Thursday, December 31, 2015

Happy New Year!

To all my readers-
may you have a happy and prosperous new year.

Think about this...


http://pbs.twimg.com/media/B4qaMSPCAAAo4Kg.jpg


 I leave with this-from 2014,still every bit as relevant to the shape we're in in the FUSA,it's unlikely that we'll vote our way out of this mess...
"America is at that awkward stage. It’s too late to work within the system, but too early to shoot the bastards.
Claire Wolfe, 101 Things to Do ‘Til the Revolution (1996)
I had a very memorable and thought-provoking passenger a while back that I never wrote about because while I found him fascinating, he seemed a little too political for what was always intended to be a fun blog to read and some cheap therapy for your humble driver and writer. But in light of all the scandals that have erupted lately and the EpicClusterSharknadoFuck that is ObamaCare, I have been thinking about a few things he said to me, so I’m going to commit them to paper (or pixels), if only for my own reading. So if you just want to read about moron drunks and belligerent whores, skip this post…
But if you are interested in catching up on current events that just might personally affect you soon, please read on…
It was June of 2012, when I got a call to pick up a gentleman at a resort hotel at around 4 AM going to the airport. I was a little surprised to see “Mr. Wheeler” waiting for me in front of the lobby, five minutes early, standing by his suitcase. Generally, people keep me waiting on these calls, still half asleep, late coming down, trying to get checked out, dicking around with their luggage and what not. He was in his late 50′s or early 60′s, fit, wearing a navy blazer and was obviously a business traveller, but he also had a certain posture and demeanor that made me think he was ex-military. We load up his luggage and hit the road, and I am chatting with him as we are heading to the airport. I ask what kind of work he does, and he says he is in “executive security”. I said, “Oooh, that sounds interesting… you mean like bodyguard work?”
He says, “Something like that… executive protection, security systems, personnel screening, entry/egress control, things like that. It sounds much more interesting than it really is… I spend a lot of time shuffling paper around and reading emails.”
I said, “You have the bearing of a military man… am I correct?”
“Yes, Sir… 22 years in the Marine Corps.” I thanked him for his service, something I always do when I encounter a member of our armed services. My standard line is, “Thank you for your service. I think you should hear that every damned day for the rest of your life, and your first beer should be free anywhere you go.”
So we are chatting on the drive, and the story on the radio is Eric Holder being held in contempt of Congress over the Fast and Furious fiasco. I said, “Can you believe that shit? This asshole intentionally sends guns to Mexican drug gangs that will no doubt end up killing thousands of people, and then he lies and stonewalls the Congress? How is this deceitful douchebag not in shackles and an orange jumpsuit? And more to the point, how does someone like this ever ascend to the office of Attorney General?”
“He’s part of the Clinton machine… he knows low people in high places. He came up under Janet Reno… you know who that is, right?”
“Oh, yes, I know… the crazy dyke that gave the order to burn down the Branch Davidians in Waco. But what I don’t get is how they ever thought they could pull this shit off… people aren’t THAT stupid. If you say you are tracking guns, although you have no actual means of tracking the guns, that makes you look both dishonest AND moronic, and your cover story doesn’t make any sense. This didn’t have anything to do with illegal gun sales… any idiot can see that. So what was the REAL plan here?”
Mr. Wheeler says, “Have you ever heard of Occam’s Razor?”
I said, “Yeah, I know it… the most obvious answer is almost always correct… but I don’t think we need an instrument that sharp. I think Occam’s Rubber Spatula would seem to indicate that this is a push to vilify guns and gun owners here in America, as a pretense to drive stricter gun control. Obama was just on TV not too long ago with the President of Mexico, saying that American guns were responsible for the violence in Mexico, and now American weapons are showing up at crime scenes. It seems to me that an organization with the money and resources of an international drug cartel certainly knows where to pick up weapons, even if all American sources dried up completely. I assume they could go south of the border to Central America and get all the M4′s and AK’s they want… most likely full-auto… am I correct?”
Mr Wheeler replied, “There is certainly no shortage of guns and corruption in Central America. If you have the means to smuggle a ton of cocaine, you can probably smuggle a ton of guns, too. But this was easier… the Justice Department and the ATF made the contacts and set up the networks, told the gun shops to cooperate, so all the Mexicans had to do was send in a straw buyer, make the purchase, and move the weapons south of the border.”
I said, “These people aren’t very smart… there are something like 300 million guns in America, and they have a robust shelf life. Even if all gun manufacturing stopped tomorrow, there would still be an abundance of guns in America for decades. The only way to disarm Americans is mass confiscation, and I feel pretty certain that would spark a civil war. I know several gun owners that would rather fight than give up their guns.”
Mr. Wheeler said, “Oh, I know dozens… perhaps hundreds that feel the same way. I really don’t think confiscation is something you need to worry about, because it will never work. There are simply too many of them, and too many people have guns that there is no record of. A confiscation program would only piss off the most dangerous people in America… the people who would shoot back. You are correct, a mass confiscation would provoke a civil war.”
I said, “Well, you are a military man… what would that look like?”
Wheeler said, “Well, it wouldn’t look like the first Civil War… no lines of men standing in ranks and shooting across a field at each other, no “North and South” or sharply defined state lines for friendly and enemy territories, at least, not in the beginning. No, it would look more like Iraq or Afghanistan, with house to house fighting, IED’s, snipers, small factions and independent militias operating on their own, refugees streaming away from battle zones in all directions…”
“But the first question to ask is who would the combatants be? I mean, the Army isn’t going to just roll out onto the street in tanks on day one, so my guess is that it would start out as a police action, with Federal agencies like ATF and FBI taking the lead, supported by local law enforcement. But once people start shooting back, they would have to ratchet things up, do things like institute curfews and roadblocks, and they would eventually try to press the various state Guard units into service. That’s where it all goes squirrelly, because both local law enforcement and the Guard will be riddled with people who support gun rights, regardless of what laws the politicians pass, and they won’t be crazy about having to police, and maybe even fight against, their own people. The Governors may well object to the state Guard units being activated and may not wish to cooperate…”
“And it is not clear to me how many LEO and Guardsmen would remain loyal to the government and how many would join the “rebellion”. My guess is that both sides would be riddled with defections, informants, and spies. But what if, say, the Gulf states like Texas, Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi, Georgia, and Florida secede, and they take control of all military bases and equipment, and you suddenly have gone from an insurgency with rifles to a breakaway nation, or maybe several breakaway nations, armed with fighter jets, drones, tanks, and a navy? Whoo, buddy… now all bets are off… kiss posse comitatus goodbye. This would be the ugliest thing this country has ever seen…”
I asked him several “what if” questions and let him riff on them… I just let him talk and wargame out the Second Civil War, there in the back seat of my car as we drove to the airport, and he painted a picture of horrific death and destruction. Once this conflict started, even the best-case scenarios he described sounded truly grim. He seemed to believe that civilian casualties would be extremely high, given how much fighting would centered in and around large cities, and that food would be used as a weapon, causing famine and starvation on a terrifying scale. Booby traps, IED’s, rampant bombings, drone strikes, snipers, local-level assassinations, mortars and shelling, death squads (both government and rebel), reprisal killings, torture… it sounded more like the Middle East than middle America.
Wheeler got quiet for a few moments, and then he said something that I will never, ever forget.
“These people are playing with matches… I don’t think they understand the scope and scale of the wildfire they are flirting with. They are fucking around with a civil war that could last a decade and cause millions of deaths… and the sad truth is that 95% of the problems we have in this country could be solved tomorrow, by noon… simply by dragging 100 people out in the street and shooting them in the fucking head.”
And lemme tell ya, he had the list… he rattled off 25 or 30 names of well-known, prominent politicians, mostly Democrats, but a few Republicans, several members of the current Cabinet, a couple of Obama’s “czars”, a couple of figures from the Bush administration and the Republican establishment, several media company executives and on-camera newscasters, reporters, and pundits, a couple of people who are active in leftist politics but not in elected office… he had obviously thought about this to some degree already.
I was struck by his cold, detached, matter-of-fact tone. I said, “Dude… that’s more French Revolution than American Revolution. Do you really think that is the way to go?”
Wheeler said, “I believe in efficiency and economy of action. You wouldn’t trade one hundred of those criminal bastards for ten million of your fellow Americans?”
I don’t remember if I actually answered out loud, but in my my head, the answer was, “Yeah, I probably would…”
splatter
The Founding Fathers wouldn’t have put up with any of this shit. The Founders started blowing people’s heads off because the government put a tax on their breakfast beverage… and it wasn’t even coffee. Can you imagine how batshit those guys would have been on a double espresso?
Dennis Miller
This conversation with Mr. Wheeler took place long before we learned of the IRS scandal, the NSA scandal, the litany of lies associated with the rollout of ObamaCare, the AP/Fox snooping, the executive overreach of the Obama administration, and all the other sundry and everyday lies and corruption of what passes today for a “representative republic”.
