Monthly Archives: July 2011

1,000 micro-tyrannies: Local governments

With each passing day of Obama’s McJob Recovery, the foul stench of government desperation is creeping further into the nostrils of everyone stuck under its Made-in-China boot. And it’s not just the federal government that’s getting pushy. More and more, where a local government can impede commerce and make money for itself… it will. Eventually though, it gets discontent with its already-outrageous level of avarice, so it will pass new laws, or spend even-more tax payer dollars on new measures that will allow it to crack the whip a little harder.

DC Metro Police: To harass and fine

DC Metro Police: To harass and fine

Let’s take a tour around the country shall we? (we can’t use a pedicab though, that’s illegal, more on that in a minute)…

Down in the sunshine state, home of the hanging chad, Florida bureaucrats at the Department of “Highway Safety” and Motor Vehicles are making a few quick extra bucks. It’s actually making around 63 million quick bucks. No, not by speed traps, those are a given, but by selling out the personal information of their citizen-subjects to private firms. Whether you like it or not, Lexus Nexus and Shadow Soft are now in possession of your personal information, Floridians. The state has sold your full legal name, current address, date of birth, and a list of registered vehicles, and all without your consent. Not like they have to worry about reprecussions for bad service or anything, that’d be capitalism… government just goes the monopoly route. Maybe though, if we’re lucky, the USPS will go under before the DMV slips out addresses out to the spam mailers. Yeah, probably not.

The DMV in Massachusetts are up to their own tricks. They’re not selling information yet (that we know of) but they’re at least they’re starting to put everything in a database! Building lists is the first key to exploiting people afterall (See, I know this because I’ve worked in politics). The so-called Automatic License Plate Recognition device will be implemented among state police as well as 26 local departments to scan thousands of license plates per hour, detailing the location of each driver, their criminal record, warrants, traffic history, and parking violations. All of this will be in a database accessible to Feds, state police, local police, and prosecutors. Most likely it means the blue-shirted bridge trolls are going to be pulling more and more people over for petty code violations and creating new traffic jams.

In Pittsburgh, the police are now openly setting quotas, requiring each officer to make at least 10 traffic stops per month… quotas are nothing new, but it’s nice they’re at least admitting to setting profit metrics now.

Speaking of petty fines there’s an alarming threat emerging near the heart of our Nation’s capitol. Pedicabs. You know, they may just seem like poor underpaid college kids who pull people around on bikes in 103 degree weather. They may seem like they are providing a service to tourists… but that isn’t the case. What they’re actually doing is far more nefarious. What they’re doing? It’s illegal.

Bill Line, spokesman for the National Parks Service made it very clear that nefarious acts of capitalism are not acceptable in the American Capitol.

“The pedicabs are obviously doing much more than driving a bike,… the pedicabs are obviously out at the National Mall to make cold hard American cash.”

Unacceptable. Maybe if they were being paid in Carbon Credits it’d be more legit in the eyes of the state. Further highlighting the micro-protectionist policies of governments everywhere, he went on to say that Pedicabs weren’t allowed to enter the market because the government made a contract with a Tour Bus agency, Tourmobile… and we wouldn’t want to actually see competition afterall, that’d be Unamerican.

Welcome to DC!

Welcome to DC!

It goes without saying that the city of Washington D.C. is an exemplary model of American fascism. What will it be today? A boot on your car? A body slam into concrete for dancing? No wait, you just drank a bottle of water on the metro didn’t you? That’s gonna be a fine citizen. Oh the heat index is 116? I don’t care. Pay the fine criminal. I’d recommend you go find a tall glass of ice cold lemonade, but I just shut down their stand, so you’ll have to go buy one from one of our state-funded museums. Bottom line, if local and state governments around the country want to really make a killing (double meaning), they need to step their game up… do like the Romans do… copy the District of Control’s level of dedication. You’ll be raking in the big bucks!

I’ve asked it before but I’ll ask it again, what do these people actually produce? If government is going to create jobs, it might as well put people into jobs where actual products or services are being offered.

To the DC Parking enforcement office: Sitting at a desk, stuffing your lipid-covered, carb-filled ass with Cheetos, while you process my parking tickets is NOT a service, and I am not your customer. If you are forcing me to cough up hundreds of dollars under the threat of legal or physical force, I am your victim. So if nothing else, please fix the language on your website to more accurately reflect your celebration of fascism.

Now, you’ll all have to excuse me. I have to make my way over to Q street, my car is 15 minutes over its arbitrarily determined 2-hour parking limit. I wouldn’t want to have to skip groceries this week.

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FBI encouraged American Icon Ernest Hemingway to commit suicide.

