Saturday, January 29, 2005

Dog is my co-pilot...

Due to the decreasing intelligence among our standing army er... police officers, the Supreme betrayers er...Court (damn I hate it win the truth slips out) have decided that dogs are a better judge of wrong-doing than the officers...
Here's how it works: An officer pulls you over because you're driving a bit too fast or a bit too slow, or because you have a broken tail light, or because you're not wearing your seat belt, or because you forgot to put your new registration sticker on your license plate. He is soon joined by another officer with a drug-sniffing dog, which "alerts" when it gets near your trunk.

Or so the officers say. You have no idea what this particular dog does when it smells contraband, and the dog isn't talking. But now the police can look in your trunk. A minor traffic stop is thus transformed into an embarrassing, invasive, intimidating, time-consuming search for illegal drugs.
I like dogs. My family has three dogs and a cat. And, while I let my dogs handle some of the security iissues in my home, I am not about to trust them to tell me the good guys from the bad guys. They are all too likely to lick both in their bid for attention, just as a trained police dog is all too likely alert for any number of false reasons, but especially to please their master (even if it violates their normal training)...
This argument is based on a myth. As Justice David Souter, one of two dissenters in Illinois v. Caballes, pointed out, "the infallible a creature of legal fiction."

Souter cited examples from court cases of dogs with error rates of up to 38 percent. "Dogs in artificial testing situations return false positives anywhere from 12.5 to 60% of the time," he added.

In short, it is simply not true that a drug-sniffing dog "discloses only the presence or absence of narcotics." Even leaving aside the possibility of deliberate deception or honest error by police officers eager to turn a hunch into probable cause, the dogs themselves make mistakes, responding to subconscious cues from their handlers, alerting to food or residual odors of drugs that are no longer present, mistaking items associated with drugs for the drugs themselves, and so on.

Whatever the cause of a false alert, it exposes innocent people to the inconvenience and humiliation of drug searches they have done nothing to justify. Now that the Court has said police need no special reason to bring in the dogs, provided they are otherwise complying with the law, such searches will become more common, and they need not be limited to routine traffic stops.
Another Article of the Bill of Rights (the 4th, for those who don't know about the Bill of Rights) bites the dust. It is getting harder and harder to tell the good guys from the bad guys.

Lord, help me to be the person my dog thinks I am... - Unknown

Monday, January 24, 2005

Objects in Space...

Just in...

"After 15 years, and even as its fans say it is doing its best work, the end is in sight for the Hubble telescope, which has provided humankind with images of far-distant galaxies and vastly improved our understanding of deep space.

According to reports in the United States this weekend, the White House and Nasa have agreed to stop all plans for a space mission to prolong the life of the telescope, which is in orbit, 380 miles above Earth."

Seems like an excellent time for the government to sell NASA to the highest bidder and put space into the hands of the free market. Oh yeah,...thats right...the government is against the free seen by our continued growth of market regulations and the dropping of the United States off the top ten free economies of the the world. Sheesh!!! When are Americans going to wake up?

River: You're wrong about River. River's not on the ship. They didn't want her here, but she couldn't make herself leave. So she melted... Melted away. They didn't know she could do that, but she did.

River: I'm not on the ship. I'm in the ship. I am the ship.
Simon: River...
River: River's gone.
Early: Then who exactly are we talking to?
River: You're talking to Serenity. And, Early... Serenity is very unhappy.
--From the Firefly episode "Objects in Space"

Sunday, January 23, 2005

Heart of Gold...

I ask all of my blog readers to keep Gunner in your thoughts and if you are a praying person, to pray for his quick and complete recovery. Gunner and I have exchanged many emails and he is the kind of person I am proud to call friend. Get well soon, my friend...yours is a heart of gold.

Nandi: -- And I got word you were in the area... I'm imposing, but I got no one else to ask.
Inara: It sounds like the sort of thing this crew can handle. I can't guarantee they'll handle it particularly well, but --
Nandi: If they got guns, and brains at all...
Inara: They have guns.
From the Firefly episode "Heart of Gold"

The Message...

The only solution to Social Security is to end it. You cannot fix a fraud. It is nothing more than an entitlement program, a socialist wealth redistribution scheme, just like beekeeping subsidies or government art[sic] grants.

