I Guess Schools Aren’t Prisons, They’re Worse

I often complain about the fact that public schools are basically prisons. Of course superintendent Nathan Bootz does point out that prisoners actually get more than school children:

Consider the life of a Michigan prisoner. They get three square meals a day. Access to free health care. Internet. Cable television. Access to a library. A weight room. Computer lab. They can earn a degree. A roof over their heads. Clothing. Everything we just listed we DO NOT provide to our school children.

This is part of a letter Mr. Bootz sent to the governor of Michigan asking that his school be turned into a prison to get increased funding. It seems though that turning the school into a prison would be an improvement so it is safe to say public schools are worst than prisons.

Another Reason You Can’t Rely On State Rescue Services

I get pissed at the actions of various state run entities periodically on this site but I think I’ve found a story that really takes the cake. You know how us gunnies say you can’t rely on the police? Well you can’t rely on any state run service, especially when you’re worth more to them dead than alive. It seems the Interim Alameda Fire Department was to let somebody die because they were pissy about budget cuts:

Fire crews and police could only watch after a man waded into San Francisco Bay, stood up to his neck and waited. They wanted to do something, but a policy tied to earlier budget cuts strictly forbade them from trying to save the 50-year-old, officials said.

A witness finally pulled the apparently suicidal man’s lifeless body from the 54-degree water.

It’s too bad the witness didn’t act sooner but alas at least that individuals eventually did something unlike the members of the Fire Department who supposedly are given the duty to help others. So why didn’t the firefighters do anything?

Interim Alameda Fire Chief Mike D’Orazi said that due to 2009 budget cuts his crews did not have the training or cold-water gear to go into the water.

“The incident yesterday was deeply regrettable,” he said Tuesday. “But I can also see it from our firefighters’ perspective. They’re standing there wanting to do something, but they are handcuffed by policy at that point.”

Bull. Fucking. Shit. A completely untrained witness with no equipment whatsoever was able to get the body out of the water so you fucks certainly could have done it. You don’t need much training or gear to wade into water, even cold water, and drag a man out. Hell people plunge into freezing cold water in my area for charity (Polar Bear Plunge) so you assholes certainly could jump into water that isn’t critically cold. Of course the local government caved to the Fire Department’s demands:

But Tuesday night, after hearing from angry residents at a City Council meeting, the city promised to spend up to $40,000 to certify 16 firefighters in land-based water rescues, KGO-TV reported.

I can’t even begin to tell you how pissed off I am that those members of the Fire Department allowed somebody to die just to make a point about funding. Fuck all of the firefighters who stood by and did nothing. I wouldn’t have given you $40,000, I have fired the whole lot of you and asked the witness who dragged the body out if he or she wanted a job in firefighting. Also let me give a big fuck you to the other witnesses who stood by and did nothing.

Instead the Fire Department received their money and now know they can gain more funding by simply letting people die. That’s not a good precedence to set ladies and gentlemen.

Why Business Owners Love Government Required Licenses

One of the biggest protection scams in the business world is the requirement for government issued licenses to participate in a specific market. This was a very big things back in the days for taxicabs where the city would only issue a specified number of taxi licenses and thus restrict the size of the market. Taxicab owners loved it because it ensures they had little competition and as demand for taxi drivers crew competition became less and less relevant. Of course taxicabs are a great example but a bit boring but thankfully Salem, Massachusetts provides us with a far more entertaining example of this:

In 2007, the city lifted a cap on the number of psychics allowed to operate and now some believe the ‘Witch City’ is getting overrun.

That’s right Salem required a government issued license to perform “psychic” services within the city. This requirement was recently lifted though and some of the older “psychics” are a bit perturbed:

Barbara Szafranski is a long-time psychic license holder who conducts readings at her downtown shop Angelica of the Angels. She needed no crystal ball to tell her business would take a hit when more fortunetellers hit the scene.

“It affected me 75%. I lost business because many stores opened up that were not in this field. They just opened up because they wanted to get the money from the readings,” said Szafranski.

“It just becomes a bunch of gypsies. Maybe I shouldn’t say that word because they might be upset by it but those people are not necessarily always qualified.”

That 75% loss of business is due to the fact actual competition has moved into a market where government interference ensured little existed. Basically the market is telling Mrs. Szafranski that her price for stupid magically bullshit psychic services is too high and that her clients have found a cheaper provider elsewhere. I would also like to know what qualifications a psychic needs as apparently gypsies lack these qualifications (I’m betting it’s bloodline, you need to be a pure decedent of some promised people).

The reason business owners are in favor of these licensing requirements is because it protects their business and also ensures a high barrier for entry for new potential competitors. Most cities that impost licensing scams like this set a fixed number of available licenses and thus a prospective business owner needs to obtain a licenses from somebody currently in the business. As these licenses are quite rare (the limit is always set artificially low) the prices for a license skyrockets. Needless to say when a license cap such as this is lifted those who put the investment into getting their license want to see the cap returned as Mrs. Szafranski does:

“I’m in favor of putting the cap on because there are so many psychics in the city now. When I first opened up my business 25 years ago I was just about the only one in this area and, of course, as you’re seeing since then it’s grown and grown and grown,” said Szafranski.

