You're not buying value, you're buying chrome rims and leather seats. What is it that you really NEED?
My point here is, essentially, pretty damned simple. Figure out what you're protesting against. The biggest enemy you face is practically right in front of you. Your congressional representatives, of both parties, are wholly-owned subsidiaries of the special interests that have purchased them.
The Federal Reserve Bank network and the debt it creates, as well as those who profit from it directly, are your biggest problems. They are the ones starting the wars. They are the ones who created the "housing bubble". They are the ones who were "too big to fail", bilking $700+ billions of dollars out of the tax coffers.
But no, you bitch because someone isn't paying you $19/hour to stock the shelves of Kinko's when you've got tattoos on your face, you can't pass a piss test, you can barely spell your name correctly, and you don't know how to tie a half-windsor.
/B/ro, even your "nerdy" classmates who went to college, got engineering degrees, and are making a hundred grand a year are getting fucked right now. As a matter of fact, they're getting fucked harder than you are, because the powers that be are taxing the "slightly more wealthy" at a higher rate than they're taxing me...while the wealthiest 400 Americans pay a tax rate of 18%. You wanna fight? Bitch about the tax code. Bitch about corporate influence on our legislation. Bitch about wars being fought for fun and profit, while our nation's sons and daughters have to go and fight them. Put your might where it's right...
Friday, September 30, 2011
In the past week, I've seen a group of defenseless women get pepper-sprayed in the face for standing on a street corner for peacefully voicing a political opinion. That political statement was disapproval of the fact that the wealthiest 1% of this nation's citizens control the vast majority of its wealth, and do so in collusion with politicians who legalize the methods they use which allows the top 1% to pay a smaller percentage of their income in taxes than the rest of the 99%. All of this is happening, of course, right around the time the nation is protesting the state-sanctioned execution of Troy Davis...who, in all likelihood, was innocent of his crimes. Davis' last words were a request to his supporters that they continue the fight to clear his name. All but one of the eyewitnesses testifying against Davis later recanted their testimony, claiming they were coerced by the police to testify in such a manner, and then they fingered the one man who did not recant his testimony as the actual murderer.
Today, I read about how the president has executed an American citizen living in a foreign country, for alleged crimes. I say "alleged", because that is the official term of an unproven accusation against a defendant. The assassinated American should have been a "defendant". Instead, he's being hailed as a "victory against terrorism", in a nation who claims to support the rule of law. Accusations were made by government, not in a court of law under penalty of perjury, but at a press conference. They claim he is a "terrorist". The only "proof" offered of this fact are statements not understood by the majority of the nation, and translated by a known military ally of the US government.
These claims may very well be completely true. Then again, they may not be. That's the point. We, as the American public, have no way of knowing. And now, we never will, because the American government has killed the man. He has no way of ever putting up a defense in a fair and open public trial. He may have been killed merely because he was supporting an end to the Iraqi and Afghani occupations of our empire. Or he may have been killed because he was providing material support to people who are actively attempting to kill American citizens because we watch too much television.
The world will never know, because we killed him. And with it, we killed what was left of American exceptionalism. We were supposed to be better than that. We were supposed to be the place where everyone got a fair shake. We were supposed to be the place where you didn't get shot for saying "Hey, motherfucker! You're wrong for doing that shit!". We're the place that will hang you, if you do some foul shit...but only if we're able to prove it. We're the place that talks trash to countries who mow down their citizens, brutalize them in the streets, and torture them. We're the place that's supposed to stick up for those who can't stick up for themselves.
But this isn't America any more...
Tuesday, September 20, 2011
Sorry, but no. At best, there MIGHT have been three thousand people gathered at the height of this protest. More realistic estimates claim it was more between 1,000 to 1,200 people. Sadly, most of these people showed up thinking it was some kind of hippie "love-in". They played guitars, practiced their yoga, and drew pretty little pictures on the sidewalk with chalk.
Meanwhile, police barricaded the bull to prevent anyone from getting any good photo ops. They took photographs, they checked IDs, and they essentially acted like good little slaves for their masters. Meanwhile, as the "angry masses" that weren't quite angry and even slightly less massed where down on the street marching around with cardboard signs and singing Kum Ba Ya, there were lots of uber-wealthy types pointing, laughing, sipping Pinot Grigio, and taking snapshots from their balconies. It's quite obvious that no one gave a shit about it, other than as entertainment.
Then, I kept hearing about how everyone was so proud that they were being "non-violent". Well, there's a time and a place for that. It wasn't here. These "protesters" accomplished nothing, other than proving that they could get laughed at while a few of them got their heads smacked around by the NYPD.
Here's the deal, kiddos. There are more than 34,000 NYPD officers "active", with an additional 4,000 "auxiliary" officers. Let's say you split that in half, to make up for the aging and the administration. That's still more than 15,000 people with guns. You had, at your best moment, 1,500 hippies.
