Thursday, October 29, 2009

A Clinton That Is Right?

Who knew that this day would come? Who could imagine that such a piece of Constitutionally CORRECT information would ever emerge from a politician's mouth, much less a Democrat.

What am I talking about you ask?

Well according to a News.Com.Au article, Hilary Clinton has gone on the record telling us all how bad anti-defamation legislation in regards to religion is. In fact, her exact quote said that freedom of speech and religion should be equally upheld.

Like I said, color me amazed.

Buy that digression aside, here's the quote from the site:
"I strongly disagree. The United States will always ... stand against discrimination and persecution ... But an individual's ability to practice his or her religion has no bearing on others' freedom of speech," Clinton said.

"The protection of speech about religion is particularly important since persons of different faith will inevitably hold divergent views on religious questions. These differences should be met with tolerance, not with the suppression of discourse," she added.
Imagine it, a politician actually interested in upholding Constitutional precepts.

Of course, I am left wondering if she got permission from the Exalted One before she spoke such specific terminology?

After all, it was only last month, that the UN Human Rights Council adopted a draft resolution submitted by Egypt and the United States which brought attention to "negative racial and religious stereotyping of religions and racial groups."

Basically, it was the United States endorsing anti-speech measures in order to stop criticism of religions based upon verifiable trends of that religion's population.

What that long sentence of dollar words means is thus: Egypt doesn't like people pointing out that Islam can't be a "religion of peace" if they refuse to condemn and try to stop suicide bombers, and the U.S. supported the concept.

Unfortunately, this is but a small step towards a more Constitutionally-correct government (opposing International "law" which erodes or outright attacks the fundamental concepts upon which our society is based), and I have no doubt that the thought of less legislation on the books attacking our freedoms left a bad taste in a host of Liberal's mouths.

In truth I'm not holding my breath hoping that Mrs. Clinton starts espousing such concepts as gun rights, small government and personal responsibility. After all, she has spent too many years as a big-government, Big-Brother advocate to see the proverbial light.

But any step is a good one...

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Thursday, October 22, 2009

Can Twitter Lead to Jail Time?

Imagine it, the date, September 24, 2009. The place, Philadelphia during the G20 Summit. You're sitting in a hotel room, with a off-the-shelf, police-band radio scanner, and a computer. What you're doing is as police actions come over the radio, you're transcribing them to Twitter.

The before you know it, you're under arrest, and the F.B.I. is at your house, taking your books, computers, and rifling through your dirty underwear. After all, larceny in the name of protecting the government is the primary job of the F.B.I.

This is exactly what happened to Elliot Madison (aged 41). He was sitting in a hotel room, transcribing police messages to Twitter when the self-same police arrived and took him to jail. While there they charged him with the following crimes:Let's consider these things, and remember I'm not a lawyer. What I am is an intelligent, logical human, who expects things--especially laws--to be human readable without having a lawyer immediately on hand to explain every detail.

The Hindering Apprehension or Prosecution law is fairly straightforward. It details the fact that anyone actively helping people escape prosecution (hiding criminals, etc) is guilty of it. Specifically, this clause:
warns the other of impending discovery or apprehension, except that this paragraph does not apply to a warning given in connection with an effort to bring another into compliance with law; or
What's interesting in regards to this case, is that the Prosecution would have a hard time proving a) the intent of Mr. Madison in this regard and b) the people he was actively providing this information to was actively engaging in a crime. He was sending Twitter messages to people protesting the government--I find it highly odd that the Pennsylvania State Police automatically assume that people protesting governments are engaging in criminal behavior. After all, that has to be the assumption if Mr. Madison is providing t his information to warn them of impending discovery or apprehension in regards to criminal behavior.

The second law there, only comes into bearing if the first one is relevant--or again, if the Pennsylvania State Police believe that dissent with governing bodies is the same as criminal behavior. This law only has bearing if someone commits, causes or facilitates other criminal activity with the use of the "Communication Facility," which is defined by law as:
As used in this section, the term "communication facility" means a public or private instrumentality used or useful in the transmission of signs, signals, writing, images, sounds, data or intelligence of any nature transmitted in whole or in part, including, but not limited to, telephone, wire, radio, electromagnetic, photoelectronic or photo-optical systems or the mail. (Dec. 21, 1998, P.L.1240, No.157, eff. 60 days)
Now, what interests me is the fact that by this definition--and the Pennsylvania State Police's assumptions of inherent criminal activity on the part of protesters--the dispatch officers and officers at the scene are facilitating the same "criminal" behavior as Mr. Madison by sending the same information he did over the radio (after all, he was just transcribing radio communications onto Twitter).

