Horrible, just horrible! So many dying on this conflict... its just unbelievable the number of lives lost... to safely step from ones home to move about on ones own insurance is needed for safety is not assured. Worse training is needed to even handle these things! At its height 144 people a day dying from the conflict! And even worse the highest rate of injuries from this conflict, at 9,500 a day!!!!
It must be CIVIL WAR!!
Depends on how you define it, isn't? The data above are taken from the Bureau of Transportation Statistics for the US. And the hyperbole? All true. You can not tell me that a motor vehicle accident is not a conflict of motion and immobility that happens suddenly, or of motion out of control conflicting with ones desires to drive a proper course.
To drive a vehicle one needs training. Or learn on a wreck on your own out in the desert and hope you don't hit anything.
Insurance? Mandatory in most States. You are *not* safe when driving around in your vehicle, and that safety is *not* guaranteed.
Now, Iraq is 1/10th or so the size of the US, for a rough back of the envelope calculation. Shift the decimal point over one place to the left. You come up with? 14.4 fatalities and a whopping 950 injuries, luckily they don't own cars at the rate Americans do. Yet. They are working on it.
So, when I compare an 'insurgent attack' and the number of killed and wounded, I compare that to what their average to motor vehicle accidents will be *if* they drive as safely as Americans and own cars at the rate of Americans. I doubt they will get the former quickly, although the latter may be here sooner than expected.
Then I expect to see REAL daily carnage.
Luckily it will be evolution in action with the good drivers and lucky people surviving for the most part.
If you want to put deaths in Iraq due to violence and mayhem in perspective, then take a visit here to check out US War Casualty figures since the Revolution. And you will get more perspective than any MSM reporter in Iraq will *ever* give you by doing so.
31 May 2006
Horrible, just horrible! So many dying on this conflict... its just unbelievable the number of lives lost... to safely step from ones home to move about on ones own insurance is needed for safety is not assured. Worse training is needed to even handle these things! At its height 144 people a day dying from the conflict! And even worse the highest rate of injuries from this conflict, at 9,500 a day!!!!
30 May 2006
My thanks to Gateway Pundit for keeping track of this! Via Cindy Sheehan Watch.
Note that Ms. Sheehan is willing to attend to a number of symbolic graves of her son, but somehow has been lacking when it came to the real grave.
Such honor for one's son!
Thank you for showing us your true colors, Ms. Sheehan, and how much you dearly respected your son and mourn his loss.
Anywhere there is a rally.
And a photographer.
But strangely, not at the real gravesite where your son reposes for eternity, when there is no one present to glorify you. And you then must come to terms with eternity and the meaning of your son's life and not your own.
29 May 2006
This weekend a wonderful little thing that makes computing safer and easier went belly-up. This device was the APC Back-UPS XS 1500 which I bought... hmmm... well, over its warranty period ago, so at least 2 years. And I had purchased a similar from their RS line for another computer used by my Lady, so there was some commonality of parts between them. Needless to say, just outside the warranty period the thing suddenly gets the OVERLOAD light when I turn my computer on.
I did the 'unplug everything' to make sure it wasn't the computer. Turn off and then back on. Nope. Light and alarm still on.
I turned it off and pressed the circuit breaker reset for the machine, then back on again. Nope. Light and alarm still on. Ditto for manually holding it in during a power on/off cycle.
Hit website. Diagnosis: internal fault. Remedy: replace unit.
A deep, deep sigh at that point and thus begins another struggle with the modern world.
I do not mind the concept of 'planned obsolescence', although it does tend towards the concept of just making something 'good enough' to barely survive its active life. A refrigerator/freezer that my father bought from Westinghouse in 1957 is *still* humming along at my sister's place. It has *never* needed its refrigerant replaced and probably couldn't have that done today in any event and would need some sort of capture system to drain it of such before disposal. It has always *just worked* day in, day out for heading on 49 years. I remember when it was the *only* refrigerator in the house. I remember my mom wanting something larger and *newer* once we moved. I remember this huge, just off-avocado green color monster arrived. I remember the old Westinghouse being moved into the basement, soon to gain an upright freezer companion.
And I remember the *smell* of the new machine... and my allergies to it. A couple of weeks of sinus congestion, sneezing, eye irritation... seemingly without end, although in three weeks it had subsided. And I remember the exact same problem when the old Plymouth Valiant was replaces by that POS Volare (uhhh-ohhhhh!). Luckily I only had limited exposure to that *thing*. Then the *new* television. Color! And sneezing and so on... New carpet! And a month later I was more or less back to normal... Luckily, when my mom wanted a *new stove* she wanted a feature that hadn't been made since the 1960's (it was then the mid-1970's): a stove with a pull-out burner unit, so the entire surface would 'hide' inside the stove until needed. I was absolutely fine with that. The *new* dishwasher, on the other hand...
Yes, aromatic hydrocarbons left over from the manufacture of new plastics and electronics are a main source of allergic reaction to me. It does not matter if it is carpet, electronics, chairs, tables, microwaves, computer components, shelves... if it is *new* I am allergic to it. I call the phenomena 'off-gassing' in which volatile hydrocarbons and other long-chain molecules get liberated by the air. And the only sure-fire and absolute remedy is to have something 'air out' for a week or more on its lonesome in an isolated part of the house or, if it can be done, outside where the heat of sunshine will more quickly liberate the molecules.
The APC uninterruptable power supplies are toxic to both of us in this house, although the cats have no reaction to the off-gassing so far as we have seen. The last new unit spent a week in isolation plugged in, but I had, in my state of mind, forgot to turn it *on*. Needless to say a week or so of misery followed when it was actually put to use. And as I fully intend to finish my back-up computer and have it available and the old UPS from an ancient computer will not handle it, I have ordered two of the new units. I have already scoped out where they will go for their quarantine.
When I purchased my brand new Honda Insight I drove for 3 weeks with the windows down and the AC blasting air at all times. Night driving was a frigid affair and it wasn't even winter! I suffered moderately from it on rainy days when the windows must be up... but got used to it.
Of course when things go wrong, they like to come in squadrons, so that you get an absolutely 'full life' of problems to remind you that dullness is a *good thing*. So the Gevalia coffee maker/hot water pot combo lost its critical function of making coffee. I have ordered a low cost Black and Decker unit. New. It will cycle to a protected spot outdoors and then indoors until its smell is gone.
I have had this fanciful notion of having an underground home constructed for me. It would need all sorts of features, but the main one would be to use totally recycled material in its construction. Wood and panels and carpet that had been in the open air for *years*. I am wiling to try paints with low VOCs, then realized that I would need similar for the foundations and walls using something like Steelcrete or insulating concrete foam to gain resistance to humidity, molds and bacteria. Then the windows, triple-pane, high insulation factor and... here, just a little bit of nanotech helps in the way of Titanium Dioxide. Actually, if I could get a good source for that as an active paint in which the molecules would not destroy the paint polymers and yet still activate with VOCs and other long chain molecules, I would be set.
Titanium Dioxide is a simple molecule of one atom Titanium and two atoms of Oxygen. It is a natural catalyst for enhancing oxidation of long chain molecules. When you have it as a coating on glass, the most you will ever need to do is rinse the glass on the outside of a home once in a great while to remove dust. On the inside you will need to use a tiny vacuum or damp cloth to get rid of the dust. What is the dust? Anything that attempts to stay on the glass is oxidized away. Chemical odors are quickly broken down. Bacteria have *lots* of long chain molecules. So do mold and mold spores. Mud leaves only the non-volatile mineral fragments, the rest is broken down. You can get Titanium Dioxide bulbs for lamps and that should help speed the breakdown of allergens even more. My next home will be filled with those. They cost a bit more than standard compact flourescents, but they are well worth the try-out.
If the computer or metal casing industry would put a one-molecule thick layer of Titanium Dioxide on the surfaces of their casings, they would not *have* new plastic smell to them and serve to continually break such down in the interior environment. Surface area is the magic and the more the merrier and better. It is non-toxic and safe to touch, lean against and such... but fingerprints disappear after a few days. Self-cleaning and environmentally friendly and helps allergies. If you can find the products with it.
It is no wonder, then, that I love shopping at thrift stores, United Way, and Salvation Army stores. I am not dirt poor. I am allergic to *new*, for all the fact I enjoy modern technology. For me used and pre-owned and gently refurbished is better than good.
So there it stands, a few weeks of misery coming up as I do *need* coffee in the morning. Part of the basement will be a *sniff test* zone. And I will spend my time thinking of how fast to install Titanium Dioxide coated lightbulbs in the near future home... I plan on buying one that is *used* unless I can find a builder that understands about allergies to the modern world. And even then: Trust, but verify.
If anyone wants an old, steel constructed institutional desk that weighs a few hundred pounds, let me know. I can no longer shift it and that means I need a lighter weight one at my new home. This poor beast needs to go, and it will be scrap metal otherwise. Well worn-in, scratched, a dent here and there... the five drawers work, the top is fake wood and flat, the colors are institutional light brown and some shade of green that you see only on surgical masks. Ugly. I love it. Probably 1960's vintage... ditto a flimsy set of sheetmetal shelving in black. Old friends that will need to part ways with me... a few other household items like these will go to let a simplification process begin. Available sometime probably late this summer or early fall, health permitting a fast move. This paragraph will disappear when they do.
