20111222

22DEC11 Creepier and Creepier...


Things continue to get creepier and creepier in the United States since September 11, 2001. Honestly, I'd love to go back to the days where we only had metal detectors and fully armed men (and I must say, National Guard soldiers are professionals compared to the run of the mill screener) at the airports instead of these rent-a-cop wannabes in the TSA uniform working for an $80 billion waste of tax payer money known as the Dept. of Homeland Security (multiple redundant bureaucracy that has FAILED to communicate across to other agencies like the Dept. of Justice... http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2011/10/26/napolitano-cross-examined-over-fast-and-furious/ Which is one of the justifications for DHS in the first place...). For Airline travel we now get two choices, regardless of the fact that they have failed to prove that there is probable cause for searching every single American who flies, we either can have our nude picture taken at a scanner equipped airport or submit to an intimate pat down. While they claim that because they only partner you up with a person of like sex, with the current tolerance of homosexuals (indeed, actual deliberate recruitment in some cases) in the Federal Government it still begs to question if someone doing the pat down isn't some perverted freak getting his or her kicks on your taxpayer dollar. Then there is whom they choose... They can't profile, oh heavens no. So, Grandma, six year old girls, and Alaska State Representatives http://www.newsminer.com/pages/full_story/push?blog-entry-State+lawmakers+warn+Alaskans+about+TSA+body+scanners+&id=16859474&instance=blogs_editors_desk ) who have had breast cancer get flagged instead of Islamic males between the ages of 16 and 30 who have attended Madrassas in Pakistan or Afghanistan (notice that I didn't put race in there as there are plenty of white and black Muslim converts in our country that have gone off the deep end...). Of course, perhaps the Airport Police Officer and former co-worker with a violent ex-boyfriend are not to be believed when they express concern over the employment of near criminals by the TSA... Namely, the Airport PD Officer pointing out which screeners couldn't join a real police force due to criminal records as well as lack of competency identifying suspicious persons needing apprehending during TSA audits of local TSA checkpoints. Don't even get me started on the violent man who purchased ammo whom I almost took down because his ex-girlfriend worked where I did (we sell ammo) in spite of being told to keep away... He very nearly skirted a restraining order that would have cost him his job (and really, she should have still filed IMO... buying ammo where your ex works? When other places sell ammo in town? Creepy... But then, this is the TSA's finest!).

DHS and the TSA is just the tip of the iceburg these days. Since the election of President Barack Obama things have only gotten worse faster. I can't blame him completely as the TSA and DHS were indeed creations of the previous Bush Administration with body scanners in the R&D phase during Bush's second term. However, former Arizona Governor Janet Napolitano was placed in charge of DHS by Obama. Whats her experience with 'homeland security'? Well, she was Governor of a border state and supported Obama's rather ludicrous immigration policy and Southern Border plan (which is sit and do about nothing). So, while Americans must be scanned, swiped, and groped; Mexicans pass north virtually without so much as being asked why... Not that I mind the actual workers coming, so long as they pass through the gate and get a card and pay our payroll taxes in order to assist in funding the benefits those taxes pay for that they receive... Its just the massive amount of drugs, and yes even now terrorists, that get smuggled in with the workers. Its the human trafficking that bothers me more than the pot and the cocaine (but that gets my goat too...). Of course, with this kind of problem, who is targeted by DHS as a potential threat? The guys trying to blow themselves up (all of whom, or most of whom, if I recall correctly originated in European airports by the way...) in the name of Allah? The shady Mexican with the gang tattoos? One of the thousands of OTM's that actually gets snagged by the few Border Patrol catches? Nope, the Pro-Life, Pro-Gun, white, Conservative, GWOT Veteran, who has a Gadsden Culpeper Flag that says “Don't Tread on Me”. Twice in 2009 we had reports from the DHS, FBI, and other LEA's working closely with the Federal Government brand people like myself who have crazy notions of Liberty as terrorists (http://trendnemesis.blogspot.com/2009/04/14apr09-we-are-being-profiled-again.html)... Despite the damage control that had to be exercised from these two FUBARs, DHS still continues to follow this line of thought (which is the agenda of the Southern Poverty Law Center by the way, while they have some great information they are slaves to a Left Wing agenda that slams anything they deem as 'Right Wing'; for example I would probably be labeled as a potential hate threat due to my stances on immigration and homosexuality, and believe it or not my affiliation with the American Legion) without question.

To top this all off, we have seen a new trend in the manner in which the FBI operates. Dangerously close to, or actual, Entrapment. FBI informants finding people of a specific profile that is vulnerable and easily manipulated, and then pushing them into plotting acts of violence. Its a convoluted trail to follow, and not all cases run the risk of Entrapment honestly speaking (locally the domestic threat presented by Schaffer Cox is an example where FBI informants were pushing violence, but we also have Cox and his disciples stating in no uncertain terms to police officers and State Troopers that they knew where they lived and that they could kill them; all while standing in a COURT HOUSE, regardless, its interesting to connect this to other FBI cases with the same tactic: http://tpmmuckraker.talkingpointsmemo.com/2011/12/schaeffer_cox_fbi_informants_basically_kidnapped_m.php ). While there are 20 plots the FBI brags about, we find out 17 were FBI produced, bank rolled, and supplied to individuals targeted by informants with some bad records (not too dissimilar to Olson in the above article). Not only do we have Muslims being entrapped and pushed over the edge to violence (makes you wonder if someone working for the FBI didn't push Maj. Hassan over the edge at Ft. Hood and everyone is keeping quiet about it...) http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/nov/16/fbi-entrapment-fake-terror-plots but also it seems like its happening to Americans that fall under the new definitions of domestic terrorists (albeit Cox certainly was leaning heavy that way without the FBI when I look back at whom he chose to surround himself about the time I did some art for him in early 2009...). Of course, whats also interesting is how they treated a Material Witness in the case against Schaeffer Cox: http://newsminer.com/view/full_story/16673344/article-Anderson-brought-in-under-material-witness-warrant-in-Schaeffer-Cox-case?instance=home_news_window_left_top_2 and http://patriotslament.blogspot.com/2011/12/it-wont-happen-in-america-yeah-well-it.html. With this kind of treatment of a material witness, one wonders why agents have shown up to cuff Eric Holder with his refusal to cooperate in the Fast and Furious investigation (the gun smuggling by the BATFE which resulted in the death of a Border Patrol Agent... Killed by a gun provided to a cartel by courtesy of the agency responsible for busting illegal firearm transfers and smuggling...).

So there you go folks. Creepier and creepier. Try to enjoy the Holidays, maybe someone in Washington will wake up and pull their head out of their ass finally and pull the plug on this travesty of a Department known as Homeland Security and end the multiple redundant security apparatus that is only making matters worse in the US by trampling our Bill of Rights (particularly that Fourth Amendment) every time we go to the airport... Makes me wonder if my fellow Veterans and I aren't going to have to bear a Scarlet Letter at some point in time and submit to a bit more extensive procedures to be allowed to travel around the country if we also happen to hold certain political view points based on some of the reports flying out of DHS, DOJ, and other Federal agencies.

20111213

13DEC11 Skepticism pays off... Sometimes...


Why I'm a skeptic about Conspiracy Theories...

http://www.theblaze.com/stories/did-federal-agents-really-raid-a-mormon-food-storage-facility/

...and yet keep a wary eye on government intrusion regardless.

'As of late Monday, Oath Keepers had pulled the food storage raid story from their website, and gave an explanation that stated:

“We have pulled this story about the Mormon cannery being visited by federal agents because the source of the information at the cannery is now denying that he ever told us that event occurred.” '

However, the poking around does lead to some questions, though indeed if its the county asking 'are you prepared' its completely different from the Federal government knocking on the door demanding an inventory and searching without a warrant like the alarmists are screaming (A certain local 'tactical' store owner comes to mind...).

"But the full context to the story does not seem to end there. It turns out authorities have been poking around and asking Tennesseans about their emergency preparations, even going door-to-door with questionnaires.

Local Nashville news broadcasters at WTVF-TV reported on house-by-house Metro Public Health department efforts to check on citizens’ emergency preparedness, including the off-putting line that ”The county still wants to know exactly what you are doing to start thinking ahead:”

As it stands, the Surplus Store alert from BJA still has yet to be debunked...



"The Blaze called one of the phone numbers listed on the flyer, and it is in fact a direct line to a joint terrorism analysis fusion center in Colorado. When asked for an official comment on the distribution of the flyer, a fusion center officer declined to comment and stated that any request would have to be made in writing."

Nor do I think it will be.  In light of MIAC and the 2009 DHS 'Right Wing' Extremism report targeting GWOT veterans as potential domestic terrorist threats...  Of course, my excessive skepticism about all things coming from the Prison Planet crowd back in '08 did bite me when I stated here on this blog that I thought the MIAC report was joke.

That taken in context with Senate Bill 1867 still leaves that lovely creepy feeling in the back of my mind....

