Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Panic! Be Scared! Pandemic! Terrorism!

Only the government can save you! Blah, blah...

So, the swine flu has a lot of people pissing their drawers. Me, I looked at the numbers and yawned. What a load of hooey. This "Pandemic" is nothing! Here is a great article that explains why this is overblown baloney. If you were even slightly nervous about this horrible swine flu pandemic read it and you will no longer be so worried.

Here is an excerpt but please, if you have any doubt that this is just more media hype, rather reminiscent of the "Weapons of Mass Destruction" nonsense used to get us into Iraq, read the whole thing:

Putting things in perspective

We’ve been hearing all sorts of numbers and speculations as to how many people have come down with the flu or are dying. We’re also being led to believe that the virus is actively spreading and sickening increasingly more people. “The number of cases has doubled,” television news reported tonight.

But, as Dr. Nancy Cox, Director of CDCs Influenza Division, explained to media yesterday, a total of seven cases of swine flu virus have been confirmed in California, but all of these patients had been sick weeks ago and all have recovered.

The number of confirmed cases nationwide now tallies about 40, but it’s not because the virus is spreading, said Dr. Richard Besser, acting director of the CDC. It’s because more tests are being completed. All of the patients have recovered. There have been no deaths. [That's not to say that there probably won't be, of course, because people do die from flus and respiratory infections.]

“So far this is not looking like very, very severe influenza,” said Dr. Schuchat.

The cases we’re seeing outside Mexico have been “no more serious than your average flu bug,” said Dr. Layton.

These numbers — 40 cases of this strain, that might have gone unrecognized from the regular seasonal influenza in past years, and no deaths — pale in comparison to the number of Americans who are estimated to die from the flu every year. According to government health statistics, about 30,000 to 50,000 people die every year from influenza. Princeton biologists estimated that from 1979 to 2001, annual deaths from influenza in the U.S. averaged 41,400. About a thousand times more people die every year from influenza than have from swine flu, yet there are no nightly death counts on the news during flu season each year.

Addendum: And how many cases of the flu are normally seen, for comparison? This month, in just one week (April 12-18, 2009), the CDC confirmed 25,925 cases of influenza in the United States and 55 child deaths.

While estimates of annual influenza deaths vary depending on the methodology, each is consistent in showing that cases are not rising. For instance, MIT research found that there’s been a substantial decline in influenza deaths in the U.S. during the 20th century. Not only that, but the influenza pandemics of 1967-8 and 1968-9 showed “substantial overlap in both degree of mortality and timing compared with nonpandemic seasons.” In other words: “The considerable similarity in mortality seen in pandemic and non-pandemic influenza seasons challenges common beliefs about the severity of pandemic influenza.” Don’t let the word pandemic play on your fears.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

A Son of the Circus

I was reading "A Son of the Circus" for about a week, I managed to plod through just over 200 pages before I quit in disgust. I had almost quit about 50 pages in but decided to give it more time, but in the end I didn't care what happened to any character in the story and I simply put it down for good. What is the point in writing about people who are uniformly foolish, selfish and simply not likable? Ah well, such is life. The review on Amazon does say it does not engage until the last 100 pages, maybe he should have just stuck with those...

Then yesterday I started reading "Calculating God" by Robert Sawyer which I just now finished. Now in this book there are several characters who are not "good" but are still recognizably human, unlike the vile scum of Son... The main character, well lets just say that while he's not ideal at least you care what happens to him and he grows and changes. Maybe the characters in Son changed eventually but after 200 + pages they showed no signs of it, and since it was all flash backs and forwards and such I doubt they ever did.

Calculating God is well worth reading, interesting to have Intelligent Design discussed in a Science Fiction book :-)

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Supper time

Lora and Serenity cooked up some tasty Crimini and Asparagus Crepes for dinner last night, yum :-)

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Del Valle

I forgot that Flickr now allows me to embed a slide show into a post, so here, for your viewing enjoyment, is the slide show of my photos from our Del Valle camp out.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Camp out

We just got back from a three day camp out at Del Valle Park with a group of fellow unschoolers from SFBUN. We had a great time, met new friends and Serenity got a glorious sun burn on the second day.

I've uploaded a passel of pictures to my Flickr site, as usual :-)

Mike, Maryann and Topanga didn't get to go because they are suffering on the beaches of Hawaii for a week :-) Really, I feel sorry for them, don't you?

