Friday, December 30, 2011

The "Racist" Dr Paul

In case you, dear reader, haven't noticed, the long knives are out for Ron Paul. Among the mud and feces being thrown at this humble and honorable man by the political elite of both of the major parties is the charge of "racism". The ruling class is becoming afraid, very afraid.



h/t Claire Wolf

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Whoda Thunk This?

When we first learned of the tragic Christmas day shooting in a Fort Worth, Texas suburb, mental alarm bells went off. Few details of the incident were released and we expected a press release from the Brady bunch demanding stricter gun control. Sound of crickets chirping.

We now know the probable reason for the organized gun grabbers silence. The names and identities of the victims and the shooter were withheld until the 26th. As details of the shooting are becoming available we learn the shooter and his dead family members were of the Islamic persuasion and the shooter's 19 year old niece who was among the dead was dating a non muslim.

Political correctness is a wondrous tool of the left and involves a hierarchy: in the interest of "diversity" concealing societal issues involving cultural incompatibility trumps the exploitation of the citizen disarmament agenda.

ΜΟΛΩΝ ΛΑΒΕ

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Down and Dirty

More and more of what this writer observes of the current and apparently permanent presidential campaign convinces him that there is little of substance to differentiate the two major political parties here in the US. The now four decade long descent into a collectivist/fascist dictatorship has been presided over by all three branches of our government and under the aegis of both Republicans and Democrats. Should you, dear reader doubt it, I would hasten to call your attention to this evidence. It is a rather long read containing researched data and devastating in its logic.

The evolution of our republic into an empire of global dimensions has resulted in the emergence of an executive who not only wages war without the niceties required by our constitution but now claims the power to detain and/or execute citizens by merely declaring them to be terrorists or "enemy combatants" in a never ending "war on terror" waged at his discretion.

The complicity of both of our major political parties which are in reality only one party obsessed with exercising power is evidenced by the fact that one candidate (Mr Gingrich) has implied he would seriously consider support for the candidate of the supposed opposing party should his own party nominate Dr Ron Paul.

Do you, dear reader need further evidence of the validity of George Wallace's remark that "There's not a dime's worth of difference between Democrats and most Republicans"?

Please excuse this old Greek while he retires to the Imperial vomitorium.

cross posted at: Eternity Road

Thursday, December 15, 2011

We Are Totally Screwed

Like most of you I have had difficulty wrapping my mind around the numbers casually displayed and quoted in the media recently. This video may be able to help you all get a handle on the deep doo doo we are in.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

An Outlaw Government

For the better part of 2011 the mainstream media (which was by the way only dragged kicking and screaming into reporting on it) the scandal designated "Fast and Furious" by the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco Firearms and Explosives (BATF) has been reported as a "botched sting" operation. No such characterization of the operation could be further from the truth. A "sting" operation in law enforcement parlance involving known contraband must of necessity in its planning and execution include a system of observation either electronic or visual of the contraband in order to maintain an unbroken chain of control ultimately linking it to a suspect. There is no evidence such a method of observation was a part of the F&F operation. Indeed, when ATF field agents attempted to initiate such a chain they were ordered to refrain from doing so by supervisory personnel. Understand, dear reader, that the "contraband" in F&F consisted of items capable of causing death and mayhem when wielded by dangerous criminals i.e. Mexican drug cartels.

Fast and Furious involved the willful and knowing transportation of firearms across an international border a violation of Title 23 Section 150 of the US Code. It is impossible such an operation could be carried out without the authorization of the highest level of ATF's parent cabinet level department, the Justice Department yet the Attorney General Eric Holder would have us believe he was unaware of it and testified to that effect before Congress.

The following is an open letter to Mr. Holder from a US government agent operating in Mexico. The letter was posted at the whistleblower site CleanUpATF on 9 December 2011:   
Posted 09 December 2011 - 11:47 AM
An Open Letter to Attorney General Holder

Dear AG Holder:

From deep inside Mexico, thanks to streaming video, I was able to watch and listen to the entire House Judiciary Committee hearing. I'm a registered
Independent - not Republican and not Democrat, so this is a non-partisan commentary. As I write this, my life, and the lives of my family members are more
at risk because of the reckless actions of you and your ATF buddies allowing, facilitating and even paying for firearms to be smuggled into Mexico for
criminals.

