Friday, December 30, 2011

Top 10 Worst Federal Rules of 2011

Oppressiveness doesn't mean gulags and Solzhenitsyn or Nelson Mandela in prison. Those are extreme examples. Here are the definitions of the word oppression. Pick any one; they all describe our government today:
  1. Burdensome or difficult to bear
  2. Tyrannical or exercising unjust power
  3. Weighing heavily on the spirit; intense, or overwhelming
Need some examples? How about the Top 10 Worst Federal Rules of 2011? Don't forget my list either.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

2012 Restore Liberty Project | Hillsdale for Liberty

Hillsdale College is a national treasure. They are a private college, they accept no government funding of any kind, so they are not beholden to anyone but their benefactors -- and their students. Alas, I wish my alma mater was still like this, but no... instead of pursuing truth and enlightenment, they have sunk into the depths of multi-culti post-modern depravity.

Anyway, Hillsdale College's 2012 Restore Liberty Project is desperately needed at this time in our history. Please read about it, and contribute what you can. Your children, and their children, will thank you. And me, well, thanks in advance.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Kakistocrat of the Year 2011

It seems only fitting, on a blog named, "Rage Against the Kakistocracy" that we feature an annual Kakistocrat of the Year. I'm ashamed to admit that I didn't think of it last year, when I would have nominated Nancy Pelosi. Thanking God that she's no longer Speaker of the House, I am obliged to nominate someone else. Barney Frank comes to mind, but he's such a caricature of idiocy, that he hardly needs the help. Besides, he's resigning.

And so, for all of these reasons, and more, I think Barack Obama deserves this year's honor. To paraphrase James Madison, to implement Barack Obama's agenda would be a metamorphosis of the Constitution into a character which there is a host of proofs was not contemplated by its creators.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

The Road to Serfdom

I'm reading The Heritage Foundation edition of The Road to Serfdom by Friedrich A. Hayek. I ran across this passage, which should be of interest to OWS as well as Tea Partiers. According to Friedrich A. Hayek,
Great danger lies in the policies of two powerful groups, organized capital and organized labor, which support the monopolistic organization of industry. The recent growth of monopoly is largely the result of a deliberate collaboration of organized capital and organized labor where the privileged groups of labor share in the monopoly profits at the expense of the community and particularly at the expense of those employed in the less well organized industries.
Hayek also says that it is bad government policy that allows monopolies to develop and flourish. I think OWS is missing part of the picture, and I think some conservatives are in denial about crony capitalism and government. Of course, if our politicians would follow The Constitution, these problems would be much less severe. Unfortunately, politicians being a product of the government education system, know bupkis about the founding principles or The Constitution. So nothing will really change until we fix the ignorance problem.

Hayek wrote this book in 1944, and things certainly appear to be much worse now than they were then.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

That's What Christmas Is All About, Charlie Brown

This never fails to choke me up...

This scene from A Charlie Brown Christmas didn't mean all that much to me when I watched it when it first aired in 1965. It does now.

Monday, December 19, 2011

The Only Question(s) You Need

I have had this at the top of my sidebar for over a year:
"Which article of the Constitution gives government the authority to do that?"
If more and more people start asking this question, I think most of our worst political problems, in all branches and all levels of government would go away by themselves, almost overnight. When a reporter asked Nancy Pelosi that question about the healthcare bill, her deer-in-the-headlights response was, "Are you serious?" Well, we are serious, and politicians should be afraid to step out of their offices without a credible answer to that question. It is the only "litmus test" that we need.
It really takes so little effort, that it is at least worth a try. The beauty of it is, this really should appeal to honest people from anywhere on the political spectrum.
But in light of EPA Ponders Expanded Regulatory Power In Name of 'Sustainable Development', I think we have to add another:
Wouldn't it be preferable to protect our natural resources without forfeiting our natural rights?
Of course, if we answered the first question, we certainly wouldn't need the second one, but as I am very fond of quoting,
The natural progress of things is for liberty to yield and government to gain ground. ~ Thomas Jefferson
Resisting the "natural progress of things" is getting to be like pushing a gigantic oppressive sustainable boulder uphill. If we stop to rest, it will roll right over us.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

