Category Archives: Politics

Constitutional Freedoms

I spent some time today watching several YouTube videos relating to the “constitutional education” of law enforcement, particularly federal law enforcement.

When it comes to these kinds of exercises, I find myself at odds internally. On the one hand, nothing educates better than experience and dealing with someone very educated on what their rights are, and how they may exercise them can be very educational for an ill-informed law enforcement officer. The flip side, there is a potential for a rapidly escalating situation that may become very dangerous, even life-threatening.

The benefit of these actions is that the word is spreading socially among the populous and among law enforcement agencies. It is paramountly important for the people to understand their rights, and to safeguard them to the fullest extent possible. To do this, the population needs to educate themselves. Law enforcement likewise, needs to step up their game in understanding their responsibilities in their role to “protect and serve.”

Now for the “on the other hand” part. Testing, “auditing,” probing, or whatever you choose to call it, while necessary, needs to be done respectfully, and without goading law enforcement, baiting them for an aggressive response. If we are respectful and allow the LEOs to de-escalate the situation we have accomplished the goal. Picking a fight for a clickbait video is no better than the mainstream media sensationalizing non-stories for the ratings.

Any way you slice it, our constitutional protections are constantly under attack. Whether intentionally, by misguided agency administrators, poor interpretation of policy by field supervisors, or just plain old ignorance of the law, on a regular basis our civil rights are infringed, and they will continue to be if we do not hold the infringers heels to the fires of scrutiny and continue to draw attention to their misdeeds.

I support law enforcement, local, state, and federal, but I demand that they respect the constitution they swore to defend and treat the individuals they encounter respectfully. I don’t suggest that they put themselves unduly in harm’s way, I do suggest that they tone down the attitude a bit and approach people less aggressively.

With the apparent prevailing attitude in law enforcement as it is, I must admit I am leaning more to the side of carefully reminding LEOs what the boundaries are.

Until next time,
~FlyBoyJon

Merit Not Hype

Judging policy and actions by merit not by partisanship or popularity

Let me begin by saying clearly that I did not vote for Trump. I felt most represented by Gary Johnson. That being said, I support the Constitution, those sacrificing for our freedom in the armed forces, the flag of the United States, and the ideals the founding father put forth. I also support the office of the president, if not the person occupying that office from time to time.

In my estimation, Donald J. Trump appears to be a lousy human being in general. I find many of his exhibitions of moral character, or lack thereof, deplorable; however, like many previous presidents, it is not their personal lives that are of greatest concern to us as a nation. It is their actions as president that we should be focused on.

In his first week, the President posted 4 Executive Orders to the Federal Register. I am not a big fan of Executive Orders. The last three administrations relied heavily on the privilege to do things that either should have required congressional and senatorial approval or were things that the government shouldn’t have been involved with in the first place.

There has been a lot of hub-bub over the Executive Orders issued in these early days of the new administration and hysterics over their reported effects. I have an aversion to EOs in the first place, so I felt it behooved me to actually read the orders issued so far rather than relying on the interpretation of others.

If you are prone to post about things in a headline panic, I would suggest you take a little time to read the actual EOs. The 4 orders take up 2, 2, 6, and 5 pages respectively, and they are all in plain English. All of them consist of the administration’s position on the subject at hand and directions to the secretaries of the relevant departments of the executive branch, mostly DHS, to follow the administration’s position within the confines of existing law.

Yup, enforce the laws already on the books. In some cases, they are instructed to potentially create new administrative laws through the proper processes and with the appropriate allowances for Requests for Comments from the public. Even more important, these directives are to be funded through the proper channels, mostly funds already allocated to these areas and in so much as funding is available. Another point is the frequent mention of reports with deadlines for the secretaries to get back to the Office of the President on progress. There are also clauses that include transparency and reporting to the public.

While I will concede to a few potential interpretation issues, the policies are not horrific or draconian as the media, extream left, or people who just don’t like Trump would have you believe. It appears that the President’s modus operandi for his term in office will be to run the government as its CEO and that he recognizes that the people are shareholders.

The most ‘radicle’ statement was “It is the policy of my Administration to seek the prompt repeal of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.” (emphasis added by author) The key word here is SEEK the prompt repeal. The EO is not a repeal itself.

Everything in the EO “Minimizing the Economic Burden of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act Pending Repeal” [EO 13765 Jan 20, 2017] has to do with things like “minimise the unwarranted economic and regulatory burdens” and “afford States more flexibility and control” as stated in the first section of the order. At least in my mind, State control over the health and welfare of their own citizens is far more efficient than a federal, centralized system. It is also more equitable to the rest of the nation.

