Rubbish from the Philadelphia DA’s office

A little more than a year ago a mob of Philadelphia police beat three men whom they suspected of committing a shooting.  The grand jury investigation of this incident was released yesterday.  The grand jury, of course, found that the police acted appropriately.

Ironic, that.  After all, in the days after the beating, police commissioner Charles Ramsey fired several of the officers.  A cop thought some of his own deserved to be fired, but a grand jury finds that they acted appropriately.  Something is fishy here.  For his part, Ramsey is standing by his original decision, and good for him.  Also interesting is the fact that one of the suspects was hit or stepped on in the head after he was handcuffed.  I guess the “heroes” with the night sticks were still afraid of him.

The Fraternal Disorder of Police, as you might guess, in light of this verdict, is trying to get all the fired officers re-instated and compensated for all their lost pay.  This sinister organization combines the folly of labor unions with the diabolical love of violence.  They are also campaigning against local Judge Craig Washington because at one time or another this year he refused to do the bidding of the Blue Wall of Thugs.

The government schools, have, of course, done their part in all of this in order to make useful idiots for the “justice” system’s juries.  No one is taught to ask any fundamental questions, and people sure as hell don’t know about jury nullification (which would not, admittedly, obtain in this case).

There is another issue here, one which I hesitate to mention:  race.  But in this case, it would seem to be worth mentioning.  What was the racial composition of the grand jury?  What exactly were the racial makeups of the police squad and the suspects on the night of the beating?  Philadelphia has an appalling amount of racial tension—just the other day a city worker filed suit alleging that the bathrooms in his facility are segregated—and I wouldn’t be surprised to find out that it was a factor in this case.  I do think that race can be overstated, but I’m not stupid enough to think that it has no impact whatsoever.

There are signs that various members of the booboisie have hung in their windows and on their cars in this city which say, “I support the Philadelphia Police.”  These poor people don’t realize that the police are not their friends, that they will harass them, too, the first chance they get.  For my part, I support peace and non-violence and cooperation; how then could I possibly support the police?

99% uptime…or not

In the “real virtual world” of Internet-based entrepreneurship, Web hosting companies aim to provide 99.9+ uptime to satisfy their clients, who in turn have customers to satisfy, and so on.

So imagine my sardonic chuckle at seeing this screenshot taken from the “virtual virtual world” of government — namely, the website of the Social Security Administration:

Those in the know will realize how rich this is on multiple levels. I find it funny that apparently the government computers consider Sunday a day of rest, relatively speaking.

Out of curiosity I actually visited the site just now, before “closing hours.” They’ve closed already. No matter; by the time I’m of age to “collect,” this Ponzi scheme and the websites associated with is will cease to exist, whether the powers-that-be like it or not.

On learning to stand up straight

I generally have a tendency to think about things too much, and to be too cautious in my decision making. I have, at times, passed up opportunities because of too much risk, or so I thought. In the area of music, which is my profession, this happens a lot. I shy away from projects with indefinite outcomes.

Today, however, I may have turned a corner. During my late night practice session, something clicked in me, and I caught myself being bold, taking the initiative, in a certain way. We have such a tendency to walk around with “the look of the hunted,” as Richard Weaver said, unsure of ourselves, and asking, “Is this right?” or, “What will others think?” I have been plagued by this kind of stupidity for years.

With boldness, however, comes achievement. I got more work done tonight than I’ve gotten done in days. I was operating with less sleep and later in the day, but there it is. The thought occurred to me that our ability to meet our expectations depends upon the posture we take. If we crouch down like the hunted, we will be eaten alive. If we stand up straight and make bold to do something, we have no boundaries.

The first posture is one of safety, the second is one of liberty. Most people do not want to be free, they want to be safe, said Mencken. But only the free will be able to do anything that’s worth a damn. Sure, if things go badly, one tumbles hard, but it sure beats being a cog in the wheel of the “Mediocracy,” doesn’t it?

All of this would seem to advise us to avoid ordinary people. If we spend our time with the fearful and the unremarkable, we too will be unremarkable. It is far better to fill our contact lists with the names of the extraordinary, for the extraordinary man brings out the good qualities of those around him.

F.A. Hayek once remarked that societies which suffer an onerous government are often less virtuous than freer societies. It’s probably true as well that freer societies have more excellent men in them. Indeed, liberty encourages boldness, and vice versa, and liberty also encourages harmony amongst men. And so, if we are free, we can sing along with the Psalmist, Ecce quam bonum, et quam jucundum habitare fratres in unum!

Learning the lessons of August 15

Today, September 11, is a day of much State-sponsored solemnity in memory of the terrorist attacks that took place here seven years ago. One will read and hear much pious civic claptrap, but undoubtedly there will be little soul-searching as to what might have motivated people to come halfway across the world to kill innocent Americans who had nothing to do with the government policies which inflamed the terrorists.

