Archive for September, 2007

Madmen fed on fear and lies

Posted in Amerika on September 20, 2007 by Darkman

It’s not about security. It’s all about knowing everything about everyone. Yes, 9/11, as horrible as it was, was also the statist’s wet dream.

U.S. Airport Screeners Are Watching What You Read at Wired:

International travelers concerned about being labeled a terrorist or drug runner by secret Homeland Security algorithms may want to be careful what books they read on the plane. Newly revealed records show the government is storing such information for years.Privacy advocates obtained database records showing that the government routinely records the race of people pulled aside for extra screening as they enter the country, along with cursory answers given to U.S. border inspectors about their purpose in traveling. In one case, the records note Electronic Frontier Foundation co-founder John Gilmore’s choice of reading material, and worry over the number of small flashlights he’d packed for the trip.

The breadth of the information obtained by the Gilmore-funded Identity Project (using a Privacy Act request) shows the government’s screening program at the border is actually a “surveillance dragnet,” according to the group’s spokesman Bill Scannell.

“There is so much sensitive information in the documents that it is clear that Homeland Security is not playing straight with the American people,” Scannell said.

But we have to give up some privacy to earn the privilege of being protected from terrorists, you say.

Uh huh…terrorists like these:

One report about Gilmore notes: “PAX (passenger) has many small flashlights with pot leaves on them. He had a book entitled ‘Drugs and Your Rights.'” Gilmore is an advocate for marijuana legalization.Another inspection entry noted that Gilmore had “attended computer conference in Berlin and then traveled around Europe and Asia to visit friends. 100% baggage exam negative…. PAX is self employed ‘Entrepreneur’ in computer software business.”

So…tell me how recording information on a marijuana advocate and a computer software entrepreneur is protecting you from terrorism.

They say there are strangers, who threaten us
In our immigrants and infidels
They say there is strangeness, too dangerous
In our theatres and bookstore shelves
That those who know what’s best for us
Must rise and save us from ourselves


Guilty until proven…nevermind, just guilty

Posted in Amerika on September 18, 2007 by Darkman

The case of Nalini Ghuman:

In a written account of the next eight hours that she prepared for her lawyer, Ms. Ghuman said that officers tore up her H-1B visa, which was valid through May 2008, defaced her British passport, and seemed suspicious of everything from her music cassettes to the fact that she had listed Welsh as a language she speaks. A redacted government report about the episode obtained by her lawyer under the Freedom of Information Act erroneously described her as “Hispanic.”Held incommunicado in a room in the airport, she was groped during a body search, she said, and was warned that if she moved, she would be considered to be attacking her armed female searcher. After questioning her for hours, the officers told her that she had been ruled inadmissible, she said, and threatened to transfer her to a detention center in Santa Clara, Calif., unless she left on a flight to London that night.

Outside, Mr. Flight made frantic calls for help. He said the British Consulate tried to get through to the immigration officials in charge, to no avail. And Ms. Ghuman said her demands to speak to the British consul were rebuffed.

“They told me I was nobody, I was nowhere and I had no rights,” she said. “For the first time, I understood what the deprivation of liberty means.”

So why is she now being blocked from entering the U.S? No one will say. Pretty hard to fight back when no one knows what to fight against.

Homeland Security: Keeping us safe from Welsh-speaking musicologists.

Related: Terrorist watchlist riddled with errors at Homeland Stupidity.

Finally, the audit found 2,682 records which were not being exported to any other database, and after reviewing them, found that 2,118 of them did not belong on any government watch list at all and should be removed.

A study of vigilantism in movies

Posted in Liberty on September 18, 2007 by Darkman

Eric Lichtenfeld examines vigilantism in two parts, first in Killer Films at Slate, and then on his own blog with Due Vigilance Part II. Interesting.

And then I understood–more than I had before–the appeal of vigilantism. The appeal isn’t fundamentally rooted in crime, or in bad things happening; it’s rooted in how powerless we are rendered in trying to respond.

Yes, and when the hallowed “system” fails us, when we know what justice is, and when the “system” refuses to provide us with that justice. Any other recourse means to submit to the injustice and oppression forced on us, first by crime and then by a vicious and apathetic “system.”

I suppose he didn’t mention my own favorite vigilante movie because the protagonist didn’t use guns. Still, good reading.

Jane Doe Speaks

Posted in The Most Fundamental Right on September 17, 2007 by Darkman

From The Oregonian:

I’m the Medford school teacher you’ve heard about. The one who will ask an Oregon judge on Tuesday to affirm my right to carry a Glock pistol to my school so I can protect myself from a man who’s hit me and threatened to kill me: my ex-husband.In 2004, I legally bought a gun for the first time. It was a decision I deemed necessary after years of abuse and continued threats drove me to obtain a restraining order. I knew my safety and the safety of my children ultimately depended upon me alone.

