Saturday, April 29, 2017

Louisiana Purchase Subject of WSJ Cartoon

American architect of freedom and eventual POTUS Thomas Jefferson wasn't afraid to ignore the US Constitution and ship $15 million to Napoleon in 1803 for New World property that the diminutive Frenchman had never seen. Forgotten in the transaction were the neolithic residents of the territory who had been living there for centuries.

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Russell West Dripping Paint Art

Image result for Russell West Neighborhood, 2015 Dripping paint on wire

  Margate broken pottery, 2008

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Alaska State Representative Chris Tuck Talks About REAL ID

Stand up to the corrupt REAL ID Act

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FAIRBANKS — I am disappointed that Gov. Bill Walker’s administration has given in to the fear tactics and misinformation of the Department of Homeland Security and the Transportation Security Administration by putting forth legislation to make Alaska implement the Federal REAL ID Act and pay for it ourselves. It is my duty to set the record straight and make sure people have the facts they need to defend their rights.
The Department of Administration has been reporting that if we do not agree to comply with REAL ID, we will not be allowed to use our state IDs to get through TSA checkpoints or to get on base. In reality, there is no existing or proposed federal law or regulation requiring ID to travel at all. A recent reply to a 4-year-old Freedom of Information Act request to the DHS has shown that 77,000 people per year fly without IDs, and only 2 percent who try are ever turned away. Not only that, it is the Pentagon and individual base commanders who decide what ID is required to get on base. The Department of Homeland Security does not have authority over the Pentagon. That is why the DHS instead uses fear tactics and misinformation to try and force REAL ID on the states.
As background, the REAL ID Act was never debated by Congress, but rather was hidden in a 2005 emergency appropriations bill. It is barely six pages long, but it opens the door for the Department of Homeland Security, the TSA and outside private organizations to control the identification cards we need to exercise our inalienable rights of work, travel, gun ownership and privacy — but only if we give them that power by putting REAL ID into our state laws.
Alaskans are being told that under the governor’s bill, they will be allowed to choose between a REAL ID and a regular ID, but this is inherently false. Under the REAL ID Act, noncompliant IDs must marked “NOT FOR OFFICIAL PURPOSES.” The old ID will be gone forever, and if you can’t come up with the required paperwork to get a REAL ID, you will be stuck with a bogus ID.
Regardless of which ID you get, your personal data will be entered into a private nationwide database where you will no longer be able to obtain any information about it or have control over it.
The REAL ID Act requires each state to “provide electronic access to all other states to information contained in the motor vehicle database of the state.” For years it was impossible for states to comply with this requirement until a private organization, the American Association of Automobile Administrators and a private company in Midlothian, Virginia, named Clerus Solutions, created a private national database called SPEXS to satisfy this mandate. Since then, Homeland Security has left it to AAMVA to set the standards for the national database.
Surprise, surprise. Clerus Solutions is made up of former AAMVA executives. The founder and chairman of the board of Clerus Solutions actually helped Congress write the REAL ID Act. He, the president and CEO, the senior vice president, and the senior business analyst all were top executives at AAMVA before forming Clerus Solutions and the SPEXS database.
In January 2017, without permission from the Legislature, the Department of Administration uploaded almost every Alaskan’s personal ID data, including much of our Social Security information, to the SPEXS database. The Social Security Administration expressly warns against using Social Security information in this manner, and the REAL ID Act does not specifically require that such information be shared, but the administration has defended the practice because it is an AAMVA requirement.
AAMVA and its subcontractors are not subject to the Freedom of Information Act or any other state or federal public information laws. There is no way to correct mistakes or obtain information about the data they have compiled on you. In addition, they can change the data requirements and the states must give it to them or lose REAL ID compliance.
Neither DHS nor the TSA will appear before any of our committees or truthfully answer any of our questions about the REAL ID Act. It is almost pointless to try because they can expand or change the requirements of the REAL ID Act at any time by publishing them to the Federal Register, which they have done numerous times.
Rest assured, I would not be standing up to DHS and the TSA like this if we did not have a much better alternative available to us. For $55, anyone who can get a REAL ID can get a passport card. Sixty-five percent of Alaskans already have a passport or passport card. A passport card is actually better than a REAL ID because it will get you access to everywhere a REAL ID will and more. A passport card can be obtained through a post office and only requires two pieces of documentation, whereas a REAL ID requires four pieces of documentation and a personal visit to a DMV, which many communities don’t even have, and a passport card is protected by federal public records and privacy laws.
If you or someone you love has ever been wronged by the TSA, you know it is a bad idea to hand over control of our identity cards to the DHS and private organizations. Please join me in calling on Gov. Walker to withdraw his legislation and instead sue the federal government to defend our state and federal constitutional rights to travel freely, to have privacy and to manage our own affairs.
Rep. Chris Tuck, D-Anchorage, serves in the Alaska House of Representatives.