28 May 2006
Now, the New York Times link will probably go dead sometime as the deal disappears into their archives. But I've saved you the trouble of reading the rag that shows the demonstrable 'proof' by Mr. Kerry of his actions in Vietnam.
Yes, I couldn't resist taking it and doing a 'fair use' analysis of it. Took all of 20 minutes, and real imagery analysts can probably do far, far better than I can. I mean, I only play around at this... so here is my instant, 20 minute analysis with Photoshop used to add in the nice arrows and such. Original and my commentary side-by-side. If you want a free image viewer that does a few extras you may want to try Irfanview.
(Note: downsampled image... having to work with blogger and it does not *like* large images... So TBD as soon as I can find a way...)
So, the top picture one shows the nice man with some gauze bandaging wrapped around just above his wrist and what looks like, to me at least, a thickness of cloth due to a rolled-up sleeve. Now I am trying to work out exactly how he is holding his arm, what with one guy grabbing it and another's hand blocking it, and the guys in back so close they have to be touching Mr. Kerry.... and either Mr. Kerry has his hand in a semi-boxing stance, in which case the forearm is pointed down and back so that area just under the second gentleman's hand is the actual arm of Mr. Kerry or the forearm is slightly jutting forward... but there appear to be rumpled fatigues there so I went with the former, unless Mr. Kerry has a disappearing forearm.
The second two photos are purported to be the just after and right after shooting incident. The first thing that struck me on both is the 'manly pose' Mr. Kerry was able to strike. And in the one with the body, that guy must have been blown clear through because Mr. Kerry does not have his weapon at the ready, but is on the lazy trek over to check out the raging man he just shot. Now, in that shot Mr. Kerry also appears to have on something other than his 'Lucky Hat', which is on display in photo 2. Also on display in photo 2 is the RPG, not seen anywhere in photo 1.
Luckily Mr. Kerry had time between photos to take off his vest, outer fatigues and change his pants. And look a bit un-sweaty for the climate, the activity and the actual danger. Such a 'cool' guy!
But the truly interesting part of photo 1, the dead body photo, is in the weeds just above the body's waist. There is a discontinuity in the photo with what looks to be part of a letter 'e' partially encircled that has been removed. The clean edges to it and the difference in tonal quality compared to the rest of the photo point to 'something' being there that was then later removed. And as it is so clean, where even a scissors would leave a pit of fraying to become gray at the edging, I would guess it was done digitally. And not too expertly, at that.
Personally, I have found Mr. Kerry's OWN recollections on these things to be so faulty that he has given contradictory accounts at various times in his life.
The top photo clearly shows Mr. Kerry with some gauze on a wound so horrible it doesn't seep and that he can keep his cuff just rolled back from it. Probably 'just a flesh wound', which had some alcohol dabbed on it or something with a bit more bite and Mr. Kerry's scratch wrapped so as to not infect. Painful or even slightly irritating it is not. But, hey, a scratch in combat is still a Purple Heart! Too bad the men attacking the German positions on the scrub laden mountains in Italy didn't have that same attitude... they could have had a trunk full of Purple Hearts. Each!
Photos 1 and 2 of the Silver Star incident are, to my eye, staged. Photo 2, definitely as it happened some time far after the first to allow Mr. Kerry to get a full change of clothes and freshen up, out there on his swift boat... Photo 1, however, shows evidence of digital retouching and is not to be trusted at all. While looking continuous throughout the rest of it, that lack of tonal continuity at the partial obliterated 'e' point to work being done on the image itself. Add that to the stance Mr. Kerry takes as he saunters over to the body and you get the feeling that he absolutely, positively *knows* this is a dead enemy that is not 'playing' dead in order to whip out a pistol and let him have it before Mr. Kerry can shoot him again with his rifle. Which, considering how he is carrying it, is a pretty fair assessment. Now, if you take a look at Mr. Kerry's arm you will see that it is absolutely straight.... do you 'actually' keep your arm that way to check out a freshly shot enemy?
Now, the complaint might be that Mr. Kerry is handling the RPG. Ok, where is the weapon he normally carries and has proficiency with? Does any soldier shoot an enemy then jump from a Swift Boat to shore and *not* carry a familiar weapon?
Just taking a second look that right arm has some peculiarities to it... it looks like the sleeve opens up quite some bit from shoulder to wrist. Now a bit of that is to be expected if you just have your cuffs open. But there are two oddities right nearby. The first, to excuse pointing it out, is the white patch going from Mr. Kerry's right butt, over a crease in the pants and ending in the blackness of the firearm he is carrying. Note, that this casts *no* shadow. The second oddity is the black patch between Mr. Kerry's arm and his torso and extending down across his firearm. This black area ends by the body in the front part, and has a second part under the stock of the weapon and then fading into the lighter background. Finally at the muzzle there is yet a third black patch there.
I really don't know what to make of those as the weapon solidly outlines against it. From what can be seen of the general lighting it is *not* a shadow. Also it is too well defined by the mid-weapon to be something that was part of the original image. The breakup of the black patch near the upper part of the torso is also interesting as it continues on with the same tonal quality evident in the general background. Perhaps some of that is scanning artifact at low resolution scan or from downsampling from a higher resolution image.
Something is just plain 'wrong' about this photo. And I do not mean the corpse.
I will rely upon photo analysis experts who do know their grayscale work far better than I to look at it. But until the original, high resolution images are made available with the actual scanner make and model and date scanned with it, I will not trust any of them. By prevaricating, fabricating and contradicting these stories multiple times, Mr. Kerry is now in the bad position of having to have clear cut, evidential proof of his actions.
Most Vietnam vets that I have talked to have just said, 'I thought it had to be done and I had a job to do... have another beer?'. Or they give me stuff that I really, truly didn't need to know... but am happy for them to have lightened their lives by sharing it with me. It is a minor burden compared to what they are under.
Too bad Mr. Kerry didn't do the same.
[UPDATE] My thanks to PeterUK for some information at JOM on this:
a quote from the other thread,
The Boston Globe has:
"I'll show you where they shot from. See? That's the hole covered up with reeds," says Kerry, showing the films on a recent evening, his hand tightening on the remote control as he clicks the images down to slow motion.
"This is just something that I improvised. . . . The point was not to just take an ambush, but to go directly at them," adds Kerry, pointing to where he brought the boat ashore, and explaining how he returned later with a Super 8 millimeter hand-held movie camera to record highlights of the mission. "That's me right there. One of my crew was filming all this."
So there you have it! In order to train his men he went back to the scene of a fight were he left the dead body out to rot and then asked to be filmed as he showed how he did his heroic deed. It was for 'training' I guess. Not that he could have just used any anonymous piece of shorline and demonstrated it. Or, if his tactics were so innovative, have some sort of official recognition of it by sending a military film crew out.
Or capturing his wonderfulness in all of its glory for his later campaigning.
Any way you cut it, the action is morbid. And that he still points to it with pride says very much about the Senator and his accomplishments in life.
Or lack of same.
27 May 2006
Ok, a bit more background than you will *ever* want to know about me, but it is important.
I am that rare species known as a 'Gamer'.
This is *not* GAMBLING and to hell with that industry for taking a fine term used in other areas to describe their activities! I heap much scorn upon that industry for taking this fine term and twisting it to their ends to make gambling seem innocuous. To a Gamer gambling games of *skill* are still varied at a high rate by random chance and the decision qualities necessary to actually win are often overwhelmed by it. Although it is possible to 'game' the gambling system, and that is a skill in and of itself and I do *not* mean CHEATING. Those folks are reprehensible and an anathema to both the Gamers and the gamblers. No, such things as Blackjack (or 21) and roulette are amenable to statistical mathematics to give the gambler an edge. Once one understands that it is, actually, possible to make a low-level gambling life so long as one does not come to the attention of security and their brethren. That is, truthfully, an honest life at applied mathematics.
No the Gaming I am talking about is the age-old set of games to replicate warfare, combat, societies, resources, infrastructure and various other things that go into making real-world decisions. As an example my first game that truly introduced me to this was 'Richtofen's War', which was a rather primitive game for simulating 3D aerial combat during WWI using flat 2D board and pieces with a recording sheet for current speed and altitude. It took a bit of math to calculate speed, direction, firing range and effectiveness, mission objectives and actually doing the damn calculations by hand to figure out how far you *really* were from an opponent.
I loved it!
After that was a steady and incremental increase to 'PanzerBlitz', 'PanzerLeader', 'Third Reich', 'Outreach', 'Dune', 'Kingmaker', 'StarFleet Battles', 'Federation and Empire', and on, and on... The I migrated into the Role Playing Game areas in which individuals were portrayed either on a board or in a well described verbal setting. Such things as personal statistics, encumbrance, weapons efficiency and use, armor, magical capabilities, one-time useful items, multi-time useful items, maintenance, upkeep, social setting, influence of actions on a wider sphere of activities, intrigue, cabals, factions, Nations... and that brought me *right* back to the board wargaming skills which I had deployed throughout this entire spectrum and enhanced, over time, with repetition. Finally I migrated into computer games such as 'Civilization', 'Populace', 'SimCity', 'Warcraft II', 'Diablo', 'The Sims', 'Age of Empires', various Dungeons and Dragons titles, and on, and on...
