Thursday, August 30, 2007

Something Fred this Way Comes

One week and counting folks...

Government Sanctioned Murder

Imagine you are 20 years old, 8-1/2 months pregnant with your first child. Your new husband is away on business and you are staying with your in-laws. Suddenly a group of armed police break down the door, abduct you, take you to a clinic, hold you down, rip your clothes from your body, drive a huge needle into your belly killing your unborn child then they rip the dead infant from your body with forceps, leaving you sterile.

Horrific? Barbaric? In China, that is NORMAL!

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Winning the Battle, But Failing to Win the War

A little over a year ago, Fred Blanton requested the results of the aborted election from May of 2006. Early and mail in ballots had already started to be collected when NHMCCD decided to illegally cancel the election. Fred requested the results from those early voting sites as well as the mail in ballots collected up to that point. NHMCCD balked, and requested an AG's ruling on whether they were required to release that information. Under Texas Election code, the results of an election are public record. NHMCCD claimed that the election never took place, therefore they were under no obligation to release the results of the election. The AG's office was not amused and ordered them to release the information. They objected to the order and filed suit in Travis County to halt the release of the election results. They hired Andy Taylor to litigate this for them. Both sides offered motions for summary judgment (as is normal). The Judge granted the AG's office's motion for summary judgment.

But here is the kicker that makes this a bit of a hollow victory. The District must release only data that has been tabulated. That means that if the mail-in ballots have not been counted and tabulated, then Fred must pay the District to anonymize the ballots, offer them to Fred or his representative for tabulation, and then reseal them in the original envelope back with the voter's info reattached. So if this is the case, Fred has essentially won the right to pay the district a bunch of money to tabulate the ballots.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Not My Job (updated)

That is essentially what the Sector chief of the Laredo sector of the Border Patrol said last week at a town hall meeting in front of fifty some odd attendees. Here is the quote from the Laredo Morning Times:
Border Patrol agents don't have the responsibility of apprehending illegal immigrants, Carlos X. Carrillo, chief patrol agent for the Laredo sector, said at a town hall meeting Wednesday."The Border Patrol is not equipped to stop illegal immigrants," Carrillo said, noting that illegal narcotics are also not on the agents priority list.

"The Border Patrol mission is not to do any of those things," he emphasized. The Border Patrol's mission is to keep the country safe from terrorist and terrorist weapons, he said. Carrillo added that when and if terrorists come into the country, the agents will be ready.


So what exactly was your job before 9/11?

America I think we have found the problem.

UPDATE: Tom Tancredo wants his butt fired.

UPDATE II: Mr Carrillo even disagrees with himself. Just in case this page suddenly changes here is the text:


Welcome
Welcome to the Laredo Sector of the United States Border Patrol.

This office provides law enforcement support for the Southwest Border and Laredo.

This site provides Sector-related information, including Sector operations, Sector contact information, where our stations are located, and news.

It is a pleasure and privilege to be able to share an overview of the Laredo Sector.

The Laredo Sector is a multi-task law enforcement agency that has served the Southwest Border and Laredo since 1924. Our primary function is to enforce the immigration laws and prevent illegal entry of aliens into the country.

The Laredo Sector is an integral part of a great Border Patrol tradition and mission. We strive to partner with the community to improve the quality of life in the areas we serve. New projects, innovative ideas and a growing interaction with the communities are creating a great environment for the personnel of the Laredo Sector.

We look forward to providing you information about our initiatives and work commitment in maintaining the highest ideals and traditions of the U.S. Border Patrol legacy at the Laredo Sector.

Thank you for visiting the Laredo Sector web site.

Carlos X. Carrillo
Chief Patrol Agent

Property Rights, Investment, and Private Exploitation of Space

Imagine for a moment that you own a company that mines say, Nickel, and makes nickel alloys for a moment. You know where there is a HUGE deposit of Nickel. Larger than any known deposit, and nobody owns it or has a claim on it. But to exploit it, you will have to design a whole new way of mining it and invest a lot of money. Would you be willing to spend that money and do that development if you could not legally exert a claim over the mine? Or even own the refined nickel produced? That is the current state of affairs when it comes to the exploitation of space borne resources. Thanks to the UN Outer Space Treaty, signed and ratified back in 1966, it is illegal for any country or the citizens thereof, to establish any claim on any celestial body. This includes the moon, and the other planets, as well as the asteroids, and comets. Therefore, there cannot be any mineral exploitation of any celestial body.