As Todd Andrew Barnett explains, the time has come for Social Security to die:

Once upon a time, Republicans held the high moral ground on the belief that the state should stay out of the economic and social affairs of the American people. That even includes their belief that government ought to get out of the retirement business. But that was only an aberration. By and large, Republicans have never supported economic and personal liberty on a grand scale, and they never will.

If people haven't caught on by now, they ought to understand that Social Security must die. Along with many other government programs, departments, and machinations, retirement is the responsibility of an individual—not the state. Whether Americans want to acknowledge it or not, it's time to get back on the fast track to individual liberty, personal responsibility, free enterprise, private charity, limited government, federalism, and the rule of law.

It's time for Americans to jettison the ever-growing amount of socialism here in America and bring back the principles of libertarianism, which made this country so special and revered. And Americans will continue to do that in the years to come.

More here...

"Everybody dies, Tracey. Someone's carrying a bullet for you right now, doesn't even know it. The trick is to die of old age before it finds you." - Malcolm Reynolds from the Firefly episode "The Message"

Saturday, January 15, 2005


From The Daily Reckoning:

"Apple sold so many iPod's last year that its earnings rose 400%. Andy Kessler says that's what makes us so great - we think up these great ideas...and the poor schleps overseas have to sweat to make them. And then, guess what - we actually make more profit on them than they do.

Maybe Mr. Kessler has not seen the latest details on America's trade deficit. Over the last 12 months, exports of "high tech products" actually FELL 21%. About the only area we are making progress is in exporting "scrap and waste" - up 135%. America, in other words, has become the world's leading exporter of trash.

But wait, Mr. Kessler would protest that though the United States may not actually manufacture or export high tech products, it earns a handsome royalty by inventing, creating and designing the products that are made elsewhere. Apple doesn't actually have to assemble the iPods in America in order to make money on them, he would point out.

How nice for Steve Jobs. And how nice for you, if you can dream up another iPod product and get Asians to make it for you. But the latest trade numbers show that even with iPod revenues flowing like gin into Apple's coffers, the tide of cash is still running out of the United States and into foreign hands. Even with all the trash the U.S. is shipping overseas, at the current rate, 2005 might see a new record deficit of $700 billion or more. Yes, it comes back. But only as the foreigners buy our assets and lend us money on our houses.

And here is the profane elegance of it, dear reader. Recycling the foreigners' earnings into U.S. assets misleads the public as well as economists.

"The willingness of China to put its money into Treasury securities has served to both prevent the needed changes in currency values and to hold down American interest rates and thus encourage more American consumption and bigger trade deficits," explains Floyd Norris in the International Herald Tribune. Get it? The nice Chinese people lend us money so we won't have to cut back on our spending. Interest rates in the United States stay lower than they might otherwise be...which boosts up asset prices higher than they might otherwise be...and helps hold down consumer prices lower than they might otherwise be. This makes American economists think that everything is fine. And it makes American consumers think they might as well continue spending. The spending increases China's profits...and gives them more money to lend - thus reinforcing all the illusions that Art Laffer and Andy Kessler take as fact.

Not that we have anything against the Chinese. We would suggest that they do a better credit check on their customers, but how can you fault a people who work 12 hours a day and save 40% of their income? Good luck to them!

But that is what is so delightfully absurd about the world economy, circa 2005: While Americans buy things they don't need with money they don't have, the Chinese are building factories in order to produce products with slim profit margins for fat people who can't afford to pay for them. The whole thing is bound to turn out badly. But it should be entertaining."

Trash and scrap, the fastest growing export sector of America. That's just great.

"It ain't a hand of cards. It's called a life. I've got a better life than you. And that's just barely, and just cause I don't spend my every waking hour pissing all over it, like some folks I'm holdin' a gun on... " - Malcolm Reynolds from Firefly episode "Trash"

War Stories...

Claire Wolfe gets some mail...

She wrote, among other things, about how sparkly she'd been feeling about the freedom movement. She really used words like sparkly. Glowing. Light-hearted.

She never said "optimistic." I'd have run for the hills if she had. But she conveyed beautifully the bright glow of things beginning to stir ... that sense of, "Could be, who knows? There's something due any day. I will know right away. Soon as it shows ..."

