Well folks this is my very first attempt at bloging. So please bear with me. I intend for this to be a place where my somewhat non conventional views have a place to be heard as well as challenged, and to hear things that others believe.
While I have no plans for this to be a shooting gallery if you go beyond the pale with insults you may very well find yourself banned. Hold the cursing to a minimum, be respectful of the ideas that others have and we will in all probability get along just fine.
Well what can I say? The help files are of little help. I cannot seem to make categories, but oh well! I suppose that this could be related to this blog being in the free group. News, politics and so on will just have to be a streaming thing.
As many as 40,000 times per year, American homes are raided by paramilitary
police forces dressed and armed as soldiers, according to a shocking new study
by the libertarian Cato Institute.
That’s an incredible 1,300 percent increase over the past 25 years. And the
vast majority of these home invasions are to serve routine drug warrants,
including for offenses as trivial as marijuana possession.
Furthermore, innocent bystanders are terrified, threatened, and sometimes even
killed in these raids.
“These raids … are needlessly subjecting nonviolent drug offenders,
bystanders, and wrongly targeted civilians to the terror of having their homes
invaded while they’re sleeping,” writes Cato policy analyst Radley Balko,
“usually by teams of heavily armed paramilitary units dressed not as peace
officers, but as soldiers.”
“Overkill: The Rise of Paramilitary Police Raids in America” is the name of the
study. The book-length document provides a legal, historical, and policy
background of how this disaster evolved. Balko examines the dangers of “no-
knock” and “short-notice” raids, explains how such confrontational tactics
cause violence rather than lessening risks, and offers recommendations for
“Overkill” includes an appendix of nearly 150 examples of documented botched
raids, including: the case of Alberto Sepulveda, an 11-year-old boy shot in the
head during a bungled raid in Modesto, California; Clayton Helriggle, a 23-year-
old shot and killed when an inexperienced SWAT team raided a house of college-
aged men guilty of recreational marijuana use; Sal Culosi, an optometrist in
Fairfax, Virginia mistakenly killed by a SWAT team that had come to his home to
arrest him for betting on sports games; and Mississippi police officer Ron
Jones, shot and killed when Cory Maye, a man asleep at home with his daughter
and who had no criminal record, mistook Jones’ raid team for criminal
Furthermore, Balko has found more than three dozen examples of completely
innocent people killed in mistaken raids; twenty cases of nonviolent offenders
who’ve been killed; and more than a dozen cases of police officers killed by
suspects or mistakenly targeted civilians who thought the police were criminal
These raids, writes Balko, “bring unnecessary violence and provocation to
nonviolent drug offenders, many of whom were guilty only of misdemeanors; they
terrorize innocents when police mistakenly target the wrong residence; and they
have resulted in dozens of needless deaths and injuries, not only of drug
offenders, but also of police officers, children, bystanders, and innocent
If you don’t think this can happen to you, or your family, regardless of
whether you’re innocent or not, this study proves it can.
Cato has also released an interactive Google Maps application that plots nearly
300 examples of mistaken raids since the mid-1980s. Users can zoom in to
street level, and sort raids by their end result (death of an innocent, death
of a police officer, etc.), and the year of the raid.
Immigration is an issue that recently has divided libertarians like few others.
While many libertarians favor open borders in theory, or at least want far less
restraints on immigration, some argue that the position is either too radical
to gain any support, or too dangerous and impractical in an age of terrorism,
government welfare, and threats to American cultural values.
Regardless of your position on this controversial issue, a new article in the
July 10 Wall Street Journal raises important points worth examining.
The article is entitled “Conservatives and Immigration: The debate on the right
about freedom, culture and the welfare state.”
First some background. It may surprise some to learn that, for more than 20
years, this mainstream, distinguished and highly influential newspaper has long
taken an extremely bold position in favor of open immigration.
Indeed, on July 3, 1984 they called for an amendment to the U.S. Constitution:
“There shall be open borders.”
Wrote the WSJ in 1984:
“If Washington still wants to “do something” about immigration, we propose a
five-word constitutional amendment: There shall be open borders. Perhaps this
policy is overly ambitious in today’s world, but the U.S. became the world’s
envy by trumpeting precisely this kind of heresy.”