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Where in the world is...

Hey, remember the old computer game "Where in the World is Carmen San Diego?" Well here is Carmen's brother Daniel, and the FBI is asking the same question... about him...

Man named to FBI most wanted list for Shaklee bombing

A North Bay man has been named to the FBI's most wanted terrorists list for the alleged animal rights-related bombings of two East Bay companies in 2003, including Pleasanton's Shaklee Corp. Daniel Andreas San Diego, now 31, disappeared following the bombings on Aug. 28, 2003, of the Emeryville biotechnology firm Chiron Inc., and on Sept. 26, 2003, of the Pleasanton health and beauty products company Shaklee Corp.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Dr. Paul on secession

Thanks to Father Hollywood for tipping me to this:

Dr. Ron Paul, my choice for President last election, not McCain or Obama, talks about the American right of secession:

Study Finds Blood Cells Can Be Reprogrammed to Act as Embryonic Stem Cells

(WASHINGTON, April 20, 2009) - In a recent study, U.S. researchers have reprogrammed cells found in circulating blood into cells that are molecularly and functionally indistinguishable from embryonic stem cells, a revolutionary achievement that provides a readily accessible source of stem cells and an alternative to harvesting embryonic stem cells. The findings were prepublished online in Blood, the official journal of the American Society of Hematology.

Embryonic stem cells have long been coveted for their potential to treat a multitude of diseases as a result of their unique properties of nearly indefinite self-renewal and pluripotency (the ability to develop into any type of cell in the body), but their use has been the subject of political controversy.

“Our findings provide the first proof that cells from human blood can morph into stem cells,” said senior study author George Q. Daley, MD, PhD, an investigator for the Howard Hughes Medical Institute at Children’s Hospital, Boston. “Making pluripotent stem cells from blood, which is one of the easiest tissues to obtain, provides an easy strategy for generating patient-specific stem cells that are valuable research tools and may one day be used to treat a number of diseases.”

(Full Story Here)

What this story means is that, in spite of B.O.'s big whoop dee doo about letting science do it's job when he funded embryonic stem cell research a few weeks ago, there is really no excuse to continue to use cells "harvested" from murdered babies, aka aborted embryos. It's bad morally and it's bad medicine and now we know it's just piss poor science to boot.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

The Battle of Forest Home Farms

Yesterday Mike, Lora, Serenity and I all went to a civil war reenactment in San Ramon at Forest Home Farms. It was pretty fun! Serenity did not like the cannons though. Later in the day we went and had a picnic at Shadow Cliffs Lake, it was a nice way to spend a sunny April afternoon. Click here for more photos.

Friday, April 17, 2009

The Tea Parties

I didn't make our local Tea Party, but it pulled hundreds of people as well...

Tea, anyone?

Like hundreds of thousands of other Americans, the Hollywoods enjoyed a tea party this past Wednesday. "Tea party" (wink wink). Nothing subversive about sipping a little Darjeeling, eh wot? Nothing to see here, Miss Napolitano.

Anyway, our local festivities were held at Veterans Memorial Boulevard in Metairie. There were literally thousands of people crammed into the neutral ground (though on that day, the ground was anything but...), as cars and trucks poured by the busy boulevard laing on their horns in support.

Here are pictures.

And like every such gathering in our environs, there was even a brass band and an improptu "second line" parade. It was a "party" after all. But it was a party with a serious reason.

The crowds were so overwhelming that it was hard to hear the speakers, and unfortunately, we did have a few politicians speaking, trying to glom onto the spontaneous citizen outcry. But overall, it was an inspiring time, a wake-up call for big-government politicians and bureaucrats who have forgotten for whom they work and the law which they are bound to obey.

The tea parties all over the country were a great blessing and at least demonstrate the idea that Americans haven't rolled over in their defiance. However, there are a few things to be watchful about, and here is an excellent analysis of the tea party phenomenon.

And here is an illustration of how messed up the country has become. Notice how the protester invokes Lincoln (the cornerstone of Big Government and centralized Washingtonian control), and notice how the "reporter" picks a fight with him (amazing!), openly defending a political position, and then concludes that this is an "anti-CNN" demonstration.

Don't flatter yourself, lady. CNN is a joke, and she proved it by this kind of "coverage." This is about something far bigger than her insignificant job.

