Wind, Tides, Maps, Weather...

Sunday, November 11, 2012


It has been a while since I wrote an article for the Sandbox, but there is something telling me it is time to check in a offers a few opinions. About America. About the Republic. About truth and about falsehoods. About the effectiveness of hatred and fear, and the next step in the cultural, social, and spiritual involvement of mankind.

I practice yoga. I make sure to speak to the God I feel is evident in every stone, every child, every leaf on every tree and every star in this vast universe. Yoga is my way of listening to Him, She, or It. In the original Sanskrit the word relates to the yoke around a cow's neck as he is worked in the field. The yoke of his master steering him to plow the fields is compared to the continuous and constant flow of meaningful thoughts tht cross our mind every day. According to scientists some sixty-five thousand of them. Yoga is the science of silencing the mind; slowing down and even stopping the though process, so the seer - the true consciousness inside us all - can finally see.

Before those decades preceding the 19th century there had never been an attempt nor an opportunity for men to establish a self-governing political entity. They rightfully determined that such a republic could only be established and could only thrive under a clearly defined set of laws. Laws that no one man or even group of men could easily change. They did not anticipate involvement in global wars. They did not anticipate an "Internal Revenue" service. There were a lot of things they did not anticipate those early days, when they pledged their properties, their safety and that of their families. They did anticipate the dangers to the fledgling experiment in personal freedom, and with it personal responsibility.

This week the power of the collective rang true. In the silence of my mornings, I see a light flicker. A light that came on in those candle-lit rooms in the 1780s. In a brilliant albeit sleazy political strategy, the nation was split into women in fear of access to birth control. A welfare community was told to expect less buying power on the plastic money they receive for free, with no accountability, little care for the children they spawn, and a growing number. Food stamps have no place in a free society. Food and clothing and housings and compassion and comfort and every scientific and personal resource available should of course be available for free to the needy. But to make it something on a plastic card, given to any and all that claim the need is one of the many winds blowing out those candles.

The election of Obama also established - in no uncertain terms - an administration that feels able to do anything it sees fit. The transformation of America is here, and sites blogs like this on in danger. Each of us needs to reach out for a candle. The candle of freedom burns in our hearts, not on paper. The republic may not stand, but the concertos that built it once can do it again.

Could somebody do us a favor and copyright the name? And do it in about five or six other countries, too?

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Friday, July 27, 2012

Who am I, anyway?

I sit around a little bit every day. On schedule and in a formal way. Every morning at dawn I make it a point to silence my mind. It is said in the most ancient of all writings that if I am able to quiet my brain - to silence the mind - that the true me will see through the smoke that was covering the fire. The smoke being, of course, the endless thoughts that pop into your mind every day. It is thought that the average person has more than sixty thousand thoughts a day. And that is not counting, I assume, thoughts that come through our mind while we are dreaming, or might come into our consciousness when we are in a deep sleep. Of the three states of consciousness, which if studied from a purely literary standpoint could be said to be the basis of the idea of a trilogy, we know very little of our waking state, much less the dream state. Of the third - the one you achieve while in REM sleep - we know nothing. It is a conscious silence reaching that level of no-thought that the practice of yoga promises.

So what does all of this have to do with today's political state of mind? Everything. It is all about consciousness. It is all about being awake to what is happening. And what is happening is the true colors of a man known publicly as Barack Hussein Obama. Because it seems - and many of us certainly hope - that his days in his role as leader of the free world are numbered. That November shows that something is happening in this beautiful and still-free country of ours. And that is awareness

The issue on my mind today goes back to last week. He spoke without the TelePrompTer. And like he often does in such cases, he spoke his mind, and exposed his heart.

He said to the "downtrodden" - which in many cases are only downtrodden beyond the $1,200 a month routinely given to minority classes in our country because they are members of the committed devotional following at the voting booth - that this country was founded by the one percent, and that since the first day people like me that have started businesses had done it on the back of the black. That whitie, or men, or republicans, or successful owners of small businesses did it on their back. The back can be black, gay, Latino, gender- or -transgender specific backs, or any special-interest back they can find this week.

Who is the racist here? Me? Us? Really

Wake up, America, and take away his taxpayer-purchased TelePrompTer. And tell them to take their hope and change and stick the coins where the sun cannot possibly ever shine.


Monday, July 9, 2012

Executive strategies and executive orders...

When I first met the publisher of this now very-popular blog, a wonderful man named Gary Anderson, we had an almost instantaneous attraction to each other. We had a lot of things in common; both good and bad, light and dark. But both of us having reached an age where the only things in life that matter are the really important ones - the ones you cannot count with spreadsheets. Don't get me wrong. We have families, we have homes, and we have a lifetime of dreams, goals, and hopes that aren't gone yet. We both love business, and we love new businesses. He jumped right in and started working with me on a web site called, and it took off. We talked fishing, we fished, and we wrote about fish. But we also talked a lot - more than fish, in fact - about our nation. We talked about the good and we talked about the bad. We talked about the love we share for her.

Gary is really an expert at finding things. He can find anything from where to catch largemouth bass in gravel pits, to native Floridian artifacts dating back a millenia. And he can find things on the Internet. It was Gary that first introduced me to Agenda 21 - a United Nations agenda, signed by our own global ass-kissing diplomats (can you name three?) that sees air conditioning, plastics, and private property among the dozens of things important to us all as being contrary to a "Sustainable" world. Have you noticed how many times the term now appears in our daily speech? That and the word "Green"? I have another term that sounds supportive of an ideal world, but can quickly be exposed for what it truly is: an anti-free-market global governance ideal that redistributes America's wealth to impoverished (and not so impoverished) socialist/Marxist nations. It is undeniable in its clear intentions, and without dramatically improving our national consciousness of Agenda 21 and how far it has already taken hold in local and regional, it may be part of a future we want no part of.

