Archive for the ‘Environmentalism’ Category

“ELYSIUM” — Hollywood Describes Socialist Dystopia — and doesn’t even know it

January 1, 2014

Okay, I admit it — I rented “Elysium.” It’s supposed to be science fiction, so I thought I’d like it, but there isn’t a lot of science, except for political science. It’s mostly a lame attempt at socialist propaganda, but it winds up being, accidentally, a fairly accurate portrayal of a socialist dystopia.

I found myself looking at ruined, impoverished Earth, and thinking, “Oh, look! The Democrats and Muslims took over the world, and now the whole planet is a toxic blend of Detroit and a Palestinian refugee camp. That’s totally believable.”

That was the the last, believable thread of the whole story concept, and the irony of it was absolutely unintentional. My overtaxed willful suspension of disbelief snapped right after that.

Next, there’s the alleged “science” in this propaganda piece. What technology could stuff the energy to take one of those “Aliens”-era shuttles from a dead stop to escape velocity (18,000+ mph) in the thickness of Earth’s atmosphere (all without smearing the occupants all over the back end with the acceleration and incinerating them against atmospheric friction), but couldn’t make every inhabitant of Earth rich beyond his wildest dreams?

What technology could put a magical wellness and tanning bed in every house on Elysium, but not a single one on poor, ole’ proletarian Earth? That’s not a science-based decision; it’s a political one — one Communist elites have made for their vaunted working classes in every Socialist People’s Paradise ever built.

In the best Communist tradition, the best health care is reserved for the party members, and the proles get the dilapidated, dirty, “Los Angeles County Public Hospital,” with its “matured Obamacare” health-care horror show. Oh, sorry — it was “Hospital Publico de la Condad de Los Angeles.” Spanish is the language of poverty, on Planet Kabul/Detroit.

What sort of Hollywood-based cultural bias does that reveal, and where do we go to get an apology for it?

Only Communism could spread poverty over a whole planet, isolate a ruling class in space, literally and metaphorically above the “Proletariat,” and want to preserve that status at all costs.

Only lame-ass Hollywood writers would steal the Ringworld concept from Larry Niven, and trash it with a simple-minded and physically-impossible interpretation. But, hey, the writers are probably Commies, too, so what’s a little intellectual property expatriation to them? Larry Niven didn’t build that!

Well, yeah, he DID build it. And HE got it right.

Lame-ass writing. Lame-ass actors. ELYSIUM is a lame-ass movie.

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Tea Party Tugboats, Shove Romney to Starboard!

March 9, 2012
Tugs Dock Aircraft Carrier

Small but mighty -- tugboats maneuver the carrier USS John F. Kennedy into its mooring place. (Wikipedia)


Patient and constant pressure – that’s how little tugboats move big ships where they are supposed to go. That is what conservatives will have to do with the new (God willing!) president.

This is directed at you Republicans who say you will stand behind your non-Romney candidate for the nomination, no matter what, all the way to Election Day.

I feel your pain. I wrote in Alan Keyes in the general election in 2008, and have discussed extensively why I did that. Hand-picked loser John McCain was just too repugnant a weasel to vote for.  I still believe the GOP establishment picked him as the best candidate to hand the election to Barack Obama. Why? Because losing was less scary for them than winning and having to admit to the unpleasant state in which George II left us, and then (shudder) deal with it.

The flaw in my analysis of that election was that I swallowed the popular assumption that electing the “right” president would reverse the century of Progressive erosion that has nearly washed away our fundamental freedoms.

That erosion paved the way for Trojan Horse Marxist Barack Obama, the single most destructive president in history, who then did more damage to our Constitutional Republic than any president since Wilson, and is on a trajectory to become a virtual – or actual – dictator in a second term.

With A Democrat majority in the House and Senate until the Great Rebound of 2010, Obama rammed through legislation, and appointed “Czars” that threaten to turn the Constitution into a meaningless rag. Obamacare, with its thousands of pages of abuses and illegalities; “recess appointments” without recesses; Supreme Court nominees without any qualifications other than allegiance to his socialist world view; “Fast and Furious,” and other, grotesque miscarriages of justice by his sock-puppet Attorney General, apologies to despots not entitled to apologies… the list is long.

If he gets a second term, Obama and his crew of leftist hacks and clowns will accomplish their mission, turning the best country in the history of the world into a third-rate banana republic, without the capacity to grow a single banana.

In fact, he can do so much damage between now and his last day in office — even if it is next January – that any Republican president will have to administer the political equivalent of first aid, maybe even CPR,  just to pull our country back from the brink.

After the airway, breathing and circulation are restored, there will still be not just years, but decades of work to do, rooting out the regulators and executive branch hacks and parasites who have embedded themselves in the bloated bulk of our federal government, feeding on their host while contributing, each of them, to its destruction.

That is why I will vote for the Republican nominee in November, no matter who he (OR SHE!) is.

Our new (God willing!) president, prodded by the conservative tugboats in Congress and the tens of millions of Tea Party conservatives and Constitutionalists in the electorate, will have to apply patient and constant pressure to the right, forcing the government back into the role prescribed for it in our founding documents.

No single man or woman, no single president, can reverse the century of socialization advanced by Democrats and Liberal Republicans.