The constitution was clearly designed to promote State rights over federal dominion with very few exceptions, those being mostly related to interstate commerce and national defense. Federalization of anything else is generally an overreach of the federal government, from a constitutional perspective.

I know the Affordable Care Act, immigration reform, and border security are hot issues, but please, take a little time to read what is actually being issued from the Office of the President before contributing to the headline panic. We should all remain alert, and when warranted, organize to defend our constitutional rights. In the mean time, how about scaling back on the sharing of media-frenzy and do a little fact checking BEFORE posting or emailing to everyone we know about the latest “travesty” or “injustice.”

The statement “I will build a wall, and Mexico will pay for it!” is a gross oversimplification of what the EO proposes as policy, again within the current laws and existing legislated funding. Read the EO for yourself. It’s only a few pages, and remember it is policy, not law.

I will remain skeptical and vigilant in reviewing Executive Orders as they are issued, and I remain cautiously optimistic about the High Office and its current occupant. When it comes right down to it, I am loyal to the constitution, not those elected to public office. They serve at our pleasure, not their own.

To review Executive Orders go to the Federal Register

A few parting words from a former president:

Let us not seek the Republican answer or the Democratic answer, but the right answer.
~John F. Kennedy

Until next time, be vigilant, be informed.
~FlyBoyJon

September?

Okay, I confess, I have been one lazy blogger this year. There are a number of reasons for the lack of posting, but a lack of things to post about is not one of them. Trying to finding my voice for this blog is the main reason I haven’t been posting much. Another is that we have been flying under the radar on some personal matters.

Let’s begin with the former, shall we?

Voice

A blog must have a distinct voice of its own for it to be ‘successful.’ At least that’s what I have heard. In part, I guess my dilemma is that I’m not sure what I want the blog to be, how to gauge success, or what I would even consider that to be.

As the name FlyBoyJon implies, I am a pilot and the early intent for the site was to chronicle the journey of an adventure pilot. Something that I work on for several years was a series of adventure flights. Sadly those plans fell through and with them the aviation adventures I had intended to blog about.

Over time life has impinged on my flying to such a point that it has now bee quite some time since I took to the skies. This is something that nags at me far more than I often let on. There is nothing sadder than a grounded pilot.

Itching to get back in the air I had begun an experimental aircraft build project. Once again life stepped in. I ended up going back to school to get my FAA mechanics license and a degree in Aviation Maintenance Technology. A good thing to be sure, but it made me seriously rethink my choice in aircraft for the experimental build. Something I do plan on getting back too.

Further keeping me from aviation posts here was the decision to separate my personal aviation from business aviation. I added a domain for my professional aviation work. And once again life has a way of changing plans. My professional aviation pursuits have also been tabled for the time being.

By now I bet this is sounding rather whiny, it is to me. Believe it or not, I’m not complaining. It’s just the way things have gone down. I’m no spring chicken and I’m not loaded with disposable cash so some things just have to wait and I’m okay with that.

A long-time interest that resurfaced during mechanic school was amateur radio. I finally got my ham license and rose through the licenses and started volunteering as an examiner for license tests. Ham radio is a specific, narrowly focused interest though and it required another blog, and domain all its own. I also ended up getting a commercial radio license with hopes of it being of use in my aviation pursuits.

My wife and I also have a personal site. For a long time, it was a personal journal and email site, then a genealogy site, and later back to just an email host. Now it is our online business site.

We currently have five domains with three active sites. The two inactive ones being for commercial interests. With all of these domains and sites and not much going on in my aviation world I just didn’t know what to do with this site. So I’m back to Voice. What is the voice for this site?

Land ho!

As to the second matter, flying under the radar… That has to do with our future planning. All things tallied up, there is no way in hell we will ever be able to retire if we stay in the Greater San Francisco Bay Area. That’s like 10 counties of no-way-in-hell.

To be brutally honest, I have really grown to hate California. The legislature seems to collectively suffer from cranial-sphincter insertion syndrome and has a nasty habit of passing really bad legislation. The urban sprawl has become grossly over-populated, the economy sucks, and it’s just too damn expensive. It has also become very difficult to find any meaningful work here that would make staying viable.

With California not making much sense for us, we decided to look for some rural property in southern Oregon. Back in June, we purchased a two-and-a-half acre lot outside of Bonanza, Oregon, about 30 minutes northeast of Klamath Falls. As crazy as it sounds, we still haven’t made it out to look at the property. We were in KF in May and had planned on working with an agent based in Bonanza. After several ‘scheduling issues,’ we dropped the agent and came home. I wasn’t happy with the outcome of the trip and was feeling frustrated and generally in a funk when we came across this lot and jumped on it.

