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This category contains 43 posts

Hey! Rights Ain’t Dead, Yet!

This, courtesy of Wirecutter

For the first time, a federal judge has suppressed evidence obtained without a warrant by U.S. law enforcement using a stingray, a surveillance device that can trick suspects’ cell phones into revealing their locations.

U.S. District Judge William Pauley in Manhattan on Tuesday ruled that defendant Raymond Lambis’ rights were violated when the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration used such a device without a warrant to find his Washington Heights apartment.

The DEA had used a stingray to identify Lambis’ apartment as the most likely location of a cell phone identified during a drug-trafficking probe. Pauley said doing so constituted an unreasonable search.
MORE

stingray

If you are keeping score, that’s the anti-constitutional Statist bastards – 356

Liberty and Freedom – 3

 

NICE

What more can be said regarding the terrorist attack in the South of France?  What do we know?  A Tunisian emigre, armed with one pistol, two fake assault rifles.  And a fake grenade.  And a truck.  Chose to use the 19 ton refrigerated truck as an ‘assault vehicle’.

84 dead, another 202 injured.

And while he didn’t use either the real or fake weaponry, in largely gun-prohibited France, it took the usual solution – a call to the men with guns to stop the terrorist.

ISIS claimed responsibility.

I see two solutions here.  One short term, and a second longer.

  1. Allow the French citizenry to arm themselves.
  2. Severely restrict or cease entirely immigration from Muslim countries.  And deport those already in country who have not been carefully vetted.

AND, promote doing the same in all other nations, including the United States!

Before it is too late.

Of course, this will never happen.  Especially here, where illegal aliens make up as much as 33% of the service industry work force.

I heard on the ‘news’ the other night that one-half of one percent (0.5%) of Islamic folk are estimated to be radicalizedThis translates to one million people World-wide!

Imagine if this were a regular army?

Instead, they are agents-provocateurs (agents of change – outside agitators in the very least)!  Community Organizers?

Saboteurs and terrorists.

Free people need to be able to defend themselves.  Period.

Two folks are sitting adjacent in a jumbo jet, flying over the South of France.
One looks out the window and remarks, “That’s Nice.”  –  Bennett Cerf

(Apologies.  This is GUFFAW in AZ, after all.  Had to lighten the mood.)

When In The Course Of Human Events…

Two Hundred Forty years ago…

A group of colonial representatives of the British crown voted to sever ties with the most powerful monarchy on Earth.  With the largest military.

And ultimately won our Independence.

Established a government, dissolved it, established a second government.  And immediately began ursurping the rights of the Citizenry we had fought a revolution to protect!

Governments, by their very nature, want control and power.

John Adams said, “Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.”

Well, THAT ship has sailed!

Too bad the Founding Fathers didn’t foresee some kind of reset button, which would keep the Bill of Rights as Paramount.

And allow us to begin again.

I’m rereading The Declaration of Independence at High Noon again, today.

Before my so doing is prohibited by law!

reset

4th

 

“It’s The FOOD POLICE, Again!”

The Obama administration is pressuring the food industry to make foods from breads to sliced turkey less salty, proposing long-awaited sodium guidelines in an effort to prevent thousands of deaths each year from heart disease and stroke

By MARY CLARE JALONICK – Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Obama administration is pressuring the food industry to make foods from breads to sliced turkey less salty, proposing long-awaited sodium guidelines in an effort to prevent thousands of deaths each year from heart disease and stroke.

The proposed guidelines released Wednesday are voluntary, so food companies won’t be required to comply. But the idea is to persuade companies and restaurants — many of which have already lowered sodium levels in their products — to take a more consistent approach.

It’s the first time the government has recommended such limits. Sodium content already is included on existing food labels, but the government has not set specific sodium recommendations. The guidelines suggest limits for about 150 categories of foods, from cereals to pizzas and sandwiches. There are two-year and 10-year goals.

“The totality of scientific evidence, as reviewed by many well-respected scientific organizations, continues to support lowering sodium consumption from current levels,” said Susan Mayne, director of FDA’s Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition. “In fact, it’s very difficult in the current marketplace not to consume too much sodium.”

Americans eat about 1½ teaspoons of salt daily, or 3400 milligrams. That’s about a third more than the government recommends for good health and enough to increase the risk of high blood pressure, strokes and other problems. Most of that sodium is hidden inside common processed foods and restaurant meals.

()

I’m overweight and diabetic.  And have high blood pressure and cholesterol.  Much less than I used to, in all respects, fortunately.  :-)

NOT BECAUSE THE GOVERNMENT CONTROLLED MY DIETARY CHOICES!

I don’t always make the ‘correct’ decisions with regard to the type of foods, or portions or ingredients – but, Hell, it’s my body and my choice!

(Where have I heard that before?)

Worst case scenario – IF the government controls how much salt is in commercially-produced products and restaurants (removing shakers from tables ala Bloomberg), and I feel the need, I’ll just bring my own!