The angry and awakened conservative electorate simply cannot go back to sleep — even if the Republicans win big in November.

We have to take some of the time that we used to use to work, play and take care of our families, and put it into relentless, constant pressure on all three branches of government to get out of our faces, out of our pockets, out of our families, out of our businesses, and back into the constraints of the Constitution.

We can force a Republican Senate to approve competent and ethical appointments to cabinet departments and to the federal courts, and to soundly reject stupid, negligent or simply corrupt nominees, regardless of presidential or GOP hack pressure.

We can steer a Republican House to reject any act that doesn’t contract our debt, and to defund agencies that don’t have any Constitutional basis for their existence, while we wait for a chastened executive branch to abolish those agencies and departments. We can also compel our Representatives to initiate impeachment of unfit judges, and build fires under cabinet officials who have lost sight of their Constitutional limitations and responsibilities.

We can’t do any of the above without research, emails, calls, visits, campaign contributions and constant vigilance applied by millions of diligent, persistent voters.

We can push a rudderless America away from the emotional appeals of the progressives and liberal lobbies, and back toward

Like tugs moving a giant ship, or like a Cumberland River towboat pushing thousands of tons of gravel or grain downriver, we can steer the Republican “leadership” in the right direction – or replace them in the next elections.

Tug pushing barges, Cumberland River

Barge tug pushes thousands of tons of cargo on the Cumberland River near Ashland City, TN (Photo by the author)

NEWTRALIZING OBAMA

February 23, 2012

The cement is still wet enough to scratch my initials in, but it’s curing around my vote for Newt, March 6th.

Best Candidate:

We need a thick-skinned, sharp-toothed junkyard dog to beat the Obama/Media-Pimp/Soros/KGB/Muslim-Brotherhood complex.

Romney is such a gone-over marketing package that I see him as more package than product. Yes, he seems conservative on some issues — maybe even most — but he is SO polished and marketing-driven that I don’t think he will have a hard enough edge in debates with Obama and surrogates, and in ambush interviews with the Obamedia to keep conservatives interested and motivated, and to make a bold contrast between himself and Obama.

Santorum is a little too Mister Rogers for me, and, like Romney, he doesn’t appear to be capable of confronting Obama aggressively, and establishing the stark contrast that will make softer 2008 Obama voters think, “I voted for ‘change,’ not for ‘destruction’, and not for turning this country into a phony-baloney, socialist utopia. And that doesn’t make me a racist, it makes me willing to admit a mistake, and CORRECT IT.” 

There is too a strong vein of McCain-style, smiley-face milquetoast in him, and it can come out at the worst possible moment (think Arlen Specter), letting ObamaCo make him look flatter than stale beer.

Ron Paul may be capable of the junkyard dog thing, but how can anyone be comfortable with the appallingly-large component of wackoid, hate-spewing, racist loons who are stuck to him? Most of them have more in common with Louis Farrakhan than with me.

He can’t win the election, because his foaming-at-the-mouth acolytes will alienate everyone but themselves from him, and then they will turn on each other, leaving a battered few to show up at the polls… probably on Wednesday, after they run out of pot.

If a man is known by the company he keeps, Paul is a guy who is comfortable with a live grenade rolling around in the back of his pickup truck — probably Obama’s dream opponent.

Gingrich has shown repeatedly, in the 327 Republican debates, and in multiple ambush “interviews” that he can stand up under tremendous pressure and articulate conservative principles both rationally and persuasively, even in the face of the most intense, lying, hate-filed attacks Obama and his jackals can muster. He can punch, but most importantly, he can counter-punch, hard — and that is critical.

Newt’s so-called “baggage” is all out there, and none of it matters up against the Obama baggage (make that a Chinese mega-freighter full of shipping containers dripping toxic waste) already in the public record, AND the many, as-yet-undisclosed skeletons in Obama’s closet, many of which will spill out by Fall, despite the Obamedia’s best efforts.  If Newt’s campaign goes after Obama as it should and could, the baggage will all belong to Barack.

Best President:

None of the Final Four will make an ideal, constitutionally-sound president. If that’s what you’re looking for, forget it. Now, back to reality:

Santorum and Romney are in a mushy tie, as far as being trustworthy in the Big Chair. Either of them seems capable of being persuaded to do outrageous things in “the best interest of the majority (read, “Romneycare”, and “Arlen Specter”, as above), or in some Marxist-theology-tainted religious appeal, even if those things are explicitly unconstitutional and wrong — as long as they have the right emotional hooks.

Ron Paul is a non-starter. What does his acceptance of the support of his bizarre fan base say about Paul’s judgment? Nothing that makes me want him in the White House.

Add to that, he is clearly, fatally, 180-degrees wrong about Israel and foreign policy, and the threat of Islam. That he sticks with those insane, immoral positions is all the evidence I need that he has a deep character flaw, defective judgment,  and/or a tenuous grip on reality.

Okay, Least-Bad President:

Any of them would require a continuous prod with a flaming, sharp stick, to move them toward constitutional government and away from New Deal tyranny.  I feel about 1.5% better turning my back on Newt for as long as two minutes at a time. Mitt and Rick, not for a second. Either of them could be swayed by a good sales pitch, even if intrinsically wrong, if the emotional appeal were strong enough. Paul? I shudder to think of him loose in the Commander-in-Chief’s chair, spinning and squealing, without adult supervision.

