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Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Pentagon loses track of weapons given to Iraqi security forces

It has come to light that the American Defense Department has (oops!) lost track of some weapons that they gave to the Iraqi security forces. How many?
  • 110,000 rifles
  • 80,000 pistols
  • 135,000 items of body armour
  • 115,000 helmets
This is over 50% of the weapons provided to Iraqi security forces.

CNN has the story at the following link:

http://edition.cnn.com/2007/WORLD/meast/08/06/iraq.weapons.reut/index.html

or http://tinyurl.com/3xcpzc if you prefer.

The story is copyright Reuters.


Let's put aside the cost of the war to the US so far (USD$450,000,000,000 as per http://www.nationalpriorities.org/Cost-of-War/Cost-of-War-3.html ). Let's also put to one side the argument that "it's a war! what do you expect?". We'll also ignore the fact that these armaments are being used against US and Allied troops as well as Iraqi civilians. Finally we'll gloss over the arming of "terrorists!!!" by the US government.

What interests me is the government reaction and excuses for this stuff up. I'll quote from the CNN article:

"The GAO said the Pentagon concurred with its findings and has begun a review"

"The Defense Department has recently asked for another $2 billion to continue the train-and-equip program."


"Congress funded the program for Iraqi security forces outside traditional security assistance programs, providing the Pentagon with a large degree of flexibility in managing the effort."


""Officials stated that since the funding did not go through traditional security assistance programs, the DOD accountability requirements normally applicable to these programs did not apply," the GAO report said."


"The GAO quoted officials as saying the agency responsible for handling weapons distribution was too short-staffed to record information on individual items given to Iraqi forces."


"Accountability procedures also could not be fully implemented because of the need to equip Iraqi forces rapidly for combat operations, the GAO found."


Their answers and excuses boil down to the following:
  • We'll do a review (yes, another one).
  • We need more money.
  • We didn't do it the usual way so we couldn't follow the usual rules.
  • We didn't have enough people.
  • We didn't have enough time.
Are these guys still in Kindergarten? These are "the dog ate my homework" style excuses. If they weren't wasting billions of dollars and causing tens of thousands of deaths it would be slightly humorous.

Think about what's expected from you in your job and ask yourself what would happen if you made a mistake and gave one of the excuses made by the Pentagon?

Sunday, July 15, 2007

How to eradicate gun crime

For those that don't know me, I am a gun owner and gun ownership advocate.

I decided to play devil's advocate and put forward a way to eliminate gun crime. Too often, we gun owners are accused of being one sided. Out of a sense of fairness, I decided to consider the anti-gun side of the argument and put forward a solution to eradicating gun crime.


In order to do this I'm making a few assumptions as follows:


A) We will need three levels of equality in the citizenry: The ordinary citizen; Community Safety Officers (CSOs) - police, customs officials and the military; Community Officials (Government Officials and Assistants).

B) Prohibit ordinary citizens from owning guns.

C) Sufficient law enforcement and vigilance can eliminate guns from our society and therefore eliminate gun crime.

To realise the goal of eradicating gun crime will require some new programmes and laws:

1) Eradicate all ownership of guns in order to eradicate crime.

Anyone who owns a gun can have it stolen or may misuse it so it is a prudent safety measure for the community to completely disallow ownership of guns. This also simplifies law enforcement as possession of a gun confirms guilt.

2) Guns are an effective form of self-defence and an economical way of enforcing community safety. To ensure community safety the only people that should have guns are those who are upholding the law (these are citizens such as the police, customs officials, government bodyguards and the military – the CSOs).

It will be necessary to allow certain citizens access to guns to guarantee community safety. These people will need to be carefully vetted and above reproach. Anyone with criminal connections (either directly or through personal and family connections) will need to be excluded. To ensure that that CSOs remain above reproach we will need a group of impeccably trustworthy citizens to supervise them. We will call these citizens Community Safety Officer Observers (CSOO). They must have the power to immediately dismiss the CSOs and relegate them to the level of ordinary citizen. However, to ensure that there is no abuse of powers they must not be able to dismiss any Community Officials.