Wow! You really made points with us when you refused to acknowledge you were under oath.

How many times did you answer "I don't know"? You must be the most "know nothing" Attorney General in history.
Funny, you had the answers for all the other issues brought up during the hearing.....

You said those who created "Fast & Furious" will be held accountable, but you still don't know who did it and no one will be fired? You have to consider
their overall service to the department???? Do you consider their overall service for any other crime?

It's been nearly a year since you assigned the investigation of Fast & Furious to the DOJ IG, although not in writing. Interesting. So, the DOJ is
investigating itself? How long does it take for the IG to investigate? Is this the same IG that cooked up the false $16 muffin story? Is this the same IG
that took (as gospel) ATF's word that 90% of the guns recovered in Mexico and traced came from the U.S. - statistics later discredited - by ATF themselves?

We watched and listened as you and your Democrat sycophants on the Committee parroted the same tired scripted mantra praising you for advancing gun control
and begging for more gun regulations and more ATF funding. The same old figures were quoted about how many guns were traced from Mexico. Did your figures
include all the duplicate traces from Mexico? All the.22 rabbit rifles and farmer's shotguns that Mexico traced? Did they include 100 year old guns used by Pancho Villa? Did you explain that the average age of those guns traced from Mexico is over 14 years? ATF calls that "time to crime", but may have nothing to do with a crime.

Did you explain that as far back as 1992, and as recently as 2009, the Congressional Research Service warned against the use of statistics from ATF's
tracing system? Did you also not read their warning, "The ATF tracing system is an operational system designed to help law enforcement agencies identify the
ownership path of individual firearms. It was not designed to collect statistics."? Or did you simply ignore it?

Did you explain that the new multiple rifle regulation which you are so strongly supporting would not have stopped a single Fast & Furious gun from being
smuggled to Mexico? And won't stop any future smuggling? And the multiple rifle purchase report requirement is so overly-broad that it includes 50 to 100 year
old rifles of interest only to collectors - which will now be reported as 'crime guns'? What's with that? Oh, yeah..... Those sales are now permanently 'registered'
in ATF registration databases. Was this supposed to be "under the radar", too?

Did you explain why your buddies at ATF are reporting personal information (name, address, height, weight, date of birth, drivers license number, etc.) of
totally innocent American gun owners to corrupt Mexican cops - through eTrace? Enough information for ID theft? These gun owners may have disposed of the guns
many years ago - but ATF still reports the original owner as a 'suspect' to Mexican cops. Thanks a lot. That makes me feel really good while I'm here in Mexico.....
Have you forgotten that in Mexico, you're guilty until proven innocent?

So this is the "Most Transparent Administration" in history? Well, on that issue, that's right. With your performance in front of the Committee, and your
obstruction of justice and obfuscation of the issues, you were completely transparent. Everyone could see right through you. And you're refusing to release
any more documents? What could be more transparent than that? Wow!

Watching you in front of the Committee, for the first time in my life, you make me ashamed to be an American. Hell, Watergate was easier to understand....., and people didn't die. How many people are going to be killed as a consequence of Fast & Furious?

How do I explain to my Mexican friends and associates why ATF has illegally armed Mexican criminal gangs? And no one has gone to jail, or been fired, or
suspended, or even identified.....? Isn't that great for international relations.....

Mr. Attorney General, you will be held accountable - by the American People.

Sincerely,
(Name Withheld - still in Mexico)

Incredibly, Democratic members of Congress and their mainstream media cheer leaders insist on the need to enact more stringent gun laws affecting private law abiding US citizens as a result of the criminal actions of a government bureaucracy. Only in the fevered minds of gun grabbing hoplophobes and leftist politicians; but I repeat myself.


ΜΟΛΩΝ ΛΑΒΕ

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Seasonal Observations

Readers of this observer's postings are doubtless aware of his libertarian proclivities. Like most of you gentle readers I have continued the search for a politician or opinion leader whose positions are congruent completely with my own views. Not surprisingly, the quest has been thus far in vain. Pursuant of that end I have regularly frequented one of the most visible libertarian sites on the web, Lew Rockwell.com.  Please feel free, gentle readers to suggest any additional fertile areas of research.

