Obamaha Beach

From the halls of Montezuma, to the cesspool of DC…

The Marines who took Iwo Jima were not about to be turned away by a bunch of silly barricades and the asshats who tried to keep them out.

Just when you thought Shutdown Theater couldn’t get any more absurd, President Dronekiller decides that he has the authority to shut down open-air monuments, close off public highways, blockade the open seas, and eject property owners from their homes. Which he’d have if we were say, fighting off an invading enemy. Which this ain’t. This is about intentionally disrupting the lives of private citizens to the maximum extent possible just to show who’s boss. It’s also a pointed lesson in the kind of thuggish behavior that erupts among individuals who harbor those tendencies when their Dear Leader signals his tacit approval.

I am so incandescently pissed off right now I can barely put words to it, and am only mildly shocked at how quickly this situation has morphed from absurdity to menace. So yeah, it’s time to show who’s boss: we are.

Fighting fascism, then and now.

Flying Blind

More on the unconstitutional harassment of private pilots from the Toledo Blade:

The Aircraft Owners’ and Pilots’ Association, which represents small-plane owners and operators across the United States, said it has received dozens of complaints from members “subjected to random searches” by Customs and Border Protection, local police, or both.

“None of the stops resulted in anything being found,” said Steve Hedges, a spokesman for the owners and pilots association.

“In most cases, the pilots were stopped and held while their planes were searched. … I’m told one pilot was asleep in a motel room with his wife when agents kicked the door down and took them back out to the airport to search his plane, only to find nothing there.”

So yeah, it’s pretty clear this cat’s out of the bag; DEA/CPB/TSA/WTF are targeting pretty much anybody flying small aircraft between pot-legal and –illegal states, assuming they’re up to no good. Sorry, but Joe Cessna on an IFR flight plan who happens to stop in Colorado for avgas is not the same as somebody skimming the Gulf of Mexico (i.e. masking radar) in a clapped-out Beech 18 and landing on some grass strip in Florida. We can usually guess what that guy is up to.

I keep repeating it, because they just keep doing it: our government has come off the rails and is operating way beyond its constitutional authority. This has to stop before civil disobedience (and unrest) becomes the only recourse we have.

Figures this crap would start reaching a boil right about the time I find a cheap way to fly:

Back in the Saddle, Sep. 2013

UPDATE: Aircraft Owners & Pilots Association (AOPA) is not taking this quietly. Though given this Administration’s history with FOIA requests, we probably won’t see much without legal action. Fortunately that’s not something AOPA’s shy about.

The Wages of Fighting City Hall

Remember Buckyballs? They were all the rage until a year or so ago. If you’re wondering what happened to them, read on…though if you have high blood pressure you’re guaranteed to blow an artery over this one:

On July 10, 2012, the Consumer Product Safety Commission instructed Maxfield & Oberton to file a “corrective-action plan” within two weeks or face an administrative suit related to Buckyballs’ alleged safety defects. Around the same time—and before Maxfield & Oberton had a chance to tell its side of the story—the commission sent letters to some of Maxfield & Oberton’s retail partners, including Brookstone, warning of the “severity of the risk of injury and death possibly posed by” Buckyballs and requesting them to “voluntarily stop selling” the product.

It was an underhanded move, as Maxfield & Oberton and its lawyers saw it. “Very, very quickly those 5,000 retailers became zero,” says Mr. Zucker.

“Underhanded” is putting it mildly, although it wasn’t long before they went straight to “vindictive”:

Nonetheless, the commission pressed ahead with its war on Buckyballs. Most infuriating was the commission’s argument that a total recall was justified because Buckyballs have “low utility to consumers” and “are not necessary to consumers.”

And exactly who the hell is authorized to make such a determination? Since when did we hand ourselves over to a Central Economic Politburo? Oh, right…around about 2008:

Maxfield & Oberton resolved to take to the public square. On July 27, just two days after the commission filed suit, the company launched a publicity campaign to rally customers and spotlight the commission’s nanny-state excesses. The campaign’s tagline? “Save Our Balls.”

Online ads pointed out how, under the commission’s reasoning, everything from coconuts (“tasty fruit or deadly sky ballistic?”) to stairways (“are they really worth the risk?”) to hot dogs (“delicious but deadly”) could be banned. Commission staff were challenged to debate Mr. Zucker, and consumers were invited to call Commissioner Inez Tenenbaum’s “psychic hotline” to find out how it was that “the vote to sue our company was presented to the Commissioners on July 23rd, a day before our Corrective Action Plan was to be submitted.”

Running this man’s company out of business wasn’t good enough: despite years of legal precedent to the contrary, Zucker is now being personally sued by Your Benevolent Government. It’s pretty clear this guy has been targeted.

