What a Riot

I just don’t quite know what to make of this. I mean, it’s as though I’m reading about U.S. Representative “My Great Grandmother.” While she was indeed the sweetest person I ever knew, and I loved her bunches and bunches, she had something like a 4th grade education, and though she could garden and cook up a storm — and competently do lots of other things — she was simply, utterly ignorant about most things beyond that. It’s not a crime. It’s not even necessarily bad. Then again, she wasn’t a U.S. Representative. I will say that Katherine Harris discharged her narrow and specific set of duties, such as they were, competently back in the Florida election debacle. I don’t vote, and I’ve got less than nothing for GWB, but Big Fat Lies are something else entirely.

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Your Amerika

More antics from public enemy number one, the cops. You think I jest? Listen: any parent not instilling disrespect, loathing, and an acute sense of caution as regards police officers (in this day and age) just isn’t doing their proper job as a parent. The entire police apparatus is now nothing more than a club of predators, and it’s the good people that are more often then not the prey — and only because that’s the kind of animals we’re dealing with. You don’t believe me? Yea? Really? REALLY? Y’sure? Perhaps that’s what it will take: kids cowering in fear and apprehension when they see cops, before the tide turns and the few marginally “good ones” that remain, quit. Yes, quit. The entire institution is wholly irredeemable and it is impossible to be in its employ, anywhere, and retain the slightest degree of intrinsic honor as a human being. My disgust knows no bounds. To hell with all of them. Every one.

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Redeeming Themselves?

Watch this tale of redemption. You know, I don’t know any real way for these guys to ever make right the wrong they’ve actively caused and contributed to. One man goes so far as to admit putting 7,000 people in jail who weren’t hurting anyone. Yes, I suppose you could say that no redemption is possible. That, in a rational world foremost in love with honesty and justice, the man could never make adequate repayment. Actually, I’m not sure how I come down on that. But I do know that I respect these men for admitting to what they’ve done, and what they’re doing to try and change things going forward. (via Bill, again)

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Raining and Pouring

No sooner had I completed the entry below this, and, well… On May 28, 2003, a Nebraska state trooper signaled Gonzolez to pull over his rented Ford Taurus on Interstate 80. The trooper intended to issue a speeding ticket, but noticed the Gonzolez’s name was not on the rental contract. The trooper then proceeded to question Gonzolez — who did not speak English well — and search the car. The trooper found a cooler containing $124,700 in cash, which he confiscated. A trained drug sniffing dog barked at the rental car and the cash. For the police, this was all the evidence needed to establish a drug crime that allows the force to keep the seized money. Associates of Gonzolez testified in court that they had pooled their life savings to purchase a refrigerated truck to start a produce business. Gonzolez flew on a one-way ticket to Chicago to buy a truck, but it had sold by the time he had arrived. Without a credit card of his own, he had a third-party rent one for him. Gonzolez hid the money in a cooler to keep it from being noticed and stolen. He was scared when the troopers began questioning…

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“This is our new America”

“Having witnessed her father being violently arrested, my 8-year old daughter was distraught and crying. The police told my wife to take her away. “My wife consoled our daughter, but since the Bollyn children have seen much of the world, and witnessed major political events, she allowed our daughter to watch it, saying, ‘This is our new America.'” When you read this “unbelievable” account in its entirety (really, you should) take note: I had planned to copy/paste the whole thing here and then edit it to make time, place and nationality ambiguous. But I just don’t have the time, right now. But if I had…well, read that and just go ahead and tell me you’d have though this happened in America. Just go right ahead. Then turn over and go back to sleep. It’s just the idle rantings and ravings of a malcontent, after all. (via Bill St. Clair)

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Small Pendulum Swings

A few months ago, I attended a retirement dinner for a longtime teacher friend of my wife. I knew most everyone there, and, let me indicate from the outset that I like all of these people, in spite of their awful, hard-leftist politics which I normally characterize as “commie.” Due to demographics around here, these folks are all fortunate to have parents of their students who are highly involved, concerned, and supportive of their kid’s educations. I’ve taught in my wife’s classroom, and observed others. This is a special environment of excellent teachers and students alike. So we’re dining at one of those big round tables that sit about 8 or 10 people and I was chatting with one longtime friend of my wife who’s been a school principal now for a few years. She was relating a recent experience to us where she negotiated with the school district on behalf of the union in order to secure a new contract (that presumably included higher pay and benefits, combined with fewer responsibilities). I offered her the bait: “So, is the end result of your negotiations that every teacher at the various seniority levels receives exactly the same pay and benefits?”…

