You Silly Boys: Blondes Make Men Act Dumb

I have milked this joke for years, myself. Every time I do something so stupid that I can actually feel my IQ drop, I blame it on the proximity of the wife, claiming that the Blonde Moment was contagious. Little did I know...

The new peer-reviewed study, published in the Journal of Experimental Psychology, was based on two trials.

In all cases those participants exposed to images of blondes recorded the lowest scores.

read more | digg story

...That they were spending real money researching the subject. Personally I think their results are in error, though. The reduced intelligence is related to perception, yes, but probably has more to do with a lack of blood flow to the brain (as it goes elsewhere) or increased testosterone levels. That's just my wild hunch on the subject. I doubt very much that it has anything to do with thinking.

FFrF Radio: Atheist in an Iraqi Foxhole

Podcast link.
November 24, 2007 - Atheist in an Iraqi Foxhole

Theocracy Alert. Pat Robertson. Can you find anything to like about this guy? (Answer: not really) Rick Perry campaigning for Rudy Giuliani. That worked out well. Now we just need to get rid of Perry.

Freethinkers Almanac. The King of Ragtime - Scott Joplin, Jodi Foster & Voltaire. Want more info? Check the calendar.

Jeremy Hall finally gets on the air (Mikey Weinstein spoke in his place previously) Here's this guy, putting his life on the line for his country, and he has to be given a body guard because of threats against his life from inside our own military; all because he's an Atheist and simply wants to talk to other Atheists where he's stationed.

Land of the Free?


"Sacred cows make the tastiest hamburger." -Abbie Hoffman


2006 Archive episode.
November 25, 2006 - Ron Reagan on Stem-cell Research

Elton John on religion. Salk Conference.

Ron Reagan. This episode reveals that much of what was said on the first nationally aired episode was contained in this previous interview. This interview seems a bit more fresh, almost like he's given this interview too many times since this aired.

The interview is about a lot more than stem cells.

Freethinkers Almanac. Lydia Maria Child & Voltaire.

The Origin of Government Corruption

Dan Carlin's Common Sense - Show 112 - The Big Corruption Show (only 4 shows this time. He must be more on his game) The whole basis for the show's name is a sort of miscue.

The US government is corrupt. Duh. The nature of the corruption is campaign contributions. No, it's not.

The nature of the corruption is influence peddling; the ability of representatives to grant benefits to contributors is why the contributions occur in the first place. In the 1800's this was predominately seen in land deals for corporate sponsors. In the 1900's it morphed into corporate welfare schemes, and other types of wealth transfers; a function of the Monopoly money that was created in 1913.

The way to fix it is to divest the government of all property outside of those parcels of land necessary to conduct government business; and to remove the basically unconstitutional Federal Reserve. Don't hold your breath on either of those things coming to pass.

More access for candidates at public expense (Dan's solution) just widens the trough that the useless talking heads we already get too much of, feed at. It won't fix anything.

Bizarre Polling Point Poll

I've gotten onto several polling lists of late; probably because I have time to respond to them these days. Polling Point sent me a weird one the other day. Mixed in with the usual "Who did you vote for last election?" and "What party are you affiliated with?" type questions (as well as race and other questions that I routinely abstain from answering if I can) was a little gem that went something like:
"Should an illegal immigrant be able to apply for citizenship if he has graduated a U.S. High School, has had no major convictions, and has enrolled in the Military or College?"
I don't know about you, but I don't understand how anyone who has lived in the U.S. for long enough that he can graduate High School shouldn't be considered a citizen just on basic principles. Much less if he plans to attend college or join the military.

"You graduated High School? Hell that's better than a good portion of the children of citizens around here. Come on into the clubhouse!"

Never mind the legal fiction that is the concept of illegal alien in the first place. If you live in a place, you are a citizen of that place. The ability to document your residency should be irrelevant. How many white skinned people get deported back to Europe because they can't produce documentation to prove they are here legally? I rest my case.

In Polling Points defense, in most polls they offer a comments dialog so that you can give them your opinion of the poll after you've taken it. I wrote this on the poll today:

Like all ballot issues, the description of the bills I would vote on go beyond confusing. Clear and plain English should be the requirement.

Ron Paul should be listed as a candidate in the Republican party. It is an !outrage! that he is not.

Left/Right does not accurately describe political views; http://www.theadvocates.org/ check out the World's Smallest Political Quiz for more info.

Race is an illusion. There are no separate races inside the human race. 'None' should be an options for those of us who do not claim a race as an identifier.

Atheism is not a religion.

I could go on, but I think I've said enough.

Yes, I do rant just about everywhere I go. It's a burden, let me tell you.

