Monday, January 31, 2011

The TSSA wants its monopoly back

In the wake of all of the hubbub regarding the TSSA*'s "gate rape" pat downs, a number of airports invoked a little-known provision in the enabling legislation that created the TSSA which allows for individual airports to "opt out" of having their security provided exclusively by the TSSA. Apparently, there were so many airports opting out that TSSA had to put the brakes on.
A program that allows airports to replace government screeners with private screeners is being brought to a standstill, just a month after the Transportation Security Administration said it was "neutral" on the program.

TSA chief John Pistole said Friday he has decided not to expand the program beyond the current 16 airports, saying he does not see any advantage to it.
But on Friday, the TSA denied an application by Springfield-Branson Airport in Missouri to privatize its checkpoint workforce, and in a statement, Pistole indicated other applications likewise will be denied.
The government HATES to cede its authority over anything to anybody. I believe that the original "permission" to the 16 airports was a diversion to take some of the heat off of the TSSA for the "grope down" tactics it was forcing on the public. There was never any intent to honor the opt-out provision. There was only the intent to divert our focus away from their abuses.

On the subject of the TSSA, a reader named Lauren sent me a link to this info-graphic. It is a highly informative look into how airline security progressed over time to the totalitarian nightmare we endure now. I highly recommend it to all

*You can't abbreviate Schutzstaffel without the double 'S'


Saturday, January 29, 2011

We're #1! We're #1!

States, cities, and regions are known to promote things for which they are predominant. Idaho potatoes. Maryland crabs. New Orleans' Bourbon St. attractions. Chicago Style pizza. Memphis blues. New England chowders.

Notwithstanding that trend, there's a very low likelihood that the greater DC region will be proclaiming their number one status in this area.
Bad, but perhaps unsurprising news for area commuters: A new report indicates drivers in the Washington region lead the country in time, money and gas wasted in traffic.

D.C. drivers spend about 70 hours every year in road congestion, according to the 2010 Urban Mobility Report, considered the authority on traffic rankings.

This is the worst delay in the country.
We're #1! We're #1! Ah, crap!

By the way, this is the second time in the past three years DC has achieved #1 status.

As someone who has endured this hell on Earth for over 23 years, I have say that Maryland, Virginia, and the District of Columbia are absolutely guilty of economic malfeasance in their inattention to regional highway construction.

"Vulture! Highways are expensive!" So is gridlock. How many billions of dollars are lost to this region every year because of our grossly inadequate highway system?

"You should take mass transit!" Really? Mass transit in this reason is designed under the paradigm of traffic filtering into the District in the morning and out to Maryland and Virginia in the evening. So how, exactly, does that help someone like me, who lives in Maryland but works in Virginia? I'll tell you how: not at all!

This is NOT a region where mass transit can be the only solution to the problem. There are too may consultants, contractors, and other non-traditional employment types for that to work.

But it's not going to the change. Highways will never be a high priority in People's Republics like Maryland and the District of Columbia. And Richmond absolutely HATES Northern Virginia, considering its citizens to be yankees. Getting money out of Richmond for NoVa is like getting child support from a rapper. It COULD happen. It's just not likely.

But hey! It's nice for DC to be famous for something besides government waste and corruption, right?


Friday, January 28, 2011

He was pushed

When Sgt. Gregory Prickett (pictured at left), hereinafter referred to as The Prickette, left his position as campus cop at UNT-Dallas, no one could say for sure if he jumped or was pushed.  Now, the as the Modern Pharisee first reported, the UNT student newspaper has provided the answer to that question: he was pushed.
A veteran UNT police officer has filed an appeal after he was fired in December on accusations that he violated the university’s computer-use policy.

UNT Dallas Police Coordinator Gregory J. Prickett, a 20-year member of the department, was placed on administrative leave in October while investigators looked into complaints that he had blogged and edited Wikipedia articles at work.
Fired. Now it's out. Now we know.

My first reaction to this is that my fellow bloggers and allied persons have been vindicated. The Prickette IS the vile TxBluesMan. The Prickette DID use university computers for his campaign of slanderous hatred.

As Hugh noted in his post, "They don't fire you for blogging from work when you've been there for 20 years." That would lead one to believe that The Prickette went well beyond blogging to activities that quite possibly put the university at risk, or at least violated the university's code of ethics. There's more to his dismissal than just blogging at work. I, for one, am left with the hanging question: what ELSE did The Prickette do using university computers and other resources? I would like answers. (YOU WANT ANSWERS? I WANT THE TRUTH!!! YOU CAN'T HANDLE THE TRUTH!!!!)

Sorry.  Got a little carried away there.

Never look a gift horse('s ass) in the mouth, that's what I say. I can't say that I'm pleased that The Prickette lost his job. But I am pleased that his vile internet presence has been quashed, hopefully for good.

