Archive for June, 2011
People often talk about their home as if they actually own it. Unfortunately nobody in this country actually owns a home or property because the government can come in at any time and either confiscate your property (either with some compensation as with eminent domain or without) or demolish your home because the bureaucrats don’t like it. Uncle posted a story that does an amazing job of demonstrating this fact. In Los Angeles County the local government is actively moving to demolish peoples’ homes because they don’t meet arbitrarily set codes:
The men demanded her driver’s license, telling her, “This building is not permitted — everything must go.” Normally sassy, Marcelle handed over her ID — even her green card, just in case. Stepping out, she realized that her 1,000-square-foot cabin was surrounded by men with drawn guns. “You have no right to be here,” one informed her. Baffled and shaking with fear, she called her daughter — please come right away.
As her ordeal wore on, she heard one agent, looking inside their comfortable cabin, say to another: “This one’s a real shame — this is a real nice one.”
A “shame” because the authorities eventually would enact some of the most powerful rules imaginable against rural residents: the order to bring the home up to current codes or dismantle the 26-year-old cabin, leaving only bare ground.
Why did the agents have their guns drawn? Because forcing people to obey is much easier when you have a demonstration of force. Still I digress as the main point is the fact that the cabin has been there for 26 years and now the government is saying it must either be torn down completely or updated to meet county code.
L.A. Weekly found in a six-week investigation that county inspectors and armed DA investigators also are pursuing victimless misdemeanors and code violations, with sometimes tragic results. The government can define land on which residents have lived for years as “vacant” if their cabins, homes and mobile homes are on parcels where the land use hasn’t been legally established. Some have been jailed for defying the officials in downtown Los Angeles, while others have lost their savings and belongings trying to meet the county’s “final zoning enforcement orders.” Los Angeles County has left some residents, who appeared to be doing no harm, homeless.
Just stop and think about that for a moment. The government is claiming the right to come in, deem that the land use hasn’t been legally established (even though nobody was using that land in the middle of the fucking desert), and then demolish your home and toss your ass in a cage.
Read the entire article. It’s long but interesting and scary at the same time. It demonstrates without question that you don’t truly own your property and are able to live on it only so long as the government is OK (usually they’re OK so long as you keep paying them property taxes).
Obama finally made a public comment about the Gunwalker scandal and, following his usual tradition in speeches, didn’t actually say anything of substance:
My attorney general has made clear that he certainly would not have ordered gun running to be able to pass through into Mexico. … I’m not going to comment on — a on a current investigation. I’ve made very clear my views that that would not be an appropriate step by the ATF, and we’ve got to find out how that happened.
So he’s comment is really that he has no comment. I will say one thing about Obama, he certainly makes an ideal politician. He does nothing, says nothing of substance, and then claims credit for everything that goes well during his term in office. Hell he’s the exact same type of person as every president we’ve had since… well I have no idea but it’s a long time.
The government is doing everything they can to cover up the Gunwalker scandal. They don’t want the fact that they broke the law they’re supposedly upholding by ensuring guns were smuggled into Mexico. Not only were they breaking their own laws but their actions can also be linked directly to two murders. This is why the government shouldn’t be allowed to do anything, everything they touch turns instantly to shit.
If the result of this investigation is anything other than the complete abolition of the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco Firearms and Explosives (ATF) it will be a complete waste of time.
If anybody living in Wyoming is reading this blog note that starting Friday you’ll be able to exercise your right to self-defense by carrying a firearm without first having to beg the state for permission:
Starting Friday, Wyoming will join three other states in allowing individuals to carry a concealed weapon without a permit.
Anyone who meets the same requirements to obtain a Wyoming concealed weapons permit can legally carry a firearm in any place that is not specifically prohibited.
Put Wyoming down as another state that actually respects its citizens’ right to have the best means of self-defense available to them.
It’s often said that people aren’t willing to help others like they used to. Many blame this on the fact that the population has become apathetic since the government involved itself with welfare, Medicare, and Medicade. The belief is people won’t help others because they think the government will do it. Well this is probably part of the reason but I think the other part is the fact the government has basically made it illegal to help others out. Take for instance the organizations Food Not Bombs who have been providing two meals a week in Orlando:
A group called “Food Not Bombs” serves two vegan/vegetarian meals in the Lake Eola Park in Downtown Orlando FL every week. They server breakfast on Mondays and Dinner on Wednesdays.