So, my Gaming skills encompass the complete breadth of what it takes to create, design, make, run, adjudicate games. While not a 'Rules Expert', I saw what the underlying world model was that the rules were adhering to and determined outcomes based on how the rule system enacted them. In a game that had a multivolume ruleset to cover everything that could ever happen, as an example 'StarFleet Battles', the '15 second rule' limited anyone in a rules dispute to either find the exact rule or compromise with the players for an agreed-upon outcome that would then be used in the rest of that game session. And since I understood the replication and the activities and how they were seen by the *designers*, I was able to figure out the logic for a given situation. I was and am extremely fair, even when it would be to my detriment to do otherwise, because a single unfairly earned victory would be remembered by the other Gamers I associated with. So I began serving as the 'Rules Touchstone' and giving the outcome and reasoning, and that soon became the norm no matter *what game* was being played.
One of my most favorite areas of gaming is that of Factions. It is a step just down from Grand Strategic, although getting some elements from that, and just above Grand Tactical with units coalescing into forces. Factions each have their own goals and victory conditions and yet all play in a common environment. 'Kingmaker' replicates the War of the Roses in England and factions wax and wane over time as events shift them and royalty gets killed or ransomed, and parliaments come forth to make life difficult as they are swayed by Faction attendance. 'Dune' is the replication of Frank Herbert's original book by the same name, and each faction has common victory conditions and special victory conditions, so when deploying forces and stratagems one must ensure that while stopping a faction from gaining one type of victory, that another type is not being enabled.
That transported into the Role Playing worlds that I set up and I started running Factions/Cabals/Political groups/etc. from the inside. Most players only scratch the surface of what is really going on in the worlds that I ran and the conflicts ran deep both in their instantiation and over time. And the player's activities adjusted what was going on with each faction which may only have scanty knowledge of what the OTHER factions are doing. It was always a delight in Faction based games when we were missing a player and I was asked to take a second faction on to get the minimum required for the game. I ran each in a separate mental space and adjusted each to their own outlook and what they could reasonably infer from the activities of the other. When Factions under my control underwent strife, I stepped folks through the reasoning behind it, showed the force deployment and openly explained why each faction was making the decisions it did. Usually I had my heart in one Faction and went through the motions of simulating a half-way decent player for the other. But there were times when that half-way decent player saw an opportunity in my planning and took it. More than once did I get stunned looks as my main faction suddenly got eviscerated by the other in a workmanlike way... and the other players realized that the exact *same* opportunity was available to them if they had *thought about it*.
For some reason this *frightened* a few of them.
So, when I look at modern day events as they unfold and have only scanty information on motives or intent, but firm grasp of actual events and their ordering, I put that into what is left of my Gamers mind and start to think. Most of it is no longer conscious and out of my control, and the part that informs the conscious self often takes its time to do so as it can no longer exfiltrate ideas and idea structures as a complete form in my mind.
I am not a conspiracy theorist.
I have run multiple ongoing conspiracies in Game worlds that adhere strictly to their setting world, which often replicates the 'real world' in most fashions personal and social. Most conspiracy theorists do *not* have that background and have no idea of even the beginnings of what it takes to make a successful conspiracy. They often want to have the 'complete puzzle' and force pieces to fit that have no real adjoining properties. Most people do this because of their limitation in experience and capability in handling large amounts of conflicting data and making sense of it.
I ran WORLDS.
Not just a town, or a few villages, or even just a Nation. Complete world constructs from basic physics to universe setup to actual world formation to how the changes impact that world design to populating that world to giving it a history and then figuring out how every part and parcel of the social, economic, religious, magical, and other human and non-human actors played their part. When one played in my Worlds they had a *rich* environment that left many, many, many options. There were very few *set* game paths and I allowed people to find their own way and created the detailed necessities as I went along, using my deep understanding of the world itself. And like the 'real world' one had to figure out all the little extraneous bits of information and find out which were important and which weren't..... and hope you made the right decision.
So that is how I look at recent events.
I am *not* amused.
Lets take a look at a quick listing of some events long and short term:
1) Illegal alien labor force used as slave labor. Started during WWII with a 'guest worker' program as every poor farm boy got swept up into the military. And when those men came back they sought out education and a better life and achieved it, thus restructuring society. But the manual work needs be done and the end of the 'guest worker' program forced industry to either pay a higher labor cost or use illegal labor. They chose the latter. To those of you not looking, that ACT is illegal in and of itself and is without legal justification. The penalties for such should be harsh as it is a clear violation of Amendment XIII. But society was lax in the post-war boom, and even with the ups and downs it was never critical until there became a general feeling that labor could be *displaced* by this.
2) De Facto 'wink and nod' by both Parties to this. The Democrats to try and solidify a crumbling power base and Republicans to keep their industrial friends *happy* and in the fold. Note: both of these activities *encourage* illegal behavior. Both Political Parties decided that the Rule of Law didn't have to apply. In that doing, they started to abrade the National Security for their OWN Partisan reasons. They have BOTH WEAKENED THE UNION. Both are to blame going back at least until the 1960's on this. There is tarnish enough to spread around so the entire Two Party system is put at peril by this.
3) Enabling factors via the segmentation of the People as a whole. At one time in the Nation's history segmentation of the People was done via region. Northeast, Central Atlantic, Old South, Midwest, Gulf Coast, Southwest, Agricultural Middle, Rockies and Pacific Coastal with Alaska and Hawaii separated by sheer distance. These regional differences built up as the Nation expanded and different sorts of people went to different regions. The Civil Rights movement correctly pointed out that Blacks were not getting their full Citizenship rights and started tearing down barriers so that we could become a more perfect Union. But then the idea of using those same bricks taken down from that unjust structure to create a *new* set of barriers arose. And folks started making new bricks to wall off and segment population sectors based on religion, ethnicity, cultural background, personal wealth, and other such things. To the great detriment of the Union the same Civil Rights individuals who tore down one wall, started building ANOTHER and thus brought disunity to the Union.
4) The Political Parties reacted to this and started to address segments of We the People in order to craft majorities. The Democrats coasted on their Civil Rights work and encouraged more and more divisions so that this racial faction could be played against that racial faction. The Republicans started to do the same with religion and then with industry. Today the Union is a house divided with no commonality between floors to hold up the roof. It is a damn rickety structure for all the fact the Nation looked at collectively is the sole remaining Superpower in all realms.
5) In the last 20 years of so the grasping of Federal Political Power has become a hard and acid fought affair. One of the prime concerns about the use of Federal power is its *abuse* and use against population segments. Thanks for making those possible, guys! Now, that said, one of the important things to listen to during any accusations of the mis-use of power is those doing the actual accusing... but, not in the way they want you to hear them. No matter how bad the other guy is, listen to the structure of why they think these actions are being done. Then, ask yourself: if that is how they view that power, then are they *trustworthy* enough to wield it by not doing that? Are they, indeed, stating their attitudes towards that power and *wishing* they had it to use like that? This goes for BOTH Political Parties. No ONE PARTY gets off scot-free on this. There is no Party of Purity here, in these United States.
And now to the recent activities and how they can fit together. This is *not* fun.
Let us say you had the objective of putting a Royal Class into place using the Two Party System. How would you do it? Let us posit that the two Parties have similar goals and methods, just different means to achieve it. But the commonality of the goal is there.
Any good Factional player would want to set up a way to start eroding rights within the population and alienating parts of the population from each other. The best way would be to play up trivial differences in skin color, religious background and wealth so as to start separating the People into smaller segments and convincing them to do so by giving rewards to some and not others.
And the effects of laws to give disproportionate employment to minorities on an unlimited basis?
And the effects of giving out projects and programs which only address one political power base and not the others and does not help out the People as a whole?
And the effects of making debate into an either/or proposition and ANYONE taking ANY middle ground is vehemently attacked from both 'sides'? No matter if the sides have been making the same damn argument for decades and only increase their vitriol from their 'committed base' not only against the 'other side' but add that poison to the lifeblood of We the People as a Whole.
I received a phone call from one side of the 'abortion' question. It could have been from either side, really, they both take the same approach. I was asked if I was pro- on either side. I said 'no'. Then you're in the middle... 'No, I am not'.... then you're undecided... 'No I am not. I stand in a place where both sides are right and wrong that neither wants to see as it is *not* between them.' Silence.... Continued Silence.... then.... There isn't a place for that on the form.
I have heard this strange notion that a thesis and anti-thesis can be reconciled into a synthesis. Fine in logic, but not so good with human emotions and outlook. The Political Parties stole that grand idea for politics from... the Marxists! You know, the folks set up to want to make class struggle and division possible? What a grand idea for the United States.
So, in this scenario both Parties have worked assiduously to remove common ground between debates and harden all such into either/or and NO COMPROMISE BY STANDING ELSEWHERE AND SEEING THINGS DIFFERENTLY. By encouraging this, debate is restricted, controlled and disunity made to flow into the lifeblood of the American discourse. This has now come back to bite We the People hard, as of late, with both Political Parties using illegal aliens as a club to restrict debate and force destruction of National Sovereignty upon the Nation.
When we look at the recent furor over the simple FBI investigation into a House of Representative's office with a Warrant signed off on by the appropriate member of the Judicial branch, all the actual balances and checks have been gone through. However, the Congress is demanding an expansion of their Privileges so as to make this not possible and be held unaccountable in activities emanating from their offices.