3) Enforcing the law by enacting complete zero tolerance ensures that the law is obeyed. To achieve this enforcement simply requires allocating enough resources and increasing the punishments metered out by laws.

The zero tolerance approach to gun crime will mean that tougher laws and harsher law enforcement will be required to eradicate gun crime. Ignorance of the law is no excuse so any punishment is warranted when breaking laws passed by the Community Officials. Community Safety Officers who refuse to support these laws must immediately be considered as corrupted by the CSOO’s and therefore dismissed.

4) Community Officials who make the laws need to be unquestionably honest.

In order to ensure the honesty (and therefore the impeccability of the laws) the Community Officials must comply with rules that have been set by a majority (51% or greater) of the Community Officials. Self-regulation by a majority vote will ensure that there is no corruption within the Community Officials.

5) Our borders must be protected and any imports or people entering the country must be thoroughly screened to ensure that no guns enter the country.

CSOs will need to patrol the coastline in boats and aircraft. Radar installations will act as bases for boats and aircrafts and serve as early detection systems. On an Australian sized coastline of around 20,000km then only 50-100 bases will be required.

6) Any entry to a public place needs to be controlled through metal detectors and other detection mechanisms. In areas deemed crucial to National Security, such as offices of Community Officials, then body searches will be required.

This will be accomplished by the installation of metal detectors and placement of CSOs at the entrance to any forms of public transport or any public space. Placement of roadblocks with metal detectors and body searches at each entrance to a suburb or town will ensure that guns do not enter any of these zones.

CSOs, CSOOs and Community Officials can be exempted from these searches, as they have already been deemed reliable by laws and processes.

While this solution may seem extreme, it will be successful. I estimate that we would only need to increase tax rates by 20-40%, depending on funding cuts to other areas. Alternatively, surcharges on goods and services could also be implemented to pay for our safety.

Existing technologies and processes in use today can easily accomplish the eradication of gun crime. All that is required is strong political will and the understanding of the citizenry.

If you have nothing to hide then you have no need to worry.

Friday, July 13, 2007

ACCC to sue Google

A news.com.au story titled "Watchdog takes Google to court" (by Mark Schliebs) has me paranoid about how this busybodying government organisation is going to flex their muscle.

http://www.news.com.au/business/story/0,23636,22061736-462,00.html

http://preview.tinyurl.com/ynsmoo

The ACCC is the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission whose role in life is to ensure "fairness" in competition between private businesses. All in the "interests" of the Australian consumer. Or as I like to think of them: knee-jerk government reactors to whatever herd is bleating loudest or whatever area will impact government control.

The news article details how the ACCC are taking Google to court here in Australia, alleging that Google has been misleading and deceptive in it's conduct. From the article

"The ACCC said that in 2005, sponsored links titled “Kloster Ford” and “Charlestown Toyota” allegedly appeared on Google, but the links allegedly directed users to the Trading Post website.

Both dealerships compete with the Trading Post.

The ACCC said by publishing the links, Google allegedly engaged in “misleading and deceptive conduct”.

Google also continues to allegedly fail to “adequately distinguish sponsored links from ‘organic’ search results”, according to an ACCC statement. "

What concerns me is if the ACCC wins then it will have opened a way into "policing the internet" (on behalf of all Australians, of course).

If there were only one or two search engines on the internet, then maybe I could understand their position. Fortunately this is not the case. What it means is that people can choose another search engine if they don't like Google!

Let the market decide for itself, not members of a broadband crippling government with naught in their sights but control and an upcoming election.

Friday, July 06, 2007

Fear of gun control escalation confirmed by PM's Iraq war admissions

Main Point (for those short on time):

The Howard government's linking of the Iraq war with oil has confirmed arguments against gun control laws.

A primary argument against gun control laws is that they become increasingly onerous in size and restriction. In examples such as the UK this manifested in virtually complete confiscation of private property and the freedom of personal choice.

The twisting of truth used to hide the gradual steps to our current Iraq involvement is exactly the same strategy being implemented with gun control.


Expanding on this point:

If you are in favour of gun control then the following will hopefully give you an insight into the unease I experience when I discuss gun laws with you.