Yesterday, on the above linked site the following blog posting appeared without comment by Mr. Rockwell and was entitled: No War Toys for Christmas

Father Emmanuel Charles McCarthy suggests that if your parish collects toys for Christmas gifts, you might ask your pastor to note that war toys are not wanted. "It could be explained in the bulletin why toys that fill children with the spirits of homicide and enmity and self righteousness do not fit into the meaning and purpose of Christmas."

 Is it truly toys and not moral teachings that influence our young? I have no knowledge of the identity of Father McCarthy nor of the sect or diocese he represents, but responded to the posting as follows:

Re: No war toys for Christmas

What is a "war toy"? I would submit that such items are merely non functioning children's versions of tools that are used for military purposes. McCarthy's implication is that all military purposes are evil and must be discouraged. This is the logic of those who would disarm law abiding citizens thus preventing them from engaging in self defense.

Would Father McCarthy decline toy guns used by defenders of the constitution or toy cannon such as used in our revolutionary war?

Objecting to and imputing morality to mere tools borders on idiocy. Are toy guillotines also to be banned? Ultimately it is human intent which should be the subject of moral condemnation. Was it Jesus in Luke 22:36 who stated: "Let him without a sword sell his cloak to buy one"?

As of the time of this posting, Mr Rockwell has neither responded to nor posted my comment on the blog. Having said that and in the spirit of a lively libertarian discussion I am pleased to report that one of the contributers to Mr. Rockwell's site with which this writer almost totally agrees is Dr. Walter Block; closely followed by Drs. Thomas DiLorenzo and Thomas Woods.

Tangentially apropos the subject, one of the practices disturbing to this writer is the recent characterization by the mass media of all military personnel especially those wounded or killed in the  current conflicts as "heroes".  Having served previously in the military wherein extraordinary heroic actions were a requisite for that designation, it seems to me a disservice to genuine heroes to assign the title to those who's only misfortune though tragic, is to have suffered the consequences of warfare.

In any event, to quote an ancient philosopher: "Only the dead have seen the end of war". For now I, for one would council keeping one's powder dry and compiling a list of candidates for the future decoration of lamp posts á-la signore Mussolini.

Merry Christmas

ΜΟΛΩΝ ΛΑΒΕ

Sunday, November 20, 2011

A Deliverance?

As this posting is being composed an unconstitutional "super committee" of Congress is wrestling over the issue of "solving" the crisis of debt which threatens the very survival of our nation. This writer posits that the premise upon which this so called committee was instituted is false. The current US national debt now exceeds $15 trillion with the annual budgetary deficit projected for the coming decade to be $1.3 trillion. The committee is charged with reducing the annual deficit by a total of $1.3 trillion over the next 10 years.  That supposed "reduction" amounting to $130 billion per annum  accepts an actual expenditure increase by the federal government of $1.170 trillion per year. Only in the fevered minds of Washington political operatives' "baseline budgetary" calculations can such a figure be characterized as a budgetary "cut".

Underlying the sturm und drang of this issue are the philosophical assumptions of the two major antagonists in our society: the collectivists and the individualists, and the divide has seldom been more pronounced and divisive.

The collectivist position is currently represented by the extreme left wing of the Democratic party as espoused by the current occupant of the presidency who considers himself an heir to the New Deal legacy of Franklin Roosevelt. In Roosevelt's State of the Union Address of 11 January 1944 he proposed the following "Economic Bill of Rights":