Yer finished, Prickette! Time to take your sorry, tired act and head home to wherever subhumans like you live.


Thursday, January 27, 2011

Meet the new boss

Most Republicans were extremely pleased when RINO Michael Steele was unable to retain his position as RNC Chairman. Steele was unpopular with the Team Elephant elites. He was even more unpopular with the Tea Party.

But is the new RNC Chairman, Reince Priebus, any better? Eh, not so much.
While Priebus boasted, during his campaign for RNC chairman, of his good relations with Wisconsin tea party groups, the leaders of those groups give his tenure mixed reviews, with some accusing him of giving only lip service to the movement while stacking the deck against its candidates, shutting them out of the process or working to absorb them into the GOP.

“Priebus will do whatever it takes to co-opt the tea party movement,” said Mike Murphy, chairman of a tea party-allied 527 group called The Republican Liberty Caucus of Wisconsin, founded in late 2009.

In the midterm elections, Murphy’s group supported tea party candidates, including some who were undercut by the state GOP, which largely ignored long-shot tea party candidates and endorsed the primary rivals of others at its May convention — months before the primary election.
As The Who famously sang, "Meet the new boss. Same as the old boss."

I wrote yesterday that the Tea Party made a gargantuan mistake by not forming a third party or joining forces with one of the existing third parties. Their movement was co-opted by Team Elephant, just as I said it would be. The new Chairman is further proof that I'm right.

But Mike Murphy isn't going to just roll over and let the elitists roll the Tea Party. He's starting to see things my way.
“He didn’t allow for conservative voices that didn’t jibe with the establishment view and if he charges down that course (at the RNC), the tea party people will wake up and it may very well split up the Republican Party” coalition that powered the GOP’s 2010 landslide, said Murphy.
Let's hope for the future viability of the Tea Party that he's right.


Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Il Duce sets a trap

Il Duce gave his State of the Union speech last night. Deadeye watched the speech. I went to bed - 4:30 AM comes early, ya know. She said Il Duce did a good job. Good for him. [/sarcasm]

I read the transcript. It's the best way with these kinds of speeches. It's just so easy to get caught up in the applause lines and rhetorical flourishes otherwise.

The speech was actually quite good. Give credit where credit is due. But he also set a trap for the Republicans, a trap they'd be wise to avoid.
Now, I have heard rumors that a few of you still have concerns about our new health care law. (Laughter.) So let me be the first to say that anything can be improved. If you have ideas about how to improve this law by making care better or more affordable, I am eager to work with you. We can start right now by correcting a flaw in the legislation that has placed an unnecessary bookkeeping burden on small businesses. (Applause.)

What I'm not willing to do — what I'm not willing to do is go back to the days when insurance companies could deny someone coverage because of a preexisting condition. (Applause.)

I'm not willing to tell James Howard, a brain cancer patient from Texas, that his treatment might not be covered. I'm not willing to tell Jim Houser, a small business man from Oregon, that he has to go back to paying $5,000 more to cover his employees. As we speak, this law is making prescription drugs cheaper for seniors and giving uninsured students a chance to stay on their patients' — parents' coverage. (Applause.)

So I say to this chamber tonight, instead of re-fighting the battles of the last two years, let's fix what needs fixing and let's move forward. (Applause.)
Let's fix what needs fixing and let's move forward. Yeah.....

If Team Elephant's so-called leadership falls for this "please don't throw me in the brier patch!" tactic, they deserve the electoral slaughter they'll incur in 2012.

Il Duce is trying to set up a situation where the abortion that is Obamacare becomes associated with Republicans as well as Democrats. If he gives a little here and there but keeps the essential structure of Obamacare intact, he reasons, when people face the nightmare that health care will become, their ire will be bipartisan.

Of course, the RINO leadership in Congress is just stupid enough to fall for this transparent ruse.

I said some time ago that the Tea Party made a gargantuan mistake by not forming a third party or joining forces with one of the existing third parties. When I'm right, I'm right.


Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Epic Karma

Karma: action, seen as bringing upon oneself inevitable results, good or bad, either in this life or in a reincarnation.

As a Christian, I don't believe in Karma per se. That is, I don't believe in it the way the Buddhists do.  I do believe that our actions have consequences.  The Bible says, "Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A person reaps what he sows." (Gal. 6:7)

So call it what you will. Karma. Payback. Just desserts. What goes around comes around. It's all the same thing. And for a schadenfreude junkie like me, it's like crack, baby. Especially when it happens to Limousine Liberals like Alec Baldwin.
Actor Alec Baldwin has joined a list of elite New Yorkers targeted by tax collectors who think they're fibbing about where they really live to dodge New York City income taxes.

In recent years, auditors have confronted hundreds of super-wealthy New Yorkers over the residency rules - including star Yankee shortstop Derek Jeter.