The Watermelons Are Onto the Fact That We're Onto Them

I know you think, you think you know, but I think you don't. ~ Zaphod Beeblebrox
The watermelons are onto us. Lloyd Alter, at treehugger (a discovery company), writes,
This past summer I think about twelve people read my post Agenda 21: The United Nations Threat To Control Our Lightbulbs, Our Lifestyles and Our Lives, where I wrote about how historic preservation, formerly the preserve of conservative types, has morphed into socialist control of private property, a tool of Agenda 21. I called it a Tea Party Theory of Everything:
It ties it all together into one neat package, making climate change, light bulbs, transit, smart growth, fuel economy, everything a plot...It is a spreading conspiracy theory that is becoming the underlying ideology of the crazy right and that has serious legs. It is no joke.
(Continue reading Agenda 21 Wackos On The Move to Stop Smart Growth)
Lloyd concludes with,
Almost every battle over historic preservation is now becoming a property rights battle, and almost every property rights battle now has an Agenda 21 tint to it. We really have to wake up to this threat.
No, Lloyd, Americans have to wake up to this threat to their natural rights. It might not be a conspiracy, but it certainly is an agenda. Agenda 21 uses environmental bait-and-switch to up-sell its illiberal collectivist schemes.

This is no idle threat: We've had multiple executive orders, from George H. W. Bush, William H. Clinton and now Barack H. Obama (constitutional illiterates all, apparently), invoking federal agencies such as the EPA and BLM to implement key elements of the Rio Earth Summit and Kyoto Protocol (even though Congress refused to ratify it). It's called "soft law". Then, flying in below the constitutional radar, ICLEI organizes local governments to implement Agenda 21. Warm fuzzy euphemisms such as Smart Growth and Sustainable Development mislead otherwise skeptical community leaders, businessmen and citizens who ask, essentially, "where do I line up to surrender my civil liberties and right to self-determination?" "Non profit", non-government organizations (NGOs) with names like Sustainable Connections, ReSources, and FutureWise, take government grants (your tax dollars) to "educate" you in the ways of sustainability, and sue you if you don't get in line. You're paying for your own oppression.

Don't just take my word for it, go to their websites and explore for yourself what they have planned for us. I provided the links. Remember, these websites are selling their agenda in glowing terms. You might need some translation. "Smart Growth" is already being implemented in your cities, counties and towns, probably without your awareness or consent -- this is intentional. In the halls of government for Bellingham and Whatcom County where I live, the saying goes, "if it isn't permitted, it isn't permitted". Meaning that if you don't have a permit, you can't do it. Say what?! Hello, commissioner! Government derives its just power from the consent of the governed, not the other way around! These very expensive permits are required to ensure that any development or construction complies with very expensive requirements to satisfy environmental extremist and scientifically unverified measures to protect watershed, airshed (!), habitat and whatever other arbitrary barriers may be erected by planning and zoning ordinances to control normal human activities.

Don't think it's not happening in your town: After you've familiarized yourself with Agenda 21 and ICLEI, a.k.a., Sustainable Development or Smart Growth, start attending your city and county council meetings, and planning and zoning commission meetings. Read the ordinances. Listen for the buzzwords -- they're all over the place. Then, start asking yourself, and others, these questions:

  • What does Agenda 21 say, exactly?
  • What do Smart Growth and Sustainable Development actually mean?
  • What is ICLEI really trying to implement?
  • What are the EPA, BLM, parks and recreation, planning and zoning, etc., trying to implement?
  • Do you notice any similarities?
  • Do you think they're a just a coincidence?
  • Does the logical outcome have anything significant to do with the environment?
  • Wouldn't it be preferable to protect our natural resources without forfeiting our natural rights?
And then ask,
  • Have you ever tried remodeling a place you were renting?
  • How much permission and input did your landlord require?
  • Have you tried remodeling your own property lately?
  • How much permission and input did your government require?
  • Do you want to be a mere tenant on your own property?
  • Have you ever wanted to own your own property?
  • Why invest most of your life's work to purchase something that you have few rights to use for your own purposes?
Now that they know we're onto them, the watermelons are going to start squalling like hammered cats, calling us conspiracy theorists, paranoid nut jobs, and whatever else they can think of. They'll start renaming things -- picking new words to describe their tired old designs. Don't be deterred, because this is important: It is preferable to preserve our natural resources without forfeiting our natural rights!