My concern over what will happen to my private property (guns in this case) and my freedoms is vividly demonstrated by standing back and looking at how our country has been led to our current situation in Iraq.

Anther war in Iraq was looking likely before 911, however it serves as a useful memory post for most people. To the best of my recollection, the events and what we were told went as follows:

1) 911 occurs and many westerners are understandably fearful and confused. We are told that the perpetrators will be hunted down and caught.

2) Bush's government starts mentioning Hussein's Iraq and 911 in the same speeches and media releases. Iraq had *nothing* to do with 911. People start getting stirred up over Iraq and begin to link Hussein with 911.

3) Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) are announced. Colin Powell presents "evidence" to the UN and media outlets sensationally parrot this new threat from Iraq. We are told that Australia can confirm the intelligence and that we need to start worrying about the potential threat of Iraq.

4) Bush decides to invade Iraq. As an ally of the US, Australia commits to this action. We are told that it will be a short action to destroy WMDs and remove Hussein. We are assured repeatedly that it is not about oil and that we will only need to commit troops for a short period of time.

5) Iraq is invaded. No WMDs are found and Hussein is eventually removed. We are now told that we need to remain in Iraq for just a bit longer to help foster democracy and support the Iraqi people. We are told that it will cost a bit more than originally expected and that we may need to stay longer for the good of regional security.

6) Iraq is now described as a breeding ground for terrorism and a front line for Al-Qaeda. Despite Bush's announcements of "Mission Accomplished" we begin increasing the number of troops and finances to continue the war in Iraq.

7) US, Australian and UK military leaders admit that troops in Iraq will be needed for up to 10 years. We are told that the war is now required to fight terrorism in the region and protect the Iraqi people.

8) Howard's government now confirms that protection of oil interests is a reason for being in Iraq and that our troops will be required indefinitely.

In 8 (very broad) steps you can clearly see how our Australian government has taken us from a short term, relatively low cost war to eliminate WMDs to a costly, indefinite war to secure our oil interests.

This is *exactly* the same gradual steps of deception that are being used with gun control laws. Bit by bit they are made more oppressive and controlling.

Gun law supporters, when I argue with you I am doing so with the knowledge of where your laws will lead us. Don't expect me to believe that at some point in time the laws will not be taken to the level that they have in the UK. To assert otherwise is tantamount to a lie.

The same system of people (regardless of political orientation) that lie to and cheat the very people they are supposedly meant to serve, are the same people that you unfathomably trust to create the laws you want.

Forget the millions (billions in the US) of dollars that have been spent on the Iraq war. Forget the tens of thousands of people who have died in the Iraq war. Forget the lies and deception surrounding this war.

Forget all this and simply consider this: How can you support "leaders" that have no integrity?

Monday, July 02, 2007

The insanity of supporting the current system of democratic governance

Democratic government has become perverted on the large scale used to administer many western societies.

On paper consensus is a terrific idea. In the hands of the current power seekers it has become a method to enforce morals and fears.

There is a simple yet fatal flaw in our current system:
The high and mighty, the busy-bodies, the afraid, and the mistrusters of personal responsibility have hijacked the system for personal interests.

If you believe that you have "high morals" that everyone must adhere to; If you believe that your neighbours business is your business; if you don't believe that people can be responsible for themselves then enclave yourself in this cocoon of fear and leave the rest of us alone!

Have what you want but dont' have the gall to sit in judgment of me and blithely use the violence of force and government to make me comply with your wishes.

When you enable the force of government against me then you are supporting and encouraging a despicable and odious facet of our system that leads to control of my life through the use of violence.

I have *no* objections whatsoever for how you choose to live your life but I find it disgusting that you believe your are entitled to use the force of government to pull me into line with your standards.

Go through *whatever* reasoning process you like but realise that when the only way you can make me comply with your philosophy is to enact the force of government, then are sanctioning, supporting, and actively encouraging violence and suppression in a way that history has proved *always* leads to the destruction of the society.

Go in peace but leave me alone to live my life how I responsibly choose.

The Partisan Choice



Voting for Labor or Liberal is like deciding if you want to be stabbed in the left eye or the right eye.

