Friday, January 28, 2011

Updating The Road System

CNN has an article on their website this afternoon that dovetails The Road System into The State of the Union.


The invasive use of GPS tracking of our cars, and thus of all of us, is proposed as a wonderful way for private companies to charge us for driving on their roads.  Instead of stopping at toll booths we would all have to equip our cars with monitoring devices.  If you’ve read my earlier posts in The Road System series you already know my feelings on the subject.  (The posts linked are in reverse chronological order)

Another suggestion in CNN’s article is that the cost of the tolls could be adjustable.  “Congestion Tolling” they call it.  Gouging during times of high traffic flow is more like it!  I see gas stations doing that particularly during the holidays.  This gouging is on a daily basis just for trying to get to work. 

Touting the supposed benefits of gouging toll rates during rush hour the article states that it would have environmental benefits by reducing traffic and the pollution it causes.  Even if drivers are able to rearrange their schedules to avoid being gouged, they will still have to get to work at some point.  All that will do is shift the time of day when the pollution occurs.  It will not reduce at all.  In fact it may actually cause pollution to increase since it would make arranging to carpool that much more of a hassle!

By the way, did you notice who would be collecting the tolls?  The article’s primary focus is to recommend that the government get out of the highway infrastructure business altogether and have private for profit companies take over in their stead.  Now correct me if I’m missing something here, but isn’t one of the main reasons the government is in the highway infrastructure business in the first place because there are an awful lot of roads around this vast nation that simply wouldn’t be built if it were left to private for profit companies to build them? 

And another thing: The Federal Highway system is not a commerce system – it is a MILITARY system!  If you pay close attention as you are driving along our nations highways you may notice that one mile in every ten is strait and level.  The highways were designed that way to allow them to serve as runways for our nations military aircraft.  The roads themselves were funded and built to allow our military to efficiently move troops and supplies anywhere they may be needed.  Is that something we, as a nation, are ready to privatize?  I think not!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

CNN again misses the point

In an article written by Carl T. Bogus, a professor of law at Roger William University School of Law and author of a forthcoming book, the claim is made that:


Professor Bogus first recites the Second Amendment then goes on to say that the militia was for the purpose of securing the nation and protecting its government.  He makes the claim that in the Constitution there is no right of the people to overthrow the government and that several revolts were put down in the early history of our Nation.

What he is choosing to ignore is that while the Constitution is the owners’ manual of our nation and the foundation upon which our system of laws is built, the Title Deed to our Nation is the Declaration of Independence.  In the Declaration we read:

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. That to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed. That whenever any form of government becomes destructive to these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their safety and happiness.” – emphasis added

Professor Bogus, you are wrong.  “It IS the right of the people” to revolt, even in a democracy. 

Another point where you are flat wrong, Professor Bogus, is that The United States of America IS NOT A DEMOCRACY.  It is a Constitutional Republic!

Revolution is not a thing to be bandied about lightly.  Those who signed the Declaration knew that.  Continuing from the Declaration itself we read:

Prudence, indeed, will dictate that governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such government, and to provide new guards for their future security.” – emphasis added

It is not only our right, it is in fact our DUTY.

You talk with disdain of those who espouse the revolutionary ideals of our Founding Fathers as if the idea was to throw off the Constitution.  Nothing could be further from the truth!  It is the firm desire and indeed the intent of people who, like me, fly a Gadsden flag or a Betsy Ross or any of the other flags of the Revolutionary War in front of our homes, to remind the government that it must honor our Constitution and operate within the constraints put upon it by the Constitution!  It is the government that has chosen to ignore the Constitution and to behave as if there were no constraints put upon it at all.  THAT is something worthy of the ire of We the People!  And that is the grievance for which we seek redress.

It is through the ballot box and through the pages of these blogs and letters to the editors of our Nations news papers and by our presence at our local town meetings and by other peaceful means that we seek to remind our government of these facts.