The asteroids are chockablock FULL of Iron, Nickel, Aluminum, Lithium, Silicon (and combine that with access to the best vacuum money can't buy, it makes for excellent solar panel and semiconductor manufacturing), gold, platinum, you name it. The lunar soil is full of He3 which is thought to be possibly useful for fusion power generation. The Jovian moons are full of all sorts of exotic hydrocarbons and liquid and frozen water. Mercury is full of all sorts of heavy elements. Even the Venusian, Martian, and Jovian atmospheres are full of industrially important gases. In fact the Martian and Venusian atmospheres can even be converted to Natural Gas.

There are riches beyond belief quite literally littering the heavens, but it is all out of bounds. Industry cannot touch it. Why? Because it would be illegal to own any of it. If the human race is really serious about making the exploration and exploitation of space by private entities a reality, then the profit motive has to be there. Profit derives from the right to own property. If you may not own anything, you cannot make a profit. Would the great explorers of history been willing to risk their lives if they were not allowed to profit from their explorations? Would the governments that underwrote their explorations been willing to do so if they could not make a claim on the lands they explored?

This treaty must be altered to allow private entities to stake claims of ownership on celestial resources.

Toldjaso!

Mortgage foreclosures up 93% in the last year.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Render Unto Caesar, that which is Caesar's....

That line comes from Matthew 22:21. It's meaning is generally interpreted to be that you must submit, not only to God's Law, but the Laws of Man as well. Last year, Rev. Walter Coleman, pastor of Adalberto United Methodist Church in Chicago, took a illegal alien and her son in and hid them from ICE, giving them religious sanctuary. But there is a problem with that. There is no Religious Sanctuary law recognized in the United States, and there has not been one in England since 1623. This is NOT a valid legal theory. Therefore, ICE should not have waited for a year before arresting her. Secondly, the pastor and his wife, who knowingly aided and abetted a federal fugitive and felon. This pastor knowingly violated the law. The church, in tacitly condoning this, became a criminal enterprise and is subject to seizure under the RICO laws. I want to know why hasn't this man and his wife been thrown in prison. Why hasn't the church been seized as a criminal enterprise? Render unto Caesar, that which is Caesar's.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

What a weekend.....

Both Lawdog and El Capitan have had interesting weekends, but I suspect mine has em beat.

I bought my current house in 2000, and the previous owners, in an attempt to spiff the place up a bit prior to the sale installed laminate wood flooring throughout most of the house, including the kitchen. Now laminate flooring and water do not mix well, so when I saw that the flooring in the kitchen near the sink was starting to bubble up and warp a while back, I just figured that that was par for the course from water from the kitchen sink and the fridge with the in door water and ice dispenser and having a six year old that drinks ice water like a fish. Most people who install and sell the stuff don't recommend it for bathrooms or kitchens for that reason, but I'm sure the previous owners wanted it to go in fast and cheap and look nice for the sale. Oh Contrare! Wednesday evening my daughter went to get a glass out of the dishwasher which is smack in the middle between the sink and the fridge. The floor "squished" when she stepped on it. This is not good. This is SO not good. I got down on my hands and knees and looked under the dishwasher. Drip Drip Drip.... Oh (*&%(*&_)(^*! I look over at the toe board of the cabinet and see rotten wood peeking betwixt the cracks in the paint and splotches of black mold. Ok. Take a deep breath (figuratively speaking, I'm allergic to mold). Consider the options.

Option 1:
Buy some new flooring from Wilsonart to match the old flooring (along with the full box that the previous owner left with the house) and put it back down after dealing with the water and mold. Buy a new dishwasher.

Option 2:
Rip the floor up and go back in with something a bit more appropriate to the location like ceramic tile.

That evening I get on the web and lo and behold, Wilsonart still lists the pattern of flooring as a current product. I get a list of authorized distributors printed out. Ok, Option 1 looks like it might just be viable, heh, if only.... Next morning I get on the horn and start calling. Sure they got it. it is $2.50 a square foot. Then I explain that i need to match some stuff I already have and they said "Uh, there might be a problem with that". It would seem that Wilsonart, in their infinite wisdom revised the design of the planks back in 2003, The old tongue and groove planks don't quite fit the new "tap-lock" design. I'd have to saw off the new profile, put in a spline (a thin strip that is essentially a female to female adapter) and glue it together they tell me. I tell them that I'd like to put eyeballs on this plan of action and I duck out of work a touch early and break land speed records to get there before they close to see what they had. I get there half an hour before closing time bringing along a plank from my leftovers only to find that the guy was busy locking the doors just as I get there. He's leaving early! I guess I should not have told him I was leaving work early and driving like a bat outta hell to get there before they close. He grudgingly reopens the place and shows me how it is to go together. After all that come to find out, there is a couple problems with that plan. Problem one, the female end of the new stuff has a step milled across the top of the female profile for an overhanging ledge that is on the male side. It is a DOUBLE female profile. The other problem is that the planks are a different thickness and would leave a .005" or so step in the surface. It doesn't seem like a lot when you look at the numbers, but in real life, that is enough for dirt to collect and for the top surface to wear at the edge leaving the underlying ugly pale yellow plastic bit exposed. Not attractive. I call the factory in Temple Texas to see if there might be a cache of old stock floating around somewhere in the bowels of the inventory control system that they might be able to blow the dust off of, heh, no chance! They apparently purged the old stock numbers from their inventory control system so they can't even look for it in the computer.

