Friday, May 19, 2006

I may have lost my mind

I'll be taking Daughter to the Nickelback concert in Raleigh, NC on Sept. 3. This is her first concert. The last one I went to was Rush in 1991 (I think) in Chapel Hill, NC.

What was I thinking?!

A small win

In the continuing battle to protect our freedom, we've gotten a win:

A prominent Republican in the U.S. Congress has backed away from plans to rewrite Internet privacy rules by requiring that logs of Americans' online activities be stored.

Wisconsin Rep. James Sensenbrenner, the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, said through a representative this week that he will not be introducing that legislation after all.


Apparently, Rep. Sensenbrenner was the recipient of quite a lot of, shall we say, "negative comments" (like mine, perhaps), and has decided to back off of this particular idiocy, at least for the time being.

However, rather than Sensenbrenner taking the blame for this (After all, he is the Congressman, and shouldn't be responsible for what is done in his name, should he?), his office has decided to foist it onto an unnamed aide. Also note that the proposal was drafted without "Sensenbrenner's direct involvement". I guess that means he did it all by voice mail and email (he said sarcastically).

Jeff Lungren, communications director for the House Judiciary Committee, said an aide had drafted the proposed bill without Sensenbrenner's direct involvement. "Staff sometimes starts working on issues--throwing around ideas, doing oversight--and (they) get ahead of where the members are and what they want to tackle," Lungren said in an e-mail message.

Bushwa. Sensenbrenner is a big-time supporter of the President, and it's been widely noted that this whole thing about after Alberto Gonzales said in public it would be a Great Idea! and the EU decided that their subjects should be under similar scrutiny. Sensenbrenner cooked this thing up and floated it out, where is promptly received the exposure and ventilation is deserved.

However, I'd suggest remembering that part of the quote that says "Staff sometimes starts working on issues--throwing around ideas, doing oversight--and (they) get ahead of where the members are and what they want to tackle."

This will be back, and this time it will be buried in some piece of "must pass" legislation. Then, without fanfare, our freedom will once again be sold down the river, and we won't know it until it's too late.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Stop giving them ideas!

Free Market News has a piece on how the various Alphabet Soup agencies can creatively use the data they have on us in a data mining scenario.

The DEA, for instance, could attempt to locate "meth manufacturers" or cannabis growers by singling out those who call (or are called by) pharmacies or garden shops. The IRS or FBI may choose to focus on banks, casinos, or other "financial institutions" (as they loosely define them).

And gun owners? The BATFE could locate potential "gun criminals" (or identify targets for later seizure) simply by matching call records to and from dealers of firearms or firearm accessories...and you'd never have a clue until they broke down your door in a midnight raid.

You know, it's only Wednesday, and this week has been so full of disquieting news that I'm already looking forward to the weekend.

Howdy

I'm noticing a lot of new visitors coming in from Varifrank and SurvivalBlog. Greetings, and I hope you like what you see.

Can you say "road trip"?

From today's CMP Shooter's News:

CMP South Store Opening 1 June 2006. The CMP South store will open for business on 1 June 2006. The store is located in the CMP Distribution Center at 3016 Red Morris Parkway, Anniston, AL 36207. Hours of operation will be Wed - Sat 8:00 AM - 3:00 PM CST. Only the same items that are available at the North store will be available at the South store. Because many of the CMP South personnel will be at Camp Perry in support of the National Matches, the South store will be closed 30 July-15 August and will reopen for business on 16 August. For more information on the CMP Stores, visit http://www.odcmp.com/Store.htm.



I am so there! 5 M1s at a time? I think so.

Hey, I won!

I won Riding Sun's Caption Contest last week. Cool.

Marines

(From Wayne's World Via Obnoxious Droppings)

The various ways the world views the United States Marine Corps.

Think bigger!

The Register reports that DARPA is applying for a patent "...for a contraption designed to hurl SWAT teams and other emergency workers onto the roofs of inaccessible tall buildings human cannonball style..."

I suggest they aren't thinking big enough. Think of the possibilities for getting rid of busy-body government bureaucrats using an appropriately scaled up version.

Visions of "Monty Python and the Holy Grail" dance in my head....

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Calling BS

I deliberately didn't watch the President's speech last night. I figured I could read the transcript and save myself the cost of a new TV.

You can read the transcript here. I'm just going to post a few bits and my comments.

Many use forged documents to get jobs, and that makes it difficult for employers to verify that the workers they hire are legal.


Nice one. In one sentence, we pave the way for a national ID card (which, I hate to admit, may be necessary--no matter how odious) and let the employers who hire the illegals off the hook.

Yet we must remember that the vast majority of illegal immigrants are decent people who work hard, support their families, practice their faith, and lead responsible lives.