Facing shrinking revenues, the state has ramped up its pursuit of suspected tax dodgers, hiring 189 new auditors and - for the first time - making filers swear under oath on tax forms as to how many days they "spend in New York City."

If it's more than 183 days and the filer has a residence in the city, the tax bill goes up.

Baldwin, star of NBC's "30 Rock," owns a three-bedroom co-op on Central Park West, a house in the Hamptons and a pad near his daughter in Los Angeles.

He spends lots of time in the city doing the show, but claims the Hamptons as home base. That made him one of hundreds of people slapped with an audit in 2009.

"The moment you start working regularly [in the city], the city finance people come after you," Baldwin recently told an audience at City College.
Hmmmm. How 'bout that? If you work and achieve success in New York, the fruits of your success are subject to confiscation [/sarcasm].

How did such a thing ever come to pass? Follow along with me.

Limousine Liberals like Alec Baldwin demand government solutions to problems. Limousine Liberals like Alec Baldwin raise a ruckus about the rich "paying their fair share". And then, Limousine Liberals like Alec Baldwin skip off to the Hamptons to avoid the high taxes they've inflicted on everyone else!

By their fruits you shall know them. Alec Baldwin, like all Limousine Liberals, is a big, fat phony.

On the subject of karma, I think I've get some coming my way for my rather mean post in which I postulated that a police officer had died "in hot pursuit of a dozen donuts".

It turns out the the officer in question was an undercover cop who was killed by...wait for it...the police.  Yeah, you read that right. By the police.
Police say he was shot and killed by other officers who responded to the scene to break up a fight.
I'd like to know how the "internal investigation" turns out. It's fairly obvious when the cops kill a mundane* that it the "investigation" will determine that the cops did nothing wrong.  But when it's one of them, you can't be so sure.

In any regard, I apologize to the family of the fallen officer for my unkindness.

*Will Grigg's term for those of us who aren't part of the political elite or the police state apparatus.


Sunday, January 23, 2011

The Looter Czar

Il Duce, the Amerikan President, likes czars.  He's appointed so may of them that I honestly can't even hazard an estimate as to how many there actually are.  While Chairmanship of the President's Council on Jobs and Competiveness doesn't technically qualify as a "czarship", the new Chairman of that Council certainly merits some sort of Czar-like title.  Ladies and gentlemen, I give you - Jeffery Immelt.
President Obama today will name General Electric CEO Jeff Immelt chairman of the new Council on Jobs and Competitiveness, the White House announced overnight.
Why is this any more noteworthy than any other Il Duce appointment?  Because General Electric is the #1 looter corporation, and GE Chairman Jeffery Imelt is The King of Looters.
When Democrats said President Obama was “pro-business,” we didn’t know they meant one business in particular.

There are a few companies on the Obama corporate A List – Democratic patrons Google and Goldman Sachs both turn up again and again at White House functions and for special recognition – but no company seems to get the VIP treatment that General Electric receives.

Whether it is pushing the president’s plan for global warming fees in order to create demand for his “Ecomagination” line of windmills, solar panels, etc., boosting the president’s national health-care law as part of an effort to sell more medical equipment, or enthusing over the Obama strategy of making loans available for industrial exporters, Immelt has been an Obama stalwart all along. Immelt has also consistently argued to shareholders that there is big money to be made in advancing the Democratic agenda.
The fact is that no company has more riding on AGW than GE, and no company is more involved in lobbying for crap legislation to lock out its competition than GE. The bill that outlawed incandescent light bulbs? GE was behind that. All the crap legislation making our nation's "energy policy" completely reliant on wind, sun, and unicorn farts? GE was behind that.  GE is crony capitalism at its worst.

Il Duce is all about rewarding his supporters and punishing those who oppose him.  This is a bald-faced example of unmerited political payback.

But then, "unmerited" is a looter's middle name.


Police Story

I was driving to Columbia to see the chiropractor last week when I espied one of the People's Republic of Maryland message boards that have sprung up over the state's highways in the past several years.  The message on it read:

Slow traffic warning
Police funeral - 12 PM to 4 PM

I had to reread the message to make sure I understood.  You're telling me that traffic is going to be FUBAR for 4 hours just because a cop died?

This isn't an unusual occurrence.  This past year a Frederick County Sheriffs Deputy died "in the line of duty" and was given one of these lavish traffic-nightmare taxpayer-funded funerals.  He died during a high-speed chase when the perp was able to negotiate a left turn and he wasn't.  He died because he couldn't drive.  Heroic.

Then there's this tool, who died "in the line of duty" when he learned first-hand that giving a "halt" hand signal won't stop a vehicle going 70-MPH.  Heroic.

There's no telling how the officer whose passing was going to cause a 4 hour traffic nightmare died.  Perhaps he was in high-speed pursuit of a dozen donuts.

