Saturday, April 07, 2007

Of Ships of State, riverboat races, and the price of meaningless victories.

I'm no fan of big government, so the siren song of Thatcherism seduced me for a while - back when the Iron Lady was still in office and Ronald Reagan was best buddies with her and "Lyin' Brian" Mulroney of Canada.

Both Commonwealth leaders were allowed to give both nations a solid dose of Conservative medicine and then shown the door. They did not achieve the cult status Regan has, and yet, I believe both will be shown in the historical view to have done more for their nations - and for less personal reward - than Reagen or any of his intellectual heirs. And I don't mean individually; I mean, in toto.

The Parliamentary tradition has certain strengths - and one of those is sort of a genetic memory of why it came to be and in the United Kingdom, especially, what happens when it is set aside in the name of expediency and a "Strong Executive."

All governments are a system of checks and balances, and one of it's most important roles is to serve as a check on the powerful, both those who have great power, and those who would like to have great power. It is a means of guiding and advising those who desire to wield power, to keep them in check and working for the benefit of all, rather than establishing their own little individual warring fiefdoms.

In our particular form of government, the tradition - though somewhat inchoate - is for citizens to seek out those who, like George Bush and Dick Cheney need power like they need air, and then hold them accountable for using it well by means well short of violence. while explicitly stipulating that the citizens hold that ultimate right at need. That's your Second Amendment, right there.

Those who try to subvert those checks in the name of some sort of "victory" are like those riverboat captains who'd put a brick on the safety valve in order to win a race. Sometimes the boiler will hold and sometimes it won't, leading to the conversion of a transitory victory into a permanent last place finish.

When the boiler of the ship of state is starting to spit rivets, prudent passengers seek to remove the brick.

Our system of checks and balances was set up to ensure that no single person was likely able to concentrate enough power to overcome the interests of competitors seeking to concentrate power, so that, in order to maintain their basis of power and defend it against the encroachments of others, they must perforce actually do their jobs and do them well.

The admiration I have for the cynical wisdom of our Founders seems to increase every day.
And it is a system that, by and large, worked well enough until the unholy alliance of neocon and theocon emerged to subvert the government itself in the name of concentrating power for the sake of ... well, on that, I suspect there are significant disagreements, set aside "for later."

But what has emerged from both neocon and theocon philosophies put into action is a vast contempt for government, clad in a desire for limited government. It's easy to be fooled by this, for everyone has an idea about how government might be vastly improved with a bit of pruning. But the mechanisms of government, the number of people and the dollars spent have not decreased, and these institutions have become more intrusive and less respectful of the citizenry.

Tom Teepen: Contempt for government - sacbee.com: "Item: A meeting was set up by the staff of Karl Rove, Bush's political enforcer, to point out to contractors who do business with the General Services Administration, just which Republican House and Senate seats look especially needy in the run-up to the elections next year. A suspicious mind might wonder if the administration was perhaps, just maybe, trying to shake down the contractors on behalf of the only endangered species this White House cares about."
Tip o' the hat to reader John for this one, and it's just one of many examples given in this editorial.

One hopes that those GSA contractors think hard about the maxim about "Danegeld." If you pay it, you can never get rid of the Dane.

I Am Responsible For My Own ActionsIt's not government the Republican leadership objects to, so long as they are doing the governing. It's the aspect of accountability for the means of gaining power and the usage of that power that they find odious, as well as the idea that with great power comes great responsibility.

It's like drunk drivers, who used to have the expectation that being drunk was actually a defense against charges of vehicular manslaughter.

What they object to any expectation of self-government on their part. If one wishes to illustrate this, it's simple enough to point to any of hundreds and thousands of Bushies and fellow travelers who are all in favor of laws and regulations and restrictions on other people - so long as there's no expectation that any such restrictions are mutual.

There is a sense of arrogant entitlement to the "right" to act and speak in ways offensive and indeed harmful to others without accountability, and this is the antithesis of all Libertarian and classic conservative thought, where great weight is placed on personal responsibility and personal ethical behavior even when the cameras are pointed at someone else.

This ethos is vital to small and effective government - indeed, it's vital to any efficient system. Just ask Warren Buffet; it's how he runs his business. He hires trustworthy people and then trusts them, rewarding them according to their performance. It's not exactly a novel idea, but of course, it requires a certain measure of self-respect. In order to trust others, I have found, first one has to be trustworthy.

Those who are not trustworthy cannot imagine that those who can be trusted could be anything other than fools to be exploited. As a result, they waste time and resources armoring the system against - well, themselves while concealing their own systemic abuses, consequently making it unresponsive to anyone seeking honest, transparent access to it.

I am a Libertarian and my beliefs require me to be responsible for any aspect of my life and individual liberty I'm unwilling to delegate. At the same time I embrace my right and responsibility of myself and others to donate any amount of power they are incapable of or unwilling to use responsibly and well - with the expectation of a fair return on that investment.

The rules for money are the same as for any other form of power, for money is simply a means of moving economic power from here to there, as well as a reasonably efficient means of converting one form of power to another.

Yes, this is a seemingly selfish metric - but it also embraces the idea that every other donor has an equal right of concern, and has every right to different ideas of what their fraction of donated power should be used for, as well as recognition that individuals can and do differ remarkably on what they consider to be just compensation. It's also a recognition of reality - that nobody can afford to be altruistic at the expense of their own survival, much less the survival of the people and ideals they most value.

Therefore, any government that expects people to avoid the shortest path between need and gratification had best make the detour worthwhile - and what those in power think about those who would otherwise take the shortest path is immaterial. No amounts of "shoulds and shouldents" and no amount of laws passed in the name of those moral imperatives will change that behavior, nor will those laws ensnare those who are neither unlucky nor unintelligent in their mindful and willful refusal to comply.

Should I dislike the outcome of the balance of all the competing interests government must serve - or the performance based on promises - I have the right to either delegate another representative, or wield my power in my own name - just as I can choose to, say, self-insure against the possibility of a disastrous flood.

Whether or not that's a prudent choice depends a great deal on where you live and how much you have at stake - and the various social priorities and choices made by various states clearly illustrates that. The necessity to reasonably govern the population you have - rather than the population you wish you had - is the reason the Constitution places the states ahead of the Fed. It's not so much that a strong central government should not exist, it's rather that it cannot exist without inherently violating and suppressing entirely legitimate local interests. By restricting it's scope to those things that were clearly of overriding common concern, the Founders hoped to avoid our exact current situation.