Friday, June 29, 2007

The flushing of Australian Freedoms

In order to refute a point made by my opposition in a recent newsgroup debate, I quickly listed some freedoms that have been stolen from the Australian people over the years.

I was grossly disturbed that I could come up with the following examples so quickly. There are many more, yet I find the following collection foul enough:

- I am not allowed to put whatever substance I want into my body (anti-drug laws). Before the drug laws I had this freedom.

- I am not allowed to own whatever gun I want (anti-gun laws). Before gun laws I had much greater freedoms in this area.

- I cannot (in Australia) open a restaurant that allows smoking, even when all of the patrons consent and I have signs out front. Anti-smoking laws took this freedom.

- I cannot sell or own videos and books that the government has not approved. Censorship has taken this freedom.

- I cannot medically treat people and prescribe medicine even with the consent of the patient. Licensing and laws took this freedom.

- I cannot give financial advice even after fully disclosing my experience to a consenting customer. Licensing and laws took this freedom.

- In many areas I cannot modify my house how I want to, even with consent of neighbours. Zoning laws take this freedom.

- I cannot cut myself off from the electricity and water grid without being forced to continue paying for these services.

- I cannot produce alcohol and sell it to consenting friends (nor can I serve alcohol at a sporting club of consenting adults). Liquor laws and licensing took these freedoms.

- I cannot grow and sell tobacco and sell it to consenting friends. Laws and licensing have taken this freedom.

- I can be arrested by ASIO without being given any reason and held for up to 72 hours with no representation. I cannot even tell my *family* what has happened during this period or I will be charged with a criminal offence. If a family member or friend knows my situation and tells anyone then they are committing a criminal act. My freedom to a fair detainment has been stolen.

- The roads that my tax dollars have paid for can be shut down and roadblocked if the government thinks it's warranted for security. My freedom to travel where I want has been severely impeded.

- I cannot set up a website in Australia that distributes X-Rated pornography to consenting and vetted adults. This was a freedom that quickly came and went.

- I cannot broadcast on airwaves that are unused. Broadcast laws have taken this freedom.

- I cannot hire who I want for my business where my hiring processes are judged to contravene anti-discrimination laws. This is another freedom taken from business owners.

- Any financial transactions over AUD$10,000 must be reported to government. Banking and "security" laws stole this freedom.

- In several states (WA and VIC that I know of) if I have over AUD$20,000 cash in my possession and can't "satisfactorily" justify where I obtained it then it can be confiscated. Another freedom gone.

Hopefully this list will help you the next time you're arguing with someone who tries to hoodwink you into believing that "everything is fine".

Friday, June 01, 2007

US continues to keep Iraq in a sleeper hold

An article from ABC news Australia (via AFP) reports on further tightening of the sleeper hold that the US has put on Iraq.

The article is titled "US looking to long-term presence in Iraq". The link is:
http://www.abc.net.au/news/newsitems/200706/s1939474.htm

It reports that US Defence Secretary Robert Gates says the US is looking to stay in Iraq for the long term in the same way that it is present in South Korea. The spin is summed up in the following quote from the article:

"The idea is more a model of a mutually agreed arrangement whereby we have a long and enduring presence but under the consent of both parties and under certain conditions," he said.

The same people that lied about: Iraq's involvement in 911; weapons of mass destruction; an expected short and low fatality war; "mission accomplished", now expect us to believe that they will be staying in Iraq only by mutual consent of Iraq's government.

This exemplifies the insidious step-by-step methodology employed by world governments to lead their citizens into a dark controlling world that feeds their lust for power and control. Each of the steps seem so "reasonable" that most sheeple simply accept without thinking.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Bush sticks sticky fingers into Iran

Here's an article from the American ABC News ("Bush Authorizes New Covert Action Against Iran") regarding a covert operation into Iran that has just been approved by George W Bush:

http://blogs.abcnews.com/theblotter/2007/05/bush_authorizes.html

or
http://preview.tinyurl.com/2jefnp

The article was written by Brian Ross and Richard Esposito.

The basic thrust of this article is that an anonymous source has confirmed that Bush has given approval to a CIA operation to destabilise the Iranian Government.

