Thursday, July 28, 2005

What is an Activist Judge?

There has been a lot of talk in the last several months about “activist judges.” Most of these discussions have been centered around a few high profile cases and with President Bush’s judicial nominations. This article gives us a good example of what is meant by the term “activist judge.” This guy has no business what so ever to criticize the government’s policy concerning detainees at Guantanimo Bay. It has no relevance the case that he was presiding over. In addition, the detainees in GITMO were captured ON THE BATTLEFIELD by US military personnel, not by US Customs agents through the course of there normal law enforcement functions. This puts them in a totally different class of prisoner.

A judge's job does not entail making, shaping or criticizing governement policy. Their job is to determine the legality of an individual's actions. The courts have already upheld the use of military courts for GITMO detainees so this guy needs to stick to the issues at hand in his courtroom. This is what makes people so mad about judges – just shut-up and do your job.

Sunday, July 24, 2005

The Rise of the Police State

Well folks, the terrorist have won. No they did not destroy the United States or Great Britain. They did not topple the governments of the Western world. They did not convert us all to Islam or kill all the infidels. They have won none the less. You see, they have succeeded in making us afraid and forcing us to change our core values.

After the July 7 bombings in London I commented that it was sad that London is the most security conscious city in England, and possibly Europe, but the bombers could not be stopped BEFORE the damage had been done. All those security cameras counted for nothing. A couple of days ago it seems that a few more terrorist attempted another attack but were unsuccessful this time. No one is sure why they were unsuccessful. It certainly wasn’t the security cameras. Don’t get me wrong, the cameras do have some use but it is not for crime PREVENTION. Cameras DO NOT make society safer. In London the suspects are on camera and they still haven’t caught them.

Now we have stories in the press calling for more cameras in the US. This is sad and pitiful development in the outlook of the American citizen. It was not too long ago that the thought of watching people in public places would have caused a deafening outcry, now it barely gets any notice or, worse; people are in favor of it. Would you feel better being blown apart by a crazed terrorist knowing that it will be caught on film? Does it make all the deaths worthwhile if we can find the home of the suicide bomber AFTER he has killed innocent people?

This is not the worst example of the police state mentality creeping into everyday life. On Friday London police shot and killed Jean Charles de Menezes when he failed to follow the instructions of and then ran from plainclothes police officers. He was tackled in a subway car and then shot to death by the officers. Five bullets for an unarmed man all in the name of public safety. Then John Gibson of Fox News praises the actions of the London police for putting “five bullets in the noggin.” I like Fox News but this kind of attitude really makes me sick.

I know what you are going to ask – What about the Patriot Act? It was renewed on Friday with a majority of the provisions made permanent. I am not totally against the Patriot Act but I do not believe that any of it should be permanent. But these are the times in which we live. Once a right has been surrendered it is never returned.

So, the terrorist have won. They have changed our attitudes about Liberty and security. We are so afraid that we will allow the police to randomly search us before we get on a subway. We now think it is OK for the government to watch us in public places. It is OK of the FBI to have expanded powers to find “terrorists.” It is OK for the police to use deadly force when there is no EVIDENCE of a threat – just act strange in the wrong place and BANG, your dead. This is all fine with everyone I guess.

What is the next logical step in all this? What happens if London, with all its police state tools continues to be attacked? Will they want to put cameras in businesses with direct feed to the police? Will they want them in private residences? Well, they want them in the Muslim homes but they can’t discriminate so they will need to put them in everyone’s homes.

I recently re-read George Orwell’s 1984. I last read it when I was in high school during the Reagan years. At the time it seemed like a simple telling of Stalinism. After re-reading the book I discovered that it is so much more, it is a warning of a system of thought that is so diabolical we cannot imagine the horrors it will unleash. Now I am beginning to see the same attitudes expressed in the book coming to life around me. All it will take is for someone to gain power who will user all of these new powers and attitudes to their fullest – but then it will be too late to stop it.

I will ask again – Would you rather be free or safe?

Friday, July 22, 2005

A Letter from the Administration

This was sent to me in an email yesterday and I thought it was too funny to pass up. Instead of spamming a bunch of people I am posting it here. Enjoy!

