Captain Corruption\'s Commentary

Friday, May 19, 2006

Oath of office? What Oath of Office?

"I don't need to be lectured by you. You are no more a protector of the than am I," Judiciary Committee Chairman Arlen Specter, R-Pa.,

Read that gem from Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Arlen Specter again:

"I don't need to be lectured by you. You are no more a protector of the Constitution than am I."

Psssst. Yo Arlen, remember this whacky Oath of Office you took?

I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter: So help me God.

"You are no more a protector of the Constitution than am I."

Apparently not.

I don't find the context relevant myself, I find the statement an outrageous admission of dereliction of duty on its face. Nevertheless, here's the context if ya care for it.

Lord of the Libertarians?

I've read the Lord of the Rings books a dozen times and watched the extended movie versions half a dozen times and never thought of the underlining theme. Then I stumbled upon this essay by Vin Suprynowicz recently and thought it worth sharing:

For most great English literature has been about restoring proper government power (always favoring the legitimacy of the ancestors of whatever patrons were footing the bill) – read the thanes of Shakespeare’s "MacBeth" arguing that any foible can be forgiven in a king so long as he can rule with a strong hand, preserving the land from anarchy.

But The Lord of the Rings is not about restoring the metaphoric Ring of Power to the rightful king. Rather, we see Frodo the ringbearer – an open-faced hobbit in homespun making the most seemingly unlikely champion, except for the fact that hobbits are the creatures in all Middle Earth least likely to be seduced by the promise of power – offer the ring to each of the good wizards and elf queens and royal heirs of his world, in turn.

Those who succumb to temptation come to bad ends. The test of goodness and worth – in this film as in the book – is the ability to say "No" to the offer of unlimited power, to declare, as does Gandalf the Gray (Ian McKellen), "Oh, I would use this ring in an attempt to do good. But through me, it would wield a terrible power. ..."

Frodo’s quest is not to deliver the One Ring to the right king, but rather to haul it back to the mountain of fire where it was forged in darkness, and destroy it.

What’s that? Not merely to reassign government power to its rightful heirs, but to reduce and limit it for all time? To declare that the solution is not merely to make sure "the right party" manipulates the existing levers of power, but rather that such unrestricted power is to be banished from the globe for good, setting men free to seek their own mortal (albeit often misguided) destinies?

This is the conclusion Prof. Tolkien drew after watching Europe wracked by 30 years of (briefly interrupted) total war between the struggling factions of fascism and collectivism.

It’s also – coincidentally enough – what America’s founders attempted 215 years ago, when they set about constructing a government "of limited powers, sharply defined."

Do most of our present-day rulers still share that vision? Is it a common thing to walk into a federal court these days and find a judge scratching his head and declaring, "You know, the defendant has a point – I can’t seem to find any specifically delegated power in Article I Section 8 of the Constitution for the Congress to enact laws or create agencies to meddle in this field of human endeavor, at all. I thereby rule this entire section of the federal code to be unconstitutional and null and void, and order the agency whose agents have brought these charges to be dissolved forthwith. Issue yourselves severance checks, turn out the lights and lock the doors; case dismissed"?

Of course not. Because the Libertarians and Constitutionalists who argue in America today that the goal and raison d’etre of this government from its founding was to limit central power in order to maximize individual freedom, get about as much respect and attention from today’s swordbearers – anxious to centralize everything from bank account reporting procedures to airport security – as did Tolkien’s little hobbits from the dark lord Sauron.

Our eventual success today – against such a fearful array of forces, once supposed to stand as "checks and balances" one against another – looks about as likely as that of little Frodo’s lonely pilgrimage to Mordor.

Read the rest here!

Thursday, May 11, 2006

NSA at it again

According to USA Today Big Brother continues watching. Apparently our friends in the have been hoarding phone call data provided to them by , , and , the nations three largest telecom companies.

Now now now, before you go screaming about yet another unconstitutional intrusion into your by this administration remember what they're response is going to be... 9-11 lets us do anything we want. So don't bother with the administration on this one.

See, there's this little law, Section 222 of the Communications Act, that forbids the phone companies from releasing this information. Quoting the USA Today article:

Under Section 222 of the Communications Act, first passed in 1934, telephone companies are prohibited from giving out information regarding their customers' calling habits: whom a person calls, how often and what routes those calls take to reach their final destination. Inbound calls, as well as wireless calls, also are covered.

