Submitted by Bill St. Clair on Mon, 19 Dec 2005 13:00:00 GMT
From the "Duh" Department:
"Since I started doing my own laundry when I left my mother's house to go to college, I've been inverting pull-over shirts through the neck hole. Today, over thirty years later, while folding laundry, I learned that it's much easier to do through the shirt's bottom." -- Bill St. Clair

# Ian's Shoelace Site - Slipping Shoelace Knots? Crooked Bows? - I learned this one at Thinking Machines, in 1984 or thereabouts. If your shoelaces come untied a lot, you're probably tying a granny bow. To fix it, swap the overlap order of the starting half hitch (or of the finishing bow, but I found that much harder to reprogram). [google]

# Michael Paladin - Police State USA "discusses the transformation of the USA into a police state. Topics include the war on freedom, drug war follies, police abuse, privacy tips, liberty news, and freedom websites. Police State USA gives you a 'heads up,' so you can keep your head down." [technorati]

# Andrew Orlowski at The Register - Wikipedia founder 'shot by friend of Siegenthaler' - the "shooting" of Jimmy Wales was reported on Wikipedia, and has apparently since been edited out. It never actually happened. [grabbe]

# Anthony Gregory at The Libertarian Enterprise - Warmongering Is the Health of Statism - why statists love war, and why anyone who loves liberty should oppose it. [tle]

If it weren't for the tendency of people to put up with government growth and abuses during war, it would be hard to explain why politicians are quick to call any domestic pet project a war on something. Declaring a war on drugs, illiteracy or poverty is such a common rhetorical device because the partisans of state power know that there is something about war and the language of war that compels people to tolerate greater abuses of freedom than they otherwise would. When FDR launched his New Deal, he asked for all the powers that he would normally be given during war precisely because he knew that the paradigm of war would inflate his administrative authority like nothing else. And yet, no matter how horrific the domestic metaphorical wars, foreign wars are worse for liberty and healthier for the state. No matter how much cultural and material devastation we can lay at the feet of the war on poverty, and regardless of the millions of lives wrecked by the totalitarian drug war, both almost seem like good government compared to what evils and transgressions a foreign war is capable of producing.

People advised by utilitarianism and convinced that the U.S. government is all that has stood in the way of a Nazi, Communist, or terrorist takeover, will conclude that their own government can do practically anything to them and especially to others as long as it is not as bad as what the Nazis, Communists or terrorists would do. Wartime nationalism has been instrumental in making Americans abandon the skepticism of political power at the heart of our national heritage. It has turned mainstream America into a statist culture, and it threatens to do so for all but the most resistant to the temptations and promises of power. Even many Americans who seem to understand individualism and the wonders of spontaneous order in the market will side with collectivism and central planning on the issue of war.


Objectivists, in particular, have come to embrace the warfare state as the source of their freedom and well-being. On a message board recently, John Hospers, the LP's first presidential candidate, invoked Ayn Rand's statement that an 80% tax rate would be quite tolerable if it were for defense spending. And of course, most of them think this war is defensive. I asked one of them what government actions he'd tolerate at this time of war, and he said anything, so long as it kept him alive. This is a more common view among supposed individualist thinkers than some in this room might imagine. What was once the libertarian, indeed the American, slogan, of "give me liberty or give me death" has now become "take whatever you want--just please don't let me die!"

# Jonathan David Morris at The Libertarian Enterprise - All I Want For Christmas Is To End This Stupid War - Mr. Morris bemoans the war on holiday good wishes. Worth reading to the end, where he proposes an hilarious alternative. Ho ho ho. [tle]

I don't say things like "Merry Christmas" or "Happy Holidays" because I care if people are merry, or because my words will somehow make them happy if they aren't already. I say these things because they humanize me. They make me seem like a normal person, when, deep down, I feel like I'm too good to talk to people. To me, saying "Merry Christmas" or "Happy Holidays" is the same thing as if I blessed you after you sneezed. I realize your soul isn't escaping through your nose holes. There's nothing you need me to bless here. I'm just saying "God bless you"--or the secular "Bless you"--because that's what people say when someone sneezes. If I partake in these small little gestures, then I can get away with my regular attitude, which tends to be curmudgeonly.