However, in rediscovering this essential principle, our noses are rubbed in things that are of overriding common concern that can be addressed centrally, and indeed, probably can only be addressed centrally in any sort of cost-effective way and without serious impacts on essential liberties such as freedom of movement. I am speaking, of course, of social safety-net issues such as universal access to health care.

The issue of "who pays" is not nearly so critical as the idea that everyone, no matter who, no matter what their circumstances is able to access health-care at need, long before it becomes a matter of critical and unavoidable urgency, in recognition of the fact that what happens to individuals who do not have health care actually and unavoidably affects everyone in their community - via disease, bankruptcy, loss of productivity, loss of disposable income and even in loss of community participation. Nor should the systemic cost of widespread stress on the productivity and health of the population be discounted. It has a cost that can only be roughly estimated, but in any estimation has to be "very, very large."

My view is that a government that makes it easier to make wise choices, and which makes a broader range of choices meaningfully available to people is doing it's job. When it starts making choices on my behalf and trying to enforce them against MY judgment, it has become my adversary.

At that point I don't much care what the ideology behind it's choices are - once it's intruded into my life without invitation or compensation, it's excuses for doing so are meaningless. Because by definition, such blanket choices will be at the expense of many who will not benefit from them and may actually be harmed by them, far out of proportion to individual or collective gains.

That is where the abuse of power starts; when government becomes insensitive to the wishes, desires and even the guiding ethos of those it governs. When it demonstrates active contempt for entire swaths of the population, "choosing sides," as it were, it's not only just for those so abused to withdraw their consent, it's pretty much inevitable.

Therefore, open contempt for the electorate is a pretty sure signpost to the end of a dynasty. And any dynasty - and the Bushes surely consider themselves a dynasty - that thinks they can govern without the consent of a majority, much less at the expense of a majority, is not long for this world.

It's apparent that one reason eight prosecutors were fired is because that, despite having identified themselves as Republicans, they nonetheless were willing to enforce the law without regard to the political advantage of fellow Republicans, at the expense of the interests of districts they were appointed to guard and serve.

The really stunning part of this is that those advocating even more widespread firings - such as Harriet Myers - seem to be honestly blind to the inherent corruption contained in the idea. It's as if the core support of the Bush Administration sees everything in terms of partisan advantage, every program, every policy, every agenda, every word - and none of it needs have any real purpose or indeed, achieve anything more than a momentary positive blip in the polls to be legitimate.

This behavior is - aside from being probably illegal, certainly irresponsible and absolutely wrong - is a clear symptom of cancerous self-delusion permeating the entire administration, a delusion that leads them to overvalue their own judgment, not realizing how badly their addiction to unchecked power has effected it. Those who use power wisely and well do so in full understanding of and in service to the legitimate needs of those they serve, and do not confuse legitimate needs with popular whims, which if served at all, are served in small portions as dessert.

But this government does not serve, it alternately panders and bullies; expressing in it's governance the inability of those holding power to govern themselves or even casually adhere in their own lives to the values they would impose by fiat on the rest of us.

But at some point, they will find themselves in the dock, and the judge and jury will not be impressed by the argument that being drunk on power justifies the casual horrors committed in the name of being drunk at the wheel of an entire nation.

Illustration Credits:

courtesy of Totally Wrong T-Shirts.

courtesy of CynicalBlack



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Friday, April 06, 2007

Having lain down with his Master, Dowd scratches an itch


The three big Bush stories of 2007--the decision to "surge" in Iraq, the scandalous treatment of wounded veterans at the Walter Reed Army Medical Center and the firing of eight U.S. Attorneys for tawdry political reasons--precisely illuminate the three qualities that make this Administration one of the worst in American history: arrogance (the surge), incompetence (Walter Reed) and cynicism (the U.S. Attorneys).

That's brutally unqualified language; criticism that is as accurate as it is surprising, considering the source and given what effect it may have on the access of Time reporters to the Administration. Perhaps they have realized that source is only useful in a geothermal sense.

Time Magazine has always been center - right with an reflex toward conservatism, dispute rumors to the contrary - though of course it IS to the left of places such as Newsbusters, which seems to have fallen of the edge of the spectrum, a reality that is underlined by increased defections by former "hard core" supporters such as Matthew Dowd and the reaction of the echo chamber.

And despite what the echo chambers reverberate, I don't think coming out against the administration is evidence of a "shift to the left," save in the Colbertian sense, that "reality has a well-known Liberal bias." In a truly Conservative, classically Republican world-view, results count more than words. And the Administration's record on delivering any promised reality has been dismal.

Traditionally, Conservatives are fonder of facts on the ground than pie in the sky, of established and proven procedure to grand and glorious socio-economic theory. The caveat is that you must not confuse "Conservatism" with "Social Conservatism," a mindset which is much more accurately described as "reactionary" or "radical," depending upon the issue.

Read the comments - and indeed, the article itself. It's revealing of the very mindset that did in fact lead to the administration's collapse. First, a complete inability to recognize reality, a callus disregard for the feelings and indeed, the well-being of people who disagree, and of course, a stunning arrogance based upon willful ignorance.

As many actual Conservatives have come to belatedly realize, there is a huge amount of karma waiting around the corner with brazen knuckles, intending to extract a long-term payback for short term strategies. While those strategies were effective, far too many were making good livings furthering them, and too many winning elections and contracts based upon the polices of fear and loathing (as set forth in this Salon article.)

[Matthew] Dowd had been central in formulating the 2002 midterm campaign that zeroed in on the Democrats' patriotism. In 2004, he and Rove crafted the negative attack on Kerry as a "flip-flopper." Asked about the TV ads ripping Kerry, Dowd said on Sept. 22, 2004, on CNN, "I think it's totally tasteful. And the American public is going to be fine with it." He also blithely defended the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth defamation of Kerry's sterling Vietnam War record. "I think the Swift boat ads were part of that dialogue," he said in a 2005 PBS "Frontline" documentary, "but it was more important in that they pointed out something about John Kerry, which is, all this guy's talking about is his Vietnam record. What does that have to do with the war on terror?"

Dowd believed he was designing a permanent Republican majority, but, working alongside Rove, his short-term winning tactics built enormous pressure that produced an implosion. During the 2006 midterm campaign that lost the Republicans control of Congress, Dowd worked as a consultant for California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, a Republican running as a virtual liberal Democrat. "I think we should design campaigns that appeal not to 51 percent of the people," Dowd told the Times, "but bring the country together as a whole."