FBI raids Liberty Dollar

Fox News reports on the FBI raid of Liberty Dollar in Evansville, Indiana.


read more | digg story

... and Bernard's alerts on the subject, in order. While Bernard pooh poohs the idea that the raid was conveniently timed to snatch the Ron Paul dollars as they came in; I have a hard time dismissing the coincidental delivery of a large volume of minted copper, silver, and gold barter items and the FBI raid at virtually the same time. How hard would it be for an informant at the mint (that also does large volumes of work for the US Mint) to pick up a phone and make a call? Bernard may not want to make that accusation, but I will.


I sincerely regret to inform you that about 8:00 this morning a dozen FBI and Secret Service agents raided the Liberty Dollar office in Evansville.

For approximately six hours they took all the gold, all the silver, all the platinum and almost two tons of Ron Paul Dollars that where just delivered last Friday. They also took all the files, all the computers and froze our bank accounts.

We have no money. We have no products. We have no records to even know what was ordered or what you are owed. We have nothing but the will to push forward and overcome this massive assault on our liberty and our right to have real money as defined by the US Constitution. We should not to be defrauded by the fake government money.

But to make matters worse, all the gold and silver that backs up the paper certificates and digital currency held in the vault at Sunshine Mint has also been confiscated. Even the dies for mint the Gold and Silver Libertys have been taken.

This in spite of the fact that Edmond C. Moy, the Director of the Mint, acknowledged in a letter to a US Senator that the paper certificates did not violate Section 486 and were not illegal. But the FBI and Services took all the paper currency too.

The possibility of such action was the reason the Liberty Dollar was designed so that the vast majority of the money was in specie form and in the people’s hands. Of the $20 million Liberty Dollars, only about a million is in paper or digital form.

I regret that if you are due an order. It may be some time until it will be filled... if ever... it now all depends on our actions.

Everyone who has an unfulfilled order or has digital or paper currency should band together for a class action suit and demand redemption. We cannot allow the government to steal our money! Please don’t let this happen!!! Many of you read the articles quoting the government and Federal Reserve officials that the Liberty Dollar was legal. You did nothing wrong. You are legally entitled to your property. Let us use this terrible act to band together and further our goal – to return America to a value based currency.

Please forward this important Alert... so everyone who possess or use the Liberty Dollar is aware of the situation.

Please click HERE to sign up for the class action lawsuit and get your property back!

If the above link does not work you can access the page by copying the following into your web browser. http://www.libertydollar.org/classaction/index.php

Thanks again for your support at this darkest time as the damn government and their dollar sinks to a new low.

Bernard von NotHaus

Monetary Architect



Friday, November 16, 2007: Make no mistake, the FBI and Secret Service raid on he Liberty Dollar at 8:00 AM on Wednesday, was a direct assault against the US onstitution and your right to own and use gold and silver in any way you chose.

I personally spoke to FBI agent Andrew Romagnuolo shortly after he and his gang invaded the peaceful home of the Liberty Dollar. He told me that the raid was related to the US Mint's warning and the beginning of a criminal investigation. This is the first battle of a long war that I intend to win!

Please note the Search Warrant, Seizure Warrant and Agent info is now posted. Click HERE for that info. If that link does not work the URL is: http://www.libertydollar.org/ld/legal/raid.htm.

Also posted is the correspondence between US Senator Bill Nelson of Florida and Edmond C Moy, Director of the US Mint. Of particular interest is Moy's statement that the! paper Certificates are not covered by the Title 18, Section 486 and hence legal. So there was no need to raid Sunshine Mint and confiscate all the gold and silver that backs the paper and digital currencies.

No need, unless the government knew their 486 case didn't have a snowball's chance in hell of winning and needed to expand their case into the never-never land of mail fraud, wire fraud and money laundering as mentioned in the Seizure Warrant. I anticipate being arrested on any one or all of these charges.

But I see my arrest and trial as a golden opportunity to win and return our great country to a value based currency. I sincerely believe that the right creative marketer could orchestrate an effective counter attack and win big. I believe the Liberty Dollar will win and become one of the great institutions in America. I have devoted the past ten year to the Liberty Dollar and am willing to risk a few years in federal prison to vindicate it. Winni! ng is certainly possible, even probable with your help.

Wi! nning wi ll require good, dedicated legal support and your support. First, if you are angry and resent the government's assault on your right to own and use gold as you please then call the agents and express your displeasure of their actions in a polite way. Don't kill the messenger, just tell them they are wrong. Add your voice to this movement.