So as I think about all the horrible shit the government is doing today, I can’t help but think about the Founders, and what they would think about current events and the state of the republic they left to their heirs. I make no claim to be a historian or a scholar, but I have only personally met a handful of people that have read more history than me. History, particularly American history, was always my favorite class in school, along with American and English Literature. I’ve read the Declaration of Independence many, many times, and I can’t help but notice that the indictments of the Declaration seem eerily familiar today. Many people reading this probably haven’t read the Declaration since high school, if they ever really read it at all, so indulge me… go ahead and read this next section out loud, and listen to the reasons the Founders felt it necessary to defy their government, load their guns, and take on the most powerful military on the planet.
Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.
He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.
He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.
He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of Representation in the Legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.
He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their Public Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.
He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness of his invasions on the rights of the people.
He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected, whereby the Legislative Powers, incapable of Annihilation, have returned to the People at large for their exercise; the State remaining in the mean time exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.
He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands.
He has obstructed the Administration of Justice by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary Powers.
He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.
He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harass our people and eat out their substance.
He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the Consent of our legislatures.
He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil Power.
He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation:
For quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:
For protecting them, by a mock Trial from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:
For cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world:
For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:
For depriving us in many cases, of the benefit of Trial by Jury:
For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences:
For abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighbouring Province, establishing therein an Arbitrary government, and enlarging its Boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these Colonies
For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments:
For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.
He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his Protection and waging War against us.
He has plundered our seas, ravaged our coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.
He is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation, and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & Perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation.
He has constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive on the high Seas to bear Arms against their Country, to become the executioners of their friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their Hands.
He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.
In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Prince, whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.
So in the context of the early 1770′s, what would the Founders think about the government secretly and illegally trafficking thousands of military-grade arms to criminals, brigands, and pirates, knowing full well that those criminals will kill thousands of innocent people with said arms, as a ploy to disarm their own citizenry… and when caught red-handed in this criminal and despicable act, the governmental appointee responsible for executing this disgraceful policy lies, dissembles, and stonewalls, and suffers no sanction or penalty?
What would they think of the government reading, and oftentimes copying and warehousing, every single letter of their correspondence, their diaries, their conversations, their most private and intimate of communications?
What would they think of government agents standing on rooftops and street corners, monitoring and documenting the comings and goings of every citizen every day of his life, whom they speak with and associate with, and what they purchase and from whom?
What would they think about their government spying on journalists, town criers, and pamphleteers, and swearing out false oaths to judges to have them surveilled?
What would they think about government tax agents given specific orders to harass, intimidate, penalize, and obstruct any person who speaks for peaceful, legislative reform of the government or is critical of the government, even demanding that they document the content of their prayers?
What would they think about a government that routinely ignores laws already on the books solely for material and political gain, a government that creates punitive laws through specious methods, and then exempts themselves from being subject to those laws, and when their agents, officials, and appointees are caught in serious crimes and malfeasance, they are simply reassigned and protected by the government, never to face trial or pay any penalty for their acts or the harm they inflict on ordinary citizens?
I’ll tell you what I believe… I believe the shooting would have already started. It’s not that I want something terrible to happen, it’s that I am positively astonished that something terrible hasn’t already happened.
The Founders set out to create a limited government. They did not create a Constitution that spelled out what the government may not do, they created a Constitution that detailed exactly and precisely what the federal government MAY do, and nothing more. This far, and no further. All other powers were specifically and deliberately left to the individual states, and to the people themselves. The Bill of Rights was added at the insistence of several of the Founders to protect the individual citizen from future tyranny and avaricious government.
Yet today, our government has no compunctions about monitoring all my communications, tracking my movements, deterring my business success with punitive taxes and onerous regulations, accessing my banking records, compelling my participation in an ill-conceived healthcare system that will most assuredly give me substandard care and higher prices and may violate my personal wants and perhaps even my religious beliefs, and regulating almost every aspect of my day-to-day life, right down to the type of the car that I may drive, the lightbulbs I am allowed to buy, and the kind of toilet I am permitted to shit in. And thanks to the NDAA, if my government deems me to be a terrorist, I can be black-bagged and zip-tied, arrested without warrant or charge, held incommunicado without legal representation indefinitely, and perhaps even tried by a military tribunal in secret and summarily executed.
So tell me again… just what are the limits of my so-called limited government?
I feel like I have been ripped off. I recognized at a very young age that I had won the lottery; of all the millions upon millions of people born on this planet the same year as I was, only a small segment of them were lucky enough to be born Americans, and now, a small group of lying and avaricious politicians and leftist activists have stolen my birthright.
All I want is the government that I was promised by my ninth grade civics teacher… a government of laws, not of men, a government with checks and balances, lawfully enforced to restrain and contain the government from infringing on the rights of populace. But all of this has been swept aside in my lifetime; now criminals like Eric Holder and Charlie Rangel and Al Sharpton and Lois Lerner and Jon Corzine suffer no sanction or consequence for openly and nakedly breaking the law. They are now part of a protected class, when 250 years ago, they would have been lucky to only have suffered being tarred and feathered.
I would be content with an ordinary and ultimately forgettable life. I’ve strived for excellence from a young age, but never been consumed with the pursuit of wealth, fame, or power. I would be satisfied with enough money to take care of my family, to send my progeny to college, to live in modest comfort and to enjoy a few vacations and indulgences here and there, and to leave my children with a better life than I had. I am a simple man with simple needs. I would like to die in my bed at the age of 106, surrounded by my children, grandchildren, and my 22 year old second wife, with a couple of old guns in the closet, now rusty and dusty from disuse.
But I don’t think that is going to happen. I truly believe, deep in my heart, that I am going to need those guns before I die, and not for a burglar.
I see only two paths for America today. First, some miracle will happen in which a couple hundred constitutionalists like Ted Cruz and Mike Lee and Trey Gowdy will be elected to the House and Senate over the next few election cycles, and something resembling the Founder’s republic will be restored, but given the current climate of relentless progressivism, massive bureaucracy, government dependence, and voter ignorance, that seems like a very remote possibility.
The second path is that complacency, ignorance, and indifference will allow more progressives and communists to be elected, the federal government will continue to grow and amass power unchecked, and one day very soon, we will we will witness the birth of a police state that will make the Gestapo, the KGB, and the Stasi look like pikers and dilettantes.
Hell, the argument could be made that the police state is already here. I read an article not long ago about the Stasi Museum in Berlin that described the files that the East German secret police accumulated over the course of forty-five years, and it is nothing less than staggering. Imagine a shelf, 65 miles long, crammed with file folders full of photos and detailed handwritten and typed notes about almost every citizen of East Germany. I’m not really up to speed about the state-of-the-art data storage devices of today and what they are able to store, but I would bet that entire 65 mile shelf of paper and photographs would today fit in a metal and plastic box about the size of a standard four-drawer file cabinet. But if I am wrong about that, no need to worry; your government is building a 1.5 MILLION square foot storage facility in Utah to hold all your vital information.
splatter
Wild Boar
In my previous occupation, I worked as the marketing director for a company in the livestock industry, and I once took a business trip to Texas to interview a gentleman and take some photos for the company’s website and print advertising. I could tell you his real name, but it wouldn’t mean anything to you unless you happen to be involved in the world of show animals like cattle, lambs, and goats. But in the circles he moves in, “Kevin” is an absolute rock star… getting his endorsement for my company’s products was on par with Michael Jordan for Nike shoes or Eric Clapton for Fender guitars.
I flew into Austin, rented a car, and drove for a few hours to Kevin’s ranch, not far from Waco. Kevin was a massive bear of a man, 6-3 or 6-4, with big hands, big boots, a big gut, a big smile, and a big heart. He seized my hand in his giant, calloused paw and pumped it vigorously… it was meaty and leathery, and felt like a catcher’s mitt. You just couldn’t help liking this guy… Kevin had a way of making you feel like you were already lifelong friends, he was just waiting for you to catch up.