Option 1 is dead as a doornail.

Option 2 is full steam ahead. We visit the local home improvement establishment looking for ceramic tile. We find a pattern we all can agree on and I plop down the old debit card, wincing as I do so. Twenty years ago, I put down ceramic tile in my mother's house. I was so sore from that misadventure that I swore I would never, ever, do that again. In my life experience I have learned this: Never say never.
I proceed to remove the old flooring to discover that apparently the dishwasher has been leaking for some time. The flooring was laid over top of a thin sheet of polyethylene closed cell foam, and a 4 mil thick sheet of polyethylene plastic sheeting. The water, trapped between the plastic and the concrete had nowhere to go, so it just sat there and festered. The stench was awful! After I got everything ripped up back to the doorway, which was dry, I commenced to spray the exposed (and reeking) concrete down with a strong mix of bleach water from my pump-up sprayer. After a couple applications, the stench was gone, but now I had all the rotten and moldy wood to attend to. Apparently the installers of the flooring had plastered thinset mortar all over the floor to "level" it. (Which makes me wonder if I have a foundation problem that I was unaware of previously). This left it piled up in front of the toe boards which means the board is now bigger than the opening it must pass through. Although subatomic physics teaches us that 99.9% of all matter is empty space, unfortunately it is still rather difficult for two objects to occupy the same space at the same time. Luckily (if you want to call it that) the boards were rotten enough that it only took a couple hours of yanking with the hook of a pry bar to rip it out in pieces. Break out the pump up sprayer again to fumigate the area under the cabinets with bleach. I was starting to feel like the poor Iraqi bastard that had to clean up the bio-weapons labs before the weapons inspectors got there right after GW-I. (You know, so it would look like a simple pharmaceutical manufacturing plant when they arrived, complete with a fermenter tank farm and a Bio-hazard level 4 lab next door....). As of this writing, I have about half the tile down, another third or so dry-fitted and cut but not laid, and I can barely move. And I STILL haven't bought a replacement dishwasher.

Somebody shoot me! Put me out of my misery....

Friday, August 10, 2007

Selling what is not yours....

I was reading eDwight's linkpost today and ran across an interesting conundrum. It would seem that a company called CMI, designs and builds breathylizer systems. They have a model Intoxylizer 5000EN that they sold to the State of Minnesota. As part of the boilerplate language on Minnesota's Request for Purchase, which apparently CMI agreed to, there is language that says that the seller turns over all rights to the design and source code to the device to the State of Minnesota. The court ruled that a DUI defendant had the right to request the disclosure of the device's source code as part of his defense. The Court ruled that he could lawfully do so because the state of Minnesota owned the source code as a result of the wording of the RFP. Ok, so far so good. But here is the deal: This company has sold this very same device to LEO's in 20 different states. If the State of Minnesota owns exclusive rights to the device, then the company had no right to sell it to any one else. To quote the story:

Minnesota's original bid proposal that CMI responded to says that "all right, title, and interest in all copyrightable material" that CMI creates as part of the contract "will be the property of the state." The bid proposal also says CMI must provide "information" to be used by "attorneys representing individuals charged with crimes in which a test with the proposed instrument is part of the evidence," which seems to include source code.


"all right, title, and interest" says to me that it is exclusive to Minnesota and Minnesota only. Therefore if CMI sold it to anyone else, they owe the State of Minnesota the value of the sale.

But was Minnesota the first state to buy it using similar language? Did CMI have the right to sell it to Minnesota in the first place? Or were they duped as well?

