Best-Selling Authors Cause of Budget Crisis!

At least, that’s what President Obama thinks/wants us to think. No, really, I’m not making this up:

http://www.realclearpolitics.com/video/2011/07/11/obama_warns_best-selling_authors_youre_not_off_the_hook.html

“We weren’t balancing the budget off of middle-class families and working-class families. And we weren’t letting hedge fund managers or authors of best-selling books off the hook. That is a reasonable proposition.”

You gotta be kidding me. What fantasy world is this guy living in? Actually, I know the answer: the same one I was when I first got the bright idea of wanting to be a writer. Most authors, even the best-selling ones, make roughly the equivalent of minimum wage off of each book they write. The millionaires like Clancy and J. K. Rowling are the very rare exception to the rule. And how’s this for hypocracy: Obama is also a NYT Best Selling Author. I wonder if he paid his fair share, of if he’s part of the problem too? [/sarcasm]

IMO, this proves it: Obama’s lost it. He’s taken a swan dive off the high dive into the very deep end of the pool.

For a real best-selling author’s opinion on the matter: check out this post by NYT Best Selling Author Larry Correia. It’s very entertaining and an excellent read, but then again, Larry’s stuff always is. That’s why he’s an NYT Best Selling Author after all.

Ding, Dong, Bin Laden’s Dead!

I’m sure you’ve already seen it all over the news, Facebook, the Blogosphere, etc., but I just have to say it.

Osama bin Laden is dead.

I’m not sure exactly where, when, or how he was killed. Most consistent report I’ve heard is that he was killed by some sort of special-forces or paramilitary team in a mansion outside of Islamabad, Pakistan. Personally, I don’t care where, when or how. All that matters to me is that he’s dead and gone. No more innocent people are going to die because of him, and for that, I celebrate this day.

I’m not the only one. CNN showed a crowd of I’d estimate upwards of 500 people outside the White House singing The Star Spangled Banner and God Bless America when the news finally broke. Images like that restore my faith in this country. We may disagree on politics, sometimes to the point of violence, but deep down, we are all still Americans.

However, not everyone feels as I do (and most of you probably do to) about this. A lot of my FB Friends are already chiming in that killing is wrong no matter what and who are we to rejoice in bin Laden’s death and we had no right to kill him, etc. ad-nauseum. Now, I disagree with those opinions (no duh), but I’m not going to debate them here. Not in a forum where they can’t defend themselves, and I’ll ask my readers to do the same.

That said, I hope the f***er’s just discovered that his 72 virgins are all wearing bacon bikinis, and that they only serve Pulled Pork in Hell.

“For The Greater Good.”

Check out this news story from Tampa.

“No Refusal” DUI Checkpoints Could Be Coming to Tampa

Tampa, Florida– With New Year’s Eve only days away, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration expects this to be one of the deadliest weeks of the year on the roads.

But now a new weapon is being used in the fight against drunk driving.

It’s a change that could make you more likely to be convicted.

“I think it’s a great deterrent for people,” said Linda Unfried, from Mother’s Against Drunk Driving in Hillsborough County.

Florida is among several states now holding what are called “no refusal” checkpoints.

It means if you refuse a breath test during a traffic stop, a judge is on site, and issues a warrant that allows police to perform a mandatory blood test.

It’s already being done in several counties, and now Unfried is working to bring it to the Tampa Bay area.

“I think you’ll see the difference because people will not drink and drive. I truly believe that,” she said.

Not everyone is on board, though.

DUI defense attorney Kevin Hayslett sees the mandatory blood test as a violation of constitutional rights.

“It’s a slippery slope and it’s got to stop somewhere,” Hayslett explained, “what other misdemeanor offense do we have in the United States where the government can forcefully put a needle into your arm?”

The federal government says Florida has among the highest rates of breathalyzer refusal.

“Now you’ve got attorneys telling their clients, don’t blow, don’t blow! Because we know from the results from these machines that they’re not operating as the state or the government says they’re supposed to operate,” said Stephen Daniels, a DUI consultant and expert witness.

Supporters, though, say you could see the “no refusal” checkpoints in the Bay area by October.