A letter was written to the current administration, complaining about the treatment of a captive taken during the Afghanistan war. Below is a copy of the response.

The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Ave.
Washington, DC

Dear Concerned Citizen:

Thank you for your recent letter criticizing our treatment of the Taliban and Al Qaeda detainees currently held at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. The administration takes these matters seriously, and your opinion was heard loud and clear here in Washington. You'll be pleased to learn that, thanks to the concerns of citizens like you, we are creating the Terrorist Retraining Program, to be called the "Liberals Accept Responsibility for Killers" program, or LARK for short.

In accordance with the guidelines of this new program, we have decided to place one terrorist under your personal care. Your detainee has been selected and scheduled for transportation to your residence next Monday. Ali Mohammed Ahmed bin Mahmud is to be cared for pursuant to the standards you personally demanded in your letter of admonishment.

We will conduct weekly inspections to ensure that your standards of care for Ahmed are commensurate with those you so strongly recommended in your letter. Although Ahmed is sociopathic and extremely violent, we hope that your sensitivity to what you described as his "attitudinal problem" will help him overcome this character flaw. Perhaps you are correct in describing these problems as mere cultural differences.

Your adopted terrorist is extremely proficient in hand-to-hand combat and can extinguish human life with such simple items as a pencil or nail clippers. He is also expert at making a wide variety of explosive devices from common household products, so you may wish to keep those items locked up, unless you feel that this might offend him.

Ahmed will not wish to interact with your wife or daughters since he views females as a subhuman form of property. This is a particularly sensitive subject for him. He has been known to show violent tendencies around women who fail to comply with the dress code that he considers appropriate, but I'm sure that over time they will come to enjoy the anonymity offered by the bhurka. Just remind them that it is all part of respecting his culture and his religious beliefs.

Thanks again for your letter. We truly appreciate it when folks like you inform us of the proper way to do our job. Take good care of Ahmed and good luck!

Don Rumsfeld

Thursday, July 21, 2005

What's happening today?

London attacked again! Muslims in Great Britain had better watch out. The British people are not the most tolerant in the world, no matter what the media would like you to think. It is only a matter of time before we see tanks on the streets of Leeds. Expect a few “good kicking’s” as well.

Chinese no longer peg the Yuan to the US Dollar. This may be one of the most important stories in months but no one really understands how important this move is. It is not only good for the US economy but, in the long run, it is a good move for China. It signals a change in attitude on the part of the Chinese government towards normal trade relations with the rest of the world.

It’s hot where I live! What I think is strange about the stories of heat in Phoenix is the fact that the national news is reporting it. It is ALWAYS hot here! This isn’t even the hottest it has ever been. It is not the first time that homeless people have died. Strangely, the impact on the illegal aliens crossing the desert seems to be much lower than one would expect with “record breaking” heat. I think the reason this is getting so much attention is two fold. The first reason is that despite an 8 year drought and “Global Warming” (dunt dunt da!) the last several summers have not been too bad. During that time a few hundred thousand people have moved here who have not been through an above average summer; they are still unprepared and they complain to friends and family back home. This, in turn, inspires the media to look into something they would otherwise ignore. The Second reason this is news is because, in this age of “Global Warming” (dunt dunt da!) hysteria anything to do with hot temperatures is going to get media time. This is the same issue as transients freezing to death in New York City in the winter.

This story just freaks me out! That is one HUGE shark!

China is mad about Pentagon’s report about the Chinese military. Look, the threat from China to any nation in the world is about as big as the US threat to any nation in the world. China is a huge country with a growing economy. They have strong economic interests with many nations around the world. They are dependant on the importation of key goods and they have a huge export system. Unlike booming Japanese and German economies of the past, the Chinese do not have the luxury of having the US government subsidize, or outright pay for, their national defense. They have a right and an obligation to defend themselves and their national interests. This does not mean they desire a military confrontation with the US or anyone else. The reality is that Taiwan will rejoin China and it will be a bloodless re-unification.

