Plundering & Ravishing   16 comments

He has plundered our seas, ravaged our Coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.
King George had declared war on the Americans. British troops had burned several American towns, considering Americans to be in open rebellion against their lawful rulers. For the Americans, their “lawful rulers” were the very colonial legislatures and town meetings that were declared closed by British decrees and were under attack by British troops.

No, as far as I know, President Obama is not burning our towns. Do we want for it to get that far?

Just in the last year, there have been several instances of federal troops conducting “training exercises” in American towns and cities — Houston, Miami, Port Angeles WA, and others. The exercises included Apache helicopters flying low over houses with machine gunners clearly visible, storming an abandoned school, firing dummy ammunition which sounded like real gun fire. These seemed very real to the residents of these communities, who were given no warning that these exercises would occur. In some cases, their own city governments were unaware of the “planned” exercise.

How safe do you feel now?

Remember Boston after the Marathon bombing? People forced from their homes by gun-toting police, made to run down the street with their hands over their heads?

How safe do you feel now?
image

Except that it is clearly a clean American street in the photo to the right, doesn’t it look chillingly like Baghdad or Cairo?

How safe do you feel now?

WAKE THE HECK UP, AMERICA!  Teddy Roosevelt (we haven’t talked about him yet, but we need to) and Woodrow Wilson set modern American tyranny in motion and just about every president since then has contributed to the encroachment of the federal state on our liberties. George Bush certainly set the table for the loss of liberty we’re seeing now, but Barack Obama put troops on the streets. He’s not burning our towns … yet … but increasingly it looks like it’s only a matter of time.

How safe do you feel now?

16 responses to “Plundering & Ravishing

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  1. I hear you, but I’m not sure it’s quite that bad. Though I wasn’t not in Boston, I would not say that the actions of law enforcement after the marathon made me feel any less safe. It is not like privacy was threatened with the goal of compromising the rights of Americans. They were not cataloging possessions or collecting data on citizens (not that there isn’t plenty of that going on elsewhere). They were not even chasing an American. If a fugitive was discovered in an airport or a train station, the same type of protocol would be expected and not seem out of the ordinary.

    I agree that having guys with big guns in the street is something we should be trying to avoid, but in this particular case what would have been a better solution? I’m not sure I would feel safer if the alleged criminal was never found at all.

    I’m more disturbed about the government collecting data from internet & social media companies–data that is easily stored, easily organized, and taken without announcement. At least I can see guys walking down the street. That makes me question my safety.

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    • It’s all a trend, T. The fact is that warrantless searches were completely illegal, considered unconstitutional, not so long in the future. And, with all due respect, we don’t know what they were cataloging in people’s homes. These days, soldier cams make it remarkably easy to catalog whatever the cop saw. The fact is that people with no involvement in the case had guns pointed at them.

      Yes, the surveillance is worse, but I’ll submit that activities like that are possible connected to the surveillance. Here in Alaska, we had a forest fire this summer (no surprise there!). The new incident command team is not Alaskan based. They’re out of Oregon. They went through the threatened neighborhood and told people that an evacuation watch was in force and they must leave their homes or be arrested when the order came down. Some homeowners objected and called our state representative, who called the State Troopers who called the incident command team. After an afternoon of wrangling they finally recognized that American citizens have a right to remain in their homes even at risk of their own lives and that Alaskans KNOW this.

      During the evacuation, some homeowners stayed — the fire never got that close — and some of them are saying they saw “fire fighters” going into their neighbors homes. Why? The forest fire was miles away and not inside people’s homes.

      I don’t know and that’s sort of the point.

      BTW, if you stick with me, I’m not saying it’s time to take up arms against our government. I think there are intermediate steps that can be taken before it gets to that point.

      Will they work?

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      • The fire incident does sound pretty strange…

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      • Federal agents going into homes in Alaska? Now what could they be looking for?

        A lot of people in Alaska grow pot. It’s been legal here for 40 years. That’s one thought. I’m sure the official answer is that it never happened or that they were merely making sure no one was laying on the floor in a coma or something. I think it probably happens more than we realize, just like there are bots scanning WP posts to assure we’re all good little subjects and if we’re not ….

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      • So you’re saying you expect a visit soon? Something like checking for gas leaks or pandemic mice infestations?

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      • I think the goal of federal officials is to have eyes on all of our private lives under the guise of protecting us from foreign invaders. When they can’t get us to agree to that to protect us from terrorism, they’ll come up with some sort of health and safety concern. There’s moves afoot through Agenda 21 and “liveable cities” programs to inspect older homes, with or without homeowner permission. I’ve got a friend doing energy efficient improvements on homes and the reports he has to fill out are quite detailed about what’s in people’s homes. If the NSA surveillance programs weren’t public knowledge, you could laugh it off as just intrusive questions, but I believe that it’s all being compiled somewhere in a data base for later use.