The right to a useful and remunerative job in the industries or shops or farms or mines of the Nation;
The right to earn enough to provide adequate food and clothing and recreation;
The right of every farmer to raise and sell his products at a return which will give him and his family a decent living;
The right of every businessman, large and small, to trade in an atmosphere of freedom from unfair competition and domination by monopolies at home or abroad;
The right of every family to a decent home;
The right to adequate medical care and the opportunity to achieve and enjoy good health;
The right to adequate protection from the economic fears of old age, sickness, accident, and unemployment;
The right to a good education.
Each and every one of the above "rights" envisions the seizure of private property in the form of labor, capital or property from individual citizens of our nation in violation of the black letter of the founding documents dully ratified by the people of the United States.
Opposing the collectivists in this epic struggle are the so called individualists who advocate:
A free market economy – an economy unhampered by political regulations, rigid controls, bureaucratic guidelines, high taxes, mandatory racial quotas, compulsory minimum wage rates, redistribution programs, and other coercive distortions – presupposes the principles of self-ownership and private property rights in peaceful adult citizens. The Left attacks freedom and civilization at this crucial foundation level by denouncing and undermining private property rights at every opportunity, from the income tax and antitrust laws to the Supreme Court’s infamous Kelo decision..
And since the related principles of Self-Ownership and Private Property are the bedrock core of the political perspective known as libertarianism, the Left’s ultimate target is individual liberty and it assiduously fights any significant movement in the direction toward true libertarianism. Libertarianism is the ultimate ideological opposite to Leftism and the Left’s anti-property, anti-individualist Orwellian agenda.
The Left often postures as being in favor of "tolerance" – but only in such superficial matters as skin color, not in the realm of ideas. The Left’s long-time and continuing ideological monopoly in America’s universities seethes with anti-conservative and anti-libertarian bigotry and intolerance much uglier and much more unrelenting than the personal prejudice of any stereotyped Southern racist.
Leftists also claim they are for freedom – but it is not the freedom from coercive interference with peaceful adults for which libertarians stand. No. The leftists clamor for freedom from want, freedom from deprivation, freedom from poverty, freedom from being disadvantaged, freedom from discrimination, freedom from having one’s feelings hurt, freedom from the real world, and other such bogus "freedoms" which, if they can be achieved at all, come only at the forced expense of productive peaceful adult citizens. They think people have a "right" to "free" medical care, food, schooling, retirement funding, disability assistance, housing subsidies, etc. – all to be paid for by the forced expropriation of other people. In other words, they believe that some people have a "right" to violate the rights of others.

In view of the fundamental divergencies in the stated philosophies of the two groups on the "super committee" this writer feels safe in predicting that a further attempt will be made at "kicking the can further down the road" which will be the case even should the minimum requirements of the committee be realized.
     

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Save Us Obi Ron! You're our Only Hope

Your humble blogster found this video on LewRockwell.com who credits Paul Craig Roberts. Please steal it and make sure it goes viral.

Especially note the prolog and the credits.



ΜΟΛΩΝ ΛΑΒΕ

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Worth a Thousand Words

...and an orange jumpsuit for Eric Holder?

Friday, September 30, 2011

Time is Running Out

The recent interview of Mr. Alessio Rastani on BBC and embedded below is jaw-dropping on many levels. Non Keynesian economists have been warning of the approaching storm for years and for their troubles have been soundly ridiculed. Here for the first time to my knowledge in the main stream media is spoken the unvarnished truth. The wonder is: how many will take him seriously?


"In wartime [and the run-up to revolution] truth is so precious that she should be attended by a bodyguard of lies." Winston Churchill

Saturday, September 17, 2011

No End in Sight?

It will soon be a decade since the United States military first engaged in the Afghan operation. We have been assured that Osama bin Laden now sleeps with the fishes in the Indian Ocean. In spite of having achieved the stated objective of this undeclared "war" the killing and dying continue. May one be excused for asking: "to what further purpose"?

How long will our leaders insist on the continuation of this expenditure of blood and treasure?
This humble writer posits that the insanity will continue until it can no longer be economically sustained or alternatively, that our political leadership is replaced by sane adults.
President Obama has recently signed on to regulations requiring us mere mortals to conserve fuel while The Afghan "war" consumes 22 gallons of fuel per diem for every one of our personnel in that theatre. The fuel costs $400.00 per gallon to be delivered.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Collectivists Progressives and the Bloody 20th Century

by William L. Anderson

As one who has written on the Progressive movement that began in the late 1800s and still continues today, I am struck by the way that people have institutionalized the "reforms" and creations of Progressives to the point where they become something even beyond articles of faith. There can be no discussion on anything Progressive governments enacted, not matter how much damage these "reforms" have caused, and even to suggest that these "reforms" are not essential to our very existence is [to] want to repeal life itself.

