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Archive for April, 2009

Wait…

Oh.

And by the by, the quarantines are coming. Prepare to venture out only under penalty of a quarter million dollar fine and a year in the slammer.

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Here is a small collection of videos that I have gathered giving several different perspectives on the current swine/avian/human H1N1 influenza “outbreak” that is currently dominating the MSM. It would behoove us all to do a little digging and find out all we can about what is going on.

Video #1: John at stellaconcepts discusses the influenza outbreak as a “false flag operation” designed to explain the inevitable collapse of the U.S. economy:

Video #2: Mike at Don’t Panic! gives a thorough overview of the current situation including information on the Baxter concoction and flu outbreak history:

Video #3: The first of a nine part program on the flu outbreak by Alex Jones at Infowars:

Video #4: An finally, Dr. Ron Paul gives his perspective on the swine flu, explaining why the government (specifically the Department of Homeland Security) has no place in making medical decisions for U.S. citizens:

Current “official” information on the swine flu outbreak can be found at:

the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for the United States

and

the World Health Organization for the entire planet.

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fluBy now you have probably heard about the “strange new strain” of swine flu that is popping up all over the world. As of this morning, Mexico has still been the nation hardest hit, with 1300 sick and 81 dead though only 18 of the cases have actually been confirmed to be the new flu strain through laboratory testing. Possible cases have occurred in New Zealand and Canada, as well as Israel, France, and Spain.

The United States now has 20 confirmed total cases of swine flu occurring in the states of California (7), New York (8), Texas (2), Kansas (2), and Ohio (1). The U.S. government has declared a “public health emergency” and the Department of Homeland Security has ordered that stockpiles of the antiviral drug Tamiflu be released to treat a possible influenza outbreak. You can follow up to the minute reports of U.S. cases of the swine flu on the website of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Of course conspiracy theorists are having a heyday over this thing. The internet is buzzing with rumors of a New World Order plot to reduce the world population by spreading the flu virus. I, being the level-headed medical professional that I am, don’t subscribe to these wild theories. But still, some things about this flu outbreak don’t really seem to add up. For example:

1. This new strain of influenza is being reported by the media as the “swine flu”. Actually, it is a new and previously unseen strain of H1N1 influenza that is a blend of 2 swine flus (one North American and one Eurasian), avian flu, and human flu. What are the chances of a strain like this mutating spontaneously in nature? I don’t know the answer; I’m just wondering. It sounds very engineered to me.

2. In Mexico, the new flu strain is infecting people of all ages but only killing healthy young adults. This is the opposite of normal flu strains, which attack and kill the weaker of us, namely the elderly and young children. However, the flu pandemic of 1918-19 also began by striking the young adult population.

3. Why now? Flu strains normal pick up steam in the fall and winter months when they breed and spread much more easily due to lower humidity levels. It seems strange that this outbreak is occurring in the late spring; it doesn’t seem natural at all.

4. Perhaps most disturbing is the scandal from last month in which the Baxter pharmaceutical company was caught shipping live avian flu viruses mixed with vaccine material to medical distributors in 18 countries. Many are speculating that some of this weaponized influenza may have somehow been either administered or has somehow escaped and spread, causing a new flu mutation. In addition, the 3 influenza samples that went missing from Fort Detrick, Maryland last year have not yet been recovered, although the government is claiming that they were “likely destroyed”.

So there are many unanswered questions about the current flu outbreak. I’m not ready to jump on the conspiracy bandwagon yet, but I am keeping an open mind. It is likely that time and investigation will answer these questions and make these concerns seem silly. On the other hand, the government of Mexico has declared a state of emergency and is severely limiting the movement and activity of its citizens. Look for similar civil rights suspensions in the United States in the name of “public health”. If “containment” of the U.S. flu outbreak ultimately involves governmental violation of our rights, I will be much more suspicious that someone other than Mother Nature is behind it. When you hear hoof beats expect horses, but watch out for zebras.

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100daysA lot of weight is placed on a president’s first 100 days in office, as if the other 1361 days of his term are not just as important. Still, the initial three months of a presidency can tell us a great deal about the chief executive’s priorities for the next four years.

For President Obama, this may be even more the case than with past presidents. Half way in, the ultra-liberal website Daily Kos crowed that:

After running the most efficient transition operation in history, President Obama has now done more in 46 days as President than many presidents do in a full term in office.

So let’s take a look at what President Obama, with the help of the Congress, has done during his first 100 days. I will discuss this not as a Republican or a Democrat, since I am neither, but as an independently thinking, liberty-oriented American.

