Monday, March 29, 2010

Healthcare, FBI Raids, and More

Well, I'm late in posting this, but the healthcare bill passed. It will force people to buy private insurance under penalty of a fine, but does nothing to control prices. I bet the insurance companies are excited. On the bright side, several states are suing over it, and some portions of it look ripe for being declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court. I can't imagine the SCOTUS buying the argument that the interstate commerce clause gives the feds the ability to force people to buy private insurance. The majority opposed this and I look forward to November's election results. Several democrats have found themselves being targets for bricks thrown at windows, coffins placed on lawns, threatening phone calls, etc. Now I must say, this would be playing right into the leftist extremists' hands, giving them fuel for their war on anyone who disagrees with them. So do not be tempted to do so.

Members of a group known as "Hutaree" were raided by the FBI. The claim by the FBI is that they planned to kill a police officer, than use improvisd explosive devices to kill more at the victim's funeral. Here's what they're saying:

Members of the group called Hutaree are charged in the case, including their
leader, David Brian Stone, also known as "Captain Hutaree."Once other officers
gathered for a slain officer's funeral, the group planned to detonate homemade
bombs at the funeral, killing more, according to newly unsealed court papers.The
indictment includes charges of seditious conspiracy, possessing a firearm during
a crime of violence, teaching the use of explosives, and attempting to use a
weapon of mass destruction — homemade bombs.The indictment charges members of
the group conspired "to levy war against the United States, (and) to oppose by
force the authority of the government of the United States."The charges follow
FBI raids over the weekend on locations in Michigan, Ohio, and Indiana.According
to investigators, the Hutaree view local, state, and federal law enforcement
personnel as a "brotherhood" and an enemy, and planned to attack them as part of
an armed struggle against the U.S. government.

I'm very skeptical. Typically the ones in any militia group, protest group, etc., advocating violence or other illegal acts, are feds or police officers who infiltrate, try to stir up trouble to arrest people they dislike (anyone who doubts this should research COINTELPRO). And typically, the so-called pipe bombs, grenades, etc., consist of people having both common plumbing pipe in their home and some gunpowder. Items millions of Americans have. Now, the Hutaree group was a bit too doom and gloom and paranoid for my tastes, but it seems to me perhaps the FBI just figures they'd be easy targets.

Furthermore, this is just too convenient in some ways: the dems pass healthcare against the will of the people, they start claiming they're being threatened, so, what better way to discredit the opposition by trumping up some terrorism charges or such, and trying to lump the opposition in with them? The far-leftists all over are already trying to connect these people with the Tea Party Movement, etc., and the SPLC is trying to blame Glenn Beck and others with inciting violence:

I wish a Rico suit would be done on the SPLC. They rouse up paranoia, smear any conservative or libertarian with the extremist/racist brush,and rake in millions in donations. They listed the Constitution party in Vermont as an "extremist" group and a militia leader in Indiana was accused of being racist by them, and so he sued successfully and forced them to remove their statements from their website. Just a couple of examples of their lies.

Now, on a lighter note, I've got plants started and some seeds ready for my garden. I'm getting more and more into heirloom varieties. I'm going to grow Armenian cucumbers this year (actually a melon that tastes like cucumbers, and grows 3 feet long). Scarlet runner beans are one of the oldest runner beans around (dating to at least the mid 1700's, and as a sidenote: never eat them raw, cook them well or they will make you sick). Tennis ball lettuce was a favorite of Thomas Jefferson and likely goes back to the 1600's. It;s a small butterhead type lettuce. I hope it grows well because it sounds interesting, especially with the Jefferson connection. I've got way too many tomato varieties: silvery fir tree, siberian, black plum, brandywine, German red strawberry, yellow pear, and cherokee purple. Yellow pear tomato is a very old variety, also grown by Jefferson. It's very mild flavored. The others also have interesting histories, such as the cherokee connection with cherokee purple. Siberian does well regardless of weather it seems and are decent enough if the better tomatoes don't produce well (or die from blight again).

I'm also growing "husk tomatoes" or "ground cherries." Related to the tomato but not a tomato. The variety I have was enjoyed by the Pilgrims in the 1600's. It's got a unique flavor I really can't describe. For peppers I'll be trying Hungarian hot wax, Anaheim chili, California wonder bell, and I plan to try jalopenos and possibly cayenne, to make some really hot, hot sauce. For beans (besides the runner beans) I'll be doing Kentucky wonder pole, blue lake pole and bush, early golden lumen wax beans. In addition to Armenian cucumbers, I'm growing early Russian cucumbers (a true cucumber, excellent for pickles or fresh eating). I'll be trying moon and stars as well as sugar baby watermelons, and I'm going to give cantaloupe a try. Now, they say to only start these about 4 weeks before transplanting, but it's simply not early enough here often. So, I;ve got some started now in large peat pots, and will also start more in May, and see which ones do best. Moon and stars is excellent, but very unreliable here. I hope it does well this year. It sucks watching the melon not grow until it's too late. All that rain and cold really hurt them. The sugar baby usually grows at least some melons before the cold hits, and are good, though not quite up to moon and stars standards.

Zucchini squash, black beauty variety likely, of course will be planted for something to have early on (though only a few plants, they just get out of control quickly, I love zucchini but can only eat so much at once), and peas, though I haven't decided on a variety. Early green broccoli, I haven't decided on what variety of cauliflower yet. And of course, onions and potatoes. Probably kennebec potatoes since I always have good luck with them, not even the blight last year got to them. Speaking of which, I truly hope we get a better summer this year. But if not, I have plans to ensure I get some good crops (involving lots of clear plastic and rope).

I may actually skip growing corn this year since I rarely have much luck with it (seriously, what's with all the earwigs? I never experienced this where I grew up, not this many, as I experienced every year I've lived on this end of town), it takes a heavy toll on the soil, and I have way too many other things to grow.

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