We did the interview over tall glasses of iced tea and delicious BBQ pork sandwiches, and then went outside to shoot photos of him around his pens and barns and out buildings. We wrapped up around four in the afternoon, and Kevin and his wife insisted that I stay for dinner at 6:00. We had a couple hours to kill, so Kevin suggested I go with him while he did a little work around the ranch.
We went out to a barn and got into a dilapidated, beat-to-shit Ford pickup. It was an early seventies model, rusted, dented, missing the passenger-side window, driver’s side mirror, and rear bumper, so it was also missing a license plate, and it had a screwdriver hammered into the ignition switch. The bed was removed and there was a rough-hewn flatbed made of pressure-treated lumber in its’ place, with a mechanical apparatus of some sort on the wood. Kevin was very successful in his business and had plenty of money, so this Mad Max piece of shit stood in stark contrast to the newer Ford diesel he took to the livestock shows. I would have bet this old beater hadn’t run in decades, but it started right up. Kevin threw a little Playmate cooler and several plastic buckets in the back of the truck, handed me a beer, and we took off, following deep wheel ruts that meandered around his property. Kevin’s ranch was huge… if he told me how many acres, I don’t recall, but I thought square miles was a much more useful unit of measurement for a tract of land so huge.
I asked Kevin what we were doing, and he said we were going out to feed the deer. His property had all sorts of wildlife on it, including deer and wild pigs, and he supplements their usual forage with grain and veggies and other goodies. He explained that he harvests several deer and pigs every year, and all the animals on his ranch, domestic or wild, were very well fed. In fact, those mouth-watering pulled pork sandwiches we ate earlier were from a wild pig he had killed, butchered, and barbecued himself, right here on his ranch. The strange apparatus on the back of the truck was a feed dispenser; we pulled up to a little clearing and he dumped the contents of several of the buckets in the top of the machine. He got back in the truck and he threw a toggle switch, crudely screwed into the metal dash, and put the truck in gear. The machine in the back made a grinding, rattling sound, and a mixture of chopped carrots, apples, and dry corn slid down a chute and spilled onto the grass as he slowly idled along the tree line.
He shut off the feed dispenser and he pulled away about fifty or seventy yards, then stopped and killed the engine, and said, “Watch this…”
We spun around and looked out the back window, and within two or three minutes, no less than ten or twelve deer emerged from the woods and started eating the corn and veggies. A few of them eyed the truck warily for a moment, but they all placidly started devouring the bounty Kevin had spilled out of the side of his pickup.
Kevin said, “It’s like the ice cream truck… they hear the music, and they come running out to get the goodies…”
I said, “You have conditioned them to come to you… I guess that takes the difficulty out of shooting one of them…”
Kevin replied, “This isn’t about sport, it’s about feeding my family. I don’t have time to haul my fat ass up into a tree stand at 5 in the morning. I get my deer in a half hour, and I can be choosy.”
We tooled around his property, drinking beer and dumping corn and veggies here and there at strategic points, and then we came to another clearing with a strange metal object. Kevin put the truck in park and told me to hop out with him. There were three eight-foot pieces of crude steel tubular fencing that looked sort of like the metal barricades that get put up at parades for crowd control, but about five or six feet high, and forming half a hexagon They were obviously hand-made; they just didn’t have the finish of a commercial product. Kevin grabbed the last two buckets out of the back of the truck and told me to bring him two more beers.
In front of the steel tubing was a shallow concrete “bowl” that I believe was the top of a large birdbath, sunk into the dirt. Kevin filled it with loose corn and small ears of corn, then dumped in the contents of the second bucket. This bucket contained table scraps, potato peels, onion butts, bacon grease, and other household garbage, and it smelled pretty ripe. I asked Kevin what was up with the fencing, and he told me this was a pig trap. He then opened the two beers and dumped them in the bowl, saying that pigs love beer.
Kevin explained that pigs are highly intelligent animals, and can be quite dangerous. They are powerful beasts, very fast, and armed with fearsome tusks that can gore a man to death in short order. He said that commercial traps are available, but pigs are smart, and will often be wary of a new metal object suddenly appearing in their environment, and his home-made trap was much more effective. He told me that these three sections are left up year round, and over time, the pigs learn that this metal object poses no threat, and there is frequently delicious corn, slop, and beer to be had here. The scent of the slop and beer travels a long way across the property, and over time, the pigs are conditioned to not fear the strange metal object. Kevin showed me how they had formed a soft trail around one end of the fencing as they came in and out to the bowl.
When the time comes to harvest a pig, Kevin adds a section of the fencing, refills the bowl a few times, and the pigs ignore the new section of fencing. A week or two later, he adds another section, and keeps the bowl full. Finally, he puts the last section up right on the trail they created, and this section has the trap door in it. A screw eye is twisted into the end of a corn cob, and a cable is attached to it, and is connected to a pin that drops the door. As soon as a pig picks up the corn, the pin is pulled, the door is dropped, and the pig, and perhaps one or two or three others of his group, are trapped. In the morning, Kevin can simply walk up to the cage and dispatch the beasts with a handgun, without risk of personal injury or spending a lot of time stalking the animals in the woods with a high-power rifle.
I can’t get Kevin and the pig trap out of my head, because it is a perfect metaphor for the surveillance state our government has built. It has been erected slowly over time, one piece at a time, so as to not panic the populace. And the government seems to have been wildly successful, because the American population at large seems completely unphased and unalarmed at what has been built over the last twenty or thirty years.
The government is reading and storing all of my emails? No big deal; I’m not a terrorist, so I am OK.
The government is listening to and storing all my phone calls? Whatever, I don’t talk to terrorists.
The government is tracking and storing my location? So what? I don’t go anywhere that is suspect.
The government is targeting political enemies and surveilling journalists? Who cares? I’m not an activist or a partisan, so this does not affect me.
This isn’t a Republican vs. Democrat issue, it isn’t even a conservative vs. liberal issue… this is an American vs. un-American issue. Do you wish to be a free American, or will you accept becoming a slave to a massive and all-powerful police state? You are either an advocate for freedom and limited government, or you are an advocate for tyranny. There is no gray area, no middle ground to be found here. This government has slowly amassed powers over the last hundred years that would horrify the Founders of this nation. As I stated earlier, I can’t believe the shooting hasn’t already started.
For you liberal readers out there, let me offer this: pick your favorite right-wing boogieman, the craziest fascist evil criminal wingnut that there is, and make that person the President…. President Dick Cheney, President Rick Santorum, President Charles Koch, President Alan West, President Michelle Bachmann, President Rush Limbaugh, President Glen Beck, President Joe Arpaio, President John Bolton, President Ted Nugent… whoever really freaks you out.
Now ask yourself this question: Do you want that person to have the power and the surveillance apparatus and the unchecked force of the IRS that Barack Obama and this massive government now wields?
This should scare the shit out of you… ask yourself how you would feel about the Palin administration having the power to track your every move, listen to your every call, read every email and text message, cross reference all your email contacts and Facebook friends, scrutinize every Visa card purchase, reexamine the last decade of your tax returns for any rounding error you might have made, and the ability to call up your complete medical records with a couple of keystrokes, for you, your family, and everyone you know, right down to every antidepressant prescription, bunion surgery, psychiatric visit, Low-T diagnosis, encrusted carbuncle, PAP smear, and vaginal wart.
Is this getting creepy yet?
Suppose your kid needs a kidney transplant, but it turns out that Uncle Jack is union guy and a fundraiser for your state Democrat party… well, we all know that crazy President Palin was lying about those “death panels” doncha’ know, but jeez-o-pete, there sure are a lot of irregularities in your HHS paperwork and your tax returns and your insurance documentation and your website information and your credit report and stuff, and it might take months to sort this whole kit and kaboodle out. But be patient, you know how slow things are, now that the ACORN Health Care Navigators unionized and expanded out to every hospital and clinic in America… but your child’s IRS Form 6488-B says your deductible should be $16,000, not $9,000 as you claimed here on line 173 of your HHS 871 form… and there is some sort of red-flag hold thingy here due to your Uncle Jack’s union exemption status, because of that whacky Detroit thing… It sure looks like Uncle Jack’s paperwork is even more screwed up than your file… yessirree, this could take a long, long, long time to weed through, and good golly, we seem to have a whole lotta Mexican patients in this hospital, and they are all in line ahead of little Scooter there… Just you and that little tadpole of yours hold your horses, and we’ll get this paperwork straightened out over the next few months, okey dokey?
But whatever you do, when your kid dies, don’t do news conferences, don’t start blogging, don’t start calling out the government publicly, don’t become an activist, don’t go on FOX News, and definitely don’t become an embarrassment or a pain in the ass to this government, lest you find yourself being gang-audited by the IRS, if not declared a terrorist and having your door kicked in by armored agents at 4 in the morning, who are here to shoot your dog, terrorize the rest of your kids, and to take you to an undisclosed location in zip ties, where there are no lawyers, no phones, no sunlight, the food really sucks, and no one can confirm or deny that they have ever heard of you.
