Independence Day

Today, ironically, we celebrate our independence. Two hundred and forty years ago we cast off a totalitarian government for a long chain of abuses. I’d like to show you how far we’ve come.

Independence Day

Declaration of IndependenceBut first, it’s important to understand what Independence Day is, and what it is not. On the Fourth of July, 1776, we did not create the United States of America. We did not create the behemoth that has become the most corrupt and indefensible nation on the planet. The Declaration did not grant extraordinary authority to an exclusive few while the rest had their liberty, privacy and individuality revoked. It did not preserve the horrors of slavery, religious persecution, and war. These things cannot exist without government, and this Declaration effectively dissolved ours.

It’s really telling that last week the UK dissolved their membership with the European Union. Forty years ago fewer than the population of Florida within the UK decided they needed a new master, and two thirds of the population chose the federalism of the EU. After Federalism didn’t work, about the same number of people that voted them in, voted them back out again. For now, at least.

Home again, home again. Back here, back then, in the Americas, where we had thrown off our foreign masters and united for our own defense, things were tough for a few years, yet. The ensuing war lasted seven years and took the lives of as many as 75,000 colonials and up to 100,000 others. But that’s a different story. What we’re talking about here is the Declaration. The moment we chose to throw off the chains of imperialism.

flagBelow you’ll find the text of the Declaration of Independence, with links throughout to current events demonstrating that while we may have had a brief, 240-year hiatus, we’re in the position Franklin knew was the inevitable result of all Republics in known history.

One final note: I’m sick of hearing those who signed the Declaration lumped in with the “Founders”. They didn’t “found” anything, they dissolved their bond with a government that bore them nothing but disrespect, malice and ill will.


The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America

When in the Course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — 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. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security. — Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.

He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.

He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.

He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of Representation in the Legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.

He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their Public Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.

He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.

He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected, whereby the Legislative Powers, incapable of Annihilation, have returned to the People at large for their exercise; the State remaining in the mean time exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.

He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands.

He has obstructed the Administration of Justice by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary Powers.

He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.

He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harass our people and eat out their substance.

He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the Consent of our legislatures.

He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil Power.

He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation:

For quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:

For protecting them, by a mock Trial from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:

For cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world:

For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:

For depriving us in many cases, of the benefit of Trial by Jury:

For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences:

For abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighbouring Province, establishing therein an Arbitrary government, and enlarging its Boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these Colonies

For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments:

For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.

He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his Protection and waging War against us.

He has plundered our seas, ravaged our coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.

He is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation, and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & Perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation.

He has constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive on the high Seas to bear Arms against their Country, to become the executioners of their friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their Hands.

He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.

In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Prince, whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.

Nor have We been wanting in attentions to our British brethren. We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations, which would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our Separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace Friends.

We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these united Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States, that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. — And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes, and our sacred Honor.


Global weather anomalies

It’s obvious to me that people are confused, and I must admit I was too. Global warming is true, but not for the reasons they claim. The earth most certainly is getting warmer, because the government along with the air force and others are making it warmer.

English: HAARP antenna array

HAARP antenna array

It works like this.  Our ozone is being depleted, the sun appears hotter because our protection is dwindling and in some instances – gone.  They come to the rescue with planes loaded with a chemical concoction that is sprayed into the atmosphere, shielding us from the sun.  This is incredibly cheap, because they use mostly waste products that they would have to otherwise pay to dispose of.

The stuff falls to earth, we breath it in with every breath we take.  Our obituaries are full of people with lung problems.

That’s only half the story. They use HAARP and their vast array of electrical devices to manipulate the weather causing drought or floods, snow or sleet. They are trying to hide the changes to our weather. They are calling for snow this weekend, in June. It’s not natural, it’s an illusion the powers that be will play until the last minute.

So, watch this video, but ignore the part about how it’s getting colder.  Don’t believe me?  Do your own research, I have.

Ignore the stupid title.  Who comes up with this stuff anyway?

The Nth Degree

Stupidity knows no bounds, but in my experience is especially prevalent in people who always feel the need to prove their intelligence. If the first thing someone does to defend their position is to point at their license or degree, chances are very good they’re completely inept. Recently I had a discussion with someone who reminded me just how offensive it is to even try to communicate with these idiots.

Techno GripeMy very first experience with someone who had a master’s degree in computer science was my first duty station supervisor in the military. This LT (JG) was in charge of the base computer systems, and I was his first and only enlisted staff member. I had never touched a conventional computer before, knew absolutely nothing about them, and was, of course, immediately tasked with building hundreds of computers from parts and then shortly thereafter tasked with being the security point of contact for all the military users of tens of thousands of computers across every military base on the entire West coast of the US.

The problem is that the LT was a degreed idiot. He may have passed a few tests and had a pretty piece of paper with his name on it, but he had no clue how technology actually worked, he didn’t understand the very basic concept of Boolean values and could not even comprehend what a batch file was.

Seeing that I’d get no help or answers from him, I took the manuals home and read them cover to cover, read the entire IETF RFC library and many technical books on the subject over the course of my first few weeks at that assignment. Then I spent eight months trying to gracefully educate him on these basics…and in his gratitude he took every opportunity to treat me like crap for having a better understanding of technology than he did after years and years of his “education.”

