Politics 2012 – Democracy
In 1996 House Democrats also won the popular vote but remained in the minority
(Washington Post) Preliminary vote totals indicate that nationwide, more people voted for Democrats than for Republicans, although the GOP won a clear majority of seats in the House of Representatives.
Nathan: This article (which gets kudos for interviewing Richard Winger of Free Ballot Access) seems to bear monitoring, as the gist of the argument seems to be that the seats each party has in the House of Representatives should be based on the total number of votes, not on the votes in individual districts. That is very much akin to a nasty little idea called proportional voting, in which people cast votes for PARTIES and not necessarily for individual candidates, and then the parties decide (usually but not always in advance) who gets to actually sit in the chamber. To me, that is even more evil than most democratic institutions, and therefore no doubt just what the mainstream media and other Tranzis want.
Welfare state – Politics 2012
Ohio to take hit on federal food aid
(ToledoBlade.com) The average food-stamp recipient receives $138 per person, per month, according to state statistics. As of August, more than 1.7 million individual Ohioans, or about 869,000 families, received the assistance. A total of $3 billion in benefits was issued in 2011 in Ohio; the program is federally funded… Because of the way the federal government calculates utility expenses for people receiving the benefit, a mild winter nationwide last year, and a lower price for natural gas, many families could experience a significant cut in aid.
Nathan: They want to cut the average person’s food aid by $50/month, or down to $78 per person/month. It is hard to feel sympathy for them. Obviously, this is what Ohio voted for, right?
Mama’s Note: They’d likely have a lot fewer problems if they actually bought real food, but that’s not likely to happen either. I do quite well on less $ than that per month for food alone – and I could continue to do well on considerably less if I worked at it harder and gave up little things like my coffee. And yes… seems to me that if the shoe fits… they’d best wear it. Sadly, they’ll likely be first in line to steal and kill when the subsidies stop coming, the grocery stores are empty and nobody there knows where their next meal is coming from – or if they’ll ever have another at all.
Home Front – Tyranny
DHS using social media to track threats
(www.govtech.com) Do you feel like you’re getting a cold? Want to tweet about it? The Department of Homeland Security hopes you do:
“Social media will soon be used as an early detection tool for biological attacks. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) hired Accenture to conduct a one-year, $3 million test that will attempt to spot public health trends using the data available in open social networks, company officials announced Nov. 8. Such a program would serve to help solve problems like the 2001 anthrax letters, 2003 SARS outbreak, 2009 bird flu pandemic and 2011 nuclear emergency in Japan.”
Nathan: So, tweeting may be bad for your health – at least your liberty/political health.
No sacrifices without hope
(Project Syndicate) If the EU had greater legitimacy, Europeans would agree more readily to the efforts that are asked of them, because they could then expect to see these sacrifices rewarded.
Nathan: What sacrifices are NEEDED for the EU to demand of Europeans? They face no SIGNIFICANT internal nor external threat except the EU government (and maybe their own national governments). Why should they sacrifice ANYthing for the bureaucrats of Brussels and the black robes of Strassbourg? Face it, as international or multinational or even national organizations go, the EU has almost NO “legitimacy.” No one died or shed blood or killed for its founding and existence, it was not established to defend against any threat, it was not a union of people of like faith, ancestry or philosophy. It claims to exist for many reasons but in reality has no purpose, no reason TO exist. And any “rewards” it can offer must first be stolen from someone else.
The Russians invade the Adriatic coast
(De Volkskrant) They come for the sea, sun, for peace and quiet … and business opportunities. Taking advantage of old historical and cultural ties, more and more Russians are settling the former Yugoslav republic and EU member candidate Montenegro.