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Laughing Stock

With the company I keep, it’s no surprise at all, to in one moment, read this Proudhon quote from Jay: To be GOVERNED is to be watched, inspected, spied upon, directed, law-driven, numbered, regulated, enrolled, indoctrinated, preached at, controlled, checked, estimated, valued, censured, commanded, by creatures who have neither the right nor the wisdom nor the virtue to do so. To be GOVERNED is to be at every operation, at every transaction noted, registered, counted, taxed, stamped, measured, numbered, assessed, licensed, authorized, admonished, prevented, forbidden, reformed, corrected, punished. It is, under pretext of public utility, and in the name of the general interest, to be placed under contribution, drilled, fleeced, exploited, monopolized, extorted from, squeezed, hoaxed, robbed; then at the slightest resistance, the first word of complaint, to be repressed, fined, vilified, harrassed, hunted down, abused, clubbed, disarmed, bound, choked, imprisoned, judged, condemned, shot, deported, sacrificed, sold, betrayed, and to crown all, mocked, ridiculed, derided, outraged, dishonored. That is government; that is its justice; that is its morality.” …and not but a moment later, this accounting of what likely will happen to you if you accidentally drop your iPod into an airplane toilet. No, it’s not a joke. But I…

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Plan B

I see Plan B is in the news, again. Just a short note. I observe that deaths related to use of this pill is generously tallied at 5 people. Unacceptable, right? Well, that derives a rate of under 1 in 100,000 pregnancies. The mortality rate for induced abortions is .7 per 100,000 (also under 1 in 100,000 for you math challenged). Awful, you say? Perhaps, but then what does that make God, who kills 11.5 women per 100,000 who carry pregnancies to term? Look it up, if you care to.

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Tired

You know what? I’m tired. Whereas, I was willing, grudgingly, to give Republicans the benefit of the doubt in recent times (though I don’t vote: I’d never do that to you), I just smell a rotting rat, recently. Look, if they were reducing the size and scope of government all the while killing as many radicalized Muslims as quickly as possible (in the hundreds of thousands — with glee, and with righteous and celebratory blood-lust), I’d just be quiet. But that’s not what’s going on. Increasingly, the threat is being overblown for the clear and shameless sake of political power (not to say there aren’t equally Bullshit “arguments” from the commies). I mean: what do we have, anymore?…high fat, high carbohydrates, cigarette smoke, violent video games, SUVs, terrorists, big corporations. All of those and more: hobgoblins. The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed and hence, clamorous to be led to safety — by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary. – H. L. Mencken Have you ever considered, on an individual level, just taking your chances with those of pure faith — by which I mean: those with the misplaced…

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Oshkosh 2006

With little opportunity to blog, lately, and even less enthusiasm for it, this is something I just must pass along. Enjoy. (via Davis)

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Everybody Agrees

Beck has up a treatment of an irrelevant and unimportant article heralding “the end of libertarian politics.” It’s a dumb idea, of course, for all the reasons Billy mentions; as does Tucker, whom he quotes. Go ahead and take a look at that, then drop back by. I’ve been spending a lot if time lately watching, studying, and trading in the markets. Do you know what I really like about them? Their fundamental nature is so pure, with a balance so fine that in spite of the general notion that entities like the SEC “regulates” the market is sheer nonsense in any really meaningful way. Sure, they have books of regs and throw someone in jail every now and then (I’m not making light of that), but the very plain fact is that they are virtually powerless to regulate the daily buy and sell grind that goes on to the tune of billions and billions of dollars over millions and millions of trades. To attempt any sort of direct regulation would be to tank the market in an instant. Even when they (or the exchanges) exercise their power to halt trading, what generally happens the moment trading resumes (check the…

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No Way!

So, first thing this morning, I get an email from my buddy Greg Swann (here too) with regard to my last entry. Can you believe it? A $500 price drop (20%) less than two days after I buy it? To add insult, Apple apparently gives discounts to teachers, so I could have received an additional $200. I’m not sure yet about the teacher discount, and I emphasize they have absolutely no obligation to reimburse me for the price reduction, but I called to very politely inquire and they indicated that when it’s within two weeks they will honor any reduced price. Very reasonable and good business.

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4,096,000 Pixels

If you’re running a nice 18, 19, or even 20-inch display, you’re probably at 1280×1024 resolution, or 1,310,720 pixels. Or, maybe you run three of them to get to nearly 4 million pixels. Or, you can go to your local Apple store and spend a day futzing to get this 30-incher to work with your PC, finally, at 2 a.m., which is when this was taken (click on it for the large version). This is running at a screen resolution of 2560×1600 pixels, just over 4 mil. What you can’t see is the absolute carnage all around, which I’ll get to the reason for a bit later. See, I’d been toying with the idea of getting another display or two at home, where I now do a lot of my work (especially trading, in the morning hours). I’ve become accustomed to the three-display setup at the office. So, first thing Saturday morning, I announced to Bea that I was headed out to shop. The problem is that our loft is kinda artsy-fartsy, you see, and just any ‘ol thing simply isn’t gonna do it. Style — for style’s sake — is called for. And there just isn’t any locally off-shelf,…

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Flying Videos

Here’s a couple of videos of me flying hang-gliders that I’ve posted before. Now I’ve uploaded them to YouTube. I’ll give you the links to watch them over at the Tube, in case you want to watch other HG videos it’s going to list for you. And because I really think embedding is cool, see below. See here for an ATOS flight at Ed Levin county park and then here for bits from two flights last year at Hat Creek Rim. We’ll be heading to Hat Creek next week for our umpteenth annual camp & fly, so this has all been on my mind lately. Ed Levin Hat Creek Rim

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