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      • I’d be interested to know what kinds of questions your friend was encountering. I am certainly opposed to house inspections without the permission of homeowners, but I am in favor of a transition to more sustainable homes (including upgrades to existing homes).

        I’m trying to imagine what kind of data they could be asking about, but I will say that knowing what kinds of appliances, HVAC system and plumbing fixtures the nation has is actually very valuable information in terms of trying to create a baseline of where we are and where our efforts (and dollars) should be focused on improvement. I also think it’s pretty tame. If the government was asking about what kind of movies I watch, books I read or publications I subscribe to, I’d agree that’s nonsense. On the other hand, I don’t really care if some/any agency knows that I chose a Kohler toilet over a Toto, or an Energy Star GE dishwasher over a KitchenAid.

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      • T, here’s the problem with that. It’s the same sort of attitude my 20-year-old daughter’s friends have toward the NSA tracking our electronic media. They don’t see it as a problem. It’s just phone calls and Facebook posts. For now, maybe it is just that, but the very fact that they’re doing it and getting us used to that level of invasion of our privacy speaks to a future where they can invade our privacy more and argue that it’s no bigger deal to take advantage of the new technology that tracks our movements inside our homes (which exists right now and is available on some new video game consoles) than it was back when they were tracking our phone calls. No harm done and there are advantages. If you fall in your kitchen at midnight, help will come whether you can call them or not. If you do something the government doesn’t like, arresting police officers can be dispatched immediately.

        It sounds harmless until you realize that when the government — or anyone else outside your family — has information compiled somewhere, it can and probably will be used against you. Today they want to know what brand of toilet you own — tomorrow they want to dictate that you own a certain brand of toilet. Big deal? If government can order you to use certain products in your home against your will, is that not dictatorship?

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      • I think the NSA surveillance and home equipment components are different animals, though admittedly they have similarities.

        For me, the difference is that, at times, I think we do have to establish baselines as a society. It helps promote innovation and contributes to us being a country of technological excellence. I think we have a series of standards for a reason. CAFE standards for cars, energy standards for furnaces, hot water heaters, air conditioners and boilers. These standards create energy use minimums, which effectively do remove older examples of technology from the realm of choice for consumers. Yes, you cannot buy literally any hot water heater that someone could make for you, but I don’t see that as a problem. I do not feel like my freedom is constricted because car companies need to sell me cars that achieve a minimum gas mileage (admittedly easy for me to say because I don’t own a car).

        But I think we need that. Moreover, in my opinion we should encourage that. I think part of the reason we progress is because of that. Part of the reason that living is cheaper is because we set standards to help decrease overall energy use (which we need to do for a series of other reasons anyway). Is our resulting choice of HVAC systems 100% free? No. It’s a gray area and while everyone in America being required to own one toilet could be seen as tyranny, being able to choose from one of 500 that comply with a maximum flush rate is fairly indicative of the free market in my opinion.

        It’s a gray area, but in this case, I think the benefits outweigh the risks. I still see internet surveillance as a different thing along the lines of recording personal exchanges.

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      • T, let me give you an example of where we differ. First, those energy standards generally drive up the cost of whatever devices run on energy, but I like clean air, so I’m okay with those standards … if they are driven by consumer choice and technological innovation. When they are driven by government edicts, they become destructive of liberty.

        An example — here in Alaska, discontinuous permafrost and cold winters make large block engines with heavy frames the vehicle of choice. The most recent CAFE standards will make those impossible to get in a new model. You might say “No big!” but that’s because you’ve never tried to start a four-banger at minus-50 degrees and had the head gaskets blow. You’ve probably also never driven an Alaska highway with frost-heaves launching your car into space. You’ve probably never had a moose step out in front of you. So, not only will we be paying an average of $7,000 more per vehicle to achieve the newest CAFE standards, but our cars will not last as long because the roads will continue to fall apart and the weather will continue to freeze the plastic parts inside our cars. And, when we hit a moose (which almost every Alaska does if they live here long enough) we won’t just mourn the destruction of our car, we’ll likely mourn the death of our passengers.

        But that doesn’t matter to the folks who set “societal” standards. Alaskans are supposed to buck up, put up, and shut up. The benefits, as defined by someone who doesn’t live here, outweigh the costs as defined by someone who does.

        Another example – CFL lightbulbs. Great idea, except if you live somewhere that’s cold and then you quickly find that they don’t work outside. No fluorescents work in the cold. No problem — I’ll buy incandescent for my porch and garage — except they’re becoming unavailable because someone decided that they didn’t meet “societal” standards. If I have a problem with that, well, I can buy LEDs at 5 times the price — except the LED fixtures rarely make it through the first hard cold of winter here. I’m not talking the LED bulbs — I’m talking the fixtures themselves, so now I’m replacing fixtures at 20 times the price … or just learning to navigate my front steps in the dark.

