Wednesday, May 23, 2012
I normally don't do "economics", although I seem to be hitting that mark more often recently. I just finished reading an article from John Stossel with the above title. In it, he makes a very good case for ending regulations concerning licensing, demonstrating how they actually stifle business and hurt consumers, rather than protecting them.
He mentions some of the more ridiculous licensing schemes, such as for hair braiding in Mississippi, wooden casket makers and florists in Louisiana, and yoga instructors in Virginia. I remember an article a couple of years ago concerning a monastery where the brothers built wooden caskets which were sold at a lower price than commercially marketed caskets. Their operation was shut down when the funeral industry in their state complained to state legislators, likely because they felt it threatened their monopoly on - and exorbitant profit from - the sale of caskets. Legislation had been written requiring actually being in the funeral business in order to sell caskets. The regulations were set by a board where eight of the nine members were funeral industry professionals (i.e., individuals making money from the funeral industry). The monks were charged fines and threatened with jail time for not complying with the regulations set by this board.
Stossel's arguments are logical and reasonable. Please read them.
Tuesday, May 22, 2012
Another excellent post, a must-read, that I found via a great site called "The Smallest Minority". It referred me to the web site of "Captain Capitalism" wherein he speaks of what is necessary in the way of factors of production in order for a business to start, or any form of production to occur.
If the future holds only the likelihood that the tax burden will be crushing, that the cost of providing health care for your employees will destroy the ability to make a profit, that EPA regulations will prevent even starting up, or that the economy will probably crash, then there certainly is no incentive for attempting a start-up.
Do read the post. It is short, but right on the money.
This is an excellent article by Dennis Prager concerning the Left's irrational love for big government as opposed to their irrational hatred of big corporations. Prager doesn't attempt to paint corporations as anything other than self-serving, but proves that they are far less worthy of being hated or feared than big government. As he points out:
Whatever bad big corporations have done is dwarfed by the monstrous crimes — the mass enslavement of people, the deprivation of the most basic human rights, not to mention the mass murder and torture and genocide — committed by big governments.
Read the whole thing. It is well written and quite astute in portraying how the Left is delusional in both their love of government and their hatred of corporations, even ones which have arguably saved many millions of lives over the years.
Sunday, May 13, 2012
Along with the prior theme of cops out of control, another major issue in our "criminal justice" system - an apt term, as the justice you get in our courts these days truly is criminal - is out of control prosecutors.
We all have heard of the Zimmerman/Martin case by now. Zimmerman, in spite of the best lies and manipulation the mainstream media could come up with, has been shown to have been defending himself from Trayvon Martin when Martin was smashing his head against the ground. The photos of his bleeding occiput, which the mainstream media refused to show, have been publicized. The courts will hopefully prove, via eye witnesses and forensic evidence, that Zimmerman was fighting for his life against a young black gangster. Photos of Martin in various gangster poses, with a "grill" of gold caps on his teeth that he obviously did not pay for with a newspaper route, along with gangster Facebook posts, indicate Trayvon was not your sweet, innocent young black child taken from his loving family by the big, bad white man (who is actually Hispanic, but "white Hispanic" according to such race baiters as Al Sharpton and his patron Barack Obama).
Yet the prosecutor who has decided to file charges against Zimmerman - in spite of the fact that the police did not arrest or charge him, and in spite of the fact that the prosecutor refuses to bring the matter in front of a grand jury - is pressing for manslaughter in a case that appears to be pretty certain to have been self-defense and a case of the "Stand Your Ground" doctrine. This prosecutor, Angela Corey, is likely attempting to get herself some free publicity and political mileage by taking Zimmerman in front of a judge and jury. A jury she probably hopes to stack - by manipulating "voir dire", the choosing of a panel of jurors - so as to seat some black and some liberal jurors who will lean toward convicting the big, bad, white Hispanic man.
Well, lo and behold, but Angela Corey prosecuted a black woman for firing a warning shot at her abusive husband, a man she claims tried to strangle her and threatened to kill her. In this case, the jury apparently either A) did not believe the woman, or B) - as is often the case - were given instructions by the judge that, if the "facts" of the case were proven, then the jurors must find the defendant guilty. In so many cases that are tried before a jury, the jurors find themselves voting for a conviction in spite of evidence being withheld, extenuating circumstances that the judge tells them they must ignore, or even when - as in this particular case, the punishment is outrageously extreme for the actions for which the defendant is being tried.