They have written in favor of open borders and eased immigration many, many
more times since then.
In this latest article, they explain and defend their position.
“Our own view is that a philosophy of “free markets and free people” includes
flexible labor markets. At a fundamental level, this is a matter of freedom and
human dignity. These migrants are freely contracting for their labor, which is
a basic human right. Far from selling their labor “cheap,” they are traveling
to the U.S. to sell it more dearly and improve their lives. Like millions of
Americans before them, they and certainly their children climb the economic
ladder as their skills and education increase.
“We realize that critics are not inventing the manifold problems that can arise
from illegal immigration: Trespassing, violent crime, overcrowded hospital
emergency rooms, document counterfeiting, human smuggling, corpses in the
Arizona desert, and a sense that the government has lost control of the border.
But all of these result, ultimately, from too many immigrants chasing too few
“Those migrating here to make a better life for themselves and their families
would much prefer to come legally. Give them more legal ways to enter the
country, and we are likely to reduce illegal immigration far more effectively
than any physical barrier along the Rio Grande ever could.
“This is not about rewarding bad behavior. It’s about bringing immigration
policy in line with economic and human reality. And the reality is that the
U.S. has a growing demand for workers, while Mexico has both a large supply of
such workers and too few jobs at home.”
But what about the welfare state? What about immigrants not paying taxes, and
draining public services?
“[T]he immigrants who arrive here come to work, not sit on the dole. And thanks
to welfare reform, the welfare rolls have declined despite a surge in illegal
immigration in the past decade.
“The real claims that illegals make on public services are education, which
can’t be withheld because of a 1982 Supreme Court ruling (Plyer v. Doe), and
health care, especially emergency rooms. Since denying urgent medical treatment
is immoral, the answer again is to legalize cross-border labor flows and remove
government obstacles to affordable health insurance. As for education, even
illegals pay for public schools through the indirect property taxes they pay in
“Overall, immigrants contribute far more to our economy than they extract in
What about cultural concerns? Don’t worry, the WSJ says. Immigrants are
embracing American culture and embracing economic liberty.
“Mexican immigrants, like their European predecessors, are assimilating. Their
children learn English and by the end of high school prefer it to their
parents’ native tongue. They also marry people they meet here. Second-
generation Latinos earn less than white Americans but more than blacks and 50%
more than first-generation Latinos.”
There is much more of interest in the article, as well as in the original 1984
WSJ article on open borders. Both can be found at the links below.
Only when the initiators of force learn that their actions lead to their own destruction, will peace be possible in the Middle East.
By Onkar Ghate
As Israeli soldiers reenter Gaza and bomb Lebanon, and Israeli citizens seek shelter from Hezbollah’s missiles, the world despairingly wonders whether peace between Israel and its neighbors can ever take root. It can–but only if America reverses course.
To achieve peace in the Middle East, as in any region, there is a necessary principle that every party must learn: the initiation of force is evil. And the indispensable means of teaching it is to ensure that the initiating side is defeated and punished. Decisive retaliatory force must be wielded against the aggressor. So long as one side has reason to think it will benefit from initiating force against its neighbors, war must result. Yet this is precisely what America’s immoral foreign policy gives the Palestinian Authority, Hamas and Hezbollah reason to think.
Israel is a free country, which recognizes the rights of its citizens, whatever their race or religion, and which prospers through business and trade. It has no use for war and no interest in conquest. But for years, Arafat and the Palestinian authorities, with the aid of Iran, Syria, Saudi Arabia and other states, sought not to learn the conditions of freedom, but to annihilate the only free nation in their midst: Israel. Did the United States demand that the Palestinian leadership be destroyed?
No. Clinton invited Arafat to dine at the White House and Bush declared that peace requires Israel to give in to its aggressor’s insistence on a state.
Worse still, as part of the “two state solution” announced in 2002, Bush demanded that Israel withdraw to its pre-1967 borders. In 1967 Israel captured the Golan Heights, West Bank and Gaza Strip after yet another attempt by Arab nations to annihilate it. To give back any of this land–as Israel has done in the face of international pressure–teaches the Arabs that they can launch wars against Israel with impunity. If they at first do not succeed militarily, they need only continue issuing threats against Israel and arming more suicide-bombers–and eventually the land they lost in a war they initiated will be returned to them. They can then start the process anew, as they have since Israel withdrew from Lebanon and Gaza.