However, the government, and We the People must remember that it is both the right of the people and indeed it is their – no! – Our duty to remove any government, regardless of what political theory may be basis of its organization, if it should become “destructive of these ends.”

Indeed, were not for ‘the right of the people to keep and bear arms’ as enshrined within our Constitution as the operative clause of the Second Amendment (see the Supreme Court ruling in the case District of Columbia v. Heller for further explanation of what the Second Amendment really means) we would not today have any of the other rights that we, as Citizens, continue to enjoy.

And, yes, should our government choose to behave in a manor that can only be described as tyranny towards our fellow citizens and should there be no peaceful manor with which to remedy so great a grievance, then We the People will have no choice but to remove it – by force of arms if necessary.

It is my fervent prayer that it never should come to that!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Intelectual Property and Facebook

Barry mentions Facebook in his State of the Union Address and so does the Lowell Sun.

Lowell Sun:  "All of your pictures and private messages belong to Facebook."

Facebook Statement of Rights and Responsibilities:  "You own all of the content and information you post on Facebook, and you can control how it is shared through your privacy and application settings. In addition:

   1. For content that is covered by intellectual property rights, like photos and videos ("IP content"), you specifically give us the following permission, subject to your privacy and application settings: you grant us a non-exclusive, transferable, sub-licensable, royalty-free, worldwide license to use any IP content that you post on or in connection with Facebook ("IP License"). This IP License ends when you delete your IP content or your account unless your content has been shared with others, and they have not deleted it.
   2. When you delete IP content, it is deleted in a manner similar to emptying the recycle bin on a computer. However, you understand that removed content may persist in backup copies for a reasonable period of time (but will not be available to others)."

I see something of a disconnect here.  You might almost think the reporter didn't do his homework.  But that can't be!  He's from the high priesthood of the mainstream media!  He wouldn't perhaps be, um, fear mongering?  Naw!  That can't be!

Monday, January 24, 2011

Reasoned Discourse

The Lowell Sun has implemented “Reasoned Discourse” in their comments.  Apparently they don’t like it when readers point out errors in their reporting or, worse still, flaws in their narrative. 

In recent weeks, particularly since the Arizona shootings, the mainstream media including the Sun have fallen all over themselves trying it seems to out do each other in their calls for the infringement on our Second Amendment rights.  Even for its abolishment altogether.  The articles where they have allowed comments – far from all of their articles, I hasten to point out, have had a strong contingent of commenter’s who understand and honor the intent of the Framers of the Constitution.  Of course there are those who follow the reporter’s lead in spouting the Brady Campaign to prevent Gun Ownership’s taking points. 

While there have been abuses all along with people saying some truly nasty and inappropriate things, there has also always been the ability to flag posts for moderation and the powers that be have removed comments from the boards.

Apparently that wasn’t good enough.

In order to “insure civility in the conversation” the Sun has implemented a new comment policy.  Under the new policy you will have to log in and be known to the management of the newspaper to have your comments post immediately.  Anonymous posting will still be allowed, but it first has to go through moderation to make sure what you say is acceptable to the management of the paper.  Even for logged in commenter’s, if they say things the management doesn’t like they will have their posting privileges suspended.

It will be interesting to see how many pro-Second Amendment anonymous posts pass muster.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

2011 SHOT Show - Josh Ungier - Pyramyd Air

This is an interview every freedom loving person needs to see. And everyone who thinks what we need is "a little more socialism." I've actually had a friend say that to me!

From Cam & Co, via NRANews.com:



Pyramyd Air's web site.

Friday, January 21, 2011

So how’s the weather where you are?


Yesterday there was a dusting of less than half an inch in my driveway.  Not enough to bother with, but perfect for tracking.  There are cats all over my neighborhood.  So there’s nothing unusual about having their tracks in my driveway.  What I found a bit more interesting were the rabbit tracks and the fox.  Unfortunately I didn’t have the time to take any pictures.  I’ll try to do that next time.

