Saturday, December 18, 2004

quote of the day (test)

William Sherman

William "Tecumseh" Sherman should be well known to all Civil War history buffs. Moreover he should be well known to all Americans for his quotations. He was a clever wordsmith yet always said exactly what he felt. I'm going to use this blog to highlight some of his words.

I make up my opinions from facts and reasoning, and not to suit any body but myself. If people don't like my opinions, it makes little difference as I don't solicit their opinions or votes.

If I had my choice I would kill every reporter in the world, but I am sure we would be getting reports from Hell before breakfast. (My personal favorite here.)

If nominated, I will not run; if elected, I will not serve.

It is only those who have neither fired a shot nor heard the shrieks and groans of the wounded who cry aloud for blood, more vengeance, more desolation. War is hell.

The carping and bickering of political factions in the nation's capital reminds me of two pelicans quarreling over a dead fish. (Even then it seems.)

Wednesday, December 15, 2004

Something very apropos

"What I would like to do is use the time that is coming now to talk about some things that have come in mind. We're ini such a hurry most of the time we never get much chance to talk. The result is a kind of endless day-to-day shallowness, a monotony that leaves a person wondering years later where all the time went and sorry that it's all gone. Now that we do have some time, and know it, I would like to use the time to talk in some depth about things that seem important...

...Perhaps because of these changes the stream of national consciousness moves faster now, and is broader, but seems to run less deep. The old channels cannot contain it and in its search for new ones there seems to be growing havoc and destruction along its banks...."

-Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance by Robert Pirsig 1974

How's that for a pertinent observation? In 1974 our modern era was moving quite a bit faster than it had been. In fact in 1974 our modern era was beginning to move and since then it has increased it's speed in a geometric fashion. In 1974 our communication was limited to telephone, mailed letters, books, and of course conversation. We had time for sunday drives, walks through the park. Children didn't have play-dates. You didn't send an "E-mail card" for someone's birthday. People didn't have "Instant Message" friends, computer databases, the world wide web, or PDA's. There weren't CD's, MP3s, MPGs.

Thank you Robert Pirsig.

Friday, December 10, 2004

An interesting development...

An interesting development in the process of freedom has been made known to me. As I suspected the price of "freedom" is beginning to grow. A newly passed bill will allow the "nationalization" of ID cards. Think this is good? Wrong. It will divert countless resources towards the tracking of supposedly "free" Americans. Thank you Mr. Bush! I hear that next year we begin building walls that seperate us from Mexico and Canada. Report immediately following.

Congressman Ron Paul Denounces New National ID BillThe U.S. House and Senate have passed a sweeping new intelligence bill that contains provisions for a de facto national ID card. Congress passed the bill despite having only a few hours to read the 3,000-plus pages final version.During the House debate, libertarian U.S. Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas) rose to the floor to denounce the bill, particularly the national ID provisions.“National ID cards are not proper in a free society,” Paul declared. “This is America, not Soviet Russia. The federal government should never be allowed to demand papers from American citizens, and it certainly has no constitutional authority to do so.“A national identification card, in whatever form it may take, will allow the federal government to inappropriately monitor the movements and transactions of every American,” Paul continued. “History shows that governments inevitably use such power in harmful ways. The 9-11 commission, whose recommendations underlie this bill, has called for *internal* screening points where identification will be demanded. Domestic travel restrictions are the hallmark of authoritarian states, not free nations. It is just a matter of time until those who refuse to carry the new licenses will be denied the ability to drive or board an airplane.“Nationalizing standards for drivers licenses and birth certificates, and linking them together via a national database, creates a national ID system pure and simple. Proponents of the national ID understand that the public remains wary of the scheme, so they attempt to claim they’re merely creating new standards for existing state IDs. Nonsense! This legislation imposes federal standards in a federal bill, and it creates a federalized ID regardless of whether the ID itself is still stamped with the name of your state.“Those who are willing to allow the government to establish a Soviet-style internal passport system because they think it will make us safer are terribly mistaken,” Paul concluded. “Subjecting every citizen to surveillance and screening points actually will make us less safe, not in the least because it will divert resources away from tracking and apprehending terrorists and deploy them against innocent Americans! Every conservative who believes in constitutional restraints on government should reject the authoritarian national ID card and the nonsensical intelligence bill itself.”Unfortunately, Republicans and Democrats alike failed to heed Paul’s warning. The bill was passed by the House 336-75 with 67 of the dissenters Republicans defying strong pressure from President Bush. The bill then passed the Senate 89-2. It could be signed by the president by week's end.Interestingly, just one day before the U.S. House vote, the British government also announced plans to introduce biometric national ID card starting in 2008. According to Prime Minister Tony Blair: "With terrorism, illegal immigration and organized crime operating with so much greater sophistication, identity cards in my judgment are long overdue."Opponents say the battle against a national ID, and the fast-growing national security state that supports such tyranny, will continue.