Thursday, August 27, 2015

The Loophole

Predictably, in the wake of the recent dual homicides here on the shores of Smith Mountain Lake where I live, the strident screeds for gun control are ringing throughout the mainstream media courtesy of All The Usual Suspects paddling around the political cesspool.

Emotions are funny, volatile things, difficult to control under the best of circumstances. It’s human nature to lash out illogically, unreasonably at an inanimate object that facilitated the excruciating and painful loss of a loved one, in this case a gun. At least Alison Parker’s father has that excuse to explain his comments about “shaming legislators into doing something about closing loopholes and background checks.”

All the usual anti-gunners are using the tragedy to grab sensational self-slobbering headlines: Obama, Hillary and our esteemed Virginia Governor, former Clinton shill, Terry McAuliffe and the rest of the opportunistic political class of congenital hypocrites.

It’s true: I’ve heard this song before; it’s from an old familiar score… that, for liberals and others similarly  deranged, a still unsettled score: disarming the American public despite inconvenient things like the Bill of Rights, Natural Law, The Rule of Law, even mildly oblique precedents from SCOTUS.

Damn their “Ayes”!

But rather than add another exercise in logic, an over-researched, over-footnoted, over-arching piece, resplendently redundant with credibly published facts and figures debunking the bull again, let’s take that bull by the tail and face directly the source of a rhetorically effective byword littering the media:  Loophole.

Certainly you’ve heard or read it all before: “we must close the gun show loophole… “…domestic violence loophole”… “…mentally deranged loophole”…people taking psychotropic drugs looph.. “ (forget that last one; never happened, never will but for different reasons).

Just what is a “loophole”? Where do they come from? If there is a “loophole” in the law, how did it get there? No one knows!  According to the Blowdried Set (see National TV News Anchors) and other selected punditry, there are “tax loopholes” for the greedy rich, “regulatory loopholes” for the greedy producers, even “Welfare and Social Security loopholes” for those sufficiently clever and motivated to game the system.

Webster’s says a loophole is: “an ambiguity or inadequacy in the law or a set of rules”. Wait! What? Aren’t the geniuses who write legislation smart enough to eliminate this never ending supply of “loopholes”? Apparently not. Hey! Maybe loopholes aren’t born of ignorance or accident at all! Maybe loopholes are as intentional as the law or regulation itself, specifically designed to punish most - but not all!

If loopholes are mistakes, the Logic Free Zone of Washington, DC and every State capital should be a ghost town tomorrow due to the epidemic of terminal incompetence.  If loopholes are a special and intentional creation, it must take an awful lot of work and a pile of evil. All things considered (Government + Politicians), I vote for the latter.
Beyond the basics – “You can’t hit people and you can’t steal their stuff”. (P.J. O’Rourke) -every law and every regulation is one more termite gorging itself on a corner of our freedom and liberty to live our lives freely in the pursuit of happiness.

The entity we call “Government” and the people who operate it - whether elected, appointed or hired -do not spend their time concocting ways and means to preserve and protect Freedom and Liberty. No, they labor diligently, blatantly, in front of C-SPAN cameras and consistently in the legendary ”smoke-filled back rooms ”inside the capital’s labyrinths, to eradicate it. Benignly, we are told they are working to “keep us safe”.

From the violent violations of the 4th Amendment to the astonishingly arrogant incompetence of the EPA, how’s exactly is that working out?

To the sociopaths and their myrmidons in government, Liberty is a loophole.  Freedom is a loophole. Natural Rights are loopholes, all of which must be eliminated, slammed shut quickly, thoroughly and when necessary, inhumanely.  And they will be. Because at no time in all of mankind’s recorded history has government -any government -served any other ultimate purpose than enslavement of its subjects, no matter how benevolent and benign its beginnings.

Not knowing his political philosophy, at least in the apoplexy of his justifiable rage and grief at the murder of his daughter, Mr. Parker’s comments can be understood. Hopefully, in calmer times, he will learn and appreciate the folly of his stated mission “to do something about crazy people getting guns” by “shaming legislators into doing something about closing loopholes and background checks.” Hopefully, he will understand violent crime requires nothing more than a fist; that everything else is just a tool to make the violence more efficient and lethal. But the crime starts and ends with the criminal. Not the tool he uses. Hopefully, he will come to appreciate that “shaming legislators” never produces “good laws”. Hopefully, he will see that more intrusive incursions to preemptively punish anticipated aberrant behavior would bring “Minority Report” from the silver screen into a way of life. 

