Thoughts on the Government Shutdown

Apparently, the nation is the government.  At least according to one democrat who said on the floor of the House that Republicans do not love the country, “Because if you did you would not be closing it down.”  So apparently, if the bloated, intrusive federal government is closed for a couple of days, America will cease to exist.

In the news today was the fact that one of the people inconvenienced by a government shutdown would be campers at National Parks, who will be sent home.  Apparently the woods cannot remain open, and citizens will be unable to pitch a tent without direct supervision and/or assistance from federal employees.  One wonders how the country was settled in the first place?  Who monitored the cowboys crossing the plains to insure that their tents met specs?  Who monitored the woods to make sure that if a tree falls in the forest there is ALWAYS someone there to hear it?

Employees at the Treasury Dept. are up in arms about the use of the term “non-essential employees”.  Apparently it has dawned on them that people might rightly ask, if you’re non-essential why are we paying your salary?  It also belies the fact that our government is bloated with all manner of unnecessary people.  Nearly a million of them by some counts.

The fact is that after the shutdown in 95 the first thing Clinton did was sign an order giving retroactive pay to those people who were furloughed.  So, while our government does all manner of things to destroy the economy, cost working men and women their jobs, increase our taxes, and force us on to health plans we don’t want, none of those things are true for them.

They have job security, are exempted from Obamacare, and when they get laid off for a week or so, they get all their pay anyway.

So here is the truth in a nutshell.

What we are actually doing is giving a paid vacation to a bunch of people who are, by definition, not essential employees anyway.  And the propaganda machine has convinced enough people that this is a disaster, that half the country is upset about it.

America will survive.  In fact, if we shutdown the government regularly, for long periods of time, America would be better off.  IMHO

Conspiracy Theories

I hesitate to even begin writing this post, knowing as I do what it will get me.

Should you find yourself, a perfectly sane person, locked away in a mental institution, you have a bit of a problem.  If you tell them you’re not crazy, they will tell you “That’s what all the crazy people say.”  If you say nothing, your silence will be evidence of a condition.  If you protest loudly you will be considered a danger to yourself and/or others.  You’re stuck.

You are crazy because they said so, the matter is settled, and you cannot escape.

So it is with language today.  Words, phrases, and the meanings of these have been forcefully overtaken by the propaganda machine in order to marginalize opposition.  Concepts and ideas are deemed far-fetched by those in power, and so despite the truth of an accusation, the person making it is classified as an extremist.

Take for example the pejorative “Conspiracy Theorist”.

“Conspiracy” is a word.  It has a specific meaning.  Under certain circumstances it is a crime.

“Theory” is also a word.  It is used daily in science.

When you postulate a theory regarding a conspiracy however, you become a tin-foil hat wearing, aliens in Area 51 believing, Illuminati chasing, the Secret Service killed JFK believing, nut.

Why is that?

There are well-known and documented conspiracies out there.  The Gulf of Tonkin incident, which involved faking an attack on an American war ship in order to get us in to the Vietnam War, would be a good example.

Somehow the people who believe that Bush lied about weapons of mass destruction in order to start a war so that his corporate buddies in Haliburton could make millions…are just called Democrats though, not conspiracy theorists.

But those same people call those who asked to see Obama’s birth certificate “birthers”, and those who want an explanation to some irregularities in the events surrounding 9-11 are “truthers”.

Can someone explain this to me?

When building a jigsaw puzzle it is common practice to start with the edges and work your way in.  By building the border first you give yourself, literally, a frame of reference to piece together the rest of the puzzle.  Much of our news these days is presented in such a manner as to make it nearly impossible to find those edge pieces and build that framework.  We are bombarded by facts and figures, and propaganda masquerading as facts and figures.  24/7 the beat goes on, and we are lost in a sea of detail too vast for anyone to sort through.  But, from time to time, an individual has a moment of clarity and begins to see the foggiest view of the whole picture.  When that happens, that person is immediately marginalized, torn down, trampled and forgotten.  And the “facts” roll on, as if nothing was ever said.

I mention it this morning because there has been something on my mind for a few days now.

The Navy Yard shooter claimed to be the target of ELF weaponry.  He claimed to be hearing voices.  He claimed to have been unable to sleep as a result.  Eventually he lost his mind and began shooting up the Navy Yard.

Crazy, right!  The news refers to him as paranoid and delusional.  The FBI called him paranoid and delusional.  But one wonders….