Nathan: Ah, yes, invasion by tourist. For a Western European power of the 20th and 21st Century, this is no big thing: the massive 40-year-old invasion of British tourists in Spain and Portugal and Greece translates to no political power or influence whatsoever. But Russians? A different matter entirely. Russian colonization of the old republics of the USSR lingers today, as it does in the old Soviet satellites. The former Yugoslavia avoided much of that, but now, in a “more-free” era, the Russian ambition is again obvious. One of the long-frustrated visions of history has been to unify the North Slavs (Russians of various sorts) with the South Slavs (all the Balkan Slavic states). Is this now a new way of accomplishing that, and giving Russia the warm-water port to the world it tried to get through Byzantine measures for so long?
Woman pulls gun on flasher: ‘I’m going to blow your brains out’
(NBC News) A flasher allegedly got more than he bargained for when he approached a woman at a lake in Washington state this week: a Ruger .380 pointing back at him. “I put the magazine in my gun. I cocked it,” the woman told The Daily News online. “I said, ‘You need to leave or I’ll shoot you. I’m going to blow your brains out.’”
Mama’s Note: I’m glad she had a gun… but she was not really “armed” since she was carrying it unloaded. She’s fortunate that he didn’t attack her. It doesn’t sound as if he was a real threat… just a nasty nuisance. I don’t really see any justification for her to draw a gun… But I wasn’t there and he may have seemed more threatening than this report indicates, of course. I would have thought the dog would be enough deterrent, actually.
Nathan: Some people consider flashers to be just guys working up the “nerve” to go ahead and rape, or that at least some are that way. And dogs aren’t much of a fear factor anymore, for whatever reason. Maybe too many breeds have had the aggression and loyalty bred out of them, or something like that. Of course, a flasher is usually of low intelligence and less willpower, so he may just have been too stupid to take the dog into account.
Debby: In Washington State? I am surprised she is not getting arrested.
Mama’s Note: Welcome to our discussion, Debbie! I hope you’ll be a frequent contributor.
Nathan: Never fear, there are a lot of excuses for getting arrested or just abused by the cops, as the next several stories point out.
Minneapolis Police Arrest Man for Photographing Arrest
(Photography Is Not a Crime ) When Paul Leason spotted a group of Minneapolis police officers making an arrest, he pulled out his camera and began taking photos from a public sidewalk. One of the officers spotted him and ordered him to keep walking. Leason, 23, a member of Cop Block, knew his rights and asserted them, which as we all know, is the quickest way to land in jail. One officer told him to “get the f*** out of here.” Leason responded by saying “f*** the police.” Next thing he knew, he was surrounded by three cops who kept calling him “faggot.”
Nathan: Well, he did goof by talking back to the cops the same way they did talk to him. M’polis Police have a bad rep with AmerInd and other minorities, you know, like people who believe in liberty and responsibility.
K9’s coming to a neighborhood near you!
(video) K9’s are the biggest scam ever used by police to circumvent the 4th amendment. The pirates are now in “training” on how to use dogs as a cover to randomly invade houses and enter their property without a lawful warrant.
Nathan: This is a constant effort by police to find a way around supposedly-ironclad constitutional guarantees of basic human rights. Of course, the judges seem to have very little problems with such antics. I fear the best way to get cops to start obeying the law is to shoot them down as they are doing to more and more people.
Mama’s Note: Not that we advocate the initiation of aggression in any way. People do need to start defending themselves and their neighbors, which is not the same thing.
Stupid government – Home front
FEMA orders residents to stop giving out supplies after Hurricane Sandy
(Shelter Island Reporter) Televised and published pictures plus personal appeals of Hurricane Sandy victims in New York and New Jersey touched the hearts of Shelter Islanders who generously filled truckloads of clothing and other goods bound for Island Park and Long Beach last week. But the word from the Federal Emergency Management Agency now is “stop.” […]
Nathan: This is another example of cop tyranny: the FEMA are backed up by NYPD? The agencies fear that they are losing control and that they won’t get the credit they “deserve.”
Debby: Just go ahead and arrest me: humanitarian aid trumps government regulations.