Of course what they’re doing is illegal because Orlando has an ordinance against sharing food with a “large group” in a downtown park more than twice a year. On top of that the city is also enforcing this ordinance:
The city of Orlando passed a controversial city ordinance that prohibits sharing food with large groups in a downtown city park more than twice a year. This ordinance was, of course, meant just for the “Food Not Bombs” group that did it twice a week. The group had been fighting the ordinance but lost a legal appeal in April. So they decided to keep serving the homeless and the hungry dispute the fact the ordinance could now be enforced. So far, according to the “Food Not Bombs” website, 13 have been arrest for feeding the homeless and the hungry in the park.
As is the general case when people give the government a big middle finger and decide they will continue helping those in need the government sent in their thugs to arrest the members of Food Not Bombs. Here’s the video of that fun little stunt:
Remember kids you’re not supposed to help those in need. Should you decide to do something as subversive as provide food to the hungry you will be arrested and if you don’t come willingly you will be forced to comply through the judicious use of violence. Shut up slave and do as you’re told.
The author of the linked article of course criticizes the actions of Food Not Bombs for disobeying the rules. It’s not the author’s fault for not understanding that the only way to get change in government is through disobeying their stupid rules. Once enough people are arrested and the public outcry is large enough these types of ordinances usually go away or at the very least the police get sick of enforcing them. It’s amazing how effective clogging up the court system and filling jails will non-violent individuals messes up the authoritarian’s little system.
I’m as much a fan of irony as any one man can be but sometimes it’s just too much. The Examiner has an article up that talks about Chicago Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy’s claim that “loose” federal gun laws are akin to racism:
Chicago Police Supt. Garry McCarthy earlier this month told parishioners at St. Sabina’s Church that federal gun laws are akin to “government-sponsored racism.”
“I want you to connect one more dot on that chain of African-American history in this country, and tell me if I’m crazy: Federal gun laws that facilitate the flow of illegal firearms into our urban centers, across this country, that are killing black and brown children,” he said according to an WMAQ-Channel 5 story that aired Thursday.
Of course anybody who has studied the history of gun laws in the United States knows that guns laws weren’t put into place for “public safety” but to keep newly free blacks from obtaining firearms. Jews for the Preservation of Firearm Ownership (JPFO) put together a video sometime back that explained the racist roots of American gun control. The video can be freely viewed on YouTube:
From the no-fucking-shit-sherlock department we have learned that all the claims made by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) about the safety of their naked body scanners are dubious at best. The Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) used a Freedom of Information Act request to obtain documents from the Department of
Motherland Homeland Security (DHS) dealing with the safety of those scanners. What they found wasn’t at all surprising:
In a FOIA lawsuit against the Department of Homeland Security, EPIC has just obtained documents concerning the radiation risks of TSA’s airport body scanner program. The documents include agency emails, radiation studies, memoranda of agreement concerning radiation testing programs, and results of some radiation tests. One document set reveals that even after TSA employees identified cancer clusters possibly linked to radiation exposure, the agency failed to issue employees dosimeters – safety devices that could assess the level of radiation exposure. Another document indicates that the DHS mischaracterized the findings of the National Institute of Standards and Technology, stating that NIST “affirmed the safety” of full body scanners. The documents obtained by EPIC reveal that NIST disputed that characterization and stated that the Institute did not, in fact, test the devices. Also, a Johns Hopkins University study revealed that radiation zones around body scanners could exceed the “General Public Dose Limit.”
The documents they speak of make for interesting reading. Needless to say nobody has tested these scanners and given them their seal of approval. Hell John Hopkins University flat out said there are hot zones around the scanners that are likely unsafe.
I still have a dream of obtaining a decimeter watch and using it to detect how high the radiation levels of those scanners is. Unfortunately those watches are expensive and I’m unwilling to go through those scanners simply because I don’t believe the government needs to have more biometric data related to me.
Anti-gunners want to ban private ownership of firearms but are perfectly OK with the police having guns. This is because the anti-gunners claim that the police are extremely well trained and responsible unlike us lowly peasants. Well as Jay points out the police aren’t nearly as responsible as the anti-gunners believe:
The Seattle Police Department is apologizing for an assault rifle left unattended on the back of a patrol car Monday night, and has launched an investigation into the matter.
In addition, after an officer got back into the patrol car, it was driven away with the rifle still on the trunk. A woman also saw the rifle and followed the car to try to get the officer’s attention.
I’m unaware of any gun owner who would be so irresponsible as to not only leave an expensive firearm on their trunk but then drive off leaving that firearm on the ground. Unlike the police we who are not members of “the only ones” actually have to pay for our firearms thus we usually take some care of them. Nobody who plunked down $700.00 for a rifle wants to leave it lying on the ground somewhere.