If you wanted to pass sweeping gun control in an effort to disarm the public, the easiest way to do that would be to get the public to agree with you that they need to be disarmed.  Right?  Maybe by orchestrating a few mass killings… I mean these are the people that started a war for nothing right?  Twice now.  These are the people who gave LSD to unsuspecting Americans at clinics in the 60’s right?  These are the people tapping your phones, reading your emails and tracking your movements…right?

Well, consider the shooter’s claims in light of the following, and come to your own conclusion.  Just be careful…you might become a “conspiracy theorist”.

Biohazards of Extremely Low Frequencies (ELF)

by Dr. Nick Begich

Reprinted from Earthpulse Flashpoints Series 1 Volume 1.

In reporting on the HAARP project the issue of extremely low frequency (ELF) impacts on human health has been raised. The debate on the impact of ELF is still ongoing in international medical circles. However, recent research points to the fact that these frequencies when shaped and transferred to humans cause significant reactions. In our book, Angels Don’t Play this HAARP: Advances in Tesla Technology, we explore some of these reactions.

HAARP is not the only system available for taking advantage of these new technologies. The military has developed smaller weapon systems for use in battlefield applications. These new weapons were disclosed in documents authored and compiled by the United States Air Force. The Air Force documents indicate that these weapons can be used for mind control, inducing heart attacks, causing electronic failures and creating computer malfunctions. More recently these new weapons have been revealed in International Red Cross documents and in other press reports. In a CBS – 60 Minutes broadcast on February 11, 1996 a report on some of these new systems was shown. The program discussed some of the effects of these new weapons which included disorientation and “flu-like symptoms”.

This new classification of weapons has created some level of concern on the part of military planners in trying to find a way to introduce these systems. The United States Army has developed a concept called the Revolution in Military Affairs (RMA) which begins to unfold the weapons introduction plan. What this document points out is that many of these weapons will operate in a way which is in conflict with American values. The Army realizes that the conflict with our values exists and openly discusses the problem it presents. The Army then goes on to describe a number of ways to reshape those values so that these new weapons can be used. The basic problem, from this writers perspective, is that the U. S. Army’s role in the American scene is not intended to “shape and form public values”, rather it is supposed to “reflect” American values. The idea that any branch of government should see their role as one of setting the national ethic is wrong.

The United States military has taken advantage of the basic research which demonstrates the effects of various types of electromagnetic radiation. This research is being used for weapons development. These new technologies have been, in part, transferred to the United States Justice Department for use in domestic police actions. The technology transfers have been made over the last several years. Three conferences were held between 1985 and 1993 in order to gradually introduce the technologies. The last conference included discussions of pulsed radio frequency systems and was considered so sensitive that the entire meeting was classified by the Department of Defense and the program sponsor — Los Alamos Laboratory. This last meeting has led to policy development which now permits technology transfers from the military to the United States Department of Justice.

There are a number of documented effects of these low levels of electromagnetic radiation. The effects can be positive or negative depending upon the intent of the operators. In Europe, and elsewhere, the use of these low levels of electromagnetic radiations are being applied to the development of very effective healing systems. In future articles we will be discussing the findings of researchers and clinicians who are using these new electromedical systems. Significant work has been done in nonsurgical applications for treating heart disease, cancer, diabetes and numerous other disorders. However, on the dark side of these technologies is the military. The Department of Defense uses the same basic information for developing weapons which attack health.

The use of these new weapons in altering and manipulating human brain functions is startling. In November, 1995, I asked Dr. Patrick Flanagan if there was a way to guard against low level radiations in the ELF range. These are the frequency ranges which can cause disruptions in the human brain. He considered the question and then described the following equipment configuration for use in a home or work place:

HAARP Antenna Array

Dr. Flanagan suggested that a circuit be constructed. The system he described would start with a “white noise” generator. (These are available from organizations like the Sharper Image.) The white noise generator speaker would be disconnected and the speaker’s wire leads would be connected to the input side of a power amplifier. The output side of that power amplifier would then be connected to an insulated copper wire which would be looped once around the area which was to be protected against ELF. This circuit would provide protection for low power density ELF signals. The purpose of the system is to create a situation where the ELF signals cannot “lock” onto biological systems — like human beings. The effectiveness of the system would be based upon its actual construction and the ELF power levels in the area. The components for construction can be readily obtained from electronic supply houses and can be built by people skilled in electronics to assure that the components sizes match correctly.

The What?

Do you know how many federal agencies there are?