The Blaze Article:
http://www.theblaze.com/stories/can-the-indefinite-detention-bill-send-americans-to-military-prison-without-trial/

Lets not forget the 10DEC11 use of an RQ-9B Predator by the Air Force in support of a local police agency...  Yes, it gets creepier and creepier, and people wonder why stories like the one from Oath Keepers grab hold and never let themselves go from the national conscience...  Never mind the kernels of truth to these sensationalized stories that are in fact very real oversteps by our Federal Government these days.

20111212

12DEC11 UAVs and local Sheriffs...

Since this is eating my afternoon, I figure its a worthy blog posting.  Heck, its been too long since I took the time to blog...

I just finished reading an article about the Air Force using an RQ-9B in support of a North Dakota Sheriffs Department...  And found it disturbing.  Well, not the use of a UAV so much (as its just like police helicopters which I'm not against either), but because WHAT THE HELL IS AN ACTIVE DUTY AIR FORCE UAV DOING IN SUPPORT OF POLICING THE CONTINENTAL UNITED STATES ON PRIVATE PROPERTY?

So I wrote my Alaska Senators and Representative in the Swamp:

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Dear (Insert Senator and Reps name here),


I am deeply disturbed by a 10DEC11 LA Times article about the use of an RQ-9B Predator UAV (or RPV as the Air Force now calls them, but since I'm of the 'older' crowd and got out in '07 I still refer to them as UAV...) in the state of North Dakota. http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/nation/la-na-drone-arrest-20111211,0,324348.story

I'm not at all shocked about the vehicle used. An RQ-9 is an incredible tool, and is a worthy successor to the manned helicopters that do the same mission in many places, its sensors are more acute than the old FLIR systems on many police department helicopters. It makes perfect sense to use them in this capacity. Since RQ-9s can be equipped with AGM-114 Hellfire missiles, they should however be utilized rather sparingly as this causes no end of speculation about what who is controlling them desires in the United States.

What disturbs me most however has nothing to do with the airframe involved, but who is controlling the airframe and the mission. I don't have a completely accurate picture of who called for what when or who was in charge of the mission, but I do understand Title 10 and Title 32 rather well; and I do understand that the US Military (in this case Active Duty Air Force) have no authority to police within the United States under Title 10 and the Posse Comitatus Act of 1878. There are exceptions for EXTREME circumstances, and on Federal land. However, it seems that none of the conditions were properly met.

There is a very simple solution to this matter, to prevent further breaches of the Posse Comitatus Act of 1878 and potential violations of Title 10, Title 32, and Title 18. First off, it starts with the State (North Dakota in this case) having RQ-9s under its Air National Guard. This way, under Title 32 orders from the Governor, they can use the RQ-9 in their state when needed. Second, encourage North Dakota to equip its Army National Guard with the RQ-7 Shadow UAV, again under Title 32 orders it would be very simple for the Army National Guard to act under the Governors orders. Third, perhaps the state of North Dakota should seek to hire UAV contractors like ISR Group or Insitu if they desire UAV support for these incidents instead of immediately asking DHS or the Federal government for such assistance.

Its apparent to me that these solutions must be implemented at a state level, but weren't. So the US Air Force was called in... This is a very slippery slope to move down, and its up to you our Federal policy makers to prevent this from happening and establishing a precedent that could indeed endanger Civil Liberties. When they called the Air Force for a UAV, the answer should have been a distinct “NO, we aren't authorized to do that.” Instead, since the UAVs have supported the FBI during drug raids (which on Federal land such as National Parks and BLM land ISN'T an issue...), and along the border (which again, being a Homeland Security mission and a Constitutional mandate to protect that International Border isn't an issue), the complacency resulted in the US Air Force giving support to LOCAL police, thereby policing, within the United States. I'm sorry, but that sticks out to me as a blatant violation of the Posse Comitatus Act of 1878, as well as a violation of several other US Codes. Perhaps I could be wrong, but since I just knocked out the FEMA EMI IS 800 b. course that stated quite clearly that US military is LIMITED as to what they can perform (but Title 32 forces are not) within the United States...
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Should be interesting to see what kind of response I get back...  One thing I can say for my Alaska delegation, every single one of them is pretty good about getting back with constituents even if they disagree with my ranting!

20111004

04OCT11 FNSB Elections!


Here are my election predictions for the Fairbanks Northstar Borough. Its about 2:50 PM, and I'm about ready to head out to the North Pole traffic circles with my kids for some good ol' fashioned sign waving!

Assembly:
Michael Dukes is likely to win his bid for re-election. But then, since I'm a dedicated listener of his, and I haven't seen his opponents ads or signs everywhere... I'm biased.

Here is where it gets tricky. Between the Bennett Brothers in their two races (Josh and Aaron) I suspect neither will win their bid this election cycle. In fact, I'm positive both will lose their races, as well as Joe Blanchard and Guy Sattley. The fallout will certainly be more whining on their part with David Gissel that its proof positive that voting doesn't work. Let us hope they learned from Schaeffer's past going down that path that forming a 'gang' erroneously labeled 'citizens militia' is a bad way to go; and that going back to the drawing board and planning for next election is the way to go. Both Aaron and Josh seem much more organized this time, and getting a radio show on Saturday mornings will likely get them more votes and support. I suspect their loss won't be as great, I'll even venture to say that one of them might even pull off an upset. I'm no expert, there are no real polls on that, after all its a local election. Got to give them both credit for giving it a shot and trying, and with the incumbents being at a disadvantage due to past decisions, anything can happen. Sadly though, I think the Unions are going to be able to get their boys (Davies at least) in because that segment of the population will only have one candidate out on top verses the current split conservative vote.

Proposition 2 is likely to fail. Perhaps not with the astounding 60% vote that the voters initiative forbidding the Borough to ban heating devices had, but I think most Alaskans when its said and done will see the ban for what it is and vote NO. Sure, it'll have the most support in the Ester Goldstream and University voting districts, however it'll likely fail in the North Pole districts. Swing vote will be in Fairbanks itself. With the ban they've already faced, who knows; maybe they won't screw over everyone else in the borough. If it does pass, I'm positive there will be a lawsuit filed; I might even throw some cash to fight it if it does pass! I'm one of those people that can't afford the oil any longer!

Bonds, and School Board... Who knows. I give the Bonds a 50/50. The only un-opposed School Board race should be interesting. I've only heard Ryan Smith on the radio, and nothing about or from Sharon McConnell. So, that being the case, and at least hearing Mr. Smith on the radio at least once, I voted for him.

Don't like what I've got to say? Well get your arse to the polls before 1900 (7 PM) and Vote!

Don't Vote? Don't Bitch.

If you vote, you might not get the government you want; but if you don't vote you always get the government you deserve (to include the next dictator...).

20110926

26SEP11 Can the Ban, the big signs!

Well, considering Prop 2 outright bans coal, and my outdoor boiler regardless of which fuel I use... And sets up police powers for the Borough to measure the moisture in your wood pile to ensure you have dry wood... As well as setting up opacity measurements for wood smoke (but doesn't apply to any other types of smoke even though oil boilers, wood boilers, and coal boilers all produce very opaque smoke at -30 through -50 F....) in which a 'code enforcement officer' objectively determines if you smoke is too opaque (also, never mind the lack of daylight during winter in AK, or that its banning the most economical fuel sources at this present time requiring us to burn oil or 'approved' wood stoves). All this, because the people who live in Ester literally badgered people into signing petitions at the Library and soccer practices. Yup, I can confirm that its the Ester crowd, while I running the Equinox Ultra Marathon on Ester Dome; all the Subaru's, Volkswagens, and Audis had "Yes on 2" signs and stickers as well as the properties. Obviously, its meant to get riff-raff like my family out of town so that the folks who can afford the $20,000 Volkswagens and Audi and the fuel oil to heat their hilltop homes don't have smell my wood or coal smoke regardless of the actual air quality (by they way, we have worse air quality in summer with our 1,000,000+ acre forest fires... but those don't count toward 'attainment' or 'non-attainment' of PM 2.5 standards... Which is the only reason we are non-compliant, it used to be PM 10 until we obtained compliance, funny how the number moves like that!). I borrowed the sheepskin over the Communist hammer and sickle from Antonio Prohias. It was what instigated his rather dramatic departure from Cuba, his employment with MAD, and the creation of "Spy Vs. Spy".

20110729

29JUL11 A brief History of the Crusading Military Orders...

http://news.yahoo.com/blogs/lookout/did-medieval-knights-templar-influence-norway-gunman-161312473.html

The amount of ignorance today regarding the old Military Orders dating back to the Crusades is astounding...

Amid the amount of speculation regarding any links between Anders Behring Breivik and the Catholic Military Orders of the Crusades, I'm going to go through a brief history of the Military Orders, with a focus on the Knights Templar and their convoluted history pose Friday the 13th 1307 (the day they were ordered arrested in France by King Phillip the Fair who'd strong armed the Pope at the time for permission). First off, I strongly recommend reading some history of the Crusades and the Knights Templar before assuming Breivik or anyone else has any viable connection to this legendary order. A few good books are “Warriors of the Lord” by Michael Walsh for a general overview of most of the military orders that came with and after the Templars; and “The Templars” by Piers Paul Reid for a good study of the Knights Templar and a brief history of the Judaism, Christianity, and Islam.