The tea parties used the federal tax deadline as a convenient day to rally. But this is not primarily about taxes. The government will not be able to tax enough to cover its expenses. It will resort to the printing press - especially when China stops buying our increasingly worthless treasuries. And what good is this "reporter's" laughable $400 tax credit when the government is destroying the value of the dollar and putting generations into debt?

Another canard is that this is about "losing an election" and that the American Revolution involved only "taxation without representation." It demonstrates how few people have actually read the Declaration of Independence - which enumerates a litany of reasons for the separation - many of which are being done to us today and in far greater numbers - not by George in London, but by George and Barack in Washington.

These tea parties are not about the Republicans vs. the Democrats (as both are culpable for where we are today). This is about the need for the government to be severely curtailed and limited by the Constitution and by the need for both parties to renounce Socialism and to embrace free markets, free thoughts, and free people.

The press and the politicians don't get it yet. But hopefully they will. A free America has much to offer not only her own citizens, but people all over the world. But a fascist and imperial America will be as destructive as any other tyranny in history.

We're at a crossroads in our history.

Tea anyone?

Soviet America

Remember, whenever any of your masters give you orders, you must obey, your "rights" make no difference, obedience is the only thing that matters and is the only acceptable behavior. Along with obedience, of course you must always grovel while obeying, otherwise who knows what might happen. As the pastor in the video below says, "Wake up America!"

Sadly, I don't have any delusions that America is on the verge of waking up, most so-called Americans could not tell you what their rights are under the Bill of Rights to save their life, and most don't care either, as long as they can watch American Idol and drive their SUV around town, they are content to allow every right we once had to fade away. We are so far beyond retrieving our former rights now that only violent revolt could restore them, voting is obviously not going to do it. Sadly violent revolt isn't going to happen either...

Ezra Levant

I found out about Ezra Levant while reading this post on Father Hollywood:

Another young international freedom-fighter

His opinion is that the opening statement is the best part, I happen to think the one below sums up the proper attitude toward government thugs of all levels, check it out!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Subtle Butt

Um, I really don't know what to say about this product. If it works as claimed it would be a great thing to have on camp outs, as we all know, in a small tent farts can be deadly. In a crowded elevator it would be nice to be able to let one rip and not worry about the side effects... those long car trips would be a bit more pleasant as well, but at $9.95 for 5 maybe I'll just keep the window open instead :-)

"Actual Scientific Demonstration"

Buy them here!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Judge Andrew Napolitano on the Righ Wing Extremist list

JUDGE ANDREW NAPOLITANO: Six Things You Should Know About the Homeland Security Report on ‘Rightwing Extremism’

By Judge Andrew Napolitano
FOX News Senior Judicial Analyst

Homeland Security Warns of Rise in Right-Wing Extremism

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) report entitled “Rightwing Extremism: Current Economic and Political Climate Fueling Resurgence in Radicalization and Recruitment”, dated April 7, 2009, which I have read, is apparently an unclassified summary of a larger classified report.

1. The summary contains few proper names, has no footnotes of any significance, lists very few sources, and is drafted with a prejudice against anyone who criticizes the role of the federal government in our lives today. It lumps together in its definition of “rightwing extremism” hate groups, anti-government groups, and single issue groups “such as opposition to abortion or immigration.”

My guess is that the sentiments revealed in the report I read are the tip of an iceberg that the DHS would prefer to keep submerged until it needs to reveal it. This iceberg is the heavy-hand of government; a government with large and awful eyes, in whose heart there is no love for freedom, and on whose face there is no smile.

2. The document itself cautions the reader that the document is “not to be released to the public, the media, or other personnel who do not have a valid need-to-know without prior approval” of the DHS. The document refers to itself as one of a series of intelligence assessments intended to “deter, prevent, preempt, or respond to terrorist attacks against the United States.”

3. The thrust of this report is that in the present environment of economic instability, returning military veterans, those who fear of the loss of Second Amendment-protected rights, those threatened by an African-American president, and those who fear “Jewish ‘financial elites’” could all be a fertile breeding ground for groups whose power and ideas the government hates and fears. The document is essentially a warning for DHS and FBI officials to be on the look-out for rootless persons looking for the comfort of groups as they may be a danger to American security.