This morning there was probably about four inches of fresh powder and about a foot, or maybe more, in the plow berm.  Buried in the berm was a huge chunk of solid ice at least as big as a cinder-block!  I’m glad I didn’t just throw Galileo in reverse and try to blast out through the berm!  There’s no telling how much damage that would have caused!  My new snow scoop shovel handled even the plow berm without much difficulty.  I think it’s actually less of a hassle and quite a bit faster to use that than to run my little electric snow blower.  Got mine at Lowe’s in spite of their web site seeming to indicate that my local store didn’t have any shovels in stock!

Saturday, January 15, 2011

The Stuff I Carry, January 15, 2011 Edition



Left to right, top to bottom:
Note: everything labeled “custom leather” was made by yours truly
I occurs to me that I either made or customized all but six of the things in this picture and of those by the time I’m done with the notebook I will have written on every page.

Customized Vintage American Optical Model 58 Flight Goggles with bayonet side arms
            GI Issue purchased used at the Hollis Flea Market
The frames are 12kgf – I don’t think they make ‘em like that any more…
Relensed with my bifocal scrip with the darkest polarized lenses available
Custom leather glasses strap

Custom 3-Piece Glasses
Another vintage frame, AO 12kgf bridge, 14k (solid) temples & bows
Relensed with my bifocal scrip

Custom leather key strap with solid brass snap swivel

Custom leather horizontal carry knife sheath
Wet molded for the Camillus Heat assisted opening knife it contains

Vintage ‘antique brass’ belt buckle
Fitted with a 1 Troy ounce bullion silver Engelhard American Prospector

Custom leather “knife sheath with cell phone holster”
            Knife: Victorinox MiniChamp SAK – the older version with the tweezers
               Bought at Hollis from someone who bought a bucket full of knives from TSA
               With a coyote tan gutted paracord 550 fob made by yours truly
            Phone: Tracfone Motorola V170
            Misc: Spare key in special inside pocket
            The case was wet molded to fit its contents

Custom leather flashlight case
            Flashlight: Streamlight TL-2 LED
            Pen: None (that part came out a bit too tight in this version of this case)

NRA Lapel Pin

Parker 3’ tape measure

Custom galvanized steel Byzantine chainmaille keychain
Clipped to the brass snap swivel of the key strap
            Chainmaille made by yours truly…

Vintage glasses case for the three-piece glasses
            Another flea market purchase

Two of the most important things I carry:
            Top spiral notebook
            Pre 1973 cap click Parker Jotter ballpoint pen


Wristwatch
            On a custom leather watch strap (prototype – the real one will be much better)

I almost didn’t buy this watch when I saw it in that cigar box full of broken Casio’s and Timex’s on that table at Hollis.  Thought it looked too blingy.  I mean really!  All those rhinestones?  That just isn’t ‘me.’  But it does look like a real chronograph.  Iduno…  It was just the watch.  Didn’t have a strap and the battery was dead.  I like automatics and don’t usually wear battery watches.  And all those rhinestones!  I put it back in the box and started to walk away.  Got all of about five steps when I stopped, turned and went back.  I picked up the watch again and looked at it.  Iduno…  I suppose I could wear it while working on my van.  Assuming it works…  I held it up and hollered to the vender who was down at the other end of the table “How much?”  He looked my way and hollered back “Five bucks!”  I looked at the watch, and all those rhinestones.  Ah what the hell?  I pulled a five out of the money clip I used to carry and bought the watch.  I shoved it in my shirt pocket and made my way to the next table.

After the flea Mum and I went to Wal*Mart to do some shopping.  While we were there I popped by the jewelry counter to throw a battery in my new watch just to see if it worked.  The girl on the counter said she couldn’t put a battery in my watch because they didn’t have one like it to give me if she messed it up.  I said “Well, I’m kind of a watch guy.  If you’ll let me use your case opening tool I’ll take full responsibility if I mess up the watch.”  She shrugged and said “OK” and handed me the tool.  I spun off the back and she popped in an open sample battery.  The watch fired right up.  What’s more, the chronograph actually works!  So I bought a new battery and a strap and put it on my wrist.  You know, it’s kind of growing on me.  Even with all those rhinestones.