The world is changing. I still listen often to the sweet voice of a young Joni Mitchell; her incredible magic telling me often wind coming in from Africa, where the lady of the canyon toyed with a lucky man who walked with a cane. That Greece, and the one of an ancient Athens pictured in the mind of a youth still enriched by stories of their Gods. Sex with swans, the three seeds of a forbidden pomegranate, and a knot untied only with the sword of a warrior are still there on my fingertips, like they were when I was twelve and first having them fly and drift and appear magically in the room of my young mind. I remember now a program called Icarus; and it shaping the first fonts of a digital age. But the world, and the feathers, and the myths are changing.

The forces of dark and light, of good and evil, are at play. Whether it is the Internet, or the smell in the air, we see signs turning into bricks, and dreams into anger. The concepts are the same, the collective as angry and ready to fight as ever, be it France and its chopping machines or Germany and its Jews, the song underneath the myths is the same. As is the end game.

Doctor Roy Crabtree. Can we have an extra two days of snapper fishing, doctor? We bow to you, oh master.

I watch and am close to a tiny part of the world, but one that connects many people. The tiny part is fishing. I have a friend that speaks Mandarin, and often shares newspaper stories from the mainland with me. One I remember to this day talked about fishing management by the west. How the Chinese people - meaning in this case as in all the communist government - felt was that fishing wasn't something that could be managed. That it was a basic human right. Although feeding the collective was, of course, the role of the benevolent government, the actual personal right to fish - whether to help provide that collective only within the scope of his own family or for the village is something that seems natural. Our over regulation of the fisheries silly in their communist minds.

The people regulating our fisheries do not like us. It is their intent to eventually teach all children that fish feel pain too, and that only barbarians would pull those poor little helpless creatures out of their pristine environments only to release them after the torture. But what is happening is far more than fishing management I see. It is human management. And it smells bad.

The world is changing. There is a smell in the air, Frodo. There is a smell in the air.



Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Hunting for our Freedoms...

I was reading a story about some rare African animal that just about went extinct in Africa. Some kind of curved horned creature. Fortunately, just before they disappeared from the savannah, a few of them got saved. A few of them went into the hands of a rapid environmentalist organization, and the others to the hands of a couple of Texans. The greenies intended to protect them from man, while the cowboys with guns wanted to breed them. Why? So they could find other idiots in blue jeans with expensive guns that somehow and for some unknown reason wanted to put a bullet through the gorgeous natural animals. They intended to kill them. Can you believe that? The poor Scimatar-horned Oryx being shot just for recreation? What kind of barbarian would want to kill something so beautiful - and something actually endangered - for the fun of it? What is next? Skeet shooting bald eagles?

Bald eagle hunting, anyone? I hear they are a little tough. Definitely tougher - and harder to shoot - than the Scimatar-horned onyx. The animal seems much safer and is thriving in greater numbers (by a factor of 200) on private hunting grounds, where texans raise them for the hunt. Not good, say environmentalists. They want it stopped and they want it stopped now. Those animals are endangered, you see. So is our freedom. At the hands of people that feel everything about us - from hunting to fishing to running our own businesses and maybe getting rich doing it - is not good for the God they called "Mother Earth". These people are the enemies of freedom, and fail to see that We are hunters. Progressives hunt for victims they can protect or save from danger or oppression. We hunt fish and Scimatar-horned onyx.

Here we are some years later. The environmentalists - who now have 150 of those creatures on their preserve in Africa - are fighing the Texans in court. Why? To stop them from killing the 10% of their stock each year. Killing those poor things are rich white guys with jeans and expensive, highly-accurate guns. The ten percent of their herds - which were raised on private ground with private funds for harvesting in the content of private hunts on those private lands - is more then one thousand six hundred animals. How the hell did one men get away with killing so many of those poor endangered animals?

The herd on the Texas ground numbers - according to a leading conservationist - somewhere between 6,000 and 10,000 animals. Penalty to kill, eat, and enjoy. The herd is completely sustainable with a 10% harvest.

Priscilla Feral is the president of Friends of Animals. It is Priscilla that leads the law suit to stop the hunts. It seems that capitalism, rich white guys with guns, and killing animals for the sport is something so disgusting, and so in need of her personal help, that stopping it is on her Agenda.

If you had the time to read this story today, think about this, and give some thought to writing a letter to Priscilla. You can tell her that you heard this story from a guy who owns expensive guns and cannot wait to shoot one of the scimitars. I will put the head on the wall of the office I am writing this story from. And think about her.

There is money in killing animals and fish...

Sorry to say this, folks,but there is money in killing stuff. There is money in killing those Scimatars and there is money in killing tuna, and in killing marlin once In a while. I am in fishing management, and not the protection of animals. If I was, I would argue that the animals being hunted by rich white guys in Texas on private land are one hell-of-a-lot safer than they are in the paltry herd being maintained by the greenies. Greenies cannot manage fish and they cannot manage animals. We cannot get on the red snapper grounds most days. Cutting the entire season to forty days for recreational fisherman shuts down millions in sales of goods related to fishing, and let us fish about twenty days all year for a delicious and abundant species. What the hell is up with that? Those snapper would be fine - and we still would never reach 10% of the stock in "takes" - if that season were open 9 months a year, and not one?.

