Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Every Generation...

Imagine we are sitting at a table - a roadside café in Frankfurt, Germany.

It's 1936.

I tell you, "I had a nightmare. We were here, but it was 1946 instead. The Americans and Russians have bombed all of Europe into the dust, because this new guy running Germany invaded Poland, Russia, France... he won approval to call the Jews inhuman, and killed millions of them in gas chambers, with machine guns, diseases and starvation. Tens of millions more died in Europe trapped between immense armies - the Americans put thousands of bombers in the sky at one time."

Quietly, you talk to the waiter when he next approaches, and shortly the ambulance arrives. Smiling men in white usher me off to the hospital. Clearly I am mentally ill. No one could do what I suggested that Führer was planning; Germany is starting a new age of recovery.

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Every generation is living in the most modern society it has ever known. None of them actually ask for the purges taking millions of people to early graves.

But it happens, largely because no one can believe it, and so no one acts early to prevent it.

Take the lesson.

The Transportation Security Administration: Federal Charlatans


Ladies and gentlemen, you're being hoaxed.
You're being sold your own fear.

How?

A number of people are making claims about "security" while pointing at the Transportation Security Administration - and they're trying to paint a positive picture. They're wrong to do so, and I will explain why you should be angry at being manipulated.

But where to start?

Okay. Look at the pile of confiscated belongings at the airport. Some are eager to show you a pile of tweezers, scissors, knives (including butter), power tools, even hammers and saws. They cry, "See what we have saved you from!"

That's Part 1 of the Big Lie. First: all of those things have flown on commercial aircraft for over 70 years without incident. If you know that people, not things, are dangerous, this will not surprise you.

At the extreme, you might be doubtful of this. Surely, you say, guns are a bad idea. What if I could show you that in the entire history of commercial flight, small arms fire to the airframe has never shot a commercial airliner down? Can I prove that? Sure I can. Just read through the Jet Airliner Crash Data Evaluation Center site.

There is another part of the Big Lie. This is that if we only search airline passengers, the United States of America will be safe from terrorists.

Well, no. Not only do we not even search everything going into the plane (have you thought about the caterers?), we don't screen baggage handlers or even the TSA workers hired to pat you down. You can find dozens of on-line articles where TSA employees were thieves, or where someone was bribed to allow drugs to be shipped on a plane.

Question: if you can bribe somebody to put something on a plane, does that somebody actually know what that something is?

Now, let's step away from the plane for a bit. Does a "terrorist" only have a plane for a target? Of course not. Have you seen an Emergency Response Guidebook?

Oh, yeah. That should have opened your eyes a bit. Yes, we ship, truck, pipe and rail millions of tons of hazardous materials across this country daily. It's in transit right now - the raw materials of an industrial nation. That's us. Some of those materials are actually called Weapons of Mass Destruction when a politically-unpopular person or group has them. We just ship it around. It's right here among us, ready to be used to kill or injure thousands at a time.

We don't care.

So. What are we doing? For convenience, we are allowing ourselves to be presumed guilty of an unnamed offense for the crime of wanting to travel by airplane.

For convenience, we allow ourselves and our children to be groped by an ersatz guard force so abysmally stupid they searched veteran Joe Foss for carrying his Medal of Honor.

I suggest that if you are letting this happen, you should stop.

And if you are causing this to happen, at least wear the brown shirt.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Ashley E Vargas, Do The Right Thing!

Ashley Elizabeth Vargas is not to be trusted.

Some time ago, when life was good and I was impressed with the brilliance and energy of my niece, I was convinced to cosign a student loan for her. She would attend Florida Institute of Technology, majoring in astrophysics.

My mistake.

I was notified of Ashley's secretly leaving school by a late payment notice from Wells Fargo. Yes, she simply slinked away. Attempts at contact were fruitless - the sign of dishonesty, not hardship, of which there is plenty in her life. Now, this action has lost her an ally: me. Family members did nothing; one sought to excuse her actions. I should have expected that. It was and is reasonable they raised her to do things like this. Nice job, Mom and Dad.

Okay. It IS entirely up to Ashley who she associates with - even if they are folks who didn't make it possible for her to go to school.

Wells Fargo says:

Ashley has not called them since February 2011.
Ashley has not paid a penny of her student loan. Those things are both still true, as of 1/6/17.

And so here we are. I have the records. Well, most of them. Wells Fargo informed me that they have to send the tax form for deducting tuition to her, even though I am the only person ever to pay. I wonder what is happening there...

Let me make this perfectly clear: I do not desire personal contact with a person who would duck this responsibility. I understand the embarassment of a child at being caught with her hand in the cookie jar, but these deliberate actions are not those of a child; they are simply dishonorable. It should also be clear that Ashley has a responsibility to Wells Fargo - which is being ducked. The moment I find out, through Wells Fargo, that she has paid any amount, that will be credited here.

So far: not one dime. Is this your employee, by any chance?

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So, if by any chance you're thinking about extending credit, or offering a position of serious fiduciary or other responsibility to Ashley Elizabeth Vargas (the one in Casselberry, Florida), you might wish to ask some pointed questions. Official inquiries can be addressed to r#a#d#w#a#s#t#e (yes, remove the #s) at tds.net. I will not divulge details to individuals.

Let this be a lesson to anyone observing this: DO NOT COSIGN ANYTHING, no matter what you think of the family member. They will leave you to pay the debt while they party. If confronted, they will rationalize away any responsibility you may suggest.Ashley E. Vargas