Now lets look at another thing going on to make an Aristocracy possible: Land and continuity of line.
In 1911 Congress set its own size in the House via Public Law. The rationale was that by some point in the 1930's there would be over 600 Representatives! Heaven forefend! So the size of the House was set and only budged a smidgen with new States, but then budged right back a few years later. Over time the population grew... and grew... and grew... and continues to do so.
And each Representative now has to represent more and more and more people. Now, luckily, the States get to draw those lines. Unluckily Both Parties have decided to draw districts with slight or major unevenness so that each Party gets to keep its seats. This is a Sinecure to allow Parties to remain representative without having to adjust their stances due to population shifts over time. Once a decade is a minor shake-up due to the Census. But the fluctuation of We the People is CONSTANT. By a two-year election cycle the House was made to reflect these changes. Instead, it has calcified to the point where only the Census shakes things up a little and demographic changes need be mighty to shift even scanty majorities in a large population base.
The effect of this action? Perpetuity of Line. The same names in similar districts start to show up again and again and again. Familial heritage of Power. And this is then locked into place via the unofficial 'earmarks' within the budgetary process to REWARD those voters that keep one in office.
But this still requires some accountability to the People, even as it corrodes the entire political system and Federal appropriations cycle to personal ends.
Now lets say you wanted to change this so that a basis of Perpetual Power could be made. How would the Parties do this?
Well you need a large group of people to suddenly shift the demographics of the Nation. How many millions of illegal aliens are there?
Second, you will need to let this group KNOW that they are *granted* rights by those in power, no matter *what* the Constitution says otherwise. And what is this 'path to Citizenship'?
Third, you must have positive enticements to ensure that these people will feel beholden unto those that bring them in. Hmmm... lets see... minor fine, then all earnings while here illegally for the Social Security systems ALLOWED, only having to account for three out of every five years of income tax, then 'guest workers' given worker union payscale and rights to make them nearly impossible to fire... oh, yes, there is a goodies list. And it is disgusting in part and in whole.
Fourth, by bringing these people in via this system they can be TRACKED as a group. One of the interesting things about Mexico is that even if you become a Citizen there after being born elsewhere, you are still disallowed from most jobs in the Government sector AND you can still be deported. Even as a Citizen! Now if the Parties took that grand idea... they could then say to the newcomers: do as I say, or else!
Fifth, the Executive must start to learn that the Congressional Privileges must be given. Anyone for a freezing of investigation and 'cooling off period'? What part of: hide or destroy evidence and possibly skip the country does the Executive NOT understand here? Bowing to a non-existent Privilege?
Sixth, the Legislature can begin to control Foreign Policy by enacting Laws. This sole domain of the Executive is now being threatened by the Senate Immigration Bill that, by using language that is forceful and does not allow those under it to say 'NO', infringes heavily upon the Executive Powers. And once a single President caves into such a thing, others will be hard pressed to win it back.
If I had to run a conspiracy over decades to achieve that goal, that is how I would do it. Slowly, carefully, ensuring that so much political heat is put out that NO ONE could see the actual design taking formation until it actually got close to fruition. And then, by sowing so much distrust into the People as a whole, there could be NO WAY for the People to have a voice in affairs.
And how close are we to a Landed Aristocracy unaccountable to the People and the Law and having its own underclass to overwhelm the People in the parts so as to change the Nation to their Perpetual liking?
I judge things by their actions and outcomes.
I do not like the course of events as of late because the outcomes spell large amounts of trouble for We the People.
No matter WHAT the damn *intent* was.
This is, most likely, just a confluence of events. Unfortunately the outcome of their enaction is the same as if it had been *designed*.
Either way I stand with the Constitution and the Republic and believe in that compact of a Free People joining together to remain free.
Now if only a few others would do so, We the People might be reminded of this.
26 May 2006
Have you seen this Party Recently?
It WAS known as the 'Republican Party' but has turned up missing recently.
It was last reliably sighted at the graveside of President Ronald W. Reagan.
Anyone with news as to the whereabouts of this Party should contact their local media outlets so that it can be found and identified.
Continued Missing for some decades now is the Democratic Party.
Last seen at the gravesite of President John F. Kennedy.
The current respondants to that name do not believe in doing anything for One's Country. And are wondering if the Know-Nothing Party Banner is available for use as it accurately describes their attitude towards the world although having no adherence to that original party's doctrine.
Although the T-shirt has already been made for them...
The Public will greatfully thank anyone who can actually find these two political parties.
This is a cross-posting from The Jacksonian Party.
The following is a position paper of The Jacksonian Party.
Yesterday the Senate of the United States of America has decided that the Laws of the Land may be broken with impugnity where the National Sovereignty of the Union is concerned. This posting at Dumb Looks Still Free on the Zero Party State offers a tart look not only at that, but a President who has made the fateful decision that to save the Ship of State He must try to chart a path In Front of the Iceberg and hope the speed of the Ship will not tear its bottom asunder on the unseen ice below. This compounds the earlier decision by the Republican Leadership in the House to effectively declare that Representatives are Above All Law in their activities and should be considered Sacrosanct Landed Aristocracy.
The activities are not ones by individuals upholding their Oath of Office to abide by the Laws of the Land and Defend the Constitution of We the People. The Jacksonian Party does not CARE about what their intent *is*, only their activities and actions are of any account in this Republic and those activities are ones that have repudiated the foundation of this Nation upon the Constitution that codifies the original precepts set forward in the Declaration of Independence. Further, these activities actively break the agreement that a Federal Government shall Serve the People and Protect the States in whole and in their individuality.
The Two Party System which is vigorously presented in Civics classes and Social Studies classes as a wonder of the United States has now turned out to be a Zero Party System in which both political parties have worked towards the common end of dividing We the People so as to dissolve Our Unity and impose upon Us a class of individuals that are to be considered Royalty. While one party may have started this by shifting power for the States to the Federal Government from the 1930's onward, the other party is also at fault for buying into this scheme for their own reasons, perpetuating it and completely feeling free to Reward those that do not abide by the Law of the Land for Our collective National Sovereignty. They have both decided that the United States needs to be RULED *not* GOVERNED.
This is what their ACTIONS have done, no matter how *good* the damn intent! In weakening the States and making artificial divisions within We the People and rewarding some and denying of others special privileges and status, the two political parties have worked exactly opposite of the entirety of the Constitution. They now see the Constitution as an *obstacle* to furthering their sinecured RULE over We the People. And yesterday they made that break clean and obvious for all to see who would be bothered with wanting a Nation State that upholds the rights of the individual.
It is part of the normal course of affairs that scoundrels gain high office, now and again.
It is NOT normal that such an individual be protected by the OTHER PARTY and that the leaders of that Party that are in Leadership in the House of Representatives present that Congress as a WHOLE is above investigation by the Executive with the consent of the Judicial branch. Congress now wishes to be an unaccountable Aristocracy to Rule this Union.
And it is NOT the normal course of affairs that the highest leader of that Party holding the Office of the President will back such a belief by FREEZING an ongoing investigation so as to allow anyone who has committed crimes to have time to hide or destroy evidence or to, indeed, flee the Nation if that is their desire. And such individuals may do so by walking Southwards as there is NO OBSTACLE to that nor, indeed, to the flow of slave labor northwards. In doing this action the Executive branch is bowing to the Supremacy of the Legislative branch and abdicating the responsibility of allowing the wheels of Due Process to move in an orderly fashion so that Justice may be done in accordance with the Laws of the Land.
And it is NOT the normal course of events that the Senate shall decide that not only will breaking the Sovereignty of the United States not be effectively punished, but that those individuals that are long-term breakers of those Laws shall gain reward and benefit from the doing of same. Further, the Senate not only does *not* want to protect the southern border with a neighboring Sovereign State but has stated, in a clear grab for Executive power beyond all divisions given in the Constitution, that the United States must *ask* for the assent of Mexico to build ANY demarcation of the border in the way of a FENCE. The Senate of the United States has decided, in its majority, that the National Sovereignty of the United States shall be turned over to a Foreign Nation for VETO. Note that the Senate cites NO FOREIGN TREATY for this nor does it cite any reasoning as to WHY this should be done nor does it present this in the fashion of a normal viewpoint of the Legislature in foreign policy via a 'Sense of the Senate' proceeding. By placing this within this Bill it is the clear and obvious action of a Senate that believes itself to wield the authority of Foreign Policy on its OWN and hoping that the House will sign onto it so as to become Co-Sovereigns within the United States and strip the Executive of the Foreign Policy power clearly given in the Constitution to the Executive.