One should never forget that the Crusades were also an outgrowth of the war between East and West, this time not between Greece and Persia, or Rome and Parthia, but between Christian Europe and the Islamic Middle East. After the Mohammad's death, Arab Muslims began an aggressive war of expansion and conversion (Jihad). Soon they took over and influenced most of the Middle East (essentially taking over the Sassanid Empire [formerly Parthia which was formerly Persia...], Egypt, and Arabia). Various Muslim kingdoms such as the Berbers invaded Spain and even got so far as Poitiers France before the being turned back in 732 (which is just shy of 300 years BEFORE the first Crusade). Charlemagne was crowned Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire in 800 A.D. In an attempt to unify Europe agains the threat of Islamic takeover. The First Crusade into Jerusalem wasn't the first Crusade by definition by any stretch, as the Reconquest (Reconquista) of Spain and campaigns against Pagan kingdomes in Europe occurred first.

Credited as the very first Military Order, the Knights Templar was founded in 1099 in Jerusalem by a knight who saw the need for a dedicated force to protect the pilgrims who'd come to Jerusalem for pilgrimage. Not much in that region had changed since the beginning of civilization, as thieves and raiders were a constant threat along the roads, on top of that the Crusaders had just conquered the region and obviously still faced endless military threats. There were too few Knights in the Outremer Kingdoms; and Hugh De Payn's believed it was his calling to take monastic vows and serve as a Knight of the Church itself. After approval, hundreds eventually joined, and with them they donated their belongings and brought tithes from their noble lords and families in the form of horses, swords, and armor as well as gold. Its hard to think of it these days, what a powerful gift a horse was; however think of it more as someone donating a modern main battle tank when they donated the horse, armor, sword, shield, and their son. Typically, the Knights who joined the military orders were the middle and younger sons of Lords who couldn't inherit their estates. Some were Widowers, others were Knights who were excommunicated and told they could only come back into union with the Church and receive the Sacrament (of Eucharist) if they served the Knights Templar (or other military order, or take part in a Crusade as a secular Knight).

While its easy today to call it blind hatred and religious bigotry (because of our very skewed perspective on history instigated by Secular Humanism, the Reformation, and other movements), it shouldn't be overlooked that 1099 was a major landmark in Western Military History. Not since the fall of Rome did the West have a Standing Army of professional soldiers not bound to the limits of Feudal Lords who would abandon a campaign on a whim. Its hard for Americans to imagine the idea of no standing national army, but that was the reality of Feudal Europe. Your only security came from the Lord of the estate on which you lived. The only soldiers where his Knights and Sergeants. When your Lord came and knocked on your door for taxes, you paid because you needed his protection, and he needed your resources to in turn pay his Lord... That, and at any moment, any able bodied male could be rounded up and organized by the Sergeants into a mass of peasants armed with farm equipment... But there was no national flag. You fought for your Lord, and when he decided to go home obviously you left with him. Should someone raid the land you worked, you would hope your Lord's Knights and Sergeants would be ready. Sadly, this wasn't the case... (Glad to be an armed American citizen now instead of European Peasant!). Vikings were feared for this reason. They started raiding only after Rome was crumbled and there were no standing Legions to march in a putative expeditions to crush their villages after they raided....

I'm not going into the negative aspects of the Military Orders, as you can ask anyone what they are today and you'll get all sorts of answers (and many with a modern context completely missing the context in which these Orders developed). After all, just watch the news and they will laugh them off as ignorant religious bigots that were just above the ape in intelligence (because we are so much smarter today... don't worry, someone 500 to 1000 years later will be laughing at our shortsightedness as well, especially at the stupid socialists who are bringing about another Dark Ages by collapsing capitalism for something inferior).

There is certain mythos to the Knights Templar. Post 1312 A.D. Many have claimed to have carried on the tradition in secret. Particularly the Masons. Yes, the Masons claim many things, and have even created a history of the world that revolves around them. Its no surprise they claim to have connections to the Knights Templar. During the French Revolution, the Grand Orient of France (the Parisian Masonic Order) utilized the suppression of the Knights Templar as propaganda against Royalists and the King of France. Its even rumored someone shouted “Jaques de Molay, you are avenged” when they beheaded the King during the Revolution. Enjoy The Grand Encampment of Knights Templar http://www.knightstemplar.org/ website for the Masonic claim to this order... Personally, I don't take the Masonic re-write of history centering around them very seriously, but then I don't take conspiracy theories very seriously either. Either pro-Masonic or anti-Masonic, I think the Masons feed the conspiracy crowd for public relations. Pretty ingenious!

There are also a few other groups, from drug cartels to what equates to neo-Nazi and other white supremacist groups that claim the Templar heritage and name in Europe, the US, and Mexico (the cartel).

Presently, some of the other Military Orders that weren't suppressed like the Templar with the degradation of Chivalry and the rise of Absolutist National Armies (“The Rise of Modern Warfare” by H.W. Koch is a good read about time between 1300 and 1812) continue to serve various functions today from being nothing but a Fraternal Country Club for the Noble Gentry in Europe, to being UN/IRC recognized NGO Ambulatory Agencies providing critical medical care to the disaster stricken areas of the world. After the Reformation, some of the Knights Hospitaller embraced Luther's teachings, and still retained the name Knights of St. John. In Europe today they continue the Hospital tradition and are organized in Ambulance Brigades, serving during disasters and World Cup Soccer games with stretchers at the ready (http://www.orderofstjohn.org/). On the Island of Malta, some of the Hospitallers remained, they continued not only as Knights, but also as Sailors, fighting the Islamic pirates and being pirates themselves to Islamic Kingdom shipping. Europes first standing Navy since the end of Rome... Later, Napoleon disbanded them when took over the Island of Malta and expelled the Order. However, they continued to exist in the city of Rome, and maintain their embassy there. Currently, the Order of Malta also maintains a fleet of aircraft, and they carry on the Hospital mission of their parent order. They are a sovereign order, and more can be found on their website http://www.orderofmalta.org/?lang=en

More Reading (web)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Military_order

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Knights_Templar


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Knights_Hospitaller

http://www.allianceofstjohn.org/

http://www.orderofstjohn.org/

http://www.orderofmalta.org/?lang=en

20110725

25UN11 Debt Ceiling Speech Rant

25JUL2011

After listening to President Obama's speech about the need to increase the debt ceiling today, I'm pretty flabbergasted at the stupidity of some of the things he said. Primarily the idea that money was 'spending money on tax cuts'. This is the dumbest thing I heard the President say during his speech. How do you spend money on tax cuts? What tax cuts are, is taking in less revenue to begin with, not spending said revenue. How do you spend more by taking in less income? It makes no sense to me, but then I'm not a Washington double speaker from Chicago.

A “Cuts only Approach” is certainly a solid plan. Our tax structure is fine, and if there is reform needed, its a flat tax in which 100% of the working population pays the exact same percentage of their income no matter how much they make... This has worked in European countries rife with corruption and debt to reduce both factors considerably (Estonia for example, less tax evasion as result of everyone paying the same percentage... Its honestly easier to enforce!). But I digress... I'm getting out of my own personal debt. Sure, I tried to increase my revenue by taking another job or two (part time), but that doesn't work as well, in fact I suffer more tax consequences as a result of that due to the tax bracket I'm in and how much is with-held (or not, and will be due come next April, thank you State of Alaska Dept. of Forestry for not with holding like I filled out on my paperwork for you to do...). Since that didn't work, I'm taking steps that are nothing less than that evil “Cuts Only Approach” the President so fears. For my personal debt, it makes no sense to keep spending money if I want out of debt and have the same income. The same applies to Governments. Money, unlike Diplomacy, works the exact same be it be the microscopic personal economics of my home budget; or the macroeconomic international economics of the US Government. You are only worth your Income minus Liabilities.

Currently, our nation (and sadly my personal budget) has more liabilities than income. Best way to fix the problem is get rid of the liabilities as increasing the revenue gained will result in more disasters economically. Why do we need so many redundant US government programs? Why not let the States do that much better? Why should the US bail out failed business models such as the US auto and banking industries which would be better left to go 'bust' and allow the well built companies to continue to thrive? TARP just drew out the economic pain longer. We should have let them fail, accepted the pain then, and found ourselves recovering now. Any time the government steps in to take over, whatever it touches is tainted.

Honestly, with the mission in Iraq about complete its time to get our guys out of there. In Afghanistan, we should leave a skeleton presence as any nation that has tried to 'tame' that nation has ended up collapsing... Time to just let the Afghani's determine their own fate (and sadly, its going to end up going back to the Warlords, as it has just about every time in that nations history). Another reality, is why are we even bothering with Libya? Really, our NATO allies who have all just about failed in their NATO obligation to spend at least 2% of their GDP can worry about it, or not. Other than letting CIA loose, we need our troops home from that mission as well. If any region in Africa needs our attention, its the piracy problem off the coast of Somalia (fixed by arming the US Merchant Marine Sailors, and letting the Green Berets, Rangers, SEALs and CIA have a heyday in Mogadishu again...). On top of that, the Army and Air Force don't need NASCAR vehicles running races wasting our dollars on the track for 'recruiting'. There are indeed places we could cut the military budget without compromising the current operations that are critical to our nation's security.