I had a good feeling about this property and Tammy had an uncharacteristically neutral feeling about the whole thing, almost zen like. When it comes to buying a rural property, that’s about as in sync as I think we could get. Since then we have both been gearing up for the big change physically and emotionally.

So when will we be moving up north? Who knows. We have been paying off the land, which is just that, land. I will need to build the homestead. I do want to get up there fairly soon because I don’t want to be 60 trying to build a house, but we aren’t in a huge rush. We need to bank some materials and resources, most likely find a gig for a year or two, maybe longer, or get really lucky with some online work. We certainly don’t want to try and move or build during the winter so it will be a spring or summer affair in the next year or two.

This kind of planning takes a long time. I had been studying a lot of building, farming, and permaculture subjects for over five years to get to the point where I was ready to make this happen. This has been a long time in the making.

So why haven’t I been blogging any of this? Ther has been too much fluidity in everything involved. We have a gig now and we didn’t want to stir anything up with a potential move and no defined timeline for one. We still don’t have a defined timeline, but we are much closer to having one.

One of the reasons I didn’t start posting in June was that we haven’t been able to get up there and do a land and resource survey of the property. It’s tough to make a building plan without knowing where it is going to be seated especially if you are hoping to work with the land and not forcing the land to your will.

What we have been able to do is to start the weather tracking now that we know where the land is, and follow the seasonal trending. We are also going back into the historical weather record for the area. There is a webcam a few miles from the property, but that is of limited use.

Back to the blog and its voice

So what does this have to do with finding a voice? I’m not sure. I have things to say and it’s usually something of an editorial nature on several somewhat related subjects. Mostly in the theological, sociological realms. Really it comes down to, will this be an editorial or journal, or maybe a hybrid? I honestly don’t know at this point. What I do know is that I want to be writing and this is a good place to do that. For now, I’m going to let things flow and see where it leads.

Until next time,
~Jon

What I want from a product

I want…

title on payment, infinite tinkerability, and anonymity. Three little things. That should be easy, right?

Title On Payment

Technology has crossed many lines as it’s development has accelerated, but none so egregiously as title.

When a writer produces a book they hold a copyright on that intellectual property as does an artist with a work of art. These are reasonable expectations by in large. Software becomes a bit sketchy. When I “buy” a piece of software I understand that modifying it would relieve the producer of any liability in its use, and reselling it or a derivation would be in poor form, but why go after someone for modifying something for their own use? Software may be a bit gray for some, I will easily concede to that.

When I BUY something made by someone else the transaction should be complete. If some warranty was included in the purchase, upon the end of that term then the transaction should be truly complete. What is more likely the case, we are bound to a long list of obligations to the “proper” use of a product and inherit a slew of exceptions and controls from the manufacturers of component parts and assemblies.

The true nature if our “purchase” is most likely never completely revealed even by the fine print in that service agreement. You read yours, right? How about that TV you just bought? That TV busts all three of these. The manufacturer retains rights in perpetuity, including watching you and tracking your location and usage their product. Same thing goes for phones and computers along with many other new consumer electronics. The trend is to carry similar conditions of use on just about everything, this includes the largest consumer electronics device you own, that car has a computer in it. It also likely has a GPS, even if you don’t have access to it directly.

Oh, by the way, disabling or interfering with the devices ability to phone home to mamma is also not allowed. Not being a “criminal” in the eyes of these Orwellian manufactures is virtually, no pun intended, impossible.

There are ways to insist on title, but they are more difficult to attain as technology moves forward. Going back to older tech, before the Big-Brother attitude took hold is the easiest. Next would be to build your own equipment but that isn’t an option for many people. Until industry is forced by the consumer market to stop such practices the only other alternative is to not adhere to the terms of service, and these days, unless you exist in a SCIF it is unlikely you can prevent some devices from transmitting data back to the factory.

Infinitely Tinkerable

There once was a time when products were made to be repaired. I know, amazing isn’t it. What changed the world was industrialized manufacturing. Yes, it goes all the way back to the 1850s. It started with textiles and progressed into other trades ultimately reaching basic housewares.

With the advent of electrical appliances, things were still put together on assembly lines so a human had to actually assemble it meaning a human could ostensibly disassemble it or repair it. These days things are ether made by a robot, assembled from non-durable materials, or integrated into little Black Boxes that completely preclude even figuring out how the darn thing works at all. There is also the likelihood that more than one of these methods is used.