You're outnumbered 10-1, and these niggas have guns! I'd hope that you at least planned on THROWING that sidewalk chalk at someone. Otherwise, there's about three outcomes here. Best-case scenario? You make it home, and no one knew you were even there. Worse scenario? You get laughed at from a balcony by some overpaid fuck sipping wine out of a bottle that cost more than you made last month, and the NYPD puts your picture into their facial recognition program. Worst case scenario? You get laughed at, no one gives a shit that you were there, and then you get your ass whipped by the NYPD because you tried to be a hard-ass with your cardboard sign when they start pepperspraying the crowd.
Don't get it twisted, I'm not saying you're wrong for being pissed off at people who got rich by totally bending over the economy of this nation. I'm just saying you're doing it wrong. If you want to be a martyr, that's all good and fine with me...but at least try to accomplish something. Otherwise, you're not just getting pissed off. You're getting pissed on.
IF YOU'RE GONNA GO DOWN, GO DOWN SWINGING!
Thursday, August 25, 2011
However, I saw something I felt the need to share tonight. Interestingly enough, it doesn't actually involve the use of firearms directly. It's more of a "something to think about, if you're anticipating the possibility of being somewhere where firearms might be used" situation.
For instance, the probability of a police officer ever actually NEEDING a bullet-resistant vest is highly unlikely...but that doesn't mean they don't generally wear one as part of their uniform.
Tonight, I saw a video from a while back, and something struck me as something that should be instinctual for anyone that has ever trained for the possibility of being in a firefight. It's from a few years ago, but the video involves a situation where police officers end up in a firefight with a homeowner who is distraught about his domestic situation.
In what was either a very calculated display of marksmanship, or a very lucky shot for the homeowner, one of the officers is struck in the neck and begins to lose blood very quickly. In the video, you can see him holding his neck as he runs away from his position toward the safety of backup officers.
As seen in the video, the officer collapses from the loss of blood. At the 0:50 mark, you can see his fellow officer arrive to assist him.
Here's the kicker. If you look closely, the first thing the officer does is reach inside the collar of the wounded officer. He's looking for a "drag handle". They're put there for a reason. It's so a man can grab you with his weak hand and pull you to safety, while still holding his weapon with his strong hand.
You'll also notice that when the officer did not find the drag handle, he was forced to holster his weapon so he could put a hand under each arm and drag the man to safety.
Two things happened here, that could have been prevented had the officer been wearing a vest equipped with a drag handle. First, the officer could have saved valuable time by being able to grab the handle and run. When you are at distances of less than 100 feet, and the average handgun round will cover that distance in 1/10th of a second, every moment counts. Second, you'll notice that the responding officer had to holster his weapon in order to use both hands to grab the wounded man and drag him to safety.
Not having a drag handle on his vest placed both men in greater danger than they already were. Not only did it take additional time to holster the weapon and place both hands under the wounded officer's arms, but it also required taking a weapon out of the fight.
Some may say that having a 200lb weight in the left hand would have left the right hand in a position of inconsequentiality, but I disagree. While dragging a 200lb weight obviously requires effort, it's not exactly a super-human feat of strength...and unless you're a straight-up poon, you can drag such a weight with one hand.
Obviously, you're not going to be an olympic-quality marksman while dragging a 200lb weight...but you'll still be able to get off a few rounds of suppression fire, which makes all but the most disciplined or deranged people stop and think. This is somewhat difficult to do if you've got your pistol in your holster and both hands under some sweating bloody dude's armpits.
Some people think dragging a human body one-handed cannot be done without help. Physiology says otherwise. What matters is the grip. If you can get a good solid grip on something, you can pull it one-handed, unless it's simply too heavy to be pulled at all. The reasoning for this lies in the fact that the average human hand is capable of gripping far more of a load than the rest of the body can handle, and "dragging" is done with the legs.
When one hand has a good hold on the load, the "working" portion of the body forms a triangle. Both legs form the two lower points, and the gripping hand's shoulder forms the upper point. When there is no solid gripping point such as a drag handle, both hands are needed to act as "hooks" under the arms of the wounded man in order to even out the load. If you are a grown man attempting to drag an 80lb child, things may be different...but if you're a grown man attempting to drag another grown man, putting one hand under the armpit of that man will only result in your hand slipping down that man's arm as his body stays in place.
The drag handle acts not only as a solid gripping point, but also as a load center. Being positioned in the center of the back, the wounded man's body does not shift to one side or the other. When the load center is pulled, the remainder of the body is pulled with it without shifting to one direction or the other.