And that last law is probably the most inherently unstable of the charges brought against Mr. Madison. The "authoritahs" are using the following clause to bring the charge (as the rest of the clauses refer to weapons and/or body armor):
Anything used for criminal purposes and possessed by the actor under circumstances not manifestly appropriate for lawful uses it may have.
The problem with that is that Mr. Madison was using the tools he had at his disposal in inherently legal--and (what seems to this non-lawyer as) an appropriately lawful--manners. He was listening to a police-band radio scanner, and transmitting the information he heard on it over Twitter.

Let us not forget that the Police, as "public servants," their communication is part of the Public Domain. That chatter can legally be listened to by anyone (though transmitting on the relevant bands is legally a no-no and morally really murky).

No, the way this reads is the following concepts are in play:
  • (Yet another) Government Agency does not want people actively paying attention to what they are doing and/or saying about the people that they are supposedly serving
  • The (Pennsylvania State) police inherently feel that protesting the government and/or any form of governing body is an inherently criminal act
Both concepts scare the tar outta me.

It saddens me that the government is scared of the populace. Actually, that tells me that the government is not effectively doing its job of serving the true needs of the constituency which they are there to serve.

Worse, is the thought that this police force (and the FBI for searching Mr. Madison home for "criminal materials") believe that dissent to the government is bad.

Of course, it's not that unexpected. Time and again, the government--and by that I mean everything from the smallest of podunk towns sheriff's all the way to the Supreme Court--are less interested in serving the true nature of our country as defined by the Constitution as they are by gathering more and more power unto themselves.

No, I firmly believe that what Mr. Madison was doing was morally and legally right. He--as a taxpayer and citizen of this country--is morally obligated to keep tabs upon the criminal governmental agencies out to fleece serve him. Additionally, he is within his right to post that information he has gathered onto any bulletin board service he so desires.

In the end, it is as too often the case these days: the Police attempting to force their will upon the populace via duress.

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Thursday, October 15, 2009

Can I Have The Health Care Bill Please?

I work a lot with documents. It's a really big part of that whole software engineering process. Things like specifications, data dictionaries, white papers, requirements, process improvement plans and the random other plan.

Some of these documents can be huge. I've seen a Systems Engineering Management Plan which took nearly 1,500 pages in MS Word before.

The thing is, that these documents, they're the key to what I'm building at any given moment. They describe functionality, interfaces, and other requirements for the software system. Without those documents....well I'm just floundering in the wind, building my "best guess" as to what the customer/client/boss wants.

In the past, I've discovered that my best guess in such situations are not always ideal. Actually, in such situations I've often built the wrong software; sure it does a task, but it's not the task that the customer wanted taken care of.

I could not imagine even attempting to do my job if the only thing I was given was the table of contents (ToC) and the Executive Summary.

No let me correct that and say that my job would be easier--and the client would get a better, more accurate for their needs, piece of software--without me getting any of these needed and necessary documents, as opposed to me getting just the ToC and the Executive Summary of these documents.

Why then... or maybe that should be HOW CAN... does our Congress think it can pass a bill when the only thing they are debating is effectively the ToC and the Executive Summary?

But that is effectively what is currently happening. The Chairman's Mark of the "America's Healthy Futures Act of 2009," henceforth called ObamaCare, is currently all that exists of the ObamaCare bill.

Basically, it's around 250 pages of descriptions on what our esteemed felons Congressmen believe should go in this law. Additionally, a Chairman's Mark, even if voted upon as good and valid, is not binding during the actual construction of the legislative language.

Think about that... Health Care is currently about 1/6th of our GDP, and Congress wants us to think that they're looking out for us, when they're arguing about the content of a bill that has not been written, and is currently not scheduled to be written until the arguments are over.

This promises to be a massive disaster on the scale of (if not larger than) the TARP and any other big-government/nanny state legislation that's passed in the past 100 years.