They'll tell you capitalism, free enterprise, self-determination cannot be trusted to save the planet. What they're saying, in essence, is that government has to force us to go where free people would not go voluntarily. Is that not the definition of tyranny and oppression? I think we can do better than that.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

The Rules In Chicago Illustrated by the Six Photographs Below

From an email circulating on The Internet:
Rod Blagojevich is the former Illinois Governor who tried to sell Obama's seat in Congress. Obama was asked by the press if he had ever met Gov. Rod Blagojevich. He replied: "I only saw Rod Blagojevich one time... And that was in the stands and from a distance at a Chicago Bears Football Game." Of course, you can believe him -- he's our President. The picture below? That's irrelevant.

Rod Blagojevich, Barack Obama, and Richard Daley
during a rally in Chicago, April 16, 2007. (Photo Reuters)
Note: Rahm Emanuel has replaced Daley as Mayor! And Daley's brother has replaced Rahm Emanuel as a chief adviser to the president.

Rahm Emanuel, the new Mayor of Chicago
You have to understand "the world according to Chicago". Chicago is almost a completely different country when it comes to politics, with a different set of morals and language. There are three rules and a Prime Directive.
  • Rule #1. No matter what you see, hear, or do -- you don't know anybody & you know nothing!
  • Rule #2. If you capture something on tape or camera -- it reveals nothing!
  • Rule #3. If you know what everybody knows in Chicago -- you still know nothing.
The Prime Directive: No matter what the vote, Democrats win the election.
Now pay close attention! It's very simple. Remember, you know nothing. These two? They never met! Obama said they didn't.

Strangers in the Night
These two? Who are they?

Santa Claus, left; Easter Bunny, right
The guy on the left? He's Santa Claus. And the guy on the right, he's the Easter Bunny! That's all you need to know. These two? Don't ask.

Tweedle Dee, left; Tweedle Dum, right
Remember Jimmy Hoffa? He knew too much. Where is he now? Don't ask. Do you understand? Don't look at these pictures! Remember, you've already forgotten them.
Do you understand? They don't know each other and they never met! How is that possible? Because Obama said so! And don't! you! fergit! it! (As a wise old Cartoon Character used to say!)
P.S. If you pass this on to your friends: you know nothing and they will know nothing. So how's that "Hope and Change" working out for you?
The content is unchanged from the original email. I fixed some spelling errors, formatting errors, capitalization errors, paragraphing errors, removed unnecessary ellipses, added captions to the photos, and changed the crazy internet email font to something sensible.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Public Service Announcement and Editorial Comment

This email came to me from a local technical list server that I subscribe to:
Subject: odd phone call
This scam has been going around but it's the first I've heard of it locally. Apparently they are preying upon people who aren't computer smart... they say the computer is infected and then ask for access to the computer so they can "show you the problem" and then they ask that the victim download a file. I have no idea what happens after that but you know it's not good...
As far as reporting it... this appears to be originating outside of the US, so I don't think reporting it to the FTC and/or state Attorney General (as you normally would with telephone fraud) would really be helpful... but warning friends who aren't real good with computers (and who might believe the spiel) would probably be a good idea.
Okay. Now, 'people who aren't computer smart' and 'friends who aren't real good with computers' should heed this warning. But keep in mind that legislators and even some subscribers to the tech list are 'people who aren't computer smart'. If they need a warning like this, then how susceptible do you suppose they are to being fooled by computer models as proof of a scientific hypothesis?

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

What Do I Think of Computer Models?

Computer models are buggy self-fulfilling prophecies with circular dependencies.

I write software for a living, so I should know. Computer models can only model what we already know, so they can't actually teach us anything. They certainly are not useful as experiments to prove a hypothesis, because the computer model simply becomes the hypothesis -- implemented as a computer program. It's a tautology; nothing more.