This lady, Marissa Alexander, was sentenced to 20 years for firing a warning shot, a shot which was not aimed at her abusive husband but into a wall, trying to get him to stay away from her. Even if her whole story was a lie, even if she had actually attempted to shoot him, twenty years in jail seems excessive when you consider how many people convicted of actual pre-meditated murder get out in seven years, while she shot a wall, not even wounding him.
However, this case does indicate that Angela Corey, the prosecutor, is more concerned with putting people in prison than she is with what color they are, so you have to give her some credit. The problem is, as with so many prosecutors these days, especially United States Attorneys, the "fun" is in putting people in prison. It doesn't matter to them if you had any intent to commit the crime - as was once the minimum requirement for prosecution.
This is called "mens rea", or "bad intent". It used to be that you had to have "actus rea", or a "bad act" in conjunction with "mens rea" in order to convict. You should have both present to even arrest. This hasn't been the case for many years now. Consider the Olofson case, where a man who loaned a rifle to another man went to prison for years because the rifle malfunctioned and fired more than one time when the trigger was pulled. In spite of the fact that the rifle was proven to have malfunctioned, and had not been altered or modified in order to get it to shoot more than one round when the trigger was pulled, Olofson lost his job, thousands of dollars in legal fees, and spent several years in prison, away from his wife and child. As a convicted felon, he also then found it difficult to get a job once he was released.
The prosecutor in that case knew that there was no intent, that it was mechanical malfunction. As a matter of fact, the BATF's own lab tested the rifle and determined it had merely malfunctioned. The BATF Special Agent involved, Jody Keeku (may the bitch rot in Hell), had the rifle sent back and tested with soft-primered ammunition, this time returning a "decision" that the rifle was indeed a machine gun. Assistant U.S. Attorney Greg Hannstad, who handled the prosecution of David Olofson, saw to it that the jury was not informed that the very model of rifle he was being convicted for had a recall notice issued by its manufacturer indicating worn parts or soft-primered ammunition could cause multiple firings when the trigger was pulled.
So. Bad cops, bad Special Agents, bad prosecutors and bad judges can all ruin your life. But in the case of this black woman, Marissa Alexander, the people who were overjoyed that Angela Corey is prosecuting George Zimmerman are not so happy that she prosecuted Marissa Alexander - who also tried to use the "Stand Your Ground" defense. Suddenly, Corey is a racist, harassing poor Ms. Alexander simply because she is black.
"The case, which was prosecuted by the same state attorney who is handling the Trayvon Martin case, has gained the attention of civil rights leaders who say the African-American woman was persecuted because of her race" according to an article written by CNN. Representative Corrine Brown, a woman who loves to play the race card, is upset. Evidently, it is OK for a black woman to "stand her ground", but not for a "white Hispanic" such as George Zimmerman. Too bad, you ignorant twit. You can't have it both ways.
Neither of them should have been prosecuted, and Alexander certainly shouldn't have been given a twenty year sentence for what she did, but I have to admit I was pleased to see Corrine Brown dissatisfied when the shoe was on the other foot. It just goes to prove her to be the hypocrite that she, and so many other black race baiters like Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton, Shirley Jackson, Eric Holder, and Barack Obama truly are.
This is another issue I - and many others - have with today's police officers. The wanton killing of pets. If they are so fearful of dogs that they need to kill a man's dog simply because it looked at them or even growled at them, they need to get a job washing dishes or folding clothes at a laundromat.
Most of them, in actuality, aren't fearful at all. They simply get off on being able to shoot something. If they can't bust a cap on an Erik Scott or a Jose Guerena, they'll settle for your dog.
Apologies for not posting for a while here. I have difficulty imagining that many folks read my ramblings, so I usually don't write unless something moves me, often in response to other posts I've run across in the blogosphere.
Lately I have been seeing posts concerning absolutely outrageous, immoral, and illegal behavior by cops. Not that there is anything new about that, but it appears that this behavior is growing more prevalent and over-the-top than ever, although perhaps I simply haven't been paying enough attention.
I imagine some of you have read of the police officer named Jared Wheeler who kicked an almost nine-months pregnant black female in the stomach, hard enough to leave a massive bruise. Fortunately, it appears the baby was not damaged, although the woman did require an emergency C-section a short while later, probably secondary to the assault. As usual, his agency has deemed his atrocious behavior "acceptable", "within department policy". This young neo-Nazi, who - based on what appears to be his own Facebook page - is a fan of Nietzsche and Heidegger (a German philosopher who was also a Nazi), claims he didn't notice she was pregnant. Looking at photos of this cretin (Wheeler, not the young lady), I find it easy to believe he noticed she was black.