My instinct is that Newt has a hard enough core to send any pack of lobbyist jackals dressed as a sales team packing, and feeling as if they had just had their bark peeled.  I can’t say that about any of the others.

Newt is my guy, by default — at this second.

CPR for America — ABC!

January 25, 2012

Here is where we are:

We walk into the room, and find our country, the United States of America, down on the floor, unconscious, not breathing, and with no pulse. Death is imminent.

Triage is in order. Treat the immediately life-threatening conditions first. Then fix the underlying problems.

The mnemonic used in CPR training, “ABC” (Airway, Breathing, Circulation), focuses on the order of importance of things in first-responder emergency care. Rescue breathing, for example, can’t happen without an open airway.

Circulation, including cardiac compressions and stopping bleeding, is irrelevant if there are no airway and breathing  to get  oxygen into the blood.

Get the airway open, deliver some breaths if needed, and then do cardiac compressions, if needed.  After the ABCs are taken care of, tend to the bleeding.

Fractures, pain control, swelling, infection, and other, important, but less urgent conditions come later. They cannot be neglected, but they come after ABC.

Same with our country.

Yes, we need a conservative president, and the more conservative, the better. However, any president who is not an America-hating, hard-core leftist,  is a life-saving improvement over Barack Obama. He has our national airway blocked. He will kill our country in another four year term.

Elect a president who will fire the “czars,” sequester the insane spending on pointless, destructive bureaucratic regulations, and take the government’s choking grip off the economy’s airway.

Airway open.

Get the air moving in the lungs. Tell Congress to repeal the stupid laws that gave these bureaucracies imperial power over Americans. Make the Justice Department administer justice, and not the political whims of the White House.

Breathing established.

Elect succeeding generations of strict constitutionalists to the House and Senate, so that any president who wants to rule like a king is hogtied and impotent, and impeached and removed, if necessary. Federal judges who want to write law from the bench will be returned by a Constitutionally responsible Congress to the private sector, or to prison, if they have done wrong in office.

Stem the government’s endless appetite for power and property by stopping it from doing the endless things it has no business doing. Abolish unconstitutional agencies, and fire their employees.

Circulation restored, and bleeding stopped.

Then, fix the deeply-rooted, abusive practices of a government that have had generations to fester and swell.

This process will take several election cycles, but it can work, if we don’t turn our backs on politics after the next election.

A, B, and C. Each is vital, but none is enough, without the others.

The best president in history is only a temporary fix, without a Congress and a judicial branch that will do their constitutional jobs.

None of this can happen without an electorate that is educated on the founding documents, and involved for the long haul — not just for 2012, but for every election from now on, and for every day in between.

We may put off our country’s imminent death, but we will have done nothing to forestall its progressive, degenerative decline into third-world, bankrupt, crippled irrelevancy — and death is still the ultimate result.

ABC.

A presidential election is a beginning, but it is just a beginning. It’s not a long-term job; it’s a never-ending job, and it’s the voters that have to do it.

First, ABC.

“Legalize it”? Maybe It’s Time.

October 18, 2011

Dried marijuana "bud," Courtesy of Wikipedia. NOT my photo! ("Eees no' mine!!")

Let’s just say I know enough about smoking marijuana (having been college-aged in the late 60’s) to know how apt is the term “wasted” in that context… but let’s also say that I could have passed a random, pop drug test any time over the last forty years, and I could do so at right this moment.

While I am not chomping at the bit for the legal right to hit the pot store on the way home from WalMart, it is hard NOT to see the cost of the “war on drugs” on our Constitutional rights. And, no, you don’t have to be a Paulistinian, or even a classical Libertarian to see it.

“]”]”

Would you trust your rights to "Good" Attorneys General -- Ashcroft (L) and Thornburgh (R)

”]”]”]”]If we give government the power to knock down doors without first serving a warrant, and to seize private property without due process or even criminal charges (among a host of abuses justified by the “War on Drugs,” not to mention the “War on Terror”), we are giving that power not just to a John Ashcroft or a Dick Thornburgh; we’re giving it to a Janet Reno and an Eric Holder. That’s not just stupid; it’s reckless and destructive.

What have we given up from the Bill of Rights, just to ignore the inherent evil of no-knock warrants and civil asset forfeiture? If a government acting in our best interests can abuse these procedures, what can a government that holds us in contempt do with them?

Legalizing marijuana would break away the current markets for marijuana from their very close relationship with the markets for heroin, cocaine, meth, hot guns, stolen property, prostitution, human and drug smuggling, terrorism, etc., draining tens or hundreds of millions of dollars from that income stream, and diverting it into taxable income streams. It would also unclog thousands of slots on pending court case calendars and empty prison and jail cells of people who otherwise wouldn’t be there, making room for the people who really should be locked up.

The statists graciously accept all our offers to surrender our rights for alleged safety or other benefits, regardless of the “war” allegedly being fought — drugs, poverty, terrorism, income inequality…

They know from history that such rights, once surrendered, are seldom restored, except by force and the spilling of lots of blood. At some point, it will be too late to get them back without that terrible cost.

We’re not there just yet, but we’re awfully close.

