Assault on Freedom

Free to Search and Seize – NYTimes.com

A nice opinion piece to read about the current assault against American rights and liberties with historical context. Something everyone should read and consider whether the United States is on the right path or not.

Advertisements

When Freedom is a Crime

Rochester Woman Arrested After Videotaping Police From Her Own Front Yard

In May, the Rochester Police Department arrested a woman on a charge of obstructing governmental administration after she videotaped several officers’ search of a man’s car. The charge is a criminal misdemeanor.

The only problem? Videotaping a police officer in public view is perfectly legal in New York state — and the woman was in her own front yard.

Welcome to the Fascist States of America. If the police want people to trust them they need to stop acting like the very thugs they are supposed to protecting society from. A person video taping a cop is no threat unless they are planning on doing something illegal themselves. Interestingly, the second person to video tape the first persons arrest is somehow not considered a threat by the same cop. Obviously the police officer is abusing his authority at this point. Worse is knowing the trumped up charges they’re throwing on the woman are obviously a means of intimidation and harassment for doing what is considered perfectly legal in the state of New York (and I suspect in a number of other states as well).

This screams to me that the cop and those protecting him are corrupt. After all, the police are constantly saying people should have nothing to fear from being recorded by the cops. So why is this cop afraid to be held to the same standard?

Thought’s on Company Loyalty

I find it amusing that business complain about that lack of employee loyalty to a company, especially when said company does the following after announcing record profits:

  1. They tell half the staff their hours are being cut back and said cut back staff members can only work four days a week and may not exceed 32 hours a week.
  2. Inform a quarter of their staff they’re terminated in 30 days.
  3. Tell the staff whose hours have been cut that they have to make up the work of those being terminated. (Remember they can only work 32 hours per week now.)
  4. Give managers and execs a quarterly bonus equaling 25% of their total yearly pay.

This is exactly what happened to an associate of mine. I’m not surprised in the least when he told me just left (i.e. quit without telling anyone) and never intends to go back since he had another job offer he had been mulling over. Obviously he took the offer and starts his new job next Monday.

Sorry businesses of America but just because the economy is bad doesn’t mean you get to treat your workers like garbage. Have at least some perfunctory (if insincere) respect and courtesy for your employees by at least not rubbing your outlandish bonuses you are giving to the big wigs in their faces while screwing over the average worker by cutting their time (and as a result their paychecks and/or benefits). The ones who stay in spite of things like this only stay long enough to do one of the following things (if not all) as a result of your arrogance and callousness: a) they stay long enough to get a better job (and depart without notice), b) they’ll look for every way to screw your business over as they feel they are being screwed over, c) will try to destroy your company’s reputation by doing as poor a job as they can without getting outright fired, and d) steal whatever information/clients/knowledge they can to give to your competitor (whether it is legal to do so or not).

Businesses need to remember that loyalty is a two way street. If you have nothing but contempt for your workers who made your profits possible then you should not expect, let alone demand, loyalty or even decent productivity in return from those you treat poorly. There are many American workers who work hard despite less than ideal wages and are plenty loyal to their employers simply because they are treated with respect and consideration. Just some thoughts for the day on why businesses need to shape up before they end up destroying themselves.

Romney, Cain Refuse to Sign Pro-Life Pledge

Mitt Romney Refuses To Sign Pro-Life Pledge

I’m glad both Mitt Romney and Herman Cain have refused to kowtow to the Susan B. Anthony group (so far). The fact that this group arrogantly presumes to be the sole arbiters and dictators to a potential Presidential candidate on how they theoretically would run the United States based on a narrow extremist view based on religious opinion is disgusting and insulting. Americans are tired of the special interest groups (be the leftist wackos or right-wing nuts) trying to impose their dictatorial agendas upon the nation. Americans want less government in their life, less interference in their personal decisions, and certainly less arrogant elitist douche bags’ socio-political agenda forced on the public.

It is the so called pro-life wackos that piss me off the most. I personally oppose abortion, except in the case of rape, incest, and harm to the mother. The extremist pro-lifers all abortion banned even if it costs the life of the mother. Worse these same self righteous ass-hats oppose genuine sex education and pregnancy prevention programs while at the same time undermining adoption efforts of people who wish to adopt (i.e. opposing singles or gays from adoption or racist notions like adoptions only being allowed within a racial group). In combination with other activities these so called social conservative groups are after I can only conclude their ultimate intent is to enslave women to second class citizen status. What else explains a heartless disregard for a portion of the American public and their fellow citizens?

As a libertarian minded individual and strict believer of equality under the law, I encourage Mr. Romney and Mr. Cain to remain steadfast in their refusal to sign regardless of their reasons. To do otherwise would prove they are spineless cowards, incapable of carrying out the primary role of the President of the United States: representing the hopes, desires and aspirations of all the people of this country. If doing so means they don’t get elected in the primary elections then the GOP has nothing to complain about when the lose to Obama in 2012 (which is exactly what will happen if a right wing christian fascist is selected to challenge Obama). The control of the special interests must end!