So what? You may ask. The problem is that it divorces us entirely form understanding how the products we use work, how it was made, what it “does,” it’s all just magic. The danger is that when power isn’t available for whatever reason or the device, haven forefend, stops working you are truly S.O.L. And if that dreaded experience happens at an inopportune time what will you do?

My first thought would be “No big, it’s just tech. Go old school.” But how many of us are ready to go old school for realsies. I recently found out they don’t make Thomas Guides anymore, they haven’t for years. If you had to travel 200 miles and didn’t have your GPS or Google maps how would you get there? Do you know the route? If a known route is blocked can you navigate around the disruption? Have you ever used a compass? Recently? Do you own one? How about a map? Seriously, I almost cried when I found out about the Thomas Guides I loved them, but I didn’t NEED them so I stopped buying them, apparently like everyone else.

So what does this have to do with tinkerability? It’s just one aspect of a device we use daily. Sure, I could replace a SIM card, battery, or even a damaged screen, but I haven’t got a clue about anything else in fixing my cell phone. It’s a magic Black Box. Consumer devices aren’t made to be tinkered with. If you can’t tinker how do you learn about how a device works, improve it, fix it, or diagnose when something goes wrong, or truly know what it is capable of.

Okay, most of the things a “smart” phone does you can be done without for a while, with a little planning. What about your car? Do the phrases “backyard mechanic” or “shade-tree mechanic” sound vaguely familiar? If not, well… buy some really good walking/hiking shoes. I aspire to working on my own vehicle regularly. Unfortunately I was recently reminded that my old ride isn’t old enough.

Any car with a computer is a pile of problems waiting to happen. The manufacturers of today have all conspired to make it very difficult for backyard mechanics, not just in repairing problems but in diagnosing them. There are so many sensors, many for “SMOG control,” that alter how your vehicle runs, without specialized diagnostic equipment there are things you just cannot do.

Case and point: My ride was having a problem with the Camshaft Position Sensor. It was replaced at Shop A. The check engine light persisted even with the new part. I have an OBD II reader to see, theoretically, what the problem is and what engine code is keeping the check engine light on. What that tool doesn’t tell you is when the mechanic that replace the part didn’t follow the proper procedure.

After months and lots of money at Shop B who had not reached a successful conclusion, they accidentally fixed the problem and had not realized and returned the vehicle to me and told me to go to the dealership because only the dealership had the right computer equipment to do everything required to fix the problem. All of this headache to get a PASS on a SMOG Check. It passed emissions, it was just the check engine light that prevented it from passing. (Gotta love California! NOT!)

If it requires a $20,000 diagnostic computer, it ain’t tinkerable. If you can’t buy a part for less than the original product cost to fix it, it ain’t tinkerable. If it’s not physically possible to open it up, AND put it back together without breaking it (assuming you are inclined to such things and there by skilled at said task), it ain’t tinkerable.

Anonymity

I more than alluded to this earlier on. When I buy a product I don’t want it spying on me in any way, shape, or form, for anyone. It’s bad enough with browsers and the internet. I do not want my TV telling Amazon what movies or TV shows I watch on Netflix. Is a little privacy too much to ask for? Unfortunately, there is so much going on in the background of everything internet related you don’t really know who’s connected to who. Sadly, you can assume that everyone is connected to everyone else.

There are steps you can take to anonymize yourself, at least to some degree, but the philosophy of governing bodies, even those who purport to support freedom and democracy, take a dim view of people who value their privacy. Online, with encryption, and even improving your own firewalling and network security, which of course is a breach of your terms of service as well, so you must be a law breaker.

Conclusion

All three of these overlap back and forth in varying ways depending on the product, and they are all things that manufacturers are actively working to take away from you, the consumer. It’s all too easy to wax romantic of days gone by, but the fact is we live in a different time, and we have allowed companies and governments to get to this point. As they say, it’s easier to never give up a freedom than it is to reacquire it.

The more we all work to improve our title rights, demand tinkerability (and use it), and press for or impose anonymity, the market will have to give way. But it is up to us the consumer to make these demands.

I for one am in the market for a truck made before 1976.

