Western Rifle Shooters Association

Do not give in to Evil, but proceed ever more boldly against it

Saturday, January 31, 2009

7.62 NATO Ball & .30-06 LC NC

Go here.

Buy as much as you can.

You're gonna need it.

Alea iacta est.

PS: CMP still has delinked Lake City .30-06 M2 ball at $80.80/250 rds, delivered. Pair that with en bloc clips from Pat's Reloading at $45/100 and you will be good to go. Alternatively, buy the Greek '06 in spam cans from CMP at $68.95/240 rds, and you'll get the en blocs, bandos, and cardboards.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Get Your Stinking-Cheap NRA Wine Right Here, Ladies and Gentlemen!

Goodness me!

In an email received this evening by NRA members, the Lairds of Fairfax have stooped to hawking table plonk.

Is there anything the Lairds won't do for money?

Next, I'm thinking that a NRA Geek-o-Rama Sideshow would be a real crowd-pleaser. We could have Wayne "He's French, You Know" LaPierre garbed in a blaze-orange skintight latex jumpsuit biting the heads off live poultry, while an overall-and-gingham-clad Chris "Deep Insider" Cox demonstrated various techniques of, shall we say, animal husbandry.

NRA Board Member Joaquin "I'm a Law Enforcement Legend" Jackson could tell us again how "assault weapons need to be (only) in the hands of the military and the police."

Then, to top off the freak show, former NRA President Sandy "Harvard Law" Froman could enter on rollerskates while juggling piglets and tell us all again what a famous victory Heller was.

Man, I know I'd pay big bucks to hear all of these mutts tell us, once again, how that SCOTUS decision means that the "Second Amendment as an individual right now becomes a real permanent part of American Constitutional law.”

We could make and sell DVDs afterwards, and maybe even have pay-per-view live streaming video.

Then, after enough money is raised to pay these overpriced Quislings' salaries and expense accounts, we could get back to business.

Like instead of spamming their membership earlier this evening with emails pushing rotgut wine, how's about calling in the chits for the Senators NRA helped to elect and get one or more holds put against AG-nominee Eric Holder?

Nah.

That might burn bridges. Senators, law enforcement Gauleiters, and various imperial lobbyists might not invite the Lairds to their cocktail parties after such a radical step.

Can't have that.

Not if Wayne et al are going to keep their membership in the exclusive DC Insiders club, a/k/a The Beltway Bandits.

After all, they've got a wine business to keep afloat.

Despicable.

Drop the NRA.

Join GOA. They sent this email alert re the last stand against Holder this morning.

Let Wayne and his posse twist in the wind.

They've earned it.

Support Your Local Sheriff?

Depends entirely on how far up the FBI's alimentary canal he or she is.

Read what the Security High Kommissar for Große-Obamaland has to say on that subject:

Robert S. Mueller, III
Director
Federal Bureau of Investigation

National Sheriffs’ Association Winter Conference Washington, D.C.

January 29, 2009

Good morning. It is great to be here among friends.

I first spoke before the National Sheriffs’ Association in June of 2002, just nine months after the September 11th attacks. Much has changed during the past seven and a half years—for the FBI, for your departments, and most importantly, for our relationship.

Franklin Roosevelt once advised that the best recipe for a speech was to “be sincere, be brief, be seated.” I will try to follow that advice, and spend the balance of my time taking questions.

As you probably know from experience, the FBI is fond of acronyms—so much so that we even have an online database just for FBI acronyms. It goes on for many, many pages. It struck me that you, the National Sheriffs’ Association, share an acronym with another group—the National Security Agency. The FBI has a strong relationship with both. And our connection to both NSAs reflects our dual role as both a law enforcement agency and a national security organization.

The September 11th attacks required the FBI to readjust its priorities and personnel. We made a number of necessary changes, from upgrading technology to overhauling our human resources practices. In those first years after the 9/11 attacks, it sometimes seemed that every time I met with state and local partners, I was giving updates on the FBI’s changes.

But there are at least two things that have not changed, and will never change. The first is our mission to protect and serve our country and fellow citizens. The second is our commitment to working with our partners to accomplish that mission. And that mission has grown more complex—and more dangerous—as threats have evolved.

Today, Americans look to law enforcement to dismantle gangs openly wreaking havoc on the streets while also detecting terrorist cells operating in secret. They need us to investigate white-collar crimes on Wall Street while also nabbing bank robbers on Main Street. And they expect us to track down child predators on the run and computer hackers on the Web.

The issue we come back to again and again is this: How do we protect the country from terrorism while at the same time protecting our communities from crime? The short answer is threefold: intelligence, technology, and partnerships.

Since 8:46 a.m. on September 11, 2001, the FBI has made it a priority to improve our intelligence capability—from collection to analysis to dissemination.

Preventing the next attack depends on all of us having the right information at the right time. Preventing crime is no different. In order to detect and deter crime and terrorism, we have to work as a team. In the FBI today, our mantra is to “share by rule, and withhold by exception.”

Today’s FBI is an intelligence-driven organization, and an intelligence-sharing organization. We have improved both the quantity and quality of our intelligence reporting. And we have also improved our technology, so that we can get it into your hands faster.

For example, you can access our intelligence reports through Law Enforcement Online, also known as LEO, which supports over 120,000 partners. You can search and compare cases nationwide through the National Data Exchange, or N-DEx.

Earlier this month, we launched the e-Guardian system, which allows us to quickly share information about suspicious activities. And we are in the midst of developing the Next Generation Identification system, which expands on IAFIS and will include advanced biometrics.

But intelligence and technology alone are useless without strong partnerships. Our partnerships have come a long way since 2001.

On the national security front, we increased our Joint Terrorism Task Forces from 35 in 2001 to over 100 today. And on the criminal front, we now have over 200 Safe Streets Gang and Violent Crime Task Forces, on which FBI agents work with over 1,300 state and local partners. That is six more than we had last year, and 28 more than we had in 2001.

We also have personnel assigned to 44 Fusion Centers across the country, working both counterterrorism and criminal matters. And we have 14 Regional Computer Forensics Laboratories nationwide, where we work side by side on investigations ranging from child exploitation to computer intrusions.

We have done all this in order to make sure you get the information you need to protect your communities. Whether the threat comes from violent gangs or terrorist cells, we are committed to working with you to fully understand each threat and then confront it head-on.

That being said, we know that we may not always agree on which threats are the most pressing. Counterterrorism, counterintelligence, and cyber will remain the FBI’s top priorities. But we realize that these are not necessarily your priorities—especially those of you whose cities and towns have experienced a spike in violent crime.

Over the past several years, we have seen the crime rate drop, then rise, then begin to drop again—but not everywhere. While we are glad that crime has decreased overall, we are concerned about the increase in homicides in some small and mid-sized cities.

Despite our national security mission, we have never lost focus on our responsibility to combat crime. We are now at about a 50/50 balance between our criminal and national security programs. We will not cut back on our counterterrorism efforts. But given the recent surge in financial fraud and certain “hot spots” in violent crime, we will continue to hire new agents to tackle those challenges.

We understand the pressure that comes with being overworked and understaffed. We have all been asked to do more with less. As Sheriff Ted Kamatchus told Congress in 2007, “current levels of staffing only allow officers to respond from one 9-1-1 call to another.” Unfortunately, for those of us in law enforcement, there is never a shortage of work.

All too often, your efforts go unnoticed, but you deserve the highest credit for the work you do. And you also deserve more resources. When I testify before Congress, I make it clear that you are the first line of defense against crime and terrorism. While a great deal of important funding appropriately goes to the homeland security mission, more needs to go to supporting state and local crime-fighting efforts.

Our experience has proven that our strength lies in our partnerships. That is why I have always advocated funding our task forces, where state and local law enforcement play a crucial role. And I will continue to do so—because the FBI relies on your eyes and ears and expertise as we work together to prevent both crime and terrorism.

Given the challenges we face, the FBI will not be able to assist on every bank robbery and drug case. But we do remain committed to using our resources to focus on the most significant crime problems where we can add value. Whether that comes in the form of a new technology or a new task force, or advocating for you in the halls of Congress, we will be there with you.

We know how difficult your jobs are, and how deep your dedication runs. The sheriff has been an icon in countless Western films—along with gunfights, horses, and of course, saloons. Whether they starred Gary Cooper, John Wayne, or Tommy Lee Jones, the sheriff was often portrayed as a lone figure of law and order, isolated from the larger law enforcement community.

Happily, your reality is a far cry from Hollywood’s version of a sheriffs’ life—though perhaps you might wish saloons were a more frequent reality. You are not separated by hundreds of miles of tumbleweed. You are connected by BlackBerries, laptops, and cell phones—and most importantly, by personal relationships that span the globe.