The financial penalties for violating Section 222, one of many privacy reinforcements that have been added to the law over the years, can be stiff. The Federal Communications Commission, the nation's top telecommunications regulatory agency, can levy fines of up to $130,000 per day per violation, with a cap of $1.325 million per violation. The FCC has no hard definition of "violation." In practice, that means a single "violation" could cover one customer or 1 million.

Seems clear to me that AT+T, Verizon and Bell South are breaking the law AND violating their customer's privacy. If you are a customer contact your telecom provider and insist that they cease this law breaking immediately. Contact your state's Attorney General and insist that he bring charges to bear.

Oh sure, I think its yet another horrible intrusion by the administration into the civil liberties that make our nation great, but its also a clear violation of the law by a handfull of powerful corporations who need our money to maintain their profit level. Bush is a lame duck and could care less about your vote. AT+T, however, sicks telemarketers on you all the time. Time to hold them accountable!

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Xenophobia in the in-box

Can't believe I'm coming out of my blissfull father of a baby girl existence because of the issue du-jour, , but I got one of those obnoxious chain e-mails in my box and felt the need to respond. The e-mail rant will be in italics, with my response normal font.

n : an orator who appeals to the passions and prejudices of his audience [syn: demagog, rabble-rouser]

Hey, if you want to have a rational discussion regarding our open unguarded borders and the problems they cause I'm all for it. If you want to make the point, RATIONALLY, that there are plenty of entering our country legally, and it is unfair to them that illegal immigrants cut the line, fine. I'll probably do lots of agreeing.

But if all you (You being whoever the original author of this document is, and those that will disperse it) can do is play racist demagogue, you'll find I can play that silly game too.


Try these and see how long you stay out of jail or even alive!

Try driving around as a Gringo in Mexico with no liability insurance..... and have an accident....

Granted you'll lose your car. Don't be so stupid as to take your own car somewhere with no bill of rights, or be prepared to pay the price.

Enter MEXICO illegally. Never mind immigration quotas, visas, international law, or any of that nonsense.

How? How can I enter illegally? I've crossed that border multiple times. They want me in. They want my money. They don't look twice at you entering. The only trouble I'd have is if I tried to cross BACK without my driver's license. Then I'd be stuck.

Once there, demand that the local government provide free medical care for you and your entire family.

Who's demanding that? Does the author of this document want to provide a link to the voices of these demands?

Yes, through the emergency medical treatment and labor act of 1985 hospitals are legally bound to provide emergency services regardless of ability to pay and citizenship. But hey, as long as we're being demagogues here, I'm not gonna complain about paying for emergency medical services for anybody when I'm also forced to pay room and board for anybody, regardless of citizenship status, that's too freakin lazy to get off their butts and get a job.

Ya want to see the abuse of social services ceased, then cease providing social services to all abusers.

Demand bilingual nurses and doctors.

Who makes these DEMANDS? Go to Mexico, at least the tourist towns and big cities, and they will have folks that speak English at any establishment see the above reference to wanting our money. They want you as a customer, thus they'll speak your language.

Demand free bilingual local government forms, bulletins, etc.

Again, who's making these DEMANDS? Are there lots of folks who don't speak English? Yes. Does that present a communication problem? Yes. Are you a more marketable employee if you're bilingual? Yes. That said, I haven't heard anyone DEMAND any of the above.

Procreate abundantly.

What, you mean like Mormons, or Catholics, or Pentecostals, or folks on fertility pills, or... Yeah, no demagoguery or implied racism in that procreate abundantly line. I know, how bout a law licensing parenthood and limiting the number of births. I've always wanted to live in communist China.

Deflect any criticism of this allegedly irresponsible reproductive behavior with, "It's a cultural American thing. You wouldn't understand, pal."

See above comments regarding racism and demagoguery and our newfound relationship with China.

Keep your American identity strong. Fly Old Glory from your rooftop, or proudly display it in your front window or on your car bumper.

Hmmm like perhaps a holiday celebrating Green Beer drunkenness? Or annual Oktoberfests? Italian Fests, Greek Fests etc etc. Celtic knot tattoo's anyone? Kiss me I'm Irish bumper stickers? Or perhaps the proud flying of flags for the failed and defeated confederacy? We better outlaw them all!

