America the Police State

America, "home of the free," actively destroys more of its citizens' lives, per capita, through imprisonment, than any other country in the world. It puts people in jail at a higher rate than even communist China. Based on the latest figures from the Bureau of Justice Statistics, the Drug War Chronicle estimates that more than 530,000 people were behind bars for drug offenses in the U.S. at the end of last year. Drug offenders accounted for about 25 percent of jail inmates, 21 percent of state prison inmates, and 55 percent of federal prison inmates. The total number of people behind bars was about 2.3 million, an all-time record, giving the U.S. an incarceration rate of 724 per 100,000--the highest in the world, according to the Chronicle, which says we even beat out China this time. If you have any fondness for the government of this country; federal, state, or local, then you're a fucking moron. I'm serious. Take it to heart; quote me.


Click below to gain access to the rest.

Or, upgrade today.

LoginGet Access
Read More

The Supremes

Well, given no choice for actual freedom, I'll take a judicial conservative any day over a commie activist. I'll curse them for their damnable meddling in the private consensual affairs of adults; I'll poke fun of their primitive and childish beliefs in fairy tales; and I'll pray for their early and painful deaths when they conflate their religious moral values and American culture (all conservatives deserve 50 lashes in the public square for that one). But, I'll take them over the utterly contemptible evil represented by the communist / democrat party any day. Look, as regards politicians, I really hate them all: top-to-bottom and wall-to-wall, as I like to say. But, many conservatives truly hold values of which even they don't grasp the fundamental magnitude. They are so woefully misguided, mixing their silly religious beliefs with objective ethical considerations -- too ignorant to understand that the strength of their values comes not from unverifiable, superstitious assertions, but from the observable, factual, objective nature of man and his inviolable requirements for living a human life. But I can't have everything, so I take what I can get, sometimes. Michelle Malkin is probably the best source for running commentary from around the...


Click below to gain access to the rest.

Or, upgrade today.

LoginGet Access
Read More

Sent Items

This just out, in email: Me? I just can't and have never been able to muster any energy for this event. From day one, over two years ago. Not a single word on my blog about it, ever. My view? This is a bit different than Martha Stewart in that she was a private citizen just trying to save her own ass; and what do you expect anyone to do when prosecutors come knocking? It's like asking someone what they'd do if, you know, both children fell in a swift river and you can only save one, etc., etc.. Libby is near the top of the top. It's hardball, there. Those who choose that sort of thing for their lives know and understand that it’s fast, furious, and unforgiving. He knew the stakes, took his chances, and came up short. I got no tears. That said, I just have a problem with this chickenshit way of prosecutorily leaning hard on someone until you can catch 'em in a lie, and then gettin' 'em for that -- and not the "crime" you were investigating in the first place. My book? There's a big difference between crime (i.e., doing unjustifiable harm to...


Click below to gain access to the rest.

Or, upgrade today.

LoginGet Access
Read More

Myth

From John Stossel's weekly email forwarded by my dad: By the way, I'm writing another book. It will be called "Myths." Do you have any myths you want me to research and write about? JohnStossel@abcnews.com And dad's follow-up email: Hey, why don't you come up with some myth's for J.S.'s new book, Myths. Hey, it's not a bad idea, though judging from Stossel's first book, there's probably nothing I can come up with in the political / philosophical sphere that he doesn't already know about. Besides, the myths that most concern me are the most fundamental ones, i.e., those that the logic of the current macro human culture all reduce to. For example, isn't it like 95%+ people who believe in a God of some sort? That being the case, it seems to me rather futile to chase around a whole lot of derivative myths (and that emphasized word has implications). The problem isn't the facts of the matter as much as it is mythology, as such. The core problem and issue is that the "best" mythology is pernicious. That is, it's viral, meaning: it contains within itself all the properties necessary to defend and propagate itself. Forgive my anthropomorphizing,...


Click below to gain access to the rest.

Or, upgrade today.

LoginGet Access
Read More

No Contradiction

The other day, someone wrote somthing about Billy Beck that could just as easily apply to me and others. I am constantly both amused and dismayed by those who regularly ridicule government, then take some supposed 'long view' of history to justify war, which is merely the ace card of government's stranglehold upon citizens. ... I have never really understood why he trusts government to go to war, over against those who distrust our government--as much as does he. I've never spent any real time explaining this. I've always just said, essentially, that it's necessary to "kill the bad guys." That's an imperative, and it happens that the state is the only current practical way of accomplishing such a task. There are all sorts of imperatives in my life, should I desire to live a human life, and many of those imperatives involve dealing with a government that I do not believe has any moral right to exist. Anyway, Billy went and broad-stroked the whole thing and I encourage you to read it all. Here are some choice excerpts: At root, there is a crucial difference between the bloody fools running this war and the mindless dipshits who stand against...