WHERE ARE THE LEADERS?

June 3, 2011

Where are the leaders?

Where are the leaders – the people who can and will lead the United States of America out of the open grave we have been thrown into by the “leaders” of the last fifty years?

Where are the passionate, honest and humble men and women who know that government running every aspect of our lives is a recipe for misery and slavery?

Where are the men and women who will place themselves under the media spotlight without a crippling need for acceptance, because they understand that the media do not share, and will never share, their values?

Where are the men and women who will laugh in the faces of liberal hacks and counterfeit intellectuals with their cries of “racist” and other cheap, cowardly epithets, and call them out as the frauds and liars they are?

What follows is the speech I want to hear from a candidate who believes himself to be one of the real leaders – one who will help us to climb out of that open grave, rather than throwing in smaller shovelfuls of dirt, and telling us everything will be fine, if we just relax and embrace the darkness.

My fellow citizens:

I want to save this country. I can save this country. I need to save this country.

We are sinking into serfdom. Our government has broken the bonds the Founders wisely put on in our Constitution, and it is becoming our master, rather than our servant.

In the unending effort to buy permanent power, our government has plunged us into debt and inserted itself into every aspect of our lives.

While it pursues permanent power, our government neglects its most urgent and legitimate responsibilities. It fails at protecting the weak against the strong, and at protecting our nation against foreign and domestic enemies. It fails at protecting our rights and property against unlawful seizure and against unlawful restrictions on what we may do in and with our own property.

In fact, government has aggressively pursued the destruction of our right to own property, and to do with that property what we wish, thus rendering the right to own property nearly meaningless.

I must tell you, my fellow Americans, that once government has rendered meaningless the right to own property, we all become the property of government. The most important difference between a slave and a free person is the right to own property and to do with it, while protecting the rights of one’s neighbors, as one wishes.

I will reverse this endless expansion of government power.

I will nominate judges to the federal bench and to the supreme court, who will treat their oaths to uphold the Constitution literally. I will ask Congress to impeach judges who violate this oath.

I will pare down drastically the bloated regulatory bureaucracy that is choking off our freedom and our ability to prosper.

On my first day in office, I will fire “czars” that are unaccountable to the people and who are openly hostile to freedom, and who have no basis for authority in the Constitution.

I will ask Congress to abolish entire executive branch agencies and departments that have no basis in the Constitution, and no goal but their own self-perpetuation and expansion of influence.

The unborn, the sick and the elderly – the weakest and most innocent among us — are fortunate, these days, if we allow them to live. The fortunate survivors are those who were not killed because they were inconvenient, embarrassing, expensive, or evidence of a crime.

Our government has, instead, made these innocents legitimate prey for the predators who will make themselves rich and advance their lethal, utopian ideals by killing them.

I will sign legislation that makes abortion and euthanasia illegal under federal law, and I will speak unflinchingly to the States, from the bully pulpit that is the presidency, urging them to do the same. I will ask Congress to send me a bill that removes taxpayer dollars from any program, foreign or domestic, that funds abortion or euthanasia. I will sign that bill into law immediately, before American taxpayers can be forced to pay for one more innocent’s death.

A citizen’s life is a citizen’s property, and the right to own that property is basic, without which no other right matters. The right to life subsumes the right to choose one’s own medical care, and to pay for it as one wishes. The current level of government interference in this right is intolerable, and illegal.

I will revoke any executive orders intended to advance Obamacare, and I will consider the federal court ruling that Obamacare is unconstitutional as binding. I will immediately revoke the authority of any executive branch agency, board or other bureaucratic structure put in place by preceding administrations to support or enforce this law.

I will instruct Congress to send me legislation repealing Obamacare completely, and I will then ask Congress to begin structuring legislation that will unleash the private sector to revolutionize health care while dramatically reducing costs and increasing the range of options available to consumers.

I would expect this legislation to include a gradual transition over several years from government-funded — and government-restricted – health care for the aged and for those who are incapable for providing for themselves. Medicare must be replaced incrementally with private medical care that patients who are capable of it can pay for themselves, as medical care was dispensed for hundreds of years before this bloated, self-destructive program came into existence. The indigent and disabled must be protected, and they will be. Those who can pay all or a share of their health care costs, though, should do so.

Contrary to the lies you are being told by the Left, this does not mean my administration would throw the sick, the elderly or the indigent out in the street to die uncared for. That is a lie, and the liars know it. What the liars are not telling you, is that Medicare and Social Security are both utopian schemes that bought a lot of votes in their day, but their day is over. We simply can’t pay for them any longer.

Let me say that again: Medicare and Social Security are both about to run out of money. If we shut our eyes to this stubborn fact, Medicare and Social Security will still be out of money very soon, and our nation’s sorry financial state will soon prevent us from borrowing any more from Communist China to keep them afloat.

Tell me, my fellow Americans, what will happen to the sick when our government-driven health care system no longer has money to care for them? Rationing. It is happening now, in every country that foolishly believed it could nationalize its health care and not face the same, inevitable consequences.

Care is being withheld, and patients are being allowed to die from neglect and by the withdrawal of basic life support. They are starving and dying of thirst in their unchanged, soiled beds. If their families do not bring them food and change their linens, they lie in their own wastes and die, slowly and in great discomfort. This is the fate of those the Left is supposedly defending against their allegedly greedy, heartless critics.

