Saturday, August 28, 2010

A tea party foreign policy

(by Ron Paul) - As one who is opposed to centralization, I am wary of attempts to turn a grassroots movement against big government like the Tea Party into an adjunct of the Republican Party. I find it even more worrisome when I see those who willingly participated in the most egregious excesses of the most recent Republican Congress push their way into leadership roles of this movement without batting an eye -- or changing their policies!

As many frustrated Americans who have joined the Tea Party realize, we cannot stand against big government at home while supporting it abroad. We cannot talk about fiscal responsibility while spending trillions on occupying and bullying the rest of the world. We cannot talk about the budget deficit and spiraling domestic spending without looking at the costs of maintaining an American empire of more than 700 military bases in more than 120 foreign countries. We cannot pat ourselves on the back for cutting a few thousand dollars from a nature preserve or an inner-city swimming pool at home while turning a blind eye to a Pentagon budget that nearly equals those of the rest of the world combined.

(Full article)

Friday, August 27, 2010

The government can use GPS to track your moves

(Time) - Government agents can sneak onto your property in the middle of the night, put a GPS device on the bottom of your car and keep track of everywhere you go. This doesn't violate your Fourth Amendment rights, because you do not have any reasonable expectation of privacy in your own driveway — and no reasonable expectation that the government isn't tracking your movements.

That is the bizarre — and scary — rule that now applies in California and eight other Western states. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, which covers this vast jurisdiction, recently decided the government can monitor you in this way virtually anytime it wants — with no need for a search warrant.

(Full story)

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Montgomery County to use finger scans at rec centers

MONTGOMERY CO, Md. (AP) - Montgomery County residents will soon be required to scan their fingers to enter recreation centers.
Officials say switching from plastic passes to finger scanners will save the recreation department $50,000 annually.

The scanners will be put into use this fall at three centers, and will be expanded to all the county's centers next year. Privacy advocates say the measure is intrusive and unnecessary.

(Full story)

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Students to be tagged with RFID chips?

Public school officials in New Canaan, Connecticut, are mulling over the possibility of using radio frequency identification chips to track students. Naturally, this is being proposed as a useful tool in case of emergencies.

(Full story)

Monday, August 23, 2010

Bloggers in Philly required to pay $300 for business license

When greedy government bureaucrats get a whiff of money, it ignites the kind of feeding frenzy one might expect to see during Shark Week on the Discovery Channel. In the City of Brotherly Love, however, it's business as usual.

If you reside in Philadelphia and maintain a blog that rakes in about $50 over a few years, the city wants its cut. You'll have to pay $300 for a business privilege license, or suffer the consequences.

(Full story)

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Big Brother will be inspecting your trash

Beginning next year, the city of Cleveland will distribute new garbage and recycling bins embedded with a radio frequency identification (RFID) chip that will monitor how often the bins are hauled to the curb. If you don't put your recycling bin out often enough, a "trash supervisor" will go through your refuse to see if you've been throwing recyclables out with the garbage. If you have, you'll be fined.

Welcome to the 24-7 surveillance state.

(Full story)

Friday, August 20, 2010

Roger Clemens indicted for drug denials

( - Former Red Sox great Roger Clemens, his legacy as imperiled as baseball's integrity by the steroid scandal, was indicted yesterday on multiple charges of lying to Congress when he denied plying himself with illegal performance-enhancing drugs.

Baseball's all-time leader with seven Cy Young Awards, William Roger Clemens was charged by a federal grand jury with one count of obstruction of Congress, three counts of making false statements, and two counts of perjury stemming from his sworn testimony in 2008 before a House committee investigating baseball's steroid era.

(Full story)

Denver cops attack and beat pedestrian

Want more evidence that we're living in a police state? Watch the following video:

Monday, August 16, 2010

FDA approves" five-day-after" abortion pill

Thanks to the folks at the FDA, you don't have to be in a hurry to kill your unborn baby. The new "five-day-after" pill, called "ella," has just been approved for sale.

(Full story)

Just a hole in the ground

Writes Lew Rockwell, "Amidst all the talk of 'ground 0' as secularly holy, and not to be defiled by an Islamic educational center four blocks away, ever notice that with government in charge, it is still just a hole in the ground all these years later?"

Saturday, August 14, 2010

You know we're living in a police state when...

...a man is brutally attacked by a cop for doing nothing but talking on a phone, and officials remain "deeply divided over the proper level of punishment" for the tax-feeding thug.

The mentality of a police state is also evident in the fact that no decent, law-abiding citizen came to the aid of the victim.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Who is the biggest sponsor of radical Islam?

We are, of course. That's why I just can't get all worked up over the construction of a Muslim community center near "Ground Zero" in Manhattan. To focus our attention on that is to ignore the real threat to life, liberty, and property.