"President Bush has signed a "nonlethal presidential finding" that puts into motion a CIA plan that reportedly includes a coordinated campaign of propaganda, disinformation and manipulation of Iran's currency and international financial transactions."
The gall of these people to even think they have the right to meddle like this in someone else's country! A country that has not initiated any force against the US.

In my opinion, this is the same sort of meddling that encouraged the retributions of 911.

It also raises a number of key questions:

1) What sort of action will Iran respond with?

2) If this triggers a military action (remember the last war that the US was in was WWII, the others were not constitutionally declared) then how will it be paid for?

3) If this triggers the scare of a "nuclear threat" from Iran then will that be sufficient to invoke the "National Continuity Policy"?
http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2007/05/20070509-12.html

Friday, April 20, 2007

Genocide, Intolerance and a changing Western World

My response to an accusation levelled at me that I support the influx of Moslems into Europe to the detriment of Western culture:


I don't want to see European and Western culture destroyed. I love being a white, middle-class Westerner of Christian background. I love how my culture has developed. I get a real kick out of the diversity that has allowed my culture to grow and flourish.

A pertinent example of just why I love the influence of all the cultures that the West has absorbed, and been influenced by, is a typical Australian cuisine choice that now exists.

Speaking generally, in my youth (I'm 42 now) you basically had a choice of English style food, Chinese food and some badly done Italian food. With this you could drink Aussie beer or plonk out of a cask. Dessert was inevitably cake or ice cream served with tea or crappy instant coffee.

Nowadays if I go into a general cuisine Australian restaurant I have a choice of (well prepared) foods from all around the world. I can have: a good lump of steak with roast vegies and some steamed bok choy; a cheesburger with fries; some pork loin and mortadello tortellini; some stir-fried vegetables. I may have this after an entree of Moroccan meatballs or maybe some tasty scampi. I can choose beer from all over the world from Budweiser to Tsingtao or wines from Western Australia's Margaret River through Spain's Rueda to California's Napa Valley. I can then finish off with dessert of Tira Misu, Apple pie, ice-cream or maybe just a morsel of Baklava. I can then complete the meal with a long macchiato, cup of tea or maybe just a refreshing glass of San Pellegrino or Coca-Cola.

All this gastronomic joy is brought to me through the many cultures absorbed by the the West. This flexibility and desire to grow is one of the great strengths of my culture.

It's not just food. For me, food happens to be an exceptional example of the benefits of tolerance. Have a look at the inventions, customs and advances that have come to the west from the Muslim world, from Asia and from the Americas. How on earth do you think we've come as far as we have?

The intolerance that you propose is the marker of times throughout history when the West stagnated. The hate and violence that you preach is what holds back the progress of the West.

Look back in histoy and you'll find that there is always a "boogey man". In my time it has been Italians and Greeks, then it was the Vietnamese, then it was Indians and Pakistanis. Now it's the North Africans. Look again at the lessons from History and you will see that one day it will be the Americans that are the world's problem refugees.

The idea of growing and adopting new and unfamiliar cultures and beliefs can cause fear and concern. It doesn't mean loss of identity it simply means a new perspective on a changing world.

The world will always change and be full of challenges. When fear of the unknown is abused and exploited as a "solution" (final?) to this change then that is always the dark hour of humankind. The dark hour where hate oozes sickly from our pores in a rancid, unstoppable puss that pollutes all that is good and kills all that grows and changes to nourish us.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Cost of Health Care

I was lucky enough to have the following article pointed out to me by an anti-gunner that I debate issues with at aus.politics.guns. Thanks Trevor.

This article appears in the Sydney Morning Herald April 18, 2007. Author is Mark Coultan. Piece is titled "Gouged and gutted by medical insurance".

http://tinyurl.com/34gw3z
or
http://preview.tinyurl.com/34gw3z (if you want to preview the site first)

There were several highlights in the article for me.

"Corzine was not wearing a seatbelt, in violation of his own state's laws."
This is the lawmaker disobeying the very laws he seeks to punish his constituents with. He was in a vehicle with a police officer who obviously did nothing to enforce the law that he is supposedly sworn to uphold.
If the lawmaker doesn't respect the law then why should a citizen have any respect or trust for that leader?
If the law enforcer doesn't enforce the law (presumably he liked his/her job) then what sort of respect should he expect from the community?
What does this really say about these type of laws that try to legislate common sense?