If you're actually trying to prove or disprove a hypothesis, you have to abandon virtual reality, and hie thee into actual reality, run real experiments, and start taking measurements. Only then will you learn anything new. On the other hand, if all you're trying to do is baffle politicians or the media with bull to promote an agenda, a computer model might do nicely.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Top 12 Reasons to Vote Democrat

From an email circulating the Internet:
The Top 12 Reasons to Vote Democrat
  1. I voted Democrat because I believe oil companies' profits of 4% on a gallon of gas are obscene, but the government taxing the same gallon of gas at 15% isn't.
  2. I voted Democrat because I believe the government will do a better job of spending the money I earn than I would.
  3. I voted Democrat because Freedom of Speech is fine as long as nobody is offended by it.
  4. I voted Democrat because I'm way too irresponsible to own a gun, and I know that my local police are all I need to protect me from murderers and thieves.
  5. I voted Democrat because I believe that people who can't tell us if it will rain on Friday can tell us that the polar ice caps will melt away in ten years if I don't start driving a Prius.
  6. I voted Democrat because I'm not concerned about millions of babies being aborted so long as we keep all death row inmates alive.
  7. I voted Democrat because I think illegal aliens have a right to free health care, education, and Social Security benefits.
  8. I voted Democrat because I believe that business should not be allowed to make profits for themselves. They need to break even and give the rest away to the government for redistribution as the Democrats see fit.
  9. I voted Democrat because I believe liberal judges need to rewrite the Constitution every few days to suit some fringe kooks who would never get their agendas past the voters.
  10. I voted Democrat because I think that it's better to pay billions to people who hate us for their oil, but not drill our own because it might upset some endangered beetle or gopher.
  11. I voted Democrat because while we live in the greatest, most wonderful country in the world already, I was promised "HOPE AND CHANGE".
  12. I voted Democrat because my head is so firmly planted up my ass, it's unlikely that I'll ever have another point of view
REMEMBER: Vote Democrat. It's easier than using your brain.
There are a couple corollaries to number four:
  • When seconds count, the police can be there in minutes.
  • I carry a gun because it's more convenient than carrying a policeman.

Public Comment – Concerns Regarding Birch Bay Watershed Action Plan

Yesterday, I sent the following letter to the Whatcom County Planning Commission:
December 9, 2011

Karl A. Uppiano
5988 Malloy Ave.
Ferndale, WA 98248

File Copy – Whatcom County Planning Commission
5280 Northwest Drive
Bellingham, WA 98226

Subject: Public Comment – Concerns Regarding Birch Bay Watershed Action Plan

Dear Planning Commissioners:

I want to share my impressions of the public hearing last night. You may remember me; I was the only one who spoke on the principles of good government.

All through the meeting, I kept thinking of a quote by Ian Malcolm from Jurassic Park: “[they] were so preoccupied with whether they could that they didn't stop to think if they should.” A lot of the second part of the proceedings was devoted to how many angels could dance on the head of a pin, but no one questioned the forgone conclusion about whether the Birch Bay watershed actually needs fixing, and if so, whether the government should do it. Where does this authority come from?