She said her boyfriend (another terrific friend to freedom) had the same sense.

And what's weird is that I have, too.

For several years, I felt nothing but total doom. I felt as though I had to go on just because I had to go on. My choices were to compromise with evil and lose my soul forever or to stand there like a rock until the waves of tyranny crumbled me and wore me down to bits of grit. And that means I felt I had no choice at all, because to compromise in any major way with what I know to be wrong simply isn't in my nature.

But starting just over a year ago a totally different feeling began to grow in my heart. Sparkly, as Ms. Liberty Light said. It's grown and grown. There's a buzz in the air. Over at The Claire Files and in real life, things are happenening.

The rest of Claire's post can be found here...

Wow! Several years ago, I felt that liberty had been lost for at least my lifetime and maybe my children's and grand children's lifetime. I had started to realize the true nature of our government and society and could see no way to fix any of it. Then a funny thing happened. I started discarding the false histories and philosophies I had been taught, and started re-learning. But this time, things had to make sense. If it didn't make sense I spent a lot of time figuring out why and determining whether the idea or history or philosphy was a red herring, a false trail and a deliberate deception. You would be surprised how many things we take for granted that are planted by others just to help us take them for granted.

I have read many of Claire's books as well as the works of others. But it took until about a year and a half ago for me to make some hard decisions and start changing the way I interact with society. Ever since then I have stood my ground with government bureaucrats, stopped (as much as I can) using the phoney money that the Federal Reserve foists on us, converted my savings into silver or gold or some other valuable commodity, and observed a transformation of not just my life, but my very nature. I kept a bank account for six months without using it and realized that I didn't need it (or the subtractions the bank made to it). And I found (thanks Claire) new ways to monkey wrench the system. It really isn't that hard. The system is broken to begin with. It doesn't take much to make shambles of it.

The light at the end of the tunnel was always a train before. Now it looks more like sunlight. I sleep much better now, my blood pressure has decreased, without the aid of drugs. I feel better and have a more positive outlook on life and the future. And all it took was to realize one very simple point: No matter what others may say or do, I am responsible for my life. I owe no allegence to those who don't want my cooperation. I will not be coerced into anything that is not a benefit to me or my family. Cooperation is a two way street, it has to work for both parties. When it doesn't, one party is seeking control over the other. It has now become pretty easy to recognize.

It is also pretty easy to see who gets it and who doesn't. In countless forums I have seen the same thing happen: The pro-government goons (some of them are just sheeple who are still asleep, but many are government employees and some are actual agents, investigating the forum members) on the forum defend the actions of government officials and courts. When countered with law and arguments based on freedom they quickly devolve into the rabid dogs that they are and start slinging personal attacks and insults at anyone who disagrees with them. No facts, no laws, no debate, just hateful, authoritarian posturing. It becomes pretty obvious who is who, in the zoo.

Time for everyone to wake up. Things ARE starting to happen. It is good to hear that others are seeing it too.

Book: This is precision work: sharpshooters. From the look of these wounds, I'd say a 54-R sniper rifle, laser sights.
Jayne: You do a lot of shooting at the abbey there, Shepherd?
Book: Rabbits.
Jayne: For stew, sure.
-From the Firefly episode "War Stories"

Wednesday, January 12, 2005


"US Treasury Secretary John Snow said the record US trade deficit was the result of strong economic growth and the United States outpacing the growth of other countries."

"The trade gap reflects two things: that our economy is growing at a fast pace and we are growing faster than our trading partners," Snow told reporters.

Where did Bush get this guy...a used car lot? It takes a huge lack of brains to turn to people and speak a bold faced lie like that. Joseph Goebbels (head of Hitler's propaganda machine) would be proud.

"The Commerce Department estimated that US exports sank 2.3 percent in November, driving the US trade deficit to all-time high of 60.3 billion dollars.

While exports fell to a five-month low of 95.6 billion dollars, imports rose 1.3 percent to a record 155.8 billion as the bill for imported oil rose by 17.7 percent, or more than 2 billion dollars, to a record 14.2 billion."