"Unlike the stories you sometimes hear about American medical care"
Yeah, from rags like the Sydney Morning Herald (and the Telegraph, Sun etc). So now they are giving us accurate information (btw I think they probably are) and not sensationalising this time? I'm sorry but they cry wolf so often that I have *no* respect for them.

"A New York state politician did a survey of New York hospitals' costs, finding that one, Mount Sinai, charged $US224,000 for intestinal biopsies, a one-day procedure."
Found *one*. What did the others charge? Are people forced to use this service? Why does it cost so much?

"With breast cancer on her medical record, insurance companies did not want to cover her"
Nor should they have to cover her if they don't want to. It's their business isn't it? See further down for why she has no alternatives to consider.

"To save money, she takes her $US300-a-month medication three or four days a week, instead of daily."
$300 a month! Imagine how affordable it would become if the company did not have to:
- Pay hundreds of millions of dollars ($USD100,000,000+) to get their drug approved by the FDA (not to mention government organisations in other countries).
- Pay annual license fees, regulatory fees, fees for submissions of reports to the government.
- Comply with complex accounting procedures required by the government.
- Pay exorbitant insurance costs to defend themselves against a legal system that has decayed into a lottery for civil litigants.

"As some Americans penny-pinch to afford health care, the nation as a whole binges. The US spends 16 per cent of its gross domestic product on health, about 50 per cent more than Australia or other industrialised countries, yet its health outcomes are no better, and on some measures slightly worse, than comparable countries."
This is an incredible amount of money. To get results that are no better than other industrialised countries just underscores how inefficient the government is as a delivery mechanism of resources.
Worse still is that they are *forcing* (ultimately at the point of a gun) their citizens to finance their squandering.

"Not surprisingly, health care is a constant political topic. Several states, including Massachusetts and California, are introducing universal coverage reforms."
A constant political topic :). I don't know about you but I get sick of all the talk, investigations, commissions, hearings and chest-beatings that ultimately produce the same old tired, expensive and inefficient results.
It's also typical that a "law must be introduced". Great, one more law that people can't reasonably know about.

"There are too many powerful, entrenched and vested interests - doctors, pharmaceutical groups and insurance companies."
This is a massive problem in this area. These interests have:
- jumped through the hoops of government
- paid the over inflated fees required to conduct their business
- paid the onerous annual license fees
Why wouldn't they fight to keep competition out? They have too much time and money invested in the system to want to see someone else come in without going through the same pain that they've had to go through. In fact the more competition that they can keep out, the better.
What most people don't understand is that it is *only* through the *force* of government that monopolies and oligopolies exist. Most of these "big, evil" corporations are there only by the grace of government force.

"with the cost of health care rising rapidly"
Why is it rising? Look at the cost of doing business that is imposed by government. Look at the concentration of power facilitated by the government rules. Look at inflation created by government mismanagement and corruption of the monetary system.

"societies have a choice: either restrict health care on the basis of medical need, which is what a Medicare system attempts to do, or restrict it on the basis of income or employment, which is what happens in the US."
Great! The constant inability to think outside the box is always frustrating. These are *not* the only two choices. How about taking the government out of our lives and letting people choose how they want to live?

To all those do-gooders who want to make me live the "right" way using the violence and force of government - pull your whining little heads in, piss off and leave me alone.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Guns and the Drone Theory

In another newsgroup post (to talk.politics.guns) there were some interesting comments by a bloke called Jim Bianchi. He sparked some comments in me that I would like to share with you.

Jim's comments:

"There you go again with the "western, developed nations." Interesting thought: Might it be that the 'undeveloped nations' with such high rates of criminal activity in spite of also having extremely strict guncontrol are third world nations *in part* BECAUSE they have strict guncontrol? I'm refering to the mindset such legislative bushwa instills into those who must live under those systems.

