Category Archives: 074 Politics and Culture

Shut Up—Or We’ll Shut You Down

“‘The demand by Senator Whitehouse and the 20 climate scientists for legal persecution of people whose research on science and policy they disagree with represents a new low in the politicization of science,’ says Georgia Tech’s Judith Curry on the Fox News website. She should know, as one of seven academics investigated last winter by Rep. Raul Grijalva (D., Ariz.) for their climate research.

By the way, Mr. Shukla appears to have no problem taking money from the government to support his climate theories. Though it has since been taken down, the letter from the Shukla gang demanding a RICO assault was published on the website of the Institute of Global Environment and Society (IGES), a tax-exempt entity run by Mr. Shukla that the website says has also employed his wife and daughter. The House Science Committee says the outfit has received more than $25 million in federal grants since 2008. House Science Chairman Lamar Smith says the family’s earnings from IGES are ‘in addition to an annual salary of approximately $314,000 paid to Dr. Shukla by George Mason University.’

When we contacted George Mason to sort out these financial arrangements, the school suggested we contact Mr. Shukla directly. He hasn’t responded to our inquiries.”

(Via.) WSJ

DEA Employees Fail Drug Tests, Shockingly Face No Serious Consequences – Liberty Upward

What does this prove? Plenty. It proves that people are people, that a badge, piece of parchment, training, and that uniforms don’t change fundamental human nature. What this article proves is that everyone, everywhere and at all times are simply humans like everyone else… and that if you work for the right groups, you may not end up in prison like the mundane do.

To be clear, we shouldn’t be calling for the full force of the state to come down on the agents… what we should be calling for is that the same compassion and reason be extended to all people, regardless of whom their employers may be. 

“A number of federal employees with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration have failed drug tests over the past five years, only to receive short suspensions or other minor reprimands, newly released documents reveal.

According to a Huffington Post review of internal DEA discipline logs, first uncovered by USA Today over the weekend, there have been at least 16 reported instances of employees failing random drug tests since 2010. While a number of these incidents were handled administratively, with a few people choosing to resign or retire amid the proceedings, none of the cases ended in an employee’s outright firing. The agency punished most employees with short suspensions, sometimes as little as one or two days.

The DEA’s drug policy states that applicants who ‘experimented with or used narcotics or dangerous drugs, except those medically prescribed for you, will not be considered for employment,’ though it makes exceptions for ‘limited youthful and experimental use of marijuana.’ The agency conducts random drug testing throughout an employee’s career.”

(Via.) Liberty Upward <— Read more here

Ninth Circuit Strikes a Blow Against Civil Forfeiture Abuse

“There’s nothing civil about civil asset forfeiture, nor about the federal government’s treatment of Robert Moser. During a search of Moser’s house for evidence of marijuana cultivation, federal agents seized $28,000. The search was conducted without a warrant or Moser’s consent, and Moser was not informed of his Miranda rights when the agents entered his house. A federal district court found that police had committed ‘serial constitutional violations… [that] were purposeful and flagrant,’ and ordered the government to return Moser’s money. By prevailing against the federal government, Moser became entitled to an award of attorney’s fees under the Civil Asset Forfeiture Reform Act (CAFRA).

But the district court didn’t give Moser the award he sought. Why? Because among other things, his lawyer, Richard Barnett, supposedly gave the government’s specious, unsupported arguments ‘more respect than they deserved.’ This Tuesday, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals roundly rejected the district court’s reasoning, making plain that attorneys who take on forfeiture cases should not be penalized for zealous advocacy–or the government’s intransigence.

Civil asset forfeiture allows law enforcement to take property from citizens, regardless of whether the property owner is guilty or innocent–and without even charging the owner with a crime. CAFRA provides that when a property owner ‘substantially prevails’ in a federal civil forfeiture case, ‘the United States shall be liable for reasonable attorney fees.’ Moser asked for a fee award of $50,775, based on his lawyer’s hourly rate of $500 and 101.55 hours of work. Instead, the trial court judge awarded a mere $14,000. The judge reasoned that forfeiture resembles criminal defense litigation and relied on the (seriously outdated) statutory rate of $125 per hour under the Criminal Justice Act (CJA). The judge then reduced the hours for which Moser’s lawyer would be compensated by over forty percent, claiming that Barnett spent more time on the case than was necessary to defeat the government’s often baseless arguments.”

(Via.) Huff Post Politics <—Read more here

Report: 92 Percent of Mass Shootings Since 2009 Occurred In “Gun-Free” Zones

“On October 9, the Crime Prevention Research Center (CPRC) released a revised report showing that 92% of mass public shootings between January 2009 and July 2014 took place in gun-free zones.

The CPRC report was released in response to an Everytown for Gun Safety study claiming only 14% of mass public shootings took place in gun-free zones. Everytown actually claimed 86% of such incidents occurred in places where guns were allowed.