Those who are so often vocal in their expressions of compassion and concern for the sick, are the liars who cannot face the consequences of their own lies. The helpless victims, however, face those consequences daily. This is what happens when government takes away the property right of citizens to care for their own lives. They become slaves.

What government gives, government can take away – including life, itself.

This nation has a history of decades of government encroachment into our lives, decades of spending money we do not have, decades of gradually surrendering our sovereignty to creditors and to those who think we should not have borders, decades of growing generations of government dependents, decades of failing to educate our citizens in basic skills, history and analytical thinking.

We cannot reverse this disastrous course overnight. But, we must begin immediately, shouldering the burden and working against the pain that will result, because if we do not change course, we will die as a nation, just as surely as the sick will die under national health care.

We must change course. And we will.

I want to save this country. I can save this country. I need to save this country.

But, I cannot do it alone. I must have your help and support. Now, and after the election, I must have your support and your trust. With your help, and with the Lord’s guidance, we will save this country. We must save this country. We owe it to ourselves and to our posterity.

Thank you, ladies and gentlemen, for your attention. Now, let’s get to work.

May God Bless you, and may God Bless the United States of America.

Hey, Stupid Party! Anybody Home, in There?

March 30, 2011

“Give us money, so we can re-elect spineless leaders to ignore you until next election.”

I just got an email from the RNC, begging for money, again. I get them all the time, but, as I sometimes do, I will respond to this one in an “open letter” format.

The immediate trigger for this open letter was reading the following paragraph:

Nothing would make The New York Times, The Washington Post or The Huffington Post happier than printing articles in April that the Republican Party is finished because the RNC’s Federal Election Commission first quarter report showed us lagging behind in donations from our nationwide network of conservative grassroots supporters.

Herein we find one of the stupidest things the Stupid Party believes: That we should give a damn what The New York Times, The Washington Post or The Huffington Post thinks.

A pathetic and pointless desire for approval from these left-leaning media hacks is one of the most glaring weaknesses of the Stupid Party “leadership.” This “leadership” has brought us to this precipice, over which is a socialist autocracy in which the Constitution is an irrelevant, historical curiosity.

If the “leadership” had rejected the $105 Billion land mine in the continuing resolution that funds the implementation of the obscenity known as Obamacare; if it had rejected the taxpayer subsidy for killing unborn children to be handed to Planned Parenthood; if it had rejected taxpayer funding of the government’s left-wing propaganda organ, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, there might be a whisper of a chance I would give the RNC a dime.

Of course, none of that happened. The “leadership” in the House won’t even come down firmly in favor of not raising the debt limit – let alone on introducing the kinds of spending cuts that would really make a difference in the long run, and that would signal to American taxpayers and the world that there is any seriousness about getting us out of debtor-nation slavery.

What sorts of cuts am I talking about? How about defunding Obamacare, the Department of Education, the EPA’s “cap and trade” scam, the FCC’s initiative to regulate the Internet and shut down talk radio, all foreign aid to countries that routinely fund terrorism and discriminate against Christians, and – yes, I’m saying it – the Cowboy Poetry Festival. That is just a tiny percentage of the wasteful and self-destructive government activity we can do without.

Individual Republican candidates may see some small change from me, if there is any left over after buying gas and inflated groceries, but RNC, don’t hold your breath.

If you care so much about what The New York Times, The Washington Post or The Huffington Post think, ask them for money.

FLATLINE — What Happens When We Can’t Afford “Free” Health Care?

February 23, 2011
 
Flatline

“Flatline” — The inevitable result of Obamacare, when “free” health care gets too expensive. (Courtesy Wikipedia)

Office of Health Care Resource Conservation
United States Department of Health and Human Services
Washington, DC

April 4, 2014

TO:
Thomas D. Cox
[address redacted]

Dear Mr. Cox:

Our records indicate that you are sixty-five years of age as of your last birthday. The Office has made an examination your centralized medical and financial records, as authorized by Affordable Health Care Act regulations.

This examination indicates that you have a combination of seemingly minor medical conditions that, when looked at by a computerized statistical analysis, indicate that you may be subject to one or more serious, major health conditions. Treatment of these conditions would consume valuable health care resources that are already strained meeting the needs of your fellow Americans.

Your Social Security records indicate an extensive work history. Your credit history includes several stays at vacation and recreation sites. These observations lead the Office to find that you have lived a full and successful life, and we congratulate you on your many accomplishments.

It is the  finding of this Department, with due regard for the value and potential costs of your life to the greater society, that no more than thirty days from the issuance date of this letter, you shall report to the nearest local clinic of the Office of Health Care Resource Conservation, for humane life termination.

Please bring positive identification, including a certified copy of your birth certificate, your Social Security card, and your federally-approved smart picture identification card. You should wear comfortable clothing, and leave all valuables, such as watch, wedding ring, cash and credit cards at home. If you use public transportation to get to your appointment at the clinic, your estate will be reimbursed for the expense

It is our duty to caution you against delaying your appearance at the center. Doing so will result in a warrant being issued for your arrest for contempt of government. As you may know, there is no trial afforded to anyone against whom such a warrant has been issued. All civil rights normally accorded to you by government are suspended at the time this warrant is issued, because as of the date and time of issue, you are legally deceased.