4. The summary (unclassified) document is terrifying. One can only imagine what is contained in the classified version. This document runs directly counter to numerous U.S. Supreme decisions prohibiting the government from engaging in any activities that could serve to chill the exercise of expressive liberties. Liberties are chilled, in constitutional parlance, when people are afraid to express themselves for fear of government omnipresence, monitoring, or reprisals. The document also informs the reader that Big Brother is watching both public and private behavior.

5. The whole purpose of the First Amendment is to guarantee open, broad, robust debate on the policies and personnel of the government. The First Amendment presumes that individuals — NOT THE GOVERNMENT — are free to choose what they believe and espouse, what they read and say, and with whom they associate in public and in private. The writers of this abominable report are particularly concerned with the expression of opinions that might be used to fuel ideas that challenge federal authority or favor state and local government over the federal government. Unfortunately, legislation passed during the past eight years gives the DHS and the FBI the tools to monitor everything from a telephone conversation to the keystrokes used on a personal computer without a warrant issued by a federal judge.

6. My guess is that the sentiments revealed in the report I read are the tip of an iceberg that the DHS would prefer to keep submerged until it needs to reveal it. This iceberg is the heavy-hand of government; a government with large and awful eyes, in whose heart there is no love for freedom, and on whose face there is no smile.

Enemy of the State

Woo hoo! I'm now officially an Enemy of the State! It just makes me all warm and fuzzy inside :-)

Check it out! The official report is here.

Revenge of the "Waco Gene"

The Regime has made it official that "right-wing extremism" is a threat to Homeland Security.

That genus is divided into two species -- "white supremacist and anti-government groups" -- with the latter further differentiated into various sub-species, including immigration reform activists, "disgruntled military veterans," gun rights advocates, members of citizen militia groups, anti-globalists, constitutionalists, "hate groups," and others deemed politically unsuitable by the Regime.

Less than two years ago, Congress enacted -- by a vote of 404-6 -- the Violent Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism Prevention Act. Its first offspring was an official commission to examine potential content-based Internet restrictions. At some point, it also begat a specialized section within the Homeland Security Department called the Extremism and Radicalization Branch (which we'll call the ERB).

This means that for the first time in American history, the federal government has a full-time intelligence organ devoted exclusively to scrutinizing the political opinions and affiliations of U.S. citizens. It is difficult to overstate the importance of this development as a milestone in our nation's apostasy from its founding as a constitutional republic. (read much more)

You can take some action by going to various places, my mom suggested this one:

"The Patriotic Resistance"

Or you could check out the more libertarian leaning "Campaign for Liberty"

Either place will get you on the big and very cool "Enemy of the State" list in Barry O's new and improved Homeland Security.

Legitimate Government

Seems to me this is nearly an oxymoron isn't it? I can't really imagine a government that is anything other than a pack of violent thugs. I suppose it could be possible but without violence government is no longer really government, it's more of a co-op...

Check out

Anti-state, not just anti-Obama

With thousands of "tea party" tax protests planned around the country on this grim day when we formally surrender a large share of our income to satisfy the ravenous appetite of government, some commentators suggest that tax-protest and anti-government rhetoric has gone too far. One of my own colleagues frets that opposition to the powers that be has crossed the line to actually challenging the legitimacy of the government. Well, I can't speak for everybody, but I do question the legitimacy of the government. I hope the tea party protests are a sign that more people are coming to this point of view. (Read More)

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Piracy and Government

One of the very few legitimate purposes of government is keeping the high seas safe for shipping. In this case the United States Government, via it's Navy and Navy Seals, did the exact right thing. Seems to me if each time these pirates take ships and crews they ended up dead the popularity of piracy would decline pretty rapidly.

US ship captain is freed when snipers kill pirates

(04-12) 15:32 PDT MOMBASA, Kenya (AP) --

U.S. Navy snipers opened fire and killed three pirates holding an American captain at gunpoint in a lifeboat, delivering the skipper unharmed and ending a five-day high-seas hostage drama on Easter Sunday.

The pirates were pointing AK-47s at Capt. Richard Phillips and he was in "imminent danger" of being killed when the commander of the nearby USS Bainbridge made the split-second decision to order his men to shoot, Vice Adm. Bill Gortney said.

Phillips' crew, who said they had escaped the pirates after he offered himself as a hostage, erupted in cheers aboard their ship in Mombasa, Kenya. Some waved an American flag and fired flares in celebration.

Christ is Risen! He is Risen Indeed!