CPRC showed that the 86% claim rests on Everytown’s “inclusion of attacks in private homes” and “numerous errors in identifying whether citizens can defend themselves.” For example, Everytown “[ignores] rules that prevent general citizens from carrying guns [for self-defense]” in certain cities, and they fail to recognize that “allowing police to carry guns is not the same thing as letting civilians defend themselves.”

(Via.) Liberty Upward <—Click here to read more

No Political Promise Will Be Fulfilled

“My neighborhood is filling up with political yard signs. Vote for this guy! Vote for that guy!

I can’t understand why people are willing to give up precious real estate on their front lawns, make friends mad at them, and put their own credibility on the line to back some politico who will certainly betray them in a matter of weeks. The con men who people cheer in politics have done little or nothing to deserve this kind of public support.

My neighborhood forbids commercial advertising on the front lawn, but the code makes an exception for politicians running for office. If anything, it should be the opposite. Commerce serves me every day. I feel genuine gratitude for these companies who give me great products and services, always keep their promises, and never force anything on me.”

(Via.) <—Read more here

How to disempower mass shooters in two easy steps…

“…So how do we stop this from happening? We could have a discussion about about the economy, male disempowerment, anti-depressants, and any number of contributing factors; and we will, in due time. Right now, Let’s focus on the two big, easy solutions: ending gun-free zones, and ending the media circus surrounding mass shootings. Then, if a shooter targets a heavily armed crowd, he may get at best one or two victims before being taken down by a hail of lead, becoming that one crazy who got destroyed and a minor footnote in the paper, not the monster striking fear into the hearts of a nation.”

(Via.) Liberty Upward <—Read more here

Ignorance, Polarization, and Xenophobia on the Street and in the Press: “White Americans are the biggest terror threat in the United States”

Remember, when you are pointing a finger, you have three pointing back…

“Almost twice as many people have died in attacks by right-wing groups in America than have died in attacks by Muslim extremists. Of the 26 attacks since 9/11 that the group defined as terror, 19 were carried out by non-Muslims. Yet there are no white Americans languishing inside the prison camp at Guantanamo Bay. And there are no drones dropping bombs on gatherings of military-age males in the country’s lawless border regions.”

(Via.) GlobalPost

Americans being radicalized by ISIS at ‘unprecedented’ rate

“The United States has ‘largely failed’ in its effort to keep Americans from joining the Islamic State extremist group in Iraq and Syria, and the government lacks a national strategy for combating the trend, a bipartisan congressional report stated.

Released on Monday, the report found that the federal government has generally failed to keep more than 250 Americans from leaving the country to join Islamic State (IS, also known as ISIS/ISIL) since 2011. Overall, nearly 30,000 people from around the world have traveled to the region in the same time frame.

‘Despite concerted efforts to stem the flow, we have largely failed to stop Americans from traveling overseas to join jihadists,’ the House of Representatives’ Homeland Security Committee concluded. ‘Of the hundreds of Americans who have sought to travel to the conflict zone in Syria and Iraq, authorities have only interdicted a fraction of them.’”

(Via.) RT USA <— Read more here

More guns, less crime – Panama follows U.S. lead

“According to the PanAm Post, ‘Public Safety Minister Rodolfo Aguilera said the country will follow in the footsteps of the United States and Switzerland, where the right to bear arms is believed to lead to fewer homicides.’

‘Everything seems to indicate that there is no direct correlation in the aphorism that says more guns mean more crime,’ said Mr. Aguilera, who cited the 20-year decline in the homicide rate in the U.S. as gun laws have simultaneously been relaxed.”

(Via.) The Orange County Register

To Become Even More Prosperous We Should Open Our Borders

“So often, in many recent discussions I’ve had online, what’s going on here is just a shoot-from-hip bias. It’s exactly the same kind of fears that make people object to getting rid of the minimum wage, cutting taxes, eliminating tariffs, privatizing the TSA, eliminating zoning laws, cutting government spending, legalizing pot and so on.

It’s freedom itself that people fear.

Once freedom goes away, it is difficult to imagine how things would work if it came back. The notion of freedom then scares people, and it becomes easy to think up a thousand different scenarios in which freedom can’t possibly work. Surely disaster will ensue!

This was a problem during alcohol Prohibition. The system wasn’t working, but the prospect of making its consumption and production legal again elicited a kind of panic. Would our streets be filled with staggering drunks? Would scarce income be squandered on liquor? Would families break apart?”

(Via.) Newsweek

The enemies of liberty show thier true colors and ignorance

 “‘Spartanization of the West will require the deepening of the concept of citizenship to include duties as well as rights,’ Bradford pontificates. ‘Rights are attended by corresponding duties, and the state may obligate citizens – even academics – to contribute to to the struggle in those ways they are able.’ Refusal ‘to acknowledge the Islamist threat as an existential challenge to Western Civilization, and to … unite to defeat that threat, would be the greatest dereliction of duty in history.”