Here are the Senators that have signed onto this concept in the passage of the Immigration Bill:
- Akaka (D-HI)
- Baucus (D-MT)
- Bayh (D-IN)
- Bennett (R-UT)
- Biden (D-DE)
- Bingaman (D-NM)
- Boxer (D-CA)
- Brownback (R-KS)
- Cantwell (D-WA)
- Carper (D-DE)
- Chafee (R-RI)
- Clinton (D-NY)
- Coleman (R-MN)
- Collins (R-ME)
- Conrad (D-ND)
- Craig (R-ID)
- Dayton (D-MN)
- DeWine (R-OH)
- Dodd (D-CT)
- Domenici (R-NM)
- Durbin (D-IL)
- Feingold (D-WI)
- Feinstein (D-CA)
- Frist (R-TN)
- Graham (R-SC)
- Gregg (R-NH)
- Hagel (R-NE)
- Harkin (D-IA)
- Inouye (D-HI)
- Jeffords (I-VT)
- Johnson (D-SD)
- Kennedy (D-MA)
- Kerry (D-MA)
- Kohl (D-WI)
- Landrieu (D-LA)
- Lautenberg (D-NJ)
- Leahy (D-VT)
- Levin (D-MI)
- Lieberman (D-CT)
- Lincoln (D-AR)
- Lugar (R-IN)
- Martinez (R-FL)
- McCain (R-AZ)
- McConnell (R-KY)
- Menendez (D-NJ)
- Mikulski (D-MD)
- Murkowski (R-AK)
- Murray (D-WA)
- Nelson (D-FL)
- Obama (D-IL)
- Pryor (D-AR)
- Reed (D-RI)
- Reid (D-NV)
- Sarbanes (D-MD)
- Schumer (D-NY)
- Smith (R-OR)
- Snowe (R-ME)
- Specter (R-PA)
- Stevens (R-AK)
- Voinovich (R-OH)
- Warner (R-VA)
- Wyden (D-OR)
Now the 'common defense' is being abdicated and the view that the Nation needs RULERS and Landed Aristocracy is at the forefront. These actions are NOT ones of elected officials to serve We the People or to Govern a Republic of Free People. These ARE the actions of Nobility seeking to establish themselves permanently upon the United States, introduce an underclass that will be beholden only unto them and will give them the power to change elections so that We the People will no longer exist as a Unified Whole, but will be putting into power a Fraction of that Whole via allowing a massive influx of foreigners who have proven unable to abide by the Law of the Land.
And in not putting any obstacle into the path of such, the expectation is that individuals with forged documentation will seek help from those organizations able to provide them quickly and enmass: Drug Cartels, Narco-Traffickers and Transnational Terrorists; plus some smattering of Communists and other Transnationalists across the globe.
Further, in not giving out imprisonment as a penalty to those taking illegal activities, but merely fining them and then actually *rewarding* their actions as *good deeds* of *hard workers*, the Senate wishes to entice MORE people to break the Law and come to the United States. And by putting paltry fines upon businesses that use enforced slave labor from illegal aliens and not preventing them from *continuing* to do so, the Senate has decided to advocate that this practice SHALL CONTINUE. The fines will be absorbed as the cost of doing business and passed on as minor price increases to We the People for the goods and services we procure.
By importing slave labor against Amendement XIII, seeking to take the power of Foreign Policy and move it from Article II to Article I and of declaring that the provisions set forth in the Constitution for allowing the search and investigation of Congressmen for 'treason, felonies and breach of the peace', the two parties via the elected members in the Federal Government are declaring the Constitution, itself, to no longer apply to the United States. Each and every one of these actions on their own is despicable. Taken as a whole they are an affront to the Union, the States and a clear indication that the status of We the People under these Supreme Parties is that of People who are to be RULED OVER, not Governed.
In opening this breach into the compact between We the People and setting the Congress up as a Supreme Power, beholden to no one, the Congress with complicity from the President have taken it upon themselves to disunite the Union and create a new Nation to their own liking.
We the People have only the recourse of Our States to fall back upon, as this is a clear and distinct break that was worried about after Shay's Rebellion. The too powerful Federal has usurped all Power and now seeks to end the meaning of a United States that has forceful and independent States within its confines. By throwing in a large underclass that will be beholden to the Federal Government, they are now putting the means in place of converting entire States to the needs of the new Aristocracy. For once the majority of States have been overwhelmed and made to bow down by this new influx of 'Citizens' and by impoverishing the rightful existing Citizenry by encouraging a flood of illegal labor to take more and more jobs from the Citizens, We the People will be ultimately divided and destroyed as a Free People and subverted to the will of the minorities set at each others throats for the goodies of the Federal Government as they dispense it.
The original division of Powers within the Constitution sets the States as having rights over which the Federal Government may have NO SAY. And so it is time to for We the People to enforce those Rights and Our Own and hold the entire Legislative and Executive Branches to account for their actions. So be it resolved the following for which The Jacksonian Party now enjoins All of the People of the States to press for, so that the Federal Government may be forced to either back the Constitution or declare it at an end and the Two Parties as the Rulers of this Land:
1) Join the Right of We the People via Amendment II with the Right of the States to exist as given in Article I, Section 10. In so doing any and all violence from illegal aliens will become Terrorism. In so doing any and all incursions by Mexican Federal Military and Police shall become open Acts of War upon those States effected. In so doing all International Drug Cartels that sustain violence within the United States via gangs shall be considered an open act of War by all Foreign Nations harboring, aiding and abetting same to do these activities, or if they are fighting them, then they are to be given assistance to end such immediately. In so doing We the People will be given the right for a 'show cause' due process system run by those that openly use arms within Our States so that Justice and Punishment for openly threatening the Right to Bear Arms and the Right of the State to Use its Law Abiding and Armed Citizens to defend it.
2) Each State shall look to its ancient right to determine Citizenship as consisting of those born within its confines by individuals here Lawfully or existing Citizens and that No Other thing shall be allowed for those here illegally.
3) To reform the Federal Government each State shall look to pass an Amendment to the Constitution that sets the House of Representatives to Represent the largest portion of the People as seen by the Founders and make such Representation be at a ratio of 1 Representative for every 30,000 People. As part of this, the House of Representatives is to be shorn of all funding for any staffing beyond those staffers necessary to coordinate current committees.
4) We the People shall lobby Congress to actually USE its powers over the Law of the Sea and Foreign Commerce and enact Warrants via the Letters of Marque and Reprisals and give bounties and prizes and awards to those Warranted to seek out and capture the goods and transport that is assisting those enemies of the United States to flourish.
5) We the People shall lobby Congress and the Executive to shear off useless appendages of the Federal Government that hand out the Wealth of this Nation to individuals and companies and Nations that do not abide by the Law of the Land or are not Friends of the United States.
6) Each State shall be enjoined to fence off their borders if they adjoin to Foreign Nations that do not attempt to stop their Nationals or those of others transiting their Nation from entering into that State illegally. And if the Federal Government asserts that it is the sole decider of such things, then they are to be told that when they have decided to abdicate their responsibilities to maintain the Union and enforce the Laws of the Land that they have given up that power and that the States and We the People rightfully assert it through Our State until such time as the Federal Government shall actually Defend Us and Uphold the Constitution.
The Jacksonian Party is disgusted with the Zero Party State turning into an Aristocratic Class that may not be brought to heel by the Laws of the Land.
The Jacksonian Party stands foursquare for the Constitution and the division of powers therein.
The Jacksonian Party advocates legal and lawful means to hold the Federal Government accountable for its misdeeds.
The Jacksonian Party reminds each and every individual of the United States that they are enjoined by the Preamble of the Constitution with the responsibility to maintain the Union beyond the mere Federal Government.
The Jacksonian Party now points out that in passing the buck of responsibility for Our daily lives to the Federal Government that We are giving up Our Rights in that doing and becoming mere supplicants to an All Power Federal Government. And since these rights were lent and not given, We the People can end that loan and tell the Federal Government to shut down its useless functions that have not helped the People one tiny bit and have only served as a means to further divide Us through the distribution of Rewards to some and not All of the People.
The Jacksonian Party points out that the Government of the People, By the People and For the People can only be changed if the People wish to remain Free as individuals and not serfs upon this land.
25 May 2006
Today there are two events that confirm that the United States of America has Zero Political Parties as the two main parties have stopped representing We the People.
The first is the action taken by President Bush to seal the evidence in the investigation of Representative William Jefferson, (D-La) for 45 days. The following are the highpoints, such as they are, behind this given by President George W. Bush, Captain of the United States of Titanic:
"This period will provide both parties more time to resolve the issues in a way that ensures that materials relevant to the ongoing criminal investigation are made available to prosecutors in a manner that respects the interests of a coequal branch of government."Yes, I kid you not! President Bush has obviously not actually read the document that he has sworn to uphold, which says in Section I, Article 6:
"Our government has not faced such a dilemma in more than two centuries. Yet after days of discussions, it is clear these differences will require more time to be worked out."
"Let me be clear: Investigating and prosecuting crime is a crucial executive responsibility that I take seriously. Those who violate the law -- including a member of Congress -- should and will be held to account. This investigation will go forward and justice will be served."
Section 6 (in part) "The Senators and Representatives shall receive a Compensation for their Services, to be ascertained by Law, and paid out of the Treasury of the United States. They shall in all Cases, except Treason, Felony and Breach of the Peace, be privileged from Arrest during their Attendance at the Session of their respective Houses, and in going to and returning from the same; and for any Speech or Debate in either House, they shall not be questioned in any other Place."Note that the FBI bribery investigation of a Representative of these United States is that of a FELONY investigation, although I have no doubt that in getting caught on videotape taking a bribe, hiding the money in his freezer and also having handed over documents to the informant that he had, indeed, accepted such cash, that the Peace has been broken in many places by these activities. As Head of Government, President Bush is within his rights to intervene in an ongoing investigation of the Executive Branch into a Legislator. That said there is NO DILEMMA involved. This is a clear and distinct Constitutional issue in which no court may say 'Nay' to such an investigation as, in doing so, they would be clearly violating the Constitution at Article I, Section 6. Impeding an ongoing investigation by FREEZING stops all inquiry and, as a bonus, gives any that have committed crimes time to hide or destroy the evidence of such, or to leave the Nation so as to make it difficult to bring them to Justice.