I like Sarah Palin, but I don’t want President Palin to have that power. I really liked Ronald Reagan, but again, I wouldn’t want him to have that power. I really, REALLY like Ted Cruz. I think he is a man of principle, of integrity, of honor, and perhaps the most Constitutionally-grounded politician I have seen in my lifetime. But in spite of all of that, I don’t want President Cruz to have that power.
So take a guess at what I think of President Hillary Clinton or President Nancy Pelosi or President Chuck Schumer or President Cass Sunstein or President Michael Bloomberg or President Diane Feinstein or President Al Sharpton or President Howard Dean or President Harry Reid or President Van Jones having that kind of power…
As I write this, there are several things happening that I think warrant national attention, yet the media makes little or no mention of them, and a vast percentage of the populace are blissfully unaware of any problem, so long as Facebook and Instagram are working properly and the next season of The Bachelor doesn’t suck. Here’s one issue: our government has an estimated 90 trillion dollars of upcoming bills, and no real idea on how to pay those bills, other than running the Treasury’s printing presses until they overheat. But hey… people can’t follow that shit… it doesn’t mean anything… the government will fix it… right?
90 TRILLION dollars? If you owe me two hundred bucks, you can bet that I will avail myself of every possible option in my power short of physical violence to see that debt paid. Do you honestly believe that people are not going to DEMAND to be paid those bills? Part of the problem here is that the American people don’t seem to grasp what a trillion really is… millions, billions, trillions, gazillions…. it is almost too big to comprehend, but I found an easy yardstick that makes this number somewhat understandable.
One million seconds ago was eleven days ago.
One billion seconds ago was 1982.
One trillion seconds ago was 30,000 BC. Mankind was eating worms and the paleolithic equivalent of roadkill, the assault weapon of the day was a stone axe or a really strong pointy stick, and we had not yet domesticated the dog.
And we have NINETY TRILLION DOLLARS in bills to pay. People don’t seem to grasp that we are living in the Second Great Depression. The reason that they don’t see it is that unlike the first Great Depression, we don’t have 20 percent unemployment, bread lines, and shanty camp Hoovervilles… today we have doctored statistics, EBT cards, Section 8 housing, and Obamaphones. Poor people in America aren’t going hungry, they have Type-2 diabetes from being obese and flat-screen TV’s to watch all day… and all of this is put on the credit card, for our kids to presumably pay off after we die.
As I write this, our government has purchased 1.5 billion rounds of hollow point bullets, which is enough ammunition to shoot every American in the head five times, with plenty of ammo to spare. By way of comparison, our troops in Iraq used roughly a mere 70 million rounds per year. The Social Security Administration… you know, the people that send checks to your Aunt Millie every month, has ordered 174,000 rounds of hollow-point bullets. What is remarkable about these purchases is not the size of the order, but the type of ammunition procured. The US military does not use hollow point ammunition, per international treaty. And the bulk of this ammunition is 9mm and .40 caliber, which are favored by domestic law enforcement for use in their handguns and submachine guns. A purchase of this size cannot be explained away as training or a bargain-shopping bulk order… people that run up 90 trillion dollars in debt are not coupon-clippers. So the question that needs to be asked is, “Who does the government intend to shoot?
As I write this, an estimated 100,000 citizens in Connecticut are openly defying the state’s unconstitutional “assault rifle and high capacity magazine” registration legislation, hastily passed in the wake of the Sandy Hook shooting. They are refusing to register an estimated 300 or 400 thousand weapons and potentially MILLIONS of magazines that were perfectly legal and constitutionally guaranteed the day before the law was passed. They are all now felons. To put that number in perspective, the entire British army, navy, and air forces numbers right around 100,000 personnel. So you have a group of American citizens the size of the entire British military, armed to the teeth in tiny little Connecticut, and cops are putting up YouTube videos and Facebook posts saying they can’t wait for the armed raids to start.
As I write this, virtually every law enforcement agency in America has been militarized to a degree that would horrify the Founders and offend their distaste for standing armies amongst the citizenry. SWAT teams, tactical gear, balaclava masks, body armor, grenades, night vision gear, submachine guns, and assault weapons… or more accurately, “patrol rifles”… personally, I find it fascinating that if a police officer were to hand me his “patrol rifle” at the range to try out, it would instantly transform into an “assault weapon”.
But that isn’t all… local police departments are tooling up with Hummers, tanks, and armored vehicles. I’m still not sure why Hooterville needs a MRAP, but this is happening across the country. And beyond that, nearly every alphabet agency in the federal government now is issuing weapons… the IRS just bought a shitload of shotguns, no doubt very useful in enforcing ObamaCare compliance. The Department of Education now has guns, the Bureau of Land Management now has guns, even the NOAA, the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration, has been armed… that’s right, the government’s fucking weather men are now issued arms. Don’t you find it striking that the same government that wants to disarm the citizenry so badly is issuing guns to schleps that couldn’t make the cut at the Channel 4 local news?
As I write this, our healthcare system is in smoking ruin, with millions of Americans losing their insurance and forced into expensive plans they don’t want with services they don’t need, and the real pain won’t come until Obama stops unlawfully delaying the employer mandate, and when that finally kicks in, tens of millions of people are going to be very, very pissed off. Yes, our healthcare system is now under the control of the very same bloated federal government that can’t get bottled water and baloney sandwiches to fucking New Jersey in three weeks. And tasked with enforcing this nightmare is the IRS, which has been exposed as hopelessly corrupt and criminal, and now weaponized for the political left in America.
And as I write this, the woman at the heart of this criminal conspiracy has just been held in contempt of Congress, and guess what? Her case is now referred to the Justice Department for disposition, and will land on the desk of the first Attorney General to ever be held in contempt of Congress. How do you think that is going to go?
I think it is going to go badly. Bill Clinton was impeached over less. Richard Nixon resigned over less. But Lois Lerner is going to skate. Obama already has her pardon typed up, just waiting to be signed and dated.
Sometimes I feel like Sarah Connor in the Terminator movies… like I have knowledge of the future, and I look at the idiots in my car and the people walking down the street, completely oblivious and engrossed in their iPhones, and I think to myself, No, you aren’t going to make it… and you, you are totally fucked, too…. and this jackass over here doesn’t have a prayer
But the sad fact is that I probably won’t make it either… I have zero military training, I’m on the high side of fifty, well past my prime, but perhaps guile and determination will be enough to make it through the coming conflagration. And just like Sarah Connor, the purpose of my life has been transformed; now the only thing that matters is preparing my daughter for the world that is coming, and trying to protect her and teach her what she will need to know to survive in a country I don’t even recognize anymore. But she is only four years old… she’s probably a casualty as well.
And that makes me very, very angry.
Like I said previously, this isn’t a Democrat versus Republican issue, they are two sides of the same coin. The Democrats advocate gigantic government to benefit and support the unions and racial minorities in this country, and the Republicans advocate gigantic government to benefit business in this country. But they both support a gigantic Federal government. This isn’t Democrat versus Repubican… it is US versus THEM… the everyday people versus the political class. These people don’t give a fuck about you… they just want your vote, and your money in taxes, regulatory fees, and donations. And once entrenched, they enrich themselves, their families, and their cronies, and they demand even more money and even more regulation and even more tribute and even more control over their serfs.
And their poster child and pinup girl is Moochelle Antoinette Obama… she serves no real purpose, just a vindictive, nasty racist, and it is infuriating to see her jetting around the globe on month-long multi-million dollar taxpayer funded vacations in Hawaii and Martha’s Vineyard and Africa and China with her massive entourage, shoveling caviar and foie gras and Kobe beef and truffles and whole lobsters in her woodchipper maw, while she demands feeding our children school lunches that look like this…
Some may be shocked or offended by my language, but I feel perfectly justified in typing that last sentence, because I am part of the 53 Percent… you know, the 53 percent of people that actually pay taxes and pick up the check for this shit. These people are beneath contempt. Their greed, hypocrisy, and sense of entitlement are beyond appalling. We don’t have elected representatives anymore, we have elected rulers… cake, anyone…?
Maybe I’m crazy… maybe I’m paranoid… what the fuck do I know? Maybe I’m just a dumbass taxi driver that spends way too much time reading crazy websites on the Internet. My intellectual betters are already telling me that everything is fine, these problems will work themselves out after another election or two, and that a Clinton or a Bush are inevitable again, and these people know what they are doing.
Sorry… I just don’t buy it. What can not go on, will not go on. A realignment is coming to America, maybe in a year, maybe in ten years, but it is coming. And when it does come, it is going to be loud, and it is going to be bloody. Someone is going to die… it might be a cop or a government official, but I think it is going to be some average Joe, some nobody… some grocery clerk, some bricklayer, some bartender, some taxi driver, some waitress, some truck driver, some rancher in Nevada, some nobody dockworker like Crispus Attucks.
Or maybe it will be a child, shot in a gun raid or denied medical treatment by ObamaCare. Someone is going to die, and it will be the spark that brings about The Realignment Of America.
I abhor violence. I don’t want any of this, but it is inevitable, at this point. Our government is utterly lawless. Our representative republic is gone. These people no longer serve the interests of the American people, they serve their own elite interests, and the citizens of the United States have become tax cattle to be managed, milked, and controlled. And the security state they have erected is not designed to protect US, it is designed to protect THEM.
Sharpen your tusks. I simply don’t believe we are going to be able to vote our way out of the pig trap."