Second: If you are owed an order and want to get your money back or have paper certificates or digital Liberty Dollars, I urge you to demand redemption or the return of your money by joining the Class Action Lawsuit. Your participation is absolutely critical. If you don't join the CAL you will not get your money back. Please click HERE to sign up for the Class Action Lawsuit. If that link does not work, the URL is: http://www.libertydollar.org/classaction/index.php.

Third: A Legal Defense Fund will be established very soon. Its purpose is to win the cr! iminal case and get your money back. It will take money to make it successful. So your contribution is also critical. Please don't let the government steal your money.

So if you have an existing order, want to redeem your paper Certificates or digital Liberty Dollars, please join the fight to defend our right to own and use gold as you so chose and sign up for the Class Action Lawsuit. This is the
only way you will get your stolen property back.

If you have no standing and want to finally get involved, no problem. There is still $20 million Liberty Dollars in circulation. Simply get some paper Liberty Dollars and sign up for the Class Action Lawsuit. There is still time for all the thick-headed Lewrockwellites, Markskousenites, Dougcaseyites and Agoraites to pull your head out and get 'right' on this important issue.

I regret to inform you that the Liberty Dollar office is now closed. The government boys took everything except for t! he desks and chairs. We have no stock, no records, no money. I! can&#39 ;t even change the phone message because they took the phone manuals. Nor can I answer the thousands of email and calls from a national organization that now numbers into the hundreds of thousands. I am the last man standing. I need your help.

Thank you for your many offers of help. Now is the time for us to help our selves and our great country as it faces the greatest monetary challenge since the Revolutionary War. Buying gold and silver is good for you, but it will not solve our country's problems.

Government requires participation. The problems we have today are because our parents did not participate. Please keep using the Liberty Dollar. Keep the ideals and benefits of real money alive. Gold and silver is going to be very rewarding as the US dollar disintegrates. Please join the Class Action Lawsuit and give something to the Legal Defense Fund when it is established.

But you don't have to wait. Donations can be sent to the old address as the ma! il is now being forwarded. Of course we will still accept Liberty Dollars, but unfortunately due to the current situation, the attorneys require those dreaded depreciating US dollars.

Please make your check or money order out to me as there is no other bank account and mail it to: Liberty Dollar, 225 N. Stockwell Road. Evansville. Indiana. 47715.

Now is the time to band together and support our fight for value based currency as never before. Now is the time to throw off the yoke of a manipulated monetary/tax system and generate a peaceful and prosperous society.

Thank you, thank you, thank you for your offer of help, prayers and support.

The Liberty Dollar and our great country sincerely needs your support.

God bless you and our great country!

Bernard von NotHaus
Monetary Architect

Go Here to Be Added to E-mail List

Alert Send on No! v 15 200 7

US Mint - Paper is legal (Click to View PDF)Search Warrent (Click to View PDF)

Seizure Warrent (Click to View PDF)Agent Information (Click to View PDF)

Click to View Local Article



Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Dear Liberty Dollar Supporters,

Usually at this time of the month, it is the deadline for the Liberty Dollar News, our monthly newsletter that has chronicled the Liberty Dollar for over nine years.

Of course all that came to a screeching halt when the g-boys raided the Liberty Dollar just two weeks ago on Wednesday, November 14. 2007.

So now I am running from the government, afraid for my life and trying to figure out what the hell to do next! Right? Wrong! Nothing could be further from reality. Please read these quick bulleted (no pun) items for a quick review of the latest developments:

IMPORTANT: If you have not received your order and you paid for it with a bank card, please call your bank immediately, cancel the transaction, reversing the transaction and GET YOUR MONEY BACK. Don’t let the government steal your money!

1. First I am not running “from” the g-boys. It is just the opposite. I am running “to” the government. I see the current situation as an ideal opportunity to validate the Liberty Dollar. Otherwise they will have to prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that I am guilty and the Liberty Dollar is the scourge of the country. Luckily, my favorite FBI Agent “Andy” just called me yesterday... on my private cell phone. Well the cell phone is suppose to be “private” as most people don’t know the phone number. So I complimented Andy on his resourcefulness and he responded that he was the “FBI”. Now that impressed me and gave me a good secure feeling... because if the FBI could not find my cell phone number, we would really be hurting. In any case, Andy and I had a very “friendly” discussion for about 10-15 minutes. Seems that he wants to “talk” to me. I took that to mean that he wants to arrest me. So I asked about that and sure enough... a Grand Jury, indictment and arrest seems to be a given at this time.

Later in our discussions, when Andy was forth coming with other info, I complimented him on his “friendliness”. To that Andy told me that he (that’s the gov) would be as “friendly” as I was. Well, what is a poor boy to do, especially one in hot water with the feds... but be friendly. So trust me, I intend to be very “friendly”. Seriously, I told my favorite FBI Agent Andy (who I am sure is reading this and can reply if he is so moved...) that I took the government’s raid “very seriously.” To which Andy replied, “And well you should... because the government takes it very seriously too.”