Ohio Photojournalism Student Arrested for Photographing Ambulance Scene
(Photography Is Not a Crime ) As they were carrying out a victim from a house on Halloween night, paramedics in Ohio spotted a man across the street taking photos, so they started ordering him to put that camera away. But Nicolas Tanner, a 28-year-old photojournalism graduate student at Ohio University, knew the law, so he asserted his rights. That prompted paramedics to threaten to call police. And that prompted Tanner to dare them to call police, thinking police would arrive and correct the paramedics on the law. Big mistake. At least four officers arrived on horseback and surrounded Tanner, shoving Tanner around with their horses and pinning him in between them, acknowledging that he had the right to take photos but that they were merely exercising their right to block his shot. Tanner moved away from the cops and into a crowd of bystanders with the cops on horseback following, still trying to get in the way of his shot. Finally, one of them hopped off his horse and chased him down, arresting him on charges of obstruction of official business and resisting arrest.
Nathan: What can I add? Abusing (and risking serious injury to) a civilian is par for the course in Ohio and many other places. And for what? Is it now a violation of HIPAA to take a photo of public servants aiding a private citizen? And we all know about bogus charges.
And lastly: Free Speech
Thousands Jailed in UK for On-line Rants; Coming to US?
(Godfather Politics) In the UK, hundreds of people are jailed every year for things they’ve said online, particularly on social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter. In fact, over 1,200 mostly young people were convicted last year, up from 873 in 2009. They’re arrested, questioned, convicted, and jailed for posting electronic messages that are “grossly offensive or of an indecent, obscene or menacing character.”
Most of these people are being charged under the 2003 Electronic Communications Act, which was merely an updated version of a 1930’s bill enacted to protect telephone operators from harassment. But even if these teens were posting things that were offensive, that is not the same thing as someone being harassed or threatened by another. Those who voice their opinions on social networking sites are doing just that…voicing their opinions. Their statements aren’t meant to threaten any particular person. They’re meant to be seen by their “friend” audience. It would be different if someone was actually being harassed and threatened directly by someone else’s electronic messages. But that’s not what we’re talking about here. If you are truly offended by something someone said, unfriend that person, and you won’t have to look at his account statuses anymore.
Many of these people were reported to police, which prompted the investigations. So instead of ignoring “offensive” posts, people would call the police. All it takes is one call from a disgruntled viewer, and that’s all it takes to land you [in] jail.
In one such case, someone posted a picture of a burning poppy on Remembrance Day (similar to our Veterans Day) and was jailed as a result. A New York Fox affiliate reports:
“…on Sunday — Remembrance Day — a 19-year-old man was arrested in southern England after police received a complaint about a photo on Facebook showing the burning of a paper poppy. He was held for 24 hours before being released on bail and could face charges.”
Poppies are traditionally worn in England and other countries on Remembrance Day, commemorating soldiers who lost their lives in the field of duty. I can imagine how offensive this would be to many, but should it land someone in jail for posting a picture of one online? I can think of far more offensive online images that are still permissible in the UK. They only care about the posts that are critical of their government or military.
We are headed in the same direction here in the States. People have already been arrested and detained for things they’ve said on Facebook and Twitter and even on radio talk shows. However, nothing was done about all those murderous rants against Romney on Twitter. Politicians talk a great deal about preventing terrorism and protecting people from internet child pornography. But it’s clear all they really want to do is silence their opposition…and keep the child porn only for themselves.
Nathan: The above is both news and commentary, but I have to add my own thoughts: The Tranzi nature is obvious: feeling are hurt and people must be made to pay for hurting people’s feelings. The abuse of a “do-gooder” law like the one protecting poor, sweet, innocent, little telephone operators in 1930 shows that we cannot allow ANY government interference with free speech.
Stupid government tricks
Petraeus’ Mistress Was Named ‘National Security Insider’ by National Journal as a Grad Student
Which puts her in the position of groupie, apparently. This entire thing gets more and more Romanesque and smells more and more like the Third Reich. Funny, it seems like she would be the one getting busted for bothering a “public servant.” Too bad for Petraeus his uniform wasn’t blue or black instead of camo, and that he only had stars and not a badge.