This along with other cuts across the board, to include all the pet projects that Congress created for their constituents... No more pork! Cut everything but the REAL essentials! Stop wasting money! Its simple stupid.

20110503

03MAY11 Osama Bin Laden is Dead



03MAY11 Osama Bin Laden is Dead, thoughts on vice and virtue in the wake of this historic victory in a long running war between the Free World and the harbingers of Tyranny.

Yesterday I indulged in a bit of vice in celebration of death; albeit a bit more solemnly than I have before (I didn't forget the lesson I learned cheering the death of Saddam while I was in Iraq...). My cartoon was a bit graphic, but a clear reminder of human mortality, as any one of us could be the man with a bullet in the head lying dead in our homes. Be it a death from pointless murder, to dying on the field of war (which Osama certainly did); we are dust.

This morning, while my children were sleeping, I at the tender age of 28 finally smoked my first cigar. I don't intend to make it a habit, and its unlikely I'll do so again either. In much the same way I was happy about Bin Laden's death, it started out tasting pretty good. Then, toward the end of the cigar, I got the woozy light headed feeling (perhaps I shouldn't have drank coffee beforehand!). Wrath and smoking, two vices; one I'm more prone to out of human nature, the other a lesson learned.

What can I take away from such experiences? Well, I'm sure both Chaplains I knew during my deployments would get a chuckle out of my experience here once Confession was over. After all, I should not celebrate the death of another human being no matter how vile they may be. I think Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. best sums it up:
"I mourn the loss of thousands of precious lives, but I will not rejoice in the death of one, not even an enemy. Returning hate for hate multiplies hate, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that"
— Martin Luther King Jr.

After fighting in the GWOT, you come face to face with the two sides of killing. On the one hand there is knowing that people who are trying to kill you and your countrymen are dead and no longer a threat, and it brings about the positive emotions all related to the 'job well done' after an operation, firefight, or foiled IED emplacement. On the other side, you have the “Gee, I just watched a human body cool on the FLIR” or “There was is a person somewhere in that burning car, glad there isn't much left to see or I might lose my lunch.” First the good taste, later the woozy light headed feeling and bitter taste of reality (which includes thoughts of your own mortality).

Already the pundits on both sides line up. On the one hand you have the people who are in the streets celebrating, and for the families of the 3,000+ killed in the WTC/Pentagon/Flt. 93 attacks, I'm not going to hold this against them. This is a day for closure for them. The man who was the primary suspect, and indeed confessed quite gloatingly, for masterminding and leading the men who carried out the attack is dead. A murderer faces justice, and dies by the tools of his own trade. I'm positive the SEAL or other Operator that killed Bin Laden is just as aware of how easily it could have been himself (and could be himself in the future). Then there are people lining up calling those out in the streets no better than terrorists themselves, this coming from the people who hate America anyway, so it comes as no surprise to me.

My cigar makes a good metaphor for my own emotions in this case. It started out tasting alright (it was a 'cheap' cigar after all, only $7.55, and thankfully it was a small one as well!), but by the end the taste and the smoke was getting to me a bit (yes, I just puffed at it and didn't fill my lungs with it, otherwise I'd have been puking...). The aftertaste is especially bad, and therefore makes it a habit not worth indulging in on a regular basis. I'm glad an enemy is a threat no more, but his death really isn't something to celebrate. It brings closure, but no real joy.

20110321

21MAR11, Whats up with IACC and Tin Foil Hats?

I was there when IACC got started as a grass roots organization promoting Conservative ideas here in the Fairbanks area. It was shortly after the 2nd Amendment Task Force began (and before it became the Schaeffer Cox personality cult, and disintegrated as a result of Cox going over the edge with his fellow Conspiracy Nuts at the "Continental Congress 2009"...). A large part of the momentum was to get Conservatives to organize and get a better unity of effort instead of running against each other and allow the more Liberal politicians to win with less than 50% of the vote (after all, in our local elections the only reason we have Liberals is because two or three Conservatives are vying for the same seat and there are no primaries...). Those not from Alaska my wonder why I'm using the terms Conservative and Liberal versus Republican and Democrat; lets just say our Democrats are more conservative than some East Coast Republicans... Its values not politics at play here... Forget the party mold.

Thats what I liked about IACC. I did some cartoons for them, and came out to many events they organized. They are in fact our local 9/12 Project HQ, Right to Life, and many number of wonderful organizations come under their umbrella to meet at the IACC storefront. They publish a wonderful news letter called the Woodshed. To date, they have done a lot of wonderful work assisting locals here in making sure our wood and coal stoves and furnaces are protected in the face of ever skyrocketing fuel oil prices and the failure of industry and the State of Alaska (as a result of the Federal overreach) to build a Natural Gas Pipeline.

However, somethings have been starting to nag me about some folks they have chosen for certain positions in that organization. So I wrote them an email:

IACC,

I'm curious about the role played by XXX XXX in the IACC. I'm not at all a fan of conspiracy theories (and I'm not impressed with YYY YYY's rants on the radio either that border on paranoid black helicopter theories). About a week ago, he articulated he isn't involved in the Political system at all, to include not voting in elections; and yet I see he is an active member of IACC.

This concerns me as voting plays a critical role to the health of our Constitutional Republic in which the political system is based upon Representative Democracy. I believe in restoring the institution to what its supposed to be through the ballot box as our Founders intended the ballot box to be. However, it concerns me in light of what happened recently with Schaeffer Cox about the direction IACC seems to be heading with yet another person who is disillusioned by the ballot box.

I want to know XXX's plan to restore our political system from outside the realm of the ballot box. Without knowing what his idea is, my only conclusion at this point based on all the conspiracy talk I'm starting hear more and more of from the vocal members of the IACC seems to be armed revolt in the manner pursued by Cox and his acolytes (after all, we all witnessed the 2nd Amendment Task Force degrade into a very small cult of personality centered around Cox).

A detailed plan from XXX about his goals and objectives would put my mind at ease. However, right now, I'm not even sure I want to be associated with IACC with the conspiratorial chatter that seems to be gaining more and more influence in IACC. I've been quite a proud supporter, donating cartoons and such, and fully believe in the mission of the IACC to reform the local communities politics by promoting Conservative values; however I must admit I absolutely abhor the black helicopter conspiracy theories that have little to no basis in reality and believe that such people are a cancer to the credibility of our side of the argument. Talk of the Bilderberg Group, Bohemian Grove, and 9/11 'Truth' shouldn't be any part of the IACC's public discourse. None have much basis in reality, and will end up being a cancer to the credibility of the organization as a whole if it becomes the forefront of why members support certain policies.

What I observed in the case of Schaeffer Cox, and where I broke ties, was the supposed Continental Congress 2009 which became a meeting of Conspiracy nuts. Just about every document that came out of that meeting Illinois was targeting what they believed were the Powers that Be that lied about 9/11 and are working to create a New World Order; the Bilderbergs, the Tri-Lateral Commission, etc... Cox came back, and went down that dark road that now has him in jail and awaiting trial. Thus far, I've not seen a case in which belief in such things has ended well when they become the center of a political argument and organization.

If such beliefs are the motivation of IACCs work, tell me now. I want no part in promoting such ridiculous ideas. I don't care if people hold those ideas, what concerns me is when the vocal members of IACC are on the radio every week promoting such things and thats about all I see come out IACC on the air.

v/r

Michael "Sudsy" Sutherland

Lets just say, I don't believe the Conspiracies out there about 9/11, the Bilderbergs, or FEMA Camps. I've also seen these theories fuel the hatred of the Islamo-Fascists and Leftists as much as the supposed 'extreme right wing' that Napolitano and the Southern "Poverty Law Center" rant about. I'm eagerly awaiting a response.

After all, I want no part in promoting crazy ideas, I'm just too damn skeptical.

20110314

14MAR11 Citizen? Then Vote!

Today I ran across an individual who believed in 'not participating' in the political system, to the point of not even voting; and yet they lead a 'Freedom Initiative' movement that is working to audit the Federal Reserve (an action I do indeed agree with very much). However, Its my opinion that not voting, this person has indeed abdicated their citizenship and indeed for me their opinions regarding the Political Landscape in the United States. Not voting is turning over and ceasing to fight (rhetorically) and surrendering to the whim of whom ever is in charge; not voting and complaining about government is not only surrendering to the whim of such government, but complaining without doing any think to positively effect said government.