Damn government control freaks!

When it rains, it pours…

morton

REMEMBER

And, in case you forgot…

Memorial-Day

Nothing more need be said.

Except perhaps a silent prayer of thanks.

REMEMBER

Is ‘Instant’ Media Good, Or Not?

hbBack-in-the-day (the 60’s), if news happened during the day, we had to wait until the 5:30 Huntley/Brinkley Report to hear about it.

Unless it was of a catastrophic nature, like the JFK assassination.  Then, someone who had been listening to a transistor radio passed the news along word-of mouth.  (The school janitor?)  And people with TVs ran to them for the latest reports.  Because, not everyone had a TV!

Otherwise, if the evening news had been missed, it was the next morning’s Arizona Republic that brought the news.  Usually bad – because news of a good nature is rarely news.

Fast-forward (another antiquated term from VHS tape days) to this post-Internet era.  I’ve a smartphone which I am rarely without.  She lives in my right, front pocket (having a fused hip means my back pocket isn’t a good idea for access) with my keys, .38 speed strip and my Blur lockblade knife.  (The .38 S&W snub is in my LEFT front pocket, in a pocket holster, me being sinestral, and all!)

I keep my smartphone on, because, why not?  She bleeps and chirps with receipt of texts, emails and the latest headlines.  (I do put her on vibrate or mute as appropriate!)  And sometimes she even rings announcing a telephone call! :-)  Or a specific ringtone advising me of particular callers, like my roomie or close friends.  Roomie’s ringtone is Moonlight Sonata, and Biff’s is the Peanuts theme!

Which brings me to my point (finally!)

Biff has a smartphone, but he doesn’t keep it on.  Doesn’t use it for spur-of-the-moment research, or shopping or to-do lists.  He doesn’t use it for email or texts, either.  Or receipt of the latest news!

He uses it as a telephone, when he chooses to have it turned-on.

And, I razz him mercilessly about this.  The term Luddite has been bandied about.

Why have a smartphone, if one isn’t going to use it as such?

He says he doesn’t want to be that connected.  And usually leaves it in his car, anyway!

We met for coffee the Saturday evening last, and were having our usual conversations, and I brought up the death earlier in the day of Justice Scalia.

And, he didn’t know about it – he hadn’t heard!  And he’s a radio news guy!

(I’d received a notification minutes after it had been reported, from three news sources!)

To be fair, he hadn’t worked that day.

So, which is better? – to be voluntarily ignorant of the day’s events, to choose to call only when one makes that choice, or to be tethered to the electronic instantaneous (or nearly so) news cycle?  And at the mercy of people who choose to call, whenever?

Being already a volunteer for the tethering, my opinion in the matter is skewed one direction.  Much like having a P.C. at home with a router, I don’t think I could revert to dial-up.

Or no Internet access at all…

So, which is better?

no sp

(Not mentioning potential for brain cancer and/or government surveillance/tracking, because so doing would further muddy the issue!)

You Only THINK You Own Your Land

You hold title to it.

But must pay the government in perpetuity taxes for that privilege.

Then, there’s this –

Hammond Family Declared as Terrorist and Sentenced to Five Years in Federal Prison

Via Iver

Our hearts and prayers go out to the Hammond family with deep empathy.  The magnitude of the injustices dealt to them is hard to comprehend.  Their once happy lives have been forever darkened with pains of corruptions.  The nature of their sentencing proves once again that justice is currently not found in the federal courts. The Hammonds are a simple ranching family that for generations has cared for the land they live upon.  Prescribed burns are a vital process in keeping the land healthy and productive in the area.  The BLM also performs prescribed burns and have let it get out of control many times, but never has it cost any federal agent hundreds of thousands of dollars in fines and years of life in prison.

The Hammonds prescribed a fire that moved to public land, they extinguished the fire themselves.  The courts found that the burn increased vegetation for the following years, and had a positive impact on the land.  With no authority or justification to prosecute, eleven years after the fire, federal attorneys have obtained judgment that the Hammonds are terrorists and must be punished severely for their actions.

h/t Brock Townsend

Toxicity

Long time readers of my drivel know that one of my go-to sources for life hacks is The Art of Manliness.

When it comes to stuff my father didn’t teach me (because he didn’t make the time, or didn’t know – he wasn’t malicious in his errors) TAoM covers many of the bases.

Everything from how to shave to how to escape quicksand (and more) are covered!

Sometimes, the subject matter in basic, i.e. how to balance a checkbook.  Other times it’s more philosophical…

For example:

How to Cut Toxic People Out Of Your Life

Surely a delicate and difficult issue for most of us.

There are people in my own history whom I have offended, and to whom I’ve made amends.  Some have returned as friends, others have not.

The important thing is to not remain in toxic relationships, lest they damage your own psyche!

Or worse…

Food Stamps, Etc.

Doc in Yuma (a regular, loyal reader and sometime contributor) sent me this regarding control of Food Stamps.