The House takes the first step in protecting US citizens from direct UN taxes. This is great news! The UN has been trying for years to put a direct tax system in place with the primary aim of collecting tax revenue directly from the US people, thereby bypassing the US Congress. All American should support and celebrate this move.

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

How American are you?

You Are 73% American
Most times you are proud to be an American.
Though sometimes the good ole US of A makes you cringe
Still, you know there's no place better suited to be your home.
You love your freedom and no one's going to take it away from you!

Sunday, July 17, 2005

Web site update!

No not this site! I have made an update to my main web site. In case you are not aware, I am an avid miniature painter, model builder and wargamer. My main web site is devoted to this hobby. Miniature painting - what's that? you ask. Well, it's like this:

Better yet, go to my home on the web and have a look! Maybe I should post a picture here every now and then...

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Are you reading?

One good hate crime begets another – I wonder if the Guardian blamed the Tube bombings on Christainophobia? I doubt it. I wonder if they think the terrorists were hate criminals? I doubt it.

Boycott Exxon – I don’t think so. If you thought the move by environmental groups to boycott Exxon was about actually protecting the environment you need to read this. This is a political move not a move to protect nature. These groups want POWER not environmental protection. That is just a ruse to get the dull-witted among us to support their political ambitions. These people hate business and they hate progress. They hate this country and will stop at no lie or distortion to gain power. Some will even stoop to the level of the terrorist.

Here is an example of how science – when properly focused – can solve just about any problem mankind faces. If we could just get the scientists to stop trying to set policies and get them to work on real solutions to real problems, everything would be fine.

If you are in Missouri – get back to work – after you read this article.

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

London Bombings

I don’t have much to say about this. It is a terrible thing but I think we all knew something like this was going to happen sooner or later. The part I find the most interesting is that London is one of the most security conscious places in the Western world. The place is literally covered in security cameras but it didn’t stop the attacks. If all these security cameras cannot stop terrorist why to the people of London allow them? What are they actually for? They DO NOT make them safer. Would you rather be safe or free? I choose freedom - especially when policies that are designed for safety don’t work.

Saturday, July 02, 2005

Been really busy lately…

Work has been going good but the new noon to 9 pm thing takes some adjustment. Sorry I haven’t post much lately but I actually have to work at my new job so my research time is limited. Here are a few things that have gotten my attention lately.

For Independence Day, Supreme Court Slams Founders is a good article about the real meaning of the latest sets of Supreme Court decisions. The sad fact is that most people in this country have no idea what the Constitution actually says, and it is not taught in schools, so they will not understand the real impact of these decisions. Read and understand – a new darker day is dawning. The Kelo v. City of New London case is particularly important because if the government can take private property for public good then the door is now wide open for the government to nationalize businesses – Socialism here we come!

Justice O’Conner resigns! Well, after that last session maybe more should resign. Seriously, this was not the first justice I would have guessed to be leaving but I am not too sad about it. Perhaps we can get someone in there that can over-turn the decisions noted above. I think there will be two appointments to the court this year and MAYBE one more before President Bush leaves office.

If you thought the Kelo v. City of New London ruling was harsh take a look at what Congress may be doing with the Endangered Species Act (ESA). I don’t understand why we keep kidding ourselves about being free – we haven’t been free for a very long time.

I REALLY love it when different environmental groups clash. Here we have the consequences of ‘green’ electric generation (windmills) and their impact on wildlife. The only answer is for all humans to die, and then there wouldn’t be any pollution or dead animals, right?

I hate the UN! It is THE force of socialism and technophobia in the world. This article talks about how the UN has been blocking new technologies that could save millions of lives. Why? Who knows – probably because they like the power and needy people are always willing to give people power in hopes that their lives might be spared. Creeps.

Since we are talking (sort of) about technophobia, socialism and such I have a new book recommendation. Fallen Angels by Larry Niven, Jerry Pournelle and Michael Flynn, is a story that gives us a glimpse of what the world might be like if the environmentalist get their way (there is also a strange hint of a union between the environmentalists and religious groups). The book was written in 1991 and it is scary how much this book could have been written today. Thanks for the recommendation Dad.