You are not just a part of the larger law enforcement community; you are the heart of it. And we in the FBI are proud to work beside you.

Since its inception 100 years ago, the FBI has worked with you to protect our communities. Together, we have tracked down fugitives and rescued children. Together, we have dismantled violent gangs and terrorist cells. Together, we have survived an attack on our homeland, and prevented another from happening.

Side by side, we have stood watch over our country, in times of tragedy and triumph. And we will continue to stand watch—together.

Thank you again for having me. God bless you and your work.
***

Remember your cast of characters: this fella's gonna be the guy who, in the near future, gives the authorization to blow your door off its hinges at oh-dark-thirty some cold and horrible night. It'll be during the second wave of "anti-domestic terrorism strikes", as the Feebs come in, as always, to clean up the mess left by the BATFE in their catastrophically-failed raids at Sipsey Street and elsewhere.

Best to make certain -- prior to the "go" order -- of which side of the Federally-funded line stands your local constabulary.

Alea iacta est.

Holder: GOA Keeps Swinging

Time To Hit Your Senators One Last Time -- And "chew" on those squishy Senators who seem too willing to compromise with Obama

Gun Owners of America E-Mail Alert
8001 Forbes Place, Suite 102, Springfield, VA 22151
Phone: 703-321-8585 / FAX: 703-321-8408
http://www.gunowners.org

"I have many serious questions about Mr. Holder's nomination [and] at the top of the list are his anti-2nd amendment right positions." -- U.S. Sen. David Vitter (R-LA)

Thursday, January 29, 2009

It was a disappointing result, to be sure. The Senate Judiciary Committee passed the nomination of Eric Holder yesterday by a 17-2 vote.

Only Senators Tom Coburn (R-OK) and John Cornyn (R-TX) voted against the anti-gun nominee for Attorney General.

One of the things that gravely hurt us in committee was Senator Orrin Hatch's support for Holder. Even though Hatch holds a lukewarm "C" rating with GOA, he is generally viewed as "pro-gun" on the Hill. His support for Holder certainly pulled a lot of Senators with him from his side of the aisle.

Thankfully, there are some Senators who are lining up against Holder:

* Wyoming Senator John Barrasso (R-WY): "Given Holder's career of ttacks on the Second Amendment, his nomination continues to be of great concern to me.... Our nation's highest law enforcement officer must be committed to protecting and defending our individual rights to keep and bear arms. I intend to vote no on the nomination of Eric Holder."

* Senator David Vitter (R-LA): "[Holder has] clearly advocated near universal licensing and registration, and he joined and filed an amicus brief in the District of Columbia v. Heller U.S. Supreme Court case arguing that the 2nd amendment was NOT an individual right. That's deeply disturbing."

Unfortunately, there are very few Senators right now who are willing to stand up to Obama's anti-gun nomination. Another conservative firebrand who opposes the Holder nomination is Senator James DeMint (R-SC). In addition to Vitter and Barrasso, DeMint is one of the few voices crying out in the wilderness of a "country club" Senate.

"Club friendships [have become] more important," DeMint says, than "where we're going as a country."

Sen. DeMint is simply standing firm on conservative, constitutional principles. Politico.com noted on Tuesday that DeMint is "less willing to compromise with Democrats than many in his party."

Translation: A lot of other Republicans would rather compromise than stand up to Obama, and that spells bad news for our gun rights.

So what can we do?

The Politico article notes an important lesson that DeMint has learned over the years. He has tried pushing good policy, being persuasive and being nice. He's tried it all, he says. But finally, he realized that lawmakers in both parties "only respond to pain."

That's the key... dishing out political pain! And that's why your grassroots involvement is so critical. It is imperative that we keep banging on the Senate. Pressure from gun owners has already helped to slow down the momentum to confirm Eric Holder. But if confirmed, he will be in a position where he will be able to use the force of government to discourage or outlaw gun ownership in America.

ACTION: Please contact your two Senators, even if you have done so already, and strongly urge them to vote AGAINST Eric Holder for Attorney General. You can use the Gun Owners Legislative Action Center to send your Senators a pre-written e-mail message.

NOTE: The pre-written letter will differ according to whether your Senator is a Republican or Democrat.
***


Tempus fugit.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Camps


Read the text of HR 645, introduced last week in the House, then read this essay from ¡Ya Basta!:

***
HR 645 is a new bill that proposes to build internment camps for American citizens. As disturbing as it is to learn this, there is nothing particularly surprising about the news. This is standard operating procedure for the American Corporate State.

Kellogg, Brown, and Root has had government contracts to build detention camps since 1999. Around that time the government also ordered thousands of railcars equipped with shackles. During the Iran-Contra hearings, Congressman Brooks asked Oliver North about Continuity of Government (COG) plans that involved suspending the Constitution and rounding up citizens. J. Edgar Hoover had a list of dissidents to imprison in case of national emergency, thousands of Japanese-Americans spent World War II living in old horse racing tracks, and countless Filipinos rotted away in US Army camps during the Spanish-American War. Of course all these examples are just spawn of the genocidal tactics developed by the State in it’s battle again Native Americans. The reservation is just a concentration camp without walls.

The US Indian policy was so efficient, it served as an inspiration to Hitler when he began fantasizing about his own ethnic cleansing. In his book,Adolf Hitler, John Toland wrote:

Hitler’s concept of concentration camps as well as the practicality of genocide owed much, so he claimed, to his studies of English and United States history. He admired the camps for Boer prisoners in South Africa and for the Indians in the wild west; and often praised to his inner circle the efficiency of America’s extermination—by starvation and uneven combat—of the red savages who could not be tamed by captivity. (pg. 202)

Simply put: the goal of the State has always been and will always be containment and control. The innovation we’re seeing today is that instead of targeting members of a certain racial, ethnic, or religious group, the Leviathan now wants to separate sheep from sheep dogs. The fascists fear thought criminals and their goal is to kill or capture us all–regardless of race, color or creed.

The other innovation is that now the State is marketing its camps as a service to the detainees. These aren’t internment camps. They’re national emergency centers. The goal isn’t to keep the residents in. It’s to keep the big bad world out. Jackboot as security blanket. Manufactured calamity will manufacture consent.

Ordo Ab Chao.

Today the Wall Street Journal proclaimed, “The New World Order is upon us, full of hope, promise and a fair amount of fear.” I think they are right. This force we’ve been dreading is here. I’ve wanted to believe we were wrong, but I just can’t anymore.

We are right. Eric Holder will be confirmed as the new Attorney General and steps will be taken to disarm the populace–by subterfuge if possible, by force if necessary. The United States is an occupied nation.

Those who oppose this oppression are, in fact, an insurgency, and in time we will increasingly be classified and treated as such. Anti-terrorism legislation like the “John Warner Defense Authorization Act of 2007” has been written to empower the federal government to declare domestic dissidents threats to national stability and round them up for the camps. The brief White Al Qaeda scare from last year was only priming the pump, and it will not be long before the Patriot movement is (again) decried as a threat to general tranquility and homeland security.

I think there is and will always be value to direct democratic action. We will write representatives, mail letters, protest, march, shake our fists and fly our “Don’t Tread on Me” flags to the end. But I think we should also prepare to wear masks and hide. An army of Grey Men would be strong indeed. If there’s a guns for food program, let’s gladly hand in rusted out, damaged SKSes, or crap cobbled together from worn out barrels and knackered stocks, and then fill our larders with the handouts.

Anthropologist David Graeber has explained how feigned compliance can be resistance. When the French occupied Madagascar in the 19th Century, the “administrators would complain that they could send delegations to arrange for labor to build a road near a Tsimihety village, negotiate the terms with apparently cooperative elders, and return with the equipment a week later only to discover the village entirely abandoned—every single inhabitant had moved in with some relative in another part of the country.” In our case, the militia could then come steal the government equipment, or vital parts, or blow it up, or use it to build things the community really needed.

What’s important here, is to see the overall context of our struggle. The Insurgency is not a heavyweight boxer. It’s a diminutive aikido master. We will never win a slug-fest because our opponent will always be bigger, stronger, and better supplied. Instead, we’ll use throws and joint locks to turn the enemy’s strength against himself. We want the enemy in positions where he can only hurt himself.

In our struggle, we can smile, imitate compliance and trip the enemy. Well-timed credible threats and strategic force have their place, but only in balance with intrigue and subtlety. Ideally, the Leviathan never even knows it’s at war with us, thinking only that it’s caught a virus, or a string of bad luck. We want to always use as little force and as few resources as possible. We want to always use a fraction of our strength to make the enemy fall on his own sword and shoot himself in the foot.