So there you have it, my second call with my very Special Agent Andy. For the record, I spoke briefly to Andy shortly after he and his gang invaded the peaceful Liberty Dollar offices and raided it of everything. And as required, we received an inventory of the all confiscated material. Unfortunately, it was not as detailed as really required... simply stating 500 pounds of silver, without regard to year, weight, denomination or design was way too sloppy for this detailed pone arrestee-in-waiting.

Again, I am running “to” the government to absolve the Liberty Dollar as a legal, private, voluntary, barter currency as soon as possible. I want to get your property back ASAP. Please note this complete post for more important info on how you can help us get your property back.

2. Our first mission is to get your confiscated property back. Please don’t call it stolen... yet. It will only be “stolen” if we lose this case. And God help us all if the Liberty Dollar is found guilty. So please take two actions: First sign up for the Class Action Lawsuit and encourage other people to do so. We need thousands and thousands of people demanding the return of their “stolen property”. Second, we are launching a Legal Defense Fund to defend your right to use Gold and Silver any way you chose. It would be a very dangerous first step if the government started limiting the way you can use your own gold and silver. Please don’t let this happen! Please donate $10 or more to this very serious movement.

Currently we cannot accept donation via a bank card... but we can accept checks, money orders and cash. It is OK to mail your donation to the same old address: Liberty Dollar. 225 N. Stockwell Road. Evansville. Indiana. 47715. Every single dollar, FRN or Liberty Dollar is greatly appreciated.

Stay tune for more exciting ways to donate as we ramp to drive this out of control government back to reality. We can do it... and we need your help.

3. Now lets get serious. Did you read the 35 page Affidavit filed by Agent Andy to show ‘probable cause’ for the issuance of the Search Warrant? If not please go to: http://www.libertydollar.org/legal/pdf/libertyaffidavit.pdf and read it! Read it very thoroughly. And while you do... ask yourself, “Where’s the crime?” Where is the crime?!!! Usually in such an Affidavit there is all sorts of names, dates, offences, and other info. None of that is in this Affidavit! It seems that I am guilty of selling a t-shirt to Karen, our favorite kinda-undercover agent who was well known from the get-go. Where is the crime? And the idea we were “laundering money” is almost a joke... if it was not such a serious matter. Trust me, this is a serious matter and is being taken most seriously.

4. Equally serious, is your fear that some good natured, smiling, Agent Andy is going to raid your home and confiscate your Liberty Dollars. I know paranoia is rabid. And many of you have good cause to be alarmed. The government’s assault on our liberties and property has been way over the top. And many of us have lost property in the past. But this should only toughen our resolve for this case. But please don’t fear a raid on your place or home. There is no way the government has the resources to mount such an attack with $20 million Liberty Dollars in hundreds of thousand of hands all over our great country. Take precautions, diversify your holdings is prudent for everyone.

While it is not the time to relax and be happy, paranoia is no friend. Good communication is our best companion. So if you hear of some related action, please report it to me directly and stay focused so we can get all our property back.

5. Towards resolving this testy matter, we are interviewing federal criminal attorneys and hope to secure good, dedicated, successful counsel asap. As I mentioned to Agent Andy, I wouldn’t want to meet him without counsel.

6. I was encouraged when Agent Andy told me that he would call me when he knew the schedule so I could “turn myself in”. I thought that was real “friendly” and thanked Andy, as I am obviously not hiding out and prefer that this matter be handled in a gentlemanly way. I just hope the arrest does not interfere with my other commitments. I will be in Evansville on Thursday, attorneys in DC, family for the holidays and please join me for a rare performance as the keynote speaker at the Liberty Forum in Nashua NH on Friday, January 4. Please consider coming to the Liberty Forum... just mention Liberty Dollar and get 10% off. Trust me this is going to be wild... just a couple of days before the big Presidential Primary!!! Come to New Hampshire. Even Agent Andy is welcome. But lets find a convenient time for the arrest...OK?

7. Surprise!!! Speaking of commitments. I will be in Evansville this Thursday, November 29! Open to all. Pot Luck at 6:00. Meeting at 7:00 and out for a beer at 9:00. Everyone is welcome. Please join me at the Liberty Dollar office: 225 N. Stockwell Road Evansville Indiana. 47715. Plenty of free parking. Just off the Lloyd Expressway. Just ask Agent Andy he found us. But I don’t’ think he will be there on Thursday.... but then again... maybe Andy can come out and play... and he might be there

8. Plus... if you did not catch my interview with Glenn Beck on CNN or with Larry Kudlow on CNBC... please visit http://www.libertydollar.org/ld/legal/raid.htm. Who would have thought that the raid would generate national news... let alone two shows on the same night and at the same time! The little Liberty Dollar just amazes me.