We are sure that you will make the responsible decision, and that none of the above measures will be required, saving government resources and protecting your friends and family from the personal and financial stresses of being arrested for harboring a legally-deceased federal fugitive.

Again, we thank you for your long, productive life, and we fully expect that you will cooperate in this process. Please rest assured that your remains will be disposed of in the clinic’s ultra-high-efficiency crematorium in an environmentally sound manner, with the least possible Carbon Dioxide emission.

Thank you for your cooperation.

Kathleen Sibelius

Secretary of Health and Human Services

[Note to readers — This letter hasn’t been written yet, but I expect that it will, if Obamacare doesn’t get the “mercy killing” it deserves. Thanks for reading — TC]

SORRY, Internet Closed! NOW WHAT?

February 3, 2011

Who pulled the plug?

(Geekspeak Alert! Multiple occurrences of Information Technology jargon and abbreviations follow. Approach at your own risk.)

What if, what if, what if…? The recent discussion of the Egyptians’ reliance on the Internet for communication in their uprising, and of the “Internet Kill Switch” legislation in our own Congress, led me to thinking about preparedness in general, and emergency communication in particular.

The Internet has gone from an obscure fad to a virtual communication spinal cord in a couple of decades. It’s “the network of networks.” It’s “the cloud,” and the “information superhighway.” To some, it’s a free-flowing gutter; to others, it’s a lifeline to information, communication and entertainment they can’t imagine being without.

You are “plugged in,” to one degree or another, to that “cloud,” or you wouldn’t be reading this.

What if it went away?

Egypt did its best to shut off public access to the Internet when the rioting in Cairo began to turn into a revolt.

According to a TIME online story, what the Mubarak regime did was order the Internet Service Providers that serve Egypt to shut down their Domain Name Service (DNS servers). The article offers a capsule explanation of DNS:

When you open up your web browser and type a domain name into the address bar—say Time.com, for instance—your service provider sends a lightning-quick request to whichever service provider Time.com uses to make its web pages publicly available on the internet.

The computer that holds all of Time.com’s web pages sends a response back through its internet service provider basically saying, “Yes, we’re online. Here’s the web page you requested.”

That’s part of the story. The critical part of the DNS process is address translation. The Internet doesn’t know from www.yoursite.com. The DNS server converts the Universal Resource label (URL), the “human-friendly” name for the site you want to see, into an Internet Protocol (IP) address, which, for now, is a series of numbers and periods in the format ###.###.###. That is what really travels across town or around the world, to arrive at “www.yoursite.com.”

There’s a lesson, for you. If DNS service is down, you need a list of Internet Protocol addresses you can put into the address field of your browser to get to sites directly.

To get to my favorite Internet news site, World Net Daily, in the absence of DNS service, I simply put “70.85.95.100”(without the quotation marks) into my address field, and go there.

How did I find that out? I opened a command line window (I speak Windows; sorry, Apple and Linux speakers – you’re on your own) and ran the PING command using several of my most frequent browsing destinations.

Here’s an example of the PING command and its output, from my IP address gathering process:

C:\Documents and Settings\Tom Cox>ping drudgereport.com
 Pinging drudgereport.com [209.234.251.93] with 32 bytes of data:
Reply from 209.234.251.93: bytes=32 time=105ms TTL=46
Reply from 209.234.251.93: bytes=32 time=113ms TTL=46
Reply from 209.234.251.93: bytes=32 time=112ms TTL=46
Reply from 209.234.251.93: bytes=32 time=111ms TTL=46 
Ping statistics for 209.234.251.93:
Packets: Sent = 4, Received = 4, Lost = 0 (0% loss),
Approximate round trip times in milli-seconds:
 Minimum = 105ms, Maximum = 113ms, Average = 110ms

The important information here isn’t the lousy ping times I get from my ISP, but the fact that when I enter the domain name — drudgereport.com in this case – (note the omission of “www” and the like), PING gives me the IP address, (209.234.251.93) it got from the DNS server I am currently connected to, which it uses to find the right server at the other end and measure the time required to get an acknowledgment.

Obviously, taking down the DNS service will impede access for those who don’t know how to get around it, but just as obviously, that is a porous barrier to the Internet. Not only can people who have stored their most-used IP addresses locally get through, but satellite-based ISPs, as well as any ISP who can be reached by dial-up, even in another hemisphere, can provide access, however slow and filtered that access may be. Any regime or force that wants to cut off Internet service completely, or at least much more completely than the Egyptian government did, has to take down wireline phone service, as well as cellular service, and jam satellite downlink frequencies.

The Internet is designed with “robustness” in mind, with multiple paths among connected nodes, and that makes an “Internet Kill Switch”more of a challenge than it may appear to be from a user’s perspective. (Thanks to Bruce Schneier, long-time Internet security and encryption expert)

If it were possible to take down the Internet in a given region, the results may be a classic, “be careful what you wish for” scenario. Governments that want to clamp down on the Internet may discover too late how dependent their own activities are on it. Will they be able to use government debit cards to refuel military vehicles? Will their air traffic control system’s communication network collapse? How about the electrical grid, public transportation, metropolitan traffic control systems, for starters – will a government that wants to enhance its grip on its population deliberately blind and deafen itself, just to silence social networks and news outlets?

