“thugs in police uniforms”

Yep. Just like I've been saying. Those who think this isn't wide spread are just fooling themselves. There is nothing more dangerous to your freedom and health than the police in America, the "Land of the Free." You know what turf to avoid to steer clear of common thugs, but you can't avoid the police, and that's increasingly so ("more cops on the street"). I stay completely clear of them to every extent possible. They have the power, on virtually any pretense, to alter the course of the rest of your life on a whim. I have a real tough time hiding it when I have contempt for a person, so it's doubly important that I avoid encounters with such "authorities;" and when it's absolutely unavoidable, I say as absolutely little as possible. Overblown? Maybe. You decide. (story). Note in that video the "men" standing around watching, and I think some are calling the guy's (Antony) name. Wanna bet one or more isn't a fellow off-duty cop? Then, of course, at the court hearing, fellow cops thugs ticket news vehicles, threaten to arrest reporters, and shuttle the accused perp in via a side door. "Stand up guys," eh? My contempt...


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There’s an Opportunity in There Somewhere

I've been meaning to weigh in, sometime, on the whole copyright war thing. This isn't going to be much, just an observation or two. Let's imagine you create something, but for whatever reason, your creation is really difficult to secure. That is, it's easy for people to steal. And, in fact, it's so easy -- offered up on a silver platter -- that normally good people don't even think of it as stealing. ...People who would never in their lives imagine breaking into a locked building, or holding someone at gunpoint, taking stuff. I'm not excusing it, but there's some distinction to make, I think. So what would you do? It's yours. They're stealing it. They're not paying you for it. If you made more, they'd steal more. It's not so much they like stealing, it's that they like what you make. Will they pay if you make it easier and more convenient to pay for than to steal? I don't know about you, but I see an opportunity, a market. Now, I don't think iTunes and whatever else is out there is necessarily the ideal solution, but I sure do like iTunes an awful lot. Even more than for...


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Baltimore’s “Finest”

This is a necessary and logical consequence of the endless calls for "more police on the streets." The citizens (the morons) are just reacting to irrational fear hyped up by big media (the instigators), and all is fit & tidy for the politicians (the criminal-elite) to exploit the irrational fear of the morons as created by the instigators -- the criminal-elite's bedfellows and partners in crime. Then, it all gets executed by the police (the criminal-thugs; the muscle). I wish I could just chalk it up to mischief brought on by boredom, but these are real live adults presuming the authority to knock out your life on a whim, with very little at risk to them for making "an error." Just trust them. They're professionals, you see. Of course there's even more to it, and that's just the plain fact that citizenship (in attitude) attracts morons, journalism attracts dishonest swindlers, politics attracts mafioso, and the police forces attract thugs. Well. At least we know where all the bad guys are.


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The Necessity of Law and Enforcement

Whenever it happens that I get into a conversation about public policy, the law, enforcement, and the State in general, It's quite the norm that in one form or another, I'm told that we need these various laws in order to prevent the various predations that go on round and about. My first query is usually to ask what laws are preventing them from being a bad person. Who would they victimize, in what way, and what would they steal if there were no laws? And most people immediately see where that's going, but the point, of course, it to draw the distinction that when people talk about the necessity of law and enforcement, they're always talking about the "need" to rein in other people, not themselves. I have an answer for that, too, and it's a simple one: I'm willing to take my chances. That's it. You see, I'm not denying at all that there exists risk from predators, but the real problem with the standard argument for the State as concerns various law enforcement is that it begs the question. That is, it assumes a general effectiveness that's really not in evidence. Simply: we have plenty of predation...


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Note to Self

If it isn't obvious from the general nature of the general content of this blog, I like mixing it up. Things get quiet, and my natural tendency is to locate some shit to stir, even if it goes nowhere and it's just for my own edification in giving it a turn or two. Sitting here, sipping on something alcoholic at 5pm, dinner at an Indian resto (that's French -- no shit) with friends in about an hour, I feel like making an entry. My RSS is read. Nothing there. Check the news. You'd have to torture me to blog about something in today's head and sub-headlines. How about finance? The market started off on a welcome sell off on the worst new home sales figures in six years, but the moron bulls bought the dip and ended the day barely green. Fuckin' morons. But I got an email today about a lawsuit filed against my company, by, of all entities, Golden Gate Bridge, Highway & Transportation District. Guess why? Well, of course, because they hit us. Here's the deal. The employee was in San Francisco, parked along the curb, exited the vehicle and was getting something out of the back...