Which translates into “I want the cap returned so I can charge my artificially high prices again.” Either way this is a great example of government licensing requirements being nothing more than protection scams.

People are Catching On

The one thing I hated about high school was the fact it didn’t feel like an educational facility but a prison. Once you were inside the prison walls you apparently forfeit any rights you had and were to submit to the demands of your overseers. You may be shocked to learn this but I didn’t do well in this environment as my problem with authority stemmed back from my days as a wee lad. Well it seems others are catching onto the fact that our education facilities are actually prisons and one site has posted 18 signs that public schools are prisons.

Dancing at the Jefferson Memorial Will Get You Beaten by the Police

Let us pretend for a second that some overzealous asshole in a robe (who calls himself a judge) rules that you don’t have the freedom to express yourself at national monuments… wait we don’t need to pretend, that actually happened. Well a group of people thought this ruling was stupid and they were right. So what did they do? Did they burn down the memorial? No clearly not. Did they attack the judge who made the ruling? Thankfully no. Did they silently dance at the Jefferson Memorial as a form of protest? Why yes they did. And what resulted from this completely non-violent and silent protest? The police physically assaulted the demonstrators:


I’m sorry but I fail to see where the police were justified in using physical force against the protesters. If you or I used physical violence against a non-violent person we would be brought up on charges of assault so quickly that our heads would spin. For some reason though our society finds this type of behavior acceptable when people in government approved uniforms do it.

Thankfully civil disobedience isn’t easily swayed and there is going to be another demonstration at the Jefferson Memorial on Saturday June 4th, 2011.

Nanny State Moving Against Hookahs

We sure are lucky that the nanny state exists to tell us what is and isn’t good for us. By Thor in Valhalla if we didn’t have the nanny state people may do things that could be harmful! Well don’t worry because nanny is working to remove yet another unhealthy things from the list of unhealthy things, hookahs:

But in fact, hookahs are far from safe. And now, legislators, college administrators and health advocates are taking action against what many of them call the newest front in the ever-shifting war on tobacco. In California, Connecticut and Oregon, state lawmakers have introduced bills that would ban or limit hookah bars, and similar steps have been taken in cities in California and New York. Boston and Maine have already ended exemptions in their indoor-smoking laws that had allowed hookah bars to thrive.

Is smoking safe? No it’s not but neither is a lot of the shit we do. Eating fast food isn’t safe, driving sure as the Hell isn’t safe, drinking alcohol isn’t safe, opening a box with a utility knife isn’t safe, basically nothing is safe. Everything you do in life carries risks and it’s up to you to determine if those risks outweigh the benefits. Well it was up to you until everybody was willing to delegate that power to the state, now the state gets to use their monopoly on the initiation of force to force you to avoid things it deems unhealthy.

So what should you do if you don’t like hookah bars? Don’t frequent them. Legislation doesn’t need to be passed to “protect people from themselves.” If you don’t approve of an activity then you don’t have to participate. If something may be harmful to the participants that is their problem and they can decide whether or not the potential risks outweigh the potential benefits. What we don’t need is the fucking state coming in and telling us what is and isn’t good for us.

Oath Keepers March Against SWAT Team Murder of Former Marine

I’m still pissed about the the SWAT team fiasco that happened last month and cost Jose Guerena his life for doing nothing at all wrong. It seems I’m not the only person pissed off about this as a group of Oath Keepers in the area marched to honor Mr. Guerena:

The Oath Keepers came to Tucson on Memorial Day to honor Jose Guerena, 26, who was shot and killed May 5 while the Pima Co. SWAT team attempted to serve a search warrant at his home. The group marched to the Guerena home Monday and held a vigil to remember the father and former Marine. The Oath Keepers believe SWAT teams are being overused in the wrong types of situations, and that local law enforcement agencies should scale back their use.

The family of Jose Guerena still has many questions about the shooting that took his life. They walked side by side with the Oath Keepers, a group dedicated to protect the Constitution and the rights it gives. Founder Stewart Rhodes told 9 On Your Side the May 5 SWAT incident crossed the line.

“All you know is you got yelling men entering your home with guns in their hands, how are you going to react? it puts them in a no-win situation,” Rhodes said.

I think that last quote sums up the entire situation perfectly. When you have a group of armed men busting down your door there generally isn’t time to think “oh, I’m sure it’s only the neighborhood police.” Of course Mr. Guerena never fired a shot but was pummeled with at least 60 bullets let loose by the trigger happy SWAT team.

I think it would be appropriate to bring all the SWAT team members involved in the shooting up on charges of murder and let a jury determine whether or not their actions were warranted. Of course as members of “the only ones” that is unlikely to happen. The worst that will likely happen to those who shot Mr. Guerena is receiving a paid vacation for a few days before returning to duty.