"Damn, Vulture!  That's harsh!  Why do you hate on the cops so much?"

Why?  Because NWA was right.  And because of cops like this.
The sentencing hearing for former Chicago police Cmdr. Jon Burge recessed for the day after a University of Chicago professor testified that torture allegations against Burge are unlike any other police misconduct in the city's history.

“This is an unprecedented instance,’’ said Adam Green, who specializes in African-American history. “What happened at Area 2 is really a singular chapter.’’

Green said abuse by police strikes at entire communities, but a sense of worth and respect can be restored if the misconduct is addressed.

Earlier today, one of Burge's alleged victims took the stand and asked Burge, “Why would you do this? … You were supposed to be the law.”

Before a packed courtroom, Anthony Holmes told how he still dreams he is inside the now infamous room at the Area 2 station on the South Side where Burge allegedly used electric shock and suffocation to coerce confessions from suspects.

Holmes, saying it was difficult for him to testify about the abuse, took a deep breath before he started. He said his wrongful imprisonment shattered family relationships and caused constant fear of police and re-arrest.
Officer Burge tortured young black men who may or may not have been involved in any crime in order to extract a "confession". He then turned the young man over to the grasping, politically ambitious Prosecutor, the one person less concerned with guilt or innocence than Officer Burge.  What's the big deal, right?  It's just one more po' nigga in the system.

Except that an innocent person has their life and freedom robbed from them just so law enforcement can bump their statistics.  With the exception of murder and perhaps rape, there is no more heinous crime than that.

I'd love to attend the taxpayer-funded police funeral for Officer Burge.  What I'd leave on his grave site wouldn't pass for flowers.


Friday, January 21, 2011

The PG County "solution"

I've said it before.  There are only two things government does well: growth, and coercion.  So who can be surprised that PG County's "solution" to their obscene murder rate problem is coercion.
Some residents tell 9NEWS NOW that the increased police patrols following the murder spike in Prince George's County has led to some questionable activity.

"The yanked me out of the car, put a knee on my back, and checked my rectum several times," said a 20 year old man who did not want to use his name.
Checked his rectum several times. Is this a gay bath house, or police work?  Has The Prickette found work in PG County?

Seriously, who can be surprised? The Police State is upon us, in varying degrees depending on locale. You might not notice it in the affluent suburbs like Potomac. But if you live in HURTing Seat Pleasant or Anacostia, you're living it. Up close and personal.


Monday, January 17, 2011

Safer in Afghanistan

For those of you unfamiliar with the Washington metropolitan area, here's a brief geography lesson.  Washington DC is surrounded by the state of Maryland (or, as the Vulture refers to the state in which he lives, the People's Republic of Maryland).  There are two PRM counties surrounding DC: affluent Montgomery County to the West, and HURTing Prince Georges County to the East.

PG County has always been a high crime place.  But now it's achieved the kind of milestone that has heretofore never been approached by any stateside jurisdiction - EVER!
Federal agents are embedding with homicide investigators in Prince George's County starting this week in a rare move as authorities scramble to react to a string of 13 killings that have occurred already in 2011.

"It is very unusual for us to bring in agents and embed them in our homicide division," said police spokesman Maj. Andy Ellis. "I can't remember us doing that since probably the mid-to-late '90s."

The county has been rocked by news of a homicide spike since New Year's Day. The county's 13 killings exceed the 12 U.S. military deaths that have occurred this year in Afghanistan as of Friday morning.
Yes, you read that right. There have been more shooting deaths in PG County in 2011 than fatalities in Afghanistan.

Please, explain to me again how the Great Society welfare state, gun control, and the War on Drugs have made our lives so much better. 'Cause I ain't seein' it.


Thursday, January 13, 2011

Conservatives and law enforcement

One of the things about so-called Conservatives that really chafes my bottom is their adoration for law enforcement.  Cops are all heroes who accepted a calling from God to be protectors of the citizenry.  Prosecutors are all heroes who eschewed the Siren call of lucrative jobs with prestigious law firms to fight crime and see to it that the guilty are punished.

As has been witnessed by anyone who has read more than a handful of Will Grigg's posts, the reality doesn't match the fantasy.

Prosecutors tend to be bastions of corruption, more concerned with their won-lost record than whether they've sent an innocent man to prison (because it was easy) or let a guilty man walk free (because the case was too hard to win).  On multiple occasions it has been discovered that exculpatory evidence has been hidden by prosecutors to assure the "win"! (See here for one example).  Why do they do this?  What's in it for them?  Why, they have political aspirations, of course!  A prosecutor with a tremendous won-lost record makes an excellent candidate for state or federal office.  Bastards.

Think I'm wrong?  See here, here, and here.  Again, William Grigg has MANY more examples than that.