Clearly the problem is the legal wording in Minnesota's RFQ language. But this does appear to open a huge can of worms. and depending on how it sorts out, Minnesota (or some other state) might just have a large chunk of change coming their way.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

"The Radioactive Boy Scout" is at it again


(AP news photo)

Back in 1995, David Hahn was trying to become an Eagle Scout. He also believed that the Earth was about to run out of energy. But he had an idea of how to kill two birds with one stone. He would get his Eagle Scout Rank, and save the world in one fell swoop. He decided that what the world needed were Thorium breeder reactors. So he set out to build one in his back yard. Yes you read that right, he decided to build a functioning nuclear reactor in his back yard. And he built it out of readily scrounged parts. He built a neturon gun out of a lead block with a hole in it filled with Americium-241 obtained from smoke detectors. He covered the hole, first with Aluminum, then later with Beryllium, then later replaced the Americium with Radium he obtained from a bottle of radium paint he found in the back of an antique clock. He then bought a large quantity of lantern mantles, burned them to ash, mixed in lithium from lithium batteries, wrapped it in Aluminum foil and heated it with a bunsen burner, thereby concentrating the Thorium in the ash. Thorium, when bombarded with neutrons, becomes Uranium 233 which is fissionable and gives off more neutrons, which converts more thorium to uranium, and also converts the uranium to plutonium. He then built himself a thorium breeder reactor with the parts.

He was caught with part of the now disassembled reactor core in the trunk of his car after being questioned by police about suspicious activity. The EPA discovered the materials and the shed he built it in and declared it a superfund site. tore it down, put it in barrels, and trucked it to a low level nuclear waste site in Utah and buried it. Hahn, went on to join the Navy as a Nuclear Machinist's Mate.

The story does not end there. He was arrested in Clinton Township Michigan last week. He was stealing smoke detectors for the Americium. He was busy building another breeder reactor in his apartment.

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Of Booms, Busts, and Bonds. Mortgaging Our Future

Virtually every MUD, School, College, Water, and Improvement district it seems like has huge plans to spend massive amounts of your tax money on one thing or another. The laundry list of "absolutely essential" expenditures seems endless. But are they? Really? We have a looming crisis close on the horizon. The real estate market is poised to drop like a rock. When (not if!) that happens, the income available from property taxes is going to contract significantly. Homesteaded property assessments cannot rise more that 10% a year, but there is no limit on how much they can drop. The result is going to be that in order to maintain income, tax rates will have to shoot up exponentially. When you vote for a bond, you are essentially co-signing a loan. You agree that you as well as your fellow taxpayers will pay off a loan.

Now, would you be willing to take out a huge loan if it looked like you were possibly about to be laid off at work? If you were smart, of course you wouldn't, but that is exactly what these governmental entities are trying to do. They are trying to get you to co-sign a massive loan with them, when they know that they are looking at a huge budget shortfall just down the road. That loan WILL be repaid. And to do so, they are going to raise your tax rate to do so, at a time when the economy will be shrinking. YOU will be repaying that loan, as will I. When you go into the voting booth and you are presented with a bond proposal. Before you look at what the bond is going to pay for, think about how you are going to pay that loan off. There are a lot of things I'd like to buy too, and I could borrow out the wazoo to buy them, but the question you have to ask is, how are you going to pay that money back?

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

German Government encourages incest and child molestation

The German Federal Health Education Center published two 40 page booklets, entitled "Love, Body and Playing Doctor" aimed at the parents of children aged 1-3 and 4-6. These books espouse manual sexual contact between fathers and daughters in order for the child to "feel good about her body". There is a third songbook aimed at 4-6 year olds directly entitled "Nose, belly and bum" with songs encouraging masturbation. It is also available as a CD. The sexualization of children is now complete. The German Government has decreed that not only is sexual contact between a father and daughter as young as age one, tolerated, it is ENCOURAGED! The German government has withdrawn "Love, Body and Playing Doctor", according to Der Speigel, but how could such a thing be published to begin with? And the songbook and CD are still available, as are a number of other publications that are equally as troubling. Feel free to contact the German Consulate and let them know that evil such as this must be destroyed.

German Embassy
4645 Reservoir Road NW
Washington, DC, 20007-1998
(202) 298-4000
The embassy can be e-mailed from its website: http://www.globescope.biz/germany/reg/index.cfm

To express concerns to German authorities:

President of the Federal Republic of Germany
11010 Berlin
Germany
Telefon: +49 30 20 00-0
Fax: +49 030 20 00-19 99
E-Mail: Bundespraesident.Horst.Koehler@bpra.bund.de

Chancellor
Angela Merkel
Willy-Brandt-Stra├če 1
10557 Berlin
Germany
Telefon: +49 180 272-0000
Fax: +49 1888 272-2555
E-Mail: InternetPost@bundesregierung.de

Hat Tip: Cassy Fiano