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Global Warming Swindle Update

Since I first posted about it, I've been idly checking around to see what comes of it. My glancing around is by no means exhaustive, and yet, the apparent absence of a very strong scientific counter broadcast far and wide tells me a great deal. Why wouldn't they, if they had the goods? By broadcasting this far and wide, along with the obvious refutation, they could nail the coffin shut on dissenters far and wide. In its place, though, is a whole lot of attempts at various character assassination. Character assassination, of course, is a pretty effective technique when you're talking about opinions, rather than whether the link between Co2 and global warming is cause and effect (in the case of Co2 causing warming -- never mind the even more dubious anthropogenic element), or effect of cause (the sun's increased activity over hundreds of years slowly heats the Earth -- imagine that -- and increased Co2 levels are one of the many measurable effects). What I think is devastating about this revelation for the man-made global warming sycophants falls into two broad areas: (1) it acknowledges a relationship between heating and Co2, and (2), I cannot imagine a better illustration...


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George Carlin

A couple of good short and funny clips from George, the first on religion, and the second on the Ten Commandments. Enjoy.


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Hitchens

A hard-hitting 20 minute speech by Christopher Hitchens on the clash of religion and free speech. Take a look. (van Bakel)


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Hunter Nikoley

Four years old. My nephew's "interview" with our friend Ray in his San Francisco video studio this last Christmas season. Singing at the beginning, funny dialog toward the end. And without further ado:


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“Land of the Free” Update

This happened like a week or so ago, but I didn't feel like blogging at the time. But I do feel it needs a mention, here. Again, I find myself embarrassed to be called an American. Some days, I just hate this country and everyone in it. This is one of those days.


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For Reference

I actually created a new category, just for this entry: "Beyond Categorization." It kind of defies description because I almost feel as though I'm approaching something that doesn't exist at a cognitive level -- like I'm dealing with some form of bacteria, or something, and words that describe human behavior simply don't fit at all. Anyway, here, for purposes of reference, is a list of posts for the next time you read one of my entries and get the feeling that I'm being unnecessarily alarmist. Another U.K. Knife Fight (news item) Britain's Big Brother Ways (background) Cutting-Edge Lawmaking ...


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1,000 and Counting

That's the number of videos on YouTube documenting police brutality. So, how many thousands of such incidents can you have in a "Land of the Free," before it's not? You can rest assured that those videos are not what the thugs in the "Justice" Department had in mind. (van Bakel)


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A Little Here, and a Litte There

A friend at the cool condos in which we live here in in San Jose dug up a very interesting photo exposé. If there's anything I'm a complete sucker for, it's photos showing a modern city or establishment as it used to be -- whenever. I always love when old restaurants have photos of what the place looked like decades ago. Mind you: this is all within no more than 10 minutes walk from where I now sit, so it's completely relevant to me. At a glance, I'm struck by what a profound difference trees planted in sidewalk openings make. Beautiful. Of course, I'd be remiss in not commenting on the fact that the dreariness in the before photos is representative of a force that was determined to prevent development. Oh, it was never expressed like that. It's "planning," you know. And even when the "Redevelopment Agency" got underway -- whenever that was -- it was blunder after blunder; until someone, somewhere, got a clue and realized that it's only been about 3,000 years or so that cities have been known to thrive by having people live in cities. Imagine it. And, so, apartments, condos, and townhouses have been essentially...


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“The Great Global Warming Swindle”

The greatest steer ever That's what I wrote in an email to Billy last night, after I'd watched a good portion of the video embedded below. I also sent off an email to an old friend along with the link to alert him to its existence. Because his book includes substantial portions that promote the global warming catechism hook, line & sinker (read the customer reviews of his book, and you'll get it), I really only had a one line intro of this film for him: "Ignore this at your own risk." If you think you know what global warming is, how it's caused, whether man has anything to do with it, or -- and get this, if nothing else -- the proper cause & effect relationship between warming and CO2, then I will say the same to you: ignore this film at your own risk. Once you're done, you'll understand why global warming causes increased CO2 levels (CO2 is about 1/30th of 1% of our atmosphere, in case you didn't know), and not the other way around. Figures. Cause & effect, reversed. It's like I always say: 180 degree errors are the easiest to make. Those who erred, of...