From there we went to Searstown Mall in Leominster.  I was getting curious about my watch and my friend who has a jewelry kiosk there may like to see it.  Turns out she wasn’t in when we got there.  But the girl on the counter thought it looked better than the rhinestone bling I thought it was.  She took out the tester and sure enough “Bwaaaap!” and the red light lit.  “Nope.  I guess not” she said.  “Bwaaaap!” said the tester as she tried again.  “Bwaaaap!” a third time, then “PING!” and the green light lit as she moved the probe a little bit.  “Oh! I’m missing the diamonds and hitting the bezel…”  (!!!)  “PING!” “PING!” “PING!” “Yup.  They’re real.”

‘Scuse me while I pick up my jaw…

A little time spent with my good friend Google revealed that while this is a several years old version, it is in fact a real one.  According to Amazon.com Oprah’s got one, this star has one, that star has one, one of the guys on The Soprano’s has one, etc. etc. etc.  And I could have one too for waaaayyy more than the five bucks I paid for mine!

That was the last day of the flea for the season ‘round about three years ago.  I’ve been wearing it almost every day since.

Wander around the flea market long enough and you never know what you might find.  ;-)

BTW: This is probably the only Michelle CSX Diamond Chronograph on this kind of strap anywhere on the planet!

Leather checkbook cover used as a Roper Wallet
Purchased at the little flea market at the foot of ‘Wal*Mart Mountain’ in Lunenburg and adapted to work with my filing system

Vintage plastic pocket comb with stamped metal cover

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Monday, January 10, 2011

In the comments of the local CBL

Had this to say over at the Lowell Sun this afternoon when someone suggested a never ending "gun buy back" as a way to reduce the violence in the city:


River Raven, gun buy backs don't work.  (I won't even go into the logical disconnect of “buying back” something they didn't sell in the first place!)

The far more effective solution is to learn to defend yourself and that includes arming yourself. It is not the police's job to be your personal body guard! Their job is to investigate crimes after the fact. If enough of the good guys (that’s us, btw) can defend ourselves – with lethal force if necessary – then the bad guys will look for easier targets somewhere else. If, on the other hand, as here in Massachusetts, the bad guys know that the vast majority of their potential victims have been conveniently rendered defenseless for them by our own government, they will be emboldened to commit more numerous and ever more brutal crimes. Evidence of that simple fact can be found in the pages of this very newspaper every single day.

The only way we can stop the cycle of violence is by the good guys being able to meet violence with equal or greater violence against the violent criminals. If we choose to be passive and continue to be unable to defend ourselves those violent criminals will continue to victimize us. It is up to each and every one of us not to let them.

You know, it’s amazing how fast three or four gangbangers will turn tail and run when they find themselves staring down the barrel of a .38 snubby in the hands of someone they thought was a frail defenseless senior citizen!

CBL: Cat Box Liner.   What the publishers of same would like us to call a Newspaper.  I wish I could recall which of the numerous blogs I read on a fairly regular basis I absconded with that phrase from so I could give credit (blame?) where due.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Well. Isn’t that interesting


Originally posted  April 17, 2009

Well. Isn’t that interesting.


Not surprising, mind you… But it does fit the pattern.

After Easter backups, state pitches Fast Lane program 


Original Comments:

How about dump the tolls and the filthy Turnpike Athority!

Quick way to balence the budget!
Posted on Apr. 17th, 2009 07:08 pm (UTC)

But, but, where would the governor get al those cushy no-show jobs for all of his cronies? I mean contributors. I mean… Well, you know.
Posted on Apr. 17th, 2009 07:45 pm (UTC)

It’s all about revenue generation

Originally posted  February 17, 2009

It’s all about revenue generation


So they say.