Marine Spacial zones are covering the earth in ever-increasing areas. Fishing for sport - catch and release fishing - is now illegal in Germany and Sweden. Who is next? Hunting and fishing are in mankinds blood, and they mix well with capitalism. Man mixes well with capitalism. It was money that has 6,000 - 10,000 love and healthy Scimatar-horned onyx on private ground in Texas and a remarkable 150 on the ground of the greenies protecting them in Africa. Who do you trust with fishery management? People like Priscilla or people like Travis Palladeno, commercial anglers, professional guide, and strong battler against the environmental left. He is also the mayor of one of our country's finest coastal communities. Devastated by the ever-increasing regulations being shoved down our throats by people that do not fish, and do not like fishing or capitalism, for that matter.

There is a simple reason for this problem. In managing the animals, they have to manage something connected in magical and invisible ways to the animals they are attempting to manage. The human factor. And the human factor that is connected to those animals are the men and women who hunt them, or the men and women who find fishing magical and mystical, and important to the way they see life.

Being on the water, or being in the field about to take down one of those Scimatar-horned onyxes - gives us a connection that beauracrats, scientists, and certainly activist environmentalists cannot understand. Leave the onyx alone, Priscilla. Leave them and the hunters taking them down alone, Priscilla. Find something else to protect. Maybe you should do sex studies on the Scimatars, and by next year you might have 175 of them in Africa.


Saturday, June 16, 2012

Managing Americans

Managing those testy American anglers...

I think I made somebody mad the other day. The somebody I made mad was a guy named Roy Crabtree. Roy has a very important title inside of NOAA, but quite frankly I am so sick of beauracrats like Crabtree that theirs personal opinion of the importance is somehow connected to titles they make up themselves, so I won't waste a single pixel telling you who he is, what his title is, or why he thinks he is so important that he makes random decisions, driven by his desire to keep that title on his taxpayer-funded business cards. Crabtree is a friend of the fish and a friend of the global movement to govern us. His role is governing what we do to fish, but you get the idea. Roy is a government controller, and as such has a police force he can use to arrest you and put you in jail, or to take property that you've worked to own. Private property and private rights - those troublesome things written into an archaic document more than 200 years ago - are not something that Roy has on s agenda. Roy's agenda is called Agenda 21, and according that agenda, private property and the wealth-gathering that goes along with it are contrary to social justice. Social justice for who, one might ask. Social justice for fish? Social justice for the men and women that scout, hunt, harvest, and eat them? Social or economic justice for the thousands of related businesses touched by or touching the fishing industries? Or social and environmental justice for the likes of Roy Crabtree? I contend it is all about power. It is not all about fish, it is not about fisherman certainly, and it not about the environment. It is about personal and collective organizational power. Power to buy votes, and in turn the power to control elections.

Where do I start? I am a professional writer, and have been telling stories - and getting paid for them - for more than two decades. Three almost. I don't often find myself speechless; I can start with a blank piece of paper, decide what I want to tell the reader, tell it to them, and then tell them - in a paragraph or two (or a chapter) - exactly what it was I had just told them. That step-by-step approach is the textbook method of writing a book. You them what you are going to tell them, tell them what you want to tell them, and then tell them what you just told them. A prescription, if you will, for every technical writing project mankind has ever needed and ever will need. Try it. It will work for anything from an article about a great fishing knot or a book about shaving four points from your golf handicap. We have used the method to produce 500-page textbooks about how to use programs like Adobe Photoshop.

Doctor Roy Crabtree, the power behind the massive onslaught of regulations and behind-the-scenes forces controlling our lives, it is people like Crabtree we need to rid our government of. When asked if he had done mortality studies on the town of Madeira beach with the same fervor that now says we must protect tile fish, he rolled his eyes at me and said the "speech was over". I asked him the same question three more times. Have you done the report that the law requires you do, Crabtree? Who the hell do you think is paying your salary, you arrogant intellectual piece of nothing? You have to answer the question, Roy. Your butt is going to be seated before congress, and the PEW girls will not be able to protect you there. The days of Crabtree management will soon be over, doctor. The truth will set you free, and the truth about fishery management is the last thing you talk about at your taxpayer funded meetings. But it is coming. You remember that fat ass in the hot tub in the GFA meeting and taxpayer party in Las Vegas? You think we are gonna find any mis-steps at NOAA? You think any shady things have happened there? Just wait till September and the Magnuson hearings. Just you wait.

In 1976, a law was put before the House of Representatives called the Magnuson/Stevens Fishery management act. It quickly made it through the senate and was signed by the pen of President Richard Nixon. It was rewritten twice, with the last rewrite - the most devastating of all for the human element of the fishing formula - under the younger Busch. The fact that his UN friendly signature was on the document shoukdn't make anybody particularly comfortable. The last rewrite was the one that really hurt the fisher, though.

You see, as the law evolved, so too did the environmental movement. Anybody with a bit of sense can see that the government - whether it is the Greek government or the city council in most (but not all) city councils in your home town - are completely out of control. I live in a city that is committed to knocking down a perfectly good pier to replace it with "the Lens" - a $20 million dolle bubble over a vast piece of our fishy bay. You will not be able to fish there, of course. It will be a "protected zone". Three years ago, when I was called a conspiratorial nutcase for pointing out the basic premise of UN Agenda 21 as it relates to private property, and that marine Spacial zones were a way for a global government to take what is now public lands and ban our access to them in the name of animals we now hunt and harvest, I forecast projects like the Lens. And some of the world's leading fishery management scientists - the likes of doctor Ray Hilborn - presents solid evidence that they do nothing, and that the emergency, crisis approach to "overfishing" is driven more by blind fith than by science.