Cops tend to be fatass bullies, quick to anger, quick to shoot those who don't react immediately to their commands.  Examples of this are legion - particularly on Will Grigg's site, but I've documented a few myself, here, here, here, and especially here.

A prime example of "quick to anger, quick to shoot" is the case of John T. Williams (H/T to Debra Farver).
The police shooting of a talented, aging Native totem carver has sparked anger and outrage in Seattle’s Native community, and beyond.

John T. Williams, long time Seattle resident and a Ditidaht member of the Nuu-chah-nulth First Nations of Canada’s Vancouver Island, was shot four times and killed Aug. 30 by police officer Ian D. Birk, a two-year veteran of the Seattle Police Department.

Police said Williams advanced towards Birk when the officer spotted him sitting on a ledge with a knife and shouted three commands at him to drop it.

As eyewitnesses came forward with a different version of events police then said Williams was crossing an intersection with a knife and piece of wood in his hands, refused to drop the knife and advanced towards the officer.

“His body stance did not look threatening at all,” an eyewitness told The Seattle Times. “I could only see the gentleman’s back, and he didn’t look aggressive at all. He didn’t even look up at the officer.”

Williams died between 1811 Eastlake, a private nonprofit home for chronic drinkers where he’d lived off and on, and the Pike Street Market in downtown Seattle, where he sold his carvings.

Williams was crippled with arthritis and hobbled more than he walked, Randy Lewis, a leader of the United Indians of All Tribes Foundation said. He was capable at most of turning towards the officer when he heard him shouting, to show him what he had in his hands.

That’s if he heard him shouting. Williams’ friends say he was deaf in his left ear from an infection eight years ago.
To summarize:
  • A cop orders a man walking down the street minding his own business to drop the knife he's carrying.  Never mind that the block of wood he's carrying is what's known as "a clue" as to what said person's intention is for said knife.

  • The cop doesn't get the response he desires; that is, the person in question doesn't immediately comply like a cowering sheep to John Law's demand.  He most likely didn't comply because he couldn't hear him.  This matters not one whit to the man in blue.

  • The cop shoots him 4 times.  In broad daylight.  Like a dog.
What do you think of your "hero" cop, Conservatives?  You think he's in law enforcement because he's been called by God to protect the masses?  Or is it because he's hung like a thimble and needs a license to throw his weight around, that license being the sanction of the State in the form of a badge?


Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Season wrap-up

Since I last wrote about the 49ers and the sorry POS that was their season, a lot has happened.

The Niners are nothing if not consistent.  They lost -- badly! -- to the Chargers, 34-7, and, to quote a familiar refrain written multiple times throughout this season, it wasn't as close as the score would indicate.

So what did Coach Singletary do to fix the myriad of problems, particularly with the offensive line, that made that Thursday night so cringe-worthy?  Why, he benched Alex Smith, of course!  It's ALWAYS the QB's fault when he's sacked, don't you know? [/sarcasm]

Troy Smith was given the start against the Rams.  How'd that work out?  Worse than expected.  The 49ers lost to the Rams 25-17.  Both touchdowns scored by the Niners were flukes: a 60-yard pass-and-run to Michael Crabtree, and a 78-yard punt return by Ted Ginn. 

Aside from the pass to Crabtree, Troy Smith was absolutely putrid: 7-19, 153 yards, 1 TD, 1 pick.  Alex Smith came in in the 4th quarter and led a drive that ended in a field goal, but by then it was too late.  The 49ers were officially eliminated from the playoffs with the loss.

The 49ers "brain trust" (and BOY do I use THAT term loosely) finally performed the mercy killing and fired Coach Singletary with one game left to play.  It figures that the 49ers would choose that game to get something going.  Whether it was Singletary being gone, or the fact that it was the Arizona Cardinals our bitch, I don't know...but the 49ers won by a score of 38-7.  Naturally, it wasn't as close as the score would indicate.

So the Niners finished at 6-10, the exact opposite of the 10-6 I had predicted for the season.  *sigh*

The team is in a major transition period now.  Trent Balke was named as General Manager, and Jim Harbaugh was hired as the new Head Coach.  Normally I would be giddy with optimism with the Niners landing a hot coaching candidate like Harbaugh...but there so much wrong with this team, and, no matter how good Harbaugh is, the team is STILL going to suck next year.

Let's start with the quarterback, shall we?  Who is it?  No one knows.  Alex Smith will be a free agent this off season, and he's pretty much made it known that he's done in SF.  Who could blame him?  The booing.  The "we want Carr" chants.  All he did was overcome a horrendous start (3 touchdowns and 7 picks after 4 games, 6 touchdowns and 9 picks after 5 games) to throw for 8 touchdowns and 1 pick the last part of the season.  He ended up with a passer rating of 82.1.  It's not good, but it's better than 10 other starting quarterbacks including Donovan McNabb and Matt Hasselsuck.  And it was certainly better than what Troy Smith ended up doing (5 TD, 4 picks, 78.8). 