By Taxi Hack @ Taxicab Depressions here

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

California law allowing seizure of guns without notice begins Jan. 1

Gun control legislation going into effect in California next week will allow authorities to seize a person’s weapons for 21 days if a judge determines there is potential for violence.
Proposed in the wake of a deadly May 2014 shooting rampage by Elliot Rodger, the bill provides family members with a means of having an emergency “gun violence restraining order” imposed against a loved one if they can convince a judge that this person’s possession of a firearm “poses an immediate and present danger of causing personal injury to himself, herself or another by having in his or her custody or control.”
  
The law gives us a vehicle to cause the person to surrender their weapons, to have a time out, if you will,” Los Angeles Police Department Assistant Chief Michael Moore told a local NPR affiliate. “It allows further examination of the person’s mental state.”


“It’s a short duration and it allows for due process,” he said. “It’s an opportunity for mental health professionals to provide an analysis of a person’s mental state.”
Rodger, 22, killed six people and injured 14 others before taking his own life during a wave of attacks across Isla Vista near the campus of the University of California, Santa Barbara, that he carried out with two knives and three handguns that he legally purchased.
The rampage was prefaced by a video uploaded to YouTube of Rodger discussing his plans, as well as a 107,000-word manifesto, both of which were circulated minutes before he began killing.


“This is almost the kind of event that’s impossible to prevent and almost impossible to predict,” Janet Napolitano, the university’s president and a former homeland security secretary, said in the aftermath of Rodger’s ambush.
Twenty months later, implementation of the bill is expected to give family members a mechanism for having loved ones briefly lose access to their own, legally acquired weapons in hopes of stopping similar rampages.
“It’s the family members, it’s the people closest to the perpetrator, who are in the best position to notice red flags,” Wendy Patrick, a San Diego State University professor and lawyer, told San Diego’s CBS affiliate this week.
Second Amendment advocates have cried foul, however, and insist that legislation is not the answer in a state already ripe with gun rules that are more restrictive than most anywhere else in America.
“We don’t need another law to solve this problem,” Sam Paredes, executive director of Gun Owners of California, told The Associated Press. “We think this just misses the mark and may create a situation where law-abiding gun owners are put in jeopardy.”


Browse Anonymously with a DIY Raspberry Pi VPN/TOR Router

Surf the Internet securely with your very own portable WiFi VPN/TOR router. You can configure a Raspberry Pi with Linux and some extra software to connect to a VPN server of your choice. The VPN connection encrypts your internet traffic so that hackers and spies can’t figure out what web sites you are visiting, and the web sites you are visiting can’t tell which computer you are surfing from.

The router is small and portable, so you can plug it in anywhere, adding secure internet browsing to any occasion, from your room to the cafĂ©. You can even connect WiFi devices that don’t support VPN, like your Chromecast or Pebl.
The project consists of a Raspberry Pi, two USB WiFi dongles, an SD card, and a power plug.
If you don’t have Ethernet available, your router can connect to a WiFi network in addition to creating its own, acting as a bridge between your personal WiFi access point and an insecure WiFi. The range of this router is just enough to fill a single room.
Once built, any WiFi device has a passive VPN connection. If the VPN connection disconnects, so does your connection to the internet, guaranteeing that unencrypted data is not leaked.
If you are so inclined, we can set it up your router to support TOR, so that you can dive deep into the internet within the internet.
Using open-source software, we can handle WiFi connections from your devices, connect to another WiFi access point, and encrypt your internet through a VPN anywhere you are.

When your friends come over, they will also be on a secure Internet connection, even if they don’t know how to set one up themselves. Additionally, you can access Hulu, Netflix, HBO, or your favorite team’s game while traveling overseas. If you want to take it further, you can add domain-based ad blocking using bind to stop web advertisements dead in their tracks.
Enjoy setting up your very own portable WiFi VPN/TOR router!
  • Difficulty: Intermediate
  • Cost: $60-80
  • Time: 1-4 hours                
 source

Stand Your Ground: Science and Science Fiction

 

Andrew Branca, the author of the “Law of Self Defense,” recently reviewed a study on racial bias and Florida’s Stand Your Ground (SYG) laws published in the Elsevier Social Science & Medicine. The study, “Race, law, and health: Examination of ‘Stand Your Ground’ (SYG) and defendant convictions in Florida” (Social Science & Medicine, Volume 142, October 2015, pages 194-201; pay-walled) makes troubling claims about racial bias and convictions.
The study’s authors conclude that a defendant was two times more likely to be convicted in a case that involved a white victim than a non-white victim; that the race of the victim was “a predictor of conviction of the defendant,” and that Florida’s SYG legislation “has a quantifiable racial bias.” The study’s abstract exhorts other states with SYG laws “to carry out similar analyses to see if their manifestations are the same as those in Florida, and all should remediate any injustices found.”
Are these “manifestations” of racial bias a matter of settled science? Does this study really provide evidence of unequal treatment under the law? Pulling back the curtain, Mr. Branca examined the underlying data used – a listing of cases compiled by the Tampa Bay Times, a Florida newspaper, “supplemented with available online court documents and/or news reports.” The study itself was based on a subset of 204 cases out of the newspaper’s entire dataset of 237. After a close analysis of every one of the 237 cases, Mr. Branca found that 181 (over 76 percent) did not qualify as SYG cases at all, based on the legal definition of the term. It follows that even if all of the 56 remaining cases were included in the study’s subset of 204, the vast majority of the subset (148 cases, over 70 percent) were not actually SYG cases. Accordingly, research conclusions drawn from the 204 cases as if they were all SYG cases arguably lack factual integrity and scientific reliability.
In response to these observations, the authors advised that they opted to use a definition of SYG – a legal concept – “as it has been used in the media around highly publicized cases (e.g., Trayvon Martin and George Zimmerman) and not the legal definition” provided by Mr. Branca. Instead of evaluating SYG cases using the relevant definition applied by the Florida courts in determining guilt and convictions, the study employed a “definition” of cases “related to SYG” because, presumably, that’s how the newspaper staff decided to structure the original dataset. It’s helpful at this point to include a quote from Mr. Branca:
Surely it must be self-evident that whatever the impact of SYG on conviction rates, it can only be the “legal definition” as actually applied by the criminal justice system that could possibly have an effect, and that the “media definition” that is not applied by the criminal justice system (because it is not law) cannot have had any effect on conviction rates.
(His full response is expected to be published as a dissenting commentary regarding the study in a future issue of the Social Science & Medicine publication.)
Alleging a racial bias in the administration of justice is a grave charge and deserves a thoughtful, scrupulous and responsible analysis – particularly if the results are being used to justify efforts to “remediate any injustices” found to exist. We can hope for more objective analysis in the future.
© 2015 National Rifle Association of America, Institute for Legislative Action.