The Magnusson was meant to do wonderful things. It was meant to protect American waters from deep water bottom-trawlers arriving by the fleet from China, Russia, and every other nation on the earth capable of producing the increasingly popular "factory ships". Equipped with everything from the rakes that simply dragged the bottom, catching and killing everything unlucky enough to be living where it was used, to helicopter-landing pads, where supplies were brought in and injured workers transported to land-based hospitals. From the trawls to the decks to the processing machinery and into cans, the fish caught on the vessels was outside the control of American anglers, regulators, or law. Environmentalism was in relative infancy, and the law was seen by the already-active anti-fishing community as a poor move towards their true agenda, the elimination of commercial and recreational angling.

The MSA went on from there, though. Fishing was a uniquely American thing in many ways. And fish were identified as a national resource, best protected by a well-educated, centralized and organized government. The federal government, of course. Designed to protect fish, fisherman, and the resource they loved or lived with, the MSA, like a thousand other well-meaning laws, had teeth hidden deep inside it's mouth. Teeth we didn't realize were about to start biting the very people and industries it was meant to protect. Anglers.

Rewrites and definitions: the Magnusson/Stevens

The law started having problems right away. In case you do not know this yet, there is money in politics. Big, sickening, and corrupt money. Money and power that is passed hands, bank accounts, titles to beautiful homes, cars, airplane tickets, and summer houses in the Hamptons. Follow the money, and you follow the law. There were companies like Tyson foods and companies like Walmart that have coin on that table. The law was modified in 1996 and again in 2006. Do you fish? Do you eat fish? Do you care that the number of fish we are allowed to catch in the gulf of Mexico is roughly ten percent as many fish as we could catch fifteen years ago? You should. Do you even own now what defines a fish as being "overfished", and therefore under the anti-fishing control of men like Doctor Roy Crabtree, who, when I asked if mortality studies had been done on the town of Maderia Beach with as much fervor as he was presenting charts about the mortality of American Red Snapper, said I should stop making speeches. It was that comment, and how to describe the events under which the conversation between the doctor and me happened, that had left me speechless when I started writing this comment.

Who would have thought that a law designed to control foreign vessels from taking all of our fish would become part of a global attempt to completely control all fish - one species at a time? The overuse of the Magnuson/Stevens act by environmentalists, stockholders, and global companies like Walmart and Tyson foods eventually charging us to access our public - and American - waters. For thirty-five years a single law had devastated an American industry, an American way of life, and our freedoms at many basic levels. This story of the mortality rate of a once vibrant coastal community should get you interested in the law, and how we can revisit it in these troubled times. Our government has more important things to do than play computer games with fish stocks. Games that will ultimately result in America being like Germany - where recretional fishing is now illegal in an attempt to protect fish from our desire to torture them into extinction.

Bur worry not, readers and interested parties. My ability to talk has returned.

The South Atlantic Fishery Management Council

I call myself a member of the Tea Party, whatever that might be. Many of my friends - people I really respect - either roll their eyes when they hear me say that or "advise" me not to bring up the forbidden subject of politics in stuff I write. "Those articles will be on the Internet forever, Gary." they say. "In ten years somebody will be able to use it against you." Use what? My belief in the purity of that document called The Constitution?" That? The belief I share with many that a completely out-of-control federal government has been slowly but certainly shredding us of our personal rights? The belief that with each new destructive regulation something precious is being lost?

That member of the tea party also owns half of an online fishing magazine. And I went to a meeting the other night of the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council. The meeting was lead by a man that is far from a friend of fishing. A beauracrat more protective of his position and envisioned power then in the protection of any species. But Crabtree can bring fifty head-bobbing beauracrats, scientists, academia, and administration taxpaid head bobbers, but the truth is what it is. Regulators are too busy regulating to see the damage they are doing. It is time for the regulated to regulate the regulators.

It is time to remove doctor Roy Crabtree from his position of power. And to replace him with somebody that sees fisherman as being at least as important as the fish he is supposedly protecting. I you do the research on the number of finish being caught 20 years ago and what they - they, whoever the hell Crabtree thinks he is - have allow us to catch now. Who the hell are they anyway?

I asked him a question at that meeting that he refused to answer. We strongly recommend that you ask him yourself. The question is is this, and should serve as an open question to doctor roy Crabtree:

An open letter to Roy Crabtree


What was the American red snapper season in 1992, 2002, and 2012? In months open and seasons closed? And who could take how manu fish home to eat and share with friends and family members?

Also provide the same numbers for the top ten species you see as in need of regulatory protection during that same time period and which species you had control over that was limited to our capture and harvest over that time. Include changes made to a guide's ability to take fish home for their paying clients.

Can you show me how the decrease in the fish you allow us to catch has fixed or protected species? I need on-water numbers, doctor, not mathematical models done on computer. Real numbers of real fish.

When does this increasing regulatory pattern stop or even slow down? When will regulations not be rewuired at such crisis levels. You are now stopping us from taking tile fish. Can you draw a picture of perfect fishery management?

To protect fish from torture, catch and release fishing in Germany and sweden is now illegal. What is your personal stance on such draconian shutdowns? Are you in direct content with any individuals or organizations that were connected in any way to the acceptance and passage of that legislation?

Relative to the three decade take-reduction and season reduction imposed on our community by scientists, academics, and beauracrats like you, can I see the studies you are required by law to provide me as a journalist and citizen relative to the economic impact of your regulatory changes on one town? The city of Madeira beach. I will supply numbers, and I want to compare them to your required studies.

Gary Poyssick, publisher


I see your studies on biomass. And on fishing allocations, and on your allowing us to catch an additional 10,000 odd American Red Snapper this season. By emergency granting of your power to let us fish. Hve you done the studies you are required to do concerning the economic impact of your increasing and ever-expanding species shutdown?