Do you have any idea how many “rapid response teams”, special weapons and tactics units, and heavily armed and armored “police” forces there are in this nation?

Neither do I.

Does that scare you a little?  It scares me.

How many of you are aware of the fact that the DHS recently purchased 1.2 billion hollow point rounds?  I have friends and colleagues who have pointed out that their officers need to train with their weapons, and therefore it makes sense that they purchase ammo in bulk.  Really?  I am a gun owner.  I practice with my weapons.  I do not know a single soul that goes target shooting with hollow points.  They are designed to essentially shatter on impact, doing as much damage as possible to a human target.  Paper on the other hand…they kinda punch right through and keep on going.  Besides…they’re more expensive than “range rounds”.

The Dept of Education put out a request for bids to supply them with 20 tactical shotguns.  I know classrooms are getting a little crazy these days, but are we skipping detention altogether and going straight to execution now?  Or are these weapons to be used on parents that do not help with homework assignments?

The EPA recently conducted a “commando style” raid on a camp of gold miners in Alaska.  Their purported purpose was to check for violations of the Clean Water Act.  When last I heard, water samples are taken with vials, not shotguns.

We are creeping ever closer to a totalitarian police state, very much like Soviet Russia.

Much like the Truman show, we are content to live our lives as they are because we are unaware that our freedom is an illusion.

Ohio cop threatens family with taser

Ohio cop threatens family with taser

Witness the family in Ohio, yanked from their car, handcuffed and made to lay face down in the middle of the street, threatened and assaulted by an out of control cop.  Why?  Because they dared to question his actions in ticketing a neighbor.

Read more about this Nutjob Cop Here.

 

As we continue to cede more and more of our liberties to our government in the name of “security”, we endanger the way of life we purport to be protecting.

The people speak out, they vote, they march, they boycott, they picket, they rally…  The government is not listening.

But rest assured, when you call someone, when you email someone, when you surf the web…the government is listening.

On October 1st, if nothing is done to stop it, Obamacare will go in to effect.  Ostensibly, the goal is to provide all Americans with access to affordable healthcare.  Anyone who believes that this will be the reality is fooling themselves.  Once the government has control of your medical records; once the government has panels in place to determine your eligibility for various procedures; the nature of the relationship of the citizen to the government will be forever changed.

The pieces and parts are already in place.  The beast coalescing before our eyes.  Like frogs in a pot of water, we sit unaware that the heat is rising.  The differences between the United States in 2013 and the DDR in 1977 are few, and pertain mainly to the language spoken.

I fear that my children will grow up in an America very different from the one I knew.  Not because of progress or innovation, but because they are not now, and never will be again, free.

Someone let ol’ Abe know.  Government of the people, by the people, for the people…has perished from the Earth.

(BTW, 70 is the answer.  There are 70 federal agencies with armed divisions.  See if you can name 20 of them without using google.)

Growing Up

As I have grown older I have made a conscious effort to learn things I do not know.  More specifically, I have made an effort to understand people I do not know.

I think we have a tendency to assume that the rational, reasonable thoughts inside our heads, are common.  This is why, I believe, we sit around looking at things others have done and saying out loud, “Why in the hell would you do that?”

As we age some of us come to realize that we are simply products of our environment.  We then understand that to begin to understand our neighbors we must understand the environment they come from.

When I worked construction I had the occasion to have a number of frank conversations with a few young black men.  Not being shy, rather than sit around wondering why they did what they did…I asked them.

I asked why, on a 90 degree day, would you be wearing 3 shirts?  One young man said, “Because when the police are looking for a guy in a blue shirt”, and he pulled off his blue shirt, “You’ll be wearing a red shirt.”  I then suggested that perhaps a better answer would be simply to not do things which require you to run from the police.  He replied, “You know Doug, you should be one of those inspirational speakers that talks to high school kids and shit.”

I never really have gotten the whole outlaw lifestyle.  But as I was walking around today a song I haven’t heard in many years came back to me.  I think it represents the first time I became aware that not everyone lives in upper middle class, white, suburbia.  I do not recall the year, but it had to be late 80’s early 90’s.  The song was called, “Both Sides of the Story” by Phil Collins.

“White man turns a corner, steps in to another world.

Ghetto kid grabs his shoulder, throws him up against a wall.

He says, “Would you respect me, if I didn’t have this gun?”

“Cuz without it, I don’t get it, and that’s why I carry one….”

If a song or show, or some story you read somewhere has altered your life or caused you to think differently, I’d love to hear about it.