Monday, December 28, 2015

Right to Bear Arms: Limited or Not?



http://thedeclination.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/12/mrx.png
The fascinating part about this argument is that it is true, and the founders themselves would be absolutely horrified by the level of restriction we have placed on arms. A common Progressive argument is that the right to bear arms only applied to an “organized militia.” This is made without the understanding that every able-bodied man of military age was considered, de facto, a part of the militia. Another common argument is that the right only applied to “muskets” or other period firearms. Semi-automatics, revolvers, repeaters, etc… were not envisioned, they say.

Read the rest @ Declination here

Support the Hammonds - Convoy, Rally, March & Protest

Saturday January 2nd 2016 - Burns Oregon
 
COME & SEND A MESSAGE THAT WHAT HAS HAPPENED TO THE HAMMONDS WILL NOT STAND AS A PRECEDENT
 
Convoy - 10am -Those wanting to travel together will rendezvous at Wilco in Bend on hwy 20 (Wilco, 2717 NE Hwy 20, Bend, OR 97701) Patriot Convoy from Bend to Burns
 
Rally - 12 pm - Meet at the Safeway in Burns. (Safeway, 246 W. Monroe St., Burns, OR 97720) arrive around 12:00pm. Bring flags, flowers, banners and homemade signs.
 
March - Right after rally - We'll march from Safeway, north on past the Sheriffs/County offices, head east to downtown main street (Broadway) and stop by the Hammond's home, drop off flowers in front of their home.
 
Protest - During the march - Bring coins (pennies, nickles & dimes), as we march past the Sheriff & County building we will flip thousands of coins on the walkways, sending the message to County leaders that they have failed to do their duty in protecting the people of Harney County from the federal government and instead have sold the people out.
 
  Contact your friends and groups to plan a sign-making event in your respective areas between now and the 2nd of January. We should have a good turn out, support our neighbors, and rally once again. We will be calling media outlets to let them know that Americans will be gathering in Burns to support the ranchers that are being treated like terrorists.

Sunday, December 27, 2015

The loose use of government lists Unreliable databases can punish more law-abiding citizens than terrorists

Federal government lists are vulnerable to inaccuracy, and misuse by politicians to push political agendas. The proposal to use the no-fly list as the basis for stripping U.S. citizens of constitutional rights is a case in point. Regardless of one’s position on gun control, using a secret government process to tinker with the Bill of Rights is wrong, and very dangerous.
“What could possibly be the argument for allowing a terrorist suspect to buy a semi-automatic weapon?” President Obama recently asked, suggesting falsely the no-fly list is a list of known terrorists, inferring that using it would have made a difference in San Bernardino, although the names of neither of the San Bernardino terrorists appeared on it. In his exploitation of yet another terrible gun tragedy, the president has created a false argument, politician-speak, internally consistent, but based on untruths. Who indeed would argue for allowing terrorists to buy semi-automatic weapons?
The problem is not people the president would have you believe want terrorists to have guns, but politicians, lacking imagination, who want to use a flawed, unreliable, secret government process to brand U.S. citizens as terrorists, without a court hearing, and then deny them their constitutional rights.
The no-fly list is demonstrably inaccurate, a product of subjective decision-making, using the lowest possible legal standard of proof, to identify people “reasonably suspected to have engaged in terrorism or related activities.” The courts recognize the standard, but it is not enough to arrest or indict anyone, or even get a search warrant, much less a criminal conviction. It’s best described as gut instinct, the kind that allows a police officer who sees something not quite right to stop people briefly, and question them about what’s going on. The president would use gut instinct to tinker with fundamental freedoms.
There is no shortage of stories about Americans wronged by the no-fly list: children under 5, a Marine returning from Iraq, a brigadier general, Sen. Ted Kennedy, Rep. John Lewis, Rep. John Young, reputable journalists, outspoken political figures, the list goes on and on. In some cases, the mistake is so egregious that it helps the victim to muscle their way through an opaque bureaucracy to get off the list, but that is not true for most folks. For them, redress is virtually nonexistent, a fact recognized as a violation of the Constitution by at least two federal courts. A classified government document, leaked in 2014, showed that about 40 percent of people on the watch list had “no recognized terrorist group affiliation.” This is the president’s list of “terrorist suspects.”
Read more @ The Washington Times here

New York: Legislators Propose Outrageous Ammunition Restriction Legislation

Via NRA-ILA

 

Two New York legislators have announced that they are introducing legislation in 2016 that would severely limit ammunition purchases.  State Senator Roxanne Persaud (D-19) and Assemblywoman Jo Anne Simon (D-52) want to pass a law that would limit ammo purchases to twice the capacity of the firearm during a 90-day period (3 months)!  
Undeterred by the failed SAFE Act, anti-gun lawmakers in Albany seem determined to pursue the same failed policies and will not stop until the Second Amendment is completely dismantled.  The SAFE Act has done nothing to lower crime in New York and has turned law-abiding citizens into criminals.  The SAFE Act had its own ammunition restrictions and required ammunition background checks which were suspended after Governor Cuomo embarrassingly realized that such a system was impractical.  In addition, the last attempt to regulate how many rounds a person could load into a gun was overturned by a Federal District Court in New York and ruled unconstitutional.  Persaud and Simon are justifying this bill by pointing to terrorism, as if terrorists are going to voluntarily ration ammunition.  There are so many problems with this legislation that it would be impossible to highlight them all herein.  Again, for the sake of New York citizens, we would hope legislators start focusing on the serious issues facing the state and stop introducing these embarrassing ideas.
It’s readily evident that the two lawmakers know next to nothing about the subject of firearms and ammunition.  Manufacturers don’t even package ammunition with such a random number of cartridges in many cases.  This is one of the most absurd bills being introduced in the entire country.  However, because anti-gun legislators in New York have a history of defying logic, we will treat this legislation as another serious attempt to infringe on your constitutional right to self-defense. 

A year of reckoning: Police fatally shoot nearly 1,000

Nearly a thousand times this year, an American police officer has shot and killed a civilian.
When the people hired to protect their communities end up killing someone, they can be called heroes or criminals — a judgment that has never come more quickly or searingly than in this era of viral video, body cameras and dash cams. A single bullet fired at the adrenaline-charged apex of a chase can end a life, wreck a career, spark a riot, spike racial tensions and alter the politics of the nation.
In a year-long study, The Washington Post found that the kind of incidents that have ignited protests in many U.S. communities — most often, white police officers killing unarmed black men — represent less than 4 percent of fatal police shootings. Meanwhile, The Post found that the great majority of people who died at the hands of the police fit at least one of three categories: they were wielding weapons, they were suicidal or mentally troubled, or they ran when officers told them to halt.
The Post sought to compile a record of every fatal police shooting in the nation in 2015, something no government agency had done. The project began after a police officer shot and killed Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo., in August 2014, provoking several nights of fiery riots, weeks of protests and a national reckoning with the nexus of race, crime and police use of force.
Race remains the most volatile flash point in any accounting of police shootings. Although black men make up only 6 percent of the U.S. population, they account for 40 percent of the unarmed men shot to death by police this year, The Post’s database shows. In the majority of cases in which police shot and killed a person who had attacked someone with a weapon or brandished a gun, the person who was shot was white. But a hugely disproportionate number — 3 in 5 — of those killed after exhibiting less threatening behavior were black or Hispanic.
Regardless of race, in more than a quarter of cases, the fatal encounter involved officers pursuing someone on foot or by car — making chases one of the most common scenarios in the data. Some police chiefs and training experts say more restrictive rules on when to give chase could prevent unnecessary shootings.