Sent to him under the title “Compassionate Conservatism”.

Put me in charge…

  Put me in charge of food stamps. I’d get rid of Lone Star cards; no cash for
Ding Dongs or Ho Ho’s, just money for 50-pound bags of rice and beans,
blocks of cheese and all the powdered milk you can haul away.  If you want
steak and frozen pizza, then get a job.
  Put me in charge of Medicaid. The first thing I’d do is to get women
Norplant birth control implants or tubal ligations.  Then, we’ll test
recipients for drugs, alcohol, and nicotine and document all tattoos and
piercings.  If you want to reproduce or use drugs, alcohol, smoke or get
tats and piercings, then get a job.
  Put me in charge of government housing.  Ever live in a military barracks?
You will maintain our property in a clean and good state of repair.  Your
“home” will be subject to inspections anytime and possessions will be
inventoried.  If you want a plasma TV or Xbox 360, then get a job and your
own place.
  In addition, you will either present a check stub from a job each week or
you will report to a “government” job.  It may be cleaning the roadways of
trash, painting and repairing public housing, whatever we find for you.  We
will sell your 22 inch rims and low profile tires and your blasting stereo
and speakers and put that money toward the “common good..”
  Before you write that I’ve violated someone’s rights, realize that all of
the above is voluntary.  If you want our money, accept our rules.  Before
you say that this would be “demeaning” and ruin their “self esteem,”
consider that it wasn’t that long ago that taking someone else’s money for
doing absolutely nothing was demeaning and lowered self esteem.
  If we are expected to pay for other people’s mistakes we should at least
attempt to make them learn from their bad choices.  The current system
rewards them for continuing to make bad choices.
  AND – While you are on Gov’t subsistence, you no longer can VOTE!  Yes that
is correct.  For you to vote would be a conflict of interest.  You will
voluntarily remove yourself from voting while you are receiving a Gov’t
welfare check.  If you want to vote, then get a job.
  Alfred W. Evans, Gatesville , TX
First of all, I’m a (conservative) libertarian (small L).  Voluntarism, coupled with non-nanny-statism would be the order of the day.   With that in mind, some of the controls suggested are ones with which I disagree.  For example…
“Food” choices.  If an EBT (food stamp) recipient wants T-bone steak or Twinkies to eat – I don’t care!  Only so many funds are allocated each month, and buying steak will ‘eat up’ the funds rather quickly.
It would be nice if the purchase of TP, laundry soap and similar household items were included on the ‘approved’ list, though.
Forced birth control is repugnant to me.  And recreational drugs and body disfigurement are not on the food stamp list.  Not my problem.
The whole ‘government housing’ thing is also repugnant.  If someone wants to live in a hovel or cannot afford maintenance, it is no concern of mine.  As long as it doesn’t affect the public health and safety.   Funny how a ‘conservative’ cries for such control, but screams about the prospect of FEMA camps…
I do like the idea of (voluntary) government service to help maintain the infrastructure.  I’m not certain it should be tied to receipt of food stamps, however.
“While you are on Gov’t subsistence, you can no longer VOTE!  For you to vote would be a conflict of interest.”
WOW – what a concept!
Of course, while a compassionate State maintains some kind of a ‘safety net’ for the truly needy, I’m a little unclear how this can be administered efficiently, fairly and at a reasonable cost.
After all, it IS government of which we speak!

Standing On Principles

gayI like to think I have Principles

I like to think I stand on them, and admire those who do also.

Unless, of course, their principles are diametrically opposed to mine!

One would think that working as a county clerk, and gay marriage was upheld by The Supreme Court, and licensing gays violated my principles, that it would behoove me to look for employment elsewhere(?)

The same thing applies to pharmacists who dislike dispensing a ‘morning after’ pill to their customers.

Or going to work at the Walmart sporting goods department, and being told you must sell guns and ammunition.  And you are anti-gun.

This just in – an Islamic flight attendant is objecting to be required to serve her passengers alcohol!  (as if she didn’t know this going in!)

If working there and doing your assigned job violates your principles – QUIT!

There’s an old saw, emblazoned on many a sampler and kitschy poster, stating “When you work for a man, WORK for him!”

Perhaps the women in the news are hoping to become another cause celebre, and make it to the Supreme Court?

In another lifetime.

I’m certainly not pristine in holding to my principles.  I AM human.  I worked for a polygraph company (not as a polygrapher) and federal legislation was pending to severely restrict private polygraph pre-employment companies.  (It passed).  But the boss had us calling in on company time (we were getting paid to do this) in an effort to sway the Congress to not pass the bill.

And, having had some (not all) negative experiences with polygraphs, I privately supported the legislation.

But, I also needed a paycheck, so…

I chose getting a paycheck over standing on my principles.

I was laid-off six months later, regardless, I’m sure in part to the decreased company revenue.

I probably should have quit.

"Round up the usual suspects."

In Loving Memory…

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