But Dowd neither detailed nor did the Times mention his consulting work in the campaign last year of Richard DeVos, billionaire heir of the Amway fortune, for governor of Michigan. DeVos is a zealous follower of and major donor to the most extreme organizations of the religious right. His campaign against incumbent Democratic Gov. Jennifer Granholm was marked by nasty ads falsely stating: "Under Governor Granholm's administration, you can stay on welfare as long as you want." These weren't a new paradigm but old racial code words.


Despite having won - so to speak - two elections and having near absolute control of the nation and it's policies for six years, there are no fruits of victory - no achievements to commemorate the triumph. And all that "Republican Revolutionary Spirit," all the fruits of the Gipper; all have resolved with seeming inevitability, into one massive, miserable and undeniable failure.

To the surprise of no-one at all, mercenary opportunists such as Dowd will be the first "dedicated supporters" to discover that - to their astonishment - George Bush has committed impeachable offenses, not so much due to a crisis of conscience - though that may indeed play a role, but due to the fact that calling for the blood of the leader may have the effect of shielding the followers from accountability as well as possibly preserving a shred or two of self-respect.

With the sheer number of Nixon and Regan retreads in this administration, the strategy is probably obvious to everyone.

So once again, the usual suspects will be "shocked, shocked to find that there is gambling in this establishment!" And once again, the real lesson of the price of stupid, precipitous and unethical conduct will be lost. We teach our kids in T-Ball and Pop Warner that winners never cheat because cheaters cannot win. Maybe the Mommy and Daddy Parties should remember that simple, kindergarten lesson in practical ethics.

Illustration: Bush Puzzled as to what went wrong by webcarve

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In Homage to Harry Reid's Giant Testicles

I dugg this and I think you will too.
The Rude Pundit Bows down :

Each and every time Bush has tried to pathetically swing a right hook at his face, the Nevada Senator's bent back so that Bush hit only air. Reid's danced and then returned a left uppercut to Bush's chin. The Senate passes an Iraq funding bill with a timeline for troop withdrawal and benchmarks. Bush goes all batshit and says he'll veto it, doesn't wanna talk about, dadadadadamyfingersareinmyearsIcanthearyou. What does Reid do? Does he talk about compromise and "working with the White House"? Fuck no. He grabs his pendulous balls and says, "Eat shit and die," and then says he'll back Russ Feingold's bill that cuts off funds for the war except for a narrowly defined mission.

Reid's been to Iraq, been to Walter Reed - here's what he said about that visit: "To say, Mr. President, that I left Walter Reed depressed is an understatement. We've all heard the stories about Walter Reed...Go to Walter Reed. Listen to the parents. Listen to the people that are hurt." Reid describes how private contracting is destroying the hospital and the military, as well as how the lack of resources is affecting the patients there.

Yesterday, in his pissy little press conference, Bush tried to attack back, saying that Democrats are playing games and are delaying his funding request for the troops. Not missing a fuckin' beat, Reid slammed back, "Democrats will send President Bush a bill that gives our troops the resources they need and a strategy in Iraq worthy of their sacrifices. If the President vetoes this bill he will have delayed funding for troops and kept in place his strategy for failure."
Give 'em hell, Harry!

As usual, The Rude Pundit is a source of hilariously Graphic Truth.

read more | digg story

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What's really behind "Stop the ACLU:" - Pizza

ACLU - Real ID Pizza Nightmare

The government and corporations are aggressively collecting information about your personal life and your habits. They want to track your purchases, your medical records, and even your relationships. The Bush Administration's policies, coupled with invasive new technologies, could eliminate your right to privacy completely. Please help us protect our privacy rights and prevent the Total Surveillance Society.

Strangely - or perhaps not so strangely - Domino's Pizza is a major contributor to conservative campaigns, though I'm not sure if they specifically oppose the ACLU. Nonetheless, the choice of a pizza parlor being able to access your private info in order to see if they can or should sell you pizza is an all-too-possible future.

With this ad, the ACLU points out a fact that seems to escape Conservatives - once a right or a freedom is eroded or eliminated, it's gone for everyone. If you suppress the right of free speech and freedom of assembly in order to, say, suppress criticism of the Bible, the next time the political winds shift, you may find the same exception applied to the "seminal works of Karl Marx."

Real ID is of little benefit to citizens - even in the name of security. Oh, it would make life easier in some senses for Law Enforcement, but for the most part they already have access to the information they need, and before I was willing to let them have more access, I'd have to be considerably more comfortable with their commitment to justice than I am currently. The current scandal in the Justice Department clearly shows that it's powers make it a terrible weapon in the hands of those willing to serve corrupt and partisan ends.

But what they do not have, and what every Authoritarian wishes to have, is the ability to micromanage society down to the individual level; to reliably identify "unreliable persons," to know who to employ and who not to employ, who to insure, who to loan money to, who to trust and who to exclude from society. And if you honestly, if inexplicalby, believe this administration can be trusted to not discomfort you in any way do to your beliefs - you have to ask your self - "But what would Hillary do?"

The key to not fearing who is in power is to KEEP the power. This is the Jeffersonian ideal that I believe in, that government has only the power that is conditionally loaned to it by the people, and only to the degree that it needs to do it's specificly permitted duties, and only for so long as that power is needed.

I suggest that there is every reason to believe that not only will government and privileged corporations misuse this data, it's overwhelmingly likely they will also misinterpret it, misappropriate it and make resoundingly bad decisions based on data points that do not mean what they thought they meant. The availability of an ocean of data makes it possible to draw wide-reaching conclusions, but there is still no guarantee those conclusions will be accurate, based on good science or made without intellectual or ideological bias. Everything I've seen in my lifetime, on the watches of governments of all stripes tells me that. The only question is who will be affected - and that seems to be as much a function of bad luck as anything else.

The right to privacy and the expectation that must and will be treated as an honorable and honest person in private dealings - and that one's private dealings are indeed private is a fundamental issue to everyone.

If a Real ID card contains your medical history, it can and therefore will contain your criminal history, your mental health history, your gun licenses and purchases, your insurance claims, your driving record and your credit history - as this little flash movie so aptly demonstrates.

You won't know who is looking at it, or on what basis they use this data to make decisions, but Right, Left or center, Christian, Atheist, Muslim or Other - you will be affected, in ways you cannot predict and often will never know or be able to address.

