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Biological Warfare

(from The Feral Irishman)

A person “passed gas” Sunday afternoon on an American Airlines jet forcing all passengers to deplane. The incident caused nausea and headaches and complaints from passengers that they felt “ill”.

Click HERE for the story/
How sad that this reminded me of an incident from my distant past.
I was in Junior High (8th Grade?) in Mr. Procopchek’s Mechanical Drawing class.  We rotated mechanical drawing, metal shop and wood shop each semester.
And, being a shop class, it was all boys.  This was 1964-65.
And, in the middle of class, Phil Cupp cut one.  Seriously long and loud, from the back of the classroom (I almost wrote from the rear! 🙂 )
And the guys began giggling and retching, as the unseen biological cloud of death wafted it’s way toward the front of the class.
And Mr. Procopchek became more and more annoyed, asking us to keep working and to act like adults.
That is, of course, until the cloud reached his desk at the front of the class!
He made a face, cracked the windows, and told us to exit in an orderly fashion for a few minutes…
Seriously.  Chemical warfare or terrorism!
Phil was a classroom god for the next week or so.
It was that easy to impress junior high boys.

Anti-Libertarian Ideologies On The March: The Existential Threat To Liberty

(From Libertarianism.org)

Tom Palmer lectures on modern threats to liberalism and individualism, exploring the philosophical roots of these threats and explaining the danger they pose. He touches on the theocratic threat of Islamism and the leftist threat of identity politics, but the bulk of the discussion focuses on the recent re-emergence of the type of nationalist, racist collectivism previously exhibited by fascists in the 1920s, 30s, and 40s.

The slides associated with Palmer’s lecture are posted on SlidesLive.

I’m a ‘conservative’ libertarian.  I disagree with the National (Libertarian) Party on a number of points, mostly regarding open borders.

But, I still believe all liberty-loving folks need to band together, regardless of minor sticking points, to battle the evils of Statism.

Lest we lose it all over infighting!

 

You Have A Constitutional Right To Take Photos Of Police, Federal Court Affirms

Photographing and filming police officers in public is a constitutional right protected by the First Amendment. That’s what a federal appeals court unanimously affirmed this week in cases involving Philadelphia officers retaliating against citizens pointing cameras at them.

Slate reports that the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruling was for two cases. In one, a woman named Amanda Geraci was restrained across the neck by a police officer while trying to film the arrest of an anti-fracking protester. In the second, a Temple undergraduate named Richard Fields was handcuffed and prosecuted after trying to film officers breaking up a house party.

A District Court previously had ruled that both Geraci and Fields had engaged in “conduct” only and not “expressive conduct,” and that therefore their filming wasn’t a First Amendment “freedom of speech” issue. But in Friday’s ruling, the Federal Appeals Court disagreed.

“Every Circuit Court of Appeals to address this issue […] has held that there is a First Amendment right to record police activity in public,” the judges write in their opinion. “Today we join this growing consensus. Simply put, the First Amendment protects the act of photographing, filming, or otherwise recording police officers conducting their official duties in public.”

“The First Amendment protects actual photos, videos, and recordings, […] and for this protection to have meaning the Amendment must also protect the act of creating that material.”

“We ask much of our police,” the judges write in the closing statements. “They can be our shelter from the storm. Yet officers are public officials carrying out public functions, and the First Amendment requires them to bear bystanders recording their actions. This is vital to promote the access that fosters free discussion of governmental actions, especially when that discussion benefits not only citizens but the officers themselves.”

So there you have it: police officers don’t have the right to squash free speech by ordering you to stop shooting photos of them in public.


Image credits: Header illustration based on photo by Elvert Barnes and licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

h/t John Gwillam, Facebook

IT’S ABOUT TIME!

Don’t you always hate it when Rights you believed to be self-evident truths have to work their way up the judicial chain just to be affirmed as valid?

Of course, this hasn’t yet reached The Supreme Court(!)

Who knows?

A.M.A. (Against Medical Advice)

Or rather A.G.A. (Against Guffaw’s Advice)!

A while back, my friend Borepatch (who definitely has a right to such opinions in such matters) wrote regarding the acquiring and use of Siri, Google Now, Cortana or Alexa.

Or their fellow travelers.

I warned my roommate of such folly.

BUT, she is addicted to newfangled gadgets (as best she can afford them)!

(And, it IS her home, and she supplies the Wi-Fi…)

THIS arrived in the mail yesterday.  Apparently, there was a sale

It’s an Alexa (Echo) device (‘courtesy’ of Amazon)

(aka, “the electronic hockey puck of EVIL!” – spoken in Don Adams’ Maxwell Smart voice)

Sigh.

There’s a cartoon somewhere (unfortunately, I couldn’t find it) showing government agents discussing how citizens will place wiretaps/bugging devices in their own homes voluntarily, and will allow them to record conversations and Internet activity with ease!