I said it at that meeting the other night, doctor. You line up with people only who agree with you. Vast wealth is moved around 501c3s for global governance strategies like catch share and marine special zones. You know what is happening and you agree to be part of it. But ask yourself this question. What is the end game for our country if you get your way, animal rights activists? What is the end game of an America where it is illegal to catch a bluegill with a little boy and put it on a frying pan? Or putting a $250,000 Sportfishing boat on the edge of a school of black fin tuna? What is better for the civilization on the shoreline? The gray rooms of socialism, or the open oceans of the tuna boat? Making sure nobody hurts those poor helpless tuna takes away something on that expensive boat that is the same on an ancient fishing craft. Something magical and something free. Don't protect the fish and make the angler go extinct,



Thursday, June 14, 2012

Anclotte Key Fishery

Captain David M. Rieumont with a hefty snook (Robalo in Spanish) from the waters of Anclotte Key. The recreational fisheries in Florida generate more than $50 billion (with a B) in direct and ancillary revenue in the State of Florida. That said, the NMFS (National Marine Fishery Services) has shut down our grouper, our American red snapper, and further over-regulated many aspects of our beloved sport out of business. With Catch Shares, Sector Separation, and many other anti-angling regulations coming into play, it’s only a matter of time before we match what Germany and Sweden have done in the name of these poor fishies. And that’s to completely shut down, and deem it illegal to catch and release a fish.
What, do you think this isn’t coming our way? Well think again, ladies and gentleman, think again. First the animal rights activists show you pictures of dead seals, dead fish, and eventually dead freedoms. Wake up and smell the fish, folks. Wake up and smell the fish.
I would rather die free with these fish in my hands than live under the rule of the tofu-eating, bi-curious saviours of the environment. Why don’t they save themselves first, and leave our freedoms to people that care about them. I can tell you that the first time somebody with a blue helmet on their UN-compliant heads come up to me while I am fishing, on the water, or anywhere on American soil, rounds are gonna fly. And the last time I checked, the people that want to take my guns ain’t got any of their own. They can send their lawyers, perhaps. Or even the current attorney general. He’s gonna be looking for a job soon enough. Send him my way.
Please. Send him to Florida with a blue helmet on.
Captain David M. Rieumont holding a typical springtime snook (Robalo) from the Anclotte Key fishery.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Just what is fishery management?

We have talked a lot about fishing politics. Largely to no avail, unfortunately. For several years now, since I was told that I could not enter what I thought was a federal meeting with a camera, we have argued that something really bad is happening concerning fishing, fishing regulations, environmentalists, and money. Big big money. The logic that the guy running the meeting (or the guy I thought was managing the meeting) used to keep my camera out was something called the Chatham Rule. When he attempted to evoke it at a Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council, I was familiar with the Oxford University method of managing meetings. Combined with a tactic designed specifically to steer the "consensus" of a meeting run by a predetermined and trained meeting managers, Chatham argues that cameras and audio recorders 'stifle' people's willingness to share their true opinion. Being afraid that somebody might hold them accountable for what they said, bureaucrats in the United Nations feel much better if the press is kept far away.

At that meeting in Tampa two years ago, I called the police. They agreed with me that the Florida sunshine law - which demands freedom of the press (I have a card with the letters PRESS in big red letters on them that are actually official) - trumps UN protocol. That protocol is commonly used by fishery management people, you know. More than three quarters of the time reporters just believe it is law, and lay down and hide their cameras. And let regulations pass and pass and pass that reward friends and demolish towns like Madeira beach.

It is time to start recording every one of these meetings. Tomorrow night in Orlando, the south atlantic fishery management council is having a meeting, and reporters - and camera crews - will be there. It is at the raddison and of you visit the council's site there is information about the meeting. If you have the time, we would love any angler concerned about their freedom to fish, their access rights, and the rights of the American press to enter meetings of government regulatory bodies, we would love to have you there.

Holding the fort against the wild ones...

Back at the keyboard, and recently off the phone with partner in pixels and all things political, publisher Gary Anderson. He is well and slowly returning to a physical condition where he will be able to string his typically 400-word articles (sentences, I should say) to the pleasure of his reading public. For now and the immediate future, it will be yours truly posting most of the commentary here on ThePoliticalSandbox. The blog will also be making a somewhat dramatic technical transformation as it moves out of the blogspot blog space and not the world of real, commercial, money-making blogs. We hope you will find the content as good as you even found it over the years that Gary has managed it, and how while I help out.


Saturday, May 19, 2012

On Character Recognition, Optical and Otherwise…

It must have been about six months ago now that a friend of mine named Jay called me one morning and asked me to do him a favor and take a look at an "Acrobat" file. For those among you less than moderately geeky, you call a file an Acrobat file when it was saved or created in a special file format called PDF. PDF in the acronym in common use for Portable Document Format files. The format was created some twenty years ago at a company called Adobe. Back then Adobe was in the Font and Imaging language business, not the Photoshop business. The name of that language is PostScript, and it was the original science behind the fonts that you see today. Science has grown, as have language options in the world of graphic arts, but while they were building the company, they faced two major technical problems. One was with color, and the other with file formats in which to store color, fonts, and other graphic information. Both challenges could only be met by some common "color model" and some common "file format". The problem(s) were called "x-y". There were going to be x number of printers outputting y different color models to z number of output devices, or x number of computers whose now-digitally-enabled creative people could see color on x number of monitors. Or y numbers of different programs could save in x number of different formats. What was needed were color spaces that were agreed upon by all the manufacturers. Ditto file formats. So were born from first etches on stone to hand painted colors to four simulation colors (CMYK), Adobe RGB, LAB, and for files PDF.