The massive networking of databases and the collection of individual records is, I am afraid, unavoidable and is in fact potentially an amazing tool for enhancing the liberty of citizens - if we control who can access it and when. If we cannot control our own information - then it becomes an tool for our total enslavement, doomed to living on credit in the Mall of America.

The only Real ID I support is a universal access key that permits me to choose who, if anyone, gets to access my information and to what degree and which permits me to review and question what data is there. For instance, it would display my auto insurance and licence status - but until I granted access, even a cop would need a warrant to get more out of it - and all warrant- based access would be recorded.

Further, I want to be able to place a charge on records that I am willing to share and that have economic value. Otherwise, I want my database records encrypted to a level that it would take a dedicated supercomputer several weeks to break it - with the encryption randomly refreshed on a daily basis.

By the by, I have such a "Real ID" in my pocket. It's called a "cell phone" and it's easily capable of carrying an encryption keyring, with a biometric/pass code combination for access.

But nobody should be required to carry such a device or indeed, "prove" who they are upon demand, ever. So long as they are willing to accept that some form of identification may reasonably required for access to various services, and refusal will make access more limited, expensive or non-extant, people should be able to choose that.

Yes, I realize that such customs make it possible for "terrorists and undocumented aliens" to walk among us. But it's always possible to forge identities, even under such a sophisticated scheme as Real ID - and the more sophisticated the system, the more inappropriate trust is placed in it.

Liberty is an ideal that carries some inherent risks of the "what if" variety. The answer to those "what if's" is generally "honor, a generous spirit and a fearless nature."

People, speaking in terms of statistically significant numbers, will behave fairly much as they are expected to, and will respect legitimate authority in a manner directly related to the respect given them.

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Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Chickenhawk excuses.



"I'm fighting the cultural war. Both need to be fought and both need to be won by Conservatives."

What an astonishingly stupid thing to say. What the hell would a "Conservative Victory" in IRAQ look like? Seems to me it would involve the disenfranchising of women, the suppression of religious and political dissent, a government unwilling to consider evidence that "contradicts scripture"... Or in other words, a "Conservative Victory" seems a hell of a lot like turning over the keys to the Taliban and doing the Baghdad boogie all the way home.

Idiot.

Of course, that's exactly what a "Conservative Victory" in the "Culture War" would look like, so why don't we all just convert to Islam and get it over with?

"I'm fighting the "Cultural War." You gutless no-neck twerp, you who wish you HAD the guts to be a pansy, you phony, with your GI haircut and 'tude - I have these words for you.

Don't Ask me to support the troopsif you aren't in uniform!

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Re: Jim Gibbons REF: We Told You So

TPMmuckraker March 30, 2007 09:51 AM
More Trouble for Gibbons
By Paul Kiel - March 30, 2007, 9:51 AM

The Wall Street Journal continues (sub. req.) to make life miserable for Nevada Gov. Jim Gibbons. The paper first reported a month ago that Gibbons was under federal investigation for improper gifts (possible bribes) from a defense contractor.

Now the paper reports that Gibbons' business as a legislator was intertwined with a second defense contractor:

The wife of Nevada Gov. Jim Gibbons was hired as a consultant to a defense contractor at the same time that her husband, who was then a member of Congress, helped the company get funding for a no-bid federal contract.

Dawn Gibbons got about $35,000 in consulting fees in 2004 from Sierra Nevada Corp., of Sparks, Nev., the company said. Mr. Gibbons, a five-term Republican who served on the armed services and intelligence committees, sought funding that year for Sierra Nevada for a $4 million contract to develop a helicopter radar-landing system.

I'm not sure which is worse - that Jim Gibbons can be had, or that he can be had so cheaply! Either way, it's embarrassing to be a Nevadan.

Update: The Las Vegas Sun has an article listing several donors to Jim Gibbon's Legal Defense fund. Interesting to see who they are and speculate why they would want to see Jim stay in office - and out of Club Fed.

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Illustrating Breast Cancer Awareness on your blog.

I have a personal twitch about Print on Demand as a tool for things other than moneymaking. I mean, making money is all fine and good. I manage to make a little here and there, enough so that my server costs are covered and enough extra for beer. If you want to spend a lot of time promoting your products, you can do well at this. But if your main goal is to say something, right this second, on your blog - they can be amazingly handy.



Let's face it, if your article is illustrated, it will attract more eyeballs than ones that are not. If you have a graphic, it makes a more interesting feed entry. And sometimes, the best way to make your point is with a honking BIG graphic, right at the top of your page.



Allow me to illustrate My point.



Breast Cancer shirt



Breast Cancer by webcarve

Get this custom shirt at Zazzle



I'd like to share a nifty trick I've been using to illustrate my various blogs. It's a way that might possibly earn me some revenue and more importantly, will not ever get me sued, because I know for sure that it's ok to use the graphic.



I'm using Breast Cancer Awareness because the topic is coming up and you will probably want a graphic to go with your obligatory blog entry. This is a tutorial on how to do it with Zazzle.com, which in my humble opinion is the easiest service for this use.



First, you will want to create an account. After all, you may not find the exact design or saying that you need - and this amounts to free image hosting that pays YOU money.



Once you have that out of the way, you pop over to zazzle when you want a fresh illustration for a story. We are talking about breast cancer awareness, so we'll type "breast cancer" into the top of the page and scan for a design that meshes with our entry.



Since it's me, well, I'm struck by THIS design. Your mileage may vary.



The above design works either as a simple small line graphic, or as a shirt graphic, so it will work for all kinds of blog posts and sidebars. To get it to show up, simply go to the product's page and select the "link to this" option in the upper right hand corner. This will enable a javascript popup window (so enable them for zazzle) giving you several options for generating html code to simply dump into your clipboard. It's just that easy.



But, let's suppose you want a particular saying, and it's unique to you, or at least, you can't find it on zazzle? Well, that's why you want an account. Aside from the "getting paid" part.



So let's assume you have done that, and have a new saying. Here's what I'm going to put on it.



My  nipples get hard when I'm scared.

When I'm scared, I run like hell!

Run for a cure - April 21




And here's the result, five minutes later.







I used the ribbon I have, of course. If you want a graphic, you'll have to create or find one you can legally use and upload it. (Creative Commons has a lot of images you can freely use.)