Fast forward a few years. When my son was a toddler we spent a lot of time with his friends’ parents. One lady in particular (Maria, a college professor) drove me quite batty. Most of her family were MD’s and many in my family were DC’s, so, knowing only this, she treated me like a pariah. Maria would take her son to urgent care if he slept in late, had a headache or dared to talk back to her. In her mind, these were all major defects and something just had to be wrong with him. As you can expect, this poor child was one of those kids who was branded ADHD before he could talk.

Maria stepped on my every nerve, but one specific incident stands out. She was in the middle of telling me how chiropractors frequently paralyze their patients (a flat-out lie), and I pointed out that MD’s are far more lethal than guns. In point of fact, your MD is about 300x more likely to kill you than a gun. Not wanting to make it personal by suggesting that Maria’s family were incompetent or homicidal psychopaths, I followed that up with this simple statement: “but you have to remember that 50% of all doctors graduate in the bottom half of their class.”

She stood there glaring at me, aghast, her jaw dropped to the floor, for what felt like a full minute. The other parents and even the children in the room were completely silent while we waited, watching intently for her response. The only sound was the air conditioner chugging away.

Finally, she screamed, “no they don’t!” The other parents and some of the children couldn’t even contain their laughter. This woman was so high-and-mighty, perpetually attacking everything and everyone she disagreed with, but couldn’t do fifth-grade math? Apparently, the reason 7,500 people die each year from pharmaceutical errors is that simple mathematics are beyond the scope of medical school.

But this all pales in comparison to what happened with my latest experience with another degreed idiot. A client’s site had both an email account and an ftp account hijacked within 24 hours. The passwords had both been randomly generated, were not brute-forced, and only this one person, Jane, had access to both of them. I asked the client to talk to her and have her scan her computer for malware so we could ensure the machine wouldn’t be compromised again after a password reset. The client forwarded me a message from Jane where Jane clearly stated that she had not been infected and that it couldn’t have been related to her.

I took the time to be sure and again reviewed the logs. The only tie for these two accounts was definitely Jane, but, she was quite adamant that she had not been infected. I wrote a very civil and respectful message to her asking her to scan again, along with my regular advice for security, and the common compromise mechanisms for the specific hijack I suspected. I even offered to login and verify that the machine was actually clean and safe.

Jane wrote back absolutely livid that I would dare suggest security changes or that she might have ever been infected. After all, and I quote, “My husband and I both have Master’s degrees in computer science…” The most compelling proof of this was that she didn’t use a single carriage return in her 350+ word message. Apparently she obtained her degree before keyboards included a return or enter key.

She also went into greater detail about how she had actually been infected, and it was none of my business, but even though neither of the antivirus programs on her computer could remove it, she was just sure it was gone now. Not interested in keeping it civil, she took several swipes at my character, my skill level and my education – including a statement about how my message to her was a perfect example of why IT workers were justifiably hated.

I wrote her again, maintaining my civil and respectful tone (my professional policy is to “kill ’em with kindness”). I reassured her that it was not a personal attack, and that she was the only one with access to both accounts.

As expected, her response was absurd, and only proved her level of incompetence. Remember: master’s degree in computer science, okay? She explained how there was never an “infection,” though there actually were files detected by both her antivirus programs whenever she opened her browser that both antivirus programs were each incapable of removing…but just because there were infected files detected by both her antivirus programs doesn’t mean she was ever actually “infected.” And because I clearly needed the reminder, “you don’t know who you’re dealing with or what you’re talking about.” Topping it off, her firewall is “locked down tight.” As if firewalls had anything to do with normal browsing behavior. I’ll bet she regularly deletes her browser cookies for her “security,” too. Sigh.

Out of curiosity, and because I “didn’t know who I was dealing with”, I googled her name and location to see just how bad the state of the world was. Not surprisingly, this woman teaches computer science at a university. As hard as I tried, I couldn’t even feign surprise. Abrasive, defensive, ignorant and technologically incompetent. Yep, that sounds about right. She simply must be teaching computer science at a university somewhere. What’s more: her husband manages the campus IT network. It finally makes sense that about 30% of all hacking attempts against our servers are from college and university IP addresses.

The most appalling thing to me is that these people each felt so justified in their behavior that they were prepared to scream it from the rooftops. Not knowing that 50% and half mean the same thing, or that an infection is an infection (but especially when your antivirus is incapable of removing it), is a sign of extremely defective reasoning. These are the “experts” for military, medicine and education, at least in their own heads. They are so set in their opinions that facts, reason and logic are simply vulgar words to them. These people shape the minds of technology today.

And people still wonder why Windows 8 didn’t have a start button.

What I’ve really learned from these experiences is that my policy of being nice “no matter what” is the real source of this problem. Would the LT have still treated me so poorly had I not tried to help him understand the problems with his decisions? Would Maria have still had her abrasive behavior had I not taken the effort to allow her an out? Would Jane have attacked my character had I not offered to help her? We’ll never know.