“We don’t want to violate people’s civil rights. That’s the last thing we want to do, but we’re here to save lives,” Unfried said.

She adds that this type of checkpoint would be heavily advertised, with the goal of deterring any drunk driving.

U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood has recently said he wants to see more states hold similar programs.

Related:

Gallery: Mug shot round up – see the most interesting mugshots we’ve ever seen right here!

More Mug Shots: Weird Florida arrest stories and the bizarre mug shots that go with them
Adam Freeman

If you skimmed the article, here’s the gist of it: Tampa’s planning on setting up DUI checkpoints, and if you refuse to submit to a Breathalyzer test, there will be a judge right there at the roadblock to issue a warrant for the police to draw your blood right then and there.

This, to me, is a frightening scenario. Make no mistake, I think that drunk driving is a blight on society and that far too many innocent people are hurt, maimed or killed by drunk drivers, and that people who drive while intoxicated need to be removed from the road. However, the method that Tampa, and several other municipalities as it turns out, frightens me for two reasons.

The first reason I’m scared is because of the legal precedent that such action sets. Let us for a moment, examine the Fourth Amendment to the US Constitution:

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

According to the Constitution, the police cannot search one’s person or property without a warrant, and said warrant must be based on probable cause. Probable cause is defined by Ballentine’s Law Dictionary as “a reasonable amount of suspicion, supported by circumstances sufficiently strong to justify a prudent and cautious person’s belief that certain facts are probably true.” For a drunk-driving stop or checkpoint, probable cause would be that the subject is driving erratically, or has slurred speech, or fails a (voluntary) sobriety test. In over 200 years of case law, refusing to consent to a search has never before qualified as probable cause. Yet should a driver refuse to participate in the Breathalyzer test, a judge will – immediately, mind you – issue a warrant allowing the police to draw blood, thereby searching the driver’s person, simply because the driver refused to consent to the test.

Not only does this action flagrantly violate the 4th Amendment, it also allows simply refusing to consent to a voluntary search to become probable cause for the police to obtain a search warrant. And not only will it give the police probable cause for a warrant, but the police will no longer have to wait for a judge to issue them a warrant: the judge can be right there and give the police their warrant right away.

Think about this for a moment. You’re sitting down to dinner with your family when there comes a knock at the door. It’s the police. They tell you their investigating a crime, and ask if they can search your house for evidence. You politely decline after they inform you that said search would involve them virtually ransacking your home and close the door. A moment later, the police knock on the door again. They have a warrant to search the premises, based on the fact that you refused to voluntarily consent to their initial search request. They then proceed to virtually ransack your home, traumatizing your family and possibly damaging some of your possessions.

Am I the only one who thinks this sounds Orwellian?

This brings me to the second reason this story frightens me. Check out the quotation from Linda Unfried near the end of the story. “We don’t want to violate people’s civil rights. That’s the last thing we want to do, but we’re here to save lives.” Unfried and her supporters want you to surrender your civil rights in order to save lives, possibly your own. In other words, you need to surrender your rights for your own protection, for the greater good.

This scares me. A lot. In fact, the whole idea of doing something “for the greater good” bothers me. It bothers me a great deal, actually because, in my opinion, far too much harm has been done to innocent people in the name of some supposed “greater good.”

Take, for example, the internment of Japanese Americans during World War II. Over 110,000 people were forcibly removed from their homes and relocated to hastilly erected prison camps that were equipped with neither electricity nor running water and forced to live there for over four years. Many had their property – their homes and businesses, their very livelihoods – either stolen or auctioned off by the government. Hundreds of thousands of lives were ruined, yet not one of these people had committed any crime. They were detained in conditions that even then would be described as unsanitary and inhuman, and their property was stripped from them, for “the greater good.”

Take also, for another example, the recent “Enhanced Screening Measures” being performed by the TSA at our nation’s airports. If you want to fly on an airplane today, you must either pass through a new type of X-ray machine that doctors warn could cause severe radiation damage or else be forced to submit to a “pat-down” that equates to sexual molestation, even though security experts around the world point out that such methods will not be successful in preventing another terrorist attack. Refuse to submit, or even attempt to leave the screening area, and you are immediately arrested, charged with obstruction, and fined $10,000. We are being forced to lay aside our rights, our dignity, and possibly even our health, all in the name of a supposed “greater good.”