More accurately: a way of existence.


Hopefully, Mr. Parker will come to realize all of this and he will speak accordingly to relatives, friends, even media audiences. There is no hope “elected leaders” will ever achieve that level of honesty.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Mobocracy

Rummaging thru some boxes that hadn’t been unpacked from several previous moves, I rediscovered a great little book published back in 2002. The title is “Mobocracy – How the media’s obsession with polling twists the news, alters elections and undermines democracy”. It was originally recommended to me by friend James Bovard who has this endorsement on the back cover: 

 “Matt Robinson’s Mobocracy elucidates the chicaneries of pollsters, the craveness of the media and the confusion of the American public. Robinson shows how public opinion polls are derailing deliberation and dumbing down the political process. His book is a great antidote for anyone who still trusts the evening news.”

I interviewed Matthew one afternoon on WBAL/Baltimore and had a great time listening to him popping the pretentious balloons of TV’s blow-dryed news anchors and the pompous pundits of the print media who, by then – with a far less advanced internet, – were regaling unsuspecting viewers and readers with the True Revelations of Everything Everywhere through Polling Results. What Matthew Robinson did with Mobocracy was pull back the curtain Wizard of Oz-like and explain just how polls were rigged.

I strenuously doubt much of this will come as a surprise to anyone reading this --it’s probably  a safe bet that we’re all settled in for the next 16 months’ worth of dogs and ponies, bread and circuses but you may be amazed to learn just how bad it is; that beyond rigging the questions and skewing the results,  there is the staggering ignorance of the voters and how pollsters politicians and the media use that ignorance to parlay it into everything from voter results to law making.

If you were among the 23 million FOX News is bragging about having watched the first GOP so-called Debates and the accompanying Kelly/Trump slug fest, you likely saw Fred Luntz and his little focus group that both preceded and followed the snark fest. Personally, I found it surprising how transparent Luntz’s little group of orchestrated Mind Changers revealed themselves.

I’ve had some personal experience with focus groups. In broadcasting, owners of stations in large markets often hire companies like Luntz’s to get an idea how their on-air people are being received and perceived by a cross section of the station’s target demographic. Twelve to 20 people are brought in after meeting appropriate qualifications: age, sex, race – whatever. In most cases, they are played a segment of a certain show. Each participant has in their hand a dialing mechanism they’ve been given with instructions to turn the dial in accordance with how good they feel or how much they agree with what’s been said; turn it the opposite way when they disapprove. Trust me, entire careers have been made and lost with this technique. But as Robinson points out in Mobocracy, what questions get asked, how questions get asked, who is doing the asking – are all vitally important to the outcome.

I wanted to re-unite with Matt for another interview – but he has disappeared. Having left his managing director’s gig at Human Events not long after our interview, he became a speech writer for some Republican heavies during the Bush years and then…poof. The good news is that while out of print, Mobocracy is still available on Amazon – and at a very reasonable price. I just received an extra copy for a whopping $1.66! Some of the material is a bit dated  – but the basics on polling methodology are as true today they were then. As we roll into the 2016 elections, a quick read of Mobocracy could be very revealing, even educational in appreciating the cute and clever things the Media, Politicians and Pollsters do to mess with the heads of voters and what happens next.



If you get a copy, be sure to share your thoughts with the rest of the class at your earliest convenience….

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Peddling the Corruption of Liberty

Note: I had the pleasure of meeting and speaking at length with Mr. Machan 20+ years ago in Atlanta with the release of "Private Rights and Public Illusions". I regret my knowledge and appreciation of the principles of Freedom and Liberty were insufficiently developed to appreciate at that time many of the observations he shared.
BW


"Ever since the idea of individual liberty has achieved some measure of credibility over the world, those who would be unseated by its limited triumph had to find some way to discredit it or trump it somehow. One way was to re-christen servitude, to make it appear like an even more important kind of liberty than what individual liberty, properly understood, amounts to.
When a human being is free in the most important, political sense, he or she is sovereign. This means he or she governs his or her own life—others must refrain from intruding on this life, plain and simple. That life may be fortunate or not, rich or not, beautiful or not, and many other things or not, but what matters is that that life is no one else’s to mess with. One gets to run it, no one else does.
Now this is a very uncomfortable idea for all those folks who see all kinds of benefits from running other people’s lives. But they cannot champion this now in so many words, what with individual liberty having gained solid standing, so the only way to remedy matters for them is to claim that their oppression brings even greater freedom to people than the respect and protection of individual liberty."
- Tibor Machan