Résumé Updating

TakingNoteIt’s been a while since I took any time to update the old résumé, though I must admit not a lot has changed, it’s just time to polish things up a bit. I have a LinkedIn account and I do make minor changes there every so often, but I haven’t done much with the hardcopy. *shudder… hardcopy*

While going through my LI profile something in the “Interests” caught my eye…

“movies, music, writing, flying, aircraft (design/construction/restoration), amateur radio, history, anthropology, archaeology, genealogy, archive, preservation (document/book/photograph), blacksmithing, silversmithing, metal fabrication, woodworking, sustainable living (building, power, farming, food), alternative building technologies, primitive technology, self reliance, resiliency (personal, local, community, regional, national)”

I’m pretty sure I have gone down this road before at some point, but it bares repeating. It’s the resiliency line personal, community, local, regional, national, (and by extension international). With all of the hullabaloo about Brexit people are thinking about how it will affect them. Really, it shouldn’t.

Before anyone starts screaming “Exclusionist!” or “Nationalist!” like somehow nationalism is automatically a bad thing like the bought-and-paid-for media would have you think, participating in worldwide commerce is not bad, far from it. Depending on a centralized global economy is bad, very bad. Even centralized national economies are bad. We keep having example after example of what happens when centralized economies have sector hiccoughs. The whole thing is affected.

When the US economy crashed in 2008, due to our own internal centralized economy and the managers of that system doing bad things, it was felt around the world. When the Greek economy tanked it was directly due to the EU centralized economy, and it affected all of the EU and beyond. The Brexit issue has been felt all over the globe as well. These effects are all because of the idea that the world is somehow better off when we all have our eggs in the same basket. It is absurd.

Why Jon, when you say it that way it sounds so obviously bad, but surly global economics aren’t that simplistic. Actually, yes. Yes they are. At least from the notion that centralization is a good thing. So in this case it really is that simple.

Centralization, in any system, creates more sub-systems and moving parts that are all interdependent. The level of complexity is exponentially increased, and much of the energy that goes into the system goes towards minimizing losses and damage the system itself creates, and of course the administration of the system. Not to mention that the resulting product is generally of lower quality by the time it gets to the consumer/user. Worst of all, with all of the interdependence even a small hiccough produces problematic ripples throughout the system and may even halt it all together.

A simple example is the spinach crisis a few years ago in the US. Much of spinach supplied to restaurants and some grocery stores was recalled because a pig got loose on one farm. There was an outbreak of e.coli, not an epidemic, but large enough and wide enough spread to panic a lot of people, cost farmers millions, destroy a large portion of the nations spinach crop, and waste millions in resources throughout the centralized food system. Absolutely none of it was necessary. To top it all off, it further set in motion more restrictive regulations shutting out some small farms due to the onerous regulations and cost.

So what does all of this have to do with resiliency? Any engineer will tell you eliminate single-point-failures, and provide redundancy if you want a resilient system. You cannot design a resilient system from the top down, it just wont work it, more to the point it can’t work. It must be designed and built from the bottom up. That’s why the order I use is so important personal, community, local, regional, national, (and by extension international).

To avoid collapse of any of the centralized systems we currently have, start with yourself and your family. Have plans and preparations in place so you are more resilient. Help family and neighbors to be more resilient. All of you can start working on getting your community more resilient.

Slowly but surely people are waking up to the simple facts. As the understanding of how theses system interrelate and how wasteful they are, how the systems only care about the system and not the end user, how the user is cheated out of high quality goods and is forced pay a premium for the privilege, people are beginning to put all of the pieces together.

No amount of railing on and on about how simple this all is will convince those who choose to stay the course. They must see the light in their own time. This is something that I am coming to terms with myself. It seems so clear, and I want the people I care about to be resilient and not suffer when those hiccoughs occur. All I can do is walk the walk and demonstrate by example.

All of the Brexit panic, anger, frustration, division, and the eventual blow back all come from not understanding what great-granny always said “Don’t put all your eggs in one basket.” Smart old broad that.

~FlyBoyJon

An unproductive cycle

I seem to be getting into a cycle of posting that doesn’t seem to work well, or encourage more frequent posting. I have been posting once a month on all of the blogs I post too, on the same day, and then ignore them for another month. It’s like getting that hated chore done because it needs doing, not blogging because I have something to say, or feel like posting. I need to shift this trend back to “blogging is fun” not a chore.

Blahahahah… Okay, I got that out of my system.

220px-Goofy.svgSo much going on and yet so little progress to show for it. We have been planning to relocate for so long it just feels like the wheels are spinning in the mud. I have been planning for every contingency a new homestead environment can throw at us that its all become a mash of thoughts and potentials. The problem with this is I can’t go any further, it’s all just rehashes of stuff I have already considered. Without having a piece of land to plan around, an environment to adapt to, resources to count, conserve, and work with, I am just spinning tires in the mud.