Color space is still something that can and does take several different forms. Not so with Acrobat; everybody agrees there is no better way to put fonts, layouts, images, and now video and any rich content into one easy-to-generate (as part of the "Print" workflow in all three major operating systems) package. And when the package moves from the creative workflow - the one that is happening in every ad agency, every newspaper, and every magazine in the civilized universe - to the place where things are transformed from that package onto the printing plates ( for printing ) or servers ( for Internet distribution and publishing) - it moves just as easily as it can be output by the artist from her original vision. PDF makes things easy in the creative world. I am not voicing opinion; Acrobat is a reality, and PDF as a way to move files around is the standard.

PDF files can hold a lot of different things and then send that content effectively to any medium, be it print, web, or crop circles. One of the things they can contain are fonts. The next, pictures. Pictures come in two flavors. The first is a "Vector". Vectors are basically line drawings that are mathematically defined, and can be output tiny or huge without any degradation of the image's quality. The second kind of image is called a "Bitmap". A bitmap is how 99% of all the digital photographs you ever see are saved. They might be put into an Acrobat file to move from one place to another. It is not necessary to save an image as an Acrobat file, though, since images like photographs do not contain actual type. In other words, the sign you see in that picture from mom is a picture. You cannot put some tool inside the sign, highlight the text, and type new replacement text to take its place like you could in a word processor. Let's think about that for a moment. If you are skilled, you can retouch the picture and remove the sign, replacing it with other bushes in the background using a clone tool and make it appear to disappear, but you cannot change the phone number on the sign without a great deal of experience retouching. That is a painting job. Like changing Mona's smile on DeCapirio's painting (just kidding; I know Michelle's ancestor actually painted it but had the credit stolen by a white dude. Figures.).
If you take a photograph of something, there is no editable type contained in the document. A normal scan - what should have been done to show the American public something they could analyze without seeing layers, characters, or other "artifacts" - is just that. A photograph.
You can, under certain and very specialized workflows, make that happen. You could use software that could recognize the type on a form, for example. It is called Character Recognition Software, and is used to save the time it would take to retype, let's say, the documentation underneath ObamaCare. If somebody gave you the wheelbarrow of paper it would take to read it, and you did not have a digital version of the file, like a Microsoft Word file, and had to create one, what would you do?

You would use Character Recognition Software. You would not retype it.

Now, back to the real story. The real story is about a story publisher Gary Anderson and I posted here on ThePoliticalSandbox when my friend had called me that night. The story was about the PDF my Rabbi friend had asked me to look at. The Acrobat file he asked to check out was the recently (the day before) released "Long Form". It was a scanned version of a birth certificate. The birth certificate for a child named Barack Hussein Obama.
I had heard the whole "birther" theory. I filed it in my "Bush brought down the towers" cabinet. The cabinet has stuff in it like the folder about encounters with the almond people. They (those weird little aliens that push their fingers in your ear and leave stuff there) are not as amusing or laughable as the tower folder. I have been on the roof of a building above a small town square in a town called Palmyra many years ago. Above a hundred people - a mix of dads, moms, and their rambunctious children - who had, as was normal on cool winter evenings in the Cauca Valley in southern Colombia -- been standing around in the park below. I was watching them when one-by-one, then in pods, and then all together looking north behind me. Looking at a craft no less than 300' long and 200' wide and fifty thick. The blue rectangular lights moving in circles around the rim were not neon; they were something I had never see before or since. It made no noise as it moved south above and then beyond that little town square in that little farming town. When ten miles south it turned, moving into the Andes to the west at speeds that should have made sound as it pulled the air with it. We all felt it. The young hippy named Gary and the old men around him drinking aguardienti felt it. The children were quiet; so were the birds. When breath came back it came back collectively, and came back as an "ohhhhh".
So I ain't so sure about the almond people in the Almond People folder. Somebody or something was driving that thing. And I can tell you it was no man-made Pentagon secret waiting to turn into a popular consumer product. Not that thing. Not that silence and not those blue lights. So almond people I might buy into. After all, we went from tubes to the Internet pretty quick. Maybe the almond people dropped something out of that football field they were flying in the valley that night.

Not so the tower thing. I spent a good amount of time going in and out of all the tower buildings. I didn't work in them, but I was around the printing industry, and I was around wall street people. So I was at the towers a few times. I met people there for breakfast, I met people there for sales calls, and I met a lawyer there when somebody was shooting me out of a company I helped put together. When I saw the buildings come down, and later heard that the small building was clearly the result of Cheney personally carrying some eighteen thousand pounds of plastique explosives to hide underneath the air conditioners, so they could hide their duplicity in the growth of Halliburton and the sales of weapons to the cartels. (oh yeah, not the cartels, freedom fighters. I have the wrong gun-deals mixed together). And if you take the time to read that Cheney didn't need so much explosives after all; the building was structurally flawed so badly according to architects that there might have been somebody "paid off to sign off" the original plans for the building. But since corruption is so rare in big city, union-based contracting, that that is very, very unlikely. Right? Truth is the Towers were taken down by religious fanatics taught to destroy our nation and all ideas of religious freedom since the time they were children, sort-of like six year old Palestinian children I see waving AKs around on the evening news. I wonder if my progressive friends know of any progressive and justice-providing program out there that helps children who have been taught that Jews are rodents? No? Well there is a victim for you. Of course somebody already bought the Palestinians as Oppressed Victims franchise early in the game. Ayres and his socialist wife, of course, among them. And code pink.