Commentary On My Own Writing

As someone who enjoys writing and conveying my thoughts to others I am often faced with a dilemma.

I am aware of what I am thinking, of course.  So I am left with the decision to go in to graphic detail, or to leave some things to the reader’s interpretation.

I want to assume that if people are reading what I have written, if they have taken the time to go to a site like WordPress and search for an article, that they are intelligent people that do not need to be spoon fed every thought.  So, to some extent, I feel like too many clarifying statements leaves the appearance that I believe the reader is stupid.  On the other hand, as I am the only person actually in my head (as far as I know) it is possible that I am not clearly communicating what I intend to communicate.  So, clarification may be necessary.  It’s a tough choice.

As emotions are running high in the wake of the Navy Yard shootings, and there is a lot of debate on the subjects of mental health and gun control, I felt like my post for the writing challenge yesterday could use some clarification.

My point in the imagined conversation between myself and Mary was that sometimes, in the heat of the moment, we react without really thinking about things in depth.

Mary, being a black woman in the South, undoubtedly comes from a family where just a couple of generations ago fear of the police was an accepted fact.  It was the police that were beating people down in the streets during the Watts riots.  Police sicked dogs on marchers during the Civil Rights Movement.  And it is still police, to this day, pulling people over for no other reason than what has been called “Driving while black”.

Mary may also be unaware of the fact that there was a group of people in this country who were disavowed of their Constitutional right to bear arms.  Those people were black, and they were slaves.

My greater point was that in seeking security and safety we may cede our ability to protect ourselves to agencies which we were distrustful of not so long ago.  In so doing we may in fact place ourselves in greater jeopardy.

The deaths at the Navy Yard on Monday were tragic.  Newtown, Aurora, Ft. Hood, these were all tragedies.  But in reacting to these tragedies we must be careful that we do not swing the pendulum too far in the opposite direction.

Our government has already shown a penchant for being overbearing, intrusive and heavy-handed.  A quick scan of the news will reveal that police are gunning down black men in the street in N.C.; the EPA is conducting armed raids on gold miners in Alaska; the NSA is reading your emails.  The list goes on and on.

The one thing that has always held government in check is an empowered populace, aware of their rights, prepared to defend them, and armed for that purpose.  In every instance where oppressive, intrusive government has sought to disarm the public, the result has been an oppressed people.

To allow that only the various governmental agencies and their militant branches should have weapons, and then hope that somehow absolute power will not corrupt absolutely, is to invite abuse and eventually the dissolution of our nation as constituted.  This is a demonstrable historical fact, with centuries of precedent.  We Americans are not superior in this regard to the Empires that have appeared and then left the world stage over the centuries of recorded history.

I was simply making the point that if we, in response to the tragic deaths of some of our citizens, allow the nation itself to be turned in to a police state, then we have committed far worse crimes than those people we are horrified by.

Twelve people died at the Navy Yard.  If I recall correctly it was 32 in Colorado.  40 million people died under Stalin.  6 Million under Hitler.  Millions more under Mao, Pol Pot, et al.  In every place where the government is in sole possession of the weapons and power goes unchecked for long, that power corrupts those who hold it and the people suffer.

Patrick Henry said, “Give me liberty or give me death.”  Let us not now change that to “Take my liberty to preserve my life.”

In the end, historically, you wind up with neither.

Writing Challenge

In response to the Weekly Writing Challenge, which this week is to write a dialogue, I present the following.  If you’re interested, you can find the challenge here:  http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2013/09/16/writing-challenge-dialogue/

 

“Oh my God!  Oh My God!”  She keeps saying it.  Over and over again.  Her voice is breaking.  Her hands shake.  She’s scared.  We’re all scared.

“Mary”, I whisper.  “It’s going to be alright. ”

We’re outside the building with a small group of co-workers.  We all ran when we heard the shots ringing out.  A lot of people we know are still inside; the gunman is still inside…

Suddenly, she exclaims, “They gotta do something about these nuts and these guns!!  We can’t live like this!”

We’re in the middle of a tragedy.  The helicopters are circling overhead.  Police are swarming all over the place.  Distant muffled shots ring out from time to time.  But I’ve been, to some degree, desensitized to it all  It seems like crazy people on killing sprees is just something that happens from time to time these days.  Twenty-four hour news coverage of other recent shootings has kinda of numbed me to the events going on around me.  I’m outside.  I’m safe.  I know how this all ends.