  • One commissioner noted that there was “overwhelming support” for this measure.
No, there was the predictable parade of NIMBYs, environmental extremists, vested interests (e.g., Sustainable Connections, contractors, consultants, etc., whose job it is to promote these measures), and only a smattering of people, including me, who questioned the fundamental premise – whether the proper role of government is controlling individual behavior.
  • Several commissioners expressed concern about the size and complexity of the measure.
  • At least one commissioner was concerned about the likelihood that the regulations would change over time.
James Madison addressed both concerns 230 some odd years ago, in The Federalist:
The internal effects of a mutable policy are still more calamitous. It poisons the blessing of liberty itself. It will be of little avail to the people, that the laws are made by men of their own choice, if the laws be so voluminous that they cannot be read, or so incoherent that they cannot be understood; if they be repealed or revised before they are promulgated, or undergo such incessant changes that no man, who knows what the law is to-day, can guess what it will be to-morrow. Law is defined to be a rule of action; but how can that be a rule, which is little known, and less fixed?
  • One commissioner noted (as justification?) that if the county does nothing (or even if it does something), ever more stringent state regulations will follow.
  • More than one commissioner was concerned that what is now voluntary will become mandatory.
Thomas Jefferson: “The natural progress of things is for liberty to yield and government to gain ground.” As citizens, it is our duty to resist “the natural progress of things”. The natural progress of things is to deteriorate without maintenance. We the People must maintain our liberty at all levels of government. Government won’t restrain itself – that much is obvious, or should be.
  • One commissioner mentioned that the county wants to help the people of Birch Bay, who want this.
  • One commissioner suggested CAPR testimony should be disregarded. (Seriously?!)
Jefferson again: “The policy of the American government is to leave their citizens free, neither restraining nor aiding them in their pursuits.”
  • One commissioner suggested that if this is voluntary, why not simply publish the LID materials, and leave it at that?
Why not indeed? Instead of collecting government grants, and lobbying for the government to force people to go where they would not go voluntarily, why don’t the ReSources and Sustainable Connections people (and all the rest of the ICLEI/Smart Growth/Sustainable Development crowd) manufacture environmentally friendly LID products and educational materials that they can sell for a profit, in order to purchase buffers and offsets with their own money, and fund their own environmental public awareness campaigns and how-to programs? For the answer to that question, you need to understand that for many, the environment is nothing more than a convenient tool used shamelessly to promote a collectivist, illiberal agenda.
  • Several commissioners expressed concern for the amount of time, effort and expense already spent for research and development on this project and the potential waste if it fails.
That’s a valid concern, but two wrongs don’t make a right. Again, we have to question the fundamental premise: Is this necessary? Is it proper?

I realize that quoting our dusty old founders might seem quaint, except for one thing: They had a lot invested in the American form of government, and the principles that they established as necessary for good government are still the official specification for the United States: the federal, state, and local constitutions and charters. These supreme laws have not been rescinded, but merely disregarded in recent years.

Once government becomes activist, picking winners and losers, working on behalf of one special interest or another, it becomes a fraud magnet – susceptible to lobbying, special interests, waste. Those problems are much less severe when government sticks to its affirmed purpose: that of protecting the civil liberties of all citizens, equally. I believe it is possible – preferable – to protect our natural resources without forfeiting our natural rights.

Respectfully Submitted,

Karl A. Uppiano

You may not feel that this is relevant to you if you live outside Whatcom County. If that is the case, then I would encourage you to Google "Sustainable Development", "Smart Growth", "ICLEI" and "Agenda 21". Then, attend your city and county council meetings. Be prepared for a shock. You might discover that, at the behest of environmental extremists, the government has made you a mere tenant on your own property. You can still develop and use your land, but only in very special ways, after paying the government exorbitant fees for the permission to do so. Tried any remodeling lately?

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Liszt Rhapsody #12

Here's some food for the soul. Valentina's website says she's working on a "Liszt Project" -- fantastic!

It's all good, but check out from about 6:00 on.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Global Warming 101

Here's another chalk talk.

Times up! Pencils down. Close your blue books!

Economy 101

Bill Whittle voices this handy little tutorial.

2012 will definitely be a "fork in the road". I hope we start back on the right fork.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

"Progressives" Successfully Slime "The Conservative Negro" from Presidential Bid

Probably scared spitless over the prospect of a conservative black man running against the Halfrican-American, Barack Obama, the regressive spinmeisters managed to schedule serial accusers of sexual harassment, culminating in allegations of a 13-year illicit extramarital affair against Herman Cain. The one-two-three-four punch proved too much for the man, who does lack the gloves-off campaign skills of the Chicago thugocracy currently inhabiting the White House. They hounded him from the campaign trail.

I suspect that the sexual harassment cases were the typical gold-digger frivolous type. These are commonly settled out of court even if there is no impropriety, simply because it is too expensive, too embarrassing and too risky to fight it. There's always the risk that you could lose even if you're innocent. It isn't worth it. So you settle. So much for equal justice for all.

The final nail in Cain's campaign coffin was the allegation of a 13 year illicit love affair. I don't know if this is true or not. We may never know. If true, then the Cain campaign was naive not to have a credible defense already in the hopper. However... if it isn't true, how could they have prepared? If it isn't true, then this is the scummiest, low-down attack on a good man's honor that I have ever seen. I would sincerely hope that we have higher quality people running our government, but I fear otherwise.