Judge Napolitano's History of Liberty, Pt. 5: Big Government and Tea Parties

Judge Napolitano's History of Liberty, Pt. 4: FDR's State and LBJ's Society

Judge Napolitano's History of Liberty, Pt. 3: The Progressive Era

If Moses had lived in America...


Wednesday, August 11, 2010

St. Paul's mayor should consider cuts in the city's payroll

by Lee R. Shelton ( - Residents of St. Paul, Minnesota, should be grateful. For the first time since taking office five years ago, Mayor Chris Coleman has presented a budget that does not call for a property tax hike.

Why the sudden benevolence? In the Star Tribune today, Coleman admitted that "times are tough," and that "too much of the cost of state government has been shifted onto the backs of local property taxpayers." (And to think a politician figured that out!)

(Read the full article here.)

Why I'm not hiring

by Michael P. Fleischer (Wall Street Journal) - With unemployment just under 10% and companies sitting on their cash, you would think that sooner or later job growth would take off. I think it's going to be later—much later. Here's why.

Meet Sally (not her real name; details changed to preserve privacy). Sally is a terrific employee, and she happens to be the median person in terms of base pay among the 83 people at my little company in New Jersey, where we provide audio systems for use in educational, commercial and industrial settings. She's been with us for over 15 years. She's a high school graduate with some specialized training. She makes $59,000 a year—on paper. In reality, she makes only $44,000 a year because $15,000 is taken from her thanks to various deductions and taxes, all of which form the steep, sad slope between gross and net pay.

Before that money hits her bank, it is reduced by the $2,376 she pays as her share of the medical and dental insurance that my company provides. And then the government takes its due. She pays $126 for state unemployment insurance, $149 for disability insurance and $856 for Medicare. That's the small stuff. New Jersey takes $1,893 in income taxes. The federal government gets $3,661 for Social Security and another $6,250 for income tax withholding. The roughly $13,000 taken from her by various government entities means that some 22% of her gross pay goes to Washington or Trenton. She's lucky she doesn't live in New York City, where the toll would be even higher. ...

... When you add it all up, it costs $74,000 to put $44,000 in Sally's pocket and to give her $12,000 in benefits. Bottom line: Governments impose a 33% surtax on Sally's job each year.

(Full article)

Federal workers make twice as much as workers in private sector

(USA Today) - At a time when workers' pay and benefits have stagnated, federal employees' average compensation has grown to more than double what private sector workers earn, a USA TODAY analysis finds.

Federal workers have been awarded bigger average pay and benefit increases than private employees for nine years in a row. The compensation gap between federal and private workers has doubled in the past decade.

Federal civil servants earned average pay and benefits of $123,049 in 2009 while private workers made $61,051 in total compensation, according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis. The data are the latest available.

(Full story)

Monday, August 9, 2010

Murder a kid, plant a gun — take a vacation

by William N. Grigg ( - Victor Steen, a 17-year-old high school senior from West Pensacola, Florida, was murdered while riding a bicycle home from a post-Homecoming Game party last October 3rd. His murderer, Jerald Ard, ran him down in an automobile. According to eyewitnesses, Ard dragged the victim a considerable distance, nearly severing his body in half.

Ard had endangered other drivers and pedestrians as he veered into the wrong lane and even drove onto a sidewalk in pursuit of Victor, repeatedly attempting to shoot the teenager with a lethal weapon. After he ran down the youngster, Ard tried to cover up his crime by planting a gun on the victim.

It shouldn't come as a surprise that Ard is a police officer.

(Full article)

Sunday, August 8, 2010

The Thought Police strike in Connecticut

Cops in New Haven, Connecticut, have arrested a 58-year-old man simply because he made mention of a recent Manchester shooting rampage that killed nine people and said he understood the killer's mindset. Yeah, seems like probable cause to me.

(Full story)

Lifestyles of the ruling class

The country has fallen on hard times. People are out of work, struggling to make ends meet. Yet members of America's ruling class seem to be doing just fine.

First Lady Michelle Obama is off cavorting at a lavish Spanish resort, spending your tax dollars to support a foreign economy. But, hey. Isn't that exactly the kind of "change" we expected?

(Full story)

Friday, August 6, 2010

August 6, 1945: A date which will live in infamy

ter·ror·ism - the use of violence and threats to intimidate or coerce, esp. for political purposes.

65 years ago today, the government of the United States dropped the world's first atomic bomb on Hiroshima, Japan, killing instantly about 70,000 people, including men, women, children, and American prisoners of war. Given the long-term effects of the radioactive fallout, the actual death toll climbed to around 150,000 within five years of the explosion.