I had strong suspicions my ex-husband had violated his restraining order by coming to my home several times. One time, I saw him leave, literally passing him as he came out of my driveway. When I reported this, I was told the restraining order did not forbid him being there when I was not home.

My ex-husband lost his concealed carry permit and his gun when he was arrested for menacing, several months before our separation, in an unrelated incident.

To be eligible for a license to carry a concealed weapon, I was required to attend a course taught locally. The instructor was thorough. I learned how a gun should be used, the dangers if it was mishandled and that I need to continuously practice using my gun. I follow those lessons. The course also reviewed legal ramifications an owner would face if her gun was involved in an incident. After passing the required background check and offering validation of completing the course, I received my permit.

I believe that Oregon law clearly permits me — and anyone else with a concealed handgun license — to carry a concealed weapon into schools. My employer, the Medford School District, maintains that I would be violating district policy if I did so.

A “gun-free” zone only informs a potential criminal that he or she won’t face an armed private citizen, making a school a prime target. In addition, my school’s police officer is assigned more than one school, and when he is working on campus, his office is in an annex away from the main building and far from my classroom. Second, my ex-husband is approved as a substitute teacher in my district, making it possible for him to be called to work in the same school where I’ve been working or at my daughter’s school. Furthermore, my classroom has several windows, making it possible for anyone outside to catch glimpses of me or my students moving around the room.

But will they actually listen to her? I doubt it. Her argument won’t fit their premeditated prejudices.

More at the link.

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George knew what he was talking about

Posted in Liberty, Quotes on September 17, 2007 by Darkman

“Should, hereafter, those incited by the lust of power and prompted by the Supineness or venality of their Constituents, overleap the known barriers of this Constitution and violate the unalienable rights of humanity: it will only serve to shew, that no compact among men (however provident in its construction and sacred in its ratification) can be pronounced everlasting and inviolable.”

–George Washington

Via The Patriot Post.

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When the (original) Confederacy became a Union?

Posted in Getting It Straight on September 17, 2007 by Darkman

An interesting look at “Constitution Day” by Laurence M. Vance:

All true, but is our government legitimate?  In a speech before the Virginia ratifying convention on June 5, 1788, Patrick Henry, asked basically the same thing: “Had the delegates who were sent to Philadelphia a power to propose a Consolidated Government instead of a Confederacy?”

The United States were at this time under the Articles of Confederation. According to Article XIII, no alteration could be made to any of the Articles “unless such alteration be agreed to in a Congress of the United States, and be afterwards confirmed by the legislatures of every State.”

Because of the perceived “weaknesses” of the Articles, especially regarding trade and commerce, there assembled in September of 1786 delegates from New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, and Virginia at Annapolis, Maryland. The delegates to the Annapolis Convention reported that

the States of New York, Pennsylvania, and Virginia, had, in substance, and nearly in the same terms, authorised their respective Commissioners “to meet such Commissioners as were, or might be, appointed by the other States in the Union, at such time and place, as should be agreed upon by the said Commissioners to take into consideration the trade and Commerce of the United States, to consider how far an uniform system in their commercial intercourse and regulations might be necessary to their common interest and permanent harmony, and to report to the several States such an Act, relative to this great object, as when unanimously ratified by them would enable the United States in Congress assembled effectually to provide for the same.”

But because not all of the states were represented (New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and North Carolina appointed delegates but they never attended; Connecticut, Maryland, South Carolina, and Georgia didn’t appoint anyone), the “Commissioners did not conceive it advisable to proceed on the business of their mission, under the Circumstance of so partial and defective a representation.”

Sabotaged by “big government” types from the very beginning.

Five Points

Posted in The Most Fundamental Right on September 16, 2007 by Darkman

Originally published August 15, 2001, this article is just as–if not more–valid now as it was then.

A Blueprint for Ending Gun Control, by L. Neil Smith and Aaron Zelman:

1. A holding action, no matter how prolonged, is doomed to defeat. You must decide to take the offensive and eliminate victim disarmament altogether and forever.

2. You can’t defend one right by sacrificing another. Other people are going to do things with their lives you don’t approve of, just as they’re unlikely to approve of everything you do. Making criminals of them gives socialists a precedent for making a criminal of you.

3. You can’t stay free—or regain your freedom—by exalting your oppressors, no matter how flashy their cars and uniforms may be.

4. You can’t defend without attacking. Let the world know who the real enemies of liberty are, and that there’s no such thing as a liberal.

5. And you must decide upon another kind of “Zero Tolerance”—for compromise.