Looks like the WaPo thinks that there ought to be an American Pirate Party. Given the constitution party fusion is rapidly unfusing, and the LP is somehow attempting to do a top-down crowdsourcing on farcebook, it’s looking more and more like the “Net Libertarians” are becoming politically homeless. Perhaps it IS time for an American Pirate Party, as the B&M parties just aren’t cutting it for the net generation anymore…
Author Archives: g4lt
The recent universal background check defeat is not a symptom of a system that has gone awry. In fact, it is the system working EXACTLY as the founders intended. That’s right, the founders INTENDED that it be practically impossible for the majority’s passion of the moment to carry us into taking away essential liberties. In fact, the very term “tyranny of the majority” was coined by none other than John Adams, during the Constitutional Convention (de Toqueville later cribbed it, though he properly attributed it. The attribution never gets quoted though) and amplified on in the Federalist Papers. We can debate whether or not the system’s historically worked, but this one time, the system did exactly what we asked it to do; protect our essential liberties from ourselves. We keep hearing about this mythical 90% majority that wants to barter away our essential freedom (90% is pretty much the definition of an echo chamber, you typically can’t get 90% of the people to agree that the sky is blue), yet it wouldn’t matter how much of a majority wants to remove a freedom, so long as there’s one person that says “NO, you won’t have my freedom today” (a brave heart, if you will) that’s enough for the founders, and should be enough for any Constitutionally-elected official. Unfortunately, it seems that it isn’t, as literally within hours of this defeat, certain gun control advocates that shall remain nameless carped about how the system was broken, some of which should have known better. It is a sad state of affairs when an alleged Constitutional scholar can’t figure out that “the right to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed” doesn’t mean “well, we can infringe it with a background check, or a registration form, those aren’t REALLY infringements, amirite?”. The aftermath of this defeat of gun control also provided another “interesting” effect: there were numerous items on social media “doxing” the senators that voted against invoking cloture, on Facebook there’s a photomosaic of all the Senators voting against it conmingled with a photomosaic of the Newtown victims; on Twitter, they published the Senators’ Twitter handles . While these are pathetic attempts at “Doxing” (public airing of personal information, typically on one’s enemies, oftentimes spelled “d0x”), it provides a chilling reminder that the people that want you to provide further information to buy a gun via background checking or registration are the LAST people that can be trusted with that information. If they are willing to air Senators’ personal information just to make a political point, just imagine what happens when they want further concessions and they have access to YOUR information (Don’t laugh, it’s happened, a New York paper published the names and addresses of all registered gun owners in their area during the ramp up to this debate). In sum, the Constitution won, but it won’t be the last fight by a long shot.
So… worried about cellphone snooping?
What if I told you that the FBI has had the capability to impersonate and man-in-the-middle cell towers since about 1995?
What if I told you that the information about Stingray (the snooping system) has been in the public domain since at least last year, when it was used in a case in Texas? What about the worst possible case, that it’s been in the public domain for more than a decade? (To be fair with the last one, even I, your intrepid news-gatherer, dismissed that out of hand, as Shimomura is pretty much a blowhard)
Now remember, this is five or so years BEFORE the DHS was even thought of, so god only knows what those intrusive idiots came up with in the ensuing decade.
Yet these guys have a black budget in the billions, and we have nary a dime to spend on, say, educating our Army.
Happy fishbowl, suckers!
Lindsey Graham (R-SC) warned that the Drone Strikes were going to be an issue and “[Obama]’s getting hit from libertarians and the left.” Well IMAGINE THAT. You’d almost think that big-L Libertarians were SOCIALLY LIBERAL.
“Every member of Congress needs to get on board,” Graham said. “It’s not fair to the president to let him, leave him out there alone quite frankly. He’s getting hit from libertarians and the left.
“I think the middle of America understands why you would want a drone program to go after a person like Anwar al-Awlaki,” Graham added.
“The process of being targeted I think is legal, quite frankly laborious and should reside in the commander in chief to determine who an enemy combatant is and what kind of force to use.”
“If this ever goes to court I guarantee you it will be a slam dunk support of what the administration is doing. I think one of the highlights of President Obama’s first time and the beginning of his second term is the way he’s been able to use drones against terrorists.”
So, basically, Obama’s in the unique position of being supported by the people who he never once promised anything to and pretty much hate him, and being opposed by every one that had even a small chance of supporting him (once Bob-freaking-Barr was the LP nominee, a LOT of the LP jumped to supporting Obama, as Paul was a non-issue before the LP convention, and there were many hurt feelings about the treatment of Paul by the GOP that year).