In order to move toward his “two state solution,” Bush championed elections in the Palestinian territories and Lebanon, which predictably brought Hamas and Hezbollah into government. Terrorism, Bush is thus teaching the killers, is the means to political power.
The reason peace eludes the Middle East is therefore not difficult to discern. The lesson President Bush is conveying to the Arabs and Islamists–that the initiation of force is practical–is a continuation of the lesson America’s foreign policy has been teaching them for decades. The Egyptians seized the Suez canal from the French and British in 1956–and we demanded that the Europeans not retaliate. Israel had the Palestinian terrorists surrounded in Lebanon in 1982–and we brokered their release. Many Arabs idolized a terrorist for hijacking airliners and murdering civilians–and we poured money into his regime, hailed him for winning the Nobel Peace Prize in 1994, and demanded that Israel enter into a protracted “peace process” that consisted of concession after concession. What possible conclusion could the Arab world draw but that the initiation of force is practical? So long as they have grounds to believe that, war is inescapable.
If we truly seek peace, we must reverse this perverse lesson. We must proclaim the objective conditions of peace. This means declaring to Arab nations that Israel, as a free country, has a moral right to exist, that the Arabs and Palestinians are the initiators of the conflict and that aggression on their part is evil and will not be tolerated. And it means encouraging Israel not to negotiate and compromise with its current assailants, but to destroy them.
Only when the initiators of force learn that their actions lead not to world sympathy and political power, but to their own deaths, will peace be possible in the Middle East.
Dr. Onkar Ghate is a senior fellow at the Ayn Rand Institute in Irvine, CA. The Institute promotes Objectivism, the philosophy of Ayn Rand–author of “Atlas Shrugged” and “The Fountainhead.”
I recieved this in an email. Truly, liberalism is the opiate of the masses, but I am willing to bet that heroin is a lot more fun! 🙂
A Liberal Agenda
People complain that “progressives” don’t have a platform. Here’s one list of beliefs ascribed to liberals. Interestingly, all but one of these are based, at least in part, on rational thought.
SAVE THE: Environment. Humans rape, plunder and pollute the earth with little thought for the future.
SAVE THE: Ozone layer. Our chemicals and emmissions damage this protective layer of our atmosphere.
SAVE THE: Caribou and Alaskan wilderness from destruction by the oil industry. (Why is it so easy to complain about dependence on foreign oil, but we refuse to allow an increase in local oil and nuclear energy, and just can’t get any other energy sources going either? Just asking!)
SAVE THE: Wetlands. Not only habitat for water foul and other wildlife, but protection for our cities. ( The drowning of New Orleans was the fault of big oil and the government)
SAVE THE: Parks. We have millions and millions of protected square miles within our borders. Mountains, deserts, forests, prairies, the works. We need more! And they must be protected from the use of humans at all costs.
SAVE THE: Americans from corrupt oil companies, big businesses, gun lobbies, religion and the crooked government.
SAVE THE: Whales from the whaling industry and injury from sonar equipment.
SAVE THE: Fish from pollution from industries and oil tankers.
SAVE THE: Animals from laboratory testing of any kind, from abuse and from the fur makers.
SAVE THE: Poor and elderly. Our system made them and holds them in their situation. We must provide for them.
SAVE THE: Criminals. Again, we created them. It’s not their fault. There should be no death penalty. It’s immoral to kill someone for any reason. Their rights and comfort must be protected way beyond those of their victims.
SAVE THE: Enemies. Terrorists only react to our crimes. The world leaders who slaughter their own are of no consequence to us. Their threats against us are meaningless. When we go to war, it’s our fault. Innocent civilians are only killed by us. Insurgents are our friends. All death and destruction from war is the fault of our president and that makes him a murderer. Excuse all members of congress who approved war, but have since come to their senses and speak out against it.
SAVE THE: Government. All branches of government are infested with criminals. But the only ones who’s offenses matter are the ones who’s political philosophy is right of center. They must be vilified at every opportunity, while we protect the reputation of our “own.”