Apparently the plan is to draft a quarterback and trust the combination of David Carr and Troy Smith to server as the stopgap until the new quarterback is ready.  *groan*  This is a sure guarantee of 6-10 seasons as far as the eye can see.

Oh's the playoffs, and hockey season beckons as well.  Great season, Niners!  You broke my heart yet again!.


Monday, January 10, 2011

Demagoging tragedy

Frankly, I don't know which sickens me more: the abhorrent mass murder committed by a sicko-psycho in Arizona that also left Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords critically wounded, or the reaction to her wounding in the media.

Big Media (the BM for short) -- the same BM that demanded that we "not rush to judgment" following the Ft. Hood mass murder by a sicko-psycho -- rushed to judgment bigtime this time.  "Right-wing rhetoric" was blamed by some, an ironic claim, it turns out.  The shooter was described as "quite liberal" and a "political radical" by classmates.

Turns out when it comes to hateful rhetoric, the left doesn't fare too poorly itself.  Caribou Barbie hung in effigyIl Duce quoted as saying, "If they bring a knife to the fight, we bring a gun". Ironic.

  Sarah Palin Caribou Barbie was blamed for "putting a bulls-eye on Rep. Giffords", an ironic claim, it turns out.  A Daily Kos blogger said that Giffords was "dead to me" just two days prior to the attack.  Not quite a bulls-eye, but ugly nonetheless.

Of course, Faux News came out all in defense of Caribou Barbie.  What?  You expected differently?  Regardless of where you get your news, children, you're gonna get spin.

Naturally, the Tea Party was blamed as well.  Yeah, all of that "hateful rhetoric" about sticking to the Constitution really makes folks want to kill their Congress-critter [/sarcasm].

Naturally, the Succubus of State had to weigh in, calling the shooter, "an extremist".  Takes one to know one, I suppose...

But the simple fact is that the shooter is mentally unbalanced.  How unbalanced?  Enough to where his college classmates were scared of him.

No one is blaming Caribou Barbie, or the Tea Party, or even Calvin Klein for this kook who castrated a journalist.  Not the right political angle, I suppose.

Look, it's no secret that I hate Team Donkey and Team Elephant equally.  Anyone who thinks that either of them is "the good guys" is drinking the Kool Aid.  But the partisan demagoguery on display the past two days has been nauseating.  And frankly, you have to ask, if the wounded Representative had an 'R' after her name, would there be all of this finger pointing and whining about "hateful political rhetoric"?

I think you know the answer to that question...


Friday, January 7, 2011

The obvious, stated

It appears that someone FINALLY gets it.  Anne Applebaum of Foreign Policy magazine says in a mainstream publication what I've been saying for years on my little blog.


Hardly anyone has seriously scrutinized either the priorities or the spending patterns of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and its junior partner, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), since their hurried creation in the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks. Sure, they get criticized plenty. But year in, year out, they continue to grow faster and cost more -- presumably because Americans think they are being protected from terrorism by all that spending. Yet there is no evidence whatsoever that the agencies are making Americans any safer.

DHS serves only one clear purpose: to provide unimaginable bonanzas for favored congressional districts around the United States, most of which face no statistically significant security threat at all. One thinks of the $436,504 that the Blackfeet Nation of Montana received in fiscal 2010 "to help strengthen the nation against risks associated with potential terrorist attacks"; the $1,000,000 that the village of Poynette, Wisconsin (pop. 2,266) received in fiscal 2009 for an "emergency operations center"; or the $67,000 worth of surveillance equipment purchased by Marin County, California, and discovered, still in its original packaging, four years later. And indeed, every U.S. state, no matter how landlocked or underpopulated, receives, by law, a fixed percentage of homeland security spending every year.

As for the TSA, I am not aware of a single bomber or bomb plot stopped by its time-wasting procedures. In fact, TSA screeners consistently fail to spot the majority of fake "bombs" and bomb parts the agency periodically plants to test their skills. In Los Angeles, whose airport was targeted by the "millennium plot" on New Year's 2000, screeners failed some 75 percent of these tests.

Terrorists have been stopped since 2001 and plots prevented, but always by other means. After the Nigerian "underwear bomber" of Christmas Day 2009 was foiled, DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano claimed "the system worked" -- but the bomber was caught by a passenger, not the feds. Richard Reid, the 2001 shoe bomber, was undone by an alert stewardess who smelled something funny. The 2006 Heathrow Airport plot was uncovered by an intelligence tip. Al Qaeda's recent attempt to explode cargo planes was caught by a human intelligence source, not an X-ray machine. Yet the TSA responds to these events by placing restrictions on shoes, liquids, and now perhaps printer cartridges.