We are so close, but nothing looks like we are any closer than we were a year ago. I had originally set a goal for this spring, as in March, April, or May, NOW. We should be relocating NOW. But that got pushed to a trip up north in mid May to scout out property, and hopefully buy a plot, with an actual move some time in late summer or early fall.

I am antsy to get up there. I don’t want to be scrambling to get a structure up and livable before winter sets in, and I sure as hell don’t want to wait it out until next spring. Let me rephrase that, I can’t wait it out until next spring. Ahhhhhhhhhh! Sorry. I’m just one giant ball of nerves grasping at something to keep my brain from running amuck amuck amuck. breath…

Zack is in his final term at De Anza. Two english classes and a music appreciation class away from his degree in English Literature. I am very proud as one might imagine. Annoyed, not that the two english classes books are a total of $80 for six books, that’s fine, the music class however… If I understand the bookstore correctly is about $250 for a book and a CD, seriously?! The cost of textbooks is nothing new and I would expect it for a math or science book, not this. We will do what we need to. Zack has worked hard to earn this and nothing will stand in his way to complete his degree. I just don’t like being gouged by publishers.

I sound in so negative, and I’m really not feeling mad or angry, just annoyed. It is so easy right now for me to get worked up when I encounter what I perceive to be stupidity, ignorance, and a lack of courtesy, respect, or common sense. Yes, I acknowledge that it is my perception and not necessarily what is actually happening, that I may not have all of the facts, that situations arise, I get all of that. I still get annoyed, and my threshold is low right now.

wingnutBetween to asinine behaviour of all of the political parties, and theire more vehement followers on all sides this political season, along with the general lack of good behavior out in public, I just don’t want to be out in it. I don’t go off-property very often, once a week maybe. I don’t go online all that often for the same reasons. I don’t want to be a hermit. I actually want to get out, do stuff, go places, enjoy being out and about. I’m just not in the right headspace to be out in the world.

When Tammy and I went up north last year in February it was a wonderful break from the urban sprawl. Just that short four days was enough to get me through a couple of months back in the concrete jungle. That rejuvenation ran out a few months back. I really need to…

Head in the sand…

bag-O-moneyThe topic of current events arose in conversation this morning. The two major events that came up were the Nepal earthquake with the ongoing humanitarian aid efforts there and the situation in Baltimore.

In Nepal not only is there the topic of the humanitarian aid, but also the political elements involved with the relief communications problems. There is a long story about amateure radio and the Nepal governments apparent conflicts with the emergency preparations that some hams have been working on for years. It may have a connection to many lost lives which may have been saved had they not been blocked by government efforts. I am getting this information from a directly involved party, and I have every reason to believe him, but I know very little about the actual situation from first-hand knowledge. So while my heart goes out to the people of Nepal, it is hard to make educated comments on the political front.

With Baltimore, well, this is a tough subject to broach. As the title of this post says, my head has been in the sand. I know very little of what is actually going on. I did see the video of the mother who when she saw her son rioting and throwing rocks at police went down to the site, found him, and smacked him around. Nice to see a parent taking responsibility for their child by the way. I don’t know how much of or even if that story is true, I only saw one blog post and a video clip.

Where I’m going with this is I haven’t been paying a lot of attention to the media’s reports of what’s going on in the world lately. Mainly because these days the media, all media, has an agenda. They all want to have eyes on their “data.” Their revenue stream depends on viewership, so they must sell there “data” in whatever form to make money. Big Media has a market and a demographic they are selling to, so their perspective is skewed to that demographic. Further complicating things is the political connection of the management and owners of the media outlet further skewing the perspective and agenda.

Just to be perfectly clear, I don’t like or trust Big Media. I bet you already figured that out though. As the quote goes, “Follow the money.” Who has most of the money in the US, media and financial institutions. Who holds the most sway with elected officials, media and financial. Who shapes public opinion, media and financial. Do you think credit companies and banks want you to be debt free? Hell no! They would go broke. Do you think Big Media would be making billions if there was no public conflict? Same thing, hell no!

There are miscreants, there are bad cops, and the behavior of both is reprehensible, but these bad actors are in very small numbers. They are the instigators, knowingly or not, doing a job they are employed to do. Who do you think is at the root of backing and organizing the instigators?… This isn’t just about Baltimore. It is the direction the country is being manipulated. I know almost nothing about the situation in Baltimore. I have heard a lot, but I don’t KNOW very much at all. I refuse to be manipulated into an opinion by someone elses political/financial agenda.