9. While doing the two national shows was good fun, it was not all the coverage. In fact, there are dozens of newspaper articles. The most amazing coverage came from a most amazing source, The Washington Post. Not only did the Post cover the raid, it was featured on the Front Page, plus it included a image of the Ron Paul Dollar! And if all that was not enough, the article was quite large and REALLY GOOD. It all started when Jan Salsbery, one of many fiery RCOs in California, referred Alec MacGillis, a reporter with the Washington Post to call me. As usual, Alex sounded like a very bright, very young reporter. And as I explained with a certain amount of contempt, you might write a good (truthful) article, but it will be sausage when the editors get done. But very late Friday night Alec called me and said the “editors” liked the story and was going to give it “some space.” Well who would have thought ... Front Page for the Liberty Dollar and Ron Paul?! Now who could image that he will be our next President... I for one! And hope you agree! Our country really needs Ron Paul. As the silver Ron Paul Dollar states: VOTE FOR TRUTH.

PS: To Alec’s credit, he followed up with a call on Monday, and subsequently wrote an additional outstanding article: http://www.libertydollar.org/news-stories/pdfs/1195598713.pdf

10. The local television and newspaper also provided very good coverage. It is amazing how many people are interested in the Raid on the little Liberty Dollar and the confiscation of two tons of Ron Paul Dollars. Of course your support is critical to our success. BIG Thanks for all you have done!

11. And finally have you seen the prices of the Ron Paul Gold, Silver and Coppers Dollars. One day the copper is a buck and the next day $65 or more on eBay! Silver is in the $250 to $450 range! Just crazy! And that is not even for the special numbered or hallmarked editions. Are you hip to the Hallmarked Ron Paul Silver Dollars? The Hallmark features a micro scroll with BOR denoting Ron’s respect for the Bill of Rights.

Quite simply, there is a lot to be thankful for. When we started the Liberty Dollar we did not get an instruction manual. We did not know how the Liberty Dollar was going to save the country from a monetary crisis. But we vowed not to let our great country falter without trying. We all, even Agent Andy, have a civic duty to our country. We are commanded by the Declaration of Independence: We hold these truths to be self-evident... That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, --That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. We shall not let this country fail to live up to the ideals upon which it was founded by our Founding Fathers. Let us each vow that our country will not falter on my watch!

Now as I face eminent threat of arrest and possibly many years in prison, you have my sincere thanks for supporting the Liberty Dollar that exemplifies those very ideals. Our Founding Fathers fought and died for them, we shall do nothing less.

Remember it is only by banding together and adopting a free and independent currency that provides us with “just weights and measures” will we be able to throw off the yoke of a manipulated monetary/tax system and generate a peaceful and prosperous society.

Change the money / Change the country / Change the world. Do it now!

Bernard von NotHaus
Monetary Architect/Editor
November 27, 2007

FFrF Radio: Katha Pollett

Podcast link.
November 17, 2007 - A Freethought Potpourri

Katha Pollitt's column Onward, Secular Soldiers which was aired this week, struck a positive note with me. Both her observation that skepticism seems to be on the rise, and her criticism of the Democrats for continuing to pander to the religious right were things that I could agree with.


Pastafarianism has suffered it's first split. The Vegetarian and meatball sects have been unable to reconcile their differences, and have split the FSM religion asunder.


2006 Archive episode.
November 18, 2006 - From Priest to Atheist

The discussion of why Dan Barker and the guest this week, Tom Reed, left their respective jobs in christian ministry really is reminiscent of why I gave up religion; I took it too seriously, and as it is nothing more than mythology, it couldn't stand up to that kind of scrutiny. I least I never considered become a preacher, myself.

5 foods that should have a place in your diet

What was I thinking? I just gave up coffee again and now this...
Now that scientists are looking beneath the surface at mushrooms, avocados, and peanuts--as well as once-maligned eggs and coffee--redeeming qualities for each of these five foods are coming to light. They have nutritional respect and deserve a place at your table.
read more | digg story

Coffee improves memory! Maybe I'll finally remember all those things I've forgotten...

Dan Carlin's Sim-candidate

I keep meaning to blog on the subject of Dan Carlin. Of all the podcasts that I started listening to awhile back, his is virtually the only one I still go out of my way to download.

If you really want to know what Dan Carlin's thinking politically, check out episode 110, Faux leadership. He debut's his Sim-candidate in that episode, and runs down the list of positions that he's outlined over the course of the previous 109 episodes (not that the 109 aren't worth listening to as well)

One of the better episodes.