Justice frozen is Justice denied by Due Process as laid out in the Constitution.
And the Legislative Branch clearly and definitively has its Priveleges and they ARE PROSCRIBED by the Constitution. To attempt to give a 'cooling off period' to pompous Congressmen who feel that they are not accountable to ANY law while in office is to grant that to them and let them become an Aristocracy that is not accountable to the Law of the Land.
While revenge is a dish best served cold, Justice is best HOT and STEAMING and applied so as to CAUTERIZE the problem.
There are no and I do mean ZERO rational reasons for this action as given by the Constitution. By intervening in this process, President Bush is giving Congress special rights and privileges that they are specifically NOT ALLOWED under the Constitution. And do note that the THIRD branch of Government would have had to SIGN OFF on such a search. So ALL THREE BRANCHES of the Federal Government have *already* done their work. Congress set the law, the Executive is enforcing it and the Judicial has signed off on the necessary search involved. The balancing is DONE.
Who or what are you protecting, President Bush?
For it is *not* the Constitution.
Second up, and far worse, is the Senate Immigration Bill which now moves onto the House. This bill is extremely and highly flawed and has a price tag in the realm of $54 Billion. Yes, that is Billions of dollars. Here are some of the *highlights* of this Bill, as passed by the Solons of the Senate:
- From Kausefiles, Citing Robert Novak:
Foreign guest farm workers, admitted under the bill, cannot be ''terminated from employment by any employer ... except for just cause.''
- The bill has a 'path to citizenship' that is not an amnesty!
- Sen. John Ensign, R-Nev. added an amendment to let illegals keep the earned income tax credit for their ILLEGAL LABOR.
Not enough for you? There is even MORE that is in this sweet little Bill, just wait, I know you will LOVE IT!
- We get to take in 650,000 extra Immigrants a year!! From Sen. Jeff Bingaman, D-N.M.
- The Senate also agreed to an amendment pushed by Sen. Russ Feingold, D-Wis., that would change the standard for appealing a deportation order.
And then, the 'Manager's Amendment' would make it necessary to TALK TO MEXICO BEFORE BUILDING A FENCE!!! Sen. John Kyl, R-Ariz. DARED to protest this!! But it passed anyway!
There you have it folks! The Senate has decided to hand the keys of the Nation over to Mexico.
Such sweet people, these Senators. Giving away the Nation for... well, now, that is the problem, isn't it? The Union gets ZERO benefit from this. There is no way to enforce a 'guest worker' program, no company will use the damn thing if they can't pay less than union wages and actually be able to FIRE the 'guest workers' and we have to have the leave of the Mexican Government before building a fence to demarcate Our border with them. That last one is exactly Bass Ackwards as you need a TREATY to do any such thing and there is not one IN FORCE to do that. Yes, it is ILLEGAL to require the Executive to do this and is a broad overstep of the Division of Powers within the Federal Government.
The Senate Bill is Unconstitutional as it stands.
Contact your Congresscritter to let them know it should die a swift and unpleasant death.
I thank J over at Rusted Sky for posting a wonderful letter to send to Your Representative... I enjoin you to go there and look at it as an excellent response in a reasoned and measured way to those that believe that Congress should be above all laws. The post is Sent Out Today...
I do not have reasoned words for the Royalty of the House.
The entire Congress has not used its Powers given to it by We the People. And I spent time writing them on same... of which some few feel they are responsible only to their Districts or States and not to the Union as a whole when they assume a National position.
This latest is just a cementing of what they believe themselves to be.
And so reason words to address such members are not in my arsenal at this time.
No sitting member in Congress in either House or Senate will get my vote for *anything* ever again. They feel themselves to be the Privileged Elite who may serve themselves first, their district or State second and the Nation third.
24 May 2006
Here is a little something to think about from the Constitution Article I and sections listed:
Section 5 (in part) "Each House may determine the Rules of its Proceedings, punish its Members for disorderly behavior, and, with the Concurrence of two thirds, expel a Member."Bolding and italics mine.
Section 6 (in part) "The Senators and Representatives shall receive a Compensation for their Services, to be ascertained by Law, and paid out of the Treasury of the United States. They shall in all Cases, except Treason, Felony and Breach of the Peace, be privileged from Arrest during their Attendance at the Session of their respective Houses, and in going to and returning from the same; and for any Speech or Debate in either House, they shall not be questioned in any other Place."
Add in this little gem of thePublic Law 62-5 which fixes the size of the House of Representatives is codified under 2 USC 2 by 37 Stat 13: "Section, act Aug. 8, 1911, ch. 5, Secs. 1, 2, 37 Stat. 13, 14, fixed composition of House of Representatives at 435 Members, to be apportioned to the States therein enumerated. For provisions dealing with reapportionment of Representatives and manner of election, etc., see sections 2a and 2b of this title."
Now add in the following from USAToday (Hat tip: Instapundit):
GOP challenges FBI raid of Jefferson's office
Displaying bipartisanship for one of their own, House Republican leaders are expressing concern that the FBI's search of the Capitol office of Louisiana Democrat William Jefferson crossed the constitutional boundary between the White House and Congress. Tuesday, House Majority Leader John Boehner called the weekend raid "the Justice Department's invasion of the legislative branch" and predicted the issue would "end up across the street at the Supreme Court."So, what part of investigating a felony does Representative Boehner not understand?
But beyond that consider what all of this ends up being. To conduct lawful business the Congress is given immunity from minor intrusions for misdemeanors and such in their offices. So one of them may hide out in the Halls of Congress to avoid frivolities and not be forced to attend such. Higher crimes, however, need to be investigated and the Constitution clearly states that such things are allowable. This insulates Congress from minor goings on and civil suits within their halls, something that is a privilege granted them via the Constitution.
Next up the House of Representatives has seen fit to set its own size under Section 5 and put a final number on representation. This has had the effect that Representatives districts have grown huge in the number of people each member represents, and has made the drawing of boundaries to create 'safe seats' for each Party by creating districts that are difficult to change via demographics shifts. Every 10 years the pie gets redrawn for that limited number of seats, and somehow the same individuals keep getting re-elected.
So we have a group that is in Power, immune from many minor problems with the Law and have sinecured their positions to the point where re-election is the NORMAL course of affairs. Actually mounting a challenge to one of these Titans in the House is something no mere mortal may even attempt to achieve.
Further, the Congress exempts itself regularly from laws regulating labor and use thereof. From needing to be responsive via the Freedom of Information Act. And, indeed, in many other instances where actually having to follow the Laws they set for the People would be too... cumbersome.
And now we have the Leader of the House complaining that they can, indeed, be searched during the course of gathering evidence for suspected felonious activity.
There is a concept that covers this. It is an ancient one, going back deep into history. It is one that We the People sought to END in this Nation.
It is called: A Landed Aristocracy.
By asserting that the Executive or, indeed, any State that is investigating a member of Congress for possible felonious wrongdoing should, somehow, be illegal, is asserting the right of Princes to be free of the Common Man.
The problem in politics today is NOT that there is too much money in it.
The problem is that there are too FEW politicians to make that money meaningless in its application.
That is why I support a Maximum House under the Constitution, with one adjustment to set the representation exactly AT 1 Representative for 30,000 People. And eliminate ALL personal staff and keep the current Committee staff size.
This era of Landed Nobility within the People's House must END and the tools of modern communication give that its full possibility. This is the era of the Internet and distributed production and management... so it should be the era of distributed representational government and do away with 19th century limits due to slow travel times. The United States is a bare fraction of a second across via electronic communications.
Make the House of Representatives a VIRTUAL body that is continually in session and its members at home, in their districts and held accountable by We the People who can drop in for a visit. Get them out of the Capitol for all but ceremonial reasons.
Return the House of Representatives back to We the People, so that We may have Our Say in Government.
And end this era of Princes in Sinecured Land Holdings seeking to be held accountable by NO ONE.
23 May 2006
Well, no one abides by ethnic cleansing and such and the Administration even opposes it, but points out that trying to build democracy in places where it hasn't existed is a difficult job. Especially when attacked by terrorists, foreign critics and domestic critics who cannot tell the difference between building democracy and supporting tyranny. And many of those same folks, who believe the US is Imperialist then turn around and want us to head into Darfur!
So I guess that Imperialism is only *bad* on a sliding scale. When it is used effectively to build things, it is bad. When it is used ineffectively to waste manpower and money in far off corners of the Earth, it is good. But this Executive and damn near any other claimant to the Office will have the exact same problem: putting force to use in areas that wins only a modicum of good will, but while bankrupting the Nation and using its Armed Forces to little overall good effect does NOT help the Union.
And yet the wailing and gnashing of teeth and posing for the cameras continues.
Democrats love that sort of thing! Protests that vent emotions to gain *reactions* on a gut level that people don't actually think about how to solve the problem. Make the Federal Government handle it! Make Government huge! Make Government into a Nannystate so that a Citizen has no worries from cradle to grave! Let Government do Education! Let Government do Health Care! Indeed, let us be beholden to Government for every damn thing in life.