The only time there seems to be any “reflection” about that azure, late summer day is when Rudy Giuliani and his Republican friends try to score political points with it. Even at this year’s convention, Giuliani pumped up McCain by saying that he “understands the lessons of 9/11.” On the contrary, we have, if anything, repeated many of the same mistakes after 9/11 which goaded the terrorists into their evil deeds in the first place.

Americans generally seem to think that September 11, 2001 was a watershed moment in the history of our country, a new “start” from zero. This view is hopelessly myopic and merely an excuse to engage in flag-waving.

So what did lead up to September 11? One could cite any number of events, from the stationing of Marines in Lebanon, to the time the H.W. Bush administration turned its back on Saddam Hussein, to our stationing of military forces in Islamic holy lands. Surely all of these are factors which aggravated the Muslim world–and we need not condone the actions of terrorists in order to see that one should not take a swing at the hornets’ nest in the first place.

But what made all this possible? Why, profligate government spending, of course! The U.S. can’t run the world without having gobs of money to dump into the military-industrial complex. “Yeah, that’s right, no wonder we have all these high taxes,” you might say. Well, not exactly. When it comes down to it, income taxes are petty theft compared to the way the government really gets its funding, which is by having the Federal Reserve print money out of thin air.

So money does grow on trees? Well, only on government trees and only for the State’s benefit. For the rest of us, this amounts to robbery. Here’s how. Imagine that you have a Mickey Mantle baseball card, one of a kind; there is no other like it. It will, based on its rarity, be worth an incredible sum of money. Let’s say, however, that someday it’s discovered that there are actually 2 million of these Mickey Mantle baseball cards. The value of yours will plummet. It will become a glorified bookmark.

The same is true with the money supply: fewer dollars in circulation means that each dollar will be worth more. When the Federal Reserve prints more dollars to pay for some State-sponsored conquest, the value of each dollar goes down. The net result of this is that your spending power, and your real savings, are greatly compromised. Inflation is not a fact of life, as many believe; rather, it is a result of the depredations of the U.S. government.

This is in fact how the government pays for its foreign policy operations, the very ones which got us mired in the Middle East in the first place, and the very ones which p*ssed off the terrorists. Tax revenue wouldn’t even come close to taking care of this.

Now, for much of the history of government inflation of money, the citizen still had something of a safety net in that he could redeem his dollars at any time in exchange for gold. On August 15, 1971, however, Richard M. Nixon severed this relationship completely. You are now stuck with these worthless pieces of paper. The government can debase the currency as much as it likes, and you are stuck paying the bill while the government goes on its bombing runs.

It seems to me, then, that we need to spend less time listening to Rudy Giuliani and his mob rehearse the supposed “lessons of 9/11” and spend more time pondering the lessons of August 15.

Fred Thompson’s Gratuitous Violence

Last night I sat in stupefied wonder at the grotesquely detailed account which actor Fred Thompson gave of John McCain’s war service.  “Is Fred Thompson going to say anything relevant?” I asked a neocon.  I was ignored, of course.

After telling us all about all of McCain’s tortures and injuries, down to every last scar, Thompson finally admitted that being a POW doesn’t qualify someone to be president.  Thank you.  So why did you ramble on like this?   Thompson said that it illustrates a desirable character in a candidate for office.

Allow me to venture to disagree.  I think the real purpose of this rhetoric is to make Statism look heroic, and it’s aim is to make war-fighting appear to be the highest good that one can perform for his society.  Nevermind providing medical care, or a much needed product on the free market.  No.  Join the Navy,  become a sycophant, and you, too, will become a great American.  It’s also worth pointing out that it would seem as though a POW background is only relevant for a politician who plans to ask today’s healthy young men to eschew happy, productive lives in order to become a shill for the State.

Contrast all this with Dr. Ron Paul, who hosted the Rally for the Republic yesterday in Minneapolis, the event which kicked off the ongoing Campaign for Liberty.  Toward the end of his speech, he lamented the “universal soldier,” those masses of men who allowed themselves to be dragged into foreign lands to fight unnecessary wars.  Paul admits that he too was the universal solider, almost in a way that it sounds as though he wishes he could go back to that time and take a stand against the collectivism known as the draft.

Ron Paul said that what we need in contrast to the universal soldier is the universal champion of liberty.  Count me in.

I’m only thirty years old; I do not think it is beyond the pale for the government to try to conscript me into military service.  In such a case, I will gladly be hauled off to jail instead.

Unless I’ve already moved to Europe or New Zealand.

Land of the free, or home of the slave?

New York’s robotic Mayor Michael Bloomberg is in the news peddling a new government surveillance program which is being introduced in New York City.

Honestly, this is ridiculous. And don’t give me the speech about safety. The Revolutionary War was not won by making people feel safe. In any case, I would rather be dead than a serf in an inflationary police State.