Click below to gain access to the rest.

Or, upgrade today.

LoginGet Access
Read More

Up, is Down; and Etc.

For starters, I'm no Great Big Fan of the U.S Constitution, on principled grounds. That said, I coincidentally agree with a number of the general legal principles espoused therein, as well I understand the underlying basis and logic for it and respect the integrity of conservatives who strive to keep it and abide by it. In the quest for a new Associate Justice, it seems to me that you want someone smart. Someone who can separate fact from fiction and can follow a line of reasoning to its logical conclusion, and by logic, I mean: without any hint of inherent contradiction anywhere. Now, square logic and the plain language of the Constitution with what the federal government has become, in all of its "magnificence." So it rather seems that what the Court has not received are those of clear and simple reasoning, but rather, those given extreme bouts of obtuse mental masturbation. As such seems to be the case, I have just the candidate for them in police Cmdr. Paul Watkins. Lynnwood police concede they engaged in "rarely used" tactics during an undercover investigation into a suspected prostitution ring. Those tactics, which included officers allowing prostitutes to masturbate them in...


Click below to gain access to the rest.

Or, upgrade today.

LoginGet Access
Read More

It Usually Begins With Theft

Want to be right most of the time, with little effort, and with hardly even thinking about it? Just attribute each and every problem you perceive with government to: theft. I can't, offhand, think of a situation where you wouldn't be fundamentally correct. Billy Beck demonstrates how everyone is wrong about one problem, "inflation," and if you use my simple principle, above, you'll be right. You'll be right, and Alan Greenspan, for instance, will be wrong (Greenspan, of course, does know what "inflation" is, but he long ago sold out his honesty and integrity for the political spotlight). You really should work through this yourself (here's some help), but essentially, the rise in prices is an effect of "inflation," not a cause. "Inflation" is the government stealing your labor, as well as a portion of the return on any investments you hold, such as securities, collectibles, real estate -- even a portion of depreciating assets you hold. It is, in essence, an additional tax (theft) on virtually everything that has any monetary exchange value. The government does it by printing money that's not backed by something tangible. This does not mean that the cause of "inflation" is the lack of...


Click below to gain access to the rest.

Or, upgrade today.

LoginGet Access
Read More

Yes, Indeed

Best single day in the market for me since I began serious short-term swing trading 'round six months ago. I've learned a lot in that time; won some, lost some, but the last three weeks have been excruciating -- forcing me to refine my systems considerably. I was buying good stocks/options, but my entry timing was often off, I was missing good sell signals so that winning trades often turned to losing trades, and losing trades were not exited early, when the projected reasons for getting into the trade were not quickly verified. That's all changed, now, and the result has been that my trading the last week has been 100% winning. We're in the sort of choppy market that is the absolute most difficult in which to profit consistently. If you can make good returns in the sort of market we've had the last few months, you'll profit hugely in a clear bull or bear situation. OK, so, the market was up about 1.7%, today. Here's how I did: out of my 11 positions, I'm up in 9 of them (8 of those are options plays). One position is unchanged from Fiday's close, and I'm down one whole penny...


Click below to gain access to the rest.

Or, upgrade today.

LoginGet Access
Read More

Good Service

It's so nice to get good service. I find that I'm usually satisfied with the service I get, with the singular exception of getting my eggs truly "over easy" at restaurants. Every now and then, though, I get service that's so exceptional that it just merits a mention. Three years ago last July, we had an in-ground pool/spa built. Nice, huh? It's essentially a small pool, about 11' x 7' with a large pool size heater, so I can get it up to 100 degrees in about 15 minutes in the summer, and about 40 minutes in the winter. It was built by Royal Pools in San Jose, California, whose offices and showroom are only about 10 minutes away from us. About a year and a half after it was completed, the temperature sensor went out, so while the controller would think it's a hundred degrees, and it says it's a hundred degrees, plunging into it in November or December became quite unpleasant. I actually didn't even think about calling Royal at first. I called around and went to various poll supply houses, like Leslie's and such. All of the sensors they had in stock were different from mine, and...


Click below to gain access to the rest.

Or, upgrade today.

LoginGet Access
Read More

Sent Items

You know, it's bad enough keeping a civil tongue around people who go to the polls every coupla years in order to have their say in how I may be permitted to conduct my own peaceful and mutually consensual affairs. I would just as soon tell most of them to go and fuck off, but such boorish behavior might perhaps rise nearly to level of the uncivilized behavior represented by dog-eat-dog democracy and its democrats. If that adjective doesn't resonate, consider a recent exchange with Greg Swann: "...dogs are democrats by nature." I replied: I guess the corollary would be that democrats behave like pack animals. "Indeed. The dogs' policy is, 'I don't care if it is poison. If he gets a piece, I get a piece.' If a group of dogs suffered extreme brain damage, they'd form a labor union..." So, that's all bad enough, but then I'm expected to just sit by and put up with outright lies and bullshit too? Today, I get this silly little email titled, UFW CA Endorsements: Please vote on November 8, from someone I know, but who has no ability to think on his own when it comes to matters political --...