The camps are here. Eventually people will fill them. But we will not go.

And eventually the Enemy will regret his greed.
***

I have not seen the FEMA camps.

However, I have been to Dachau, Auschwitz, Birkenau, and Mauthausen.

I have also been to Manzanar and Heart Mountain in this country -- the land of the free, doncha know.

I know which President opened the American concentration camps.

It was Franklin Delano Roosevelt -- one of the Glorious Leader's primary role models.

Any questions?

View From The UK: This Emperor has No Clothes; It Will All End in Tears


Carolinean sends this essay from the UK Telegraph, written on Day 1 of His Righteous Obamaness:

***
Barack Obama inauguration: this Emperor has no clothes, it will all end in tears
Posted By: Gerald Warner at Jan 20, 2009 at 18:50:54 [General]

This will end in tears. The Obama hysteria is not merely embarrassing to witness, it is itself contributory to the scale of the disaster that is coming. What we are experiencing, in the deepening days of a global depression, is the desperate suspension of disbelief by people of intelligence - la trahison des clercs - in a pathetic effort to hypnotise themselves into the delusion that it will be all right on the night.

It will not be all right.

We have been here before. In the spring of 1997, to be precise, when a charismatic, young prime minister entered Downing Street, cheered by children bussed in for the occasion waving plastic Union Jacks. A very few of us at that time incurred searing reproaches for denouncing the Great Charlatan (as I have always denominated Tony Blair) and dissenting from the public hysteria. Three times a deluded Britain elected that transparent fraud. Yesterday, when national bankruptcy became a formal reality, we reaped the bitter harvest of the Blair/Brown imposture.

The burnt child, contrary to conventional wisdom, does not fear the fire. After the Blair experience there is no excuse for anybody in Britain falling for Obama. Yet today, in this country, even some of those who remained sane during the emotional spasm of the Diana aberration are pumping the air for Princess Barack. At a time of gross economic and geopolitical instability throughout the Western world, this is beyond irresponsibility.

To anyone who kept his head, the string of Christmas cracker mottoes booming through the public address system on Washington's National Mall can only excite scepticism. It is crucial to recall the reality that lies behind the rhetoric. Denouncing "those who seek to advance their aims by inducing terror and slaughtering innocents" comes ill from a man whose flagship legislation, the Freedom of Choice Act, will impose abortion, including partial-birth abortion, on every state in the Union. It seems the era of Hope is to be inaugurated with a slaughter of the innocents.

Obama's American Recovery and Reinvestment Plan is like one of those toxic packages traded by bankers: it camouflages many unaffordable gifts to his client state. With a federal deficit already at $1.2 trillion, Obama wants to squander $825 billion (which will undoubtedly mushroom to more than $1 trillion) on creating 600,000 more government jobs and a further 459,000 in "green energy" (useless wind turbines and other Heath-Robinson contraptions favoured by Beltway environmentalists).

It is frightening to think there is a real possibility that the entire world economy could go into complete meltdown and famine kill millions. Yet Western - and British - commentators are cocooned in a warm comfort zone of infatuation with America's answer to Neil Kinnock. We should be long past applauding politicians of any hue: they got us into this mess. The best deserve a probationary opportunity to prove themselves, the worst should be in jail.

It is questionable whether the present political system can survive the coming crisis. Whatever the solution, teenage swooning sentimentality over a celebrity cult has no part in it. The most powerful nation on earth is confronting its worst economic crisis under the leadership of its most extremely liberal politician, who has virtually no experience of federal politics. That is not an opportunity but a catastrophe.

These are frank, even ungracious, words: they have the one merit that, unlike almost everything else written today about Obama, they will not require to be eaten in the future.

***
Freedom-lovers should take heart: worse is better. Until average Americans are convinced in their bones that socialism brings only destruction and death, we are doomed.

Bring it on.

Holder: Hosed 17-2

¡Ya Basta! makes the announcement.

Codrea's Examiner column points to the last line of defense:

***
...Time is running out. There is only one hope left if the confirmation is to be stopped.

That is for a senator to put a hold on his nomination.

As we've seen in prior columns, NRA will not be considering a confirmation vote as a vote that will affect their ratings of a senator. Our last best hope would appear to be Gun Owners of America. Will they publicly call on their A-rated senators to put a hold on the nominee, to obstruct, delay, filibuster, whatever it takes to prevent an enemy of the Second Amendment from becoming the nation's top law enforcer?

A "no" vote is not enough.
***


Note too that Larry Pratt and GOA continues to do its job as the only no-compromise advocates for the freedom and RKBA crowd:

***
We will score the vote. We frequently give extra credit to bill sponsorship and other acts of leadership, such as leading a filibuster.
***


Let's all remember to live by the iron rule of politics:

- ALWAYS REWARD YOUR FRIENDS

- ALWAYS PUNISH YOUR ENEMIES

While thinking about next steps, take a moment and send some help to the GOA coffers, please.

The III crowd is considering how best to express outrage at the Lairds of Fairfax for their cowardice.

Suggestions solicited below.

Moore: "'Atlas Shrugged' - From Fiction to Fact in 52 Years"



A video from the WSJ, as posted by Billy Beck.

Beck's take?

***
Stephen Moore briefly expounds on his article about "Atlas Shrugged", which I noted here.

It's a neat little bite for introducing to people who may not know the book. I think the last thirty seconds or so is gratuitously optimistic gas. I think Moore is quite wrong about "The American People" in the general stroke. Twenty years ago, I might not have thought so but I do now. Just on the evidence of their voting, which I say is dispositive, I maintain that they're going to have to run this whole course, and there might be something left with which to discipline the children by the time it's done.

Still, pass it around. At least some people might wake up to what's happening.
***

My view: the average American ain't anywhere near awake yet, let alone in a teachable mindset.

It's good that, as Lenin apparently said, "worse is better."

We've got a whole lotta "worse" coming.

Alea iacta est.

So Much for the Judiciary & the Constitution

Spartacus passed along this recent SCOTUS case:

In Arizona v. Johnson, SCOTUS allowed cops to Terry frisk passengers in a stopped car. The opinion frosts me because SCOTUS took the cop at her word that anyone carrying a scanner is automatically suspect.

From the opinion: "[female cop] also noticed a scanner in Johnson’s jacket pocket, which “struck [her] as highly unusual and cause [for] concern,” because “most people” would not carry around a scanner that way “unless they’re going to be involved in some kind of criminal activity or [are] going to try to evade the police by> listening to the scanner.”


Balko's Agitator column develops the theme by discussing another SCOTUS case affirming and expanding the immunity from lawsuits enjoyed by prosecutors:

***
...This isn’t terribly surprising, but it’s too bad. All the incentives for prosecutors right now point toward winning convictions. There’s very little to hold them accountable when they go too far.

Currently, even if a prosecutor knowingly withholds exculpatory evidence in a case that results in a wrongful conviction, he can’t be sued.
***

One final goody from EPIC:

The Supreme Court in a 5-4 opinion, held that the police may use false information contained in a police database as the evidence for an arrest. Chief Justice Roberts held that, "when police mistakes are the result of negligence such as that described here, rather than systemic error or reckless disregard of constitutional requirements, any marginal deterrence does not 'pay its way.'"

In Herring v. US, the police searched and then arrested Bennie Dean Herring based on incorrect information in a government database. He was illegally arrested and searched even though he told the officers that there was no arrest warrant, and no officer had seen or could produce a copy of the arrest warrant. After he was indicted, Herring petitioned the district court to suppress the evidence gathered incident to his unlawful arrest, arguing the exclusionary rule prevented the use of such evidence. But the district court ruled against him. Herring then appealed to the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals, which affirmed the district court's ruling. Herring thereafter petitioned for cert. to the US Supreme Court.

Justice Ginsburg, writing for four of the Justices in dissent, said that "negligent recordkeeping errors by law enforcement threaten individual liberty, are susceptible to deterrence by the exclusionary rule, and cannot be remedied effectively through other means."

EPIC filed a friend of the court brief urging the Justices to ensure the accuracy of police databases, on behalf of 27 legal scholars and technical experts and 13 privacy and civil liberty groups. The EPIC brief was cited by the Justices in dissent.

Justice Ginsburg highlighting EPIC's brief underscored that "electronic databases form the nervous system of contemporary criminal justice operations" and "[p]olice today [could] access databases that include not only the updated National Crime Information Center (NCIC), but also terrorist watchlists, the Federal Government's employee eligibility system, and various commercial databases." Further relying on EPIC's brief, she also warned that the "risk of error stemming from these databases is not slim" and they were "insufficiently monitored" and "often out of date."

