On Saturday there was a concert at Diamond Fork in Spanish Fork canyon (just 200 miles north of where I live) featuring Evol Intent among other bands. Just after about 11:30pm that evening, this concert of somwhere between 1500-3000 in attendance (I can't find an official count, just the number of ticket sales), was raided by SWAT teams and over 60 people were arrested for drug charges. Now, this may or may not seem out of the ordinary to you but consider the following:
- The Concert was 100% legal and legitamite. The tickets were sold well in advance. There was ample advertising.
- Permission from both the city of Spanish Fork and the Bueuru of Land Management was given prior to the event.
- Just as any 100% legal concert would have, there was already ample security forces present. Searches for drug paraphenalia were being done at the door prior to anyone's entrance to the concert.
- Not only drug 'offenders' were arrested. All of the organizers of the event were arrested as well. This includes the Security forces that were employed that night.
- As you watch the video, ask yourself the following: Do these people look like police officers (they are) or do they look like military? Make sure you notice the fact that these 'peace officers' are carrying some form of assault rifles.
- Did the SWAT teams enter through the front door even? No. They flew into the concert via helicopter!!
- And worst of all: No warrant was issued to the invading forces.
Watch the video. It speaks for itself. We are already living in a fascist empire. What's that you say? You think I'm an extremist who takes things a little too far? Whether or not you choose to see this country for what it is, is probably dependant on whether or not you can see things that don't directly affect you, not whether you like or dislike the music style. If you don't express your outrage for the rights of others... what rights do you have?
I smell another letter in the works....
Update Aug 25: There is a wealth of information on the new site Music Vs. Guns
- March 1933: Franklin D. Roosevelt declares a national state of emergency.
- So does Harry Trueman on December 16, 1950
- So does President Nixon on March 23, 1970 and again on August 15, 1971
Update Aug 22: I have sent off my letter to Senators Bennett and Hatch, Congressmen Mathesen, and George Bush himself. I will let you know as soon as I recieve any response from them.
To find out your representatives you can find out on the GovTrack website (the easiest way is to enter your nine digit zip code)
- H.R. 1268 - The Emergency spending bill and 'REAL' ID act.
- Central American Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA)
- The Patriot Act version 2.0
- Energy Tax Incentives Act of 2005
- The Supreme Court decision of Kelo v. City of New London
- H.R. 1268: See my blog entry.
- CAFTA: This bill was passed in Congress during a late night session in late July. The proponents of the bill broke the house rules and extended the voting period which had alread expired (with the bill voted down). They proceeded to bribe and steal as many votes as they could by promissing subsidies and benefits for the other representative's states. One estimate by a friend of Representative Ron Paul stated that these promises equate to over $50 billion in completely unrelated promises. These promises just get tacked onto our, the taxpayers bill. I'm all for free trade, but do we really need over one hundred pages to mention that we should have free trade? It must be a lot more than it is purpoted to be.
- Patriot Act 2.0: I hope you know about this one. This was passed briefly after the attacks on the east coast on September 11th, 2001. It was passed very quickly and without much thought about anyone's personal liberties. It was designed to combat 'terrorism.' The only good thing about the act was that it had sunset clauses. That the provisions it specified would end. Well here we are, in the middle of an ongoing war with Iraq, London get's bombed, twice. On the very day of the second London bombings, the Patriot Act's provisions are made permanent. That is, all but two of them. Those two are renewed for another 10 years. So, Those things that were passed in October of 2001 were thought so incredibly necessary to fight terrorism that that they would suspend most of the personal protections guaranteed by our constitution, are now found to be even more important now than they were before to make them permanent? It sounds to me more like the Patriot act is no longer so controversial in the minds of most. People have forgotten, people have thought to themselves, well it hasn't affected me at all, so it must be working. Even after we are are through with Iraq, even after the 'War on terrorism' is long forgotten, those provisions will still be in effect. By that time, probably most people will assume that that's the way it's always been, that 'Government knows best'.
- Energy tax incentives: The energy industry is probably one of the most profitable industries in the world. Everyone uses it, and very few provide it (what some would call a government sanctioned monopoly, some would call a cartel.) However, George Bush sees them differently. He sees them struggling to make ends meet. Among some of the more extravegant subsidies of this bill are:
- Over $2.9 billion alone is set aside in subsidies for the coal industry.
- A traffic light in Canoga Park, CA receives $100,000 in funding.
- A bridge to be built in Alaska, spanning from the mainland to an island with a population of fifty: $223 million.
- Kelo v. City of New London: Of all of these, this is probably the most blatant overriding of people's rights. The Supreme Court decided in June that it's OK for someone to take your house away from you as long as it's within the economic best interest of the community. Yes, the 5th ammendment does say that "private property [shall not] be taken for public use, without just compensation", but do you really think that this is what they meant? If my house can be taken away at any moment, do I really own it? Unfortunately, no.
