Friday, September 18, 2009

Turning a speed camera on itself

. . . [F]our youths from Canberra [Australia] recently pulled off a trick of breathtaking bravado to gain revenge on a mobile speed-camera van operating in the area. Three of the group approached the van and distracted the operator by asking a series of questions about how the equipment worked and how many cars the operator would catch in a day. Meanwhile, the fourth musketeer sneaked to the front of the van and unscrewed its number plate. "After bidding the van operator goodbye, the friends returned home, fixed the number plate to the car, and drove through the camera's radar at high speed -- 17 times. As a result, the automated billing system issued 17 speeding tickets to itself.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

"You lie!" many times

Jim Davies provides an excellent analysis of the Joe Wilson transgression. Writing at Strike the Root, Davies points out that in Britain, politicians are expected to use euphemisms instead of direct speech when the words in question happen to be forbidden.
Churchill, early in his career, wanted to call someone a liar but settled on the substitute phrase "terminological inexactitude" so as to bypass the prohibition . . .
Things are done differently over here, usually.
Is there catcalling across the aisle? Are there rude interruptions? Groaning, hissing and booing? As often as not a speaker speaks only to the C- SPAN camera, all his colleagues having found better uses for their time than to listen. What a shocker, therefore, when Joe Wilson (R, South Carolina ) interrupted the Prez last week in full flow and shouted, "You lie!"
Here is what President Obama was saying prior to being accused of lying:
"There are also those who claim that our reform efforts would insure illegal immigrants. This, too, is false. The reforms I'm proposing would not apply to those who are here illegally."
Davies then proceeds to show that the preceding three sentences are loaded with lies. For example, Obama refers to his proposals as a "reform." But reform implies improvement. Is there any evidence that government has ever improved health care with its interventions?
Again and again government has intervened in the industry, to mandate this and prohibit that, each such intervention boosting the price spiral every time; as I wrote here recently, the very notion of making health care appear cheaper than it is causes demand, and therefore total cost, to rise. So government participation has been an unrelieved disaster, and Obama is proposing more of it; therefore, without a shadow of doubt, his proposals or any variant on them are the very opposite of "reform" and he was lying absolutely, and Joe Wilson was right.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Where's the evidence?

We're told a big jet smashed into the Pentagon on 9-11. If it did, why is the evidence so shoddy?

Collapse of WTC 7 not open to question?

Justin Raimondo, in the article cited in my previous post, asserts:
. . . anyone who questions the official story – the narrative of 19 Arab dudes going on what would seem to be a rather quixotic jihad, haphazardly making their way through a strange foreign country on their own, all the while readying themselves for The Day That Changed History – is denounced as a "conspiracy theorist," a crackpot, and worse.

Of course, some of the people who challenge the official story are, indeed, crackpots: they think some kind of "controlled demolition" took place inside the World Trade Center, and that no plane hit the Pentagon.
Does he include WTC 7 in his assessment of those who think "some kind of 'controlled demolition' took place inside the World Trade Center?" If the following video is characteristic of "crackpot" analysis then I would appreciate someone setting me straight. It raises questions. What are the answers?

Why Obama's Green Czar was canned

Justin Raimondo writes:
President Obama’s "green czar," one Van Jones, was recently pressured into resigning. His crime? He had once signed a letter originating with one of the "9/11 Truth" organizations calling for a new investigation of the terrorist attacks. No, he hadn’t declared that 9/11 was an "inside job," as some of the more flamboyant "truthers" assert: indeed, he hadn’t challenged any one specific aspect of the official story. All he had asked for was a new investigation – and once this got out (thanks to Fox News nut-job Glenn Beck), he was shown the door.

This is the way our society deals with uncomfortable questions about "official" explanations for the inexplicable – by purging all dissenters, and even anybody who asks a question without necessarily having a ready-made answer.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Strike-the-Root's coverage of 9-11

If you haven't visited Strike-the-Root today, by all means do so. They're running some excellent articles calling into question the "official story" of 9-11. Some of those articles are:

Top 10 Reasons for a New 9/11 Investigation
My column from 2007, posted again because the situation hasn't changed: the events of September 11, 2001 continue to be used as justification for tyranny against the American people and for military occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan. With a new Preface, and otherwise unchanged.

Active Thermitic Material Discovered in Dust from the 9/11 World Trade Center Catastrophe
The full peer-reviewed study by an international team of nine scientists, as published earlier this year in The Open Chemical Physics Journal (PDF; 25 pages) and on which the mainstream media (the NY Times, for one example; CBS' "complete coverage" page on the 8-year anniversary, for another) have been breath-takingly silent. This quite readable study is an absolute smoking gun: Large amounts of an exotic, very high-tech explosive were involved in the destruction of the World Trade Center buildings.

Editor in Chief of Open Chemical Physics Journal Resigns After Controversial Article on 9/11
An interesting discussion thread on an unusual development; the paper on Thermitic Material was apparently somehow published in an end-run around the editor (or so she claims), who then resigned and, in related remarks, denied her own area of expertise.

Speaking Out has Cost Some Authors of the 'Thermite' Study Their Jobs
No surprise, given that the Official Story is supported by (and protective of) very powerful interests. A scientist who debunks the Official Story of 9/11 is like an economist who debunks central banking: a nuisance and a danger to the power elite.