BUT DON’T SAVE THE: Embryo and fetus. They are just worthless tissue. They can be destroyed for any reason with no thought of responsibility. They can be cut up and experimented on, ripped to shreds with instruments, burned with solutions and have their brains sucked out. It doesn’t matter because we have decreed that there is no life there. We ignore the beating heart, the working circulatory and nervous systems, the response to light, touch and other stimuli, the complete genetic profile, the promise of life and the future of our species.
For all the talk about saving everything and making sure every living thing has rights and protection, thinking of the future for our children and their children’s children, we have decided that the only thing in this world that has no rights and is entirely expendable is the unborn child. The very seed of our existence, joy of our lives and hope for our future is a “lifeless glob of cells.”
So much for the liberal agenda!
A young man was on holiday in Kenya after graduating from college. While he was walking through the bush, he came across a young bull elephant standing with one leg raised in the air.
The elephant seemed distressed so the man approached it very carefully. He got down on one knee and inspected the elephant’s foot. There was a large thorn deeply embedded in the bottom of the foot.
As carefully and as gently as he could he worked the thorn out with His hunting knife, after which the elephant gingerly put down its foot. The elephant turned to face the man and with a rather stern look on its face, stared at him. For a good ten minutes the man stood frozen — thinking of nothing else but being trampled.
Eventually the elephant trumpeted loudly, turned and walked away. The man never forgot that elephant or the events of that day.
Twenty years later the man was walking through the zoo with his teenaged son. As they approached the elephant enclosure, one of the creatures turned and walked over to where they are standing at the rail. The large bull elephant stared at him and lifted it’s front foot off the ground, then put it down. The elephant did that several times, all the while staring at the man. The man couldn’t help wondering if this was the same elephant. After a while it trumpeted loudly; then it continued to stare at him.
The man summoned up his courage, climbed over the railing and made his way into the enclosure. He walked right up to the elephant and stared back in wonder.
Suddenly the elephant trumpeted again, wrapped its trunk around one of the man’s legs and swung him wildly back and forth along the railing, killing him.
LETTER FROM A FARM KID,
(NOW AT San Diego MARINE CORPS RECRUIT TRAINING)
Dear Ma and Pa,
I am well. Hope you are. Tell Brother Walt and Brother Elmer the Marine
Corps beats working for old man Minch by a mile. Tell them to join up quick
before all of the places are filled.
I was restless at first because you got to stay in bed till nearly 6 a.m.
but I am getting so I like to sleep late. Tell Walt and Elmer all you do
before breakfast is smooth your cot, and shine some things. No hogs to slop,
feed to pitch, mash to mix, wood to split, fire to lay. Practically nothing.
Men got to shave but it is not so bad, there’s warm water. Breakfast is
strong on trimmings like fruit juice, cereal, eggs, bacon, etc., but kind of
weak on chops, potatoes, ham, steak, fried eggplant, pie and other regular
food, but tell Walt and Elmer you can always sit by the two city boys that
live on coffee. Their food plus yours holds you until noon when you get fed
again. It’s no wonder these city boys can’t walk much.
We go on “route marches,” which the platoon sergeant says are long walks to
harden us. If he thinks so, it’s not my place to tell him different. A
“route march” is about as far as to our mailbox at home. Then the city guys
get sore feet and we all ride back in trucks.
The country is nice but awful flat The sergeant is like a school teacher. He
nags a lot. The Captain is like the school board. Majors and colonels just
ride around and frown. They don’t bother you none.
This next will kill Walt and Elmer with laughing. I keep getting medals for
shooting. I don’t know why. The bulls-eye is near as big as a chipmunk head
and don’t move, and it ain’t shooting at you like the Higgett boys at home.
All you got to do is lie there all comfortable and hit it. You don’t even
load your own cartridges. They come in boxes.
Then we have what they call hand-to-hand combat training. You get to wrestle
with them city boys. I have to be real careful though, they break real easy.
It ain’t like fighting with that ole bull at home. I’m about the best they
got in this except for that Tug Jordan from over in Silver Lake . I only
beat him once. He joined up the same time as me, but I’m only 5’6″ and 130
pounds and he’s 6’8″ and near 300 pounds dry.
Be sure to tell Walt and Elmer to hurry and join before other fellers get
onto this setup and come stampeding in.
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