Yet this is what Snow[job] considers growth. I have noticed that many of the Treasury types have problems with decimal point placement and + and - signs. Figures.

Mal: Now all we need is a couple of patients.
Simon: Corpses, actually. For this to work River and I will have to be dead.
Huh. I'm starting to like this plan.
-From the Firefly episode "Ariel"

Tuesday, January 11, 2005

Out of Gas...

"A lawyer defending Specialist Charles Graner, who is accused of being a ringleader in the Abu Ghraib prisoner abuse scandal, argued that piling naked prisoners in pyramids was a valid form of prisoner control.

"Don’t cheerleaders all over America form pyramids six to eight times a year. Is that torture?" said Guy Womack, Sergeant Graner’s lawyer, in opening arguments to the ten-member military jury at the reservist’s court martial."

Now there is an excellent example of blurring the lines. Rush Limbaigh has spent days defending the torture technics used by our government. Mr. Womack has opened the door for a bright prosecutor to put some cheerleaders on the stand and ask them if it would be ok to:

1: Force them onto a basketball court...
2: Forcibly, put bags over their heads...
3: Force them to strip, nude...or strip them...
4: Have them all pile into a 'pyramid'...
5: front of their entire hometown...
6: ...and get their yearbook pictures taken.

Warning: Cattleprods (read tasers) and OC (read pepper spray) may be required.

I think it would be a good idea to interview their parents, too, you know, get a family feel for this non-torture episode.

The thing that gets me is everytime I hear about this issue, no one asks why these prisoners would agree to do this. The idea of force doesn't seem to enter anyone's mind. What would it take to get you , dear reader, to comply to such demands. Of course, we all heard about the guy who refused...Specialist Graner beat him unconcious. Yup, no pain or damage there.

Basically your government is made up of animals. Anyone supporting this kind of crap is only a blury line away from applying it to the citizens of his/her own country, his/her friends, his/her children, his/her parents or his/her spouse. That is why we stay away from the slippery slopes. One false move and your values fall like dominos. There is no justification for this.

Inara: Mal... come with us.
Mal: Can't. Four to a shuttle, Inara. Four.
Inara: One more. You know it can't make a difference. Not now.
Mal: I'm not leaving Serenity.
Inara: Mal -- you don't have to die alone.
Mal: Everybody dies alone.
-From the Firefly episode "Out of Gas"

Monday, January 10, 2005


The Criminal Rites Of Spring

(v. 1.1)

Over the next 3 1/2 months, thousands of American businesses and millions of individual citizens will use tax preparation specialists or software to help themselves commit one or more of a variety of serious crimes. Willfully, or, at best, negligently, these otherwise law-abiding Americans will prepare and execute a variety of fraudulent affidavits, resulting in serious harmful consequences for themselves and others. Despite being 100% personally responsible-- both morally and legally-- for its accuracy and its effects, these men and women will engage in a mass exercise of perjury, putting into the record sworn testimony about matters of which they are completely ignorant.

For instance, without ever having looked-- even for a moment-- at the highly specialized, quite-different-from-common-meaning statutory definitions of such custom legal terms as "employee", "trade or business", "employer" or "self-employed", these people will execute tax instruments declaring themselves to be one or more of these things. Those who do so inaccurately (the majority, I'm afraid) will at the same time subject themselves to a vastly higher tax liability than is legally appropriate; but whether right or wrong, each will swear to the truth and correctness of it all, to the best of their knowledge and belief. Click here for the rest of the story...

(or navigate to

Book: "What are we up to, sweetheart?"

River: "Fixing your Bible."

Book: "I, um...(alarmed)...what?"

River: "Bible's broken. Contradictions, false logistics - doesn't make sense." (she's marked up the bible, crossed out passages)

Book: "No, no. You - you can't...

River: "So we'll integrate non-progressional evolution theory with God's creation of Eden. Eleven inherent metaphoric parallels already there. Eleven. Important number. Prime number. One goes into the house of eleven eleven times, but always comes out one. Noah's ark is a problem."

Book: "Really?"