You already think that kid with the AK is the victim, right? The victim of those Jews. Or should I say THE Jew? Calling them "The" makes is so much easier to hate them. You learn not to name farm animals. You call them "cow". Name them and they take on a personality. It might have been there, of course, but tagging them with names turns them into sentient beings. And you don't want to do that, now, do you? I fish. If you fish tournaments, you see the Pita-girls hanging around after the event. Progressives need victims, and the Tea Party wants economic Darwinism. The fit will take care of the truly needy, trust me.

Character recognition by any other name...

When I looked at that PDF file that day, I opened it in a program called Adobe Illustrator. I opened it, looked at an interface component that is called the "Layers" panel, and saw something that I should not have seen. I saw layers in a document that should not have had any. What I saw lead me first to say it was a forgery, and then, when I realized that all I saw was very unusual characteristics, and nothing more, I retracted what I said and apologized. Then I restated my position. The one I still maintain.

The layers in that long form birth certificate would only be created if the scan of the original was done outside normal methods. Under normal circumstances, that birth certificate would be a "flat" scan. Like a picture of your mom's birthday cake, or a copy of a deed you had to show somebody before they would trust that the fence you wanted to rip out was yours to rip out - it would normally just be put on the glass, the SCAN button pressed, and the resultant document would not contain any type you could select and edit. It would not contain layers...

You would only use character recognition software - again, under normal, everyday "workflows" - if you wanted to save yourself from having to do too much typing. If you had any experience scanning both type-intensive documents as well as images that required close-up investigation or clarification, you would never use an OCR option to scan that birth certificate. Never. And that process in the workflow - that character recognition event - is the only rational thing that could have happened to create multiple layers in the document given to the public by the white house. Anybody with experience, or that wanted to ensure that it was without question an original would have simply scanned it, and scanned it at a relatively high-resolution. Let's say 1,200 or even 2,400 dots-per-inch.

If I was to testify in court that that thing was real, I would need a new scan. So would anybody. And to keep things above board, I would want five. The two done just before his and the two done immediately after. Same place in Hawaii. All done as flat scans and all done at 2,400 dpi. No OCR.

Who cares where the guy was born? Really? Who cares?

When I saw the layers and first put my commentary up here on the political sandbox, the blog went ballistic. And so, too, did the idea that there were things wrong - or at the very least questionable -- with the PDF file we were seeing. As you can imagine, I got accused of being a birther. I am not. I do not care where Obama was born, neither should any of our readers, quite frankly. His mom was an American. I do not care if he was born while she was visiting the lizard creatures controlling the land of Pellucidar. He is an American and he is the President. The media wanted him, and the media got him. Hiding anything they might have heard about him, they put him in office an unknown. Now? He might have been born in Kenya. Wow!!!! Who would have known?!

Who cares? What I do know, and what America should know clearly, is that the man was raised in Indonesia by a woman married to a hard-core radical socialist/Marxist. In his words and the words of his son, he believed in the complete and total redistribution of all resources, and that all nations should be managed by the college professors who live there. Management should be completely centralized and complete in all its invasions into personal freedoms. Read the Dreams from his father if you doubt what I am saying. The book I mean, not the dreams. I know where the dreams lead. They start out in rose gardens and end in horror. Nightmares always start out in beautiful gardens in the world of progressives. By the time hell arrives, they are out of office and out of the way of the shit. Take a look at any attempt at any time in any civilization and in any form. The only fairness is fairness. Social Darwinism, while terrible in the eyes of our president, brings charity. It brings beauty, and it puts heart valves in the chests of little girls who need them.

Yesterday America got to see what was said in a publisher's brochure pitching their brilliant new books and the brilliant authors who wrote them. The authors in the brochure were both new and not so new to the jaded distributors and publisher's reps whose eyes the brochure was designed for. And AP identified Barack as a Kenyan when he first won his senate seat.

In Kenya, Obama said “It’s nice to be home.” and AP said that the new Illinois Senator was Kenya-born and Hawaii-raised. Why in Hell did the two lawyers you see in this picture wearing the obligatory Almond-Man jewelry you get when you become the President miss the fact that a number of different places made the same mistake of saying he was born in Africa? What, did his future aspirations have him putting recipes into the “Black and White” cookbook someday, like fellow-democrat and fellow liar the Pow-Wow-Chow-Down babe running against a republican in Massachusetts?
Many people have done a brochure, or a flier, or even paid to have a campaign done for their company, where branding and "message" is closely fine-tuned, until you are happy with the message being told by the professional you are paying for to the market you need to reach. If you have, you know how carefully editors look at copy. How they go over every single character with a magnifying glass. They have on their desks three or four different reference books, to make sure that 'then' is never used when you should have used "than". Messaging is important. In the world of professional publishers, the more anal somebody is, the better they are at their job. People do not identify your birthplace as an African nation when it was, in fact, one of the most beautiful beaches, and quite American. And every author in that brochure had to approve what was said about them. And in a brochure done by a publisher to be seen by creative people and other people in the same industry? There is going to be three times more people checking every dot on every "I" than would be under even normally anal editorial workflows.

So what does this mean? Does this prove that the twin towers were, in fact, the result of the almond men talking to W. about going short on Haliburton 90s? No. It is not proof that Barack was born in a grass hut with drum cycles in the distance, while some guy with a tiger bone stuck through his nose chanted booga-wooga. What it does prove is that character recognition is something easily invented by politicians. I think progressives tend to do it more then tea party people do, but the tea party has not been around so long after all. You want to be the first colored babe on campus? Make it up. Say that your paw-paw-paw, according to your maw-maw-maw "had high cheekbones" and that since being somebody you are not - especially somebody your ideological partners have identified as an official "VICTIM CLASS" - will get you into the best parties, what is a little red lie between friends? And what is wrong with lying about being born in Kenya if that makes you even more African than the African-American brother standing next to you.