They were gleeful!

I am not.  😦

Sigh.

 

And The Adventure Continues, Part Ocho 

So Monday the contractor returned, closed the hole in the downstairs ceiling, and replaced the upstairs bathroom floor (they had taken a divot earlier to test for asbestos – none found!)

He returned yesterday morning to give the ceiling a second coat.

Everything looks GREAT!  FINALLY!

paint still drying…

previously

(the leak began in MAY!)

I’m still dealing with my enlarged calf, visiting my regular doctor again today. And the vascular guy again next Monday.

At least the shower is no longer leaking. 

But, the adventure does continue. The one working vehicle (J’s 2006 Honda Element) has a battery which is dying. It still starts the car, but could be gone any day now.

$100-250 at most auto parts places.

And I don’t get paid until mid week next week.

It’s always something… 

Sigh.

Florida Got It Backward

TWICE!

(from Wirecutter)

Florida arms tax collectors

USA – -(Ammoland.com)- “A Central Florida tax collector says a new policy will allow his employees to openly carry firearms while they work,” The Associated Press reports. “Seminole County Tax Collector Joel Greenberg told the Orlando Sentinel that according to Florida law, he and his employees are considered ‘revenue officers’ and are exempt from the state’s ban on the open carrying of firearms while performing their duties.”

The rationale behind the move is to save taxpayers money by eliminating the need to hire private security.

“Tax collector Joel Greenberg says he is a ‘big believer in the Second Amendment,’” letter to the editor writer Gordon Crawford points out in the Orlando Sentinel. “If that is truly the case, he would know that this constitutional amendment was put in place to protect the public from government tyranny, not to arm the government.”
MORE
-JD

Not to mention, just this past week, a Floridian judge backed-off of the State’s Stand Your Ground Law.

We must remain vigilant, People!  ‘They’ aren’t done yet.

They should understand, neither are we.

Spoiler Alert!

As I grew up doing magic (eventually becoming semi-pro in my teens), I know many secrets – even if I cannot perform them personally.  😛

And, sadly, knowledge kinda ruins watching other magicians!  I’m looking for the gimmick, misdirection, the gaffe, the secret – other than just enjoying the performance for entertainment sake.

It takes an unusual talent to keep me interested in the actual performance.

I am also an AZDPS certified/NRA trained instructor.  And have trained people professionally in safe gun-handling and proper techniques.  I also shot in IPSC competition for a short time.

The point being, while I’m no big-time trainer/shooter, I have been around.

And, this has spoiled many TV shows and movies for me.

It’s hard for me to suspend my disbelief when I see a magician perform poorly (and not on purpose for comedy, ala Carl Balantine!)

The same thing applies to gun handling from Hollywood.

In recent memory, the TV show 24, with the counter-terrorist expert Jack Bauer (played by Kiefer Sutherland) holding his pistol as a cup-and-saucer.  Obviously, the set firearms trainer didn’t bother, or the actor didn’t care!

To be fair, Hollywood has generally improved in this area – Michael Mann with Miami Vice and Heat brought in weapons experts.  We don’t see the ‘grabbing the wrist’ thing as much as we once did.

I’ve been binge watching Bosch on Amazon.  Based on Michael Connolly’s book character, the plots are generally riveting and well acted.  And Titus Welliver as the lead is pretty good, as a driven, ‘colors-outside-the-lines’ LAPD detective.

But, they had a big parking lot gun fight last night (Season 2), and many of the ‘professionals’ (both mobsters and cops) confused concealment with cover, and kept doing the jack-in-the-box thing (jumping up from behind something to return fire).

Smile for the camera!

It kinda took the wind out of my sails…

I plan on continuing to watch it, and hope the acting and the plot hide the poor action sequences.

Also, the lead character wears two extra 1911 magazines – placed backwards in the mag pouch (about half the time), making tactical reloads problematic!

I know – picky, picky, picky

Bosch

 

 

 

Happy Independence Day

Today is the 241st anniversary of our Declaration of Independence from the tyranny that was the British crown against the colonies.

And, it will be celebrated with fireworks, picnics, barbeques and other family get-togethers.  Some parades and even some solemn remembrances.

We should acknowledge this day, but we should also remember tyranny never stops, and government never stops growing unabated.

YES!  WE HAVE A BILL OF RIGHTS! – but how many of them are forgotten or stepped-on today?

Freedom of Speech?  Hardly.  Colleges and university restricting or stopping speech with which they disagree WHOLESALE!

The Right to Keep and Bear Arms?  I will acknowledge much improvement has happened over the past 20 years in this area, but we must not sit on out laurels.  Just this past week, the Supreme Court declined to hear how possession (carrying) of weapons outside the home factors in.  Leaving an erroneous District Court finding to stand.