Demonstration such as this make me not only question why anti-gunners aren’t clamoring for a prohibition on police having firearms as well. After all from what I’ve seen the average police officer is no more responsible with a firearm than the individual and oftentimes the police are far less responsible.
A large number in the libertarian movement often talk about the nanny state. Nanny state, for those of you unaware, is a term used to describe the government’s constant regulations claimed to be put into place to “protect consumers.” In actuality these regulations are nothing more than means of extracting more money from people in the form of permits and license. The state of New York is one of the biggest nanny states out there and that point can’t be made clearer than by looking at their ban on cutting cheese in the open air:
The state Agriculture Department is enforcing a ban on slicing cheese in the open air – and shoppers complain that the regulation means pre-packaged cheese, which defeats the purpose of buying fresh.
That has to be one of the dumbest regulations put into place anywhere (please don’t point out dumber regulation to me, I’ve already developed a strong enough distaste for government). Obviously this regulation was put into place under the guise of protecting consumers, after all there is no other way such a stupid regulation could get pushed through:
“We do not want dirty utensils used at farmers’ markets,” Ziehm said.
“There are many risks involved in slicing cheese in an open-air market. The product could be exposed to the elements, to bacteria and germs, while it’s not wrapped,” she added.
That sounds to me like she’s saying you shouldn’t have picnics because there are lots of dangers involved. Shit I think I gave the New York government another idea of something to require licensing for. If you look at this requirements for getting a license to cut cheese you’ll notice is has protectionism written all over it:
A state regulation on the books since the 1970s requires what’s called an Article 20-C license to slice cheese for commercial sale – and it applies to Greenmarket vendors, Ag Department spokeswoman Jessica Ziehm said.
Vendors can obtain the license only if they slice cheese in a “permanent” building that excludes pests such as flies and has hot and cold running water and a three-compartment sink.
Although I’m unaware of the cost of this Article 20-C license I’m betting it doesn’t come cheap. Likewise this regulation ensures only businesses with established locations are able to get the required license. That means small independent farmers who sell their goods as temporary locations like farmers’ markets are unable to sell cheese outside of the pre-packaged variety. This means that consumers are often unable to get a small amount of cheese from the independent farmers and thus will go to established locations to obtain the small amount that they truly desire. It’s an effective means for government to ensure business flows to those it favors.
Government always find ways to justify their “consumer protection” schemes which almost always turn out to be schemes to protect established businesses from competition.
Although Steve Jobs often comes off as an asshole and he’s a complete control freak there are times you just have to hand it to him fro doing awesome things. Recently Apple had to go to the Cupertino city council to get permission to build a gigantic new headquarters. Why permission needs to be sought out from city councils to construct a building on your own land is beyond me but like most government agents the council are a bunch of looters and saw this as an opportunity to extort something extra from Apple. Unfortunately for them Jobs would have none of that as demonstrated in this video:
For those of you who didn’t want to watch the video a member of the city council asked “What’s in it for us?” The question was a hope that the city could extort free Wi-Fi from Apple but Jobs did a beautiful job of pointing out what the city would get:
You see, I’m a simpleton. I’ve always had this view that we pay taxes and the city should do those things. Now if we can get out of paying taxes, I’d be glad to put up Wi Fi.
Check and mate. I love of Jobs was willing to simply say, “Fuck you you looting bastards, we likely pay you more money each year than anybody else in the forsaken city.” As companies are fleeing California in droves members of city councils should be doing everything they can to attract businesses to help keep their unemployment down. Instead, as demonstrated in this case, many city councils seem to believe they need to extort as much as possible from business owners.
I applaud Jobs for denying the city council’s attempt at extortion. More people should be willing to stand up to government bureaucrats and tell them where to shove their attempts at looting.
We’re only a few days away from a possible government shutdown here in Minnesota and people are confused about what state provided services will and won’t be open should the government take a leave of absence. The Red Star has a summary of what services will and won’t be available during the possible shutdown.
Reading through the list it’s bloody obvious to me that nobody is going to even notice a state shutdown. My concern is reading through all the shit that the government has obtained a monopoly on providing. For instance this little gem:
STILLWATER LIFT BRIDGE
Would close to vehicle traffic. It would be raised to allow boat traffic and would remain in the raised position.
Why the Hell is the state government charged with operating a lift bridge? Does that seem like a job that you need a government bureaucrat to perform? Being the bridge is connected to Stillwater why not let the city of Stillwater run the damned thing? Read through the list though and then ask yourself what downside would exist to the government shutting down. The shutdown is nothing but a boogeyman being used by those at the Capitol to justify their existence.