Or more accurately in the case of Barack, behind him. If you don't know by now that this guy is always the smartest guy in the room, that his intelligence is beyond understanding by mere mortals, you have not listened to the news. Except we cannot see his college records. Who needs records when you have heard this guy read from a TelePrompTer??! I mean what more proof does one need?

Barack wanted into the good parties. He was light black (sort of like being a "white" Hispanic, right?) guy, good looking, and if he said he was African, think of how much more he would get laid, or how much more good dope he would get to smoke for free, or how may high-end political machines would see him as a great Victim-identifier and Victim-collector.

And who can blame Elizabeth Warren for just lying about being a member of a victim's group? Ask yourselves this question: if she didn't lie about her heritage, how in heaven's name would she have been allowed to contribute family recipes to "Chow-Down at the Pow-Wow"; a cookbook of Native American (and of course sustainable) dishes? As a plain-Jane-white-babe, she had no victim creds. No creds, no cookbook.

One last thing before I shut up for a few more days. When Gary Anderson and me first broke this story - because as far as we know we were the first ones on the web to question that long form given to me that day by Rabbi Jay - I felt something that I do not normally feel. It was unusual.

It was fear. The fear is gone, draining away with the threads that appeared all over the web those days. All gone quickly after they started. I had said the long form had stuff wrong with it, somebody hired another expert to challenge what I had said - to explain that of course wherever office in Hawaii had that long form was used to routinely processing text-intensive documents. Documents that were put through the specialized process of character recognition. The person that did the scan probably does nothing but process hundreds of pages of text that needs to be turned into word processing files. I am sure that happens. Sure it does... So when asked to scan the president's birth certificate, no red flags were raised in that government employee's mind. Of course not. Nothing special here, folks.

So they took the birth certificate out of the regular, unguarded file cabinet, put it on the scanner, and said to themselves "Jeez! Look at this!!! There are at least thirty words on this document, and who knows what people want to do with this scan. I better make sure i turn on character recognition software, so we don't have to spend the eighteen weeks it would take a government employee to type that much text.

The results? A certificate that could not possibly be used in court to prove anything. Not if one party had a lawyer, and the Rule of Law was at play. That document has different typefaces on it. It should not. It shows a watermark security pattern. The pattern is somehow on the form itself, and surrounding the form as well. If you look at your scanner, the inside of the cover is white. That is so nothing besides the document you put on the scanner is scanned. The long form I saw that night had the same pattern on the paper and on the cover of the scanner on which that document was placed before the scan button was pressed. The edges are different. It was aligned very, very carefully. But not perfectly. The dual patterns alone - one on the paper and one somehow on the inside of that scanner's cover - should have raised more red flags than a runaway freight train. They didn't. I had no coin in that
document game. My battle is the voting booth, and I can only affect one thing in this world, and that is my choice of actions. Now and only now. If the world felt that way to an individual, and taught the same to their children, progressives would have that utopia they dream of forcefully regulating onto an unwilling following.

There are a few things I would love to see. First and foremost five pictures of five birth certificates. Five scans. Two before and two after the president's. All done flat and all done at 2,400 dpi RGB.

The last thing is an answer to a question that will never be answered, at least not during our lifetimes:

Why release that PDF file with those layers on it? There can only be a few possible reasons. They are the same sort of answers that are gong to be provided when the press asks - as we hope they will - why Barack didn't challenge AP's saying he was born in Kenya. Why he didn't challenge the biography in that publisher's brochure?

The reasons for the PDF file?

  1. Somebody wanted to get the news out that Obama was, in fact, born in Kenya. But now that the AP story is out, and that brochure from the publisher is public, the story isn't about the birth certificate anymore. It is about Barack. Why in hell didn't he personally challenge the biography? Or the AP story about his being elected to the senate? You would think that if you actually ran for the senate and won the contest after your campaign's private investigator found out your opponent frequented a popular Chicago brothel, you would save - or at very least read - all and every article you could find with your name in it, espousing your glorious victory. I sure would, wouldn't you? Why in heaven's name didn't Barack challenge those stories?
  2. Somebody wanted to attract anybody who might possibly notice any of the dozen problems the long form PDF files contained (since then the PDF on the White House site has itself been Flattened, or had the Layers removed). And man, have they done that.
Guys like me immediately were branded and vilified. I saw that coming the first day I said anything. I had started to answer questions on Beck's Blaze about the file, and it took all of three hours before that came to an end. Glenn is a real hero to me, and has taken his considerable communication skills and dedicated them to saving this nation. For that we will all be indented to him. But again, I wasn't doing anything but asking why that file had layers. Why that file had patterns that should not have been where they were? Why did that file show different characters, so bit mapped and some (now) actual editable type? Why was OCR software used? Why can't we get another scan? A normally-generated scan, done specifically to avoid these jettisons? Why not? What would be wrong with looking at another scan, and scans of surrounding documents? Anything?

Now that the issue of his Kenyan origin have again arisen, it is time to ask the truth. Time to pull the switch and turn on the lights. It is not about one thing anymore. It is about the truth.

Just who are you, Barack Hussein Obama? And Who's Yo Daddy? We do not want his dreams, Barack. The people in closed rooms at the United Nations want the dreams of your daddy, Barack. But not us.

Written as stand-in editor of the Sandbox. Come back to me, oh friend; come back to us.
Vote Tea in 2012. And take the money out of politics. Stop charitable donations and impose a flat and fair tax. Because lies, birth certificates, victims and oppressors aside, those changes are the true path to freedom.