Government suppression of the Internet may be the least of our concerns, in fact. We don’t even need our government to put the Internet at risk. Two other “actors” may be a lot more likely to succeed where governments fail: terrorists, and the sun.

All it will take is a little, tiny episode of solar flatulence, known scientifically as a Coronal Mass Ejection (CME). The sun, notorious for its stubborn inclination to ignore and flaunt government regulations and environmentalist lobbying, is about due for another of its periodic episodes of instability. This instability includes a tendency to fling huge clouds of high-energy particles out from its nearly-endless supply of such materials.

A solar corona hole, February 3, 2011, courtesy http://www.spaceweather.com

 

Should our planet happen to be in the way of one of these clouds, the results will be spectacular and calamitous, but not unprecedented. As it passes through the cloud, the energy in the cloud will induce electric currents in any conductor, such as a power line or radio antenna, and the currents induced may be much greater than the conductor, and any connected equipment, can tolerate.

The earth itself will rattle with the shock of this blast of energy. A geomagnetic storm is a secondary effect of the CME. The earth’s magnetic field will ring like a bell, with effects on life and technology both known and unknown.

The history of these storms shows but a hint of the potential impact on the whole energy-transportation-communication-security-economy infrastructure.

This impact would not be an overnight phenomenon, but could bathe the earth in strong energy clouds for weeks or months. The associated Aurora displays might be spectacularly beautiful, but most of us will be too busy trying to survive the other effects to have much time top enjoy the show.

Aurora, courtesy Wikipedia

Aurora Borealis, courtesy Wikipedia - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Polarlicht_2.jpg

Ole’ Mom Nature and government shutdowns are not the only way uncontrollable forces can have a huge impact on the Internet and the rest of the infrastructure.  A small, but well-funded group of terrorists, or “axis of evil” agents, armed with a small nuclear weapon and a “SCUD” class, intermediate-range ballistic missile (IRBM) can blind and cripple us, too.

SCUD on semi-trailer launcher, courtesy Wklipedia

 

A nondescript container ship could pull up off the Atlantic coast a hundred miles out from Washington DC, and launch a missile sold or donated by Russia, North Korea, Iran, or a non-state entity with lots of money. If the missile has a warhead consisting of, say, a refurbished Russian tactical nuclear warhead, furnished by the same thoughtful donor or another, or sold by some organized crime venture, the goal would be to detonate the missile not on or near the ground, as in the Hiroshima and Nagasaki attacks, but a hundred miles or so above Washington, or nearby.

The nuclear detonation, even resulting from a very small, “suitcase”-style weapon, would have the expected blast effects from heat and sudden pressure – although they would be diminished on the ground due to the high altitude of the detonation — but it would also create a huge, sharp electromagnetic pulse (EMP). Before discounting the possibly existence of nuclear warheads small enough to launch above a SCUD-sized IRBM, recall that both the Russians and Americans developed and built thousands of nuclear artillery shells, one of which was successfully test-fired and detonated.

The upper atmosphere would interact with the pulse to create a huge, secondary pulse that would spread over an area of hundreds, or thousands, of square miles. There would be instant and dramatic effects on anything electrical for hundreds or thousands of miles in any direction. The impulse would be far stronger than a CME-induced surge, but lasting only a fraction of a second. The effect, though, would last for months, or years, in terms of its effect on the nation.

The effect on a society as dependent on electricity and electronics as ours, would be devastating, and that is not just the apocalyptic fantasy of a few catastrophe freaks and post-apocalypse survival enthusiasts. Credible groups have testified before Congress on the potential effects of such an attack, but with little apparent impact on our national priorities.

Nightmarish scenarios exist, such as a novel by a historian named William Forstchen, One Second After.

There is considerable disagreement as to the scientific and technical accuracy of the novel’s predictions, as one can see in the extended discussion of the book on Amazon, but not much disagreement that the effects will be severe and long-lasting. As long as the Internet stays up, you can learn more about EMP in its various forms at EMPact America, http://www.empactamerica.org/

Whether the cause of the outage is government action, terrorism or solar storms, doing without the Internet is

What’s a communication-dependent technophile to do? Do you carry a spare tire in your car? Why? The odds of a flat in the middle of nowhere are low, but the repercussions are severe – what disaster prep strategists refer to as a “low probability, high consequences event.”

Technophiles are smart to be ready with multiple options for communications, to fit the circumstances. Dead cell phone battery? Where’s your crank-up charger? Power out for an extended period? Cable system, wireline phone system, and cell service down? Where’s your CB radio, your GMRS/FRS portable radio set, your crystal radio, complete with rolled-up, ready-to-launch wire antenna, your HF ham radio and accessories, your fire starting kit, your wood stove, your bottled water, your toilet paper, your emergency food, your maps, your compass, your handgun, your rifle, your ammunition…

From a dead DNS server to the collapse of civil society and enemy attack – you can be a victim, or you can be prepared.