I could go on for pages. There are hundreds, perhaps thousands of other examples throughout history of injustices or atrocities that were perpetuated in the name of “the greater good,” from the forced, warrant-less confiscation on firearms in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina, which allowed looters and other criminals to run roughshod over law-abiding citizens without fear of resistance, to the Holocaust, slavery and the Jim Crow laws. I kid you not: look up the reasons people used to justify those.  Untold numbers of lives have been destroyed, even lost, “for the greater good.”

Admittedly, no-refusal DUI checkpoints in Tampa might not seem like that big of a deal, but it not only presents a disturbing legal precedent, but rehashes an equally disturbing justification: “For the Greater Good.” Maybe it’s just me, but every time a policy is implemented “for the greater good,” it seems like far more people are harmed by it than are helped. Unfortunately, to me, this new policy and the precedent it sets looks like it may clear the path oppression and hardship… all in the name of “the greater good.”

You may now officially refer to me as New York Times Bestselling Author Larry Friggin’ Correia (via Monster Hunter Nation)

Can’t believe I forgot to post this!

Larry Correia’s newest book, Monster Hunter Vendetta, came out just about 2 weeks ago, and it’s already on the NYT Best Sellers list!!! Congrats, Larry!

Full review from me will be forthcoming…

Looks like I can now make it official:   http://www.nytimes.com/2010/10/17/books/bestseller/bestpapermassfiction.html?ref=books Monster Hunter Vendetta was number 27 on the New York Times Bestseller list. This is awesome. This is actually a really big deal in the publishing business. I didn’t think I’d hit the NYT anytime soon. It is really hard to make it on there, especially in fantasy. And usually you need to have written several books before … Read More

via Monster Hunter Nation

FBI Goes After Wikipedia… Over It’s Seal?

http://edition.cnn.com/2010/TECH/web/08/03/fbi.seal.wikipedia/index.html?eref=mrss_igoogle_cnn#fbid=V89JO6jNgvY

FBI to Wikipedia: Remove our seal

By John D. Sutter, CNN

(CNN) — The U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation has threatened Wikipedia with legal action if the online encyclopedia doesn’t remove the FBI’s seal from its site.

The seal is featured in an encyclopedia entry about the FBI.

Wikipedia isn’t backing down, however. The online encyclopedia — which is run by a nonprofit group and is edited by the public — sent a chiding letter to the FBI, explaining why, in its view, the FBI is off its legal rocker.

“In short, then, we are compelled as a matter of law and principle to deny your demand for removal of the FBI Seal from Wikipedia and Wikimedia Commons,” the Wikimedia Foundation’s general counsel, Mike Godwin, wrote in a letter to the FBI, which was posted online by the New York Times.

“We are in contact with outside counsel in this matter, and we are prepared to argue our view in court.”

The whimsically written letter from Wikipedia says the FBI’s reading of relevant law is both “idiosyncratic” and “more importantly, incorrect.” It also notes that the FBI’s seal appears on other websites, including in an online entry from Encyclopedia Britannica.

In a letter dated July 22, and also posted online by the Times, the FBI told Wikipedia it must remove the bureau’s seal because the FBI had not approved use of the image.

“The FBI has not authorized use of the FBI seal on Wikipedia,” the letter says. “The inclusion of a high quality graphic of the FBI seal on Wikipedia is particularly problematic, because it facilitates both deliberate and unwitting” copying and reprinting of the seal’s image.

The FBI’s deputy general counsel, David Larson, cities a particular law that says duplicating an official “insignia” is illegal without permission.

But Wikipedia strikes back on that point, saying the FBI redacted the most important part of that U.S. code, which defines an insignia as “any badge, identification card, or other insignia.”

“Badges and identification cards are physical manifestations that may be used by a possessor to invoke the authority of the federal government. An encyclopedia article is not,” Wikipedia’s letter says. “The use of the image on Wikipedia is not for the purpose of deception or falsely to represent anyone as an agent of the federal government.”