NAIS vote at any moment

Adding fuel to the fire:
Section 10305, would criminalize disclosure of information from the USDA's new proposed program, the National Animal Identification System (NAIS) opening the door for harsh criminal or civil penalties on members of the public who might publish or in any way disclose information from the NAIS -- even if the information had been legally obtained!
read more | digg story

The NAIS amounts to some of the dumbest regulation ever conceived by gov't. Why do I say that? Because, like the national ID legislation (NAIS' closest competitor in stupid regulation) it can only track the animals that are tagged. Untagged animals, the ones most likely to be diseased, cannot be tracked; and so cannot be accounted for when outbreaks do and will occur.

It's a multi-million dollar boondoggle that will force out the more marginal small farms, and make it easier for the corporate farms to dominate markets.

It's a waste of time and money, providing a dangerously false sense of security when it comes to food safety.

(irradiation, irradiation, irradiation. I don't think I can say it often enough. The only way to be sure the food is safe is to kill the bacteria hiding in it. That means irradiation)

NAIS must be abandoned. That is the only sane course.

Making it a crime to expose details of the useless database only adds insult to injury.

Water-boarding is torture

On Veteran's day, just a quick quote:



French journalist Henri Alleg was a victim of water-boarding torture in 1957. His description of it is chilling. His torturers strapped him to a plank, put a cloth over his face, and turned on a water faucet over his head. Here is what followed, in his own words . . .


"The rag was soaked rapidly. Water flowed everywhere: in my mouth, in my nose, all over my face. But for a while I could still breathe in some small gulps of air. I tried, by contracting my throat, to take in as little water as possible and to resist suffocation by keeping air in my lungs for as long as I could. But I couldn't hold on for more than a few moments. I had the impression of drowning, and a terrible agony, that of death itself, took possession of me. In spite of myself, all the muscles of my body struggled uselessly to save me from suffocation. In spite of myself, the fingers of both my hands shook uncontrollably. "That's it! He's going to talk," said a voice.

"The water stopped running and they took away the rag. I was able to breathe. In the gloom, I saw the lieutenants and the captain, who, with a cigarette between his lips, was hitting my stomach with his fist to make me throw out the water I had swallowed." [Source: Wikipedia]

Water-boarding is torture. Water-boarding is a crime. Our government is committing crimes.

Sadly, many retired military officers say that our soldiers now faced increased risk of being tortured in the same way we are torturing others.



Support Ron Paul, Support the troops (after all, they support him) and urge passage of Ron Paul's "American Freedom Agenda Act"

FFrF Radio: "Letting Go of God"

Podcast Link.
November 10, 2007 - "Letting Go of God"

Another good interview with Julia Sweeney; this time concerning the upcoming movie made from her show "Letting Go of God".



I neglected to mention the two episodes in the archive in which you can learn more about the hosts. Two of the earliest episodes feature one of the co-hosts interviewing the other. Both are memorable. One is Losing Faith in Faith in which we hear more about the history of the former pastor Dan Barker. The other is Religion's Harm to Women and the history of Annie Laurie Gaylor. If I had to pick my favorite of the two, Ms. Gaylor is a more interesting interview subject (sorry Dan) although there is much to learn from Dan's trip from believer to non-believer.



2006 Archive episode.
November 11, 2006 - Physician-Assisted Suicide

Physician-Assisted Suicide is an episode that also struck a cord with me. An interview with Betty Rollin concerning Oregon's physician assisted suicide law. If you don't have a say in how your life ends, whose life is it anyway? Betty Rollin's mother was dying, and thusly she has a very strong opinion on the subject herself. Author of "First You Cry" and "Final Wishes"; if you've ever had a loved one suffering from a long term terminal illness, then you'll probably have an interest in this episode.

'Former' Palm user?

I'm beginning to think it's time to trade up.

I've carried a Palm device since Handspring first offered it's Visor. While I was content to nestle in the (expensive) corporate software world that Bill and his buddies have carved out, Palm desktop's Windows exclusive interface was not a problem. Now that I've struck out into the (nearly) trackless wilderness of Linux, trying to get my Palm devices to reliably sync with any version of Linux has proven to be more problematic than I had ever envisioned.