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Understand This

Robert Kiyosaki is dead on the money. Now, some may have qualms about his various marketing machinations: selling books, seminars, and whatnot, but I'll tell you that when I read Rich Dad, Poor Dad, I thought it was a fresh and brilliant book for educating the financially illiterate. So how can I say that the market is crashing even if it continues to go up? To see the true crash, educated investors need to compare apples to oranges, not apples to apples. When you compare the Dow to the Dow, or the S&P 500 to the S&P 500, that's comparing apples to apples. The Dow at 12,000 appears better than the Dow at 9,000, just as an apple at $1 a pound looks better than at $1.50 a pound, even though it's still the same apple. All that's happened is the price per pound of the apple has gone up -- the apple hasn't changed. Years ago, my rich dad taught me to be a comparison shopper, especially when it comes to investments. He said, "You need to understand value more than price. Just because the price of something goes up doesn't necessarily mean the value has gone up." He...


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A Sprinkling of Justice

Good news. For once, trespassers and thugs are recognized as trespassers and thugs. That would be you, "James Lutz and Stacy Ferris, whose name is now Stacy Brandau." But the best news is that John Coffin and his wife are not themselves in coffins, six under. Actually, I'm surprised that at least one of them wasn't shot. I'm not the least surprised that Mr. Coffin was prosecuted. After all, he got the best of the State, and when that happens, the State will get you if they can. Right? Wrong? Irrelevant, in the eyes of prosecutors like Jeff Young. The driving motivation is to "convince a jury." This, of course, reduces to the task of finding as many people who want to be stupid as you can. Good for Circuit Judge Rick De Furia. He got this one right, even though he had to rely upon the law to do so -- and not just the simple matter of what's right and wrong -- he at least didn't let it get so far as to let 12 morons nullify the law in the wrong way, put the guy away, and later utter non-sequitur post-decision inanities like "my daddy taught me...


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Latter Day Nonsense

So; I'm mildly interested in the fact that Mitt Romney -- one of the however-many insolent, petulant, presumptuous megalomaniacs vying to rule your life come '08 -- is a Mormon. So was I! Yep, I was born with both the Mormon gene and the Lutheran gene. However, I guess the Mormon gene was dominant, so I ended up "a Mormon" and was even baptized right here in the Mormon Temple of Oakland. Not that I remember it, of course. Since I was "born a Mormon," I guess that free-will voluntary adoption of the faith was immaterial, and I was baptized as an infant. Yea, yea; I know. That's how things were done. No harm intended. Fine, but let's just keep in mind, from here out, that people have minds for a reason. Let's at least allow people to develop them independently before indoctrinating them into a religious discipline. ...Or, is it...? Ah, yea; righhhhhht. If you do that...oh; well, you get the picture. Anyway...supposedly, seven of 10 or some other "majority of Americans" (so cozy-cuddly cum-fortin', innit?...that "majority" word?) are willing to vote for a Mormon. Good. For. Them. Impressive, I must say. After all, everyone knows that Mormons believe...


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“God’s Dupes”

So Sam Harris is at it, again, this time in an Opinion piece in today's Los Angeles Times. Ostensibly, the piece is about CA Congressman Pete Stark coming out of the closet to declare himself rational on the issue of religious belief; in essence, letting everyone know that, unlike most of them, he doesn't profess to literally believe in an Imaginary Friend. It kind of puts this entry of mine from way back in a different light for me. Setting his politics aside, I do have sympathy for nonbelievers who must endure living in a world where 9 of 10 people they encounter are, for lack of a better description, partially insane. You never quite know for sure whether you're dealing wholly with a person's insane compartment, or some hybrid that's at least partially contaminated by the insanity. Realizing that this is a bit "convenient" to say, it is nonetheless obvious to point out that the insane rarely understand the nature of their insanity (kinda by definition). As such, though you can probably never fully trust anybody with free will, I think that goes doubly so for grown adults willing to believe in the literal equivalent of Santa Claus. And...


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Bear Trap

I must say; even though my heart is with the Bears, because down moves are just plain more fun, that was a pretty damned good fake out today in most indexes. The Bulls set a tempting trap and pulled it off beautifully. Here's the S&P 500 Index over the last month. Each candle in a full trading day's action. You'll recognize that big red one from Feb 27. What a day that was. I've only been trading for 18 months, and only about the last year watching the market most of the time, but I had never seen prices move that quickly. To someone who's accustomed to a scene that resembles grass growing most of the time, it was sumthin'. So, anyway, check out today's candle, and most particularly, check out the red candle from March 5th. See that? On 3/5, the very bottom of the trading range for the day was the close, also the low of the day, and the low so far in this correction cycle (assuming it remains merely a correction, and I have absolutely nothing to suggest it's not). Classic Dow theory, and it's still the best principle going: uptrends are a series of higher...


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