Complaints about about how Government is not doing *enough*.
I complain that Government is trying to do too much and *failing* and that We the People should assert Our rights within the bounds of Our compact known as the Constitution.
Others have offered one safe and effective solution to this: hire mercenaries! This is a time honored tradition of those that believe fervently in something putting their money where their beliefs are. I am all *for* it as it actually SUPPORTS the foreign policy of the United States.
Now, some on the Left don't like this concept as it involves a third party to do the dirty work. And even though mercenaries would gain great publicity doing their job well, they would also go out of business if they did not deliver on their promises. But that feedback mechanism is not seen as enough by some on the Left and they would prefer to protest and yell and wave signs and mug for the camera and complain that the Administration is *evil*, etc., etc., ad nauseum.
So, to those who do NOT like having a third party that is competent handle this there actually *is* another solution! Yes, I am all about *solutions* that actually WORK within the Constitutional framework!
My solution is simple and straightforward: get together with like minded souls, get trained in the use of firearms, do basic physical conditioning and training together. Learn the necessities of what it takes to supply and keep people supplied overseas and operate effectively. Then ship out to Darfur and do the job YOURSELVES!
And if you don't like the results: do not complain as you are putting your life where your beliefs are and wanted to do it RIGHT.
This is, also, a time honored tradition going back at *least* to the Spanish Civil War if not further and deeper in US history. The folks then realized that the US would not involve itself in that conflict and decided the only HONORABLE route was to do the job the Government would not do. And while we may look at some as misguided, foolish and even ill-advised, there is no denying the admiration for them and their sticking to their beliefs through the worst of all possible times. And if the Left believes that Darfur needs to be handled and that the Government isn't up to the task, they can do this thing on their lonesome!
And be APPLAUDED for it! I will heartily applaud each and every volunteer who goes off to do this thing as a committed Citizen carrying out the foreign policy of the Union where the Government cannot do it! Once you have gotten your organization together and start training, I will send cash and copies of ALL of George Orwell's works! You should pay particular attention to Homage to Catalonia, as it will speak directly to you as you prepare to go out. Surprisingly you will find many on the Right supporting you on this as they also believe in this cause, just not the Governmental approach for something that is not in the National Interest. But many will be more than willing to pony up funds, advice, training and help in many ways to get you ready to do the job. The Left might actually find the Right reaching out to help in COMMON CAUSE. And not because they want to see you *fail*, but because they want you to *succeed*.
So there you have it, my friends on the Left: hire mercenaries or do the job yourselves. Protesting and screaming and vituperating and impugning honor are *not* the ways to win hearts and minds in this Republic as it shows a child-like impatience and wanting things as a spoiled child would want them. Instead, act like adults. You all speak so much of rights, so why don't you actually *use* a few others beyond freedom of speech?
You can make the world a better place in the doing and showing your capabilities.
Even if you *fail* you will gain high admiration and esteem from your Fellow Citizens. Well, the survivors would, at any rate. But you would gain HONOR for your cause and give it a high profile and move the debate to a *different* place as trying to restrict you from actually carrying out a valid foreign policy in a way that does not harm the National Interest would be a gross overstep by the Government into your personal rights to associate, bear arms and travel.
But to those out protesting on the Left on this issue and offering no solution except a Government based one: it is time to Put up, or Shut Up!
Go by the old adage: If you want something done right, then DO IT YOURSELF.
You *are* the people. You have *got* the power. Go for it!
And I, for one, will applaud heartily.
22 May 2006
Hurricane season begins on June 1st.
Now, I don't get to dKos unless there is a need for it, but do take a look here.
Ray Nagin has just been re-elected as Mayor, instead of being in 'stripe city'.
You tell me what a mild Category 1 hurricane will do to NOLA.
Then a Category 2.
Then a Category 3.
Last year we started to feel the long term cycles re-assert their dominance. Apparently the 'good times' for storms are over for 1,500 years or so, with the smaller 30 year cycle just getting into swing.
All covered in my previous postings with round-up here.
Since no one is serious about saving NOLA, the best thing that can happen to it is a Category 5 direct hit.
We could have spent months to make something new and start to put in place something that would make the Republic stronger and still save the essence of the city of New Orleans.
I have done what is within my capability to give the Republic a new concept and a brighter future via the destruction visited on New Orleans.
And that is what I will answer to future generations.
Or later this year if things turn bad.
Last year was the longest and worst hurricane season on record.
Welcome to the 21st Century.
Time to grow up, America.
The Wall Street Journal asks this at the end of an editorial:
"We doubt all of this will help Democrats with the larger electorate, which whatever its doubts about Iraq does not want a precipitous surrender. Americans haven't trusted a liberal Democrat with the White House during wartime since Vietnam, which is when the seeds of the current antiwar rage were planted. The great mistake that leading Democrats and anti-Communist liberals made during Vietnam was not speaking up against a left that was demanding retreat and sneering at our war heroes. Will any Democrat speak up now?"Yes, this, after all, does seem to puzzle so many people. The Democratic Party once had a wing of Pro-Defense folks who actually had some understanding of National Security. Most of them came from the South, but a number of others in the party also knew that no matter the internal social programs and conflicts of the United States, that it was important to actually *defend* the Nation. And the good folks at the WSJ miss the trend since 1972 and the 'Post-Watergate Congress': by embracing the anti-war, anti-administration and, ultimately, anti-American Left, the Democratic Party read out of its ranks those folks who had solidly supported it for over 100 years.
The ones they read out were the Pro-Defense, Fight Wars Completely to a Victory and Keep Your Government Out of My Life folks. These folks saw that the honor in equal protection and due process was a social good and that it held the honor of All Citizens at equal level. They did not like the giving of special privileges to those who had been oppressed for more than a short while, however. Most of this support was centered in the South, although large factions of these people showed up in suburbia and rural America.
These people have a name. They are Jacksonians.
The trend since that '72 election is one of downwards participation in the election system itself, and as those voting with their butts in their seats were those that had felt deep betrayal of themselves and their beliefs by the Democratic Party, that Party began to lose out disproportionately in elections. For every Jacksonian that walked out, the number participating in the elections dropped and so did the number voting for the Democratic Party.
Why the walk-out?
Well, any other political faction thinks in terms of politics first and policy second. Liberals do that to the point where they *have* no policy left and the only agenda is irate vituperation at anything they mildly dislike. They now run hot and hot and rarely *off*, although they are quite off-kilter. Conservatives worked hard to piece together a pro-business, pro-religion, pro-defense agenda and Ronald Reagan brought to the fore in 1980. After that, however, the party slowly morphed into pro-free trade, pro-business welfare, and pro-'we don't care so long as we get ours'. The 1990's saw an attempt to get back to Small Government Conservatism, but that disappeared upon reaching a majority in both houses. Today both parties are ones of Big Government, unaccountable agendas, and diminishing the voice of We the People to do what they think is 'right' for Us, instead of what they have run on.
Jacksonians believe that if you compromise on the basics of the policy for mere political gain, that the ends will be bad. While some may think that 'half-a-loaf'-ism is a practical way to govern, to a Jacksonian that looks like 'half-a-rope not reaching a drowning man'. Jacksonians will only compromise on the 'Trust, but Verify' to ensure the half-measures are surely carried out, and the process *must* be in the compromise or there will be no compromise. And the reasons that compromise is abhorrent is that the basic premises for policy are simple, but not simplistic. To compromise on something that is honorable and can be understood and to substitute quicksand language that has no footing is not only foolhardy but dangerous in the extreme.
Many, many, many people try to lump Jacksonians in with Conservatives of various stripes.
That is not true on the social side as Jacksonians will clearly express the fundamentals that all individuals are equal in society until they take action that does harm and demonstrates poor character. Those that are not known are given a benefit of the doubt on the 'Trust, but Verify' schema. If you get thrown into jail for some minor problem and you phone a friend to help, here is what you get:
1) A Liberal friend will call you a good lawyer the next morning and show up when the lawyer does and expect *you* to pay for it all. Fair is fair.
2) A Conservative will call you a decent lawyer the next morning and show up after you have gotten home and let you know that they did the best they could do, but you will still need to pay the lawyers fees and such. Fair is fair.
3) A Jacksonian will show up, write out a personal check for bail or otherwise try to get you out *immediately* and let the lawyer be damned as this is a FRIEND who is in need. And if that cannot be done they will try and get someone out of bed to get you out legally and fairly. And if you try and repay the cost expenditures, the Jacksonian will look at you and say: 'You are a friend and a good risk. Just show up for your hearing so I can get my money back and we will be even.' For *nothing* can repay friendship.
Now, depending on how good a friend it is, Liberals and Conservatives will suddenly find a Jacksonian streak in them and hew closer to that than their predilections. Most do not try to extend that beyond the personal scale to the National and International. Jacksonians can and DO this. But ONLY for Good Friends of honor and standing. And such are hard to find at all three levels and are held close and dear to the heart and defended as best as possible.