Speak only English at home and in public and insist that your children do likewise.

Insist eh? That's what's happening huh? I'm sure the author of this document has done extensive research into the home life of all the various folks who don't speak English and can back this claim up with hard data, right?

Demand classes on American culture in the Mexican school system.

Again with these mysterious DEMANDS.

Demand a local Mexican driver license. This will afford other legal rights and will go far to legitimize your unauthorized, illegal, presence in Mexico.

Don't need one, I'm authorized, they want my money, and my driver's license is good enough for them.

Insist that local Mexican law enforcement teach English to all of its officers.

Good luck!

No other country will allow foreigners these rights.

You're right indeed! How proud I am to live in America, the only country in the world whose constitutional government extends its rights to all human beings within, regardless of the status of their papers. What a wonderfully unique concept, and one of the fundamental principles that our nation was founded on that ALL men are created equal, that they are endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights.

I'm quite proud to live in a country where white, black, brown, yellow, and every skin tone in between can be encountered. Where walking down the street I might hear proper English, or a southern drawl, or ebonics, or Spanish, Russian, Yiddish, Farsi or any number of other languages. I'm thrilled to be able to enjoy Colonel Sander's chicken, General Cho's chicken, or some tasty chicken fajitas, as well as Indian, Thai, Greek, Italian, cuisine, and possibly find a sampling of all of the above at an Irish Pub!

I'm thrilled to live in a country where someone is absolutely and unequivocally free to write the document I'm criticizing at the moment. I'm proud to live in a country that allows the KKK to have its annual 15 person demonstration on the statehouse, and allows me to join the 500 folks across the street in flipping the KKK off.

You're absolutely correct no other country will allow all of the above. Why does that make you frightened rather than proud?

It will not happen in Mexico or any other country in the world... except right here in the United States... land of the naive or at least too nice!

Some would have it become land of the xenophobe, home of the frightened.

Again, if a rational discussion about the real issues of illegal is what is desired, I'm all for it. In the meantime, please keep racist crap like this document the bleep out of my in-box.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

More Orwell whilst hiatus continues

Every war when it comes, or before it comes, is represented not as a war but as an act of self-defense against a homicidal maniac.

Thursday, March 16, 2006

This week's 1984 quote

Don't you see that the whole aim of Newspeak is to narrow the range of thought?… Has it ever occurred to you, Winston, that by the year 2050, at the very latest, not a single human being will be alive who could understand such a conversation as we are having now?…The whole climate of thought will be different. In fact, there will be no thought, as we understand it now. Orthodoxy means not thinking—not needing to think. Orthodoxy is unconsciousness.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Captain Corruption MIA?

Nope, but lots going on, so how bout a quote to ponder to get you by till my next rant...

Winston could not definitely remember a time when his country had not been at war.

Orwell, 1984 is the source, of course.

By the way, I know how Winston feels.

Sunday, February 26, 2006

First Morrissey, now Henry Rollins

Well unlike Morrissey at least I can imagine Henry Rollins as inspiring a little fear in someone, but really folks the paranoia is way outta hand silly, doncha think.

was notified by officials in Australia that he was a person of interest within their anti-terrorism establishment. Why? Because he chose Ahmed Rashid's book "Jihad: The Rise of Militant Islam in Central Asia" as his in flight reading material while flying to Australia. Apparently this disturbed the gentlemen sitting next to him, who notified authorities. Here's what Henry has to say, via MTV.Com:

"The guy phoned me in to their, like, anti-terrorist board, and they found me — they looked me up," he said. "They looked up the flight and found out who was sitting in seat 10A and they got to me. And they said, 'OK, you're now a person of interest. The man next to you does not agree with your politics and he didn't like the book you were reading.' This kind of provocation, I don't respond very well to. I was furious. And so I wrote back, 'You can tell everyone at your office, including your boss, to go f--- themselves. This book has been read by a ton of people — I am not a threat to your state or any state or any republic.'"

Read the rest here, and enjoy the New World Order.

Sex Pistols show kids today what REAL Punk is.

Gotta love em, or hate em, or ignore em... aww f*** it, they don't care either way.

Check out the officially scrawled reply the Sex Pisols have offered to their recent induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame:

PS yup, the inspired my first and possibly last blog use of the eff asterix asterix asterix word. Just seemed appropriate to me...