The Wikipedia letter also adds:

“Even if it could be proved that someone, somewhere, found a way to use a Wikipedia article illustration to facilitate a fraudulent representation, that would not render the illustration itself unlawful under the statute.”

It’s unclear if this tussle — which has already made its way into a Wikipedia entry on the FBI’s seal — will be taken to court. For now, the tech press is weighing in, often with amazement.

On the blog BoingBoing, Rob Beschizza writes that this is a no-win situation for the FBI.

“The part that’s hard to understand is why the FBI would seek to abuse the law in such petulant fashion,” he writes, “knowing that it will be subject to public ridicule for its actions.”

The magazine Vanity Fair posted the FBI’s seal on its website in a symbol of jest. And, as the blog Geekosystem says, an editor on the site aggregator Reddit jokes that maybe the FBI got Wikipedia confused with WikiLeaks — the site that’s been causing a stir lately over leaked war documents.

Cindy Cohn, from the Electronic Frontier Foundation, told the New York Times, which first reported this story, that she found the whole ordeal to be “silly” and “troubling.”

What the frell? No, seriously, what the frell? We’ve got drug cartels operating with impunity on US soil and putting contracts out on public officials, two Senators being investigated on “ethics violations” (i.e. corruption), and foreign nationals conducting law-enforcement operations on US soil against US citizens, and this is what the FBI decides to devote its resources to? Are you fraking kidding me?!?!?

Not only is this a gross misappropriation of resources (not to mention taxpayers’ dollars), but it’s completely pointless! Wikipedia’s in the right here; the Feds don’t have a leg to stand on. The law only applies to individuals or organizations who attempt to impersonate the FBI… and somehow I don’t think Wikipedia’s gonna be knocking on doors and interrogating people any time soon.

Whatever moron in Washington decided that this was even worth more than a laughing-and-pointing episode should be smacked upside the head and then fired from the Agency, preferably immediately if not sooner.

*sigh* Your tax dollars at work, people.

Mexican Army Operating with Impunity… ON U.S. SOIL!!!

In a nutshell, the Mexican military routinely enters into the United States, often in support of drug traffickers, has fired on US citizens, killed and wounded several US LEOs, and the Federal Government is doing nothing about it. Washington is fully aware of the situation yet refuses to act.

This is unacceptable.

100 years ago, when a Mexican bandit crossed the border and attacked US citizens, we sent nearly 5,000 soldiers into Mexico after him. Now? We try and make nice with Mexico so we can prove to the world we’re not “evil” anymore. And, of course, to secure the Latino voting block.

I dunno about you guys, but the Tree of Liberty’s looking kind of dry. I think it needs to be watered…

Uh Oh…

http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,594882,00.html

Campbell Soup Co. is recalling 15 million pounds of SpaghettiOs with meatballs after a cooker malfunctioned at one of the company’s plants in Texas and left the meat undercooked.

The Agriculture Department announced the recall late Thursday. Campbell spokesman Anthony Sanzio said the company is recalling certain lots of the product manufactured since December 2008 “out of an abundance of caution” because officials don’t know exactly when the cooker at the Paris, Texas, plant malfunctioned. Officials believe it happened recently but aren’t sure, he said.

The meatballs that went through the cooker did not get the requisite amount of heat, according to the company.

Recalled are certain lots of three varieties of the pasta product often consumed by children: SpaghettiOs with Meatballs, SpaghettiOs A to Z with Meatballs, and SpaghettiOs Fun Shapes with Meatballs (Cars).

The USDA said there are no reports of illnesses associated with the product and Sanzio said the company has received no customer complaints to date.

The recalled products have “EST 4K,” as well as a use-by date between June 2010 and December 2011 printed on the bottom of the can. The products were manufactured between December 2008 and June 2010 and distributed to retail establishments nationwide.

Sanzio said the company believes there are about 35,000 cases of SpaghettiOs subject to the recall on the market right now. He said USDA announced the recall of 15 million pounds because that is all of the product that has been manufactured since December 2008. Much of it has likely been consumed.

Consumers with questions about the recall can call Campbell’s Hotline at (866) 495-3774.

