Archive for the ‘Superdickery’ tag
Most people seem to have little objection to the way drones are being used by the United States military. I believe this is because most of the people who have been killed by drones have been brown people not from around here. However the body country of American citizens isn’t zero. Until today it was believed that three American citizens were executed by drones but now we know there have been at least four American citizens executed by drones:
Four American citizens have been killed in counter-terrorism drone strikes since 2009, the Obama administration acknowledged for the first time Wednesday.
Attorney General Eric Holder disclosed the previously classified information in a letter to a top senator that also included the names of those killed and the revelation that only one was directly targeted in the strikes that began in 2009. He did not specifically call them drone strikes – rather, he referred to “counterterrorism operations” – but most of the individuals he mentioned are known to have died in drone strikes.
Even if you’re OK with brown people not from around here being killed without due process the knowledge of people from your country being executed in such a manner should make you consider how few protections you have from your government. So long as somebody within the state can claim you’re a terrorist your name can be added to kill list. From there you can be executed without a trail.
Welcome to the land of the free.
While the hearts of many self-proclaimed progressives are in the right place they tend to go about their stated goal of helping those in need in the wrong way. Asking the state to help those without resources is an exercise in futility because the state is an agent of expropriation and is only interested in providing assistance to individuals who actually have something to steal.
The state’s war against the homeless is pretty overt at this point. It seems that any organization that attempts to provide food, clothing, or shelter to those without means are shutdown by whatever municipality they are operating in. Manchester, New Hampshire is the latest battlefield in this twisted war:
MANCHESTER — City officials have told a church group that it will no longer be allowed use Veterans Park to serve a free hot breakfast to the homeless.
The decision has left Do you know Him? Ministries without an outdoor location in the downtown area to serve the breakfast.
The group had been using Veterans Park each weekend since January 2012 until December when, due to the cold, it took the operation indoors at the Salvation Army.
When it sought to again serve the breakfast at the park, the group was told by the Parks Department that its permit would not be renewed.
Why wasn’t their permit renewed? In most of these cases the state claims health and safety reasons to block organizations from helping those in need but this time the justification was a bit more honest:
“There was some concern from area businesses who didn’t feel like it was the best fit, using park space to feed people,” Chief of Parks Peter Capano said. “We sat down to try and find another location to do the ministry and had a rough time of it.”
Obviously we can’t have a bunch of homeless people reminding patrons that some people have it better than others. If we allowed that some of those people may decide to help and that would mean resources would be going to those without means instead of the state and its cronies. Instead the problem must be swept under the rug.
In the end the lesson is the same: the state cannot be used to help those in need. If you really want to help people who have little or nothing then you’ll have to develop voluntary methods of doing so.
According to the Star Tribune the State of Minnesota lost 11,600 jobs last month but, somehow, unemployment went down:
Minnesota’s job market posted its second straight negative month, shedding 11,400 jobs in April, the state said Thursday.
The biggest job losses were in trade, transportation and utilities, which shed 5,700 jobs, according to figures released by the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development.
Meanwhile, the Minnesota unemployment rate fell to a seasonally adjusted 5.3 percent in April, its lowest point since May 2008 and well below the U.S. rate of 7.5 percent in April. The March figures were revised upward from 5,200 jobs lost to 3,300 jobs lost.
One may wonder how an economy could lose jobs and experience a drop in unemployment. Logic would dictate that unemployment would go up as the number of people without jobs also went up. What we’re seeing here is another example of the state cooking the books in order to make unemployment look better than it actually is. I’ve touched on how the Bureau of Labor Statistics uses what is called the U3 unemployment statistic in order to make unemployment look better than it actually is. Another trick often used by statist statisticians, such as the ones employed by the State of Minnesota, is seasonal adjustments.
Seasonal adjustments, as the name implies, involves removing drops in unemployment caused by seasonal changes from the official statistic. The theory goes something like this:
- During certain seasons there is a spike in employment during the rush to hire needed seasonal help. Christmas, for example, generally involves a spike in employment as stores try to have enough staff to deal with the Christmas season rush.
- After these seasons conclude stores, who no longer need the additional help, can the seasonal employees.
- Since this is seasonal it can be safely ignored when creating unemployment statistics because those employees aren’t actually unemployed, they’re, err, um, look over there!