Given this reality -- and given that 9/11 was, above all, a massive intelligence failure -- wouldn't we be safer if the vast budgets of TSA and its partners around the world were diverted away from confiscating nail scissors and toward creating better information systems and better intelligence?
Amen, sister!

Now that it's been said out loud in the mainstream, can we PLEASE have a rational debate about this colossal monstrosity Washington has created?

Keep in mind that the REAL purpose of DHSS* isn't to protect us. The real purpose of DHSS is to convince the American people to forfeit their freedoms in exchange for purported protection and safety.  As Ms. Applebaum has appropriately noted, we haven't gained a lick of enhanced security from the agencies of oppression, DHSS, and its bastard stepchild, TSSA*

Isn't it time to stop pretending and put an end to this mindless charade?

* You can't abbreviate Schutzstaffel without the double 'S'


Two-bit terrorism in the PRM

Terrorism has hit in the Great State People's Republic of Maryland!  Call the National Guard!  Call DHSS*!  Call Janet Napolitano!

Terrorism in the PRM?  Uh, yeah....about that...
State and federal officials are investigating small incendiary devices that "flared up" at the Maryland Department of Transportation's headquarters in Hanover and a state government building in Annapolis on Thursday.
What do you mean "small incendiary devices"?  Who's behind it?  What kind of damage did the devices cause?  The answers:
A disgruntled "lone wolf" is believed to be behind incendiary devices sent to Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley and Transportation Secretary Beverley Swaim-Staley, investigators believe.

The two devices burned the fingers of two employees when they were opened in Annapolis and Hanover 15 minutes apart Thursday.
When the worker opened the package that had five holiday postage stamps on it, it produced a "puff of smoke and a sulphur-type smell, like if you would strike a match."
That's it?  A stink bomb that resulted in some burned fingers?  C'mon, are you kidding me?  I've had camping trips that resulted in more carnage than that!

Yes, one of the packages was address to Governor Martin O' Owe-Malley...hey, how 'bout that [/sarcasm].  Old Marty was unharmed by the "attack".  He can go on taxing and spending with impunity.

Of course, you just KNOW that law enforcement and the DHSS are going to WAAAAAAY overreact to this little prank.  Are we going to be subjected to TSSA* groping when we go to the post office?

Kinda adds new meaning to the phrase, "Let me inspect that package, sir!"

* You can't abbreviate Schutzstaffel without the double 'S'


Thursday, January 6, 2011

Message to the looter class

How can you tell when your society is destined for ruin?  Easy.
"Do you wish to know whether that day is coming? Watch money. Money is the barometer of a society's virtue. When you see that trading is done, not by consent, but by compulsion -- when you see that in order to produce, you need to obtain permission from men who produce nothing -- when you see that money is flowing to those who deal, not in goods, but in favors -- when you see that men get richer by graft and by pull than by work, and your laws don't protect you against them, but protect them against you -- when you see corruption being rewarded and honesty becoming a self-sacrifice -- you may know that your society is doomed. Money is so noble a medium that it does not compete with guns and it does not make terms with brutality. It will not permit a country to survive as half-property, half-loot.

"Whenever destroyers appear among men, they start by destroying money, for money is men's protection and the base of a moral existence. Destroyers seize gold and leave to its owners a counterfeit pile of paper. This kills all objective standards and delivers men into the arbitrary power of an arbitrary setter of values. Gold was an objective value, an equivalent of wealth produced. Paper is a mortgage on wealth that does not exist, backed by a gun aimed at those who are expected to produce it. Paper is a check drawn by legal looters upon an account which is not theirs: upon the virtue of the victims. Watch for the day when it becomes, marked: 'Account overdrawn.'

"When you have made evil the means of survival, do not expect men to remain good. Do not expect them to stay moral and lose their lives for the purpose of becoming the fodder of the immoral. Do not expect them to produce, when production is punished and looting rewarded. Do not ask, 'Who is destroying the world?' You are.
An excerpt from Atlas Shrugged by Ain Rand.

How valid is Rand's assessment.  Pretty spot on, if you ask me.  Pretty spot on.

A hearty welcome to the 112th Congress of the United States.  Loot on!


Tuesday, January 4, 2011

What anonymity really means

There once was a blog called Coram Non Judice (known to regular readers of this fine blog as Caput Penitus Culus).  The blog was purported to present valid legal opinions on issues related to the FLDS raid in Texas.  The blog was run pseudonymously by a fellow identifying himself as TxBluesMan.  No one knew his real name.  No one knew what his credentials were to opine on legal matters.  No one.

When asked how he justified writing anonymously what essentially amounted to hate-filled propaganda in the guise of legal opinion -- citing precedent often, of course -- TxBluesMan compared himself to the Founders, who at times wrote anonymous tracts against the colonial government and the King.