Justice Ginsburg disagreed with the majority opinion on three major premises. She argued that restricting the remedy of suppression of evidence to deliberate or reckless errors, defendants were left with no remedy for violations of their constitutional rights. Secondly, she raised her doubts that police forces possessed sufficient incentives to maintain up-to-date records. Thirdly, Justice Ginsburg reasoned that even when deliberate or reckless conduct was afoot, the Court's
assurance will often be an empty promise - as the defendant will probably be unable to make the required showing...
***
To recap: a zealous Executive (police and prosecutors) Branch, a Bolshevik majority in the Legislative Branch, and a lickspittle, rubber-stamp, elitist Judiciary.

Nothing bad could come of that combination...

Alea iacta est.

ECM

UPDATE 1842 est 29 Jan 09: See this comment from Markofafreeman:

Installed it. Tried it out. Don't like it. Please take a look at this.

Bruce Schneier is renowned for his security expertise. The article is over two years old, but I'd have to see an updated article by him or someone equally respected in the field before I would trust TrackMeNot's effectiveness.

He mentions blackboxsearch.com as an alternative, but you basically have to trust blockboxsearch that they won't reveal your info. I need to read more about it, but it's possible that they don't even log it in the first place.

See also MOAF's comments here.

Overall point: the primary rule of COMSEC is they cannot hear/see what you do not say/do. User is responsible for his/her conduct.

*****

Or "electronic countermeasures", to the acronym-challenged.

This product seems like a winner:

TrackMeNot is a lightweight browser extension that helps protect web searchers from surveillance and data-profiling by search engines. It does so not by means of concealment or encryption (i.e. covering one's tracks), but instead, paradoxically, by the opposite strategy: noise and obfuscation. With TrackMeNot, actual web searches, lost in a cloud of false leads, are essentially hidden in plain view. User-installed TrackMeNot works with the Firefox Browser and popular search engines (AOL, Yahoo!, Google, and MSN) and requires no 3rd-party servers or services.

H/T to TSLRF for the advice.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Vanderboegh: SLAP-ing the Enemy

Take a stroll over to Sipsey Street and read Mike's latest.

Food for thought.

Alea iacta est.

WRSA Grid-Down Medical Course - Peyton, CO - February 27-March 1


Field Expedient Medical Care for Outdoorsmen in Austere Environments

This two-day (16 hour) course of instruction will prepare the motivated outdoorsman to treat life-threatening and function-threatening medical conditions in the wilderness without access to classical EMS and medical resources.

The working hypothesis of this program is an injury or illness sustained by a family or work group remote from medical resources by distance, time, or availability (grid-down) over a short to intermediate interval.

Designed by a retired Emergency Physician with 35 years of Trauma, EMS/ Rescue, and instructional experience, the methods and techniques taught are derived from over 10 years of front-line trauma care in an urban gangland zone and over 35 years of medical practice in environments as diverse as remote underground in caves (delayed evacuation to surface of 20 hrs), on the side of remote hills (48 hr bivouac in “whiteout” conditions), and at sea. The trauma concepts are compatible and consistent with the current military method of Tactical Combat Casualty Care.

Topics Include:
• The priority of medical care/stabilization in the survival skill set
• Triage: When to use the resources at hand, to benefit the most individuals, and preserve the “team” capability
• The “Priorities” of care for the single victim vs. the “Survivability” of the single victim in remote (time/distance/accessibility) austere environment
• The Major (Medical) Life Threats: Function and Management
• Anatomy of the life-sustaining systems of the human body
• Cover and concealment: high-threat extraction concepts
• The Big Three Survivable Life Threats-Airway control issues, pneumothorax/tension pneumothorax, and external hemorrhage
• Advanced airway techniques for the average sportsman/citizen, with expanded scope knowledge: Nasal Airways, cricothyrotomy
• Basic and Advanced Treatment of Thoracic Wounds- Stopping the air leak, and/or venting the pressure
• Basic and Advanced External Hemorrhage control- Direct pressure, mechanized direct pressure, hemostatic agents, pressure point use behind cover, tourniquets
• The science, and fairy tale, of fluid resuscitation
• Monitoring the head injured patient
• Stabilization of fractures and splinting for functional use
• Definitive wound care: Cleansing, Debriding, Closing
• The Team “Debilitators”: infection, vomiting/diarrhea/field sanitation, dehydration, toothache, soft tissue injuries, hyperthermia, and hypothermia
• Dealing with burns or cold induced wounds (frostbite, frostnip, etc.)
• Current therapy of envenomations: snakes, spiders, bees
• Pre-Pack Pharmacy: What you want to have before venturing into the outback
• Teammates with pre-existing disease: how not to make it worse
• The “Jericho Scenario”: Protection, Decontamination, and Treatment for chemical and biological agents

NOTE: This NON-CERTIFICATION course is presented for YOUR INFORMATION ONLY. All personnel take NO RESPONSIBILITY for your use of this information in a real-life situation.

When: February 27-March 1, 2009 (attendance at course presentations on the evening of 2/27 are highly recommended)

Where: 188220 Main Street, Peyton, CO 80831

How Much: $325/person; $25 discount for team members

More info: westernshooters@gmail.com

Lodging:

Econo Lodge
15 5th Street
Calhan, CO, 80808
Phone: (719) 347-9589

Applying Solzhenitsyn's Advice

Most freedom-minded people are familiar with the following quote from volume 1, page 13, note 5 of Solzhenitsyn's Gulag Archipelago:

"And how we burned in the camps later, thinking: What would things have been like if every Security operative, when he went out at night to make an arrest, had been uncertain whether he would return alive and had to say good-bye to his family? Or if, during periods of mass arrests, as for example in Leningrad, when they arrested a quarter of the entire city, people had not simply sat there in their lairs, paling with terror at every bang of the downstairs door and at every step on the staircase, but had understood they had nothing left to lose and had boldly set up in the downstairs hall an ambush of half a dozen people with axes, hammers, pokers, or whatever else was at hand? After all, you knew ahead of time that those bluecaps were out at night for no good purpose. And you could be sure ahead of time that you'd be cracking the skull of a cutthroat. Or what about the Black Maria sitting out there on the street with one lonely chauffeur -- what if it had been driven off or its tires spiked. The Organs would very quickly have suffered a shortage of officers and transport and, notwithstanding all of Stalin's thirst, the cursed machine would have ground to a halt!"


But how does one actually prepare for such an unpleasant possibility here in early 21st-century America?

A reader sends the following suggestions, subtitled "Things to Do Inside When the Bossman Tells You It's Too Cold to Work Outside":

1) Put on suitable music for working inside. Don't know about you, but bagpipe music makes me angry. You might want to go there if you want to get motivated.

2) Retrieve the "good" (i.e., preferred by GIs) .30-06 rounds that had been in storage. These are the more common black-tip rounds from WW2, of which tens of millions were made.

3) Check each round for storage degradation by looking for verdigris and other indications of deterioration. Also check each round with a case headspace gauge (available from Dillon and other places). Clean up each round as needed.

4) Put the checked rounds onto M1 clips.

5) Look at the headstamps: you are looking at life in a different era. You are looking at Lake City 1952, 53, etc, plus Salt Lake City from the same vintage. Take a think back to those times and those circumstances, and pull up your balls realizing that what's in your hand is all so corrosive. We don't do that s... anymore, but we can still use that ammo in our Garands and our bolties.

4) Bring the entire process of checking out each round with the case gauge, loading the good-to-go rounds into "inspected" clips, then transferring the en blocs into cardboards and bandoleers to your kitchen counter. No problem for me -- my wife is good with it and more. It's all good spousal talk, and brings things from the cold shop into the warm house.

5) Mark up the bandoleers with a Sharpie as to what's in each one. Four bandoleers make a .30 cal can of good-to-go old-style Garand ammo, from the days when the black tips were preferred to the unavailable and less capable M2 bullet for the Garand.

Today, I test-fired some of that old stuff, since I wouldn't want to post bad advice on resurrecting WW2 black tips. Posting, without testing, would not be fair to either side of the equation.

For our own side: they all went bang.

For the opfor: Do you know about how many other rounds of the good WW2 black-tip ammo are still out there, in good hands? Don't forget either about the millions of rounds of black-tip '06 produced by FN up through at least the Sixties. Word is that those 250-round cans still have that faint ether smell when you open them, which, as you know, is a hallmark of well-preserved, fully-functional ammo.

Bad legislation can only go so far, to the point where bad laws mess with good peoples' lives. Then the bad guys must make their choices and deal with consequences of those choices.