In other words if your unemployment statistic is looking bad you merely have to write off a large section of unemployed people as a seasonal phenomenon and your unemployment statistic will suddenly look better! Further adding precedence to this scam is the fact that there are multiple seasonal adjustment calculations to choose from! If one of the calculations isn’t giving you the statistic you want you can simply use a different one. Eventually you’ll find a calculation that will give you the statistic you desire.
War is peace, freedom is slavery, and unemployment is employment.
Remember when the Minnesota legislature and Mark Dayton said Minnesota’s tax victims wouldn’t be on the hook to pay for the new Vikings Stadium because proceeds from electronic pull tabs would cover the costs? As it turns out gambling revenues weren’t as high as the estimates had people believing so Minnesotans are going to be paying the bill:
Gov. Mark Dayton wants to rely on new revenues from cigarette and corporate income tax to help pay the state’s share of a new Vikings stadium.
Myron Frans, commissioner of revenue, explained Dayton’s plan to the Tax Conference Committee Thursday.
It would include two funding sources: approximately $24.5 million in one-time revenues from tax on the current cigarette inventory once the tax is increased. Dayton is proposing an increase from the current tax of $1.23 per pack to $2.52 per pack.
It’ll state with cigarette and corporate income tax but I guarantee that the state will be pilfering from everybody in a short while. Meanwhile Zigy Wilf, the owner of the Vikings, will continue enjoying his life as a billionaire thanks, in part, to the fact we’re all paying for his Colosseum.
I always thought the point of bread and circuses was to distract the serfs from their miserable existence not remind them of it.
The more power the state obtains the lower the quality of life for the general populace is. Power production is one of the most heavily regulated markets. Although the state claims it must regulate power production in order to reduce pollution its interests in the market involves protecting its cronies from competition. Consider the Clean Air Act, which we’re told was passed to ensure better air quality. In actuality it was designed in such a way as to drum up business for expensive sulfur dioxide scrubbers and protect eastern coal producers. From Political Environmentalism by Terry L. Anderson:
Under the 1970 Clean Air Act, the EPA had established a policy whereby all coal plants were required to meet a set emission standard for sulfur dioxide. The original standard of 1.2 pounds of sulfur dioxide (SO,) per million British thermal units (BTUs) of coal could be met in a variety of ways.
Despite its apparent flexibility, this regulation had disparate regional effects. Most of the coal in the eastern United States is relatively “dirty” due to its high sulfur content. Western coal, on the other hand, is far cleaner. Using western coal enabled utilities and other coal-burning facilities to meet the federal standard without installing costly scrubbers to reduce the sulfur content of their emissions. At the time, scrubbers were so expensive that many midwestern firms found it less expensive to haul tons of low-sulfur coal from the West than to utilize closer, dirtier deposits.
When the Clean Air Act was revised in 1977, it was time for the eastern coal producers to get even. As Ackerman and Hassler (1981) noted, eastern producers of high-sulfur coal elected “to abandon their campaign to weaken pollution standards and take up the cudgels for the costliest possible clean air solution-universal scrubbing” (31). The result was a “bizarre coalition of environmentalists and dirty coal producers” that successfully advanced a new set of environmental standards that probably did more harm than good in much of the country (Ackerman and Hassler 1981, 27).
Under the 1977 law, coal plants had to meet both an emission standard and a technology standard. In particular, the law contained new-source-performance standards (NSPS) that forced facilities to attain a “percentage reduction in emissions.” In other words, no matter how clean coal was, a new facility would still be required to install scrubbers. This law destroyed low-sulfur coal’s comparative advantage, particularly in the Midwest and the East. If all new facilities had scrubbers, then there was no need to transport low-sulfur coal across the country. Less expensive, high-sulfur coal from the East would work just as well, even if it produced substantially greater emissions.
The result of such regulations is predictable, power production facilities pay more money to install sulfur dioxide scrubbers and we, the consumers, pay more money for electricity so the power production facility can pay off the scrubbers. We end up getting less electricity for more money and suffer a hit in our overall qualify of life because of it.
Now consider the United Kingdom (UK). That state’s rule over power production has led to a shortage of power. Being a state the only solution seen by the UK is rationing:
Fridges and freezers in millions of British homes will automatically be switched off without the owner’s consent under a ‘Big Brother’ regime to reduce the strain on power stations.
The National Grid is demanding that all new appliances be fitted with sensors that could shut them down when the UK’s generators struggle to meet demand for electricity.