That event on August 6, 1945 (along with the subsequent bombing of Nagasaki three days later), launched a global nuclear arms race and set the stage for the Cold War. Despite all the fear mongering about Iraq's "weapons of mass destruction" and Iran's nuclear reactors, the U.S. remains the only nation to have ever used nuclear weapons against another.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Feds admit to storing checkpoint body scan images

I suggested recently that any pedophile would enjoy being a TSA agent. Where else could a pervert not only ogle nude pictures of children legally but actually get paid to do so? My assumption was that the full-body image scans taken at U.S. airports were being stored. Seems I was right:
For the last few years, federal agencies have defended body scanning by insisting that all images will be discarded as soon as they're viewed. The Transportation Security Administration claimed last summer, for instance, that "scanned images cannot be stored or recorded."

Now it turns out that some police agencies are storing the controversial images after all. The U.S. Marshals Service admitted this week that it had surreptitiously saved tens of thousands of images recorded with a millimeter wave system at the security checkpoint of a single Florida courthouse.

This follows an earlier disclosure (PDF) by the TSA that it requires all airport body scanners it purchases to be able to store and transmit images for "testing, training, and evaluation purposes." The agency says, however, that those capabilities are not normally activated when the devices are installed at airports.

Just something to keep in mind the next time you walk through a security checkpoint here in the "Land of the Free."

U.S. to train 3,000 offshore IT workers

(Information Week) - Despite President Obama's pledge to retain more hi-tech jobs in the U.S., a federal agency run by a hand-picked Obama appointee has launched a $22 million program to train workers, including 3,000 specialists in IT and related functions, in South Asia.

Following their training, the tech workers will be placed with outsourcing vendors in the region that provide offshore IT and business services to American companies looking to take advantage of the Asian subcontinent's low labor costs.

(Full story)

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

FBI to Wikipedia: Remove our seal

(CNN) - The U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation has threatened Wikipedia with legal action if the online encyclopedia doesn't remove the FBI's seal from its site.

The seal is featured in an encyclopedia entry about the FBI.

Wikipedia isn't backing down, however. The online encyclopedia -- which is run by a nonprofit group and is edited by the public -- sent a chiding letter to the FBI, explaining why, in its view, the FBI is off its legal rocker.

(Full story)

Monday, August 2, 2010

Fines, small tax bill send Baltimore home to tax sale

(Baltimore Sun) - Tim Nickels' rowhouse in Baltimore went to tax sale over less than $4 in unpaid property taxes and hundreds of dollars in citations for a messy yard.

Perfectly legal, under the city's rules. But Nickels was flabbergasted.

Baltimore's annual tax sale, an effort by the city to collect on delinquent accounts, has drawn criticism for putting residents at risk of losing their homes over municipal bills as small as $250. Nickels' past-due tab of $955.60 — including the citation fines and late fees — was one of 6,421 unpaid city bills recently sold as liens to investors, who can move to foreclose later this year if the owners don't pay up with interest.

(Full story)

Stealthy government contractor monitors U.S. Internet providers, worked with Wikileaks informant

(Forbes) - A semi-secret government contractor that calls itself Project Vigilant surfaced at the Defcon security conference Sunday with a series of revelations: that it monitors the traffic of 12 regional Internet service providers, hands much of that information to federal agencies, and encouraged one of its "volunteers," researcher Adrian Lamo, to inform the federal government about the alleged source of a controversial video of civilian deaths in Iraq leaked to whistle-blower site Wikileaks in April.

Chet Uber, the director of Fort Pierce, Fl.-based Project Vigilant, says that he personally asked Lamo to meet with federal authorities to out the source of a video published by Wikileaks showing a U.S. Apache helicopter killing several civilians and two journalists in a suburb of Baghdad, a clip that Wikileaks labeled "Collateral Murder." Lamo, who Uber said worked as an "adversary characterization" analyst for Project Vigilant, had struck up an online friendship with Bradley Manning, a former U.S. Army intelligence analyst who currently faces criminal charges for releasing the classified video.

(Full story)

Congressman: "The federal government can do most anything in this country"

EPA to crack down on farm dust

OKLAHOMA CITY (News 9) - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is considering a crackdown on farm dust, so senators have signed a letter addressing their concerns on the possible regulations.

The letter dated July 23 to the EPA states, "If approved, would establish the most stringent and unparalleled regulation of dust in our nation's history." It further states, "We respect efforts for a clean and healthy environment, but not at the expense of common sense. These identified levels will be extremely burdensome for farmers and livestock producers to attain. Whether its livestock kicking up dust, soybeans being combined on a dry day in the fall, or driving a car down the gravel road, dust is a naturally occurring event."

(Full story)