Sorry, The website has been down for a few days for maintainance.
My Parents have been in the process of moving, and as such they have told me that I cannot host my site on the server at the (old) house now. I have moved my site now to Powweb ... I've already had some issues (adjustments to lifestyle really. They don't offer shell access here) ... We'll see how it goes. On the plus side, it's darn cheap.
I succesfully moved my TikiWiki site over to Powweb only to find that two weeks later it was broken. After numerous hours of attempting to fix it, I decided to bag the whole thing and switch toWordpress. It seems to be overall much more peppy than the TikiWiki code. I really like the Wiki side of TikiWiki, so I'll definitely be looking for something for my Wiki needs in the future, which may mean re-installing TikiWiki.
Kellie and I went down to Las Vegas last week and went to our first Star Trek Convention. I have mixed feelings about the experience. On the one hand, it was extremely cool to see so many familiar faces, people that I have admired and respected for most of my life. On the other hand, there were 2,000 other people there that made the experience so much less personal than I would have liked. I have a dream of someday meeting Bill Shatner. I don't want that meeting to be where I pay $80 for a photo-op and have 2 seconds with him. Great guy, wrong place.Some of the highlights:
- We heard the Las Vegas Philharmonic reproduce Star Trek Theme songs. It was extremely well done. James Darren (Vic Fontaine himself) sung as an intermission. It was a surprise appearnce (Nana Visitor was supposed to appear instead.) A once in a lifetime opportunity.
- William Shatner. Need I say more?
- Patrick Stewart uses regular bathrooms. I was waiting for Kellie outside of a public restroom at the Hilton, and out comes Patrick with his three body guards. Not three feet in front of me, he passed me by. Closest I've ever been to a Star Trek actor.
- Kellie and I both dressed up as Trill for the symphony. The day after for the convention, we had run out of marker to make the spots, so only Kellie was Trill on that day. Very good costume, easy to do, and lots and lots of respect by passer-by Trek fans. Of course, not everyone asked the appropriate question: "How far down do they go?" ... all the way of course :)
- Kellie recieved Spock's autograph... young spock that is... young Pon Far spock that is... Stephen Manley to be exact. The aquaintance went about like this:
- Stephen Manley: Hey, those are excellent spots!
- Kellie: Thanks! (Then she probably said "You have to ask the question though...")
- Ryan: Do you know who you just spoke to?
- Kellie: No...
- Ryan: That was Spock.. young Spock..
- Kellie: Oh cool! I have to get his autograph now!
All in all, it was a very good experience, although I probably won't want to go back for several years.
Here are some photos of our Trek:
For all those wondering why I might want a computer in my car, here is a list of things I plan to be able to do with it:
- Store all of my music on it. Be able to run out of gas far sooner then I run out of music.
- Be able to play video games while waiting in the car for some reason. (About a week ago Kellie and I waited in the drive through at McDonalds for about 30 minutes.) ...
- edit: ugg... my friend Gandhi just mentioned that yes... they now rent DVDs there too... *shudder*
- Track my location and distance to destination with onboard GPS and appropriate software
- Use an OBD-II interface to gather statistics from the engine's computer. (Speed, RPMs, Fuel Efficiency, engine warning messages etc)
- Install a camera in the front of the car that will record on the computer. This will allow me to take time lapsed video of trips.
- Just for pure curiosity: I wonder if loading a bunch of files onto the hard drive, driving across own to a friends house and offloading them to his computer via the wireless connection is faster then transferring them via DSL?
Here are the system specs:
- Via Epia SP13000 mini-itx motherboard
- 1GB DDR400 ram
- 250GB Western Digital HDD
- Opus 120W DC-DC power regulator (auto starts the computer when the car is turned on and shuts it off afterward also allowing for a specified delay after the car is shut off)
- Ubuntu 'Hoary Hedgehog' Linux — hibernation works flawlessly
- This screen: (I bought it before they raised the price )
I completed the first major step on modifying my car this weekend. For Fourth of July weekend I went up to my parents house, where my Dad has lots of tools. He has lots of experience as a carpenter. We were able to quickly produce this:
It is a fold down computer enclosure in the right hand side of my trunk. Much credit goes to bulgogi777 on the Mp3car.com forums for his trunk install. I belive that we have improved a bit on his design a bit (less destruction to the car) but without his initiative along with the power of the net to allowing people to collaborate in that manner,,, well I probably would have come up with something far less elegant.
More pictures of the install process are in my pictures gallery
Many thanks go to both of my parents for their assistance in this stage of the install. My Dad for his carpentry skills, and for my Mom who helped apply the fabric.
I'll post more as this project progresses.