What's worse is that they're playing dating games in order for the GAO to give it a better rating fiscally. The primary aspects of the bill won't start until JULY, 2013 (despite the fact that they're planning on raising taxes/funds beginning April, 2011) and the GAO ranks things based on a ten year plan. This evil thing doesn't even begin (except for stealing money from the citizenry) until a third of the way through the GAO's current reporting period.

No, this Chairman's Mark needs to go away, and if our esteemed leaders want to create a massive new socialist program, then they need to do so in the sunlight, and allow the populace to read the bill so we can tell them exactly where they can shove it.

And I'd like that chance before they pass a bill which would damage my ability to care for the health and welfare of my family.

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Friday, October 9, 2009

I Want A Peace Prize!

After all, apparently, all you must do to win one these days is tell a bunch of feel-good lies to as many gullible people as possible, and then try your best to destroy the nation that you're supposed there to protect.

Don't believe me?

Then why on earth has Obama won the stupid thing?

What exactly has he done to warrant such an honor?

Let's see....
  1. He was elected PotUS on a platform of half-truths and outright lies
  2. He has driven our government into billions upon billions of dollars of debt, and wants to create more debt
  3. He has actively worked against the concept of free speech
  4. He has actively worked to create new socialist programs which the U.S. Constitution does not authorize the Federal Government to have/run/do
  5. Create a massive new tax infrastructure in order to possibly lower the temperature by an unmeasurable amount over the next fifty years
Of course none of that matters. You see, the deadline for this year's nominations was February first.

Think about that; 2/1/2009 was the absolute LATEST date that he could have been nominated.

And he was put into place on Jan. 20, 2009? We're talking 10 days here. Obama had not even had the time to rush that pork-laden (and still unread by our Senators and Representatives) TARP Act through Congress.

So, The Chosen One was nominated based entirely upon his Campaign Lies--much the same way he was Elected PotUS. But let's look at the exclamations, exhortations and general... fellatio of Obama from the Nobel Boobies:
Obama has as President created a new climate in international politics. Multilateral diplomacy has regained a central position, with emphasis on the role that the United Nations and other international institutions can play. Dialogue and negotiations are preferred as instruments for resolving even the most difficult international conflicts. The vision of a world free from nuclear arms has powerfully stimulated disarmament and arms control negotiations. Thanks to Obama's initiative, the USA is now playing a more constructive role in meeting the great climatic challenges the world is confronting. Democracy and human rights are to be strengthened.
Uhm... and he did all of this in 10 days? I call BS!

The truth is, is that he has done NONE of the stuff described even now. In fact, we're actually having more nations in the process of creating nuclear arms (go Iran :/), we're still working alone in Afghanistan and Iraq and as stated above Obama has actively worked against one of the fundamental human rights that we as a nation believe in (Free Speech).

But you know what, I can get that Peace Prize in the same way. Here's what I'm going to do:
  1. Give away large portions of other people's money
  2. Grovel to anyone who threatens me, constantly backing away from having to protect my country
  3. Apologize for things that are clearly the fault of some other country
  4. Tell countries that they shouldn't have Nuclear Weapons--at least until they threaten me
  5. Tell people that they can't dissent, or speak freely about things; all while claiming to be pro-Free Speech
There! I've done just as much as Obama. So, when should I get my Nobel Boob Peace Prize? Tell you what, I'll keep an eye on the mail over the next couple weeks.

Or maybe I'll just look in my next box of Cracker Jacks...


Thursday, October 8, 2009

I Got Your Back.... We Clear?

"That's all right. Don't worry about it. I got your back... We clear?"

Those were the words recorded by 911 operators as Anthony Arambula lay bloodied on the floor of his home, having been shot six times in the back.

"That's all right."

Such a simple phrase, one that I've repeated to my children many, many times over the past few years--whenever they've done something wrong. Whenever they've accidentally hit me. I've used it at work. I used it when I was at school. I've even used it at the restaurant a few days ago, after the waitresses ignored us for twenty minutes.

It's a shorthand for the person you're talking to, telling them that what they have done is not that bad of a thing.

And it was being used by the folks who shot Anthony Arambula in his own home.

Now, you may ask, what was Mr. Arambula doing? Who shot him in the back? What about the police?

The answer there is simple: Mr. Arambula had cornered someone breaking into his home, and had his gun trained on the burglar, as said burglar was in Mr. Arambula's son's room.