S510 — OBAMAFOOD – Starvation as a Weapon

November 23, 2010

Russian dictator and mass-murderer Josef Stalin, with Molotov, architects of the forced starvation of peasants

Josef Stalin understood the power of political persuasion. He secured the allegiance of his subordinates by murdering many of them as an example to the rest.

On a grand scale, however, he understood the persuasive power of man-made starvation.

You can only shoot so many people in the head in the basement of the Lubjanka Prison at a time, and the logistics of ammunition, shooters and body disposal impose an upper limit on the rate at which that can happen.

Suppose, however, that you find the entire population of a region to be inconvenient. You already have absolute power over the means of production, transportation and communication, because you are the head of a communist state, and that is what communism means.

Suppose that region is the Ukraine, one of the most fertile regions on earth. There are about 13 million people there who are distressingly unwilling to serve the state as they should. They deserve a bullet in the head, but the numbers are daunting.

You are saving up bullets to use on the German fascists, whose brand of socialism is competing with yours to enslave Europe, and getting more powerful by the day. “Cutthroat competition” may be a cliché among the capitalists, but to socialists, it is a literal way of doing business.

In this competitive environment, getting 13 million Ukrainians to stand up next to a ditch so you can shoot them is unlikely, and the logistical limitations frustrate the sensibilities of an absolute dictator.

The owners of the mega-farms of the Tsarist era have all been killed off by Lenin at the beginning of the 1917 revolution, but the vacuum has been filled by millions of peasant farmers, in Ukraine and other Soviet slave states, whose success at food production has made them distressingly independent of the Soviet state. Stalin sees them as the vanguard of a Ukrainian nationalist independence movement, and thus intolerable.

Food is power, and Stalin knows it.

He confiscates the stored grain that was both a form of currency, and the seed for next year’s crop, reducing the peasant farmers from self-sufficient producers to slaves, a status more consistent with the role he wants for them in his socialist utopia.

He sells a lot of the grain on international markets, making the communists seem productive, to the inattentive world, although the result will be starvation.

He introduces “internal passports” to discourage migration from the areas he has stripped of the capacity to produce food, effectively isolating them from the rest of the world, and, as the judges did for Terri Schiavo, “let nature take its course.”

While the New York Times expressed its admiration for the Soviet dictator in an endless series of articles by self-appointed Stalin PR flack Walter Duranty, the real consequence of “Uncle Joe’s” dabblings in the grain market is mass starvation.

While they hated his competing brand of socialism, the Nazis must have been impressed with his ruthlessness and expedience in disposing of inconvenient masses of people.

Fast forward eight decades, and tell me, please, what this has to do with a Senate bill, S.510, the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act.

The purpose of this bill is “food safety,” right? Protecting our food supply, right?

Sure, in the same way Obamacare was about “reforming” our health care system, and “Cap and Trade” is about “protecting” our environment. What could go wrong with giving federal bureaucrats control over our health care, and over our energy supplies?

Throw in federal control over our food supply, and you have either a safer, more stable America, or you have the three sides of an iron triangle in which to make Americans prisoners in their own homes. I suspect the latter.

I sent the following letter to my US Senator, Nominal Republican Lamar Alexander, who is a co-sponsor of this power grab.

S.510 is a huge extension of federal authority into food production, with a great deal of discretion left to the “Secretary” (of HHS) as to its scope.

I cannot find anywhere an explicit exemption of coverage for individuals or families who want to grow or produce their own food, but a great deal of costly bureaucracy imposed at all levels of food production.

Like the indignities to which air travelers are now subjected, this will be expensive and of little use to advance its stated goals.

The Congressional Research Service summary of S510 includes the following language:

“…require that each person (excluding farms and restaurants) who manufactures, processes, packs, distributes, receives, holds, or imports an article of food permit inspection of his or her records if the Secretary believes that there is a reasonable probability that the use of or exposure to such food will cause serious adverse health consequences or death.”

This would appear to require extensive record-keeping by me, if I want to grow vegetables in a garden. “If the Secretary believes” I have to show this paperwork to federal bureaucrat inspectors, I have to, and for no other reason than it is what the “Secretary believes.”  Criminal penalties may apply, if the Secretary wants them.

Furthermore, nowhere in the summary do I find what effect on the cost of producing food at any level, from the home garden to the corporate farm, this law will have.

As a cosponsor of this legislation, it is your responsibility to justify the legitimacy of this bill under the Constitution, and to account for the costs and benefits of this bill to the consumer.

I believe you cannot justify the constitutionality of this legislation, or its costs.

Leaving so much discretion to an unelected bureaucrat (how many times do phrases like, “at the Secretary’s discretion,” “if the Secretary determines,” “allows the Secretary to promulgate…” appear in this bill?) only reminds us of the enormous abuses heaped upon us in Obamacare.

I have had enough of this kind of intrusion on our rights under the guise of protecting us. You should be embarrassed to be associated with such a blatant power grab.

Please uphold your commitment to the Constitution by withdrawing your support from S.510 and working to defeat it.

Respectfully,
Thomas D. Cox

I guess if you can subject American air travelers to invasive x-rays or plastic-gloved groping as if they were presumptive criminals en route from their cells to the exercise yard, you can expect them to surrender their health care, their energy sources and now – their food supply — to federal government control.

Just hope and pray you don’t fall into what the government sees as a ‘politically inconvenient” group.