June 11, 2013
Military-Industrial Complex, Politics, Science & Technology
The Guardian broke this story on massive phone records collection by the NSA targeting citizens of the US, not only foreign suspects. Regardless of the suspects’ nationality, this kind of dragnet data surveillance has been suspected by many since the passage of the PATRIOT act in 2001, but is now confirmed by this revelation.
America is realizing that is has become a surveillance state. The question now is: What will we do about it? Will we continue to rationalize and excuse the encroaching tyrannical behavior of the state, or draw a line in the sand and demand that this has gone too far?
Read the story by Glenn Greenwald here: http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/jun/06/us-tech-giants-nsa-data
June 9, 2013
Culture, Health & Wellness, Politics, War on Drugs
accountability, Adam Kokesh, cannabis, cop block, drug war, false arrest, framed, law enforcement, libertarian, marijuana, police state
Adam Kokesh Arrested at Smoke Down Prohibition D.C.
Libertarian activist and Iraq War veteran Adam Kokesh has been arrested for the second time in a few months for what turns out to be nothing. He was attending pro-cannabis “Smoke Down Prohibition” demonstrations but not partaking in the substance himself. These attempts to lock away a prominent voice in the liberty movement have only served so far to provide video evidence of law enforcement overreach and the absurdity of the “war on drugs”. Kokesh was released without charges on his first arrest. Time will tell what becomes of this incidence.
May 30, 2013
It now costs $102 to renew your vehicle registration in King County, Washington (the county containing Seattle)! Why? Because the King County Metro transit system is broke. It is facing a $1.2 billion revenue shortfall for 2008-2015. This has led to the adoption of relatively expensive fees attached to vehicle registrations in the county. The breakdown of a typical registration bill now looks like this:
“Filing fee” $3
“RTA tax” $6
“Transportation Benefit District fee” $20
“Gross weight fee” $48
“State Parks Account donation” $5 (“Donation”? Aren’t those voluntary? This is like mandatory gratuity at a restaurant.)
“Congestion reduction charge” $20
The “congestion reduction charge” was added by the King County Council in 2011. It is effective 2013-2014 to help pay for the KC Metro Transit shortfall and their efforts to improve efficiency and get back in the black… “Metro will receive about $25 million in each of the two years the charge is in effect, for a total of $50 million,”… and it won’t even come close to closing the gap:
…some of the actions to narrow the budget gap, such as tapping reserves, will be exhausted after 2013, and the congestion reduction charge expires in mid 2014. That means Metro will face a $60 million ongoing annual revenue shortfall to maintain existing service unless new funding for transit is approved. Metro needs another $15 million to replace aging buses that provide existing service, making the total funding shortfall $75 million.
So, in summary… I get to pay fees for a bunch of stuff I don’t use, based upon laws I didn’t vote for, because the state can’t manage a transportation “business” of which I am not a customer? Allow to take this opportunity to praise the supreme fairness of Democracy… no, I changed my mind.
Here’s a fresh idea: With $50 million or $20 each, residents of King County could fund/charter a small number of competitive, non-monopolistic, accountable, private-sector transit providers instead of paying off the King County Council under threat of fine and/or imprisonment to keep their failing transit system afloat for a few more years. When there is still a problem in 2015, what recourse does the public really have? Our money will have already been spent. Perhaps if passengers were customers who had the option of taking their business to another provider, those providers would have incentive by competition to find efficient solutions and have better logistics than the others. If King County can’t maintain a transit service, maybe it’s time to let someone else take a try at it.
It’s time for municipalities to look for “outside the box” solutions. It’s almost like King County Metro is “too big to fail”… This is really just a bail-out, isn’t it?
May 16, 2013
accident, bowling, discharge, Florida, gun, pistol, revolver, self, shoot
Florida Man Shoots Himself While Bowling
More fun Florida news today! Be careful when bowling with your revolver!
May 1, 2013
Florida, Misc. News, Uncategorized
experiment, explosion, expulsion, Florida, high school, public, school, science, teen
This young woman has had her entire life diverted because she made a mistake in science lab. Florida! Why do you continually try to be the worst state in the nation?! Public school psychopaths…
April 30, 2013
Democrat, dogma, freedom, left, natural rights, paradigm, politics, Republican, right
It’s 2013 and we’re still having partisan arguments. We need to grow up. There is evil on both “ends” of our so-called political “spectrum”. Instead of sharing Facebook links about how corrupt the GOP is or how wrong the Democrats are, we should determine what is really truly a free human being and use this as our ideal toward which to strive.
Liberals get on their high horse of compassion and emotional reaction to events, pretending to be the champions of the weak and indigent- but they don’t realize that they propose an ineffective means of taxation and redistribution which in the end does not empower these communities, but instead ensures their dependence to the state. There is a giant blind spot in liberal compassion called “debt”.
Conservatives seem to be very sure of what is right, and determined to save people from themselves (no abortion, no drugs, no foreign government who won’t do what the US says, etc.). They forget that not everyone has the same idea of what is right or good or valuable as they do, and that we are all independent, unique human beings with our own lifestyles. We should do whatever we like as long as it does not infringe upon the well-being of others. There is a giant blind spot in conservative morality called “interventionism” (on a personal level all the way to national).
But there is a growing movement of those who realize that the American political spectrum is not linear, with a left and right end. It is now more like a circle, in which the left and right have curved around to meet. They are now hardly distinguishable:
- Both Reps and Dems want to tax you to pay for centrally-planned meddling, they just disagree on the details
- Both Reps and Dems seem to be okay with endless foreign deployments and military intervention abroad, they just disagree on the details.
- Both Reps and Dems want legislation to protect corporate monopolies and eliminate true competition from the market, they just disagree on the details.
- Both Reps and Dems take huge campaign contributions from corporations that do unacceptable things every day, and use their office to protect the corps from recourse for this behavior- they just take them from different corporations (and even that is changing).
The only way the dialog in America can move forward is if we all give up clinging to our long-help political dogmas and biases, honestly admit the faults of all aspects of our government, grow up and take real ownership of our own thoughts and ideas rather than parroting a party line or political buzzword. It is a meek man who defines himself only as part of a greater collective. The political parties would like nothing more that for the country to remain dogmatically divided, and working toward a goal of “compromise”, for this compromise almost always sees you becoming less free!
We must change the whole paradigm, give up the labels, and discuss how we can prevent and mitigate societal ills without resorting to force or violence of any scale, be it imprisonment or martial law. We must have an ideal which respects each and every human being and their individual, unique “pursuit of happiness” (a phrase which was considered important enough to enshrine in the Declaration of Independence).