And once you have a stock of images at zazzle, you can illustrate your blog with images like this in a matter of moments. There's a wide variety of fonts, colors, background colors and more to choose from. so it's a heck of a flexible tool. And you just might make some money doing it. I think I have a good chance with this sticker, because it's perfect for groups to customize, and my own text is pretty apt too.



Have You Been Squished Lately?



Have You Been Squished Lately? by webcarve

Get this custom sticker at Zazzle


These last two images are the same product - the first with the product view chosen, the next with the design view.

Defeat Breast Cancer Keychain

Defeat Breast Cancer Keychain by webcarve



Tomorrow I'll cover the same topic using Cafepress instead. It's got some advantages too, and, like Zazzle, it's best to have a shop of your own, but all you really need is an affiliate account to get some great use out of it.





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This will come as no surprise to anyone who ever lived in the Tenderloin...



BARBARA'S TCHATZKAHS : Bizarre Sex Habits of The Extreme Right-Wing

It's pretty much a truism that folks project upon others the behaviors and "sins" they are most guilty of.

In 2005, anti-abortion extremist Neal Horsley was a guest on The Alan Colmes Show, a FOX News radio program. The topic was an interesting one - whether or not an internet service provider should allow Horsley to post the names of abortion doctors on his website. Horsley does that as a way of targeting them and one doctor has been killed. In the course of the interview, however, Colmes asked Horsley about his background, including a statement that he had admitted to engaging in homosexual and bestiality.

At first, Horsley laughed and said,
"Just because it's printed in the media, people jump to believe it."

"Is it true?" Colmes asked.

"Hey, Alan, if you want to accuse me of having sex when I was a fool, I did everything that crossed my mind that looked like I..."

AC: "You had sex with animals?"

NH: "Absolutely. I was a fool. When you grow up on a farm in Georgia, your first girlfriend is a mule."

AC: "I'm not so sure that that is so."

NH: "You didn't grow up on a farm in Georgia, did you?"

AC: "Are you suggesting that everybody who grows up on a farm in Georgia has a mule as a girlfriend?"

NH: It has historically been the case. You people are so far removed from the reality... Welcome to domestic life on the farm..."
Colmes said he thought there were a lot of people in the audience who grew up on farms, are living on farms now, raising kids on farms and "and I don't think they are dating Elsie right now. You know what I'm saying?"

Horsley said, "You experiment with anything that moves when you are growing up sexually. You're naive. You know better than that... If it's warm and it's damp and it vibrates you might in fact have sex with it."

Um. No, not actually. I speak from experience, having grown up on a farm, though not in Georgia. Fact is, some of us actually think that the being possessing the warm damp parts has some say in the matter. Furthermore, there are actually penis bearing organisms - such as myself - that find anything less than enthusiastic co-operation to be rather revolting and repellent. Even at a "foolish" age.

And come to think of it, I didn't know of or even have reason to suspect such a thing of any of my neighbors, who, if not inherently morally superior, considered masturbation to be far more sensible from a risk-benefit perspective. 1200 pounds of hooves and teeth take a lot of convincing. I suspect he had some help from his Daddy or big brother. I mean, where do you even get such an idea in the first place?

Of course, nothing has actually changed for Horsely. He is still fucking people non-consensually. He's just abstracted and sublimated the essential disrespect for the will and consent of others and made it
seem respectable. That way, metaphorically, but obviously significantly, he gets laid more often. Oh, and as he gets paid for it...

For extra credit - two google searches:

Republican Sex Offenders (
Personalized Results 1 - 10 of about 1,200,000 for Republican Sex Offenders.)

Republican Pedophiles (Personalized Results 1 - 10 of about 406,000 for Republican Pedophiles.)

My dear wingers; we have met your enemy and it was
you. Furthermore, you look ridiculous in drag.

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Monday, April 02, 2007

A Stained Blue Fifth Amendment.

Monica Goodling Illustration by Bob King
I serve at the pleasure of the president!Meet George Bush's "Monica," just the sort of shiny-eyed, blond and Bushie-tailed fanatic loyalist that you'd need to help you betray your country. And after a few years of "all Monica, all the time," is the irony not palpable?

Hullabaloo:
"[W]hat were the Pat Robertson' U grad Monica Goodling's primary qualifications before joining the Department of Justice? She worked with Barbara Comstock and Timothy Griffin (the US Attorney from Arkansas who Rove pushed through under the patriot act) at the Bush Cheney oppo research department in 2000.

It doesn't automatically make her a criminal, but it sure stinks of unethical politicization of the Justice Department.

I heard Orrin Hatch filibuster for what seemed like hours this morning on Meet the Press about how there wasn't a 'shred of evidence' that there was any wrongdoing. Well, except for the totally unethical phone calls by Domenichi and Iglesias and the US Attorneys' publicly stated suspicion that they were let go for partisan political reasons, I suppose not. But they need to lay off the tequila if they actually expect to get the benefit of the doubt about their good intentions after they populated the Justice Department with dirty tricksters in extremely sensitive jobs.

Many of us were told to pipe down when we complained that the Justice Department and the NSA had been involved in spying on Americans with no oversight. But now that we know that Barbara Comstock, Monica Goodling and Tim Griffin, Karl Rove's personal smear artists, were promoted to the highest reaches of the federal police agencies with access to records on their political opponents and every other American, then it's clear that we weren't suspicious enough. At this point, I think we have to assume that with these people in charge and having the use of all the new powers of the Patriot Act, there have been no limits at all on the partisan, political use of the government's investigative powers.

I am no longer confused about why Monica Goodling took the fifth. I have little doubt that there are many crimes that took place and she's not taking any chances. This is bigger than the US Attorney scandal."
Clearly, when asked if she would do "anything" for the President, she didn't even have to be asked in person, and - in MY personal opinion - "oppo research" that is intended to be used to smear, defame and denigrate opponents is one HELL of a lot more of a moral compromise than oral sex between consenting adults, a usage I'd consider it immensely more degrading than being used to moisten a cigar, which is, after all, not actually a "Big Ten" no-no.

However, Ms. Goodling seems untroubled by having started her career in government as a professional "bearer of false witness," something the Bible frowns upon rather more harshly than more literal forms of whoredom, professional or amateur.

I mean, being used as a cigar moistener might be somewhat embarrassing (we shall not be so rude as to say "tasteless") but it's not something one needs to plead the fifth about. One pleads the fifth when there is a more than reasonable chance that some portions of one's actions might be seen as being, well, illegal.