Like a growing number of police shootings, the death of David Kassick on a snow-covered field near his sister’s house in Hummelstown, Pa., was captured on video — a technological shift that has dramatically altered how Americans perceive officers’ use of deadly force.
In two minutes and 10 seconds of harrowing footage, the Kassick video serves as an almost perfect Rorschach test in the national debate over when it is justifiable for an officer to take a life.
Lots more @ WaPo here

Lawsuits seek to abolish country’s bail bond system

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Crystal Patterson didn’t have the cash or assets to post $150,000 bail and get out of jail after her arrest for assault in October.
So Patterson, 39, promised to pay a bail bonds company $15,000 plus interest to put up the $150,000 bail for her, allowing to go home and care for her invalid grandmother.
The day after her release, the district attorney decided not to pursue charges. But Patterson still owes the bail bonds company. Criminal justice reformers and lawyers at a nonprofit Washington, D.C., legal clinic say that is unconstitutionally unfair.
The lawyers have filed a class action lawsuit on behalf of Patterson, Rianna Buffin and other jail inmates who argue that San Francisco and California’s bail system unconstitutionally treats poor and wealthy suspects differently.
Wealthy suspects can put up their houses or other valuable assets — or simply write a check — to post bail and stay out of jail until their cases are resolved. Poorer suspects aren’t so lucky. Many remain behind bars or pay nonrefundable fees to bail bonds companies.
San Francisco public defender Chesa Boudin says some of his clients who can’t afford to post bail plead guilty to minor charges for crimes they didn’t commit so they can leave jail.
Boudin represented Buffin, 19, after her arrest for grand theft in October. Buffin couldn’t afford to post the $30,000 bail or pay a bond company a $3,000 fee and so contemplated pleading guilty in exchange for a quick release from jail even though she says her only crime was being with the “wrong people at the wrong place at the wrong time.”
Fortunately, the district attorney declined to charge Buffin and she was released after being held for three days.
“My family was worried,” said Ruffin, who lost her $10.50 an hour baggage handler job at the Oakland International Airport after her arrest.
The lawsuit filed by the Equal Justice Under Law in San Francisco federal court in October seeks to abolish the cash bail system in the city, state — and the country. It’s the ninth lawsuit the center has filed in seven states.
“The bail system in most states is a two-tiered system,” said center founder Phil Telfeyan. “One for the wealthy and one for everyone else.”
The center has settled four lawsuits, convincing smaller jails in states in the South to do away with cash bail requirements for most charges.
Telfeyan said a win in California could add momentum to the center’s goal to rid the country of the cash bail system, which the lawyers say is used by most county jails in all 50 states. The federal system usually allows non-violent suspects free without bail pending trial and denies bail to serious and violent suspects.
“The country watches what happens in California,” said Telfeyan, a former Department of Justice attorney who founded the Washington organization in 2013 with a partner and the first-ever grant from the Harvard Law School Public Service Venture Fund in 2013.
Telfeyan said it’s not his goal to put out of business the classic neon-advertising bail bonding industry, but conceded the business model would become obsolete if he convinces courts that the cash bail system is unconstitutional.
The industry didn’t acknowledge Telfeyan’s first lawsuits filed earlier this year.
But on Monday, lawyers for the California Bail Agents Association filed court papers seeking to formally oppose the San Francisco lawsuit. The association argues that government lawyers for San Francisco and the state are offering only “tepid” opposition to the California lawsuit.
San Francisco Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi argues that most jail inmates are awaiting resolution of minor, non-violent crimes and that letting them free while awaiting court hearings will save the city millions of dollars. Mirkarimi said non-violent suspects can be monitored electronically and with frequent visits from law enforcement officials to ensure they don’t flee the area and attend all their court hearings.
In January, Telfeyan and his colleagues from Equal Justice Under Law will ask a judge to temporarily suspend San Francisco’s cash bail system until the lawsuit is resolved. Telfeyan said a victory in San Francisco and the elimination of cash bail in the city will most likely lead to the abolition of cash bail in all of the state’s 58 counties.
Maggie Kreins, who is president of bail agents group, the says the longtime system of putting up money or an insurance-backed bail bond is better at getting people to show up in court and it saves the public costs of monitoring defendants or hunting down bail jumpers.
Kreins said that California’s “bail schedule” could be reformed to lower bail amounts for minor crimes, but that scrapping the system completely would be a mistake.
“What is the incentive to go to court if you don’t lose anything for failing to appear?” Kreins said.

Ohio Deer Harvest

According to the ODNR,the 2015-2016 deer season harvest is up slightly...
Up by 3,742 over last year,however,the deer season was changed,there was no
Oct. doe only muzzleloader season
plus there's an extra two days of gun season,tomorrow and Tues.
The muzzleloader season is a week later than last year as well.
Jan. 9th-12th is this year's muzzleloader season.
We hunted 5 of the 7 days of gun season,and never saw a deer in gun range.
We hunt in Ashland county,the harvest there is almost the same as last year,
there's an eight deer difference.
The ODNR apparently listened to us hunters at the meetings they held last year,
when we said there were way too many does being harvested,and deer numbers
were way down from the year before,and have been dropping for the years-as
antlerless permits were only sold in ten counties.

2015/16 Deer Harvest Totals

The 2013/14 and 2014/15 deer harvest totals here

There's still plenty of time to get a deer,and get some venison in your freezer,
we have the 2 days of gun season,the four days of muzzeloader season,
and the archery season is open 'till Feb 7th.
What's important to deer now is food and cover,they need more food because
 it's colder,and the bucks are still recovering from the rut.
For morning hunts,set up so you can catch the deer coming back to the
bedding area,for evening hunts,set up so you catch them going from
bedding area to food source. If there's a water source  between the bedding
 area and the food source-that's the perfect spot ot set up-as the deer will
drink water on their way to the food source and on their way back to the bedding area.

Read.
Learn.
Train.
Do more PT.


Friday, December 25, 2015

Merry Christmas from the Police State – Cops Have Now Killed Someone In All 50 States

On Tuesday, December 22nd, 56-year-old Kenneth Stephens was gunned down by law enforcement officers executing a no-knock raid at his Burlington, Vermont apartment.
Federal, State, and local authorities executed the warrant, reportedly looking for evidence of drug trafficking. “Officers executing the search warrant confronted a male subject inside the residence,” according to a statement from State Police official Major Glenn Hall. He continued, “Officers discharged multiple rounds at the subject, resulting in his death. None of the officers involved were injured.” According to the initial DEA complaint written by Agent Robert Estes, Stephens was suspected of having a gun in his home. Due to this information, police no doubt conducted this raid with the pretext of encountering an armed suspect.
Although police initially refused to say if Stephens was armed or had fired at officers, officials stated the following day that he had pointed a muzzle loading rifle at the band of armed gang members, but did not fire at them when they invaded his home. In response, DEA Special Agent Tim Hoffmann and Trooper Matthew Cannon fired 13 shots at the man, at least one of which missed the suspect and hit a neighbor’s home, nearly striking a resident.
This prompted Burlington Mayor Miro Weinberger to request a federal investigation into the shooting. Weinberger, who was elected to a second term earlier this year, said in a statement, “I am very concerned that bullets from the law enforcement operation left Mr. Stephens’ apartment and strayed into another home.”
According to Weinberger, the DEA announced that they will vigorously investigate themselves, telling Burlington Police Chief Brandon del Pozo,
“The DEA’s Office of Inspector General will perform a serious after-action review of this incident so that all agencies involved in protecting the public in this City can benefit from its lessons.”
Kenneth Stephens was the 1174th person killed by police in 2015. His tragic death marks the first killing of a citizen, by police, in the state of Vermont this year. One day after Kenneth’s murder, a candlelight vigil was held to commemorate his life and protest the tactics used by police.

Read more  here

12 Reasons Why Your Venison Tastes Like Hell

By


Is your deer meat tough, dry and gamey-tasting? It shouldn't be. Check out this list of 12 deer-butchering sins to find out why your venison tastes bad -- and how to make it better


I’m often amazed at the people, deer hunters included, who tell me they just don’t like venison. That statement is usually followed by a qualifier: it’s tough; it’s gamey; it’s dry. And so on.