Yes, I realize the race card is played all too often, and with no reason other than to foster hatred and division between Americans, or to excuse bad behavior on the part of some blacks, but sometimes it is real. It is an unfortunate fact that many officers today have bought into the whole "us vs them" philosophy, that if you aren't a cop, you are scum. The notion that cops can do no wrong, and civilians can do no right.
Massad Ayoob, a New Hampshire police officer (he could be retired now, I certainly haven't been wasting my time paying attention to his status) who teaches firearms handing, legal issues connected with armed self-defense, etc., always - yes, I mean every time - comes down in favor of the cop or agency when there is a question of abuse or inappropriate behavior. Many of us former peace keepers have taken him to task on this over the years (although I have ceased, since he will never admit being wrong about anything) have tried to get him to acknowledge that sometimes cops are bad. Massad refuses to see that as a possibility, although it has occurred to me that perhaps he is afraid his firearms training business might suffer if he said anything negative about his fellow officers. What price integrity, if that is the case? I have no idea if he has made any comments in this particular case, but had to bring him up to emphasize how the Blue Line reacts when one of their own is called to task for abusive behavior.
There are certainly many cases of law enforcement abuse much worse than this. The killing - murder, in truth - of Erik Scott in Las Vegas back in 2010 is but one example. The cover-up of his killing by Metro (LV) police officers continues to this day. Follow-up stories document how Metro and other local department police officers have harassed Scott's fiance, probably because she has been vocal about his murder by police officers. If you don't bother to read the link, by the way, understand that of the five bullets fired into Erik Scott, one entered his armpit while his hands were raised, and the others entered his back after he was lying on the ground, dying.
We can talk about other cases, such as that of Jose Guerena, where the video taken from a helmet camera belonging to one of the responding SWAT officers clearly shows one cop leaning in and shooting his pistol at Guerena after all the other officers had stopped shooting. Considering how many times Guerena was hit by the 70+ rounds fired at him (42 times, IIRC), this cop who fired his pistol after the others finished shooting had to be shooting at Guerena's body as it lay on the floor, no longer even possibly a threat to anyone. Guerena was allowed to die on the floor, as these cops refused to allow responding EMS to approach him for over an hour.
Last, but not least, we all have read of the many cases of asset forfeiture that have occurred over the years, where any time the tiniest connection with drugs can be suggested, people have had their property confiscated by police departments and Federal agencies, especially very valuable property such as expensive cars, yachts and boats, and aircraft. When I worked as a reserve officer for a small department in Northern California, the captain (they only had one, and no lieutenants - I think he was related to the mayor) drove a nice Ford Bronco 4X4 that had been confiscated by the department. The victim - the former owner, that is - was never convicted of a crime (I think a small amount of marijuana was found on his person during a traffic stop), but boy, did that Captain love to drive that Bronco around town during the winter. Using fuel charged to the department, of course.
But that is mild compared to what is happening in Tennessee right now. People are being stopped and asked if they are carrying large amounts of cash. Those foolish enough to admit it, and permitting a search of their vehicle, have had their cash confiscated. They then have to go through a very lengthy process, including returning to Tennessee, to recover their money. Sometimes they are unsuccessful, and sometimes they simply don't, because it is too difficult or they are refused by the agency or local courts. Some get it back after they agree to forfeit $1000 or $2000 of their money. One man recently lost $22,000 in cash that the officer took simply because it "looked suspicious". So much for "innocent until proven guilty". Tennessee seems to be the pre-eminent state for these kinds of stops at this time.
Murder by cop. Home invasion by SWAT. Physical abuse, beatings, tasering, pepper spraying. Theft of property and cash. Incidents where officers responding to calls for help end up killing family members not even connected with the original call. Law enforcement is way out of control all across our country. The only bright spot in the picture is that many departments have had to downsize due to budget restraints and reductions. If
your local department has to downsize, look upon it as a blessing, not a problem. These days too many cops will do more harm than good if you allow them into your home. Much better and cheaper to buy a gun, get some training to learn how to use it properly and safely, and defend yourself, than to risk "death by cop".
Thursday, May 3, 2012
Folks, I know money is tight. My income is fixed and limited, now that I am retired. I've got enough to make ends meet, so I can't complain. I realize that many of you who visit here simply don't have any to spare, and some of you might even be struggling just to pay the rent or mortgage.