From her Law.com Bio: Goodling graduated in 1995 with a degree in communications and a minor in politics, then started law school at American University. But she quickly transferred to Regent University in Virginia Beach, Va., a school founded by Pat Robertson. (The motto: "Christian Leadership to Change the World.") There, she enrolled in a joint public policy master's and law degree program. The school, which was accredited by the American Bar Association in 1996, has a standard law school curriculum, but also encourages students to talk and think about how law interacts with their faith and values.
From the public record, I believe that discerning Christians and Lawyers may come to rather damning conclusions about the substance of those discussions and their effect upon faith, values and graduate's respect for the Law.

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A Reality-Based Republican

Gays in the Military - Since 1776Alan K. Simpson - Bigotry That Hurts Our Military - washingtonpost.com:
"As a lifelong Republican who served in the Army in Germany, I believe it is critical that we review -- and overturn -- the ban on gay service in the military. I voted for 'don't ask, don't tell.' But much has changed since 1993.

My thinking shifted when I read that the military was firing translators because they are gay. According to the Government Accountability Office, more than 300 language experts have been fired under 'don't ask, don't tell,' including more than 50 who are fluent in Arabic. This when even Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice recently acknowledged the nation's 'foreign language deficit' and how much our government needs Farsi and Arabic speakers. Is there a 'straight' way to translate Arabic? Is there a 'gay' Farsi? My God, we'd better start talking sense before it is too late. We need every able-bodied, smart patriot to help us win this war."

The former Republican Senator from Wyoming goes on to wryly observe that the armed forces have been forced to issue an increasing number of "moral waivers" to convicted felons, leading us to wonder how, say, a convicted rapist is less of a problem in service to our nation than a gay man or woman who has committed no such offense.

"Don't Ask, Don't Tell" was a bastard compromise that had one benefit; to allow some time for it to percolate through the military that gay people could, have and do serve without it becoming an issue. It seems that it has.

Military attitudes have also shifted. Fully three-quarters of 500 vets returning from Iraq and Afghanistan said in a December Zogby poll that they were comfortable interacting with gay people. Also last year, a Zogby poll showed that a majority of service members who knew a gay member in their unit said the person's presence had no negative impact on the unit or personal morale. Senior leaders such as retired Gen. John Shalikashvili and Lt. Gen. Daniel Christman, a former West Point superintendent, are calling for a second look.

There's another point here. It was properly Conservative to be concerned about the potential effects on the military of open service in '93. I would have argued that the concern was misplaced, but nonetheless I could not then and cannot say now that I'd have been correct. Open service, given our military culture, might well have led to some very ugly problems - though probably more due to the attitudes of "straight" service-members.

But that was then and this is now. Sen. Simpson demonstrates for us what a "reality-based" Conservative looks like.

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This article is illustrated with a beautiful Gays in the Military design kindly provided by , an extremely gay shop featuring a variety of patriotic and flag designs.

Those Evil Liberals: What a Bushist thinks the Left thinks, I think.

Comment is hardly required; sometimes you just need to let their own sincere words stand in all their awesome majesty:

Union of Evil Overlords
Entropy and Evil Part 2 « Sake White

Global Warming and Global Cooling good indicators of things becoming less entropic or having more entropy. As things cool, energy is lost and current energy is harder to collect. As things get hot, more energy pours in and therefore more can be collected, if only by solar panels. So when the Left says Global Warming is bad, it is only bad for them because they fight for entropy while I would prefer a slower slide into decay and destruction. The Left says any change will spell people’s doom. They said it about Iraq. They said it about social security. They said it about immigration. They said it about welfare after Bush senior. Everything that is bad and is decaying fast in this world, is something the Left is happy to keep the way it is, and if you try to change it like Bush tried to change the Middle East, then the Left will use entropy to unmake you and your plans. Don’t be fooled, the Left’s views on destruction isn’t the same as ours, Baphometbut they will exploit people’s good intentions and sense of self-preservation if they can.

Now, dealing with the Islamic Jihad in Europe is also a question of decay.
Thomas has an interesting article here about Britain. I would quote Melanie Phillips but I’m time constrained. Suffice it to say that civilizations thrive by fighting against entropy, through building up stores of energy, food, knowledge, technology, and progress. The Left and their allies seek to overthrow, through subversive and revolutionary means, all the gains that humanity has made. And they are not above using the fruits of Western civilization, law, international accord, and so forth to help them. Beware the Left, for their lies sound as honey and their lips leak with the blood of the unborn

The problem with giving practical first amendment rights to every fool out there is that a fool with a good template can look as good or better than people who are not fools.

I'm not going to argue this from a left-right perspective. I'm a centrist on the Left-Right axis and this sort of talk insults both sides of my brain. It's not what the argument is for or against, it's that it's a really, really amazingly STUPID argument. Any argument that is basically founded on the idea - as this, and the materials cited later by the author - that "anything I do not understand must be wrong" is the acme of stupid.

When this is your argument, the politics you THINK you advocate are irrelevant. In this case, the author's own words strongly suggest they have no measurable grasp of the essence of, Liberalism, Conservatism or the socio-political priorities of either Left or Right.

As the saying goes, you have the right to your own opinion, but not to your own facts.

People who "advocate entropy" do not fear change, nor do they say that "any change will spell doom." Whatever you think of "advocating entropy," or whether that is an accurate statement about the Left, it's utterly contradictory with the next concept, which amounts to Cartoon Conservatism; that any change, no matter how trivial or overdue, will lead to the breakdown of civilization.

This is what we refer to as a "flawed argument." No, I go farther; this is a fundamentally flawed premise that demonstrates that the person advocating it hasn't a sufficient grasp of the first principles to be argued with.

The author, apparently quoting himself, cites this comment made in response to a post at another blog as persuasive:

It is easy to know what is true or not true about a claim, but that’s not the difficulty you see. It is figuring out why people on the Left act like they believe in the things that they say. Do they believe in the things that they say about America and the Islamic Jihad? That’s tricky, because of their doublethink. Triplethink, quadruplethink, and so forth. The smarter a person is on the Left, the more conflicting thoughts they can hold in their heads simultaneously at once. It makes analyzing the motivations of the Left, very hard, even if analyzing the truth of their claims becomes easier. (obviously people who don’t know themselves, won’t be able to know anything else for that matter, so it becomes easier to discard their opinions, plans, and descriptions) [emphasis mine]

Yes, so much easier to simply dismiss it all as nonsense, rather than try to grasp the idea that opposing a blatantly evil and unconstitutional war is not the same as not supporting the warriors, who, after all, have rather little say in the matter. Despising the President is not the same as spitting on the flag. Demanding he be impeached is not disrespect of the office of Commander in Chief. I demand it because I DO respect the office and am unwilling to accept it being further sullied.