In warm weather, deer should be skinned and quartered ASAP.
I’ve eaten a lot of good deer meat. But I’ve eaten some really bad deer meat, too. I’m only a self-trained butcher, but I process five or six animals each fall, and have been doing so for a decade or more. I’m no Scott Leysath, either, but my wife and I do eat venison in some form two or three meals per week, year-round. I think we eat pretty good.
Some things consistently make venison really tasty. And some things will ruin the flavor, too. Here are a dozen of the worst offenders.
1. Poor Field Care
In the real world of hunting, things happen. We all make bad shots on occasion. And while we know not to “push” a deer that’s been hit marginally, realize that the longer it takes for the animal to die and the farther it runs, the more adrenaline and lactic acid builds up in the animal’s system and muscles. Ever had a glass of good-tasting acid? I didn’t think so.
The faster a deer hits the ground and can be field-dressed, the better the meat will be. Some of the best-tasting deer I’ve ever had have been shot in the head with a gun. The animal is killed instantly, and the meat is uncontaminated by blood and entrails from the chest cavity. That said, head shots are risky. The lungs remain the best place to aim.
2. Failure to Cool Quickly
Internal bacteria rapidly takes over after death, expelling gases and causing the animal to bloat. That’s the first step in decomposition. This process is accelerated in warm weather. Learn how to field dress a deer, and get to it ASAP. Removing those organs is the first step in cooling the animal down.
On a cold night—in the mid-30s or lower—a deer can be left hanging skin-on overnight. In especially cold weather, some hunters like to age a deer in such a manner for several days (more on aging in a bit). I live in a warm climate, and most of the deer I shoot in a season’s time are during early bow season, so I don’t have that luxury. When I find my deer and get it field-dressed, I plan on having it skinned, quartered and on ice within the hour.
3. Shot the Wrong Deer
Modern deer hunters are in tune with deer herd management. We’ve learned of practices that contribute to the health of a herd, including which deer to shoot. Given the chance, most of us want to shoot a mature buck with big antlers. Me included.
Old bucks are perfectly edible, but rarely the best. Muscles get tougher with use and stringy with age. An old buck that’s spent a full autumn fighting, rubbing, scraping and chasing does will be lean. Expect chewy steaks. Same thing goes for an old doe that’s burned all her summertime calories producing milk to nurse fawns. I usually make hamburger, sausage and jerky out of such animals.
For steaks, you can’t beat a young, crop-fed deer. Deer that spend a summer munching on corn and soybeans have an easier life—and more fattening food sources—than those that spend a lifetime wandering the big timber in search of scattered mast and browse.
The tastiest venison I’ve ever eaten came from a 1 ½-year-old fork horn shot through the neck near a picked corn field during early bow season.
That young deer had nothing to do all summer except get fat. Am I saying to forgo everything the QDMA is teaching and whack every young buck that walks by? No. But I am saying if a deer for the freezer is your goal, young bucks from the early season are usually good eating, and have more meat than does to boot. If you want to shoot one and it’s legal, go for it. You don’t owe anyone an apology.

Field dressing is the first step in cooling a deer down. Get to it fast, especially if the weather is warm.
4. Failure to Age / Purge I’ve been told that aging venison on ice is a mistake, but I don’t buy it. The mercury rises above 50 degrees on most days of deer season in my area. That’s too warm to let a deer hang, so icing them down is my only option. I line the bottom of a cooler with a layer of ice, add my deer quarters on top of that, and then cover them with more ice.
I keep the cooler in the shade with the drain plug open and on a downhill incline. That’s very important. The idea is to let the ice slowly melt and drain from the cooler. This not only keeps the meat cold, but purges an amazing amount of blood from it. Do this for at least two days, checking the ice a couple times per day in especially warm weather. (Note: if you do this without a drain plug, you’ll get the opposite effect; deer quarters that are essentially marinated in bloody, dirty water. Does that sound tasty? Didn’t think so.)
5. Dirty Knives and Power Saws
A deer’s legs are held together just like yours: with ball-and-socket joints and connective tissue. Learn where these are, and you can cut an entire skinned deer apart within minutes with a good pocket knife. Laying into a deer’s legs and spine with a power saw puts bone marrow, bone fragments and whatever mess was on the saw blade into your venison. Would you season your steak with bone fragments and wood shavings? Didn’t think so.
I keep three sharp knives handy when I’m cleaning a deer. One is for field-dressing. This one will be a stout knife with a drop point for prying through bone. Another is for skinning. Though a skinning blade with a gut hook is nice to have, I’ve been using a long-bladed fillet knife the last couple seasons, and it works beautifully. These knives can be honed to a razor’s edge and quickly re-sharpened. Other than quickly dulling a knife’s edge by slicing through hair, skinning is not taxing on a knife’s blade, so a flexible fillet knife works fine. Finally, I swap over to another knife—again, with a heavier blade—for my quartering. The point to take from all this is to keep your knives separate so you reduce contamination of the meat with blood and hair.
6. Poor Trimming
Unlike beef fat, deer fat does not taste good. Neither does the sinew, membranes and other connective tissues holding the various muscle groups together. Venison, whether destined for steaks or hamburger, should be trimmed free of anything that’s not rich, red meat.

For great deer burger, try blending the ground venison with a little cheap bacon.
7. Burger is Too Lean Ironically, because fat needs to be trimmed away for the best flavor, venison often becomes too lean for hamburger purposes. Patties made for grilled double cheeseburgers often fall apart soon after hitting the hot grate. The solution is to add some fat, either beef or pork, when you’re grinding venison. We use cheap bacon, mixed at a rate of 5:1 (5 pounds of venison per pound of bacon). It makes our patties stick together, and the bacon adds a great flavor.
8. Used a Cut-Rate Processor
Some commercial deer processors do a great job. But some do not. I once took a deer to a processor, filled out my paperwork and watched him disappear to the freezer room. He weighed my animal and returned with a corresponding amount of packaged, frozen venison. “We mix all our meat together and package a lot of burger at once,” he said.
For all I knew, the deer I was getting could’ve been gut-shot, left to hang in 90-degree heat, and then dragged along a black-top road en route to the processor. No thanks. That was the last deer I ever took to a processor. Insist on getting your own deer back when you have processing work done. If that’s not possible, I’d advise doing business elsewhere.
9. Marinade Problems
“First, soak for 48 hours in Italian dressing …”
It’s enough to make a venison-lover cringe.
Look, Italian dressing and BBQ sauce taste fine, but you’d better be a ravenous fan of them if you’re using them to soak venison steaks for two days. At the end of those two days, your steaks will taste just like … Italian dressing or BBQ sauce.
There’s nothing wrong with a little splash of flavor enhancement, but try lighter flavors that complement, rather than mask, the flavor of deer meat, and keep the marinade time short. My usual maximum is three or four hours. A favorite marinade for grilled venison steaks is a mixture of olive oil, a spoonful of balsamic vinegar, a spoonful of Worcestershire sauce, some minced garlic (with the juice), a squirt of mustard and salt and pepper to taste.

Good venison needs to age a few days. One good way to age is in a cooler of ice with a drain plug open and pointed down-hill. This purges blood from the meat.
10. Cooked Too Cool, for Too Long Venison recipes, especially grilled recipes, often call for removing the meat after a couple minutes per side. For many, the result of that is, “this is raw and gross.” And so they place it back on the grill. After a while, it turns gray, chewy, dry … and still gross.
Grilled venison is best when eaten with a medium-rare interior, but the outside needs to be cooked. In order to do that, your grill needs to be hot enough to instantly sear the meat surface and lock in those flavors and juices. Flip your venison steaks one time. If you don’t have nice grill marks after three or four minutes, the grate isn’t hot enough.
11. Improper Packaging and Freezing
Freezer burn doesn’t help the flavor of ice cream or anything else, deer meat included. Modern vacuum packaging systems are handy and save on space, but I’ve used some that resulted in freezer-burned meat after a few months. If you’re buying a vacuum-sealing unit, get a good one.
We package our deer the old-fashioned way, first wrapping our portion in clear plastic wrap, and then covering that with heavy-duty freezer paper. Each package is clearly labeled, not only so we know what cut of meat is inside and when it was killed, but also which deer it came from. If one animal proves especially tough, we know to use that meat for slow-cooking recipes.
12. Getting too Fancy
There’s no big mystery or secret to cooking venison. Treat it as you would treat very lean beef, and you’ll get outstanding results day in and out. We substitute deer burger for beef hamburger in virtually everything—chili, tacos, sloppy Joe’s, burgers on the grill, spaghetti and who knows what else. We never plan on a “wild game night” at the house. We just plan to cook dinner, and that usually means wild game by default.
(Editor's Note: This Retro Realtree article was originally published in October of 2012)