Consequently, I was heartened to hear that Android rolled-out the long awaited open source OS for the as yet sight unseen gPhone.
By creating an open platform, Google is trying to make money not on software or hardware sales, but by creating vast hordes of ad-susceptible phone users. Google can be less selfish about design, and less worried about stumbles on the road to perfection. Google boss Eric Schmidt told us today that they would not be in the business of clamping down on independent development, and from the sound of it, would be encouraging carriers to adopt a hands-off policy toward third-party development.
read more | digg story

Intrigued by this development, I wandered by the Engadget site, only to discover that
Palm, which has been struggling for years through countless setbacks to introduce its own Linux-based mobile OS, in the mean time using a continuously cobbled-together version of Palm OS 5 (originally introduced in 2002) throughout. Palm's first attempt at a next-gen mobile OS, dubbed Cobalt, is announced in 2004 and quickly becomes the stuff of vaporware legend, delayed over and over until ACCESS eventually buys the flagging PalmSource (more here on how that whole thing went down); ACCESS pledges to finish development of Palm's misplaced next-gen mobile OS, and then license it back to Palm (among other companies).

But Palm's had enough, so earlier this year it announces its intentions to release its own Linux-based OS -- again -- but this time without the help of its spin-off sister company Palm Source (which, of course, is now a part of ACCESS). And that new OS is quickly hyped and lauded -- and then delayed. Yet again. Pushed back into late 2008 at the earliest (although we won't be surprised if Palm revises and makes that 2009 or even later). And so we ask, Palm, where the hell were you when Google was rallying its Open Handset Alliance?
read more | digg story

Yes, where the hell were you, Palm? Why am I still forced to juggle an OS that has essentially remained unchanged since 2002 with newer and faster PC's and their constantly updated OS's? Why hasn't a shift to a Linux based Palm OS come about? Why is the Palm Desktop still exclusively set up for corporate software solutions (Windows/Mac)?

Most Importantly, will I have to endure a brain transplant (long before the iPhone ad, or the iPhone itself, I frequently referred to my Palm device as 'my brain') in order to get a device that plays well with the OS that I intend to use for the foreseeable future; A Linux OS?
Will we ever see a gPhone? Google executives won't say ... yet. For now, Google CEO Eric Schmidt says there will be a variety of Android phones offered by several wireless carriers. But even without a dedicated gPhone, we can all look forward to a software platform designed to better the user experience, while also being light on the pocketbook. All the while, Google is extending its seemingly endless grip on the technological world.
read more | digg story

So, in the meantime, I'll keep carrying my Treo 650. I'm just not sure what manufacturer I'll be purchasing my next device from...

2008 Election Gear

From the guy who brought us the definitive political argument, we now have the definitive political tickets. J. Michael Straczinsky has struck, once again.

I'll put my money on G'kar/Lando, myself, although the Zathrus/Zathrus ticket does have the definitive plus of being totally incomprehensible on all subjects, making it impossible to pin them down when they contradict themselves (unlike certain Democrat 'frontrunners')


The first slate is Londo/G'Kar (or, for those who wish to be contrary, G'Kar/Londo is also available.) They bring a combination of military training, a love of freedom, and sartorial excellences. They are also excellent public speakers and true patriots who put their people ahead of their own interests. Should the electorate find themselves not happy with the slate as elected, whoever is in second position will gladly assassinate the other in order to bring about a referendum.

Similarly, the ticket of Zathras and Zathras promises the best in crisis management at a difficult time for our nation. Their wisdom is inscrutable (also incomprehensible), their dedication to detail is almost frightening, and in times of economic belt-tightening by electing one Zathras you elect all Zathras, nine for the price of the One.

And a weary nation sighs its relief....


Either ticket stands more of a chance of being elected than any of the slate of candidates offered up by the Republicans (and that includes unfortunately, Ron Paul, whose yard sign is currently visible in my front yard) which makes this election more of a yawner than most...

read more | digg story

FFrF Radio: Values Voters Summit Dissected

Podcast link.
November 3, 2007 - Dissecting "Values Voters" Summit

This episode hit a cord with me. I've long thought that we allow the Religious Reich to hijack that bus at our own risk. We all have values, and I resent the implication that only religious people have them.

Here's a link to a column on Obama by Michelle Goldberg (a 2006 interviewee) on the same subject...



2006 Archive episode.
November 4, 2006 - Church Referendum Electioneering

This episode was largely about the Wisconsin Gay Marriage ban, which passed. So there isn't much to recommend there.

Attn: EUReKA; God is not in the details

I posted a positive review of this program a while back, but I feel I need to revise my opinion somewhat.

The show progressed well through the end of the first season, but the finale left a few ends untied; ends that have gotten more and more unraveled as the second season progressed. There were some good episodes as well as bad (as in any series) the science was much flimsier in this season than in last, but they added insult to injury when they wrote and filmed the episode God is in the Details.

Where was this church and it's religion in the first season and a half? Why do, suddenly, half the people in Eureka find the need for religion, including main characters that have never voiced any belief previously?