I have divided the major policy decisions and legislation up into three broad categories for easy sorting. The three categories are UNDOING Bush, OUTDOING Bush, and BLAMING Bush.

1. UNDOING Bush–These decisions began within hours of the inauguration, aiming to sweepingly overturn the policies and practices of George W. Bush. On day 1 (January 21), Obama signed an executive order banning “revolving door politics” and prohibiting lobbyists from holding high ranking administration jobs. This was apparently one of Obama’s major beefs with the Bush Administration, but within 2 days President Obama had violated his own order by installing William Lynn, a Raytheon lobbyist, to the #2 post at the Pentagon. Three more executive orders followed on January 22 that overturned Bush policies on “terror suspect” treatment, namely the closure of Guantanamo Bay, the housing of enemy combatants, and the prohibition of torture. As a libertarian I applaud these decisions, especially the banning of torture. However, in a hurried attempt to look good by overturning his predecessor’s bad policies, Obama may have bitten off more than he can chew. To this day he has no clear plan as to what to do with the remaining enemy combatants at the soon-to-be-defunct Guantanamo Bay and his administration is caught in a quagmire about whether or not to prosecute Bush officials over the torture issue. In addition, Barack Obama has signed an executive order rolling back the Bush ban on using tax dollars to fund stem cell research and an official proclamation lifting the Regan ban on using federal funds to pay for overseas abortions. All of these policies are intended to show the American people that the Obama White House is committed to moving in a different direction than we were headed under George W. Bush. Unfortunately for us, these are not really the most pressing issues of our time. On the policies that urgently matter, Obama is proceeding even more rapidly down the path that Bush began to blaze. And that leads us to…

2. OUTDOING Bush–Many libertarians (excluding myself) voted for Barack Obama in the wild hope that he would undo some of the damage the Bush administration did to natural and civil rights in America. They made a ideological swap, knowing that Obama would be ultra-left in his big government economic policy but hoping that he would redeem himself with a less hawkish foreign policy. They have been thus far sorely disappointed on all counts. Obama, despite campaign promises to the contrary, has instructed his legal team to greatly expand the government’s power to perform illegal warrantless wiretaps on the phone lines of law-abiding American citizens. Up till now, Americans arrested for alleged crimes have a right to an attorney before being interrogated by police. The Obama administration wants to change that. Just this week the Obama legal team asked the Supreme Court to overturn a 23 year-old decision requiring that a defendant (who is innocent until proven guilty) have an attorney present before being questioned. In a flagrant attempt to redraw the political boundaries in the United States, Obama announced in February that operational control of the 2010 census (or as I like to call it, the Q 10 peepshow) will be moved from the Commerce Department to the White House, specifically into the hands of Rahm Emanuel. I’m sure that will make the process very fair and bipartisan. Far from restoring rights to Americans, Obama has selected a bigger pick-axe than his predecessor with which to chip them away.

Foreign policy is not much better. During the campaign Obama promised to bring our troops home from Iraq by August 2010. In reality 35,000 to 50,000 troops will remain in Iraq until the end of 2011, one year before Obama will stand for re-election. And while very slowly winding down the war in Iraq, President Obama is quickly revving up the war in Afghanistan, pledging to send at least 17,000 additional combat troops to that country by the end of the summer. Many National Guardsmen (who, incidentally, are supposed to be under state control) and Reservists will be embarking upon their 3rd, 4th, and 5th tours of duty away from their families. So much for liberty and peace. In his first 100 days, Obama is out-Bushing Bush.

3. BLAMING Bush–Obama’s economic policy within the first 100 days of his presidency has been one big finger pointing exercise, and it has exceeded libertarians’ worst fears. The blatant irresponsibility of the $787 billion “stimulus package”, the bank and auto bailouts, and the massive 2010 budget proposal are all excused by the Obama folks on the grounds that they inherited a financial disaster from the Bush administration. Since Bush drained the government coffers, there was no money left for expensive liberal playthings like the SCHIP law, which will be payed for in part by a 61 cent per pack cigarette tax. I seem to remember candidate Obama pledging not to raise the taxes of Americans who make less than $250,000 per year; I guess the President thinks that only really rich people smoke. The Obama crowd blames Bush for more than the tattered economy. As a big business insider (they say), President Bush was clearly in the pocket of the fat cats and stinking rich corporate CEO’s. Thus we desperately needed and now have the Lily Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2009 which will throw more money down the drain and clog the system by making it much easier for employees to sue their employers. So, despite the accolades for achieving more change more quickly than any president in history, Barack Obama continues to avoid ownership by covering his more unsavory policies with the Bush blame game.