As I go through the Constitution of the United States, I see the vote and participation of the Citizen a requirement for the maintenance of this Republic. In order to keep the Republic from slinking into simple “mob rule” of Athenian Democracy, the Founders established a Representative Democracy in the Legislative Branch of our Government through the House of Representatives. All bills involving revenue and its generation (taxation) must start in the House, the PEOPLEs Representatives chosen directly through the democratic process in each district based on population size in order to get the best representation possible across the land (and by no means perfect, and currently exploited in many cases sadly). In the beginning, until the 17th Amendment in 1912, our Senators were chosen by our State Legislators, this separated the democratic process from the direct democracy into the representative democracy that prevails through the rest of our government. Since we chose our State Legislators directly, they in turn would vote for the Senators based upon their obligations to their State Constituency. This created a bit more of a 'refined' wing to the Legislative Branch of government, as the Senate is where treaties and other affairs that affect Foreign Policy are decided. Now, we have more direct control over our Senators, and I can't say its the best thing as now it seems we have greater mob rule in the Senate... But I digress, voting is still critical no matter if we vote directly for the Representative, or we elect a State Legislator to chose our Senator. Ben Franklin's quote about maintaining the Republic comes to my mind on this issue.

While I find myself getting angry and blurting out “YOU DON'T VOTE? DON'T BITCH!” quickly followed by “Maybe we should remove your citizenship and turn you into a resident” I'm not going to actively seek to do that. No, the idea doesn't make me a Fascist, those that think so should compare and contrast the Fascists to the Communists and re-assess. I'm not a Fascist, I'm a Federalist, and one that believes strongly in taking responsibility for the maintenance of my beloved Republic. While I rhetorically hammer folks for failing to do so, I have NO INTEREST in actually carrying it out. In many cases such shocking language is required to get some people to stop and think about their apathy and its impact. I'm furious at the 30% turnout at the polls during elections. My point with those conversations is to indeed get folks to get off their butts and out to the polls. Those who don't believe in this cornerstone of this Republic should indeed be ashamed. Besides, when you cease to vote, no one needs to take your Rights as a citizen away from you, you just cast them aside yourself. All I do when I mention the heavy handed 'stripping' is point it out... And advocate for your protection as merely a resident.

When asked how would they would go about changing the government without voting, this person responded with the question of how can we change it with voting. What a stupid response. Its just an evasion, just like the very politicians we seek to remove from power by simply voting for someone else. Sure, voting isn't the perfect way to ensure our government remains the protector of our natural God given rights, however it sure as hell beats a bloody removal from power of a dictator that takes years to really build up for. Every two years, we overthrow by force of the ballot, sections of our government be they local, state or federal. In a lot of cases, we keep the same people. Thats part of being a Representative Democracy (and if you don't know what Representative Democracy is, you need to remove your head from your cranium and LEARN something, thereby becoming a better informed Citizen, and I daresay VOTER).

When we vote, and things don't turn out our way, we have every right to be angry, and we still have recourse to express our opposing points of view. Even when a person is elected to an office, they have obligation to protect the rights of all their Constituents, no matter if they voted for them or not; and they are accountable to them. What we have witnessed here is the failure of many politicians to realize this duty to protect the rights of all Citizens; not the failure of Representative Democracy and the ballot box. Instead we have the perfect storm of Voter apathy, corruption of Government, and failure to fulfill duty. Because the Voter participates in the system, they have every reason to experience righteous indignation and anger. The non-participant, abdicates theirs by virtue of failing to partake in the most basic, and important, office of our nations government, Citizen.

Voting is, by its very nation, the Citizen applying force against the government. Force need not be violent and deadly like we first visualize when the word 'force' is used. Force of will is what it is. If the framers of our Constitution didn't believe in the awesome responsibility of Citizenship and the power of the Ballot Box over Government, we'd have been left as peons and peasants with not ability to Vote from the get go of the Constitution. Peons and Peasants can't vote, and are required to accept their lot in life and submit to the Citizens who can vote, hold property, and carry arms. Our Founders understood this well, and unlike the Roman Republic, and those that followed up until our Constitutional Convention, they worked to ensure all Americans were Citizens (even if the final draft conspicuously left the Slaves and Native Americans out of the picture... It is interesting to note that Ben Franklin went on to be one of the leading Abolitionists of his day... It was indeed a political concession in order to get the Southern States to ratify the final draft of the Constitution, that the process of Amendments was written in to support such changes).

For me, it is utterly alien to believe that Voting is trivial and pointless. The results vary greatly, however it is my obligation to vote. I feel compelled to vote, even though I know for certain that things might not always turn out exactly my way (300 million Americans, I'm sure not everyone thinks like I do...). Too many Flags over too many graves stones for me to not vote. But then, if you don't think that American servicemen die to secure such Liberties, by all means, continue with your apathy and ignorance. If you don't vote, how do you plan to change government and secure your rights? Revolution? Thats the way it seems some folks are going right now... After all, look at what those 14 Democratic State Senators did in Wisconsin... They knew they'd be defeated and just decided not to vote, jump state, and ensure the Unions had time to gather a storm of protestors with the intention of intimidating the peoples chosen representatives and governor into changing their minds about public employee collective bargaining.

To me, not voting is a cancer to this Republic. Its motivated by apathy, or anarchy. Neither is conducive to the continued health of this Republic.

20110225

25FEB11 Social Media and Jury Duty

Something tells me I won't be serving on a jury anytime soon, or maybe I won't be selected for a jury anytime soon in spite of being in the pool. Why you might ask? Well, I'm blogging and I'm all over Facebook as well... And cartooning... So, my opinions are out there, and with my views on the Constitution, Bill of Rights and Rule of Law I know some District Attorney (or even Public Defender/Defense Attorney) will likely seek to disqualify me from selection. From what I've read here in Network World News and the link to the Wall Street Journal its apparently the latest trend. Not only has the jury become rigged with Jury Consultants running around town looking at where potential jurors work, live, and even shop; now they go further by using the hacking technique called 'social engineering' (one of the oldest tricks in the book, predating computers by being around since the beginning of time).

You really can't hammer these lawyers too badly, as some people (myself included, namely because I have a public blog where I post my opinions quite openly) don't give a darn about privacy at all. Their Facebook and MySpace pages are open to the world. Lawyers, jury consultants, and even judges tend to exploit this in various ways (do read the articles...). I can't say I'm too terribly depressed about not being hit with jury duty, and likely never going to get selected due to my views... But I'm also angry because of the manner in which these attorneys have found a loophole around the Constitution and the manner specified for jury selection that has been used for centuries. But then, they are attorneys, and folks post without thinking on Facebook (or they just don't know about privacy settings and carefully picking their friends). I still find the idea of jury consultants disgusting, this doesn't even allow for a truly random jury pool from the start in my opinion. Get rid of the consultants, let the attorneys dig on the Internet when they question the jurors in the courtroom!

Then we have states like Maryland (east coast Liberals, what else do you expect?!) which allowed their Department of Corrections to demand user names and passwords in order to keep a job?! While I don't believe the ACLU really to have American Liberty at the heart of their organization, sometimes they do get things right in some cases (even a blind squirrel gets the nut sometimes...); especially in the case this case. Its one thing for an agency to have specific guidelines for social media (perhaps restricting access to it on State or Federal computer systems...), but its absolutely another to require that personnel turn over PRIVATE user names and passwords over for months at a time. Thats just pure exploitation. Thats just Big Brother Big Government right there for you (no matter the party name!).

20110221

21FEB2011 I feel so secure...

The TSA continues its invasive pat-downs and body scans under the direction of Big Sister Janet Napolitiano and the Dept. of Homeland Security! One of our Democratic State Representatives, Sharon Cissna (D-Anchorage) was returning home from Seattle when the body scan showed details of her scars from her mastectomy... So they wanted to touch her 'prosthetic device' in one of their wonderful 'enhanced patdown' searches that have no probable cause beyond your desire to fly. So, she was force to return to Alaska by sea instead because she decided to refuse to submit, AGAIN. This was her second trip through a TSA checkpoint in which the body scan still lead to an enhanced pat down. How sick can the TSA get? But then, there is no communication, or safety, in what they do.

Why no safety? Well in Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport, an undercover TSA agent was able to bring in a handgun on her person in her undergarments EVERY TIME she went through the checkpoints in spite of the 'enhanced pat downs' and body scanners. So, flag breast cancer survivors, yet miss firearms. Good to go TSA! Time for Napolitano to be FIRED. Two EPIC FAILURES in the same week, and its only MONDAY!