O Death, where is your sting?
O Hell, where is your victory?
Christ is risen, and you are overthrown.
Christ is risen, and the demons are fallen.
Christ is risen, and the Angels rejoice.
Christ is risen, and life reigns.
Christ is risen, and not one dead remains in the grave.
For Christ, being risen from the dead, has become the first-fruits of those who have fallen asleep.
To Him be glory and dominion unto ages of ages. Amen.
--John Chrysostom (from: Treasury of Daily Prayer Easter Sunday Reading)

Friday, April 10, 2009

O Sacred Head Now Wounded (Salve mundi salutare)

A great video of the hymn we've been singing for the last 40 + days:

Lyrics (J.W. Alexander's version, 1830)

O sacred Head, now wounded, with grief and shame weighed down,
Now scornfully surrounded with thorns, Thine only crown;
How pale Thou art with anguish, with sore abuse and scorn!
How does that visage languish, which once was bright as morn!

What Thou, my Lord, hast suffered, was all for sinners’ gain;
Mine, mine was the transgression, but Thine the deadly pain.
Lo, here I fall, my Savior! ’Tis I deserve Thy place;
Look on me with Thy favor, vouchsafe to me Thy grace.

Men mock and taunt and jeer Thee, Thou noble countenance,
Though mighty worlds shall fear Thee and flee before Thy glance.
How art thou pale with anguish, with sore abuse and scorn!
How doth Thy visage languish that once was bright as morn!

Now from Thy cheeks has vanished their color once so fair;
From Thy red lips is banished the splendor that was there.
Grim death, with cruel rigor, hath robbed Thee of Thy life;
Thus Thou hast lost Thy vigor, Thy strength in this sad strife.

My burden in Thy Passion, Lord, Thou hast borne for me,
For it was my transgression which brought this woe on Thee.
I cast me down before Thee, wrath were my rightful lot;
Have mercy, I implore Thee; Redeemer, spurn me not!

What language shall I borrow to thank Thee, dearest friend,
For this Thy dying sorrow, Thy pity without end?
O make me Thine forever, and should I fainting be,
Lord, let me never, never outlive my love to Thee.

My Shepherd, now receive me; my Guardian, own me Thine.
Great blessings Thou didst give me, O source of gifts divine.
Thy lips have often fed me with words of truth and love;
Thy Spirit oft hath led me to heavenly joys above.

Here I will stand beside Thee, from Thee I will not part;
O Savior, do not chide me! When breaks Thy loving heart,
When soul and body languish in death’s cold, cruel grasp,
Then, in Thy deepest anguish, Thee in mine arms I’ll clasp.

The joy can never be spoken, above all joys beside,
When in Thy body broken I thus with safety hide.
O Lord of Life, desiring Thy glory now to see,
Beside Thy cross expiring, I’d breathe my soul to Thee.

My Savior, be Thou near me when death is at my door;
Then let Thy presence cheer me, forsake me nevermore!
When soul and body languish, oh, leave me not alone,
But take away mine anguish by virtue of Thine own!

Be Thou my consolation, my shield when I must die;
Remind me of Thy passion when my last hour draws nigh.
Mine eyes shall then behold Thee, upon Thy cross shall dwell,
My heart by faith enfolds Thee. Who dieth thus dies well.

On Evolution

Here is an article I stumbled upon that talks about the book I'm reading at this moment, The 10,000 Year Explosion by Cochran & Harpending:

Modern life's pressures may be hastening human evolution

WASHINGTON — We're not finished yet. Even today, scientists say that human beings are continuing to evolve as our genes respond to rapid changes in the world around us.

In fact, the pressures of modern life may be speeding up the pace of human evolution, some anthropologists think.

Their view contradicts the widespread 20th-century assumption that modern medical practice, antibiotics, better diet and other advances would protect people from the perils and stresses that drive evolutionary change.

Nowadays, the idea that "human evolution is a continuing process is widely accepted among anthropologists,'' said Robert Wald Sussman , the editor of the Yearbook of Physical Anthropology at Washington University in St. Louis . (Read more)

A place I'd rather be

Today in Pleasanton we are continuing a week long bout of dreary gray wet cold days... I'd rather be in summer and camping out...

Lava Beds045

It is Finished

Today is Good Friday. On this day the Church recalls the crucifixion and death of Jesus and His declaration that "It is finished." On the cross he paid in full for all of the sins ever committed and all of the sins yet to be committed. "It is finished" means there is nothing left that we can do to regain God's favor, we already have it in Christ!