Think of a boat trailer. When you hitch up to it, you go to the tongue of the trailer. It is one centralized lead point being pulled, and the tires act as the two lower points on the triangle. You'll notice that a trailer is not hitched up by two points on the tow vehicle's bumper. A dragged body is essentially the same thing. The handle acts as the "trailer tongue", while the buttocks act as the "tires".
Imagine a wounded body without a handle, as it compares to a trailer. Instead of hitching up to a ball on the bumper, you've got a pair of ropes tying onto each side of the trailer. Towing such a trailer is all kinds of awkward, you don't get the same speed, etc.
So essentially, what I'm saying is, let this be a lesson. I apologize for going on and on ad nauseum about its importance, but...
If you find yourself being in a situation where a bullet-resistant vest is important, you should contemplate the reality of the situation. Again with the automotive analogies, I ask you to liken yourself to a truck as viewed by an insurance adjuster after a collision.
Your kevlar vest is like having a frame-mounted pipe bumper that covers the radiator. It's going to keep you from being completely screwed if you smoke a cow or a small tree. That doesn't change the fact that there's a LOT of other parts to your truck that may render it "totalled" in the event of an accident.
The human body isn't much different. Your kevlar vest is going to protect your "motor and radiator" (i.e. "heart and lungs"). It's not going to do anything for your neck, your arms, or your legs...and if you get hit in one of these places, there exists a strong possibility that you could bleed out.
Look at the O.J. Simpson case. That's where many people learned about how much blood is expended from a neck wound, if an artery is cut. Then, take a look at most people who commit suicide by cutting...they go for the wrist. Point is, if you hit an artery, you bleed out fast. Your vest doesn't cover most arteries. Your vest covers less than half of your exposed body. While "bleeder" injuries are more easily treated than puncture wounds to a vital organ, they are every bit as serious if not treated in a timely manner. As a reminder, rewind that video and see how the wounded officer went from running while holding his neck to falling down in a ditch, in a manner of seconds.
As a reminder, remember that your average standard-size handgun STARTS at 9mm, and works up from there. That's more than 1/3 of an inch, minimum. They are typically loaded with hollowpoint rounds, and they typically expand at least 1.5 times as large as their initial diameter. If you're hit with one, and it happens to be on that 60-70% that isn't covered by your vest, there's a good chance that it's going to make you bleed profusely.
Also remember that even in states that outlaw "high capacity" magazines, there's still ten rounds in it. If you drop, you're no longer a moving target. Every moment that someone has to reposition his gear in order to move you is a moment the shooter has to take aim again. If your help has holster his weapon to help you, that's two stationary targets the shooter has opportunity on...and if he has to put both hands on you, he's less mobile, which means you're both at greater risk even when the two of you get mobile.
Something to think about...
Friday, August 19, 2011
I was about 16 years old, laying in bed watching television one night, when a documentary came on. I had been waiting to see it, because I had previously seen where the seminal heavy metal band Metallica had allowed their music to be used in a feature film.
I was (and still am) a fan of Metallica, and this case was something I hadn't heard about, so I watched it. I thought it was supposed to be a work of fiction. By the time I had finished watching "Paradise Lost: The Child Murders at Robin Hood Hills", I damned near vomited.
Black t-shirts? Check.
Fan of heavy metal music? Check.
Distrust of our (in)justice system? Check.
Social misfits? Check.
Well, that pretty much describes me at the time. I couldn't help but wonder how completely and totally screwed up our justice system could be, when three people could be convicted of the most heinous crime on the books in Arkansas...with the only "evidence" being other peoples' opinions of their character, and an error-filled confession coerced from a mildly-retarded teenager who had been interrogated by the police for 12 hours.
I've been following this case since then, and cannot fathom how this could have happened.
One man was told that he might possibly be paroled from his "Life plus 40 years" sentence, but would be so old that his life would be meaningless. He'd be too old to drive, too old to work, too old to screw, and too old to do just about anything else that a man might want to do while living in the free world.
Another was told that, no matter how old he lived to be, his "Life without parole" sentence would mean he would never again breathe another breath as a free man. The entirety of his life's remainder would be spent behind bars. Every waking moment of his life would be spent locked in a cage, until the day when that life finally came to an end.
The third was told that, unlike the other two, he would not be spending his time in prison wondering how old of a man he would be when he finally succumbed to natural causes, because the State of Arkansas was going to speed up that process for him. He would be strapped to a gurney and pumped full of poison, killed at the hands of the state.
The years have progressed. The documentary filmmakers have produced two additional works about the case. New evidence has been submitted to the courts. A hearing was set for December, in light of evidence that DNA had been tested and found to not match the victims or the convicted...meaning someone else was there at the scene of the crime.
Yesterday, Damien Echols, Jessie Misskelley, and Jason Baldwin walked out of a "Supermax" prison in Arkansas, while in the custody of sheriff's deputies. Today, they walked out of a county court house as free men.