You can check the National News or Francona to see the best analysis of the latest Middle East violence, protests, and counter protests... I'm going to focus a bit on Wisconsin a bit here. What disturbs me isn't the mass protest of Government workers; this is the unelected bureaucracy protesting the actions of the democratically elected State Legislature, an elected body acting on behalf of Mr. and Mrs. Tax Payer. Its almost funny, as this is the polar opposite of the TEA Parties who represent Mr. and Mrs. Tax Payer... Really, I think is great that the Unions are shutting down education and kicking Mr. and Mrs. Tax Payer's kids out the curb because they can't get the retirement pension and health plan they want for nothing anymore... Let them show their true faces, and how ugly they can be and how much they really care about the public they claim to serve. What galls me is the spineless Democratic State Senators who are working for this special interest group (SEIU, Government Employees Unions, National Educators Association, etc.) by subverting the democracy they claim to so cherish by jumping state lines and going to Illinois instead of doing their SWORN duty of representing Mr. and Mrs. Tax Payer and voting 'No' to the Governors budget. Instead, since they are hopelessly out numbered, they run. They hide, they derail the democratic process by not even showing up to vote and do their sworn duty to their constituency. Honestly, I wonder why Wisconsin puts up with this and just doesn't tell them not to come back. I personally believe this type of action should be grounds for removal of said legislators... This is nothing short of dereliction of duty.

The reality of the problem goes back to a combination of several factors. We haven't seen this kind of government debt since the end of WWII! But what else can you expect?! Post WWII we had a generation of Veterans enter college and the labor force, have LOTS of kids (future Mr. and Mrs. Taxpayers...), and exit a couple decades of lean times (Great Depression and a World War...). Between the kids, and the end of real hard times, its no wonder we saw the deficit shrink during the 1950's (in spite of increased government spending on things like Defense and the Space Program). Now, we have that generation of Baby Boomers retiring in droves sucking up all the wonderful pensions and Social Security that was set aside, and designed for the sustained population growth of the 1940's, and boosted incredibly by the Post War Baby Boom. Instead, all the kids of the Boomers fell for the Population Bomb myth, quit having kids; and now have left the next generation of kids not even born yet on the hook for untold billions of our national debt... Which leaves painful cuts to pensions, medical benefits, and yes even government jobs necessary if we are to continue to even have basic functioning governments at the local, state, and especially national level. We shouldn't wonder why the Constitution limited the Federal Government; the Liberty aspect is painfully obvious with the TSA situation, but it goes beyond that. Governments have been the biggest booming employers, those who pay taxes have become fewer and fewer; pensions got bigger and bigger with more benefits along with growing recipients, but the population of tax payers to fund such programs shrinks and shrinks.

Public employees, like their private sector counterparts, are going to have to learn to invest privately with their meager base pay or not retire at all. Cut now, or lose your job later. Your choice.

Personally, I'm trying to plan for my future, and already at 28 I know I'm going to HAVE to work past 65 just to survive. There is no Social Security for me, there will be no one I can work for who will be able pay me a pension. Thats just life, and its time for other people, especially teachers and other government employees to accept this as their reality also. Go ahead, hold that the government responsible for your unfunded liabilities, just ignore your union bosses and the 125% over funded pension plans they receive while they keep your pension only 75% funded... Just don't cry when the government you want to hold accountable slams the door shut and vanishes leaving chaos and anarchy in its wake (I won't shed a tear when you get swept away in it either, after all looking at your union rave in the Madison WI capitol, it looks like thats just what you want after all...).

20110215

15FEB11 More rants and raves about the news of the day!

...or MRARANOD (pronounced Murrrahh-NOD)!

15FEB2011

Yet another reason to follow El Al's example of screening from the moment people show up at the airport and observing their actions up until they board instead of the screening we currently have in place now with the DHS TSA. Corruption was certainly bound to happen, and did in New Jersey.

“Michael Arato, 41, of Ewing also admitted Monday in federal court in Newark that he regularly stole from passengers who went through his checkpoint in Terminal B.
Prosecutors say Arato permitted a worker he supervised to steal between $10,000 and $30,000 in cash from travelers' bags over a 13-month period. In exchange, the subordinate would give a portion of the money to Arato. The subordinate, who was not named, cooperated with the federal investigation that led to Arato's arrest in October.”

The Middle East is definitely in the spotlight as of late with Egypt's coup d'etat. Interesting how when Egypt has turned over the reigns of power to the Military and they suspend both parliament and the Constitution nobody on the Left in this country is screaming foul (like they did in Honduras back in 2009 when the military arrested the President after he attempted to be able to become President for life... parliament actually requested the Honduran military remove him from the country if I recall). However, there is indeed good signs coming out of some of the actions of Supreme Council of the Armed Forces, largely the Parliament was run by Mubarak supporters, and parts of the Constitution worked for Mubarak to rig elections... However, its still a situation to observe closely and skeptically based on historical precedent.

While Rick Francona doesn't see the same religious undertones he saw in the 1979 Islamic Revolution in Iran, the possibility still remains for the Muslim Brotherhood to turn Egypt into an Islamic Republic. So far people are pretty positive about the Muslim Brotherhoods sincerity in creating, and allowing, other political parties; however many of us who have read about the Muslim Brotherhood and their history in the region remain skeptical. While they are all about democracy and the ballot box today, when they gain control tomorrow that remains to be seen. Democracy in its truest form is mob rule, whoever has the most votes DICTATES just as much as an autocratic dictator; this is why our country is a Constitutional Republic with a form of Representative Democracy with safeguards to protect minorities. Seeing how Islamic Republics like Iran, or the Taliban, 'respect' minorities such as Christians, Jews, tribal sects, and women; I'm remaining cautiously skeptical. Good things can certainly happen within Egypt, so long as the Muslim Brotherhoods dream of an Islamic Republic of Egypt is NOT realized. One of the primary concerns here is the Muslim Brotherhoods demands that the treaty with Israel is not recognized by any new regime... This to me is very telling that the party of reform in Egypt is also the party of war; that is the Muslim Brotherhood. I highly, highly, recommend folks read “The Looming Tower” by Lawrence Wright; the history of modern radical Islam in that book is enlightening (especially the relationship of the Muslim Brotherhood and Al-Qaeda).

This movement has indeed emboldened many across the Middle East to do the same kinds of protests, and its fascinating to see whats going on in Iran. To me the silence of the American media and our current Administration is deafening. On the one hand, they covered Iran's regimes mass demonstration in support of the Egyptian protests that toppled Mubarak (because Mubarak was an American supporter), yet on the other hand when the 'chickens come to roost' in Iran the Iranian government is seeking to crush them completely? Irony. Of course, you never saw the same level of support from Obama and the American Left for Irans protesters back in 2009, nor are we going to see the same level of support they gave Egypt this time as well. I believe that the current Administration needs to come out much more strongly in favor of the protesters in Iran, and do so publicly as a clear message that we aren't going to play Iran's nuclear game any more, nor are we going to accept their actions in the form of Hizbollah. We need to send a clear message that the current Islamic Regime is unacceptable and needs to be toppled. But that would require our government to grow a pair and wield the big stick that goes with talking softly. What ever happened to the idea of a war of liberation, or at least the threat of force to ensure liberation? If we do nothing, many more are going to die soon if we do little or nothing.

Got to love Doomsday scenarios... We are now an apocalyptic people, we all see apocalypse around us in our media; be it the zombie apocalypse (Night of the Living Dead, Dawn of the Dead, Return of the Living Dead, and a whole host of clones and remakes), post nuclear apocalypse (Mad Max, Fallout 3, etc.), or biblical apocalypse (Left Behind, End of Days, etc..). New York has finally gone ahead and published a Doomsday 'manual'! Really, its just a Public Health Legal Manual, a guide for Judges, Attorneys, and Public Health Professionals. What should be done is perhaps teaching their people how to be somewhat self sufficient... Or else when disaster hits the hordes of barbarians will raid and pillage those who have prepared and leave everyone starving. Its likely going to be a bloody mess of mobs and the Judges, Attorneys, and Public Health Professionals will likely be able to do too little to stop the chaos. It'll be up to the people outside NYC to clean up the mess, most likely a disproportionate amount of American resources will be wasted trying to recover a dead NYC should an event of apocalyptic proportions affect NYC, thats the cost of most of the population not having to leave a three mile radius most of they're lives (not to mention the proportion of welfare recipients who will suddenly cease to get any of it rather suddenly).

Perhaps what makes my head explode more is the fact that Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) wants to end the practice of US Representatives living in their Congressional offices... Apparently, 33 Representatives who don't leave the House when they are in Washington DC is 'un-ethical'. They equate it being dorm rooms and frat houses? Apparently they believe it violates House Rules and and is an unreported tax benefit?! What planet are they on? I'm happy to see Representatives practicing some fiscal sense and not paying $2,000 a month to the Watergate Hotel for a one room suite! How much you want to bet Watergate is behind CREWs investigation?

On a more positive note, Soldiers love the XM-25 25mm 'smart' grenade launcher! Nothing like 'smart' grenades that explode overhead at specific distances needed by the soldier over the heads of stupid terrorists! Ballistic trajectories just got a heck of a lot more interesting!

20110211

11FEB11 Gross Incompetence watching over National Security!

Well, I just wrote my Senators and Representative... More on that in a moment.

First and foremost, lets look at the air heads running our National Security agencies, namely our civilian intelligence and Homeland Security...