Climategate I and II

Evidence continues to accumulate, that global warming (or the more recently adopted non-falsifiable and self-fulfilling moniker "climate change") is an outright fraud.

Jim Lacey writing in National Review Online states in his article Scientists Behaving Badly,

Last week over 5,000 new e-mails, already dubbed Climategate 2, were released. Anyone still desiring to contest the assertion that only a few persons controlled the entire warmist agenda will be brought up short by this note from one warmist protesting that his opinions were not getting the hearing they deserved: “It seems that a few people have a very strong say, and no matter how much talking goes on beforehand, the big decisions are made at the eleventh hour by a select core group.” Over the years this core group, led by Phil Jones at East Anglia and Michael Mann at Penn State, became so close that even those inclined toward more honest appraisals of the state of climate science were hesitant to rock the boat. As one warm-monger states: “I am not convinced that the ‘truth’ is always worth reaching if it is at the cost of damaged personal relationships.” Silly me, how many years have I wasted believing that the very point of science was to pursue the truth in the face of all obstacles. On the basis of this evidence the scientific method must be rewritten so as to state: “Science must be as objective as possible, unless it offends your friends.”
(Continue reading...)
One by one, scientists are beginning to speak up. Karin McQuillan writes in Scientists in Revolt against Global Warming over at American Thinker,
More and more scientists are revolting against the global warming consensus enforced by government funding, the academic establishment, and media misrepresentation. They are saying that solar cycles and the complex systems of cloud formation have much more influence on our climate, and account for historical periods of warming and cooling much more accurately that a straight line graph of industrialization, CO2, and rising temperatures. They also point out that the rising temperatures that set off the global warming panic ended in 1998.
It takes a lot of courage. Scientists who report findings that contradict man-made global warming find their sources of funding cut, their jobs terminated, their careers stunted, and their reports blocked from important journals, and they are victimized by personal attacks. This is a consensus one associates with a Stalinist system, not science in the free world.
(Continue reading...)
But, there is a real possibility that if humans ever are legitimately linked to global warming or climate change -- anything -- that real scientists and principled public servants will have a much harder row to hoe in order to convince people to take the necessary steps to reverse it.

Obama 101

Victor Davis Hanson provides us with one of the more uplifting articles about Barack Obama.
In the last three years, the president has taught us a great deal about America, the world, and himself.
Before Obama, many Americans still believed in massive deficit spending, whether as an article of fairness, a means to economic growth, or just a lazy fallback position to justify an out-of-control federal government. But after the failure of a nearly $800 billion “stimulus” program — intended to keep unemployment under 8 percent — no one believes any more that an already indebted government will foster economic growth by taking on another $4 trillion in debt. In other words, “stimulus” is mostly a dead concept. The president — much as he advised a barnstorming President Bush in 2005 to cease pushing Social Security reform on a reluctant population — should give it up and junk the new $500 billion program euphemistically designated as a “jobs bill.” The U.S. government is already borrowing every three days what all of America spent on Black Friday.
(Continue reading...)
I only hope he's right, and I also hope that America comes to its senses, because as the sign says,

If we have lost the once proud culture and founding principles that made the American form of government the shining example for the world -- and The United States the ultimate destination for huddled masses longing to be free -- then we have lost America. Barack Obama would be a symptom, not the cause of our demise.

Keep the Change

Friday, December 2, 2011

Burning Deceased Humans Will Produce Electricity

According to this article, In Durham, England, corpses will soon be used to generate electricity.

Mark Twain quipped in The Innocents Abroad, that they used to burn mummies to run the trains in Egypt. This is even better. I’m sure the backlog of unburned deceased humans is a huge untapped resource in the energy field. And if we run out of dead ones, we can start killing live ones. We're a scourge on the planet anyway. Win-win!

I’ve thought for a long time that the founders spinning in their graves would be a great source of energy. Just hook a drive belt between the spinning founder and an electric generator. At the rate they have to be spinning today, I'm thinking we could power most of the Eastern seaboard.

"Finish the Job"

Barack Obama says he'll need another term to "finish the job". It strikes me as a decidedly odd turn of phrase. My parents used to use the euphemism "finish the job" to mean "wipe and flush".

I really don't want Barack Obama to "finish the job" he dropped on America. That would stink.