This, of course, was complete horse hockey.  There was nothing remotely similar to what the Founders did in anything TxBluesMan wrote.  The Founders hid behind anonymity to avoid arrest for sedition.  TxBluesMan wrote anonymously for a far different reason.
Anonymity, Martha Nussbaum, a professor of law and philosophy at the University of Chicago observes, allows Internet bloggers “to create for themselves a shame-free zone in which they can inflict shame on others.” The power of the bloggers, she continues, “depends on their ability to insulate their Internet selves from responsibility in the real world, while ensuring real-world consequences” for those they injure.
As the tipster who passed this story on to me wrote, "That, boys and girls, is the story of TxBluesman."

100% true and accurate. Think I'm kidding? I was accused by TxBluesMan of being pro-polygamy and pro-pedophilia for simply opining that 4th Amendment protections were violated during the Texas Stoßtruppen's raid! 

TxBluesMan is an intolerant bully.  He desperately needed to be outed.  And he was.

TxBluesMan turned out to be Sgt. Gregory Prickett, AKA the Caput a Palos, AKA The Prickette.

Once he was outed, The Prickette immediately shut down his odious blog to try to bury the evidence.  You see, now his real self was linked to his Internet self -- and real consequences awaited.

It's not pleasant when the curtain is parted and the Great and Powerful Oz is revealed to be a two-bit loser with a penchant for throwing his weight around and playing the big shot.  At least, not for Oz.

UPDATE: The same tipster who passed on the NY Times article adds the following:
Just FYI: while online at any sites controlled by Google, your "anonymity" is subject to their selective authority that may or may not conceal it.


Sunday, January 2, 2011

Wiener of the Year

Prior to 2010 I awarded the Wiener of the Week award and the Wiener of the Month award every week/month.  I discontinued that practice this year because it constrained my flexibility with regard to subject-matter selection.  It was a decision I'm glad I made, given that the past year I've had significantly less opportunity to post than in past years.

But at the time I announced the discontinuation of the Wieners of the Week and Month, I stated that the Wiener of the Year award would still be given out to the person or persons most deserving of that dishonor.

In past years I solicited nominations for the WotY.  Not this year.  There was no need for that.  The winner (wiener?) was decided months ago.  There aren't even any candidates for the runner-up spots.  Nope, for 2010 there's just one, and he may be the most deserving recipient yet.

Ladies and gentlemen, your Wiener of the Year for 2010 is: Sgt. Gregory Prickett (hereinafter referred to as The Prickette).

It's ironic, but The Prickette is a two-time Wiener.  Last year I picked co-Wieners when I awarded the WotY to two blogs noted for their anti-FLDS bigotry.  At that time the identity of the person behind the execrable Coram Non Judice (known by regulars here as Caput Penitus Culus - Head Inside Ass) was unknown.  Thanks to the efforts of The Pharisee and others, the identity of the Caput a Palos was revealed.  Rather than bore you with the history of what transpired in the wake of that revelation, you can read up on it here.  Suffice it to say that The Prickette has paid dearly for playing lawyer and accusing innocent persons of pedophilia.

What makes The Prickette Wiener-worthy?  Let me count the ways.
  1. He shut down his blog once he was outed.   It's gone for good, deleted by its owner.  Note that The Prickette has never at any time denied that he is TxBluesMan, the sorry excuse for a human being who proudly used his purported legal "expertise" to espouse bigotry and hatred.
  2. He presented himself to his blog readers as a legal expert.  He not only isn't a lawyer, he wasn't even a real law enforcement professional (campus cop does NOT count as law enforcement).
  3. He lost his job as a campus cop.  It would be purely speculative on my part to posit a theory as to why he is no longer employed by UNT, but it is likely related to alleged misuse of university resources in furtherance of his malignant campaign of pure bigotry against the FLDS.
  4. Now that he's been "outed", his relationship with Natalie Malonis has become fodder for speculation.  I wonder how Mrs. Prickette feels about the coziness between her pompous-ass husband and Ms. Malonis.
  5. He has attempted to sue those responsible for outing him for "damages", yet, as noted earlier, he has NEVER denied being the cowardly subhuman behind Caput Penitus Culus.  Never.  Kinda hard to prove damages when the "damage" is the result of the revelation of the truth.
Face it, Prickette.  Your life is a colossal fail.  Epic.  You sat in judgment of others, flinging baseless accusations from behind the cloak of anonymity like an ape throwing feces at the zoo (a fitting mental picture of who you really are).  And you've proved to be a fraud, a loser, a nothing.

Congratulations, Prickette.  You're the Wiener of the Year.

 Pictured: the Caput a Palos himself


Back in the saddle again

OMG!  One week without wireless capability and I'm jonesing like a junkie for crack.  It just goes to show you how much some of us have become reliant on technology.  By "some of us" I certainly mean me.

So now I can resume my rightful place at the keyboard, lurking.

Home Sweet Wireless Home!