First the DNI (Director of National Intelligence, the position created by President G.W. Bush to correlate all the CIA, NSA, and DIA data) James R. Clapper is attempting to back peddle from his statement that the Muslim Brother hood is a 'largely secular' organization. Anyone who has done homework on Islamo-Fascism and Radical Islam knows about the Muslim Brotherhood, they are the root of modern Radical Islam; they inspired Al-Qaeda! In fact, the top Al-Qaeda officers were all involved in the Muslim Brotherhood first, that is the group that radicalized their beliefs and instilled the supremacy of the Sharia Law and Quaran over all else in their lives; most especially the need to instill it upon the Infidel (or kill him). I recommend reading "The Looming Tower" by Lawerence Wright to dig more into the Muslim Brotherhood and Al-Qaeda. In the face of this information that has been out for decades, the DNI needs to resign. That kind of ignorance is not acceptable in that particular government post.

Second, the Director of Central Intelligence Leon Panetta, made the statement yesterday that Mubarak would indeed step down and announce it during his speech to the Egyptian people. That didn't happen, the resignation just happened today... While it did indeed happen, the speculation that it would happen yesterday during the speech... It didn't. I believe Mubarak resigned today after he made his get away in order to make said get away... However, Panetta made his statement not based on Intelligence collected by the CIA he heads, but based only upon assumptions made by the media.

Finally, we have 'Big Sister' Janet Napolitano. Janet Napolitano is the Secretary of Homeland Security, the head of the Department of Homeland Security which now is in charge of a plethora of government agencies charged with the defense of the US within our borders and disaster preparedness/response. I've blogged enough about her incompetence (with the capstone being that DHS Report on 'Right Wing Extremism'...). So, as Iran and Venezuela start being buddies and discussing the placement of Intermediate Range Ballistic Missiles (not capable of hitting the US, but Puerto Rico and Columbia are certainly in range if that happens), we still have a porous border. Arizona is suing the US Government to cover the costs of arresting Illegal Aliens. This was a counter suit in response to the Federal suit against Arizona because of a law they had to pass that is an exact mirror to the US Immigration Enforcement policy... Why? Because the US Border Patrol and ICE have been hamstrung by Napolitano and DHS (I won't blame her completely, this type of agency incompetence dates back to the late eighties). Our Border is just about on fire with war between the cartels, Mexican Federal Government, the US Border Patrol, and US Citizens along the border. What has DHS done? Almost nothing for all the billions they've spent, and all the Predator UAV's they fly. How many OTMs have come through enroute to carry out terrorism? Yet while this is happening, if you want to fly you are essentially strip searched without a Warrant or probable cause (well, I suppose wanting to fly is now probable cause...).

So, here is my letter to my Senators and Congressman:

11FEB2011

Dear Senators Murkowski and Begich, and Representative Don Young,

In light of recent events involving the Director of Central Intelligence, the Director of National Intelligence, and the Secretary of Homeland Security all displaying blatant signs of incompetence, it is my belief all three need to fired and their agencies investigated by the Senate and the House committees appropriate to the task. When both the DCI and DNI make public statements to Congress that are absolutely erroneous and not based on real intelligence (of which they are the head of the agencies that collect such data and have NO excuse for not drawing upon those resources), but instead on open source media reports without correlation to other intelligence sources, it frankly scares me. These are the men who are responsible for heading up the agencies that are responsible for keeping track of what is going on in these foreign countries. Our DNI denied stated against 90 years worth of Muslim Brotherhood history, that they were a SECULAR organization?! Either this is a denial of fact made willfully, or gross incompetence (one just needs to study a bit about the Muslim Brotherhood in order to find such a statement moronic).

That in and of it self is cause for extreme concern. What brings the fear factor up even further is the gross incompetence of the Dept. of Homeland Security under the current Secretary Janet Napolitano. Where do we begin here? That whole 'Right Wing Extremism' report that profiled returning GWOT (wait, never mind the reality of this Global War on Terror, this administration re-named it something els entirely, yet another reason I'm beginning to fear for the survival of my country) veterans such as myself as a threat? Or perhaps the fact that our Southern Border is still as porous as ever in spite of the creation of DHS back in the Bush Administration and the placing of the US Border Patrol under DHS. Meanwhile, we have to submit ourselves to ever more invasive search procedures to board US commercial flights! Tell me there isn't something wrong the idea that anyone can sneak in from Mexico through rugged terrain, live here illegally and get a construction job under the table (or smuggle drugs), yet all everyone has to be just about stripped searched at our airports on their way to visit family? Why is Napolitano against putting more forces on the border and building fences in the face of Venezuela and Iran building closer strategic ties? This is the realm of our survival in which she can make great strides (there are great ideas for compromise on the border that indeed close it down to smugglers, increase security, yet still allow for the masses of immigrants seeking greater opportunity here in the US to come and find jobs).

This current Administration is compromising our National Security by hiring incompetents within our Intelligence community and Homeland Security; while simultaneous hiring 9/11 Truthers and Communists as 'czars' in other areas of government. This should sound the alarm in the back of your mind, and if does not you need to educate yourself on the ramifications of these facts. I can tell you that the 9/11 Truther lies are spoken as a fact in the Middle East, and I strongly believe that this movement is fed by not just the conspiracy nuts, but also our enemies; yet we have people who believe in such propaganda now running parts of our government?!

On the National level we have morons running the top three civilian agencies responsible for our National Security, and we have people who couldn't pass a background check for a Secret or Top Secret security clearance being appointed by the POTUS as 'Green Jobs Czar', or other such frivolous posts. On top of this, locally, we have nut jobs like Schaeffer Cox running around utilizing these realities to set himself up with a cult of personality rounding up disciples to help him carve a kingdom for himself in Alaska when the US Government finally falls apart?! Well, with morons on top, its no wonder where these guys get their crazy ideas.

Respectfully,

Michael J. Sutherland

20110210

10FEB11 Margaret Sanger...

10FEB11

Sanger's books...

From “The Pivot of Civilization” by Margaret Sanger

Excerpt from the Introduction by H.G. Wells:
'The New Civilization is saying to the Old now: "We cannot go on making power for you to spend upon international conflict. You must stop waving flags and bandying insults. You must organize the Peace of the World; you must subdue yourselves to the Federation of all mankind. And we cannot go on giving you health, freedom, enlargement, limitless wealth, if all our gifts to you are to be swamped by an indiscriminate torrent of progeny. We want fewer and better children who can be reared up to their full possibilities in unencumbered homes, and we cannot make the social life and the world-peace we are determined to make, with the ill-bred, ill-trained swarms of inferior citizens that you inflict upon us." And there at the passionate and crucial question, this essential and fundamental question, whether procreation is still to be a superstitious and often disastrous mystery, undertaken in fear and ignorance, reluctantly and under the sway of blind desires, or whether it is to become a deliberate creative act, the two civilizations join issue now. It is a conflict from which it is almost impossible to abstain. Our acts, our way of living, our social tolerance, our very silences will count in this crucial decision between the old and the new. '

Here we see Wells express a very elitist view of the world, the idea that being born to 'inferior parents' dooms you to being eternally 'inferior'... The idea that intelligence is solely based upon your genetic code and not something you can change through self discipline and education (i.e. proper nurturing either by parents, or yourself).

Chapter IV: The Fertility of the Feeble-minded

'There is but one practical and feasible program in handling the great problem of the feeble-minded. That is, as the best authorities are agreed, to prevent the birth of those who would transmit imbecility to their descendants. Feeble-mindedness as investigations and statistics from every country indicate, is invariably associated with an abnormally high rate of fertility. Modern conditions of civilization, as we are continually being reminded, furnish the most favorable breeding-ground for the mental defective, the moron, the imbecile. "We protect the members of a weak strain," says Davenport, "up to the period of reproduction, and then let them free upon the community, and encourage them to leave a large progeny of `feeble-minded': which in turn, protected from mortality and carefully nurtured up to the reproductive period, are again set free to reproduce, and so the stupid work goes on of preserving and increasing our socially unfit strains." '

So, how do we judge 'feeble-minded'?!

'Modern studies indicate that insanity, epilepsy, criminality, prostitution, pauperism, and mental defect, are all organically bound up together and that the least intelligent and the thoroughly degenerate classes in every community are the most prolific. Feeble-mindedness in one generation becomes pauperism or insanity in the next. There is every indication that feeble-mindedness in its protean forms is on the increase, that it has leaped the barriers, and that there is truly, as some of the scientific eugenists have pointed out, a feeble-minded peril to future generations—unless the feeble-minded are prevented from reproducing their kind. To meet this emergency is the immediate and peremptory duty of every State and of all communities. '

Because, after all, your parents and where you are born are the ONLY factors that effect how intelligent you become and what a productive member of society you become, right?! Wrong... Sanger, Shaw, and Wells were into Eugenics; and their dream was only found to be a real nightmare under Hitler when he took Eugenics to its logical conclusion during the Holocaust... But then, the idea of nurturing intelligence never dawned on these people. It amazes me that post WWII, the greatest age in American Engineering and Craftsmanship resulted, must have been that GI Bill you think? You know, all those masses of illiterate babies born in the Great Depression despite Sanger's best efforts to snuff them out. Even without Sanger's dream realized in the 1970's with the legalization of genocide in the form of abortion, we had well over half the country literate... Something Eugenics didn't think possible with how the 'feeble-minded' were the most fertile... Boomers could just about all read by the time they were 18... Genetics had nothing to do with that, but then literacy is a small measure of intelligence as a whole.