Sadly, however, they have received no justice and may have to keep fighting for the rest of their lives if they ever want to see it.
As part of an agreement reached with state prosecutors and the defense team, prosecutors agreed to a sentence of "time served" in exchange for a guilty plea to a lesser charge. These men are still convicted felons, and branded as murderers.
The lead prosecutor for the state actually had the balls to stand up this morning in front of television cameras, and claim that this was done to preserve the state's money. Really? "The state" tried to execute one man, and imprison two more for the rest of their lives, for crimes they didn't commit. You're certain that they are guilty of sexually mutilating and murdering three innocent eight year old children, but you think "justice" is served by letting these men go?
Or, could it be, that the prosecutor is a useless excuse for a human being? He's more worried about the state being deprived of tax dollars for wrongfully trying to kill one man, and wrongfully imprisoning two more? If you know you have a case, what are you afraid of?
Sir, you are a chickenshit. You should be publicly beaten for not immediately acknowledging that the State of Arkansas screwed up severely, apologizing to these men (and their attorneys, and their families, and also the families of the victims for not seeking to find the people responsible for the crime), and then showing them where to fill out the forms for the millions of dollars worth of compensation you owe them.
Instead, you had the balls to stand up on national television and say that you "pray these men have been rehabilitated". Are you kidding me?
Wednesday, August 17, 2011
Here are the known facts of the case, as recorded by the court:
Lasso was called to the home by someone other than Hitch or his spouse.
The incident did not take place at the front door, but at the back door.
There was no evidence of a disturbance at the home, other than the 911 call.
Hitcho owned two dogs, who were in the yard.
Lasso repeatedly pointed a Taser electrocution device, alternatively, at Hitcho and his dogs.
Lasso called for backup, and his backup ended up being the Chief of Police.
Lasso was told to leave the property, and to not come back without a warrant.
The Chief ordered Lasso to “shoot the dogs” with his electrocution device.
Upon such an order, Hitcho “pulled a shotgun” and fired one round, striking Lasso.
Lasso was taken to a hospital where he later died, while Hitcho was taken into custody and subsequently charged with homicide.
Now, let's look at the inferred facts of this case. I say “inferred” only because they require the use of basic logic, not because I'm some kind of a psychic.
Lasso, upon being told to depart from the premises, had no lawful authority to be on the premises unless he found probable cause or exigent circumstances to give him such a legal right. It is highly doubtful that such a thing occurred, considering it was neither brought up in court, nor did the officer ever attempt to enter the home.
The dogs were obviously not “attacking” Lasso, if he had time to wait for backup to arrive.
The incident occurred at the rear door of Hitcho's home, and not the front door, which indicates that the officer did not hold any reservations about exceeding his authority after finding no evidence of a disturbance after knocking on the front door.
Hitcho was still obviously in his home, as evident by the fact that a shotgun was close at hand and neither officer had a firearm drawn. Unless the shotgun was cut down to far below the legal overall length of 26”, one does not simply “pull” a shotgun without it being noticed beforehand by two trained police officers. As evident by the fact that no where in the numerous newspaper reports or the court record was an illegal firearm mentioned, it was a legal shotgun. Even a pistol-grip shotgun of minimum legal length is incredibly difficult to hide on one's person, unless that person is wearing a full-length heavy coat capable of concealing both the length and the large outline of a shotgun.
Since that is settled, let's go over some basics of the law.
In order for a law enforcement officer to legally be on a person's property, one of four things must have occurred.
A) A warrant has been signed by a judge, granting said LEO permission to be on the premises.
B) The officer has seen probable cause of a crime having been committed, or immediately about to be committed.
C) Exigent circumstances exist, such as hearing someone scream.
D) The LEO has the homeowner's permission.
In light of the absence of these four things, the officer had a legal duty to depart the premises immediately when told to do so. He also had a legal duty to not return to the property without a warrant, exigent circumstances, or probable cause, because he had been told not to do so by the homeowner.
Pointing a Taser electrocution device at a human being is no different than threatening him with a firearm, a lead pipe, or a knife. It is meant to inflict incapacitating pain, which is an assault upon the person, if not done within the confines of the law. Threatening assault is a crime.
The threat of force is no different than the actual use of such force, with regard to warranting a response to such force. In other words, if someone unlawfully points a gun at you, the response of shooting that person is every bit as warranted in that situation as it would be if they had actually fired shots at you with intent to kill.
A person has the right to protect his life and property using any force necessary, up to and including lethal force.
Now that we've gone over the facts, here's my take on it...