A person trained in classic liberal thought - which, believe it or not, has absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with being Liberal politically - has no difficulty with admitting that Islamic Jehad may well have persuasive, even very telling arguments, without conceding for a moment that those arguments justifiy blowing up people in wholesale lots. For the Religion of Peace, it's a contradiction in terms.

Of course, a person making that observation must also concede that no matter how seductive the vision of liberty, justice and democracy in the Middle East, it in no way justifies blowing up people in wholesale lots either. Indeed, for those valuing individual liberty, forcing democracy on anyone is a contradiction in terms.

The fundamental premise in this series is that evil is an external, malevolent force; the author directly dismisses the idea that evil is the result of individual choice. This of course leads to the comfortable belief that as long as they are on the Side of Good, they cannot possibly do any evil at all, no matter the depth of the pile of dismembered corpses this reasoning leads to.

I point dryly at a stack of history YEA high in refutation of that premise.

Jesus was pretty straightforward on this; "By their fruits ye shall know them." A pretty tree with "bitter fruit" is firewood. And my, the secductive simplicity and sense of purpose projected by Conservatism over the last two decades has produced a harvest of very bitter fruits.*

There is no real difficulty in discerning the difference between good and evil. The fact that it is said to be difficult to tell, and difficult to understand how a Loving God could permit it to exist is easy.

People who wrestle with such things often do it in order to rationalize away their own culpability and their own tendency to inflict harm on others for their own comfort and satisfaction.

And if God permits free will, the choice to do the wrong thing - and the ability to delude ourselves that it's really the Right Thing - is inherent in that equation.

Willful ignorance, self-deception and the willingness to accept and repeat falsehoods about the actions and presumed motivations of others - these are evil, and they are choices. In the face of that fact, the justifications, political, religious, social or familial may be dismissed as irrelevant, for if the proponent wished to benefit any of these things, they would be making quite different choices - for no good comes from evil, save in the reaction and adaptation of others to it.

*The author concedes that this extremely bad pun is in poor taste and in no way should be taken to suggest that all gays are bitter. He does, however, suggest that being a Gay Republican is a lot like being a "Chicken for Col. Sanders." Perhaps "Log Cabin Conservatives" would be a better name.

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This article illustrated with products from Shirt Lords (Union of Evil Overlords) and The Horror Haven (Baphomet poster). Please consider them for help decorating your evil liberal bodies and lairs.

Sunday, April 01, 2007

These Boobs Were Made For Blogging!


These Boobs Were Made For Blogging! shirt

(Update) Because the whole Breastgate scandal fit so well with the point I was trying to make, I somehow overlooked that it happened sometime last year! Oopsie... But it turns out the story itself is not over, and the Right Boob just kept getting more and more conspiciously misshapen.

Althouse: ---- these are flame wars, and what I'm trying to say on the overarching point, is that the left side of the blogosphere is vicious and unfair and nasty to me, and I don't like it, and I'm trying to ask you why that's the way they treat me when I support most of what they're for. Meanwhile, on the right side of the blogosphere, where there's much less overlap, I think, I am treated in a very warm and connecting kind of way. And you're really just kind of undermining my point, uh, by bringing that up like that.
Yep. Just like Michelle Malkin supports the ideals of Martin Luther King.

Anyway, I'm embarrassed, but Althouse's meltdown actually adds to my point - that the noise machine has very little left to make noise about - and is very much upset about not getting the automatic deference it had come to expect from the MSM.




"Let's just array these bloggers... randomly." Ann Althouse


Jon Swift: Putting the Word Breasts in This Title Is a Cheap Ploy To Generate Traffic

I must say, however, after several days of reading Professor Althouse's and Dr. Smith's attacks on Jessica, who admittedly asked for it by dressing and posing provocatively, I began to feel a little sorry for her. I recently saw a report on ABC's Prime Time about something they called "Mean Girl Syndrome." Apparently, teenage girls are using the Internet to transform themselves into cyberbullies. Though they occasionally pick on boys, sometimes with tragic results, they seem more often to aim their poison PDAs against other girls, making fun of their rivals' bodies and spreading vicious rumors about them. The ABC report quoted Madeleine Albright, who said, "I'm not a person who thinks the world would be entirely different if it were run by women. If you think that, you've forgotten what high school was like."

I began to wonder if Professor Althouse and Dr. Smith weren't engaging in a little cyberbullying themselves. All the while professing to be bored to tears with the whole topic, Professor Althouse spent the weekend writing post after post and leaving comment after comment on her blog, and even making a podcast on the subject. I wondered if it might not be more constructive if she spent that time preparing lesson plans or reading the latest law review articles to hone her fine legal mind. I imagined her sitting in her office drawing beards and mustaches on pictures of Jessica and thought balloons with crude comments coming out of her head like some of the girls in the ABC report.
Combine this absurd little contretemps with the observation by Marc McDonald that The Word "Republican" Has Vanished From The Vocabulary Of Right-Wingers and we may guess why they are suddenly obsessed with non-asexual bloggers who DO have breasticles.

It's not just women being catty to women, or really any feminist issue at all (In my probably inaccurate and certainly male perspective.) My concept of "feminism" has become inextricably bound up in my mind with being a for-sure grownup and still being treated as a child. To me, this is the behavior of the captain of Varsity Cheerleading squad to the formerly invisible but suddenly and unaccountably popular girl with the Rhodes' Scholarship. It is the sudden and bitter realization that it's someone else's turn - and their term will last a great deal longer, and will certainly outlast the affections - and the hair - of the Variety Quarterback.

Yes, folks, this is a clear sign that the Established Fellows of the Noise Machine know that they have Jumped the Shark - and there won't be a new life in syndication, like there was for that other record-breaking soap opera, "The Clintons."




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Drowning the EPA in a bathtub causes toxic blowback.

When Grover Norquist famously said "My goal is to cut government in half in 25 years, to get it down to the size where we can drown it in a bathtub." few thought to ask "who's half?"

