Odd Citizen

Odd Citizen
An Odd Citizen’s Search For Vanishing Freedoms

Quran Target Practice in Perspective

May 23rd, 2008

Disrespect for another’s beliefs is impolite. A high level apology for the impolite behavior of a soldier is not justifed, expecially when it is prompted by the insane religious neuroses of a bunch of fanatics. Granting high level attention to these screaming mimis is beneith the dignity of our government and military officials. It would have been well enough for the soldier in question to say publicly, “Hey guys, I shouldn’t have done that. Or at least I should have burned the damn book afterward. Sorry.” FIN.

Muhammad’s Mad Mobs

February 16th, 2008

Even though it is not reported widely there is muslim rioting in Denmark again this week. It has lasted for over a week. The news reports, such as they are, go out of their way to blame the rioting on “Danish youths.” What a crock! These are North African muslims stirred up by the cartoon depictions of their beloved prophet Muhammad. I urge you to visit The Face of Muhammad to see the cartoons for yourself. Most of the U.S. newspapers haven’t had the balls to publish these cartoons at all, so you may have wondered what all the fuss was about. Now you know.

Reading From Right to Left

February 3rd, 2008

Has anyone else noticed that the press has switched from left-right to right-left? No, not politically, but syntactically. In the past one would write, “The mumbly has increased from 25% to 50%.” Now I’m jarred when this is written “The mumbly has increased to 50% from 25%.” Hunh, what does that mean? Stop and re-read that. Graphs normally start with the early date on the left working to the right, we read from left to right, why the change in the order of “from x to y” to “to y from x”? I’d really like to know how this came about. Was it a decree by some arbiter of journalistic English? Was it Arabic influence? Was it the work of the Brussels EU Bureaucracy?

And while I’m at it, how about another journalistic switcheroo. Since when has the left’s color been blue and the right’s color been red? I’ve always thought of the left as the “red” party and the right as the “true blue” party. What happened here?

There must be forces at work that I’m unaware of. A grand conspiracy perhaps? I hope not.

Taking a Decision to Have a Problem With Issues

January 31st, 2008

There are a couple of fairly recent changes in the language usage that trouble me. It’s not that I’m a grammar nit-picker, but that language telegraphs attitude. It’s the attitude I find troubling, not the strictness of grammar or corruption of word meanings, per se.

First is the substitution of “issue” for “problem.” When my internet service breaks down they announce that there is an “issue” with the server. Now, while I understand what they are saying, the server is kaput and that is the problem, I wonder why it is described as an “issue”? On further reflection, we see “problem” used in the form of: “Do you have a problem with that?” No, I don’t have a problem, my ISP has a problem. The “issue” is whether the problem will be solved and by whom? So now I realize that, by calling the problem an “issue” this absolves anyone from admitting that it has to be fixed. Issues are subjects of discussion. Problems are situations that must be resolved. By asking if “you have a problem with that?” the responsibility of the problem is deflected to the person who perceives the problem, not the one responsible for fixing it.

The second change I’ve observed is the transition from “make a decision” to “take a decision.” The latter has been the British habit for some time, but why has it caught on in U.S. popular (maybe journalistic) usage? Let’s look at the difference. If you “make” a decision, you take responsibility for it, after all, you’ve made it. If you “take” a decision, someone else has made it, you are just adopting it — hence no responsibility.

We have only issues and we take decisions. How convenient. And how politically correct. Nobody is offended, nobody is responsible. Bureaucracy reins supreme.

As for me, I’ll define and fix problems and make my own decisions.

Tyranny’s Tools

January 14th, 2008

The jack-boots are clicking on the cobblestones, and congress is providing them with tools.

“Your paper’s please! I said, present your ID papers!!!” BAM! “Must have been a filthy terrorist. Have to remember to clean my pistol tonight. Damn, I wish he didn’t splatter so much.”