'The problem of the dependent, delinquent and defective elements in modern society, we must repeat, cannot be minimized because of their alleged small numerical proportion to the rest of the population. The proportion seems small only because we accustom ourselves to the habit of looking upon feeble-mindedness as a separate and distinct calamity to the race, as a chance phenomenon unrelated to the sexual and biological customs not only condoned but even encouraged by our so-called civilization. The actual dangers can only be fully realized when we have acquired definite information concerning the financial and cultural cost of these classes to the community, when we become fully cognizant of the burden of the imbecile upon the whole human race; when we see the funds that should be available for human development, for scientific, artistic and philosophic research, being diverted annually, by hundreds of millions of dollars, to the care and segregation of men, women, and children who never should have been born. The advocate of Birth Control realizes as well as all intelligent thinkers the dangers of interfering with personal liberty. Our whole philosophy is, in fact, based upon the fundamental assumption that man is a self-conscious, self-governing creature, that he should not be treated as a domestic animal; that he must be left free, at least within certain wide limits, to follow his own wishes in the matter of mating and in the procreation of children. Nor do we believe that the community could or should send to the lethal chamber the defective progeny resulting from irresponsible and unintelligent breeding.
But modern society, which has respected the personal liberty of the individual only in regard to the unrestricted and irresponsible bringing into the world of filth and poverty an overcrowding procession of infants foredoomed to death or hereditable disease, is now confronted with the problem of protecting itself and its future generations against the inevitable consequences of this long-practised policy of LAISSER-FAIRE.
The emergency problem of segregation and sterilization must be faced immediately. Every feeble-minded girl or woman of the hereditary type, especially of the moron class, should be segregated during the reproductive period. Otherwise, she is almost certain to bear imbecile children, who in turn are just as certain to breed other defectives. The male defectives are no less dangerous. Segregation carried out for one or two generations would give us only partial control of the problem. Moreover, when we realize that each feeble-minded person is a potential source of an endless progeny of defect, we prefer the policy of immediate sterilization, of making sure that parenthood is absolutely prohibited to the feeble-minded.
This, I say, is an emergency measure. But how are we to prevent the repetition in the future of a new harvest of imbecility, the recurrence of new generations of morons and defectives, as the logical and inevitable consequence of the universal application of the traditional and widely approved command to increase and multiply?
At the present moment, we are offered three distinct and more or less mutually exclusive policies by which civilization may hope to protect itself and the generations of the future from the allied dangers of imbecility, defect and delinquency. No one can understand the necessity for Birth Control education without a complete comprehension of the dangers, the inadequacies, or the limitations of the present attempts at control, or the proposed programs for social reconstruction and racial regeneration. It is, therefore, necessary to interpret and criticize the three programs offered to meet our emergency. These may be briefly summarized as follows:
(1) Philanthropy and Charity: This is the present and traditional method of meeting the problems of human defect and dependence, of poverty and delinquency. It is emotional, altruistic, at best ameliorative, aiming to meet the individual situation as it arises and presents itself. Its effect in practise is seldom, if ever, truly preventive. Concerned with symptoms, with the allaying of acute and catastrophic miseries, it cannot, if it would, strike at the radical causes of social misery. At its worst, it is sentimental and paternalistic.
(2) Marxian Socialism: This may be considered typical of many widely varying schemes of more or less revolutionary social reconstruction, emphasizing the primary importance of environment, education, equal opportunity, and health, in the elimination of the conditions (i. e. capitalistic control of industry) which have resulted in biological chaos and human waste. I shall attempt to show that the Marxian doctrine is both too limited, too superficial and too fragmentary in its basic analysis of human nature and in its program of revolutionary reconstruction.
(3) Eugenics: Eugenics seems to me to be valuable in its critical and diagnostic aspects, in emphasizing the danger of irresponsible and uncontrolled fertility of the "unfit" and the feeble-minded establishing a progressive unbalance in human society and lowering the birth-rate among the "fit." But in its so-called "constructive" aspect, in seeking to reestablish the dominance of healthy strain over the unhealthy, by urging an increased birth-rate among the fit, the Eugenists really offer nothing more farsighted than a "cradle competition" between the fit and the unfit. They suggest in very truth, that all intelligent and respectable parents should take as their example in this grave matter of child-bearing the most irresponsible elements in the community. '
Interesting how Sanger states how much she and other intelligent people are opposed to the controlling and disposal if 'feeble-minded' individuals; yet moves on to suggest immediate segregation and emergency sterilization of such people. On the one hand, trying act like someone who values individual Liberty; but really pushing for Fascist control by suggesting 'emergency' sterilization. Sadly, I doubt stopping stupid people from having babies will prevent stupid people from entering this world... On the contrary, I think it has the greater potential to keep the future Einstein or Hawking from ever being born in the first place (I recall Einstein being considered a moron by his teachers growing up...).

There is a reason I get upset at the notion 'stupid people shouldn't breed'. Its a hold over from the days of Eugenics, the days in which the idea of 'disposing' of millions; or the forced sterilization of them, was pursued with absolute zeal. This was a part of what led George Orwell to observe (http://www.george-orwell.org/Wells,_Hitler_And_The_World_State/0.html):
“Much of what Wells has imagined and worked for is physically there in
Nazi Germany. The order, the planning, the State encouragement of
science, the steel, the concrete, the aeroplanes, are all there, but all
in the service of ideas appropriate to the Stone Age. Science is
fighting on the side of superstition. But obviously it is impossible for
Wells to accept this.”
Why quote George Orwell in an essay slamming Wells during WWII while I've been pointing out Sanger's Eugenics? Well, the book I'm quoting from Sanger had an introduction written by H.G. Wells, and “The Pivot of Civilization” was written between the World Wars... Back when Progressivism and Eugenics were near the climax of popularity.

Nothing changes, we'll never learn from history. That much is a clear fact.

20110203

03FEB11 Untold Stories from Iraq and Afghanistan OUT NOW!




Check it out: http://heroesfallenstudiosinc.webs.com/

All proceeds are going to go to:

Soldiers Angels

Wounded Warrior Project

The USO

and

Fischer House

On top of where everything is going to support, this project thus far is rather unique in that Clayton Murwin, the man who worked to put this together, worked very hard to find the comic book industry talent to work pro bono while also getting them in touch with OEF/OIF Veterans willing to tell their stories. I became involved through a chance encounter with one of the Vets involved, Victor Castro, through the IAVA Community of Veterans social network. Since then, I've worked with Valerie Finnigan who did the script, and finally the illustrators. Clayton was even kind enough to take a look at a few of my cartoons that I'd drawn on a my last deployment on the back of inventory sheets that were part of our units unofficial 'morale file' and asked if he could use some! Obviously, the coffee stains, smears, and dust weren't acceptable for the final product; so I re penciled most of them and sent them to Clayton who in turn sent them to some real professionals in the comic book industry who know what they are doing with inks!

So, there you go folks! Finally, some real war comics based on real stories from real soldiers. Not the usual war comic that comes out these days, at least not anything like I've seen at my local comic shop!

20110201

01FEB11 Egypt, Obama's Carter/Iran moment?

A simple analysis would be to compare the Obama Administrations reaction to Egypts crisis right now to Carters response to Iran in the late 1970's... There are some rather interesting comparisons. Namely a dictator who was supported by the West (namely the United States) for a time who became too inconvenient to support anymore (and honestly didn't warrant much support in the first place...); and a revolt lead by Islamo-fascists hardliners. Neither are really desirable to support. Democratic revolts in the face of dictators are certainly something very satisfying to see happen as the will of the people is certainly what needs to be the mandate for a government to exist. However, certain organizations, in spite of democratic covers and front organizations, can swiftly destroy such mandates. They essentially become the very evil they overthrew. We've seen this during the French Revolution, and in every Communist Revolution from Russia to Cuba.

In Egypt, we have Mubarak instead of the Shah, and the Muslim Brotherhood instead of Islamic Revolution under Kohmeini. While the comparisons are largely superficial in regard to the exact circumstances, we shouldn't under estimate the ramifications that this will bring between the US and Egypt, and indeed the view of Middle East toward the US. I can't help but agree with Rick Francona that this isn't going to end well for us no matter whom we support. This judgment is based on his experience in the Middle East with the DoD, DIA, and State Department; and his extensive background in understanding the Middle Eastern culture in all its various forms (Egyptian culture isn't Saudi culture isn't Persian culture...).

Once again, blood will pour out while our diplomats eat caviar and drink champaign thinking they are doing a wonderful job talking to other 'diplomats' who are charged with buying time for such killing to occur more efficiently for their masters. Lets not let history repeat itself... Mark my words, our lack of backbone in the Middle East and the idea that 'engagement' is best will do more harm than good in the next couple of years!

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