Click below to gain access to the rest.

Or, upgrade today.

LoginGet Access
Read More

Nope, Not Surpirsed by Sheep

Nothing appears more surprizing to those, who consider human affairs with a philosophical eye, than the easiness with which the many are governed by the few; and the implicit submission, with which men resign their own sentiments and passions to those of their rulers. When we enquire by what means this wonder is effected, we shall find, that, as Force is always on the side of the governed, the governors have nothing to support them but opinion. It is therefore, on opinion only that government is founded; and this maxim extends to the most despotic and most military governments, as well as to the most free and most popular. -– David Hume, “Of The First Principles of Government” Even Jesus, the God of Western Civilization as the mythology goes, ended up willingly submitting himself to the State for execution, described in absolutely perfect metaphor: He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth. -- Isaiah 53:7 My only quibble would be with Hume's premise that government and those who govern have anything...


Click below to gain access to the rest.

Or, upgrade today.

LoginGet Access
Read More

Perfect Fools

Radley Balko is right, of course: The Miers nomination stands in direct contrast to everything conservatives are supposed to believe in. Merit, opposition to identity politics, accountability in government. The list goes on. ... The right is now facing the harsh reality that President Bush never was the conservative they believed him to be. He's a fightless opportunist. Not even a pragmatist. An opportunist. ... President Bush is a political coward. He shirks from fight, as evidenced by his record-setting streak of refusing to use his veto, and his capitulation on big, legacy-making issues like the tax code and Social Security reform, and his refusal to take a stand even on the more mundane, everyday issues like the federal budget and regulatory policy. And so is Chris Roach, whom Radley referenced: Even if [...] she would fulfill my every dream on the bench, she still must be voted down. The price of her confirmation is the systematic discrediting of everything we’ve believed in and fought for in this area. We’ve opposed identity politics and victimology. Now we are told by our leaders that opposition to her is “sexist” We’ve stood for standards. Now we are told that questioning her credentials...


Click below to gain access to the rest.

Or, upgrade today.

LoginGet Access
Read More

Five Lights

This is Theodore Dalrymple, author of Our Culture, What's Left of It... I thought I had blogged this before, but I guess not. Political correctness is communist propaganda writ small. In my study of communist societies, I came to the conclusion that the purpose of communist propaganda was not to persuade or convince, nor to inform, but to humiliate; and therefore, the less it corresponded to reality the better. When people are forced to remain silent when they are being told the most obvious lies, or even worse when they are forced to repeat the lies themselves, they lose once and for all their sense of probity. To assent to obvious lies is to co-operate with evil, and in some small way to become evil oneself. One's standing to resist anything is thus eroded, and even destroyed. A society of emasculated liars is easy to control. I think if you examine political correctness, it has the same effect and is intended to. Now, check out the illustrations, by Billy Beck. The title of this post is a reference to an episode of Star Trek:TNG where Picard is captured, starved and tortured. All he has to do to be granted a...


Click below to gain access to the rest.

Or, upgrade today.

LoginGet Access
Read More

Oh, Nonsense

My friend Greg Swann speaks ill of the Windows-based world. Well, at least he has some experience in it. Mine is somewhat the opposite, though I think I maybe have more tech experience on the Mac that he does on the PC. I have tons of experience in not only the Windows world, but in multiple-server networked environments. We've consolidated into one office recently, but at one point, we were running four enterprise-level servers here, two at another location here in San Jose, and one up in San Francisco, all networked together, which is to say that it didn't matter in which office you were in, you were on the local network and everything looked the same to everybody. I've also related my own digital madness and complete silliness with respect to me home networking here on this blog. Unfortunately, some myths just never die. While it's true that Windows 3.x was awful in terms of reliability (not to mention networking of any kind), and Windows 95 - 98me was still problematic, Windows 2000 Professional and now XP for both home and professional are very stable platforms. I have never, ever had an OS crash since I began using Win...


Click below to gain access to the rest.

Or, upgrade today.