St. Augustine - Death has died!

[Jesus] died, but He vanquished death; in Himself He put an end to what we feared; He took it upon Himself and He vanquished it, as a mighty hunter He captured and slew the lion. Where is death? Seek it in Christ, for it exists no longer; but it did exist and now it is dead. O Life, O death of death! Be of good heart; it will die in us, also. What has taken place in our Head will take place in His members; death will die in us also. But when? At the end of the world, at the resurrection of the dead in which we believe and concerning which we do not doubt.

This afternoon I'll be at the Tre Ore Liturgy at Messiah Lutheran Church, this evening at Good Friday Vespers.

"It is finished." John 19:30

One thing I wish we had at Messiah is the Easter Vigil service that some churches have at midnight on Holy Saturday. For the Feast of the Resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ we are having Sunrise Matins outside, followed by a pancake breakfast, yum. Then the Divine Service will be celebrated.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Meet Pando

Meet Pando, the largest and oldest multicellular organism on the planet, probably... maybe... but in any case, very cool:

The Earth’s Elder

The largest organism on Earth, and probably the oldest multicellular organism, is named Pando. Kind of a cutesy name for such an impressive specimen, don’t you think?


If you were to meet Pando — which you could easily do, if you paid a visit to Fishlake National Forest in Utah — it would look like a forest of Quaking Aspen trees. But if you happened to be equipped to do DNA testing on plant specimens, you would realize that all of the trees were genetically identical. That’s because they’re all part of the same tree, sharing a common root system. One tree springs from a seed, long ago, and spreads out roots; but then more trees erupt from those roots, and the process simply continues. Individual “trees” might die, but that’s like you or me losing a toenail; Pando lives on. It weighs in at over six million kilograms, and is likely more than 80,000 years old (although it might be much older).

I have nothing especially profound to say about Pando, I just think it’s cool. But when you have arrow-of-time on the brain, everything resonates. Unlike most other multicellular organisms, there’s no reason why Pando should ever die, absent dramatic external factors. As long as its environment remains hospitable, Pando could live forever. Monocellular organisms, of course, do this all the time; they split into “children” which are genetically identical (up to mutations), so it’s legitimate to say that any given bacterium has lived for many millions of years. The birth/growth/death cycle is not absolutely necessary to the existence of life — it’s just useful, if life wants to avoid the very real possibility that the environment does dramatically change for the worse. Giving birth to children with slightly different genetic makeups — and then getting out of their way, by dying — gives the species a fighting chance to adapt and survive in the face of dramatic changes around it. (Update: some termites have a different strategy.)

Meanwhile, Pando abides. Good for it.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

How to be a Good American

This Official Government Video explains how to be a "Good American Citizen." :-)

The TSA and "Freedom"

I heard a rumor that this will be the new AmeriKan flag:

TSA sorry ... well ... not really ... for detaining Ron Paul staffer

The detention by Transportation Security Administration agents of a staffer with the Ron Paul-backed Campaign for Liberty at Lambert-St. Louis International Airport became a cause celebre last week -- in part because the detainee secretly captured an audio recording of his interrogation on his cell phone. On its official blog, the TSA has chastised the agents for their conduct, while still defending the holding of passengers for such seemingly innocuous reasons as the possession of substantial sum of cash.

In the recording, parts of which were played on Andrew Napolitano's Fox News television show, and a more complete version placed online by the Washington Times, Steve Bierfeldt, Director of Development for the Campaign for Liberty, can be heard being aggressively questioned in a detention room about $4,700 in cash with which he was traveling. When Bierfeldt asks about his rights and the extent to which he is required to answer questions, agents deride him for behaving "like a child." The TSA agents threaten to call in DEA agents and other federal law-enforcement officers to extend the questioning in response to Bierfeldt's resistance.

On its Evolution of Security blog, the TSA conceded:

A Transportation Security Administration (TSA) employee and members of the St. Louis Airport Police Department can be heard on the audio recording. The tone and language used by the TSA employee was inappropriate. TSA holds its employees to the highest professional standards. TSA will continue to investigate this matter and take appropriate action.

While acknowledging concerns about the TSA agent's conduct, the TSA continues to insist that "[m]ovements of large amounts of cash through the checkpoint may be investigated by law enforcement authorities if criminal activity is suspected."