Electric ovens, air-conditioning units and washing machines will also be affected by the proposals, which are already backed by one of the European Union’s most influential energy bodies. They are pushing for the move as green energy sources such as wind farms are less predictable than traditional power stations, increasing the risk of blackouts.
The result of the UK’s unwillingness to expand their power production with reliable sources may lead to massive amounts of food spoilage as refrigerators across wide swaths of the country shut themselves down and people dying of heatstroke because their air conditioners automatically shut off when it was 115 degrees outside. Once again the state’s desire to control everything is leading to a drop in the overall qualify of life and, in a rather ironic twist, a potential waste of food, which isn’t a green policy at all. Oh, and to add insult to injury, people living in the UK will be footing the bill for the development and installation of the technology that will allow the power facilities to automatically disable your appliances.
Why wouldn’t the power production companies demand to be allowed to build more reliable production facilities? Because that would cost them money and so long as they enjoy the state-provided protection from competition they have no motivation to actually spend money to improve their product. Who would want to spend millions to build a new power plant when they can charge more money for the same amount of electricity thanks to state-mandated rationing? Nobody, that’s who.
If there was ever a story that demonstrates the fact that the primary job of the police is to expropriate wealth from the general populace it is this one:
The city of Keene has filed a lawsuit (copy here) against me and several other people regarding robin hooding (Respondents). Basically, the city wants the court to issue a “preliminary” and “permanent” injunction “restraining Respondents, or anyone under their direction, supervision, employment, or control, from coming within a safety zone of fifty (50) feet of any PEO [Parking Enforcement Officer] while that PEO is on duty.” Additionally, the city wants to stop us “from video recording, within a safety zone of fifty (50) feet,” and “from communicating with any PEO.”
The city alleges that “Respondents have repeatedly video recorded, interfered with, taunted, and intimidated PEOs during the performance of their employment duties,” which is ridiculous for several reasons, most importantly, according to the job description for a city of Keene parking enforcer, “This position requires a person” to “relate with the general public” and “Endure verbal and mental abuse when confronted with the hostile views and opinions of the public and other individuals often encountered in an antagonistic environment.”
For those of you unfamiliar with robin hooding, it’s a practice partaken by some residents of Keene that involves inserting quarters into expired parking meters so the unsuspecting owners of the car don’t come back to a parking ticket. The police don’t like the practice because it eats into their parking ticket revenue, which is why they’re filing a lawsuit.
Under statism no good deed goes unpunished.
To the people who believe Rand Paul will deliver this country from the so-called progressives I have only one question, where is your messiah now:
At a lunch Friday with about a dozen evangelical pastors in a Cedar Rapids hotel, the younger Paul assured the group that he disagrees with libertarians who support legalizing drugs. When one pastor inquired about ideological ties between Paul and his father, the senator asked that he be judged as his own man.
In an interview a day before his Iowa trip, Paul, 50, also tried to make clear just what kind of politician he is. “To some, ‘libertarian’ scares people,” he said. “Some of them come up to me and they say, ‘I kind of like you, but I don’t like legalizing heroin.’ And I say, ‘Well, that’s not my position.’ ”
Paul said he believes in freedom and wants a “virtuous society” where people practice “self-restraint.” Yet he believes in laws and limits as well. Instead of advocating for legalized drugs, for example, he pushes for reduced penalties for many drug offenses.
If Rand Paul is your plan B for delivering this country from tyranny then it’s time to start working on your plan C. The man is a politician who prioritizes power over principle. He doesn’t want to deliver this country from tyranny he merely wants to be in charge of the tyranny.
It finally happened, the state finally made it’s move to suppress 3D printable firearms:
On Thursday, Defense Distributed founder Cody Wilson received a letter from the State Department Office of Defense Trade Controls Compliance demanding that he take down the online blueprints for the 3D-printable “Liberator” handgun that his group released Monday, along with nine other 3D-printable firearms components hosted on the group’s website Defcad.org, while it reviews the files for compliance with export control laws for weapons known as the International Traffic in Arms Regulations, or ITAR. By uploading the weapons files to the Internet and allowing them to be downloaded abroad, the letter implies Wilson’s high-tech gun group may have violated those export controls.
“Until the Department provides Defense Distributed with final [commodity jurisdiction] determinations, Defense Distributed should treat the above technical data as ITAR-controlled,” reads the letter, referring to a list of ten CAD files hosted on Defcad that include the 3D-printable gun, silencers, sights and other pieces. “This means that all data should be removed from public acces immediately. Defense Distributed should review the remainder of the data made public on its website to determine whether any other data may be similarly controlled and proceed according to ITAR requirements.”