I can only loosely observe trends. There are few verifiable facts being made available, and fewer sources that can be trusted to provide these facts with any modicum of objectivity. Observing trends and trying to sus out which way the wind is blowing is about the best we can hope for. Getting incensed about something because the media says its true only serves to distract us.

When a population is polarized, agitated, and distracted it doesn’t see the real problems it faces, the real instigators. Who is polarizing, agitating, and distracting us? Follow the money.

~FlyBoyJon

Political Activism At Its Worst

Today I took my son to get a couple of books at the local Barns & Noble. I was not aware that a prominent political figure, who is also a writer, was signing copies of their book at the same store. I should have turned away from the bookstore when we saw the huge crowd of protesters outside. But I am curious by nature so we went in anyway.

Driving up to the intersection of Stevens Creek Boulevard and San Tomas Expressway in San Jose where the bookstore is located, we saw hundreds people waving protest signs and making a huge commotion on all four corners of the intersection, as well as down the Stevens Creek in both directions. Most of them were carrying signs, many were misspelled or illegible. Just about all of the signs were about the Obama health care plan. Some of the signs were outright incendiary and violent. As we got to the driveway, there were dozens of people crowding it on ether side and in the entry to the parking lot. We finally parked – it took a while because the protesters had almost filled the store’s parking lot – and went in. There were 4 or 5 security people at each door and many more roaming around throughout the store. We found a couple dozen people in line for a book signing in the children’s section, which was cordoned off with more security people. I asked who was there and I was told it was Senator Barbara Boxer, there to read from her political novel, “Blind Trust,” and sign copies of the book. So, we had a couple hundred people outside, and about one hundred in the store of which half at most were there for the book signing. My son and I were there to buy a couple Garfield books.

Now I want you to keep in mind that I strongly support the right of freedom of speech, which is one of our fundamental rights here in the United States; I also strongly support the right to peaceful assembly, again as a foundational right. What was going on outside the bookstore was just barely a ‘peaceful assembly.’ Getting out of the parking lot was an ordeal in and of itself, but nothing compared to being yelled at by protesters as we approached the street.

The people outside the Barns & Noble bookstore on Stevens Creek Boulevard in San Jose today are MORONS. This is the part where I get angry, in case you didn’t catch on.

I went to a local book store to get my kid a book or two, completely unaware of the book signing that was taking place inside, and on the way out I am labeled a communist, a baby killer and several other things that were completely unintelligible, along with a few I refuse to repeat. Just in case you were wondering, yes, those were some of the things that were actually shouted out at me as I pulled towards the driveway with two Garfield books. I never thought that buying a Garfield book would mean I was a communist. Who knew!? Oh and by the way, to the idiot that shouted that out… The word you were looking for is Socialist, not Communist. Get your political ideologies straight.

The crowd was very much like the fanatical fundamentalist protesters outside Planned Parenthood clinics. I would assume that more than one participant in today’s semi-controlled riot has attended at least one of those ‘social gatherings’ before; they certainly exhibited the same mob mentality. It is events such as this one that are going on all over the country showing how today’s political climate has swung the right and the left so far apart that when the inevitable inertial return swing comes, the impact is going to be very messy.

To say that my opinion about the political subject matter or opinions of the people involved will be changed due to this incident would be completely untrue. My personal convictions are based on my own sense of right and wrong and my own pragmatic sensibilities, and have very little to do with public opinion and I am certainly never swayed by a mob. I can say, however, that I am disgusted by the display of outright ignorance, intolerance and unabashed rage that I saw. I have no idea who organized the protest but by the look of the lemming herd they’d gathered I am sure they had an agenda of their own that is projected on to others by instilling fear and hate.

I can now say comfortably that I am thoroughly and completely disenfranchised by the current ‘two party’ system, including the ‘other’ parties that are currently playing the ‘party politics’ game. Several years ago I realized that I no longer identified with any of the political parties in California or on the national level in any meaningful way, so I changed my voter registration to ‘Undeclared.’ All of the parties have lost their way, and their respective minds. It seems as though it is no longer about what is good for the nation and it’s people; it’s about how to shut down or embarrass the other guy. In my play-book that’s completely unethical.

Lest we forget there are six…

220px-Goofy.svgOh ya, there are six candidates running for president of the United States. Though it may surprise some of you, I am still undecided on the presidential run for the roses.

The candadates in order on the California balott are:

I am half tempted to throw Ralph a bone just for his persistance. After looking through all six candidates websites its basicaly down to the two major parties, draght!