Search and Seizure?  Do we even have a Fourth Amendment, anymore?  Blanket wiretapping of cellular phone and Internet communications.  DUI checkpoints.  The TSA.  Anyone see any warrants affiliated with these actions?

Trial by a Jury of one’s Peers?  Seriously?  How often?

And don’t even get me started on seizure of assets and jury nullification!

I thank God that we didn’t elect Barack 2.0 (aka Hillary).  This doesn’t mean that the current White House occupant is close to being a diamond in the rough.

He is a populist, and certainly NOT a libertarian!  And surrounds himself with statist conservatives.

We have won some battles, but are nowhere close to winning the war.

The quote “Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty” is often mistakenly attributed to the Irish lawyer and politician John Philpot Curran and frequently to Thomas Jefferson.

In fact, Curran’s line was somewhat different. What he actually said, in a speech in Dublin on July 10, 1790, was:

       “The condition upon which God hath given liberty to man is eternal vigilance.”

And, according to Jefferson scholars there is “no evidence to confirm that Thomas Jefferson ever said or wrote, ‘Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty’ or any of its variants.”

Whoever said it, it is TRUE!  Stay vigilant, My Friends!

Happy Independence Day

 

Incoming @ 0400

I usually fall asleep between 1120 and midnight.  And arise between 0600 and 0700.

(NO, this is not an invitation to call!  I’ve my morning shower-dress-meditation ritual)

Rarely am I disturbed. (Insert joke here)  Except, of course, the battle sometime between 0130 and 0400 between my bladder and I.  Who IS Master of my bladder?  (It’s apparent, not me!)  😛

ANYWAY, my roomie and I share a ‘Jack and Jill’ bathroom.  And, with her sleep schedule, sometimes I hear her in the loo.  Sometimes I hear her TV.

This is not usually any big deal.

BUT, last night, after my traditional loss of the battle of wills with my bladder, I returned to bed, anticipating a return to sleep in a minute-or-so.  When BOOM!  Followed by yet another BOOM!  And another!

It was a bit after 0400.

I thought ‘great – I awakened my roomie’ and she turned on her television.  And was watching The Battle of Britain, or The Guns of Navarone! 

Too loudly.

But I was in error.

Usually, when she does that (a rarity) she hears the error of her way and turns it down in a few minutes.  The noises continued, unabated for at least twenty!

And, I knew it wasn’t yet Independence Day!

So, I bailed out of bed, listening to the ongoing explosions, crossed the no-man’s land of the bathroom, and rapped on her door.

Yes?  She replied.

I opened the door slightly and asked, “Is it you making all this noise, or is it the neighbors?”

She answered, “It’s the neighbors.  And I’ve already called the police on them!”

😛

About ten minutes later, the booming stopped.

Video gaming?!  The neighbor is a young woman who seems to have a revolving door of male roommates.  Perhaps this was one of them?

ANYWAY, back to sleep I went (at around 0500) and rolled out a bit after 6.

Somewhat tired.

I hope to get an afternoon nap later today.

Sigh.

Der Fledermausflügel

In another lifetime, I was newly married (one year) and had job ‘issues’.  Those who know me know I held 40 jobs from age 16 until I landed as a credit card fraud investigator (TMCCC).  I stayed in that job for almost 22 years!

My bride worked for an electronics company, then ubiquitous in the Phoenix area.  MOTOROLA.  Seems her father and one brother also worked there.  Family business (?)

(Well, anyway) I was between jobs, and The Wife told me they were hiring.  I applied, with the hope I would be working armed security (based on my job experience).

Not only did they NOT hire me for security, they hired me a a line worker doing silicon wafer inspection, in a clean room suit, and, I was assigned second shift!  Which meant I’d hardly got to see The Wife.

Hardly my first choice!

But, they had a credit union, and health insurance, and I needed work.

It was NOT the best of experiences.

The crew was largely like those one encountered in the security business.  Mixed education and experience, ethnicity and background.  One manager was constantly sexually harassing the men, openly; one of the new guys was openly addicted to pills, and treated co-workers horribly.  The harasser was left alone, because she was a long-term female employee.  The pill-popper was ethnic, and so he was allowed much more leeway than if a White guy had been doing the same.  One of the lead engineers was also a harasser, who didn’t get held accountable until years later.

And management constantly held impossible standards over your head, and threatened all with layoffs (a product of the semiconductor production business – we need to get product out, hire more people.  When contracts end, lay the folks off!)

So, I worked there a little more than a year-and-a-half.  And was miserable.

The Wife and I DID get to see each other on weekends (she became pregnant in May!), and I left der Fledermausflügel in November to begin my private investigation business.

I was laid off.

Why der Fledermausflügel, you ask?

German for bat wings, of course!

"Round up the usual suspects."

In Loving Memory…