Rumsfeld Says $2.3 TRILLION Went Missing from the Pentagon in the Period Leading Up to 9/11/2001
In an amazing coincidence, Rumsfeld announced this stunning bit of news on the perfect day to bury it: September 10, 2001. Link is to vintage CBS News reportage by Vince Gonzalez, who points out that $2.3 trillion represents "$8,000 for every man, woman, and child in America." The Enron gang and Bernie Maddof seem like Boy Scouts in comparison. This scandal remains open but largely ignored. What was done with all that money? Video, 2 min 53 sec

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

"When you're ready to compromise . . ."

I like Macs and thought this ad was creative.

25 years ago: The First Private Rocket Launch

The rocket - The Conestoga 1 - carried a payload of 40 pounds of water and soared 321 miles during its 10.5 minute-ride that reached a sub-orbital height of 195 miles. It took off from a Texas cattle ranch and landed in the Gulf of Mexico, where it sank to the bottom. It's still there. Space Services of America, the company that undertook the project, had seven employees at the time, one of whom was Deke Slayton, a former Mercury 7 astronaut who was also the company president and mission director.

Conestoga 1 "was fired by people who weren’t out to invent anything — they just wanted to prove that you didn’t need a massive space program to power something into space."

Mission accomplished.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Gary North on Obama's Speech

From North's article:

Obama will deliver one speech for children ages 5 to 18. It must communicate effectively -- even inspirationally -- to kindergarten students and legal adults taking Advanced Placement, college-level classes.

Can you imagine Karl Rove telling Bush to read My Pet Goat to a combined class of kindergarteners and calculus students? They called Rove "Bush's brain." What should we call the dimwit who dreamed up this scheme?

I have this vision of how the speech will begin.

Hello, boys and girls. My name is President Obama. That is because I am the President of the United States. Do you know what the President does? He gives speeches like this one. He controls the use of nuclear weapons. He tries to look important, when the whole world knows that Nancy Pelosi is running the show, which is why I have to give a speech to Congress tomorrow night. She told me I needed to get front-and-center behind her health insurance bill.

Today, I am going to talk to about a government program called public education. It costs a trillion dollars a year. Do you know what a trillion dollars is, boys and girls? I mean, what a trillion dollars are? That is the size of my administration's budget deficit every seven months. But this will be down to only $900 billion next year and every year thereafter until 2019. We are fighting waste in Washington.

And so on, for 20 minutes.

Bush was widely criticized for not responding to a national crisis rather than continuing to read My Pet Goat. But nobody asked this: "What was the President of the United States doing in a third grade classroom reading a book to kids?"

Read the full article here.

American hypocrisy

Paul Craig Roberts on Robert Gates' anger over an "insensitive" American journalist:
US War Secretary Robert Gates has condemned the Associated Press and a reporter, Julie Jacobson, embedded with US troops in Afghanistan, for taking and releasing a photo of a US Marine who was wounded in action and died from his injury. . .

The American Legion jumped in and denounced the Associated Press for a "stunning lack of compassion and common decency."

To stem opposition to its wars, the War Department hides signs of American casualties from the public. Angry that evidence escaped the censor, the War Secretary and the American Legion attacked with politically correct jargon: "insensitive," "offended," and the "anguish," "pain and suffering" inflicted upon the Marine’s family. The War Department sounds like it is preparing a harassment tort.

Isn’t this passing the buck? The Marine lost his life not because of the Associated Press and a photographer, but because of the war criminals – Gates, Bush, Cheney, Obama, and the US Congress that supports wars of naked aggression that serve no American purpose, but which keeps campaign coffers filled with contributions from the armaments companies.

Marine Lance Cpl. Joshua M. Bernard is dead because the US government and a significant percentage of the US population believe that the US has the right to invade, bomb, and occupy other peoples who have raised no hand against us but are demonized with lies and propaganda.

For the American War Secretary it is a photo that is insensitive, not America’s assertion of the right to determine the fate of Afghanistan with bombs and soldiers.

The exceptional "virtuous nation" does not think it is insensitive for America’s bombs to blow innocent villagers to pieces. On September 4, the day before Gates’ outburst over the "insensitive" photo, Agence France Presse reported from Afghanistan that a US/Nato air strike had killed large numbers of villagers who had come to get fuel from two tankers that had been hijacked from negligent and inattentive occupation forces:

"‘Nobody was in one piece. Hands, legs and body parts were scattered everywhere. Those who were away from the fuel tanker were badly burnt,’ said 32-year-old Mohammad Daud, depicting a scene from hell. The burned-out shells of the tankers, still smoking in marooned wrecks on the riverbank, were surrounded by the charred-meat remains of villagers from Chahar Dara district in Kunduz province, near the Tajik border. Dr. Farid Rahid, a spokesperson in Kabul for the ministry of health, said up to 250 villagers had been near the tankers when the air strike was called in."

What does the world think of the United States? The American War Secretary and a US military veterans association think a photo of an injured and dying American soldier is insensitive, but not the wipeout of an Afghan village that came to get needed fuel.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Reasons to be happy in unhappy times

Stewart Browne names ten reasons libertarians can hold their heads up, all of them built around technology and the internet. The big reason: Even as government holds humanity back, technology continues to propel us forward.

I would word it differently, putting humans in the driver's seat instead of some faceless technology, but Mr. Browne understands this quite well, as his article shows.

Personally, I find happiness spending time with my family and friends. And though this may sound odd, I find a significant degree of contentment understanding why the world is in the mess it is in. The contentment comes not only from understanding, but from knowing others can understand, too, and therefore it is not futile to work for liberty.

An early George Gershwin song from the musical "Miss 1917"

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