        Wouldn’t it have been a lot easier and more “fair” to have allowed the market to make these decisions? Offer me all three and I’ll buy the ones that work for me. Offer cars that are safe and will last as well as cars that are cheap and fuel efficient. Some people will stand the extra cost of the vehicle they have to replace more often for the fuel savings and some people will choose longevity and the ability to survive a moose hit. That’s liberty.

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      • Aurora, clearly Alaskans enjoy (?) a unique set of environmental conditions compared to the rest of the continental United States. On one hand, it sounds like choosing to live in Alaska makes a number of things more expensive. I would imagine just about everything needs to be imported and most of it isn’t from anything nearby. It seems like some of that comes with the territory.

        My understanding was that organizations like the NHSTA and the EPA were estimating increased costs of CAFE compliant vehicles to be $2,000-3,000, a cost that should be countered by $8,000 in fuel savings for light duty vehicles and perhaps just equated in light trucks. If the savings in fuel cost offset the increased value of the automobile then I’m not sure it’s such a bad beat. I’m sure there are a series of different estimates out there and we won’t actually know until we get there.

        When it comes to bulbs, I hear you about the cold and CFLs, but the fact is that there are more than those three options for Alaskans and all other Americans as well. Incandescent bulbs are being phased out, but one of their replacements is also halogen counterparts, which only cost maybe twice the price of a standard incandescent, last longer, use less energy and are available at every hardware store (at least the ones around here). They even look like incandescent bulbs.

        *In regards to LEDs, yes they are more expensive but the energy savings of the bulb far outweighs the increased cost–a cost that has, is and will continue to drop.

        It’s all a moot point anyway because if arctic temperatures keep rising then those winters are probably going to get easier to handle–for most Alaskans anyway. I was just reading an article about the Inuit village of Kivalina, that will likely be underwater in a decade.

        http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine/23346370

        Some would argue that the decision of Americans to burn more gas and light with more power is going to help bring the tide over innocent peoples’ homes. Being washed out of your home because of the choices that the rest of the country is making seems lacking in liberty or are they just unlucky for living in Alaska?

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      • Thank you, T, for stumbling into Kivalina! I love it when the misinformed make that mistake.

        Kivalina was built on a barrier island to originally uh-service the British whaling fleets. It’s not a traditional village. It had been a summer fish camp prior and some people just started staying there year round because of the money that could be made off the whalers. It’s essentially a sand dune that rises out of the water more than some others. That shaky ground didn’t matter when it was a seasonal encampment because the “village” which migrated west from the mainland every summer, just moved down the beach whenever the waves washed something away. Then the BIA came in around the 1960s and built houses and a school as a “permanent” settlement. Lots of non-Native Alaskans at the time suggested this was a DUMB idea because of the location, but it was done anyway, with the usual arrogance of the federal government in Alaska.

        The elevation of Kivalina has not lowered at all. The sea level of Kivalina has not changed in 20 years since the records have been kept. There are no more storms than there were in past generations. Norton Sound has plenty of storms; they’re just no worse than they used to be. It is simply that a sand spit is a stupid place to build a village. The smarter place to build it would have been at the traditional winter village site, which is approximately where the elders of Kivalina suggest re-siting now. Of course, it will cost millions and millions of dollars to do, not the least of which will be paying these villagers for the loss of their “traditional” village that they moved to 50 years ago because the BIA was building houses there.

        I know people from Kivalina. The younger ones all buy the whole “the ocean is rising” narrative, but the elders will tell you — well, they’ll tell adopted Natives like myself — that it was always a dumb idea to build a town on a sand spit. The federal government should move the village, since the federal government built it, but they should be honest about why they’re doing it instead of using it for propaganda.

        It’s interesting that the Vikkings of Greenland farmed the southern coast about a 1000 years ago during a similar warming period, then they all starved to death when the cycle turned cold again. Was that caused by SUVs, do you think?

        Instead of trying to stop global warming, which is more likely being caused by a solar warming cycle than human activity, we should be spending money adapting to it because if it’s a natural phenomenon, we can’t stop it anyway. Personally, not going to complain if Alaska warms up, since the last three winters have been the coldest in 30 years and winter was a whole month late ending this year — though I must admit that the summer has been lovely.

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    • Oh, and one last point — the younger brother, the one they were chasing that day — is an American citizen. No, he wasn’t born here, but naturalization affords him the same constitutional protections as it does you and I. As the granddaughter of an immigrant, I think that’s one of the things that makes America great. Not every country in the world allows immigrants citizenship to that extent.

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  2. Pingback: I AM THE MOST INFLUENTIAL BLOGGER? — UPDATED TO INCLUDE ALL SEVEN NOMINEES | Citizen Tom

  3. Gets scarier by the day.

    Dropping by to let you know that I nominated you for the Most Influential Blogger Award.
    http://citizentom.com/2013/07/27/i-am-the-most-influential-blogger/

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