I think we all knew this was coming. To tell the truth I hoped it would come. This was the overt act of censorship that was needed kick the Streisand effect into action and, in so doing, ensure that the 3D printer models created and hosted by Defense Distributed will never die. As it stands the number of seeds for the Defense Distributed files has jumped to several hundred. I’ve even found a Tor hidden service that is hosting the files (you need to use the Tor Browser Bundle to access that link). As I’ve heard several people say, you can’t stop the signal.
As I stated in my post explaining methods to render the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA) irrelevant, the need for anonymity and strong encryption is greater today than ever. The state is trying to spy on our communications and censor material posted online. While some may wish to beg the state to allow information to flow freely we know they aren’t going to comply. Because of their desire to control information we must bypass their ability to detect and censor information they find objectionable.
When the state makes attempts like this to censor information it allows us to test our ability to preserve said information. As it stands more people have downloaded the 3D printer models provided by Defense Distributed than would have if the state hadn’t made an effort to censor the models. In fact I’ve had several friends who were uninterested in 3D printed guns ask if I knew where to get the files. Now that the files have been declared verboten everybody wants a copy. The state really shot themselves in the foot with this one.
Since their support of the Manchin-Toomey Amendment I’ve been questioning whether or not the Second Amendment Foundation (SAF) is still supporting gun rights or has finally succumbed to The One Ring’s corrupting power. A post by Sebastian at Shall Not Be Questioned leads me to believe the latter:
We noticed SAF/CCRBKA’s booth on the NRA floor, but decided not to stop. But Think Progress did, and noticed they were handing out literature taking NRA to task over Manchin-Toomey:
But despite the bill’s (perhaps temporary) defeat in the Senate, CCRKBA doesn’t appear to be backing down — The Gun Mag, a Second Amendment Foundation publication, published an “NRA Meeting Special Issue” whose lead article takes apart the NRA’s line on Manchin-Toomey.
Many of the comments question the claim as it was posted on Think Progress. On the other hand neither the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms (CCRKBA) or SAF have refuted the claim.
It’s not wise for gun owners to support an organization that is trying to support gun control legislation and it’s even more unwise to support an organization that is trying to resurrect gun control legislation that has been put to rest. Because the charges against the CCRKBA and SAF are so severe and their previous behavior of supporting the Manchin-Toomey Amendment put their position into question I must hereby withdraw my support. If a representative of either organization is willing to come forth and refute the claim made by Think Progress I will reconsider but I will not give support to an organization that is trying to sell people down the river.
One of the things that sets me apart from many members of the gun rights community is my opposition to prisons. You won’t hear me demand violators of current gun laws be prosecuted more harshly or that we need to stop releasing prisoners early due to the high recidivism rate. Beyond the fact that prisons are a form of collective punishment (society gets to pay to house, feed, clothe, and guard prisoners) they are also sources of slave labor for the state and private corporations. The fact that prisons serve as a source of slave labor make stories like this unsurprising:
An American judge known for his harsh and autocratic courtroom manner was jailed for 28 years for conspiring with private prisons to hand young offenders maximum sentences in return for kickbacks amounting to millions of dollars.
Mark Ciavarella Jnr was ordered to pay $1.2m (£770,000) in restitution after he was found to be a “figurehead” in the conspiracy that saw thousands of children unjustly punished in the name of profit in the case that became known as “kids for cash”.
Private organizations such as Corrections Corporation of America and their public equivalents like UNICOR and MINNCOR [PDF] use prisoners as a source of extremely cheap slave labor. Because of their access to slave labor these companies are able to undercut other market producers who have to rely on free laborers. By issuing stricter sentences the judges are able to get a kickback from the prison-industrial complex and the prison-industrial complex is able to keep their manufacturing floors stocked with laborers. It’s a win-win situation… at least for everybody but the prisoners.
The idea of incarceration leads itself to this type of problem. Eventually tax victims tire of paying for the food, shelter, clothing, and guarding of prisoners and demand alternatives. The state and its cronies, knowing they can make a nice profit by using prison labor, happily provide an alternative. Tax victims happily agree to the idea because it relives them (at least they belief it relieves them) of footing the bill to maintain prisons and the new scheme is put into motion. Of course the population that is actually affected, the prisoners, are unable to voice their opinion but nobody seems to care about them.