The cop had no business whatsoever being in this guy's backyard, period. It's obvious that no one was in the backyard, since no one was there at the time of the incident (other than the two cops) and there is no record of anyone having been in the back yard. If the circumstances would have given this cop the authority to go into the back yard, those same circumstances would have allowed the cop to kick down the door and deal with the situation...and the cop's duty as a public servant would have demanded that he do so. Instead, he went on a fishing trip in the back yard.
The cop was on private property, and did not immediately leave upon being asked to do so. In the absence of lawful authority, that makes him a trespasser...and guilty of a crime, himself. Pointing a Taser electrocution device at both the subject of his “investigation” (read: FISHING TRIP IN THE BACK YARD) constituted a threat to the man's life and property.
The cop was shot for trespassing and threatening, end of story. It's sad that he had to die, but he brought it upon himself.
Wednesday, July 27, 2011
I'm not alone here, I've got some pretty good company. Henry David Thoreau, Gandhi, and Jesus Christ are a few notable anarchists. Note, when I say "Anarchist", I mean, a follower of the "Non-Aggression Principle". But what does not aggressing against another person have to do with a philosophy of not accepting a government? Well, it's quite simple...all governmental power is derived from aggression against someone.
At its basic level, we must understand what is necessary for government to operate. It cannot function without mandatory taxation, which is THEFT for any who do not consent to it. That is an aggression against property. Refuse to pay taxation? You're going to jail, which is an aggression against liberty. Resist jail using physical force? You're going to be dealt with violently, which is an aggression against life itself.
So there you have it...government, even at its most basic level, cannot exist without aggressing against life, liberty, and property of those subjected to it non-consensually. That's just dealing with taxation. Now look at laws geared toward dictating how people are allowed to act morally, financially, and physically...or, for that matter, laws dictating how one is required to act when speaking to a member of the "enforcer class".
Any law which carries a legally-binding penalty for non-compliance will ultimately result in death for anyone who resists the law to its intended end, provided that person is not captured alive and dealt with by the courts. Yes, even a minimum monetary fine for not wearing a seatbelt. If you refuse to wear a seatbelt, you'll be issued a ticket. If you refuse to pay the ticket, you'll have someone show up at your door and physically attempt to arrest you. If you resist arrest, you will be physically assaulted. If you resist assault with physical force, force will be escalated until you either succumb, or are killed.
Where am I going with all of this? Well, today, I read an article about the Republican Party of South Carolina's state-level leadership calling for the immediate resignation and/or other means of removal, of two members of the party's local-level leadership. This call was based solely upon their agreement with words expressed in an article "When Should You Shoot a Cop".
Yes, the title of that article is a bit shocking, and it was meant to be. It does, however, go forth and discuss basic logic.
A) The average person has an inalienable right to "X".
B) Often, law "Y" is written and passed, and infringes upon the inalienable right to "X".
C) The authority the enforcers of "Y" are granted, under color of law, is derived from document "Z" that recognizes inalienable right "X", and states that no agent enforcing "Y" may infringe upon "X".
D) If the enforcers of "Y" have no authority to infringe upon your right to "X", because such an authority is non-existent in "Z", then the enforcers of "Y" are in the wrong and would be assaulting you if they attempt to infringe upon your right to "X".
Now let's look at something here...a man wearing a badge has no more authority to infringe upon your right to speak your mind freely on a public street, than a convicted felon has the authority to rob you in a back alley in the middle of the night.
The difference? Well, if you were confronted by a man wearing a ski mask in an alley and he wielded a club and told you he was going to beat the shit out of you unless you handed him your money, the grand jury would laugh and high-five each other as they no-billed you for putting a 9mm slug through his face.
Now on the other hand, if you were confronted by a man wearing a badge on a street corner, and he's wielding a club and telling you that you're going to jail if you continue to speak your mind (and he's going to whip your ass if you resist being arrested), the grand jury would be begging the court system to fast-track you to the Huntsville death chamber if you put a 9mm slug through his face.
So please, for the love of Jodie Foster, can someone tell me the difference? I'll tell you what the difference is. If you're unarmed, the difference is about two minutes. That's about how long the cop is going to argue with you, before physically assaulting you for resisting his false authority...whereas with the thug in the alley, he's going to start beating your ass immediately. Either way, you're going to lose all of your money. The kicker is, unless you're carrying several hundred dollars in cash, you're going to lose LESS money when you get robbed by the thug in the alley.
What really bugs me about the police is not that they are protected agents of the state, which requires them to physically aggress upon my fellow man. It's the fact that they've been doing it for two hundred years in this country, to the point where people seem to think it's somehow okay...or that it's somehow "different" when they do it (as opposed to an ordinary criminal without a badge), or that it's even actually necessary for society to function!