Winter goes on, but spring is coming. During the interim, I'm looking at what I see as presidential decrees of bad times ahead for folks like us. Might as well do something worthwhile with the bad weather.

Look towards your most effective close-range ammo.

I say again -- look towards your best close range ammo.

Get it in the best shape that you can. Be calm in knowing that .30-'06 USGI black-tip ammo is going to go bang and do its job nearly sixty years after it was made.

And never forget the final section of Gulag's note 5:

If...if...We didn't love freedom enough. And even more - we had no awareness of the real situation. We spent ourselves in one unrestrained outburst in 1917, and then we hurried to submit. We submitted with pleasure...We purely and simply deserved everything that happened afterward.


Whatever alibis the Soviet-era Russians and other captive peoples might have had as the Gulag's apparatus churned and grumbled, we kulaks of the Obamanation have no such excuses.

Alea iacta est.

Why I Became an Anarchist

Read all of this essay by Michael Gaddy, but whet your appetite with this excerpt:

***
I am an anarchist, as defined by Robert LeFevre. I believe that government contributes nothing of value to the individuals it governs. No matter what political party is in control, like a leech or a tick, government attaches itself to the body of freedom and feeds on the life-giving blood of that body, while imparting the Lyme disease of corruption, fear, pestilence and war. Finally, that decaying host/body of freedom and liberty is totally destroyed by the parasite called government.

People of a wicked and criminal nature are drawn to the stench of government like flies to manure. Even those of integrity who engage in service to the State find themselves administered and controlled by those who are wicked and criminal. They eventually learn, that if one is to advance in this government service, they must take on the characteristics of their leaders.

I am also a proud Southerner – born and bred. I revel in the writings of Thomas DiLorenzo, Professor Clyde Wilson, the brothers Kennedy and Michael Grissom, but thanks to my grandfather, who lived into his one hundredth year and an insatiable thirst for history, I know that the fledgling government of the Confederacy was just as cruel and wicked as any other.

The government of the Confederacy, born, as we believe, to the parents,’ self-determination and liberty, was nothing but coercion, violence and force wearing a butternut uniform...
***

We live in times that force us to challenge our assumptions.

Before resuming business as usual, make sure that what you think is so actually is.

Tempus fugit.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

A Cinematic Preview of the Coming Excitement

Set in rural Ireland during the early Twenties amidst the Anglo-Irish War and the subsequent Irish Civil War, The Wind That Shakes the Barley is a harrowing tale of what happens to rulers and ruled when political means are exhausted or futile.

Beautifully photographed, crisply written, and wonderfully acted, Wind even includes several tactical lessons and training suggestions, such as the following debrief:



This film is not an easy movie to watch, simply because the actors, screenwriters, and director all create a world that, but for the brogues and the misty hills, could be any land where freedom-loving people decide that they have had enough of the tyrant's boot and are willing to do anything to live as independent citizens.

No matter what the odds, nor who stands between them and their objectives.

Buy or rent it today.

PS: Thanks to Bill St. Clair, who tells us that Netflix has Wind on its "Instant View" list.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Quote of the Week

"The Feds? Make me laugh. How come they think they're the only ones with a list?"

-- Overheard at a gun show this weekend

The Obamanation Versus "Infantile Individualism"

The withered EJ Dionne from the WaPo posted this column for the 1/22 edition; while one can only speculate how accurately it captures the Obamessiah's views, it does illuminate how folks at Pravda-on-the-Potomac view non-collectivists:

***
Old, True and Radical

By E. J. Dionne Jr.
Thursday, January 22, 2009; A17

President Obama intends to use conservative values for progressive ends. He will cast extreme individualism as an infantile approach to politics that must be supplanted by a more adult sense of personal and collective responsibility. He will honor government's role in our democracy and not degrade it. He wants America to lead the world, but as much by example as by force.

And in trying to do all these things, he will confuse a lot of people.

One of the wondrous aspects of Obama's inaugural address is the extent to which those on the left and those on the right both claimed our new president as their own.

Many conservatives were eager to argue that Obama is destined to disappoint his friends on the left because the president who now wields power will be far more careful than the candidate who deployed rhetoric so ecstatically.

Their evidence included Obama's stout defense of old-fashioned values -- "honesty and hard work, courage and fair play, tolerance and curiosity, loyalty and patriotism."

"These things are old," Obama declared. "These things are true." It was one of the most powerfully conservative sentiments ever to pass any president's lips.

But note the nature of that list: "Tolerance and curiosity," in particular, are values notoriously associated with the adventurous, with those who seek out the new and the novel. "Hard work" and "fair play" have long been invoked by egalitarians on behalf of the salt of the earth.

And Obama told us, straight out, the ends toward which he was conscripting the old virtues: "They have been the quiet force of progress throughout our history."

That emphasis on progress pervaded what was in many ways a radical speech. Obama clearly broke with the conservative past, more recently associated with George W. Bush and more distantly with Ronald Reagan.

As he has done so often, Obama pronounced debates about the size of government irrelevant. What matters is "whether it works." Quietly but purposefully, he was overturning the Reagan revolution.

He announced the repeal of the Bush-Cheney approach to domestic security with these words: "We reject as false the choice between our safety and our ideals." And while celebrating America's power, he broke with the past again by saying "that our power alone cannot protect us, nor does it entitle us to do as we please."

Finally, American presidents rarely ask explicitly whether "the market is a force for good or ill." Obama acknowledged its "power to generate wealth and expand freedom" but warned that without regulation, the market could "spin out of control." He also counseled against rampant inequality, insisting that "the nation cannot prosper long when it favors only the prosperous."

What makes Obama a radical, albeit of the careful and deliberate variety, is his effort to reverse the two kinds of extreme individualism that have permeated the American political soul for perhaps four decades.

He sets his face against the expressive individualism of the 1960s that defined "do your own thing" as the highest form of freedom. On the contrary, Obama speaks of responsibilities, of doing things for others, even of that classic bourgeois obligation, "a parent's willingness to nurture a child."

But he also rejects the economic individualism that took root in the 1980s. He specifically listed "the greed and irresponsibility on the part of some" as a cause for our economic distress. He discounted "the pleasures of riches and fame." He spoke of Americans not as consumers but as citizens. His references to freedom were glowing, but he emphasized our "duties" to preserve it far more than the rights it conveys.

This communitarian vision fits poorly with "the stale political arguments" between liberals and conservatives that Obama condemned, because they are really arguments between these two varieties of individualism. Their quarrel has been fierce not only because of how the two sides differ but also because they share so many assumptions. Family feuds and civil wars can be especially brutal.

For now, each side in the old debate can enlist aspects of Obama's rhetoric in their polemics against the other. But in associating our recent past with "childish things," in insisting that greatness is "never a given" and always "must be earned," Obama is challenging the very basis of their conflict.

It is a worthy fight. It will also be a hard fight to win because rights are so much easier to talk about than duties, and freedom's gifts are always more prized than its obligations.
***

Damned right "family feuds and civil wars can be especially brutal."

So why are the collectivists and their lickspittles in the media pushing so hard to start a scrap?

Alea iacta est.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Unsung Patriots

Go read about this unsung band of warriors during the last global cataclysm; more details here.

Thanks to the Civilian Irregular Information Defense Group for the article and their work.

Tempus fugit.

Vanderboegh: Hunters and the Upcoming Excitement


An important post by Mike here.

Related ideas here.

What's that, Hoss?

You didn't realize when you voted for Obama that he considered your scoped Remchester 7000 in .270 Winchester to be a "scoped sniper rifle" loaded with "cop-killer bullets"?

You don't these totalitarian pieces of garbage won't look at the ballistics of a .270 [130 SP at 3140fps at 200 yds for > 2000 ft/lbs energy] and include it in the energy-based ammunition ban they have in the works?

So sorry, Hoss.

Welcome to the fight.

Tempus fugit.

Holder: Showtime

David updates us all.

On Monday, make the calls noted at the end of this entry.

Don't forget -- the new Obamanation Administration has plans for freedom-minded RKBA folks.

Holder will be his henchman to execute those plans.

And I do mean "execute."

Act now.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Holder: Transcript of Senate Judiciary Committee Hearings


Courtesy of David comes this New York Times transcript (Day 1) and (Day 2) of AG-nominee Eric Holder's testimony last week before the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Read it all, but here's two particularly illuminating sequences, both from Day 1:

(at page 69)
***
COBURN: Since we only have five minutes, I want to go back to guns just for a minute. Do you have any plans to issue regulations or seek a change in the concealed carry laws of the states or have a federal regulation that might impact those?

HOLDER: That has not been something that I have discussed with anybody in the administration. It's nothing that I've contemplated.