The latest hysterical "They Want to Repeal the 20th Century" screed comes from Steven Pearlstein, an economics columnist for the Washington Post, who lays out an interesting line of thought and in the end seems to claim that the mass of government programs and agencies created during the last century carries the same aura of truth as does the Law of Gravity. He writes:
These folks are actually talking about repealing the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act and the Environmental Protection Agency, created in 1970s.
They’re talking about abolishing Medicare and Medicaid, which passed in the 1960s, and Social Security, created in the 1930s.
They reject as thoroughly discredited all of Keynesian economics, including the efficacy of fiscal stimulus, preferring the budget-balancing economic policies that turned the 1929 stock market crash into the Great Depression.
They also reject the efficacy of monetary stimulus to fight recession, and give the strong impression they wouldn’t mind abolishing the Federal Reserve and putting the country back on the gold standard.
They refuse to embrace Darwin’s theory of evolution, which has been widely accepted since the Scopes Trial of the 1920s.
One of them is even talking about repealing the 16th and 17th amendments to the Constitution, allowing for a federal income tax and the direct election of senators – landmarks of the Progressive Era.
What’s next – repeal of quantum physics? (Emphasis mine)
As I read through this litany, I realize that his line of argument is terribly fallacious, but to Progressives, all their talk of science and logic does not apply to their own methods of reasoning. Pearlstein is claiming that the very creation and continued existence of agencies like the EPA and the provisions of the Clean Air Acts and Clean Water Acts, along with the Income Tax and direct election of U.S. Senators, Medicare and Social Security are proof of their truth.

Furthermore, he equates these legislative acts, along with the Keynesian theories and accompanying policies as having the same legitimacy as laws of quantum physics. Just as one cannot debate the existence of gravity, so one cannot even debate anything that fits within the Progressive agenda.

As I read through the article, I come to the conclusion that Progressivism at its heart is a religion, one in which the State is God and Abraham Lincoln, Teddy and Franklin Roosevelt, and Woodrow Wilson are its Holy Prophets. John Maynard Keynes is the savior. To question anything that they said or did is to require banishment not only from polite society, but from the very universe altogether.

If there is a Golden Era of Progressivism, it is the 20th Century, and while many decent people are repulsed at the government-initiated slaughter of innocent people that characterized those 100 years, Progressives see, well, progress. Where some see the butchering of 10 million men in the execrable trenches of World War I and ask who could have ordered this needless destruction of lives, Progressives see "progress" in the destruction of the European monarchies and the establishment of the U.S.S.R. (Yes, the U.S.S.R. during the 1920s and 1930s was a darling of U.S. Progressives, and their effusive praise of the regime, and especially of Josef Stalin, is well documented in Paul Hollander’s Political Pilgrims.)

Furthermore, World War I in the USA led to military conscription, high income tax rates, destruction of the classical gold standard (and replacement with fiat paper money), Prohibition, and government takeover of the railroads and government control of business, all of which were highly-sought by Progressives for years before World War I brought their goals to fruition, which was aptly noted by Murray N. Rothbard in his classic essay, "World War I as Fulfillment." Thus, to Progressives, the bloody human sacrifice that characterized that conflict was "worth it" because the postwar world was much more to their liking.

It is hard to understand why anyone would prefer the bloodshed and social turmoil that was World War I and its aftermath to the relatively peaceful western world that existed before Europe stumbled into massive warfare in August 1914, yet Progressives believed (and still believe) that the destruction of ancient institutions and replacing them with edicts from the state was a good thing. And when people pointed out that the Russian Revolution was bringing death and destruction, the typical Progressive response was, "If you want to make an omelet, you have to break some eggs."

The Great Depression was the next event that solidified the Progressive hold on U.S. policies, and like World War I, it provided Progressives the opportunity to make permanent changes in the nation’s political economy, or at least bring permanent changes to the legal institutions that set the boundaries for private enterprise. Furthermore, in the name of "bold action," the government engaged in activities from cartelizing U.S. industries (the idea that reducing output would reduce layoffs, which would reduce unemployment) to hiring vast number of people to do chores from writing propaganda for the Roosevelt administration to digging drainage ditches in U.S. cities.