I've always found my fellow Texans to be a strange breed, when it comes to their general unwavering support of the "Public Servant". The same people who rail against "government oppression" when "liberals" take office, bitch about how "oppressive" helmet laws are, etc. would have a conniption if someone were to get pulled over for not wearing a seatbelt and answer a request for "license and insurance" with a hollowpoint slug. These people also seem to be the most vocal opponents of gun control, for reasons I can't truly fathom. Maybe the 2A has something to do with shooting skeet?
Before I go further, I want to be upfront about something. I wish no harm upon anyone. I'm not a violent person, and I'm certainly not advocating violence upon cops based solely upon the fact that they happen to be cops. I grew up with about half a dozen of them locally, and there's a few that have been close to my family since before I was born.
That said, let's look at the modern world-wide history of homicide within the past hundred years. Obviously, battlefields had quite a bit to do with racking up that number. Then, there's religious fanaticism. So-called "terrorist acts" and "organized crime" add further still. Interestingly, these four categories are so inter-related it makes gathering statistics about it rather difficult.
Then we get into the biggest killer in modern history. Government-sponsored genocides. Hitler had about 9 million (that "six million" figure you hear about were just the Jewish folks he killed...it doesn't include the gypsies, cripples, retards, homos, etc). Stalin wiped out somewhere around 20-25 million. The Khmer Rouge took out somewhere between 1 and 3 million, depending on whose estimate you use.
Do you realize what is necessary to kill a million people using small arms? It takes a LOT of cooperation by people willing to serve the state, for various reasons. It may be fear, it may be financial compensation, it might be a genuine belief that he's doing the right thing, or it might even be the status one receives from the community when one wears a special insignia on his shirt.
Wow. That sounds a lot like many of the cops out there on the street right here in Texas. Do you know the difference between an SS officer dealing with the "Jewish Question", and a Texas cop telling someone he can't speak his mind on a public street corner?
IT'S ABOUT TWO MINUTES, IF THE GUY ON THE STREET CORNER PUTS UP ENOUGH OF A FIGHT...
Tuesday, July 19, 2011
A great many people, however, do not know the back story to this event. To put it into a generalized perspective so that even my secular readers may grasp it, there was a wise man named Daniel. He was a fine upstanding man who lived according to the non-aggression principle, and he was well-known in his community. Within his community, there was a group of government officials known as "satraps".
They were jealous of Daniel and his position upon the moral high ground, but could find no fault within him, for the purposes of destroying his position within the community. They convinced King Darius to pass a law which went against the non-aggression principle, and made the penalty for such a transgression to be death by lion.
You see, Daniel had done no wrong to any man, but continued upon his path as he found to be righteous. The bureaucracy found fault with this, and created a law to destroy him, because he was not one of their own.
Daniel held his position, and did not yield or change to what he knew to be righteous. His punishment was to be thrown into a den of lions, with the assumed goal of him being killed and eaten in a most violent manner. The next day, the king called out to Daniel. Daniel answered, in Chapter 6 Verse 21, that he was still alive. God had spared him from an unjust punishment, which had been meted out for the act of violating an unjust law.
To put a modern spin on this story, let's fast-forward from the time of Daniel to a few years ago. That's back when everyone was still using MySpace as the social network of choice. In 2006, I was injured in a motorcycle accident, and I spent a couple of weeks at my father's home. I couldn't walk because the scabs on my knees would start bleeding after taking a few steps, so I spent a great deal of this time either on my couch or on the computer.
After getting bored with all the random nonsense of MySpace, I started digging around a bit and found some of the political forums on there. It was there where I met Riley O'Neil, founder of the MySpace Libertarian group. I also met Jim H. (and don't forget his wife B...first names have been redacted to protect the guilty!) of "Jim's MySpace Republicans"...a group started when he got thrown out of the main Republican forum. Me and Jim had (and still have) quite a few debates, but I think I've finally brought him over to the dark side! Along the way, I've become acquainted with quite a few people within our movement. A few of them, notably Catherine Bleish and Adam Kokesh, have become quite famous...Cat has been listed by the SPLC as an "extremist" and has appeared on Jesse Ventura's "Conspiracy Theory", while Adam has his own television show on RT America.
I also stumbled across a website known as BureauCrash.com, which was dedicated to a non-aggressionist "voluntaryist" (i.e. the "real") form of anarchy. Reading up on the goings-on there taught me quite a bit, and I came to learn of the people I write about today.
Several months ago, while forking over ransom money (read: BAIL) for a friend accused of some harmless "crime" that had no nameable victim, Pete Eyre and Adam "Ademo Freeman" Mueller were arrested for having the audacity to film the interaction. They were in a public place that had no reasonable expectation of privacy (trust me, there were CCTV cameras in the place, recording the incident), and they were filming people who earn their living on the taxpayer's dime. There was no reason whatsoever that they should not have been allowed to film the interaction.