With the increase in the number of hybrid cars on the roads and the likelihood of other non-gasoline based technologies being developed to commercial viability, the .gov is scrambling to find new sources of revenue. You see, if your car doesn’t use gasoline, they can’t tax you for the gas you use. So the .gov is looking for ways to extract money from you through other means. One way is outlined in detail in today’s article in Boston.com titled: Massachusetts may consider a mileage charge.

The idea is very similar to the system I outlined in my earlier Road System posts, only this time using GPS technology as the tracking device.

Mr. Orwell couldn’t have envisioned a more abuse facilitating system for tracking the location and movements of the citizens had he been alive today to write about it. 

Couple this with the driver-specific keyless RFID system that gives certain luxury cars the ability to reset the position of the seat, the mirrors, the pedals, even the radio to your personal specifications. The car knows it’s you using that system. So will your government issued GPS.

But they won’t use this system to track you.

So they say.

Trust them. They’re from the government. They’re here to help you.

So they say.

I don’t buy that for a minute!

How can anything possibly go wrong?


Originally posted December 22, 2008

How can anything possibly go wrong?

 
Apparently some High School kids in Maryland have invented a new game.  According to this report they call it the Speed Camera "Pimping" game.

The “game” involves faking the license plate of someone you want to get even with, attaching it to your car, then intentionally speeding past a ‘speed control camera.’  Within a few days your victim will receive a $40 speeding ticket in the mail – courtesy of the local constabulary.  I don’t know if
Maryland is anything like Massachusetts.  I was eleven when we moved from there to here and I wasn’t exactly driving yet…  But here in the PDR of Mass the victim’s auto insurance bill would also be going up.  A good bit more than a mere $40.

Isn’t that fun?

I’d be surprised if there weren’t statements made by the officials proposing installing these cameras that they are so sophisticated that things like this ‘simply couldn’t happen.’

Link via SayUncle

More on the Road System

Originally posted September 17, 2008 

More on the Road System

 

mood: determined

LawDog has a post up on the subject the use of Red Light Cameras in Great Briton and how they could find their way here if we’re not careful.  I’m not the only one who sees this for what it is.  While it is nice to have validation, I would much rather be wrong about this.

As to the cameras not being here yet – sorry, but they already are.  While I was mistaken about their presence at the lights in front of Wal*Mart in Lunenburg they are very definitely there at the lights in front of the new Super Wal*Mart in Lancaster.  And just up the road at the new Lowe’s and at the intersection a hundred yards up the road with I-190. 

That’s here in Marxistchusetts. 

In New Hampshire they are also present on the lights at the shopping centers on Route 101a just past Route 101 and at several other lights along 101a heading back towards Nashua.

This is not a future – soon to be here problem.  It’s being implemented RIGHT HERE, RIGHT NOW. 

This has to be stopped!  But at this point I am open to suggestions…

Smile! You’re on (red light) camera!

Originally posted July 18, 2008

Smile! You’re on (red light) camera!

Caught by the camera

Boston.com is reporting on the next-to-be-implemented phase in The Road System: Red Light Cameras.  In the article Globe staffer Lisa Kocian states that “Until legislation passes, however, no community can install the cameras without running up against state law.”  That may be the case, but there are already plenty of cameras in place.  For example, at the intersection of Route 13 and 2a in Lunenburg at the entrance to the Wal*Mart Plaza there are already cameras mounted on the traffic lights.  On the newly installed traffic lights on Route 12 in Leominster there are cameras mounted as well.  At many intersections around the Commonwealth these systems have already been installed.  They may not be being used for the kind of revenue generation traffic enforcement discussed in the article, yet, but you can count on them being used for that very purpose – just as soon as Central Planink Komitty on Beacon Hill authorizes it.

We the People used to live in a land of Liberty and Justice for All.  Sadly for us, and more so for future generations, we now live in a land of surveillance and ever increasing government monitoring of every aspect of our daily lives.  That we have allowed things to go as far as they have would shock the men who penned these words:

“When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.--That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, --That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.”