It’s great we have so many tax-funded feds to keep us safe from the real threats out there. DHS is making sure our phones and E-Mails are secure, and The TSA is keeping our genitals bomb free. Even better, the BATF is keeping guns out of the hands of dangerous Americans by sending them over the border to drug cartels. As it turns out, our tax dollars may have also helped drive a renowned American writer to suicide.

Friend, and collaborator of Ernest Hemingway, A. E. Hotchner wrote in the New York Times on July 1, 2011, that Ernest Hemingway was driven to commit suicide by stress of intense Federal Surveillance.

At the time of his death, there were many explanations for Hemingway’s suicide; that he’d been fighting with his wife, that he was terminally ill, and that he was drowning in financial problems. Hotchner insists none of those theories were true.

Shortly before taking his own life, Hemingway complained to his friends of torment due to constant FBI surveillance.

“It’s the worst hell… the goddamnedest hell. They’ve bugged everything. That’s why we’re using [my friend’s] car. Mine’s bugged. Everything’s bugged. Can’t use the phone. Mail intercepted.”

Even his closest friends did not fully believe him at the time… but it turns out he wasn’t just paranoid afterall. The FBI started keeping tabs on one of America’s literary treasures as early as the 1940s. J. Edgar Hoover took extra-special interest in Hemingway, reportedly for his time spent in Cuba. In 1983, a 127-page file on the writer was made public. It was revealed that for TWO decades Hemingway was spied on, harassed, and tailed by federal agents.

Near the end of his life Hemingway told those close to him that he felt himself deteriorating; he found himself unable to write, or spend time with friends. Hemingway was subjected to multiple stints at mental hospitals, and as many as 15 rounds electroshock therapy in a hospital that Hemingway insisted was bugged…shortly after his release, he took his own life in 1961.

Guess all of those now-classic American novels posed an immediate threat to the safety and security of America. If the federal tax-parasites were really in this for our protection, they’d go after Justin Beiber or Rihanna.


Revamp

Machine Smash is on it’s way for a makeover. In posting frequency, and in design. I’ll be working to add features and overhaul the look over the next month… and more importantly, I’ll be posting on a more frequent basis. I’ll also be posting video commentaries at the start of each week. Rejoice, dear plebeians.


The New Space Race: Private Innovation vs. Government Stagnation

with Bryan Kazmaier & Jake Gissendanner

Today marks a milestone in space exploration. While we haven’t been back to our own moon in almost half-a-century, it’s the end of an era! NASA, will no longer be sending bureaucrats on ancient shuttles to chill in orbit and not-explore our near-by moon and planets. Space Shuttle Atlantis made its final launch today, carrying a crew of four bureaucrats, on its way to do what it always does, attend a freeze-dried ice cream party at the international space station. Snore.

Under Obama’s new space plan, the U.S. will cease it’s shuttle program, leaving private firms to pick up the slack for now (Obama letting the market do something? Woah, I know, holy crap!). Meanwhile, NASA has been tasked with developing deep-space rockets, with the prospect of reaching the moon, or near-by planets that it probably intends to “conquer.” (otherwise known as visit a few times and leave, never to return)

As we end one era, we hopefully dawn into one in which government begins to get-the-hell out of the way of private innovation. The most likely reason (rather than innovation) that NASA is ending the shuttle program, is the fact that the U.S. is broke. Liberal rags are lamenting the death of the shuttle program, saying it signals an end to American innovation… of course, this is preposterous. Government subsidy is not intrinsically tied into innovation.

The universe is not a national park. The international ‘spirit of cooperation’ propagated by United Nations bureaucrats crushes private incentive, and the last thing I want to see is the TSA in space.

In the long run, entrusting space exploration to militarized outfits such as NASA, known for using the perverse euphemism “conquering space,” will only continue to provoke archaic arms races with rival nation states, who are also quite literally “shooting for the stars.” The most vibrant trade routes in human history expanded because of self-interested merchants and investors who actively sought markets beyond their known horizon. Peace and commerce inevitably encourage exploration; the final frontier, like all frontiers before it, will be mapped by capitalists and adventurers. Even the guy from the History channel show ‘Ancient Aliens’ with the big hair has more incentive to explore space than a government bureaucrat. Besides, I don’t believe NASA is capable of developing Firefly class starships. Only capitalism can do that.

When man can escape the confines of Earth, he can escape the confines of its elite-run governments. Only when man reaches his full potential, only when man is able to move about space freely, will he truly be free. Let us hope even amidst a looming monetary crisis, and all the other perpetual warfare we are now enduring, we someday reach that ideal. And let’s hope that when we get there, we don’t run into any Galactic empires or Fascist-leaning Alliances.


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