… I’m not gonna say it …. I’m not gonna say it … I’m not gonna say it … I’m not gonna say it …

YEEEEAAAAARRRGH! I CAN’T HELP MYSELF!!!!!!

Uh Oh! Spaghettios!

I think Wyatt is starting to have a bad influence on me…

US Land Off-Limits Part II

http://www.foxnews.com/us/2010/06/17/portion-arizona-wildlife-refuge-closed-safety-concerns/

Four years after federal officials quietly surrendered thousands of acres of America’s border to Mexican drug gangs and illegals, there still are “no plans to reopen” the taxpayer-owned national park lands.

Roughly 3,500 acres of taxpayer-funded government land in Arizona have been closed to U.S. citizens since 2006 due to safety concerns fueled by drug and human smuggling along the Mexican border, according to a statement posted on the website for the Buenos Aires National Wildlife Refuge.

The section of land — about 3 percent of the 118,000-acre refuge — has been closed since Oct. 6, 2006, when “there was a marked increase in violence along the border due to human and drug trafficking,” according to the statement released Wednesday by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

The closed area extends north from the international border for roughly three-quarters of a mile; a notice of the area’s closure has been posted on the refuge’s website since 2006. The remainder of the refuge remains open to the public for recreational activities.

“At this time there are no plans to reopen this southernmost 3/4-mile portion of the Refuge,” the statement continued. “However, since 2006 the Refuge has experienced a significant decline in violent activity in the area thanks to ongoing cooperation between the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and U.S. Customs and Border Protection.”

In a statement to FoxNews.com on Thursday, the director of law enforcement for the Bureau of Land Management said the agency takes visitor and employee safety very seriously.

“We have posted these signs to inform visitors to this part of Southern Arizona of the ongoing public safety issues in this area,” William Woody said in a statement. “We are committed to working with everyone engaged with public land management to ensure that all visitors and users have a safe experience on our public lands.”

Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu told Fox News on Wednesday that violence against law enforcement officers and U.S. citizens has increased in the past four months, further underscoring the need to keep the area off-limits to Americans.

“It’s literally out of control,” Babeu said. “We stood with Senator McCain and literally demanded support for 3,000 soldiers to be deployed to Arizona to get this under control and finally secure our border with Mexico.”

U.S. Fish and Wildlife officials have warned visitors in the area to beware of heavily armed drug smugglers and human traffickers. In a statement posted at the time of the closure, Mitch Ellis, manager of the Buenos Aires National Wildlife Refuge, said conditions in the zone reached a point where public use of the area was not prudent.

“The [refuge] has been adversely affected by border-related activities,” Ellis’ statement read. “The international border with Mexico has also become increasingly violent. Assaults on law enforcement officers and violence against migrants have escalated. Violence on the Refuge associated with smugglers and border bandits has been well-documented.”

Security is also a top concern in other parcels of public land in Arizona.

Dennis Godfrey, a spokesman for the Bureau of Land Management’s Arizona office, said roughly a dozen signs were posted earlier this month along the Sonoran Desert National Monument advising that travel in the area is not recommended due to “active drug and human” smuggling.

“It is a corridor for smugglers of all types,” Godfrey said on Thursday.

The monument, which contains more than 487,000 acres of desert landscape, is roughly 35 miles southwest of Phoenix. Bureau of Land Management officials are encouraging travelers to use public lands north of Interstate 8, which runs from San Diego to Casa Grande, Ariz.

“Visitors may encounter armed criminals and smuggling vehicles travelling at a high rate of speed,” the signs read. “Stay away from trash, clothing, backpacks and abandoned vehicles.”

So not only has this area been de-facto surrendered to the cartels, but it turns out that said area was surrendered almost four years ago, and the government has no intentions of reclaiming it! Instead of securing our borders, which is their job, our politicians are too busy trying to bankrupt a private corporation as punishment for an industrial accident!

And here’s the money quote: the government is calling the situation a “public safety issue.” What a joke. This situation is way beyond public safety: this situation is a direct threat to the national security of the United States of America. We have armed foreign criminals violating our borders with impunity, killing and kidnapping American citizens at will. And our government has turned a blind eye to the situation, writing it off as a “public safety issue.” That is, when they’re not blaming its own citizens for causing the problem (see Obama’s an Calderone’s accusations that gun nuts like me are supplying the cartels with arms.)