Those that rise to power think of those under them as ..well, serfs (for want of a better term), and the 'serfs' think of themselves as totally defenseless against any kind of assault at all except for their own physical strength (which, of course, they ARE). Since this has always been that way, it's taken for granted that it WILL always be that way. And guess what? It IS always that way, for as EVERYONE KNOWS, guns are the root of all evil in the world -- so that's why only the polititians have them and why the serfs (and the Australians) can't be *trusted* with them.

Those serfs are the people who, in spite of their nations' being possessed of vast wealth and resources, etc, continue to be stepped on by anyone who comes along including the polititians who rise from their own ranks and their nations continue to be dismissed as just another 3rd world shithole.

Well, it's only a thought and I'm NOT saying it's the whole answer. I'm also not saying that arming everyman in a given 3rd world nation would help. I'm merely putting the thought that extreme, preemptive guncontrol laws may tend to affect the way people think about themselves and thus affect the ..ah, status, their nation has. I'd like yours (and anyone elses) comments."

My Response:

Jim,

You're spot on mate.

I don't know what it is that gives many gun owners the ability to grasp the concept of freedom. For me it is the knowledge that I own a machine/tool that has a certain amount of power. I respect that power and I believe that I am responsible enough to use that power judiciously. When someone or something (like a government) tells *me* that I am not responsible enough to own this tool yet deems that those it anoints *are* responsible then I see a glaring contradiction. If those in power (who generally forget that they are in power to serve us) protect themselves with guns and seek to make my own personal ownership of that very machine illegal then I see an obvious inequity. If they believe that they are worthy of protection and deem that I am not (by prohibiting the very means that they themselves use) then they are saying that I am less equal than they.

It is an old adage that power corrupts. When I see our elected officials (*not* leaders, but elected officials) espouse double standards then I know that I am being treated as a lesser person. Not only do these double standards encompass the use of guns but extend to areas such as superannuation (your U.S. 401K plans I believe), work benefits and self defense.

The mindset of "that's just the way it is" is playing right into the hands of those who see the structure of power in our societies for what it really is. They realise the personal benefits and catch on quickly to the rules of the game. Whatever the endevour, hard work and persistence will get you to your goal, be it: the best boilermaker; the fastest runner; the top CEO; the most powerful politician. It is in our genes to strive for that supremacy, to be the best we can within the mental limits that we impose on ourselves. It's how we survive.

To get so caught up on the pro and anti gun debate that we fail to see the bigger picture is to play right into the hands of those that would rule us for their own benefit. If I was in power and enjoying the spoils of my position then what would I care if there was a raging debate on whether or not guns should be legal. The old Roman Emperors (at the height of slaughtering the Christians and just before their downfall) had a saying "Give them bread and circuses". It's no different to the tactics of today's power abusers - distractions buy time and jumping out in front of a parade buys votes.

It drives me mad that people accept the status quo. Where is the questioning? I believe (because I feel it myself) that the rule of fear is currently running rampant in our societies. Sitting back in the privacy of our own home and bemoaning the state of the nation is just akin to whimpering in a corner, under a blanket, hoping that the bogey-man won't find you.

Unless we talk and face the reality of the situation that we are in then we will never be in the position to overthrow the tyranny that is slowly descending upon us like a cancer that takes one cell at a time until it arises undetected, too late, to slaughter it's host...gorged on blood lust and self satisfaction, waiting in the wings to rise again.

Friday, February 23, 2007

Gun Control advocates blindly unleash Genies of oppression

I would love to say that all good intentions turn out for the best. I would love to say that the majority of people can decide what’s best for everyone. I would love to say that we can trust our governments to stop when enough is enough. The disappointing truth is that none of these statements are correct.

It doesn’t matter how good your intentions are, when you give away your ability to choose what’s best for yourself to our governments then you give away your ability to choose anything that’s best for you.

When you roll over and acquiesce to a majority rule then you give away your ability to choose how you always want to be ruled.

When you desperately believe that our governments will stop when enough is enough then you give away your ability stop evil and abuse by those very governments.

When you give away your ability to choose then you choose to become responsibly disabled.

I can sympathise and empathise with people who want to see guns removed from society. There is a natural fear of what can go wrong that they desperately want to avoid. Guns become the focus because it is more palatable than addressing the real, underlying causes.