Furthermore, there was no law stating that they could not film there, there was no sign stating that recording was prohibited, nor was there any written policy that prohibited filming in that area.
Nonetheless, the two were arrested under New Hampshire's "wiretapping" law. Keep in mind, this law was designed to prevent private individuals from being recorded during private conversations. It was used, in this instance, for the purposes of incarcerating and intimidating people known to be "enemies of the state" for having the intelligence to record their interactions with those who purport to serve them...with, or without, the consent of those being "served".
Yesterday, my friends Pete and Ademo entered a New Hampshire courtroom, facing years of imprisonment and a felony criminal record that would follow them for the rest of their natural lives. They didn't take a plea. They did not set up a "legal defense fund" for the sake of hiring a high-priced lawyer. They didn't try to get off the hook by focusing on technicalities.
Instead of taking the "easy way out", they took it on the chin. They stood before a jury of their peers, and stated their case, ready to face the consequences of their actions...knowing that instead of celebrating a victory today, they might be informing people like me where to send money for their commissary as they begin a stint in state prison.
There are, however, two things that really irk me about the situation that unfolded today.
First and foremost, is the "Blue Wall of Silence" in this ordeal. I grew up with quite a few people who grew up to be cops. A great deal of them are, in spite of the badge, still relatively decent people. One of my greatest friends happens to be a deputy sheriff on the verge of retirement, and he's one of the most morally-upstanding people I know. That said, I've heard absolutely nothing from the Law Enforcement community condemning the actions of the people involved in this case, which is a crying shame. You cannot build the public trust when there exists a "wall of separation" between the people the police are paid to serve, and the people themselves. On a regular basis, we see video of police misusing and abusing their authority. There's a possibility that it may be a rampant problem with police in general, and there's a possibility that it may be "a few bad apples". If it's "a few bad apples", then shouldn't the 'boys in blue' be trying to do something about it? Rogue cops on an authoritative rampage does nothing but sully the good name of decent cops, and I know there are still a few out there.
My second issue with this ordeal is the fact that there is absolutely no recourse for the lost time and money involved with Pete and Adam, short of hoping that a federal court would hear a civil rights lawsuit. I normally bitch about the expense of federal government, but this is one of those instances where I'd gladly pay. You see, when a man is accused by an officer of the law and takes his case to trial, he stands to potentially lose everything. If he wins, he loses slightly less. Unlike a civil trial, where the loser has to pay the winner's attorney fees, a criminal defendant is still going to lose every bit of the money he spent on a legal defense. He's going to lose every bit of the money he lost because he was defending himself, instead of earning a living. This does not count, of course, the cost of lost sleep, depression, anxiety, and paranoia that comes with facing quite a bit of time in jail.
And yet, Pete Eyre and Adam Mueller took it like free men. They said "No! We do not accept your artificial authority!" At great personal expense to themselves, they fought the powers that be...and in the tradition of Daniel, they exclaimed, "Yes! I am still FREE!"
Monday, July 11, 2011
Regardless, I've made it individualized, as this is something I find necessary for a document such as this. It appears to be what I've been thinking all along, put into words in a better manner than I could have done on my own.
I would give credit to the author of the original version, but it was disseminated anonymously. Think what you will of it...
To The Governments & People of Earth:
I claim the right to exist, and I will defend it. I do not seek to overthrow anything. I do not seek to control anything. I merely wish to be left alone. All I ever wanted was to live in peace with my friends and neighbors. For a long, long time I bore insults to my liberty; I took blows, I did what I could to avoid injury and I worked through the system to get the offenses to stop. That has now changed. I no longer see any benefit in working through the world’s systems. At some point, working within a system becomes cowardly and immoral; for me, that point has arrived. Regardless of the parties in power, their governments have continued to restrict, restrain and punish me. I hereby reject them all. I hereby withdraw from them all. I hold the ruling states of this world and all that appertains to them to be self-serving and opposed to humanity. I now withdraw our obedience and reclaim the right to strike back when struck. I will not initiate force, but I do reserve the right to answer it. I did not choose this – it was forced upon me.