Apparently, the police heard the burglar breaking Mr. Arambula's window, and after having been told by Mr. Arambula's wife of his presence, and the burglar's presence, the police in question rushed into the house, and more or less shot the first person they came across.

And after this brilliant display of bravery and intelligence by the "Boys in Blue" they proceeded to a) describe how they were going to cover up the shooting, and blame it on Mr. Arambula, and then b) drag Mr. Arambula around by his leg and finally c) treated Mrs. Aramabula and the rest of the family as if they were the criminals here.

Were it not for the existence of those 911 tapes, the Police's description of events would remain uncontested and incontestable.

Mr. Arambula would have been blamed for the police randomly shooting him in the back.

And these are the so-called guardians of law and order in our society?

It makes me wonder--as it should you--how many times this has happened in the past, and the poor victim just unable to prove that the police willfully and maliciously shot him.

I'm disturbed by the sense of conceit which permeates the police forces in our society today. We're expected to kowtow to their every whim and demand, and they are more than willing to enforce those demands with force.

They have forgotten that they are neither above the law, nor are they the law. Rather they are just a group of people whose job it is to investigate purported breaks within said law.

Our police forces have become caught up in their own mystique--helped in this by the inane portrayals of the heroic cops on shows such as Law and Order. When in reality, most cops are closer to the ones depicted on The Shield: corrupt and/or power hunger.

After all, it takes a special type of person to be a cop.

The proverbial guard dog, to the wolf in sheep's clothing.

Of course, most of us forget, that the guard dog has much more in common with the wolf than with the sheep; and given half the chance will be just as quick to take advantage of an unwary sheep as the wolf is.

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Thursday, October 1, 2009

Government Mandates & You

I was perusing through THOMAS earlier and discovered an interesting proposed bill. Apparently, Congress, in its infinite wisdom has decided that not nearly enough people own cars. In fact, there are some thousands upon thousands of able-bodied adults who do not own a car. So, of course, they have decided that it was time to legislate such a situation.

It's an interesting bill, and has these as the primary focuses:
  1. The creation of a regulatory marketplace. All new cars sold will be required by law to be sold through this marketplace. Inclusion in the market place means a bunch of hefty fees are added to the car manufacturers, as well as price caps and bottoms, and an array of "standard" features which are less the what is currently standard on most new cars
  2. Any additional features--regardless of their pre-"marketplace" standardization--can only be added as an additional cost to the car
  3. Cars that do not meet the price caps/bottoms or feature standards will not be allowed to be sold in the United States or its territories
  4. Every able-bodied/able-minded adult must own a car
  5. Depending on income, the government may buy the car for you
  6. If the adult is an illegal alien, they will not be able to get the free car
  7. People are not allowed to check to see if an adult is an illegal alien
  8. The population can keep their current car, only if they
    1. Do not change the color of the car
    2. Do not change the car's battery
    3. Do not change the car's tires
    4. Do not perform any exterior or interior body work
    Performing any of these tasks requires you to purchase a new car
  9. Each new car has a tax associated with it
  10. There is a yearly fee, based on income and cost of the car, to own the car
  11. Adults who do not own a car, must pay an annual fine
  12. Failure to pay the fees/taxes/fines will lead to jail time
So, what do you think?

Does this sound like a fair law? Is it reasonable?

After all, those poor folks who don't have a car right this moment, why the government will buy them one! Imagine all the helpfulness that that could provide. Solid, reliable transportation for the masses.

Of course, all those folks who live in places like NYC--where it's unreasonable for them to own a vehicle--why they have to pay extra to offset the cost, or they could go to jail for failure to pay their taxes.

Can you imagine this? Can you imagine what this would do to our nation and economy?

If you've read this, and thought it perfectly reasonable. Replace the car with a bike. Or a house. Or a candy bar. If it still sounds reasonable, well, you're a hopeless socialist. Go on home.

For the rest of us, why does this sound unreasonable while doing the exact thing with Health Care sound reasonable?

Frankly, it doesn't. The description of the law, is more or less how that last Health Care bill was written. There were hefty fines and/or jail time if you did not buy the government health insurance. There was a single line detailing that no illegal aliens would receive benefits, while at the same time the law stated that no one would be able to check on the legal residence state of the individual in question. And of course, there was the fact that people would be able to keep their insurance--provided that they never needed it to change.

This is the change that Obama is trying to bring us. Pretty bitter medicine, eh?

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