The judgment of a political party that limits its support right out the gate like the Peace and Freedom Party with the head line “California’s Feminist Socialist Political Party” should be questioned. Gee, I don’t feel alienated by that group, not one bit.

“The Libertarian Party is America’s third largest political party, founded in 1971 as an alternative to the two main political parties.  Our vision is for a world in which all individuals can freely exercise the natural right of sole dominion over their own lives, liberty and property by building a political party that elects Libertarians to public office, and moving public policy in a libertarian direction.” It sounds good but the platform is all about rights but nothing about responsibility to the rest of the nation, because it’s all about ME!

The greens. By far have the most developed platform of the four alternative parties. The theme of equality, entitlement, and fairness is still lacking a statement of responsibility to the nation, sure there is responsibility towards the environment and to women and to Native Americans. Everyone is equal but these deserve a bit more equality that the rest of you. Huh?

“The American Independent Party joins America’s Independent Party” Unfortunately nether the party, or their candidate have much of anything to say apparently, at least online.

So where does that leave us? Stuck again with the ass and the elephant.

~FBJ

Backlash to Oblivion

Left or Right, they are both Wingnuts
Left or Right They are both Wingnuts

Not just a couple of really fun B movies from Full Moon Productions, no what I am talking about today is the backlash that is forming in the election furor. The backlash is coming from the last several decades of affirmative action.

It appears that the uneducated masses following the McPalin campaign are making the rest of us Caucasians look like jack-booted racists with all of the racial slurs being heard at campaign rallies; not from the candidates, but from the crowds. It seems that the name calling dirty politics of “the month before” have struck a nerve in those unable to articulate themselves, you know, mouth breathers.

I am not a big fan of “affirmative action” mainly because it is a discriminatory practice, offering preference based on ethnicity, with a point structure in government hiring. If I where a black female paralyzed Vietnam veteran with post traumatic stress syndrome I could walk into a government office, flip off the hiring manager, poop on his desk, and still get the job. As it happens, I am non of the above, and am therefor “entitled” to nothing but a guided tour to the door. That sounds a bit bitter, and in all truth it is. I have personally been affected by discrimination in employment on more that one occasion. I am however not a protected class from discrimination and therefore I have no recourse. Thank you Affirmative Action.

So I understand where the anger and frustration can come from. Yes indeed some people are raised with discrimination as an acceptable element. It is not. What both parties have done for this great nation is do thier best to agrevate the situation. Discrimination serves none of the citizens of the United States. Stop using it as a political tool!

Obama has been just as guilty as Mcain in more covert ways. As an organizer in the inner city of Chicago, he knows how to get the youth activated, and has done so remarkably well, as Hillery will testify.

I was thrown a bit when I read an article from CDR Salamander here in the very short article are links to two videos one, from a classroom in Kansas City in support of Obama and the second, a WWII propaganda cartoon done by Disney. After watching the videos I had to take a few moments to stop and think. I strongly encourage you to check out the “Class Project” video at least before continuing… seriously, go watch it and come back, I’ll wait…

Now I am generally not an alarmist, I don’t see this as a huge deal, nor do I see it as a representation of the nation as a whole, or a racial segment there of. Some people in general are more susceptible to group mentality such as religious extremists, cults, and gangs, regardless of race. It is just the way some people are wired and is facilitated by environment. It is not inherently a bad thing, however, when that wiring is triggered by someone with a strong magnetic and bigger-than-life personality they can fall into an almost trance like state. When in this state, instruction is needed, purpose, if it is not given then the mind follows baser instinct to achieve the goals, or perceived goals, of the leader. This is how distributed control works after indoctrination. Local leaders claim to be passing along instructions from the leader. This process works for religions, political groups, and cults and can be adapted to almost any environment.

What disturbed me about the Obama supporting class project is that it is a small demonstration of Obamas ability to charm people in a way that hasn’t been seen since JFK. It is not a concern about what Obama would do himself, it is concern about what others with a less pristine record, that he is reported to have been in association with that could use that connection for nefarious, self-serving ends. Which they will do regardless of weather he wins or looses. Obama himself, he knows his abilities, and as of yet has only used them for good, as it where. We shall see about the others.

This power is being seen by the mouth breathers as a serious threat to thier way of life. As dumb as that sounds. They have been indocternated with all kinds of BS as well and are acting out based on thier fears. This is the mess that the parties have created, what we have to deal with. As for “Trailer Park Barbie” (Palin), all she seems to be able to do is feed the fire.

There will be a huge battle after the election one way or the other and its not going to be pritty.

~FBJ