To The Governments of Earth:
You are building cages for all that is human. In the name of protection, you have intruded into all areas of human life, far exceeding the reach of any Caesar. You claim ultimate control of my property and my decisions, of my travels and even my identity. You claim ownership of humanity far beyond the dreams of any Emperor of any previous era. Understand clearly: I reject your authority and I reject your legitimacy. I do not believe that you have any right to do the things you do. You have massive power, but no right to impose it upon me, and no legitimacy. I have forsaken you. I am no longer your citizen or your subject. Your systems are inherently anti-human, even if all their operators are not. I am not merely an angry young person. This is not a burst of outrage; this is a sober declaration that I no longer accept unearned suffering as my role in life. For long decades I sat quietly, hoping that things would turn around. I took no actions; I suffered along with everyone else. But after having my limits pushed back again and again, I have given up on your systems. If my fellow inhabitants of this planet wish to accept your rule, they are free to do so. I will not try to stop them. I, however, will no longer accept your constraints upon me. – From now on, when you hurt me, I will bite back. If you leave me alone I will leave you alone and you can continue to rule your subjects. I are happy to live quietly. But if you come after me, there will be consequences. You caused this because of your fetish for control and power. The chief men and women among you are pathologically driven to control everyone and everything that moves upon this planet. You have made yourselves the judge of every human activity. No god-king of the ancient world ever had the power that your systems do. You have created a world where only the neutered are safe and where only outlaws are free.
To The People of Earth:
I seek nothing from you. I do not want to rule you and I do not want to control you. All I wish is to live on earth in peace. As always, I will be a helpful neighbor and generous acquaintance. I will remain an honest business partner and trustworthy employee. I will not, however, be a sacrificial animal. I reject the idea that others have a right to my life and my property. I will not demand anything from you, and I will no longer acquiesce to any demands upon me. I have left that game. I reject all obligations to any person or organization beyond honesty, fair dealing and a respect for human life. I will shortly explain what I believe, but I am not demanding that you agree with me. All I ask is that you do not try to stop me. Continue to play the game if you wish; I will not try to disrupt it. I have merely walked away from it. I wish you peace.
To Those Who Will Condemn Me:
I will ignore you. I welcome and seek the verdict of a just God, before whom I am willing to expose my innermost thoughts. Are you similarly willing? I would stand openly before all mankind if it were not suicidal. Perhaps some day I will have to accept slaughter for my crime of independence, but not yet. Your criticism and your malice are much deeper than mere disagreements of strategy or philosophy. You do not oppose my philosophy, you oppose my existence. My presence in the world means that your precious ideals are false. Some of you would rather kill me than face the loss of your ideologies, just as those like you have either hated or killed every sufficiently independent human. You present yourselves to the world as compassionate, tolerant and enlightened, but I know that your smooth words are costumes. Oh yes, I know you, servant of the state; don’t forget, I was raised with you. I played with you in the schoolyard, I sat next to you in the classroom. I watched as you had your first tastes of power. I was the boy standing next to you. I am not fooled by your carefully crafted public image.
What I Believe
#1: Many humans resent the responsibilities that are implied by consciousness. I accept those responsibilities and I embrace consciousness. Rather than letting things happen to me (avoiding consciousness), I accept consciousness and choose to act in my own interest. I do not seek the refuge of blaming others, neither do I take refuge in crowds. I am willing to act on my personal judgment, and I am willing to accept the consequences thereof.
#2: I believe in negative rights for all: That all humans should be free to do whatever they wish, as long as they do not intrude upon others; that no man has a right to the life, liberty or property of another; that I oppose aggression, fraud and coercion.
#3: I do not believe that my way of life, or any other, will make life perfect or trouble-free. I expect crime and disagreements and ugliness, and I am prepared to deal with them. I do not seek a strongman to step in and solve problems for me. I agree to see to them myself.
#4: I believe in free and unhindered commerce. So long as exchanges are voluntary and honest, no other party has a right to intervene – before, during or after.
#5: I believe that all individuals should keep their agreements.
#6: I believe that honestly obtained property is fully legitimate and absolute.
#7: I believe that some humans are evil and that they must be faced and dealt with. I accept the fact that this is a difficult area of life.
#8: I believe that humans can self-organize effectively. I expect them to cooperate. I reject impositions of hierarchy and organization.
#9: I believe that all humans are to be held as equals in all matters regarding justice.
#10: I believe that the more a man or woman cares about right and wrong, the more of a threat he or she is perceived to be by governments.
#11: I believe that there are only two true classes of human beings: Those who wish to exercise power upon others – either directly or through intermediaries – and those who have no such desires.
#12: Large organizations and centralization are inherently anti-human. They must rely upon rules rather than principles, treating humans within the organization as obedient tools.
I do not forbid anyone from having one foot in each realm – mine, and the old realm – although I demand that they do no damage to my realm. I are fully opposed to any use of my realm to facilitate crime in the old realm, such as the hiding of criminal proceeds. I expect to be loudly condemned, libeled and slandered by the authorities of the old regime. I expect them to defend their power and their image of legitimacy with all means available to them. I expect that many gullible and servile people will believe these lies. I will consider traps laid for me to be criminal offenses. Any who wish to join me are encouraged to distribute this declaration, to act in furtherance of a new society, to voluntarily excel in virtues and to communicate and cooperate with other members of the new society.
Free, unashamed men cannot be ruled.
I am Free and Unashamed.