From the Fairbanks News-Miner

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Penguin Random House Makes a Huge Investment

One time POTUS B.Hussein Obama and his queen Michelle have made a deal with Penguin Random House to publish books that are yet to be written. Publishing figures say that the two are likely to receive in excess of $65 million for their literary efforts. It would seem to be very optimistic that an advance of this extent would be profitable for the book company but it's their money.

On the other hand, by showering the couple with greenbacks, the publishing giant has less money to spend purchasing the works of other, less notable writers. Maybe readers should be upset that such a financial commitment has been made to what will surely be a limited output of verbiage, regardless of its wisdom. This sort of thing shouldn't be encouraged. Furthermore, it seems likely that the income from the sales of other expensive books will be used to subsidize the Obama tomes should they fail to be the blockbuster hits they're projected to be.

In response to this deal normal readers should try to stay away from not only the Obama books themselves, which will, of course, be available in libraries and thrift stores soon after release, but also other books published by the conglomeration. Just say "No" to Penguin Random House. 

Sunday, February 26, 2017

G. M. Trevelyan on Life Under The Stuarts

Every age has methods of its own peculiarly attractive to those who prefer to intrigue for a fortune rather than to work for a living. In those days a young man of more wit than modesty had only to attach himself to some Lord at the Palace, be found by the King in raptures in his picture gallery and by the Queen in thoughtful attendance in her antechapel and he might soon look for shares in a monopoly that was the hope of the Treasurer and the despair of the City.
A Parliament man, speaking the mind of the nation in the day of reckoning, thus describes the patentees of this period:

 It is a nest of wasps, or swarm of vermin, which have overcrept the land, I mean the monopolers polers of the people. These, like the frogs of Egypt, have got possession of our dwellings, and we have scarce a room free from them: they sip in our cup, the dip in our dish, they sit by our fire; we find them in the dye-vat, wash bowl, and powdering-tub; they share with the butler in his box, the have marked and sealed us from head to foot....They have a vizard to hid the brand made by that good law in the last Parliament of King James; they shelter themselves under the name of Corporations.

Life Under the Stuarts, G.M. Trevelyan, University Paperbacks, 1965; pg. 154.

 Image result for james i
King James I

Friday, December 30, 2016

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Traffic Lights Cause Car Accidents!

That's the opinion of the Minnesota's Ramsey County Commissioner Jim McDonough in a controversy over local residents' request for a traffic signal at a busy intersection on St. Paul's east side: "He said Ramsey County found that a four-way signalized intersection could actually lead to an increase in the number of crashes because drivers speed up to beat the lights. . . . "A light will not make that intersection safer. It will cause more harm than anything else.” Further information on this interesting situation can be found here.

Image result for Car accident at intersection
If this is indeed true, then why are traffic signals needed at any intersection? The locals feel that the county's logic is being influenced by financial considerations. It's said that a traffic signal at the intersection would cost about $300,000. That's difficult to believe, a third of a million bucks for a traffic signal? Let's see a breakdown of the budget for such a project. In fact, if that were the case, wouldn't the traffic lights in even a mid-size city like St. Paul be worth about a zillion total dollars?