COBURN: It's nothing you're contemplating.

And I understand President-elect Obama does have an opinion on "assault weapons," quote, "assault weapons." Can you tell me what your plans are and how you view that and whether or not you think that may or not be reinstituted?

HOLDER: Yes.

I think you had asked me earlier about the regulations that I thought might still exist, post-Heller. And I had mentioned, I think, closing the gun show loophole, the banning of cop-killer bullets and I also think that making the assault weapons ban permanent would be something that would be permitted under Heller, and I also think would be good for my law enforcement perspective.

COBURN: OK. Thank you.
***


(at page 88)
***
COBURN: Thank you.

And then my last question about guns. Promise, I'll never ask you another one in the committee hearing. And all I want is a yes or no, because I think people need to hear where you're going on this. There's some uneasiness among the second amendment crowd in this country, and what I'm trying to do is clarify that.

Will you commit to protect and preserve the rights of those 40 states that have a -right-to-carry law by opposing legislation that would encroach upon those rights?

HOLDER: In the opposing state legislation? I'm not...

COBURN: No, opposing federal legislation that would encroach upon those rights.

Let me say it again.

HOLDER: Yes, I understand the question. I'm just not sure how -- what the appropriate role would be for the federal government in the situation that you described. I don't...

COBURN: Well, if we're passing a law, that's obviously going to do that as the supreme enforcer of the law in this land. As the head law enforcer, it should be upon you to challenge that and accord when it, obviously, is going to violate the Heller decision.

So, what I'm asking you is to specifically state that if we pass something that violates these state laws, in other words, are going to limit these state laws, take away second amendment rights as being defined by the Heller decision, will you in fact intercede on the basis of that Heller decision to defend the rights of the state to have carry laws?

HOLDER: Well, I wouldn't support any law that violated the dictates of Heller.

Now, I don't know -- the question you asked is hypothetical. It's hard to answer hypotheticals without having all of the facts. But I will state, as I said, I think earlier, Heller is the law of the land. It has to be taken into account with regard to any legislation that might be considered.

COBURN: Well, let me just pin you down just a little bit closer so I can get comfortable.

HOLDER: OK.

COBURN: Do you believe the states presently have the right to establish carry laws in the states?

HOLDER: I think...

COBURN: Either concealed carry, or not concealed carry law.

HOLDER: Without agreeing or disagreeing with them, I think states do have those rights.

COBURN: Yes, the states do have. Will you work to protect that the states will continue to have that right?

HOLDER: Senator, yes, I guess -- I mean, in favor...

COBURN: You're making my second amendment crowd really nervous. They want to hear you say, "Yes, they have that right and they ought to be able to maintain that right." That's what they want to hear you say.

HOLDER: And I guess what I'm saying to that same crowd is that I have no intention -- this administration has no intention of doing anything that would affect a states regulation of firearms, who can carry a firearm, under what circumstances. There is nothing that we have discussed, nothing that is in planning, nothing that I can imagine that we're going to be doing in that regard, so.

LEAHY: Well, if the Senator yields to me.

COBURN: I'd be happy to.

LEAHY: Just to ask for a clarification. The State of Vermont has very simple laws on guns. During hunting season, deer hunting season, and your semi-automatic are restricted to a certain number of rounds to give the deer a chance.

We post signs outside the limits, city limits of Montpelier, our state capital, saying that if you're going to hunt deer inside the city limits of Montpelier like for example, crossing the Statehouse Lawn or something, you are limited to shotguns. That's the only place you are.

Anybody, unless they are a felon are allowed to carry a loaded concealed weapon above the certain age without a permit. Nobody does. We like the fact that we can. The vast majority of us in Vermont like myself, own numerous firearms.

Do I understand you to say you're not going to be on a crusade to have the federal government come in and override the laws of the State of Vermont?

HOLDER: That would be true. I've made and I express...

LEAHY: They are a lot less restricted than laws of Senator Coburn's state.

HOLDER: Maybe I've not expressed this well, but this is not an agenda item. It's not a focus. It's not an expectation that I have for this administration. I'm not sure how I can say it any plainer than that.

There are things that we want to do with regard to crime prevention and to reduce crime. But the concern that you have raised is not on any of the menu items that I have seen or could imagine.

COBURN: Thank you for your answers. It's not the one I wanted to hear, but thank you for the answer.

Mr. Chairman, we will submit additional questions, and thank you for being patient.

And thank you, Mr. Holder, for the fine job you've done today.

HOLDER: Thank you, Senator.

LEAHY: We will -- the witness is dismissed with our thanks.

HOLDER: Thank you.

LEAHY: And with me, you're dismissed with my admiration and my gratitude.

HOLDER: Thank you very much. I think I've been very...

LEAHY: I'm very clear I'm going to vote for you. We'll reconvene tomorrow morning with the panel at 10 o'clock in the Senate Judiciary committee hearing. With that, we stand recess.

HOLDER: Thank you, Senator.
(end)


Call the Judiciary Committee members per this entry from David.

Call and write your home Senators.

Tell them why Holder is the wrong man for this job.

Keep hammering.

Don't let the Obamessiah get this one on the cheap.

Dum spiro, pugno!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Fabius Maximus: 4GW, Simplified


Another great article by Fabius Maximus, illustrating the point that if an aggressor is unwilling to absorb casualties and incur significant damage to its public image, its ability to truly aggress, let alone win, is severely impaired.

Key grafs:

***
...That was the pattern of warfare up to 1945: accept huge losses to take enemy territory, because when you do, you will be able to neutralize those territories for good. So it pays off. You lose, say, 300 men taking a section of Maoist territory by overrunning those blockhouses. You’ve now gained a peasant population of, say, 100,000. You now get the return on your losses: you immediately kill any Communist sympathizers in the region and force all the young men to sign up with your army at bayonet-point. You’ve made good your casualties because, once you control the enemy territory, you change it for good, turn it from red to blue.
You can’t do that now, except once in a while, in remote places like Sudan or Congo where none of the locals have friends in the media. For most other places, where the news cameras are willing to go, this is the era of squeamishness... (emphasis added by WRSA)
***

Remember this device?

Remember what we said here?

I guarantee the black-clad minions of Hopey-Changey will not want videos of what they are doing taken by members of the Resistance and posted immediately on YouTube for the world to witness.

That's why we referred to the Flip video camera as "the single most effective tool against Tyranny."

Read the entry (included the embedded links) at Fabius' place and consider how long the confiscationists' campaign could continue if unfiltered video of the attacks and their aftermath were on the Web before the surviving Jackboots got back to base.

Imagine also the effect those videos would have on other Americans who had not yet joined the fray.

Got Flip?

Five from Michael Gaddy

We haven't featured his essays here before, so to rectify matters, here's five essays from Michael Gaddy that are worth your time:

Buy, Buy, Buy

Courage and Guns

The Bitter Fruits of Compromise

The Five Ps

The Gathering Storm

Enjoy.

Tempus fugit.

Morris: Here Comes Socialism


Dick Morris, former Clinton operative and Washington insider, explains the big picture outcome of the Obamessiah's regime.

Read it all, but here's a money quote:

***
...And Obama will move to change permanently the partisan balance in America. He will move quickly to legalize all those who have been in America for five years, albeit illegally, and to smooth their paths to citizenship and voting. He will weaken border controls in an attempt to hike the Latino vote as high as he can in order to make red states like Texas into blue states like California. By the time he is finished, Latinos and African-Americans will cast a combined 30 percent of the vote. If they go by top-heavy margins for the Democrats, as they did in 2008, it will assure Democratic domination (until they move up the economic ladder and become good Republicans).

And he will enact the check-off card system for determining labor union representation, repealing the secret ballot in union elections. The result will be to raise the proportion of the labor force in unions up to the high teens from the current level of about 12 percent.

Finally, he will use the expansive powers of the Federal Communications Commission to impose “local” control and ownership of radio stations and to impose the “fairness doctrine” on talk radio. The effect will be to drive talk radio to the Internet, fundamentally change its economics, and retard its growth for years hence.

But none of these changes will cure the depression...
***


To paraphrase Billy Beck:

Welcome to the cannibal pot.

Holder: Hold It!


David updates us that AG-nominee Eric Holder's confirmation vote has been delayed for one week.

Read David's article.

Do what it says.

Hammer your home-state Senators, too, with phone calls and letters.

Even if the bully is bigger and tougher than you, breaking his nose at the start of the fight demoralizes him, encourages you, and makes the bully's Master think.

Invictus.