River: "We'll have to call it early quantum state phenomenon. Only way to fit 5000 species of mammal on the same boat." (rips out page)
Book: Give me that. River, you don't...fix the Bible.
River: It's broken. Doesn't make sense.
Book: It's not about making sense. It's about believing in something and letting that belief be real enough to change your life. It's about faith. You don't fix faith, River. It fixes you. You hang on to those, now.

--River Tam and Shepherd Book from the Firefly episode "Jaynestown"

Sunday, January 02, 2005

Our Mrs. Reynolds...

Some interesting developments in the We the People Federal case. Here is a summary:

On July 19, 2004, this case was initiated in the U.S. District Court in the District of Columbia. An Amended Complaint was filed in early September.

On September 30, 2004, as we had previously reported, the government filed a Motion to Dismiss our complaint.

On November 12, 2004, Mark Lane and Bob Schulz filed a Memorandum in Opposition to the government’s motion to dismiss.

On November 12, 2004, Mark Lane and Bob Schulz filed a Motion to Amend our complaint, in order to add hundreds of named plaintiffs, to narrow the issues and to cure a minor issue in our complaint. The government has opposed our Motion to Amend the complaint and we have replied to the government’s opposition. We are also awaiting the court’s decision on our Motion to Amend.

According to the rules of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, the government had until November 17, 2004 to reply to our Memorandum in Opposition to the government’s Motion to Dismiss. However, DOJ filed a Motion for more time, due in part, to “the gravity of the relief sought.”

We thought this to be an odd reason because the only relief we are seeking is a declaration of our Rights under the Petition Clause of the First Amendment, and an end to unconstitutional retaliation against those who Petition for Redress. However, the court granted the request. DOJ's reply is due today, December 22, 2004.

The government decided to retaliate against the leaders of the Petition process, including Bob Schulz in his personal capacity and as Chairman of the WTP organization. The government served Schulz with a Summons, demanding that Schulz turn over certain personal records to the IRS.

Schulz immediately sued the IRS in the US District court. In his complaint, Schulz asked the Court to quash the IRS Summons on the grounds that the IRS did not have a legitimate purpose, that the IRS was infringing on his First Amendment Right to Petition and his Right to associate with others of like mind, and that the Summons was nothing more than harassment and impermissible retaliation.

The IRS, as defendant, did not respond to the lawsuit. They never made an appearance in District Court! Eventually, Schulz motioned the District Court for a default judgment. The District Court issued its decision, holding that the court was prevented by law from quashing an IRS Summons.

Schulz immediately appealed to the US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit (see Schulz’s Appellant Brief). The IRS, through its attorney, the U.S. Department of Justice, decided to make an appearance in the court of Appeals. DOJ, through its Senior Counsel, Robert Storch, filed a Respondent’s Brief.

At oral argument, DOJ argued that the District Court lacked jurisdiction and could not quash the Summons served on Schulz because the Summons legally meant nothing. Ironically, in order to scuttle Schulz’s case by asserting lack of jurisdiction, and to avoid a judicial skirmish directly debating the Summons authority of the IRS, DOJ argued before the three appellate justices that the IRS Summons was legally “unenforceable,” therefore Schulz was under no legal obligation to respond to it, denying the court subject matter jurisdiction.

During argument, one of the justices inquired of Storch, “If there is no legal obligation to respond to IRS Summons, then why didn't the IRS simply print a disclaimer on the Summons itself informing people that they did not have to respond to the Summons?” Storch could not answer the question.

In a highly unusual move, the appellate court ordered DOJ to submit a memorandum to the Court by December 23, 2004, further explaining to the court why DOJ believes people do not have to respond to IRS Summons, why people will suffer no consequences if they ignore such Summons, and why the court is without power to grant Schulz’s request to quash the Summons. In response, Storch, the Senior Counsel in the office of the US Attorney, repeatedly asserted he did not understand this area of the law and would have to engage IRS officials to draft the Memorandum requested by the Court.

My what tangled webs we weave...

Go to the We the People website for more information, copies of all filings, and to help out or join-in.

"Now think real hard. You been bird-dogging this township a while now. They wouldn't mind a corpse of you. Now you can luxuriate in a nice jail cell, ... but if your hand touches metal, ... I swear by my pretty floral bonnet, ... I will end you." - Malcolm Reynolds from Firefly episode "Our Mrs. Reynolds"