You may recognize that.  The full text was posted on Independence Day – just two weeks ago.  These days we celebrate Independence Day only once a year.  And many have seemingly forgotten its meaning, calling it instead ‘The Fourth of July.’  It is not about picnics and Pops concerts and fireworks displays.  It is about reminding our Nation of its origin and of the fight – with bullets and bayonets – that our forefathers went through to secure these fragile Liberties for us!  For a Free People EVERY DAY is Independence Day!  We must not let our government forget that fact!

UPDATE 08-18-08:  What I had thought were miniaturized cameras at the lights on Route 13 apparently aren’t.  My apologies for this inaccuracy.  I have seen cameras around, I’m sure somewhere in Marxistchusetts, I just can’t now recall where they are.  There are a full rack of cameras at the lights on Route 101a in Milford just west of the ramp to Route 101.  But that is in New Hampshire and doesn’t fall within the parameters of this post.  Still, the surveillance mentality exhibited by the presence of those cameras is disturbing.

UPDATE 01-03-11:  They are all over the place now.  At Littleton Common, all the new lights on Route 110 in Westford, the new lights on Route 12 in Leominster, just to name a few.

But it’s for the common good…


Originally posted July 4, 2008

But it’s for the common good…

 

There was a recent article at Boston.com about a group of toll takers on the Mass Pike skimming an estimated total of around $7,500- of toll money for their own use.  Frankly I’m surprised it’s not a lot higher…  I thought at the time that it might turn into a call for The Road System and it has.  This article is doing just that.  Some times I hate it when I’m right.  This is the kind of insidious weaseling the .gov does to get us to think their latest scheme is somehow a good idea.  Go back and reread my older posts on this.  See it for what it is. 

This is incredibly dangerous for our Liberty!  We dare not allow it!

Am I missing something here?

Originally posted May 19, 2008

Am I missing something here?

 

mood: confused

According to this headline from Boston.com:


Let me get this straight here.  We just spent 14, 15, 16 Billion that’s Billion dollars with a capital “B” of taxpayer dollars to straighten out this road to make traffic flow smoother and more efficiently through Boston.  And now the State in it’s infinite wisdom (greed, actually) wants to install tolls where at all of that traffic must come to a screeching halt in order to hand money to a toll taker, wait for change and possibly ask for a receipt?  And this makes sense – why?

On second thought:  Could this be an attempt to make it seem to more people like getting a FastLane transponder is a good idea?  Hmm…  One step closer to implementing The Road System.  Maybe I should add “1984 is upon us" to the tags…

Saturday, January 1, 2011

All they care about is the money

And all of that is worthless fiat!

Today’s headline from Boston.com:


Last week Cam Edwards had a “Deal of the Day” segment on Cam & Co, relating the story of Dominic Cinelli, a 57 year old career criminal who it turns out had been serving three concurrent life sentences in a Massachusetts prison.  Turns out he was granted parole and was back out on the streets anyway.  A week ago tomorrow, at the height of the blizzard, he and two cronies robbed the Kohl’s in Woburn.  That was the day after Christmas, by the way.  On their way out they were intercepted by police and Cinelli opened fire.  (I guess the whole ‘felon in position of a firearm’ thing wasn’t a concern of his. After all, he was released from prison anyway despite being sentenced to three, count ‘em three life sentences!)  A Woburn cop, John Maguire, who was planning to retire from the force come October was murdered by Cinelli.  Cinelli was killed when other officers returned fire.

Three life sentences, yet he’s out on parole and kills a cop.  But the probation commissioner, who’s office was supposed to be keeping an eye on this guy, resigns as a result of a scandal over misuse of taxpayer funds.  Not because one of his charges has reoffended – and killed someone in the process.  I guess that’s par for the course.

The person who should be resigning it the head of the parole board who let this creep out in the first place!

Better still – fire ‘em all and start over!