US and UK On the Brink of Debt Disaster


From India's Economic Times via Global Guerrilla's John Robb, who notes in introduction:

***
Sustainable debt levels for a nation (public/private) are around 120-150% of GDP. We are at 350%. That's a 200% of GDP delta, or somewhere between $20-26 Trillion in excess debt (almost all of which is in the private sector).

This debt was only sustainable if the economy moved forward on a narrow/stable path (low environmental stress). Once it began to deviate due to the casino crisis on Wall Street, the leverage acted as a feedback loop to drive the economy into deeply non-linear behavior.

The ratios are such that no matter what is done at the gov't level in regards to stimulus (counter trend dampening), it will pale in comparison to the destabilization caused by this debt...
***


Read the whole thing, but here's a sample:

***
...
The data makes clear the rise in private sector debt had become unsustainable. In the 1960s and 1970s, total debt was rising at roughly the same rate as nominal GDP. By 2000-2007, total debt was rising almost twice as fast as output, with the rapid issuance all coming from the private sector, as well as state and local governments.

This created a dangerous interdependence between GDP growth (which could only be sustained by massive borrowing and rapid increases in the volume of debt) and the debt stock (which could only be serviced if the economy continued its swift and uninterrupted expansion).

The resulting debt was only sustainable so long as economic conditions remained extremely favorable. The sheer volume of private-sector obligations the economy was carrying implied an increasing vulnerability to any shock that changed the terms on which financing was available, or altered the underlying GDP cash flows...
***


Here's the bottom line: we are only in the early stages of an public and private economic collapse unprecedented in human history.

And remember this as well: you have to read non-American media to see that story.

Alea iacta est.

A Telling Milestone

From Fabius Maximus via Maggie's Farm, a graphic illustration of what we were contemplating here:

We now have more people employed in government than manufacturing and construction.

What happens when a country has more people working for the government than it does actually making things to sell?

We're finding out as we speak.

Those who believe that a political solution is still possible:

Tell me, please, the likelihood that the millions of government drones currently feeding from taxpayers' wallets at the local, state, and Federal levels, along with the 2 million or more "jobs" that will be "created" by the Obamessiah using tax dollars, can be persuaded to do anything other than vote in their own interests.

To correctly state the probability, you may use scientific notation, if you wish.

Ditto for the odds that these millions of apparatchiks will do anything other than slavishly support full-scale totalitarianism, so long as they don't have to bleed and they keep getting their gubmint checks.

Alea iacta est.

PS: When you're done reading this entry, check out the rest of the Fabius Maximus blog; there's lots of good stuff there, and it's our latest blogroll addition.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

The Leviathan Changes Masks


From ¡Ya Basta!:

***
...Obama is right about one thing though, the question we ask today is not whether our government is too big or too small. That answer is clear. The government is no longer our government. Hasn’t been for ages. It’s the State, the Culture Industry, the Empire, the Borg, the Matrix, the Corporate-Panopticon-Industrial Complex. It’s the Leviathan and there’s no doubt it’s way too big.

Let me be clear though: while I am confident in our analysis of the present and future changes underway, I pray to God that we are totally wrong. I may laugh at the frothing masses so sure that Obama will make everything all right, but I’d give up everything I own to know that they are clear sighted and I am delusional. Tell me Eric Holder won’t try to take away our right to self defense and some damn ATF raid in Cheyenne won’t spark a second civil war. Tell me the North American Union isn’t on its way, the surveillance state will shrivel up in four years, and those FEMA camps in the Midwest won’t ever open their gates for a single occupant. Make me believe that the murderous kleptocracy dominating this country is going to commit seppuku in shame, all political prisoners will walk free, and the US Army is going to start fighting real enemies like Monsanto and Exxon.

Sane doomers and true patriots now want to be wrong. We don’t think we are, but ultimately, we just want to be left in peace. We’re not prejudiced cynics, just free people from many heritages, united by our refusal to kneel and our willingness to fight...
***


Read the whole thing.

Tempus fugit.

Spartacus: The Sweet Smell...

...of raw POWER is such an aphrodisiac.

Face it: The President just came from the Senate. The Vice-President just came from DECADES in the Senate. The Chief of Staff just came from the House of Reps, where he was in line to become Speaker one day.

This will be one hellishly effective administration, on both the legislative and executive sides.

Alea iacta est.

Roubini: US Financial System Losses to Exceed $3 Trillion

From Bloomberg via the LATOC Forum:

Roubini Predicts U.S. Losses May Reach $3.6 Trillion (Update1)

By Henry Meyer and Ayesha Daya

Jan. 20 (Bloomberg) -- U.S. financial losses from the credit crisis may reach $3.6 trillion, suggesting the banking system is “effectively insolvent,” said New York University Professor Nouriel Roubini, who predicted last year’s economic crisis.

“I’ve found that credit losses could peak at a level of $3.6 trillion for U.S. institutions, half of them by banks and broker dealers,” Roubini said at a conference in Dubai today. “If that’s true, it means the U.S. banking system is effectively insolvent because it starts with a capital of $1.4 trillion. This is a systemic banking crisis.”

Losses and writedowns at financial companies worldwide have risen to more than $1 trillion since the U.S. subprime mortgage market collapsed in 2007, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

President Barack Obama will have to use as much as $1 trillion of public funds to shore up the capitalization of the banking sector, following the $350 billion injection by the Bush administration, Roubini told Bloomberg News. Congress last year approved a $700 billion rescue fund, of which half remains to be disbursed.

Bank of America Corp., the largest U.S. bank by assets, posted a quarterly loss of $1.79 billion last week, its first since 1991, and received $138 billion in emergency government funds. Citigroup Inc. posted an $8.29 billion fourth-quarter loss, completing its worst year, and plans to split in two under Chief Executive Officer Vikram Pandit’s plan to rebuild a capital base eroded by the credit crisis.

‘Bankrupt’ System

“The problems of Citi, Bank of America and others suggest the system is bankrupt,” Roubini said. “In Europe, it’s the same thing.”

Stocks in Europe, Canada and Brazil dropped yesterday on speculation government efforts to shore up the financial industry will fail to stem the deepening global recession. The U.K.’s Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc said it expects to post a loss of as much as 28 billion pounds ($41 billion) for 2008 and the government got ready to raise its stake in the lender.

Oil prices will trade between $30 and $40 a barrel all year, Roubini predicted.

“I see commodities falling overall another 15-20 percent,” Roubini said. “This outlook for commodity prices is beneficial for oil importers, it’s going to imply that economic recovery might occur faster, but from the point of view of oil exporters, this will be very negative.”

Oil has tumbled 77 percent from its July high of $147.27 as the global economy sinks into recession, straining the budgets of crude exporters. Saudi Arabia, Oman and Dubai, the second- largest sheikdom in the United Arab Emirates, have said they will post budget deficits this year.

Crude oil for February delivery fell to $32.70, down 10.4 percent from last week’s close and the lowest since Dec. 19, on the New York Mercantile Exchange today. The contract traded at $33.37 a barrel at 10:45 a.m. London time.

Sowell: 'They Failed Throughout the 1930s And Now They Are Going to Do It All Over Again'

From Glenn Beck:

Glenn Beck talks with Thomas Sowell
January 19, 2009 - 12:50 ET

GLENN: Thomas Sowell, he is the scholar in residence at the Hoover Institution. He has also written a book, Applied Economics: Thinking Beyond Stage One. He's probably one of the great economic minds of our time and he is on the phone with me to try to explain some of these things to me, Thomas. Tell me that I'm wrong that we're not really seeing a course change as much as we're seeing somebody step on the gas and make things much, much worse?

SOWELL: Oh, I'd feel so much better if I could tell you you were wrong, but I'm afraid you're right. It is truly amazing what we've talked ourselves into. You are right, first of all, about the government itself being the major factor behind this whole mess. They got in there by politicians deciding that they knew how housing markets ought to operate better than people who had operated housing markets all their lives and so they put pressure in various sorts but very strong pressure on all kinds of lending institutions to lend money to people they would never have lent money to otherwise. And now that both the lenders and the borrowers have been ruined by this transaction, the politicians are looking everywhere except in Washington to find a scapegoat.

GLENN: Let me -- you know, I just asked, I just asked this question because I went back and I read. Thomas, so you know, I'm a complete and total loser and I don't have a life. I went back and I read all the inaugural speeches up until 1937, and I read them and I noticed that there was a change around 1880 to 1900 where they started talking about globalism and they started talking about banking and everything else. And when you get to Wilson and then you get to FDR, they're saying exactly the same thing. They are talking about the same exact problem that we have during this inauguration. And it caused me to think to myself, "Well, wait a minute. What are the things that are consistent from then to now?" And all I can come up with is the gigantic banking system, the Fed, the government, all of these things that we never pay attention to, nor change. Am I off and the wrong track?