LoginGet Access
Read More

Alright, Knock it Off, Already

Those who follow the markets may have noticed that the last two days have been, well, shitty. Four times as many losers as winners yesterday, and twice as many today. My 'watch' portfolio of about 30 strong stocks was down all 30 yesterday and 28 of 30 today. These are all strong companies and strong stocks, mind you. Here we have September as historically the worst month of the year for the markets, and I was up almost 15% during the month. And I've given it all back in the first week in October. So, investors: the sky aint 'a fallin'. Stop sellin' already! I only trade fundamentally strong companies and stocks, which means the company must have a solid track record of good earnings, stock price patterns that are sane with respect to those earnings, and score high with reputable analysts that aren't merely shills for the investment bankers. So, once I have my fundamentally strong companies, I use technical charting analysis to know when to get in, when to get out, and where to set stop losses. There's a lot to this -- more than you'll ever even imagine unless you actually do it -- but I like...


Click below to gain access to the rest.

Or, upgrade today.

LoginGet Access
Read More

So, You Think I Exaggerate?

Well, here's data points, here, and here, that says I don't. REPUBLICAN (emphasis, mine) lawmakers are drafting new legislation that will make marriage a requirement for motherhood in the state of Indiana, including specific criminal penalties for unmarried women who do become pregnant "by means other than sexual intercourse." ...must first file for a "petition for parentage"... ...considered for the "gestational certificate"... And I'm counting on these pricks and assorted "born-again" nutbars to keep us from becoming a totalitarian regime the likes of China? Oh, wait, don't you have to get a license to have a child in China? These fuckers can go straight to hell. Every last goddamned one of them. Update: The proposed law has been withdrawn. The outrage stands. Do you think that the legislator who dreamed this up, and her supporters, withdrew it because they had a change of heart? Of course not. They withdrew it because of the outrage over it, meaning, that if they could, they gladly would control each and every minute aspect of your life, fuckers that they are. Oh, and for the sake of search engine, let me be sure to name the chief fucker: Patricia Miller, R-Indianapolis.


Click below to gain access to the rest.

Or, upgrade today.

LoginGet Access
Read More

Smack!

When George Will smacks you, you know you've been smacked Even though I'm neither a republican nor a conservative, as it's commonly understood, there are conservatives who rise head and shoulders above the rest. George Will has always been one of those guys, in my book. To me, he is the epitome of what an intelligent journalist should be. Now, I don't agree with everything in his generally excellent hit piece on the president and his bizarre pick for the SCOTUS, and I certainly don't accept the premise of "constitutionality," but there is often cause for decorum and at least operating within the boundaries of accepted good sense and seriousness. Under the rubric of "diversity" -- nowadays, the first refuge of intellectually disreputable impulses -- the president announced, surely without fathoming the implications, his belief in identity politics and its tawdry corollary, the idea of categorical representation. Identity politics holds that one's essential attributes are genetic, biological, ethnic or chromosomal -- that one's nature and understanding are decisively shaped by race, ethnicity or gender. Categorical representation holds that the interests of a group can only be understood, empathized with and represented by a member of that group. When is the...


Click below to gain access to the rest.

Or, upgrade today.

LoginGet Access
Read More

Politics Test, Part IV (final)

Continued from Part III. Or, begin with Part I and Part II. 34. Eventually, a computer will write the best novel ever written. Disagree. The fact is, I don't know. Best to whom? By whose and by what standard of greatness? Who gets to decide? Who knows...they will probably eventually make computers fast and smart enough to assemble a story from trillions upon trillions of possible scenarios, each begetting trillions upon trillions of possibilities, and so on. But will a computer ever be able to imagine a fictional story from scratch? I don't know for certain, but I tend to doubt it. If that happens, then what is more likely to have happened is that men will have learned to create intelligent, human-like life. Computers compute. Humans intuit and reason. 35. I should be able to sell my vote for cash if I feel like it. Strongly Agree. Why not? It's the only way I know of to make my "overwhelmingly important" 1 in 270 millionth "say" actually worth something to me. Of course, I don't vote. I don't vote because I'm opposed to it, on principle: I'm not a thief. I'm not going to sit around and rationalize why...


Click below to gain access to the rest.

Or, upgrade today.

LoginGet Access
Read More

Don’t Try This At Home

As regular readers know, I fly hang-gliders. I like knowing that my Dacron wing is being held in shape with some plumbing; namely, aircraft-grade aluminum tubing. But others aren't so particular. They fly paragliders. Same basic principle, but rather than tubing to maintain form, they employ a ram air inflated airfoil. Here's how they work. And, as frequent commenter Doug Wolf will tell you: no, these are nothing like parachutes, and, no, you didn't "do that" on your last vacation to Cabo (you went parasailing; different universe entirely). Anyway, the purpose of this post is to show you the extreme end of this sport. Hold on to your stomach. If Doug catches this, I'm hoping he'll give us a little explanation of the aerobatics involved. Check the comments for that.


Click below to gain access to the rest.

Or, upgrade today.

LoginGet Access
Read More