If this shouldn’t be a wake up call to Obama, I really don’t know what will be, get rid of the freaking drones already!
Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) had an interesting spee^Wquestion for Wayne LaPierre during the AWB hearings in Washington today.
Cruz pointed out that the AWB is about “scary-looking guns”, among other things. For those of us that don’t want to watch it, The Dallas Morning News did a pretty good text story about it.
Texas Sen. Ted Cruz displayed a flair for showmanship this afternoon at the Senate’s gun violence hearing as he sought to puncture the argument for a proposed ban on assault weapons.
“What it bans, I would suggest to you, are scary looking guns,” he said.
With a life size photo of a Remington 750, a popular hunting rifle used — as Cruz said, by millions of Americans – the senator argued that the proposed ban focuses on “cosmetic features” such as pistol grips that in no way change the lethality of a weapon.
He produced a plastic pistol grip and held it to the photo to demonstrate.
“If this were attached to this rifle, it would suddenly become a banned assault weapon,” he said, prefacing a question to witness Wayne LaPierre, NRA executive vice president, who concurred with his analysis.
“The problem with the whole bill,” LaPierre said, is that “it’s based on falsehoods from people who do not understand firearms.”
Well, our civil liberties are taking hits left, right, and sideways, but we have a small victories every now and again.
The U.S. Transportation Security Administration will remove airport body scanners that privacy advocates likened to strip searches after OSI Systems Inc. (OSIS) couldn’t write software to make passenger images less revealing.
TSA will end a $5 million contract with OSI’s Rapiscan unit for the software after Administrator John Pistole concluded the company couldn’t meet a congressional deadline to produce generic passenger images, agency officials said in interviews.
The agency removed 76 of the machines from busier U.S. airports last year. It will now get rid of the remaining 174 Rapiscan machines, with the company absorbing the cost, said Karen Shelton Waters, the agency’s assistant administrator for acquisitions. The TSA will instead use 60 machines manufactured by L-3 Communications Holdings Inc. (LLL), the agency’s other supplier of body scanners.
“It became clear to TSA they would be unable to meet our timeline,” Waters said. “As a result of that, we terminated the contract for the convenience of the government.”
The decision to cancel the Rapiscan software contract and remove its scanners wasn’t related to an agency probe of whether the company faked testing data on the software fix, Waters said.
Yes, the Rap[e]iscan machines will soon be gone!
Apparently, Rapiscan couldn’t come up with the genericized template to pretend that the TSA pervs weren’t REALLY ChoMos in time, so the entire Rapiscan contract is cancelled (they weren’t looking at nekkid pics of everyone, they were just misunderstood, right?)
To [mis]quote Southwest, “you are now free to move about the country [mostly] unmolested.”
Well, the petitions site has its place, and I for one applaud it, but can we please just set a target for the number of required petition signatures and go with it?!
In what seems to be an effort to curb time spent on outrageous petitions, the White House late Tuesday quadrupled the signature threshold for “We the People” petitions to 100,000.
Thank goodness we got an answer on the Death Star before the new rule took effect.
Previously, 25,000 signatures were required to garner an official response from the White House on a petition posted at the “We the People” website.
Right now, given the target is on its third move upwards, it looks as if the White House is only listening for what it wants to hear. If they wanted that, all they had to do is add a disclaimer at the top “ONLY SYCOPHANTS AND YES-MEN NEED APPLY”.
Liberty is tough, people, it’s giving those you don’t want to listen to equal time and equal chance to air their views. I’d hope that here at HoT we all “get it” — that liberty isn’t a one-sided coin — maybe we need a Libertarian in the White House a lot more than we originally thought. :)
Free State Project guys, I thought this whole infighting thing was for the tea party. Pull your heads out of your asses and act like adults for a change FFS. I mean really, you’d think that a group of people that’s been basically arguing with each other since its inception would learn how to disagree and still support each other.
Most Libertarians at least see Greens as “fellow travelers” in the third party game, and prolly some are secretly rooting for them as long as they don’t hurt the LP’s interests. Well, apparently, the Arizona GOP is encouraging homeless people to run as greens in order to split the democrat vote.
This is disturbing on many levels. First, that third parties somehow “steal” votes from the established two. If the LP is any indication, there is no theft of votes, as most LP people would rather not vote at all if the LP doesn’t run anyone. More importantly, this gives off the sense that a given party is ENTITLED to votes rather than having to earn them. Second, that third parties are somehow co-optable by the majors. see more…