President Obama has “accomplished” a lot more in his first 100 days than I have room or time here to describe, so if I missed your favorite executive order, memorandum, or Congressional edict, please feel free to insert it and expound upon it in the comments section. In addition, there are many more “changes” in the works that just didn’t seem to make it into the first 100 days. Chief among them are the Employee Free Choice Act, the Blair Holt Firearm Licensing and Record of Sale Act, and the Food Safety Modernization Act of 2009. None of these are good bills and they will make even worse laws. So, as an independent non-Republicrat, I give the new President failing marks on just about every front for his first 100 days. The only consolation I can find is this: the first 100 days will almost certainly turn out to have been better than the next 100. It’s going to be a long 4 ( or 8 ) years.

By the way, if you want to avoid reading my longwindedness, the following short video sums up the above commentary nicely:

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harman2007From Radley Balko:

Representative Jane Harman of California, a vocal supporter of the NSA and illegal wiretapping, found the shoe to be on the other foot this week. In 2006, Harman threatened to prosecute the New York Times for revealing the possible illegality of the government’s warrantless wiretapping practices. This is what she had to say in support of the NSA’s wiretapping program and in condemnation of the Times:

“By the way, I deplore that leak,” Harman declared moments before her comments on prosecuting the Times. “This is a very valuable foreign [intelligence] collection program. I think it is tragic that a lot of our capabilities are now [spread] across the pages of the newspapers.”

This week the New York Times reported that Harman was recorded on just such a government wiretap “agreeing to seek lenient treatment from the Bush administration for two pro-Israel lobbyists who were under investigation for espionage.” In return, “the caller promised her that a wealthy California donor…would threaten to withhold campaign contributions to Representative Nancy Pelosi…if she did not select Ms. Harman for the intelligence post (Chairwoman of the House Intelligence Committee).”

Whoops.

The formerly staunch supporter of wiretapping ordinary Americans changed her tune on MSNBC yesterday:

I’m just very disappointed that my country — I’m an American citizen just like you are — could have permitted what I think is a gross abuse of power in recent years. I’m one member of Congress who may be caught up in it, and I have a bully pulpit and I can fight back. I’m thinking about others who have no bully pulpit, who may not be aware, as I was not, that someone is listening in on their conversations, and they’re innocent Americans.

You hear that, people? She’s now very concerned about us ordinary innocent Americans and our privacy. Gimme a break. How long are we going to tolerate these clowns? Even the folks in California should be able to figure this one out.

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Why I Glock

glock-logoSome of my friends who shoot have asked me why I own and carry the Glock autopistol. The Glock (I like the Glock 23) is kind of ugly, thick, and boxy. You can’t really put it in your pocket or in the waistband of your running shorts. Compared to some other carry guns it runs a bit on the heavy side, especially if you tote one around fully loaded all day long. It isn’t especially accurate, although most of that is probably the shooter (me) not the gun. But all of these disadvantages aside, I consider the Glock the ultimate fighting autopistol.

Why? The Glock comes straight from the factory ready to shoot. You can put all kinds of aftermarket stainless barrels, match triggers, glock231fancy gadgets, and improved sights on it, but those are luxuries, not necessities. More importantly, I have probably put 4000 rounds through my current Glock 23 and have never had a malfunction. Not one. I don’t think I can remember ever having a malfunction in any Glock I have ever owned or fired. The things don’t jam. That’s the most important trait of a working handgun: reliability. It runs when you run it, every time.

I have never put more than 300 rounds through my Glock in one session, but the following videos by James Yeager of Tactical Response show that even after 1000 rounds fired continuously through a Glock 19, the gun won’t quit. Watch toward the end of the second video; the guide rod on the pistol actually melts and flies out of the front of the gun, and the Glock keeps going for another 50 rounds. That’s a reliable handgun, and that’s why I Glock.

I am now ready to accept insults from 1911 fans, mousegun people, and revolver lovers. Let the Glock bashing begin.

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Here is another take on the video I posted yesterday of the CNN reporter at the Chicago tea party. This time you get to see what happened after they shut the cameras off. Very telling.

UPDATE 4/20/09: The above video can no longer be viewed because CNN claims it violates copyrights. Very telling indeed.

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