SOWELL: No, I'm afraid that my reading of the Great Depression's the same way. I'm just amazed at all the things that are put forth under the label of change, are things that have been tried before, they were tried throughout the 1930s. They failed throughout the 1930s and now they are going to do it all over again so we can have them fail again.

If you look at the -- you know, the other thing that's very much the same is the blaming of what's happened on the market rather than on the politicians.

GLENN: Yeah.

SOWELL: Now, for more than a year after the great stock market crash of 1929, the unemployment rate never reached 10%. Once the politicians got into it starting with the Hawley-Smoot Tariff, the country went through nearly three consecutive years in which unemployment never fell below 20% for any month.

GLENN: Thomas, help me out on this because a lot of people won't know what the Hawley-Smoot thing is and basically what that was, correct me if I'm wrong, is protectionism saying we've got to protect American jobs, we're going to put some tariffs on people that are importing stuff, et cetera, et cetera. If we're saying we won't do that now but the rest of the world is in trouble, too, and if one starts to go into protectionism, we all have to and that just changes the dynamics entirely, doesn't it?

SOWELL: Oh, absolutely. You know, I would sense futility in saying this. More than 1,000 economists from leading universities across the country urged the President and the congress not to put these tariffs in which were higher than tariffs had been in over a century. But their argument was that we're going to stop the imports, we're going to produce these things at home and therefore there will be more American jobs and, you know, no thought of what you just said. Others will then retaliate and then we'll be not only back where we were, we'll be worse off than where we were because all international trade will shrink, which it did.

GLENN: In 1987 Ronald Reagan was run through the mud because he did nothing to curb things and they said he was out of touch. The New York Times I believe said that he was -- that he had missed a great opportunity to change the way things were done. A lot of people are also telling us that this is just 1987. Clear up the differences between now and 1987.

SOWELL: The biggest difference, of course, is that Reagan understood that the government could make things worse, and he did nothing and he paid a high price in terms of the media and so on. But the fact is it was from that date to 2007 that we enjoyed 20 years of the greatest prosperity and low unemployment, low inflation than we've seen perhaps in the whole history of the country, whereas now Obama is taking us back to Hoover and FDR, both of whom thought that the government should intervene.

You know, prior to the Great Depression of the 1930s, nobody thought it was the federal government's business to try to get us out of our depression and no other depression was ever as deep or as long-lasting as this one where the government intervened.

GLENN: Well, let me ask you this: It's my understanding that the Depression is called, in all other textbooks all around the world, it is just known as the Depression. In France it's the Depression. But here in America it's the Great Depression. Why?

SOWELL: Because here in America there was this massive intervention which made the depression far worse, far more long-lasting and we took longer to get out of it than other countries did. So it left a major scar on the national psyche. Worst of all, it left us with the wrong message, namely that FDR had come to the rescue and saved us when the marketplace failed, when it was just the opposite.

GLENN: So Thomas, I hear from people all the time: Well, we've got to do something. Well, no, not necessarily. But what should, what should we be pulling for? What should we be demanding?

SOWELL: Well, first of all, there's no such thing as doing something. You have to do something specific. And so the merits, the demerits of what specifically they are going to do or what ought to be discussed. However, looking at it historically, where the government has done nothing, the result has usually been far better than when they've done something.

GLENN: Unbelievably. So we should be, as a people we should be saying, do nothing. Do you believe, Thomas, that we were headed for a global crash if we wouldn't have done the bailouts?

SOWELL: That was one of the things that made me hesitate to criticize it but in retrospect it's clear that the bailouts, first of all, have not been what they were advertised to be and so how effective they would have been if they had been what they were advertised to be is a moot point because they weren't. We're now bailing out everybody. And I start to wonder why aren't they bailing out economists.

GLENN: Is it too much of a -- is it an overstatement to say that America has become or is significantly down the road of becoming France and we just don't know it yet?

SOWELL: I'm afraid we're down the road to becoming France not only economically but worse, much more dangerously, France in terms of international relations. I'm always amazed at people who think we are going it alone if we don't have France with us. I can't think of a country in the past 100 years that has made more catastrophic foreign policy mistakes than France. Let's not forget that France collapsed in just six weeks of fighting in 1940. And what isn't as widely known is that both the French generals and the German generals thought the French had the better chance of winning that war than Germany did.

GLENN: Thomas Sowell from the -- he is a scholar in residence at the Hoover institute at Stanford University, one of probably the best economic minds in the country right now.

May I just go down a conspiracy theorist road here with you for a second?

SOWELL: Oh, yeah.

GLENN: Because you are a smart guy and you are not into the conspiracy theory. So you can debunk this. Here's what I fear, Thomas, and that is that there seems to be, like with the G20 there seems to be, what was it, a couple of weeks ago over in Paris the leadership of Germany and France and England getting together and saying there needs to be a new controlled kind, globally controlled capitalism. Merkel was calling for an economic board that would be like the security council at the UN where all laws would have to be passed through this so no country would truly be free economically anymore. You've got China and France calling for a new currency, et cetera, et cetera, and you have Barack Obama who is this global figure, goes over and gives the first speech ever on a campaign over in Germany. It seems to me like there is a framework being laid if there was ever a gigantic global economic meltdown, that there would be a rapid and sudden push toward some sort of a global framework on the economy. Do you buy into any of that or am I just seeing things incorrectly?

SOWELL: You don't need a conspiracy for that to happen. All you need is a lot of like minded people all reinforcing one another's views and you get the same effect as if there had been a conspiracy.

GLENN: But that's what it seems like we have.

SOWELL: Yes.

GLENN: So you think this is a possibility?

SOWELL: Oh, absolutely. It's going to be trying on the international stage the same kinds of policies that have failed repeatedly in individual nations all around the world. This is international central planning.

Now, national central planning has been such a disaster that even communists and socialist countries have gotten rid of it. I mean, China is a classic example where they decide it's such a disaster, we're going to go for the market. Well, now we're going to move back in the other direction. We're going to try it, since it failed in innumerable countries individually, now we're going to try it collectively so they can fail throughout the world.

GLENN: Isn't that the way socialism always works, though? It always fails small and they say, well, it's because it wasn't big enough.

SOWELL: That's right.

GLENN: I mean, it's insane.

SOWELL: Well, yeah. You know, I suppose we're having interplanetary exploration. If it fails all over the Earth, they say it must be good somewhere in the other galaxies.

GLENN: Today is Martin Luther King Day. We are inaugurating our first black President. You are an African-American. What does this time period mean to you?

SOWELL: Oh, heavens. I must tell you in all frankness I can't bear to watch the television except for sports because of all the hoopla. I suppose those people who thought that all the problems that we have as blacks are due to the wrong policies, the wrong people in power and that changing that's going to matter. I don't. I don't even think that this is a breakthrough in the sense of which some people are saying it. I don't doubt for a minute that Colin Powell could have been elected, you know, eight years ago had he been so inclined. So that it doesn't come as nearly as big a surprise to me as it does to some people.

GLENN: Have you ever been called a sellout of your race for saying something like that? I mean, that's pretty significant.

SOWELL: Oh, yeah, that's one of the milder things I've been called. You know, you don't -- you have to choose between whether you are going to call them as you see them or whether you are going to seek to be popular. Since I'm not running for office, there's no reason for me to pull my punches.

GLENN: Do the moves of Barack Obama, which are so like those moves of FDR, do they frighten you for our future at all or make you more hopeful or neither?

SOWELL: Oh, they make me enormously concerned because we know, or at least those of us who bother to read history know what a disaster the FDR policies were and unfortunately I have a terrible feeling that Obama and certainly his supporters haven't the slightest interest in finding out what happened when this was done the last time because I don't think we can stand a 10-year depression. I mean, you realize that for ten consecutive years unemployment never fell below 10%.

GLENN: Thomas Sowell, it is a pleasure to have you on. I'd love to have you on and pick your brain some more if you don't mind, you know, reappearing on the program.

SOWELL: I look forward to it.

GLENN: Thank you, sir. I appreciate it. We'll talk to you again.

SOWELL: Bye-bye.

GLENN: Let me tell you, our sponsor this half hour is Goldline. That doesn't make you feel good. Does that make you feel good, Stu?

STU: He's one of the best, yeah.

GLENN: You are not on mic.

STU: It's just a setting problem. Don't worry about it.

GLENN: Does that make you feel good? You know, that's just the kind of guy -- I want to talk to these people so they can say, "No, you got it wrong." Unfortunately just make me want to go buy more gold.

Alea iacta est.