It should be noted that the TSA is not a general-purpose law-enforcement agency, but is specially tasked to guarantee the safety of the transportation system. It's mission statement says, "The Transportation Security Administration protects the Nation’s transportation systems to ensure freedom of movement for people and commerce."

While the use of cash is often used (to the dismay of civil liberties advocates) by police agencies as a means of profiling people who may be engaged in criminal activity, particularly drug transactions, it is not illegal in itself and would seem to pose no threat to the integrity of air travel or any other means of transportation.

"We are becoming far too eager to give away our liberties in the face of false security. We want to make our plane and we don't want a five-minute hassle so we are eager to give up our freedom, and that is unfortunate," Bierfeldt told the Washington Times.

POTUS Bows to His Real Master

Barack Hussein Obama, the POTUS, bows to his royal master:

It makes me even more glad than usual that I'm a Californian and not an American. Unlike Americans we DON'T bow to some murdering thug who claims to be "Royalty."

As the NY Times said back in 1994:

"Canadians still bow to England's Queen; so do Australians. Americans shake hands. If not to stand eye-to-eye with royalty, what else were 1776 and all that about?"

Also a nice quote from Teddy Roosevelt: "IF I see another king, I think I shall bite him"

But Barack Hussein Obama, the current POTUS, he bows full out.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Thursday, April 2, 2009


You gotta love dumb cops... well actually that is a bit redundant isn't it?

Check this out:

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Best publicity for a critic of the police EVER

So the Arizona Republic reports that Phoenix cops raided the home of a man who maintains a Website and blog that are harshly critical of the police department. That man, Jeff Pataky, has apparently cultivated informants inside the informant and broken interesting stories about official misconduct.

Pataky, a former software sales and marketing executive who now focuses his energy shoveling content on, said he believes his online criticism of the department - along with past criticisms of police investigations - led officers to serve a search warrant at his home last week.

Police officials said Wednesday that a Phoenix detective prompted the investigation after complaining about harassment, though they declined further comment. ...

Investigators confiscated computer material and other items from Pataky's north Phoenix home, which he considered a threat to quit writing.

"We have heard internally from our police sources that they purposefully did this to stop me," Pataky said. "They took my cable modem and wireless router. Anyone worth their salt knows nothing is stored in the cable modem."

Phoenix Assistant Chief Andy Anderson said the harassment case is unique because of the connection to an unaccredited grassroots Web site. He said the blog is one part of the case, though he did not provide specifics of the ongoing investigation.

"This isn't about the blog," Anderson said. "That's just where the investigation led."

"Unaccredited grassroots Web site"? As opposed to accredited official Web sites? What the hell?

Oh, and "harassment" now sounds like one of those all-purpose complaints meant to justify any official act.

The Phoenix area is home, of course, to Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio, who capped off his feud with the Phoenix New Times by arresting two newspaper executives at their homes under a highly questionable state law that criminalizes online publication of personal information about law-enforcement officials. State lawmakers are now considering toughening that law.

I thought the Phoenix PD was a bit smarter than Arpaio -- not better, just smarter. After all, Pataky is now getting wide publicity for his efforts courtesy of the best public-relations boost any muckraker could ever hope for. The cops would have done better to leave well enough alone.

For his part, Pataky doesn't appear to be slowing down. He's still running his Website and he's suing the city over the raid earlier this month. Pataky has even published a copy of the internal memo Phoenix City Attorney Stephen Craig issued in response to the lawsuit.

Let me give those links again. Website here. Blog here.

Extra Work Days

This week I'm working SIX DAYS IN A ROW. If you know me you'll understand I'm just not used to that ;-)

Here is one of the many places I'd much rather be:

Me at Mt. Diablo

I'm thinking I'll post photos of "Where I'd rather be" on my blog from time to time when I'm wishing I wasn't where I'm at :-)

Wednesday, April 1, 2009


It's like communism only without the... well actually it is just like communism after all...
and now they will be backing the warranty on your new Amerikan Made Kar! Kool.

On Government

As 2009 rolls on I've come to the conclusion that my previous attitude toward government might have been a bit harsh, even extreme. Now that President Obama is showing such wisdom in bringing enlightened policies to such areas as stem cell research and running GM and has brought peace to the far flung outposts of the empire I have to admit that government is actually a "Good Thing" and not the unmitigated rolling disaster and horror show I once thought it was.

Ah yes, the joy of April Fools day.