The “Real ID” act has passed the senate. What are these people thinking? The Real ID act presumes that the federal government somehow has the right to license every citizen. Chips in the ear are too expensive, so they’ve decided to pervert the driver’s license just like they’ve perverted the Social Security number. Quoting an article in c/Net News:

“If the act’s mandates take effect in May 2008, as expected, Americans will be required to obtain federally approved ID cards with “machine readable technology” that abides by Department of Homeland Security specifications. Anyone without such an ID card will be effectively prohibited from traveling by air or Amtrak, opening a bank account, or entering federal buildings.”

So if we can’t travel, open a bank account or enter federal buildings without government issued ID, what can we do? Pretty much requires government approval to live, doesn’t it? So what will the free market do? It will do what it always does, provide alternatives such as counterfeit ID’s, black markets, etc. Which will result in more government oppression, until if we still have any courage left the whole thing will blow up. As it should.

This is really ugly. Some states are resisting the move on the grounds of compliance costs. All should resist on the basis of constitutional freedoms — in the spirit of “The government shall make no law ….” This all came from the Department of Homeland Insanity, but Congress is fully to blame.

And if you think this isn’t serious, look at what the new labour government of Australia has decided to impose, national censorship of the internet, China style. I wonder when that wonderful idea will trickle into the Washington crowd’s agenda? They’ll need to add censorship to finish the job started with the Real ID! Just revoke the ID and that will really shut you up, won’t it?

Violent Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism Prevention Act

December 1st, 2007

It’s getting closer and closer, the jackboots are clicking on the cobblestones. The U.S. Senate is now entertaining SB1959 which provides a government agency to examine the speech and conduct of Americans to see if we are engaging in “violent,” “radical” activities or about to commit Terrorist Acts. Gee, I think we should have a commission to examine the conduct of congress in this regard. A committe to investigate “Violent Defacement and Homegrown Terrorism Against the U.S. Constitution.” Now wouldn’t that do some good?

The really terrifying aspect of this is that this monster (HR1955 – see below) passed the House of Representatives with only 4 dissenting (voice) votes — the reps were afraid to have their votes recorded. What will the senators do? I doubt one in 25 of them has even read this bill. You should read it. (Thomas – Search for SB1959) It will give you cramps after you puke!

Department of Homeland Insanity

November 5th, 2007

My thanks to my friend George Elliott for bringing this to my attention. Refer to
Thomas — Search for Bill Number HR 1955

A new Thought Police Bureaucracy

“Violent Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism Prevention Act of 2007 (Engrossed as Agreed to or Passed by House)[H.R.1955.EH]” introduced by Rep. Jane Harmon (D) of California, creates a new bureaucracy dedicated to figuring out who among us American citizens is a terrorist or potential terrorist — ignoring, of course, any Islamic connections to terrorism. If you don’t believe this, read the bill and the comments by Rep. Sheila Jackson-Lee (D) of Texas (senior Member of the Committee on Homeland Security and Chair of the Subcommittee on Transportation Security and Infrastructure), who says, commenting on the bill (see Congressional Record):

“Many years of civil rights jurisprudence and law have been ignored and thrown out the window when the racial profiling, harassment, and discrimination of Muslim and Arab Americans is permitted to occur with impunity. These practices show a reckless and utter disregard for the fundamental values on which our country is founded: namely, due process, the presumption of innocence, nondiscrimination, individualized rather than group suspicion, and equitable application of the law. We cannot allow xenophobia, prejudice, and bigotry to prevail, and eviscerate the Constitution we are bound to protect.
The securing of our homeland and protection of our national security is on the forefront of my agenda. However, using 9/11 as an impetus to engage in racial profiling, harassment, and discrimination of Muslim and Arab Americans is not only deplorable, it undermines our civil liberties and impedes our success in the global war on terror. We must fight our war on terror without compromising our freedoms and liberties.”

This is insanity – squared! Ignore the Islamic fundamentalist hate-mongers and study the American public to seek out subversive, terrorist influences and ideas. Maybe more on this later.

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