The Washington Post: Extinct Sense : A troubling report from the Interior Department

According to numerous accounts collected in the inquiry, Ms. MacDonald has terrorized low-level biologists and other employees for years, often yelling and even swearing at them. One official characterized her as an "attack dog." Much of this bullying, the report suggests, was aimed at diluting the scientific conclusions and recommendations of government biologists and at favoring industry and land interests. Ms. MacDonald's subordinates said she has trenchantly resisted both designating new species as endangered and protecting imperiled animals' habitats. She defended her interventions in an interview with the inspector general's staff, saying that she kept Interior's scientists accountable, according to the report. But the evidence available suggests she was at the least too aggressive.

H. Dale Hall, director of the Fish and Wildlife Service, recounted a battle he had with Ms. MacDonald over the Southwest willow flycatcher, an endangered bird. Biologists in the field concluded that the bird's nesting range, which determines how much land the government should protect as habitat for the species, was 2.1 miles. Mr. Hall claims that Ms. MacDonald insisted on lowering that to 1.8 miles so that the nesting range would not extend into California, where her husband maintained a family ranch. The inspector general noted that she has no formal training in biology.
Bush Appointee Said to Reject Advice on Endangered Species - washingtonpost.com
In a few instances, federal judges have overturned decisions that MacDonald had influenced. After she declared that the endangered Santa Barbara and Sonoma salamanders were no longer "distinct populations" entitled to protection, William Alsup, a judge on the U.S. District Court for Northern California, ruled that MacDonald had arbitrarily instructed Fish and Wildlife scientists to downgrade the two species even though an agency scientist concluded that "genetics state otherwise."

"This is not to suggest that the Secretary of Interior has no role in the ultimate decision," Alsup wrote. "If the Secretary wants to re-assess the evidence, he may choose to do so, but, in doing so, he must set forth a discernible rationale."


Discernible and defensible, I would add, as well as being an accurate statement of the genuine rationale. This is all oldish news for those who deal with EPA related concerns, but it parallels similar shenanigans at the FDA, The Justice Department and of course, the Department of Homeland Security.

In the most blunt and obvious ways, it has become clear that no amount of reality, scientific evidence, Constitutional checks or the legitimate concerns of constituents donating less than 50,000 dollars concerns this administration. It is all of a piece - a complete subversion of our government processes to serve the most selfish, vicious and predatory members of the far right - and in that, they have not just betrayed our nation, but the greatest value of Conservatism - prudence.

The widespread ideological dismissal of everything that has been set up to put checks upon greed, rash actions and intrusions upon the privacy and liberty of the people is - aside from unethical with scattered clouds of evil - imprudent.

And I mean, "Imprudent from the perspective of anyone wishing to ever serve at the pleasure of the American people, ever again."

I mean "Imprudent, if you wish to avoid civil liability if not actual criminal prosecution,"

I mean "Imprudent, if you wish to not bear the brunt of the outrage of a bitterly disappointed and betrayed American People.

For in their arrogance and contempt for all arms and aims of government that do not immediately and slavishly conform to their kleptocratic ideology, they have gone so far as to dismiss the idea that they can be held accountable for anything - even things that are not merely wrong, not just evil, not just expressly forbidden by law, treaty and constitution, but things that are explicitly treasonable;

Actual, mindful, deliberate betrayals of National Security Assets in the name of political payback. This is not a matter of opinion - it's a matter of established fact.

The CIA leak case is about the obsession and ideology that disrespects facts, and disrespects truth, and declares Mafia-like vendettas against those who make good faith and professional efforts to ascertain them. The CIA leak case is about using partisan and political pressure to distort and pervert the search for truth, which is what good intelligence is all about, and the CIA leak case is about what goes wrong when these cardinal principles, time honored for every intelligence service on earth, are violated.


I want to be very, very clear here. The American people are impatient. They are not willing to "wait and see" what investigations may bring, when there are already enough damning facts in evidence to warrant decisive action. There are more than enough reasons to impeach the president. Anyone, of any party in the House or Senate that wishes a political future had best adapt to that reality. For, if it becomes yet more clear that there is no circumstance in which the members of the House and Senate feel that Constitution and Law trump political advantage, there is no reason to continue paying their salaries.

For now, more than any time before in American history, the American people have the capacity to judge the issues for themselves and come to their own conclusions. If those conclusions are at substantial variance with their representatives, they WILL seek more faithful representation.

If Congress will not execute it's Constitutional duties in such a manifest crisis of law and confidence, the people have every right to call a Constitutional Convention and establish a new Congress that will. The mechanisms for this are well understood by everyone involved, that "Government exists due to the will of the people."

This government - in particular, this Administration, but the list of offenses goes back at least fifty years - has come perilously close to becoming the "won't" of the people. That is a line that if crossed, cannot be uncrossed, nor is it a battle that the rich and powerful can win.

Never mind violent opposition; I'm speaking of widespread, general lack of co-operation. I'm speaking of entire states rejecting federal mandates. I'm speaking of entire law-enforcement bodies refusing to co-operate in any way with federal authorities, including the refusal to recognize credentials. I'm speaking of large numbers of individuals choosing to hold their savings in gold or offshore currencies, taking whatever means are needed to evade federal regulations and oversight of funds. I'm speaking of large numbers of people choosing to go "off the grid," with no visible credit, energy usage or "legitimate" jobs that require any reporting. I'm talking about a huge, passive refusal to comply with the control-freaks in DC.

In other words, I'm speaking of the internal collapse of The United States, because those in charge of maintaining it's unity cannot be trusted. The first signs of this are already clear. New York City has it's own Foreign Intelligence division, with it's own agents and foreign assets. That is what is known. I'd warrant that there's much in New York City that is unknown to the state or the federal government, and that is at the choice of the Mayor and responsible department heads.

I'd be stunned if California had not taken similar, subtle steps to ensure it's own security, particularly in the energy sector, after the state was nearly bankrupted by the manipulation of it's energy markets by the Bush Cronies at Enron. It's pretty clear that that no Blue states will get any priority in emergency or terrorist attacks when the Red gulf states were denied any real aid post Katrina.

All of this is more expensive than a working central government - but far LESS so than one that charges twice what it's worth, and does less than half of what it concienciously should. So the Federal Government should be on notice - and especially it's political leadership. You CAN be replaced. And if you are, you can fairly much assume that your career of public service is at an end. Indeed, the results might be more comprehensive than that; there was a reason for the large emigration of Tories to Canada after the Revolutionary war.

However, I do note that in this instance, Canada is less likely to welcome such refugees, save perhaps on behalf of The Hague.

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