I think it is safe to say Americans are sick of the extremists destroying the country and the election process because of their hijacking of the political parties. It’s time the Republican Party (and the Democratic Party for that matter) be taken back by the people of the United States from the insane special interest and would be oligarchs that are destroying the country in their efforts to impose their dictatorial agendas.

China: U.S. Waging Internet War

China: U.S. ‘Internet War Being Waged Against Multiple Nations’

The Chinese military accused the U.S. on Friday of launching a global “Internet war” to bring down Arab and other governments, redirecting the spotlight away from allegations of major online attacks on Western targets originating in China.

This is one of those times where you can’t help but be amused by a nation’s hypocrisy, in this case China, over cyber warfare. As is typical of the Communist Chinese MO they conduct espionage, sabotage, or other sorts of aggression, overt and covert, and then try to claim to be a victim of, or champion for, others to deflect attention away from themselves and their own illicit activities. Problem is nobody is going to distracted.

What this is really about is China being pissed off on two fronts: a) the more public revelation of the existence of their Blue Army[1] cyberwarfare unit, and b) the United States Defense Department planning to make (or already has made) a policy in which a cyber attack proven to from a foreign power would be considered an act of war. The former reason angers the Chinese because it puts to lie (once again) China’s public proclamations of peaceful intentions in the world. The latter reason hinders how far the Chinese government can at currently attempt to hack U.S. systems without being blamed for potentially provoking a war (however unlikely that is with the currently weak willed U.S. administration and legislature). The Chinese, for all their posturing about being outside the world’s realpolitik, rely heavily on pretending to be the poor misunderstood reformed communist dictatorship oppressed by the evil West to garner sympathy and deflect attention away from its own imperialistic activities.

Ironically, in China’s latest attempt to deflect any criticism away from itself, it is hurting its image in the Arab world. How? By implying that the Arab people’s desire to get rid of their corrupt governments is not legitimate and is in fact a conspiracy by Western powers (read: United States) to undermine such efforts. That can’t possibly read well on the Arab streets of Egypt, Syria, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Bahrain, and elsewhere where people rose up to legitimately protest corruption and other socio-economic problems and were met with bloodshed and violence. In effect, China is telling the people of the Arab world who support and continue to participate in the so-called Arab Spring that it supports the governments that oppress them. So much for China’s image of benevolence. The Arab world isn’t foolish enough to believe for a moment that China has Arab best interests at heart, something they already know from dealing with the West.

[1] The Blue Army is a designation not only of the cyber warfare unit in the Chinese military but of a special forces branch. Presumably the cyber warfare unit is part of this greater Blue Army unit China claims only exists during training.

Food Pyramid Replaced by Plate

6 New Healthy-Eating Rules (Without the Food Pyramid) – Diet and Nutrition Center – EverydayHealth.com

After nearly two decades, it’s time to say goodbye to the food pyramid. The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) unveiled a new symbol — a plate, left — that replaces the widely recognized (and often criticized) icon that’s been advising American consumers on what to eat since 1992.

Whatever. Everyone I know stopped following the USDA gulde lines a long time ago after the food pyramid came about and they ended up gaining weight when they followed it. What I find amusing about the “plate” is it is more reminiscent of the four food groups model I was taught in grade school.

There are still things I find annoying though:

  1. The USDA still erroneously using the 2,000 calorie baseline for caloric intake. 2,000 calories is no longer appropriate for the overwhelming majority of Americans who live a sedentary lifestyle. 1,500 calories is more appropriate to many now, especially those who exercise little or not at all.
  2. The ‘whole fat’ is bad for you idea. Guess what, fat is what tells your body you are satiated. Using low fat or chemicals to interfere with fat intake simply screw up your body’s ability to identify when it is satiated or not. I know many people who couldn’t lose a lick of weight eating low fat and diet foods. The instance they took my suggestion of replacing processed food with whole food (including whole fat products like milk and butter) combined with portion and caloric controlled diet they lost the weight they wanted without any trouble. It’s all about moderation and discipline.
  3. Everyone should eat seafood. So people who are allergic will just have to die, huh? What about the fact that humanity has tainted some of the best seafood with mercury and other chemicals? Okay, if seafood were such a required staple for humanity than why did the human race populate other areas of the planet without fish? As for the heart attack reduction argument: if you’re taking care of your self in the first place, you most likely don’t need to worry about a heart attack anyway.
  4. The USDA still calls the tomato a vegetable. Point of fact, the tomato is a fruit. I don’t care if in culinary they call it a vegetable or not. If they can’t something as basic as that correct then they can hardly expect anyone to take their “expertise” seriously.