But, I am a gun owner.  Mary’s comment rings louder in my ear than perhaps it should have.

“What can ‘they’ do Mary?  We’re in Washington D.C. for Christ sake; you can’t get much stricter gun control than we have here!”  I exclaim.  My tone, too rough.  My nerves are shot and I’m on edge.  We’re all on edge.

Mary and I lock eyes for a second.  I have no idea what she sees in mine.  In hers I see fear, panic, stress.

We’ve just been through an ordeal.  Hell, we’re STILL going through an ordeal.  There are people we came to work with this morning who will not be returning tomorrow.  The Police want to talk to us.  The FBI wants to talk to us.  The Press wants to talk to us.  We just want to go home, hug our loved ones, cry a little and let it all sink in.

“Hello!”, she snaps her fingers in front of my eyes.  I focus in again on her face.  “Did you hear me?”, she asks?  “No.  No, I didn’t.  What did you say?”

“I don’t know what can be done.  Maybe we just need to outlaw guns!  I just know that we cannot have kids being shot up in schools and people being shot on military bases, and other craziness  like this!”, she yells.  “THIS cannot be life in America!  How can we come to work every day, wondering if today will be the day we get killed?”, she asks.  Her tone is getting louder.  She’s gone from fear to anger.

I hold up my hands.  This is not the time or place for a shouting match.

“All I’m saying is, I can’t sit at my house unarmed, waiting for someone to kick down my door to steal my electronics or rape my wife either.”  “We have to be able to protect ourselves!”  “Besides” I say, my tone dropping a bit,  “We have a Second Amendment right to bear arms.”

She starts shaking her head at me.  “I am so sick of Second Amendment this and Second Amendment that!”  “You survival nuts and anti-government types are crazy!  This is what that leads to!” , she screams in my face.

One of the officers starts walking our way.  I guess he heard the commotion.

He’s carrying an M-16.  Essentially the same gun we’ve heard the shooter was using, except the AR-15 the shooter has cannot be put in “auto” mode.

As he gets closer Mary catches my eye looking past her and turns around.

I say just loud enough for her to hear me, “There’s a man with a gun.  How come you’re not scared of him?”  “He’s the police”, she replies.  “I’m not afraid of the police.”

I shake my head.  Mary is a black woman, living in Virginia.

As the officer begins to speak to us I whisper back, “Times sure have changed, haven’t they?”

 

 

 

The Morning After the Navy Yard Shootings

I work in a building just up the road from the Navy Yard.  Also a base.  Also a secured facility.  We can see the Navy Yard from the upper floors of our building.  I watched the helicopters circle for a while yesterday, before returning to work.

We were on lock down yesterday as well.  Though not as long as the Navy Yard was.  Some of them were stuck in their building for 14 hours.

This morning there is a difference in the atmosphere.

There are more armed police at each entrance.  Anyone with a purse, bag or backpack is having their stuff searched.

Some of he cops try to smile, present a friendly face, put people at ease.  Some of them are far more solemn and stern.  Some have an almost accusing look in their eyes.  Theirs is a tough task.  The vast majority of the people coming through the doors are good, solid, decent people.  These are the people those police men and women are here to protect.  But mingled in there somewhere, at least yesterday, was a person that meant harm to the people in the building.  How does one tell which is which?  A car scanned too quickly…a person waived on in a rush… could lead to dead people by the end of the day.

There is a part of me that is glad I do not have that job, though I have gone through some of the training.  And there is part of me, the part that wants to do something meaningful, that wishes I did in fact have that job.

I first applied to be a SPO at NSA in 1988.  I was rejected because, at that time, I had some issues with some of my activities.  Had I been brought on way back then I would likely still be there.  It’s a federal job, you don’t just walk away from one of those (most of the time).  So I can, to some small degree, put myself in the place of the responding officers when the shots rang out yesterday morning.  It literally could have been me, had certain things gone differently.

You have to wonder, or at least I do, how I would have handled it.  Perhaps it’s best I didn’t have to find out.

There is a lot more eye contact this morning.  People are going about their business, and a laugh or two can be heard here and there.  But people are looking at people.  People are scanning the room.  There is a lot more situational awareness.  A lot more realization that anything can happen, at any time, in any place, and so it is best to be aware of what is happening around you.

I have always lived that way.  I have always examined strangers, scanned rooms, made eye contact with passers-by.  So for me it’s just Tuesday.

For those around me it is “The Morning After the Navy Yard Shootings”.