How does this happen in a free society? Maybe because we’re not as free as we think.

At best, this is the kind of invasive nanny-state nonsense that’s been all the rage in Europe for years. At worst, it’s another sign of our descent into Banana-Republicanism. Neither option has ended well. You can’t just upend the system of laws that undergird your society without eventual catastrophe. What investor in their right mind would commit their time and money to anything in a capricious system, knowing it can suddenly turn against him for no good reason (which is more likely if he hasn’t made the right friends)? From Argentina to Zimbabwe, every country that’s gone down this path has ended up in squalor.

When entire agencies of unaccountable paper-hangers start making things personal, then before too long the citizenry is left to decide between two bad choices: obey or revolt. Given our history, my money’s on the torches and pitchforks though Uncle Sugar’s doing everything possible to tamp down those leanings.

One burning question I have that wasn’t answered in this piece: what is Mr. Zucker’s political affiliation? Because that seems to be a thing with this crowd.

 

“Ameritopia”

I may have to finally pick up a copy of Levin’s book, though it looks like we’re already there:

The National Security Agency is currently collecting the telephone records of millions of US customers of Verizon, one of America’s largest telecoms providers, under a top secret court order issued in April.

The order, a copy of which has been obtained by the Guardian, requires Verizon on an “ongoing, daily basis” to give the NSA information on all telephone calls in its systems, both within the US and between the US and other countries.

The document shows for the first time that under the Obama administration the communication records of millions of US citizens are being collected indiscriminately and in bulk – regardless of whether they are suspected of any wrongdoing.

To be clear, collecting “metadata” of numbers, cell tower locations, etc. isn’t quite the same thing as listening in on every single conversation. But that doesn’t mean this shouldn’t give you the creeps, particularly if you’re a Verizon customer (as we are). And don’t worry, I’m sure there are similar orders out there for AT&T so their customers don’t feel left out.

There could be a perfectly legitimate reason for this, but I doubt it. Given all of the current revelations, it would be foolish to presume good will on the part of the guv’mint. Let’s run down what we’ve learned just in the past few weeks:

– The IRS ‘fessed up to targeting conservative and libertarian groups for harassment. Said harassment included demands for information that no reasonable person could be expected to provide, all under the penalty of perjury.

– In the meantime, liberal groups sailed through the same process. In the case of “Organizing for America”, tax-exempt status was granted retroactively.

– Pro-life groups were asked to detail the content of their prayers and activities conducted during prayer meetings, and required to sign affidavits that they would not exercise their rights to free speech by demonstrating at Planned Parenthood facilities.

– The EPA is showing similar favoritism by gumming up the works (which is what they do best) for companies, organizations, and individuals who don’t suit their politics. That is, they’re targeting groups that don’t bow before the altar of Anthropogenic Global Warming.

– EPA’s actions included disclosing private information on private citizens (specifically, farmers) to environmental extremist groups.

– The IRS performed a similar service by disclosing information on prominent (and not-so-prominent) conservative donors. This information, including their tax returns, went to “progessive” interest groups. I doubt their intent was to invite them over for a few drinks and a game of cards.

This actually explains a lot. I had volunteered twice last year to be a poll-watcher for True the Vote, but never heard back from them. Now I know why – the group’s founder was too busy digging out from under a mountain of paperwork while her husband was fighting off the EPA, OSHA, and ATF…who, for some reason, had suddenly taken an interest in their business. Coincidence, I’m sure.

And don’t forget my last post. Taken together, it’s clear that the mechanisms of our government have been turned against us. All that stuff the Left fantasized about Bush doing? Obama’s actually doing it.

I had no problem at all with wiretaps of phone calls between the US and foreign countries when a suspected terrorist was on either end of the line. That’s because I don’t think we should treat potential WMD attacks as criminal matters. It’s war, and should be conducted as such. That means we get to spy on the bad guys and not tell them about it.

But this is different…it’s hard to ignore the fact that things are coming to a boil. Plan accordingly.

The Amerikan Way

If you’ve never read Jonah Goldberg’s Liberal Fascism, you should consider doing so. Its controversy-inspiring title was itself inspired by an unlikely source. Remarking on the likelihood of tyranny coming to America, George Carlin said, “it will not be in brown and black shirts. It will not be with jackboots. It will be Nike sneakers and smiley shirts. Smiley-smiley.”

True, dat.

Lest you think I’m trying on tin-foil hats again, consider the case of Buckyballs, which is an adult desk toy made of magnetic balls. And while you’re at it, quit laughing at the juxtaposition of “adult”, “toys”, and “balls” in the same sentence. I’m trying to be serious here. Really. Quit it. Continue reading “The Amerikan Way”