When is Washington going to finally realize just how serious the situation in the Southwest is? What is it going to take? How many more people are going to have to be murdered by cartel enforcers? How much more land is going to be written off?

How many more Americans are going to have to die?

US Territory Closed Off… To American Citizens!!!!

http://www.foxnews.com/us/2010/06/16/closes-park-land-mexico-border-americans/

About 3,500 acres of southern Arizona have been closed off to U.S. citizens due to increased violence at the U.S.-Mexico border, according to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

The closed off area includes part of the Buenos Aires National Wildlife Refuge that stretches along the U.S.-Mexico border.

Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu told Fox News that violence against law enforcement officers and U.S. citizens has increased in the past four months, forcing officers on an 80 mile stretch of Arizona land north of the Mexico border off-limits to Americans.

The refuge had been adversely affected by the increase in drug smugglers, illegal activity and surveillance, which made it dangerous for Americans to visit.

“The situation in this zone has reached a point where continued public use of the area is not prudent,” said refuge manager Mitch Ellis.

“It’s literally out of control,” said Babeu. “We stood with Senator McCain and literally demanded support for 3,000 soldiers to be deployed to Arizona to get this under control and finally secure our border with Mexico. “

U.S. Fish and Wildlife officials have warned visitors in Arizona to beware of heavily armed drug smugglers and human traffickers.

“We need support from the federal government. It’s their job to secure the border and they haven’t done it,” said Babeu. “In fact, President Obama suspended the construction of the fence and it’s just simply outrageous.”

Signs have been posted warning Americans not to cross into the closed off territory south of Interstate 8. Babeu said the signs are not enough – he said Arizona needs more resources to help scale back the violence caused by the drug cartels.

“We need action. It’s shameful that we, as the most powerful nation on Earth, … can’t even secure our own border and protect our own families.”

What the hell? US territory is too dangerous for US citizens to enter, so instead of securing said territory, the government is instead forbidding US citizens from entering it? It is the responsibility of the United States Government to secure our borders from invasion by foreigners. But instead, the government has essentially ceded this territory to Mexico and to the criminals who are taking it over. What kind of precedent does this set? Are we just going to continue to abandon our territory to the cartels as they expand further and further north. What will happen to Phoenix? It’s already the kidnapping capital of the country thanks to the cartels. If things get worse there, are we just going to write it off too?

This is unacceptable. No, this is beyond unacceptable.

Our government has failed us. There is no other way to put it. Washington has failed to protect this nation from a grave external threat, and we the people are now paying the price for it. I strongly encourage all of you to write to your elected representatives in Washington – all of them – and demand that they take action, serious action, to secure our southern border. I’m already in the process of writing my own letter; I’ll post that as soon as it’s finished.

God Help America.

Hypothetical Question

Here’s a hypothetical question for you readers:

What would happen if the President of the United States went to a foreign nation and, during an address of that nation’s government, lectured that government on laws that The United States does not like, pressured that government to repeal that law, and, going one step further, insisted that that government passed a law that voilated that nation’s constitution in order to benefit the interests of the United States?

What would happen? What would that nation’s government do in response to such an event? How would the media, both in the United States and across the globe, react to such an event?

Well, guess what, something very similar to the scenario I just laid out did occur yesterday and is occurring again today. Only it is not happening in the halls of some foreign government, and the President of the United States is not the one doing the lecturing. It is happening in the halls of the United States Capitol, and the leader lecturing our government is Mexican President Felix Calderone.

You can read the whole story here, but the short version is that Calderone demanded that the United States overturn Arizona’s new immigration law, which he claims “criminalizes migration” and will severely damage Mexico’s economy, and he also demanded that Congress instate a new Assault Weapons Ban to help stop the Mexican Drug Cartels (despite overwhelming evidence that the vast majority of the Cartels’ weapons do not originate in the United States).

Say what you will about the situation down in Mexico, but ask yourself this: if the situation were reversed, if it was Obama doing this in Mexico City instead of Calderone doing this in Washington, what would the UN, EU, and mainstream media say?