Sunday, August 9, 2015

The End Game

Personally, I cannot comment with any informed authority on the recommendations that follow the article below. However, the writer provides a compelling summary of where we've been, how we got here and what's next. 
BW

The End Game

The next step in getting ready for the collapse is an all-out effort to confiscate the wealth of the public. This can be seen in the effort to push investors away from solid forms of wealth protection such as gold and silver and into stocks, bonds and bank deposits. More recently, we’ve seen the emergence of an effort to end the use of safe deposit boxes and a push to end the use of paper currency in making transactions.
The end objective is to force as much money as possible into deposits in banks, then take it. The US, EU and a few other countries have passed confiscation legislation, allowing the banks carte blanche to confiscate and/or refuse to release deposits.
Of course a reset of these proportions will not be without its fallout. The public will be horrified at the outcome, at the realisation that the very institutions they thought had been created to protect them had never been intended to serve their interests at all.
Once they realise that the world’s greatest Ponzi scheme has been foisted on them, they will be hopping mad and justifiably so. Those who had not had the foresight to internationalise themselves, to remove themselves as much as possible from the system, will most certainly want to get even in some way.
And this makes clear why governments, particularly that of the US, are working so hard to create a police state. Unless a totalitarian state can be created, those who are presently taking the wealth may not be able to fully realise their objectives.
The coming train wreck is no accident. It has long been planned. That the “smart fellows in charge” will somehow save the day is therefore a vain hope indeed.
It’s still possible to back out of the system, but it’s getting more difficult every day. The window is closing, and the time to internationalise is now"
- Jeff Thomas

Saturday, August 8, 2015

Boiling Frog Update

"As reported by The New American, Comey testified that he believes the government's spy and law enforcement agencies should have unfettered access to everything Americans may store or send in electronic format: On computer hard drives, in so-called i-clouds, in email and in text messaging – for our own safety and protection. Like many in government today, Comey believes that national security is more important than constitutional privacy protections or, apparently, due process. After all, aren't criminals the only ones who really have anything to hide?

In testimony before a hearing of the Senate Judiciary Committee entitled "Going Dark: Encryption, Technology, and the Balance Between Public Safety and Privacy" Comey said that in order to stay one step ahead of terrorists, as well as international and domestic criminals, Uncle Sam's various spy and law enforcement agencies should have access to available technology used to de-encrypt protected data. Also, he believes the government should be the final arbiter deciding when decryption is necessary."

J. D. Heyes

Read the rest of the article here

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Cloak and Dagger

"The State is 'nothing but men acting in concert'. The grounds for justification of State action can only be “the same principles which differentiate the proper from the improper actions of the individual. […] Despite the lofty pretensions of most governments, the fact remains that they, like any other group of men, are nothing more than a collection of individuals. The ‘rights of a government’, like the rights of any other association of men, can be morally no different than the rights of the men who comprise it. All that which is immoral for men acting individually is equally immoral for men acting in association. There is nothing a government can morally do, which individuals by themselves cannot morally do. The group is ethically no different from the individual. It is irrelevant whether a man steals by his own authority or with the sanction of a million others, whether he takes money for himself or for ‘the poor’ or for any other group which did not earn it. Theft consists of taking a man’s property against his will, regardless of the beneficiary. If the individual has an inalienable right to his own life, liberty, and property, then morally his life and property are his own to do with as he pleases. It is just as immoral for a government to attempt to tax A’s earnings, regulate his business, or draft his sons [to go to war] as it would be for some isolated individual acting on his own authority to do so. The association of men into a group called ‘government’ does not free them from morality or sanction actions otherwise immoral,” and neither does the size of such a group or its support (Wollenstein, 1969)."

Note:
This is the opening graph of a compelling piece that boils certain words, concepts, narratives and beliefs down to bite-size basics. For a better, clearer understanding of many of today's issue and their parlance, check out the rest of article here.
BW

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Share With Your Friends

If you share pictures on-line, you are likely inviting very UNwelcome guests to steal your stuff - and maybe other things...

Ain't technology great?! Sometimes not so much...

Check it out here.

BW