The Democratic Pary was seen as asking via Presidents Kennedy and Johnson to *win* Vietnam. With the assurances from those two Presidents that this was a National necessity Jacksonians supported that conflict fully. By pulling the rug out from under US Troops by embracing the anti-war and anti-American Left, the Jacksonians saw betrayal of South Vietnam and felt the dagger in their backs from their political *friends*. And as the Jacksonians walked out, those few politicians in the Democratic Party that actually *understood* them began to age and lose ground within the Party and the electorate.
Those seeds of betrayal now bear bitter fruit from a twisted tree. So much so that the Democratic Party defense policy is a joke, and a bad one at that. They are so washed out with the Leftist Transnational Progressivist agenda that they cannot even figure out if the Nation is worth defending. Instead they attack it.
Representative John Murtha, (D-PA) via Gateway Pundit:
"And I said there's not only no progress, it's worse than it was pre-war. This thing has been mishandled so badly. The American people need to hear..."I am sure that will win 'hearts and minds'.... of the dedicated, hardcore Left and Communists.
One of my first posts was Running the Numbers on Iraq in which I noted:
A few other numbers to dwell uponConsider, Operation Iraqi Freedom started on 19 MAR 2003. As I write, that is 1160 days apart from today, 22 MAY 2006. Now, Saddam being the sort of man he is would have found some reason to terrorize his own people in that amount of time, and let normal political killings and such go on as normal, so his expected death toll would be 146,160 dead. Scratch any Leftist and they will immediate bleat out: '35,000 dead to US actions'. Uh-huh. A few might try to add in all the natural deaths and such and up that figure, but that is the one I hear everywhere I go... Not only is Iraq better off today than it was, but it has its first democratically elected government, a non-partisan and pro-nation military, and the number of killings reported as Iraqi on Iraqi are far, far, far lower than the average for Saddam.
The number of 'disappeared' in the 1970's in Iraq: 290,000
The number of Kurds dead in 1988 genocide campaign: 100,000 (182,000 by another estimate)
Unaccounted for Marsh Arabs in 1980's in Iraq: 50,000 - 70,000
Barzani males taken from resettlement camps in 1983: 8,000
Feyli Kurdish males deported to Iran in the 1980's: 10,000 or more
Estimated number of Kurds killed from chemical weapons attacks: 5,000
Kuwaitis disappeared and missing after invasion: 600
Mass grave sites found: 53
Number of dead in mass grave sites: 400,000
Estimated Iraqi dead in Iran-Iraq war: 450,000-950,000 (the lowest estimate is 200,000, and no one knows for sure)
From a Frontpagemag article:
Shia's deported to Iran in 1980: 60,000
Number of Iraqi's deported to Iran, total: 200,000 with 50,000 in squalid refugee camps
Shia's killed in Gulf War uprising: 300,000
No one has a guess on the number of Iraqis disappeared for political or personal reasons. At one point Abu-Ghraib held 48,500 in the 1980's. Most never came back.
No one can even begin to guess the numbers tortured, mutilated, terrorized, raped and robbed by the Saddam Hussein regime and its followers.
Death toll of Iraqis by Saddam Hussein's regime: quick low end guesstimate 1.2M, with the highend reaching about three times that. Say he had real power as de facto ruler in 1977 so call in 9,500 days, that gives you 126 Iraqis dead per day due to Saddam Hussein.
On the low side.
Amir Taheri has an extensive rundown on all the good going on in Iraq, and is worth reading to see how out of touch John Murtha is.
I honor John Murtha his military career.
His *actions* recently give him no honor and much shame and is a stain upon him as a man and politician. But his party cannot recant such things.
Representative William 'Lacy' Clay, (D-MO) gave a commencement address to the University of Missouri at St. Louis and decided to turn it into an anti-Administration speech. He was booed badly enough that he had to stop three times and even said that 'he had the microphone and you had to listen'. Some parents walked out, while the students, who had paid good money for their cap and gown rental and other such things had to stay or make a shambles of the presentation ceremony. A time that these students should have been congratulated for their hard work and dedication to learning turned into a political hate-fest by a Democratic Representative.
Representative William Jefferson, (D-La) has been brought up on charges of bribery and corruption by the FBI. And this is the same Representative that had used sorely needed National Guards to boat him to his house in NOLA so he could retrieve his computer and papers. Instead of saving lives. And while the wheels of justice have to turn, it should be noted that getting caught on videotape, having voice and hand written messages used against you and, finally, putting cash into the freezer are not good indicators of the trustworthiness of this individual.
Senator John Kerry, (D-MA) has said as part of a long oration on the ills of the war in Iraq at American University on 11 MAY 2006:
"I understand fully that Iraq is not Vietnam, and the war on terrorism is not the Cold War. But in one very crucial respect, we are in the same place now as we were thirty five years ago. When I testified in 1971, I spoke out not just against the war itself, but the blindness and cynicism of political leaders who were sending brave young Americans to be killed or maimed for a strategy the leaders themselves knew could not accomplish the mission."And a bit later in that same speech:
"As our generals have said, the war cannot be won militarily. It must be won politically. And to achieve a political reconciliation in Iraq, we need hard and fast deadlines. Iraqi politicians have only responded to deadlines: a deadline to transfer authority, and a deadline to hold three elections. It was only the most intense 11th hour pressure that pushed aside Prime Minister Jaafari and brought forward a consensus Prime Minister. That is why we need a deadline now for Iraqis to stand up and fight for their own country."Or perhaps he is just having flashbacks to that trip to Cambodia with Secret Operatives that is 'seared' into his memory. Blindly being anti-war and not recognizing that there is a substantive difference between fighting an opponent that respects the Laws of Nations and barbaric Transnational Terrorists that seek to end the Nation State concept as a whole is a major problem with anti-war activists today and, apparently, John Kerry. Also, if it was so bad over there, then why are the US Armed Forces having an upsurge in recruiting and re-enlistment? If things were so bad as Senator Kerry believes, the military would be hard pressed to even maintain itself and veterans would *not* be returning. Just the opposite is happening, however.
Indeed morale is high according to the Senior Enlisted Adviser for the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Army Sergeant Major William Joseph Gainey :
"Well, what I tell folks is one thing we have to remember, regardless of which branch of service our young troops serve in, they are the most committed young men and women I have ever seen. They have the same hopes, dreams, desires, sense of loyalty and honor. They have personal courage and integrity beyond reproach, and their devotion to duty I'm telling you after 31 years of serving I've not seen devotion to duty like this in my 31 years. We are a bunch of lucky people to be on their team."Yes, he isn't a General! He is someone who actually went to many areas and units and even ships at sea to find out what the overall 'feel' by the enlisted soldier actually IS. He came in AFTER John Kerry and the anti-war Left decimated America's faith in its military by denigrating soldiers and policy makers, when ONLY policy makers should have been cited. So by going to an all-volunteer force we now have the most competent and capable military force on the planet. And Senator Kerry is *still* trying to 'speak the truth to power'. Forgetting that he IS in power.
As to a deadline, Senator Kerry needs to answer this simple question: What is the deadline for leaving Germany and Japan?
So there you have some of the assorted nuts in the Democratic Party today: corrupt, clueless on National Security and out of touch with today's military. Jacksonians stopped voting for these folks for that very reason. Their actions are deplorable and their words even worse.
That said the Republican Party has done itself no favors in becoming the Party of Big Government for Pork spending and protecting and giving money to businesses that really should not need them. The Party that ran on Smaller Government and Lower Taxation and Less Intrusion has been the party of Huge Government and somewhat lower taxation and keeping intrusion levels the same while adding in heftier kickbacks to their supporters. In a space of less than 10 years the Republican Party has accomplished what the Democratic Party took 40 years to do: become so corrupt and two-faced on spending and National Security that they now no longer have a position worth standing upon for either of those things.
While not outright anti-American as the Leftists in the Democratic Party, the Republican Party has been undermining the foundations of the Republic by giving out Corporate welfare and keeping protective tariffs in place so that high labor agriculture in a DESERT can need illegal labor. And by not keeping to its promises, vast and deep promises of "Law and Order", dating back decades, the Republican Party has effectively conceded that it only cares about the Law when it helps business. And to hell with We the People.
To those saying that electing Democrats will bring dishonor and infamy upon the US with a premature withdrawal from Iraq and open Amnesty for illegals, I ask this: What is the Republican's plan about not thinking creatively on the foreign front to protect the Republic from Transnationalism nor on the domestic front to enforce the Law of the Land that is so much better?
There is NO PLAN on how to effectively deal with Transnational Terrorism. Just more of the same and hope that the 'shadow warriors' of the espionage services and Special Forces can keep 'plinking' away on a one-by-one rate. And by going after al Qaeda only we ignore the very internetworked property of ALL Transnational Terrorists and Drug Cartels and those that traffick in drugs and humans. This *undermines* the entire effort. Yes the Democrats would do worse, but the status quo is going to land us in hot water AGAIN.
And by not actually ENFORCING the Laws of the Land the entire Republican Party is seen as not caring about it and catering to their special interests. Yes, the Democratic Party is worse, but this status quo is heading us towards CIVIL WAR OVER SLAVERY!
Does the Republican Party *really* want to have ANOTHER one of those?
So my rejoinder to the folks at the WSJ is this: Will ANYONE from either party fully commit to the necessities of Governing this Nation in accordance to its Laws and keep to their Oaths to defend and protect the Constitution?
Those folks are scanty in BOTH PARTIES.