(Via.) –

The US Marines tested all-male squads against mixed-gender ones, and the results were pretty bleak

“A military unit at maximum combat effectiveness is a military unit least likely to suffer casualties. Winning in war is often only a matter of inches, and unnecessary distraction or any dilution of the combat effectiveness puts the mission and lives in jeopardy. Risking the lives of a military unit in combat to provide career opportunities or accommodate the personal desires or interests of an individual, or group of individuals, is more than bad military judgment. It is morally wrong.”

(Via.) Quartz <— read more here

Captured, Cuffed, and Jailed: A Personal Story

 “But the reality that none of us really control our lives, that none of our property is really our own, that we all stand vulnerable to legal kidnapping at any moment. This is an ongoing reality for the whole population. To be arrested and jailed is to experience first-hand the terrifying realization that there is no real freedom, not under the existing system.

Surely It Won’t Happen to Me

When someone is arrested, people’s first question is: why? There’s an implicit anxiety to the query: how can I avoid this fate? Maybe if I don’t do something stupid like he did, it won’t happen to me. We want to assure ourselves that the problem of the police state is really someone else’s problem. It is felt by people who live on the edge, who do drugs, who are ‘illegal aliens,’ who don’t know how to speak politely to the police, and so on.

These are complete illusions…

And this is generally what you come to realize. Once arrested, you are a captured animal. Nothing else matters. You are no longer a consumer, a citizen, a person with a job, a normal human being. You are now just fodder, a thing they can use as they see fit.

The notion that you have any rights at all once you are arrested is a joke. What happens to you is entirely the decision of your captors…

Just doing my job.” I must have heard that phrase 15 times during my ordeal. The cops use it. The clerks use it. The guards use it. The whole system sees itself this way. It is just doing what it is supposed to do. It seems a bit like war, how soldiers do terrible things every day, morally objectionable things, but come to terms with it because they have no real choice. They do what they have to do.

And so it is for the whole criminal justice system in America today. Everyone is just doing what they have to do. No single person is responsible for judging the morality or justice of it all. It is the system, and they work within it. They can’t change it. They cooperate with it. They live by the book. It’s the book itself that is the oppressor.”

(Via.) Captured, Cuffed, and Jailed: A Personal Story – Jeffrey Tucker – <—Read more here

Who Wants To Talk About Hunting Ethics And Fair Chase?

Good article with good questions, and in the context of “sportsman,” I attend to agree.

I think it’s a conversation that should be had and settled amongst sportsman, and as long as we aren’t talking about enacting laws and enforcing our “democratic” ideals on others via the credible threat of force then we should be “good to go” with simply ostracize those who don’t follow a more ‘gentlemanly’ and sportsman-like code. A little like the fly-fishing/spin-casting debate… human blood really shouldn’t be shed here.

I also perceive that it is ‘much ado about nothing.’ or as Eunice Vhunise (of Harare – a resident of the area) said “…I don’t understand the whole fuss (about Palmer’s shooting of the lion), there are so many pressing issues in Zimbabwe – we have water shortages, no electricity and no jobs- yet people are making noise about a lion…) – The Dispatch,

In the bigger picture, most of us eat plenty of meat where “fair chase” and “sporting” means nothing, so keep that in mind before you attempt to empower bureaucrats anywhere in the world with the ‘authority’ to enforce your morals/ethics on others.

“It is not a field sport like baseball or football where the participants agree to the rules of engagement beforehand. In hunting, the prey has not agreed to anything, nor does it have an equal chance in most cases to kill the human hunter. For most species, escape is the only option. Therefore, the meaning of fair chase is based on the definition of ‘fair’ that relates to legitimate, honorable, genuine, or appropriate in the circumstances. To complicate matters further, fair chase is associated with the notion of ‘sport hunting’ in the minds of many hunters even though it does not resemble any sport played on a field or court. The term ‘sport,’ in hunting, means only a sporting approach. That approach recognizes the advantage of human capabilities, including technologies, and represents a desire to constrain so as to give the animals pursued a legitimate chance to escape. It also recognizes that humans are the alpha predator and there is a need to limit our advantage, which is one of the underpinnings of sustainable use conservation.”


Did He Really Just Say We Need to “Bring Back Internment Camps”?

“These statements and others like them most likely reflect the frustration felt in Washington over a 15 year war on terror where there has been no victory and where we actually seem worse off than when we started. The real problem is they will argue and bicker over changing tactics but their interventionist strategy remains the same.

Retired Army Gen. Mike Flynn, who was head of the Defense Intelligence Agency during the US wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, told al-Jazeera this week that US drones create more terrorists than they kill. He said: ‘The more weapons we give, the more bombs we drop, that just … fuels the conflict.