And those responsible, hard-working, family-oriented, church-going aliens are here illegally. Is it just me, or does it look bad when the first thing you do to get here is commit a crime?

The United States is not going to militarize the southern border.

First intelligent thing I've seen in the speech. We could, and we could stop the illegals at the southern border. That just leaves the coasts and Canada. I don't even want to consider the cost.

So we'll increase federal funding for state and local authorities assisting the Border Patrol on targeted enforcement missions.


So we'll throw money at the problem, hoping that if we can make a big enough pile of it the illegals won't be able to climb over.

Second, to secure our border, we must create a temporary worker program.

OK, I'll give you this one on one condition: No one is eligible for a temporary worker permit if they are in this country illegally. The permits are only available at embassies and consulates outside of the US.

Third, we need to hold employers to account for the workers they hire. It is against the law to hire someone who is in this country illegally. Yet businesses often cannot verify the legal status of their employees because of the widespread problem of document fraud. Therefore, comprehensive immigration reform must include a better system for verifying documents and work eligibility. A key part of that system should be a new identification card for every legal foreign worker. This card should use biometric technology, such as digital fingerprints, to make it tamper-proof. A tamper-proof card would help us enforce the law, and leave employers with no excuse for violating it. And by making it harder for illegal immigrants to find work in our country, we would discourage people from crossing the border illegally in the first place.

Oh yeah! National ID will be just a step away. Hey, we've already built the infrastructure, and it's for the children War on Drugs War on Terror oh, whatever.

I believe that illegal immigrants who have roots in our country and want to stay should have to pay a meaningful penalty for breaking the law, to pay their taxes, to learn English, and to work in a job for a number of years.


Does this mean pay all the back taxes as well, and do we get an "English is the national language" law? Can we stop paying for bilingual this and bilingual that?

Tonight, I want to speak directly to members of the House and the Senate: An immigration reform bill needs to be comprehensive, because all elements of this problem must be addressed together, or none of them will be solved at all. The House has passed an immigration bill. The Senate should act by the end of this month so we can work out the differences between the two bills, and Congress can pass a comprehensive bill for me to sign into law.

Great, he wants it in a hurry. Even when Congress takes their time they tend to screw it up, and he wants it in 2 1/2 weeks. This will be a freakin' disaster--I predict it.

You know, Bush is a likeable fellow. That's one of the big reasons I think he's been elected to the Presidency twice. But you know, sometime even a likeable fellow is full of it. This is one of those times.

And the good news just keeps on rolling in

It seems that the Dark-and-Creepy Wing of the Republican Party is working overtime:

Wisconsin Rep. James Sensenbrenner, the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, is proposing that ISPs be required to record information about Americans' online activities so that police can more easily "conduct criminal investigations."

This is supposedly "for the children" to save them from the child pornographers. Child porn exists, but we seem to be combating it pretty effectively with the laws on the books. Do we really need more?

This proposal comes shortly after calls from Alberto "Gun Control" Gonzales has warned that there are predators online and called for yet more laws to make something that is already against the law even more against the law. (God, I feel like the AFLAC duck in the commercial with Yogi Berra.)

It also comes after the EU, whom our government seems to be more and more interested in taking their cues from, has approved a similar feature for European law.

Given the requirements of the Patriot Acts, the NSA's call record escapades and all the other smaller insults to our freedom, it seems like our benevolent Federal government has decided that having all the parts in place for data mining (known to us untrusting souls as "fishing expeditions") is a Good Thing. For them, anyway.

Am I the only Republican who is becoming utterly disillusioned with the party as it moves further and further away from true Conservatism and toward some sort of bizzaro police state? How many of us will decide to do something useful on Elections Day, like going to the range, shopping for storage supplies or scouting out new bugout locations, rather than participating in the election of more politicians who will sell out our freedom at their first chance?

Will the Republicans get the message if they loose out to the Democrats (who are equally as likely to attack our freedoms, I'd like to note)? Or will they spend another 50 years wondering around in the wilderness, praying for an explanation for why they are coming to be known about the blogosphere as "the Stupid Party"?

Some folks, such as Kim du Toit, are saying that we have to vote for the Republicans because the Democrats are even worse. With all due respects, I have to call BS on that idea. Voting for the lesser of two evils means you're still voting for evil. What difference does it make why the police come for you--guns or opinions or web sites surfed? The fact is that you're under arrest and in a cell.

Something has got to give, and it most assuredly will. The question is will it be our freedom or our nation?

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Frightening Fiction

Varifrank has posted what is perhaps the scariest short story I've every read. Bravo, sir.

I can only hope that my son never has to grow up to be that young man. But that's a hope, not a certainty.