For those of you who might have even $2 or $5 you can spare, consider donating to the Kickstarter drive to produce Mike McNulty's film, Blood On Their Hands, about the deaths caused by BATF and DOJ's "Fast and Furious" operation that encouraged the purchase of over 2000 semi-automatic weapons by the drug cartels of Mexico. We're talking semi-auto AK-47's and AK-74's, AR-15's, Barrett .50 BMG caliber sniper rifles, and many others.
Yes, I recently posted about this, but McNulty is the producer of several films about the debacle and murder - yes, murder - of over 70 men, women, and children at Waco by the FBI. He will do justice to a film about this illegal, immoral, and plain evil operation to see that firearms sold in America end up being tracked to murder scenes in Mexico (and America) that they want to blame on American gun stores, even though the BATF ordered the gun stores to go ahead with gun sales that the owners told them they believed were illegal.
Since the mainstream media refuses to inform the public about Operation Fast and Furious, a film such as this could mean the difference between the world knowing what our government is capable of and ignorance about their willingness to be responsible for the deaths of hundreds to advance their agenda.
Any help you can give will be appreciated. Remember, if the amount needed is not raised, your money will be refunded. That is how Kickstarter works. McNulty is an honest man, and he will not rip off the people trying to help him. Please pass this on to as many friends and family members as you can so that we can help make this film happen. Go here to get to the site for Blood On Their Hands.
Tuesday, May 1, 2012
Daniel Greenfield (Sultan Knish) writes another article that accurately articulates what is being done here in America, and across the planet, to control us. As delineated in the writings of Francis Fox Piven and Richard Cloward, the destruction of our economy is an excellent means of gaining control over the citizenry of this country. When the means of production and the free market economy have been sufficiently damaged or destroyed, when scarcity of food, medical care, fuel for heat or transportation or other commodities has been created, the government will have complete control over us. If we do not submit, access to food, medical care, etc. will be denied. It may even be denied when we do submit, as it was to the Kulaks during the Holodomor in the Ukraine.
Please read his article, and understand that Obama was mentored, trained, and put into place to accomplish the destruction of the American Republic. His "Change", his "transformation" of America, was not intended to end corruption in government, but to switch that corruption from the venal search for money, power, and glory to an attempt - which is proving successful - to immediately turn America into a socialist state (rather than the slower process our two party system had been using to gain further control of us). If successful, we will become yet another failed socialist state, as all others have failed before this.
Not because it had never been attempted by the "right people", by "wise Latinos" or other arrogant intellectuals, but because socialism simply doesn't work. Because stealing from the productive to give to the unproductive simply results in too little production to sustain a country, a civilization. When the number of people receiving welfare or other entitlements exceeds the number of those producing the wealth that provides it, the economy - and that civilization - collapses. There simply can be no other outcome.
Please read The Empire of Poverty. It explains where we are and where we probably are headed.
Honorable Means, at The Bonnie Blue Flag, writes that three of the four "boxes" available to Americans to control our government - and make no mistake, WE are supposed to control our government, not vice versa - are now denied us.
I am not certain the jury box is actually unavailable at this point, but he may well be right. If jury nullification were to be used on a court case in which the government felt its control were truly threatened, they probably would use NDAA (or the Patriot Act, or Obama would write a new Executive Order) to punish the jurors using it, if for no other reason than to warn future jurors that they would be at risk.
The "System" no longer permits working within it to effect any useful change, any way of actually getting redress from the abuses of government. As the EPA administrator said in his videotaped speech, the government will simply crucify any of us who resist. This current administration has proven its willingness to ignore the Constitution, Congress, and the will of the people. Obama's arrogance and ego will not permit him to accept being replaced by anyone, let alone a Republican - even if that Republican is merely "Obama Lite", a man who rammed through Romneycare in Massachusetts long before Pelosi and Reid rammed through Obamacare.
If Obama manipulates the vote counting process or otherwise interferes with the elections, it will indicate that the fourth box is indeed all that remains. It will indicate that Claire Wolff is no longer correct when she states, "It is too late to work within the system, but too soon to shoot the bastards." If Barry Soetero, aka Barack Hussein Obama (probable biological son of Frank Marshall Davis and probable recipient of Davis' sexual attentions when Barry Soetero was a boy) is re-elected, this Republic will cease to exist. It will be replaced with the failed socialist state that Obama and his steaopygous "wife" wish to make of America, while they enjoy the pleasure of using tax payer money to vacation and campaign for re-election.
Is that what you really want?