Still Washington pursues the same strategy while expecting different results.”

(Via.) – Ron Paul (TH) <—read more here

Details of Lafayette theater shooter John Houser surface: Alcohol, denied weapons permits, depressed…

Understanding that often preliminary reports can be wrong, this is what we believe we are learning so far: 

The Russell County Sheriff told reporters that his office denied Houser (the alleged shooter) a pistol permit in 2006 (this isn’t the first time a killer has been denied firearms licensing). Lesson – gun control can’t stop a decentralized threat. People will kill people, with or without firearms, prisons prove this.

Houser was of sound enough mind not to attack a gunshop, shooting range, or LE office. Again confirming something that everyone who pays any attention already know: Bad guys like to attack soft targets (your typical “gun free zones,” like us military bases, recruiting offices, schools, churches, businesses, post offices, etc.). Bad things like mass-murdrs and active shooter scenarios tend to happen just about anywhere innocent people are likely to be at a disadvantage by being disarmed. This in turn takes away a innocent persons ability to more safely import keltic force at a distance, and more quickly than he could possibly address threats without a firearm.

Read More

How to Speak to the Brainwashed

“Let’s start by removing the divide: You and I have made the same mistakes these people are making. We may be a few steps ahead of them in leaving the swamp, but we started in the same swamp with them.

In all of human history, there may be no greater conditioning system than our modern government schools (including all the private schools that follow the same pattern). From infancy to adulthood, it affects most human minds in the West. And I dare guess that 98% of my readers bear its scars.

So, you must start by understanding that these “brainwashed” people have spent a huge portion of their lives inside a massive mind-warp. Don’t be too quick to toss them aside. Learn patience. Breaking out of their mold is scary, and it takes time.”

(Via.) How to Speak to the Brainwashed

The Dissident Dad – Our Family Manifesto

“I live in Texas, I pay taxes to the IRS, and I follow every law required of me. I am not looking for any trouble from the U.S. government. That said, my family and I have elected to sever ourselves from the cancerous monster that is Washington D.C. every chance we get.

We don’t vote or honor the state in anything we do. My money is completely outside of the U.S. banking system, via precious metals, digital currency, and whole life insurance contracts, which is nothing more than two private parties in a financial agreement. The stocks I own are in Canada or international businesses listed here in the U.S.

I wish the U.S. and its citizens the very best, but when it comes to the statists and banking elite — who ultimately form an oligarchy — I try to ignore and resist the beast in every way I can.”

(Via.) Liberty Blitzkrieg <—read more here

Other states, research demonstrate safety of campus carry, despite detractors’ doubts

“Since the Texas Legislature began debating campus carry earlier this year, debate has raged over the issue on college campuses around the state. Proponents have espoused security benefits and the expansion of Second Amendment rights as benefits of the legislation, which was signed into law by Gov. Greg Abbott on June 13th. Detractors have largely cited safety concerns, claiming that the stressful nature of a campus environment will inevitably lead to instances of gun violence under the new law.

As an individual who went through the extensive background check, class and firearm proficiency assessment required to obtain a concealed handgun license in the state of Texas, I’ve been somewhat perplexed by opponents’ allegations that my carrying a concealed weapon while walking along the south side of Dean Keeton as opposed to the north side, or along the east side of Guadalupe as opposed to the west side, would somehow pose a new danger to campus.

In an attempt to answer that very question — Am I, or other concealed carriers, actually dangerous to college campuses? — I contacted Steve Mecham, chief of the Utah State University Police Department, located in a state with roughly two and a half times the number of permitted concealed carriers per capita as Texas. Upon being asked if campus carry had caused any safety concerns at Utah State since Utah’s implementation of the law in 2006, Mecham replied that the only concern campus carry has presented is the accidental, unintentional exposure of a weapon on campus approximately once a year. Mecham explicitly stated that his department has no crime involving a person in legal possession of a firearm at Utah State on record.”

(Via.) The Daily Texan <—Read more here

Greeks rightly flock to cyber currency (Bitcoin)

“With bank doors slammed shut, frantic Greeks are turning to online trading platforms to see if the digital money Bitcoin is a better bet than the euro.

The world’s largest Bitcoin exchanges tell CNNMoney they’ve seen a surge of business from Greece.

Ten times as many Greeks are registering to trade bitcoins on the German marketplace than usual, according to CEO Oliver Flaskaemper. Bitcoin trades from Greece have shot up 79% from their ten-week average on Bitstamp, the world’s third-largest exchange.

Even trading platforms in China are getting interest. LakeBTC, headquartered in Shanghai, is seeing a 40% increase in visitors using computers in Greece.

Over the weekend, the Polish exchange Bitcurex got flooded with emails from Greeks. Among their questions:”

(Via.) CNN Money <— Read more here