Seriously, can we stop catering to the ignorant amongst us, please? Not everyone needs religion.

Scientists do not run to the comfort of religion when presented with the inexplicable. That is antithetical to their nature. The entire episode was so weak on a workable plot that I wondered why they even bothered to film it; I really wish they hadn't.

That episode combined with the weakening of the character of Allison Blake made the final half of the second season virtually unwatchable. Here's to hoping the writers come back with some better material next season.

Bread and Circuses

... Already long ago, from when we sold our vote to no man, the People have abdicated our duties; for the People who once upon a time handed out military command, high civil office, legions - everything, now restrains itself and anxiously hopes for just two things: bread and circuses

(Juvenal, Satire 10.77-81)

Early this week came the news that the NFL network and Time Warner (alternate story) couldn't come to an agreement concerning the airing of football games on Time Warner cable. This lead to several long discussions of bread and circuses; the NFL being the modern day equivalent of Roman gladiator games when it comes to distracting the masses. Politicians at the state house are assuring the voters that they will get their football, even if it takes legislation to achieve this goal.

Strange, but the government was no where in sight when Paramount yanked my (at the time) favorite entertainment off of the syndication market and insisted that a local affiliate for their national network had to step forward in order for Austin to be able to see the next season of Voyager.

Obviously, one man's entertainment is another man's waste of time.

On Friday, as I'm listening to the same talk program, the subject seems to revolve around the latest farm bill, the billions wasted on farm subsidies so far, and the billions more that our beneficent DC politicians are willing flush down the toilet next year.

[Ostensibly to aid in ethanol production. An ill founded idea, to say the least. There isn't enough arable land in the US to grow sufficient corn to meet the requirements for a real ethanol fuel economy]

As I'm listening to self-proclaimed farmers stand and deliver on why their handouts are better than those demanded by everybody else, the phrase bread and circuses floats through my mind, once again. This is their bread, they've sold their votes, their very existence, to the government in exchange for a few measly handouts from the government.

But, more than that, the whole basis of cheap, plentiful food and cheap mindless entertainment (bread and circuses) revolves around government subsidies to agriculture and government interference in the media.

No one believes that we will starve to death if agriculture subsidies were ended; just as the availability of the NFL network on Time Warner cable by itself does not affect the quality of life of the average citizen. But the lack of cheap food and entertainment will eventually lead people to question what it is we need all this government for; and that is a question that those in power would rather we didn't ponder.

Rest assured, the Bread and Circuses will continue for as long as Caesar has the means to fund them.

Prices are magic (?)

Another good point from DownsizeDC:

Competitive free market prices have the power to solve a host of problems. Rising prices encourage innovation. Higher energy prices are already sparking innovations that will save energy, protect the environment, and even bring gasoline prices back down as increasing efficiency moderates demand.

The same thing can happen with health care. Government controls more than half of all health care spending. This gives government the power to set prices. The insurance companies then follow the prices set by Medicare and Medicaid. The result is the same as it was for oil, airlines, shipping, and every other government attempt to set prices.

You have a choice. You can either trust politicians to correctly calculate the correct supply and price of health care, and suffer the inevitable negative consequences, or you can harness the magical power of competitive free market prices to increase supply and lower prices.

I wouldn't say Prices are Magic myself. To most people they probably appear as magic, which is why they think gov't control is the answer. But gov't control is the problem (as the rest of the blog entry points out) free markets are the solution.

...and we desperately need a freer market in Health Care. NOT a single payer Hellarycare system.

A year before voting, a discontented nation

Not that I pay too much attention to polls, but:
In all, 72% of those surveyed in a USA TODAY/Gallup Poll taken Oct. 12-14 say they are dissatisfied with how things are going in the USA while just 26% are satisfied. Not since April have even one-third of Americans been happy with the country's course, the longest national funk in 15 years.

...the current landscape is the sort that in the past has prompted political upheaval and third-party candidacies. The last time the national mood was so gloomy was in 1992, when the first President Bush was ousted from the White House and H. Ross Perot received the highest percentage of the vote of any third-party candidate in 80 years. Bill Clinton was elected amid economic angst.
read more | digg story

...But don't worry. The politicians have arranged it so that those messy and scary third party candidates will not appear on the horizon this time, to draw attention away from the all-important choice between American socialism, and American fascism.

You can rest assured of only two candidates on the debate platform when 'left' meets 'right' next year, no real (non-government) solutions to problems, and lots of promises that will never be remembered after election.

One might say, now that meaningful minority voices have been silenced politically (or will be soon) that the next revolution is well and truly started.

...But then I've been predicting that for years. Still don't see much change occurring. Good change, that is. Plenty of bad change on the horizon.