# Becky Akers at LewRockwell.com - Rigoberto, Requiesce in Pace - good commentary on the murder by t.s.a. goons of Rigoberto Alpizar. [root]

We come now to the state's only truthful moment in this whole anti-Constitutional mess. "It appears that [the air marshals] followed the protocols and did what they were trained to do," White House Press Patsy Scott McClellan told CNN. "...these marshals appear to have acted in a way that is consistent with the extensive training that they have received."

We'll leave aside the question of whether we can call "extensive" seven weeks of training followed by the odd day here and there. Then again, we'd be better off under untrained marshals, given the slogan pounded into recruits: "Dominate. Intimidate. Control."

This chillingly fascist motto prompts agreement with Rep. John Mica (R-Fla), chairman of the House aviation subcommittee, who crowed to USA Today, "The system worked exactly as designed."


Further proof that the TSA exists to dominate, intimidate and control passengers comes from the abuse of Flight 924's surviving ones. As always when the government alleges a threat, everyone in the vicinity is considered not a victim of said threat but an agent of it. That sent a variety of brutes, from SWAT teams to local police, swarming aboard the plane. They ordered passengers who had committed no crime nor broken any law to put their hands on their heads. "It was quite scary," one woman told the Sun Sentinel. "They wouldn't let you move. They wouldn't let you get anything out of your bag..."

Another passenger told Time Magazine, "I was on the phone with my brother. Somebody came down the aisle and put a shotgun to the back of my head and said put your hands on the seat in front of you. I got my cell phone karate chopped out of my hand. Then I realized it was an official... They were pointing the guns directly at us instead of pointing them to the ground. One little girl was crying. There was a lady crying all the way to the hotel."

# Annalee Newitz at AlterNet - Good Drugs - research from the University of Saskatchewan concludes that ingesting cannabis may generate new brain cells in the hippocampus, "an area of the brain associated with learning and memory." [root]

# Connie du Toit - Unintended Consequences: Heroes - why Kim and Connie persevere with The Nation of Riflemen. I don't like her support of the continuing mass murder in Iraq, but I liked the rest of the story, so I'm linking it. [kimdutoit]

It's so simple. I think some people don't realize just how simple it is. I know I never did. Gun ownership isn't about so many of the things people think it is. It isn't all the negative stereotypes of men with issues with their penis size or owning a gun to become a criminal. And, most importantly, it isn't about being able to shoot someone for being rude or offensive. It's about protecting your life. That decision to spend a few hundred dollars on a piece of metal is a really amazing thing. We all know that guns are inanimate objects, incapable of harming anyone or any thing on their own. But the decision to purchase a gun and learn to use one responsibility is a kind of right of passage. It's all about growing up emotionally and recognizing that there are real dangers in the world. It also means that people value their own life and have accepted that they time they've spent on this earth, working hard and earning money to buy stuff that is worth protecting, too. "It is MINE and YOU can't take it from me." Such a powerful thought and so many of these new thoughts accompany that apparently simple purchase. But it isn't a simple purchase, is it?

It's a decision. It is a decision that will alter the way the new gun owner views the world and their place in it.

# Cryptome - Cryptome Gold or Entrapment - John Young received a notice of $11,800.00 in e-gold deposited to his account on September 12. He knows not who gave it to him or why. He had some trouble converting it to FRNs, and is now afraid to spend it since he figures some gummint goon may claim authority to steal it from him. On Saturday afternoon, and yesterday, when I tried it, www.e-gold.com was unavailable. They were back last night, though. Just a technical glitch, I guess. [cryptome]

# SpaceRef.com - Historic SpaceX Launch Set for December 19: The World's Lowest Cost Rocket to Orbit - today at 11am, the Falcon 1 rocket will launch from the Marshall Islands, taking an Air Force Academy plasma measuring satellite into low orbit. It cost only $6.7 million, a record low price to orbit. A video will be available at www.spacex.com (Flash site) "within hours of the launch." [clairefiles]

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