The majority often does a reasonable job of determining some general guidelines for society. This is not particularly surprising as most of us are similar in many areas of beliefs and morals. Disturbingly, many people do not understand that individuals can co-exist harmlessly with the majority even when there is a difference in beliefs and morals. To force everyone to comply with the majority’s wishes is repugnant, short-sighted and narrow minded.

To believe that governments will stop when enough is enough is fairly easy to understand. Yet, the history of humanity and it’s governments is the insidious proof that this is na├»ve and dangerous thinking. There are probably several examples of governments stopping short of the precipice, yet history (both past and present) is tormented with examples of governments sending their subjects to their doom.

So when you argue with me about a subject as narrow as controlling a piece of machinery (guns) for the good of all then please don’t be surprised if I smile and nod, turn my other cheek and hope fervently that you’ll examine the complete ramifications of the Genie you propose to unleash on the world you purport to love.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

We protect them to keep their numbers up



Sometimes I fear that we will "protect" some of our endangered species to extinction rather than eat them or keep them as pets.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

National Security and Religion

The crimes committed in the interests of National Security are often as bad as those committed in the name of religion.

History has demonstrated repeatedly that religion can be abused to commit crimes and hate against innocents and innocence. Fundamental Christians and Fundamental Muslims today show that this treachery against harmony and self actualisation is still possible.

History has also demonstrated that the bones of common decency and self responsibility can be sadistically snapped in the interest of National Security.

When I put the testing questions: "Is it justified?"; "If justified, will it fix the problem?" against the sorry lineup of National Security's foul ups, I find it wanting. Not always, just nearly always.

When those in power are virtually absolved of responsibility by the apathy and inactions of those who serve them (the sheeple) then an outcome of abuse is a natural evolution.

At the very least, I feel I am obliged to think about what is on the spoon that is attempting to ram down my throat.

Stem Cell research - a miracle from God



There's always another way to look at a problem.

The debate over stem cell research is being whipped to fluffy peaks by the mixer of religious zealotry. I can't help but be reminded of the joke where a preacher is sitting on top of his flooded house, about to be drowned by the rising water. He knocks back 3 rescue boats while crying out "No, I'm going to keep praying, God will save me!" When he drowns and comes face to face with God he asks "Why didn't you save me God?" God snorts and retorts "I sent you 3 boats."

Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Why I am always filled with hope

Reading my blog it's easy to mistake scepticism for cynicism and passionate anger for ranting. It's how I write and it's not to everyone's taste.

An area that frequently gets under my skin is the lack-of-hope, doomsday scenarios that are mindlessly parroted in the media and by politicians. To the vast majority of these I say piffle!

For as long as I can remember, humans have found a way around problems by invention, method, culture or attitude. It's why we're at the top of the tree. It's why I am always filled with hope.

There will always be chicken littles, Machiavellis and the ignorant. There will always be forward thinkers, problem solvers and persisters. I've made my choice.

That's my point made. The rest of this post concerns an example.

As an example, here's an article on an Australian inventor Max Whisson who has invented a device to extract water from wind (it's by Phillip Adams) :

http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/story/0,20867,21123007-12272,00.html
or http://tinyurl.com/ytrdcu

Here's some highlights that give me great joy:

"It involves getting water out of the air. And he’s not talking about cloud-seeding for rain. Indeed, he just might have come up with a way of ending our ancient dependence on rain, that increasingly unreliable source. "

"And that’s not all. As well as the apparently empty air providing us with limitless supplies of water, Max has devised a way of making the same “empty” air provide the power for the process. I’ve been to his lab in Western Australia. I’ve seen how it works."

"The secret of Max’s design is how his windmills, whirring away in the merest hint of a wind, cool the air as it passes by. Like many a great idea, it couldn’t be simpler – or more obvious. But nobody thought of it before."

That's the phrase that always makes me happy - "nobody thought of it before". Love it!

I harbour hope that one day someone (maybe me or you) will work out a way to make it uneconomical for the media to make money from misery or politicians to hoard power through fear. On that day I hope to hear someone say "Wow, I'm surprised that no-one thought of that before."