That the nation’s unemployment rate still was in double digits in 1940 did not discourage Progressives from pursuing their various agendas, as they claimed that unemployment would have been greater had the government done "nothing." Meanwhile, the Great Depression spread from the United States to the rest of the world and led to political and social upheaval that ultimately exploded into World War II.

Because Progressive policies (laid out in detail in Murray Rothbard’s classic America’s Great Depression) created the economic calamity that created the rest of the turmoil, one can say that World War II also was a Progressive’s war. Not surprisingly, Progressives jumped at all of the "opportunities" that war brought, including military conscription, government control of the economy, further destruction of sound money, price controls, forced unionization of firms that did business with the government, military destruction of cities in Japan and Europe, and the creation of an international monetary system that would collapse in less than three decades and lead to the ultimate Progressive goal: worldwide fiat money.

World War II ended in 1945, but not before more than 50 million lives had been snuffed out, and the reach of Stalin’s Soviet Union extended, along with the establishment of what would be the Cold War. Unfortunately, the end of World War II was not the end of the mass murder of which either Progressives would directly influence or, at least approve. Wars in Southeast Asia killed millions of people, and the killing escalated after U.S. Progressives in Congress and the White House committed millions of conscripted troops to the region to prop up existing non-communist governments.

It is hard to know how many innocents died in these Progressive conflicts, but it is clear that the so-called vision that these We-Want-To-Remake-the-World that Progressives demanded resulted in slaughter and calamity that is hard even to describe, and when one thinks of the vast human displacement, the use of concentration camps, and the state-sponsored violence that was endemic, the only things that remotely resemble what happened were the Thirty Years War and the Assyrian and Babylonian conquests of the ancient world. Yet, when one speaks to Progressives about World War I and World War II, we are told that the first "made the world safe for democracy" and the second was "the good war."

Now, some Progressives might agree that these wars were bad – although they will claim that the Progressive Agendas had nothing to do with them – but then they will point to the "accomplishments" of the 20th Century, specifically the establishment of the Welfare State and the expansion of government agencies and programs that ostensibly were created to save humanity from the alleged horrors of capitalism. Pearlstein’s screed, for example, lists a number of Progressive "reforms" and creations, from the EPA to Social Security and the Income Tax.

The idea is that their very creation proves their necessity, and that our society would collapse and fall into chaos and death without them. Not only is the State central to our existence, in the Progressives’ viewpoint, but now that the state is all-pervasive, we cannot survive unless the state is nurtured and expanded, for "reforms" always involve the expansion of government, and anything less is to do away with civilization altogether.

Such thinking hardly is new. Frederic Bastiat more than 150 years ago anticipated Pearlstein when he wrote:
Socialism, like the ancient ideas from which it springs, confuses the distinction between government and society. As a result of this, every time we object to a thing being done by government, the socialists conclude that we object to its being done at all. We disapprove of state education. Then the socialists say that we are opposed to any education. We object to a state religion. Then the socialists say that we want no religion at all. We object to a state-enforced equality. Then they say that we are against equality. And so on, and so on. It is as if the socialists were to accuse us of not wanting persons to eat because we do not want the state to raise grain

Substitute "Progressive" for "socialist," and you can see that nothing has changed. (While it is true that many Progressives do not claim to be socialists, both believe that all improvements in the human condition come about as the result of the expansion of the State. There really are no exceptions.)
In the end, we are supposed to ignore the slaughter and destruction of the world wars, the exponential growth of the surveillance (read that, domestic spying) state, the choking taxation, and all of the wars fought since in the name of "liberation" and "progress." Furthermore, if any of us would like to repeal all of that, or if we wish it had not happened, something is wrong with us.

Progressives, as stated earlier, love to use the "break eggs to make an omelet" analogy to justify the destruction that has accompanied their Great Visions. To be honest, I’d rather not eat what they are trying to force down my throat.

Copyright © 2011 by LewRockwell.com. Permission to reprint in whole or in part is gladly granted, provided full credit is given.

Friday, September 09, 2011

More Smackdown

The following is one of the finest smackdowns of a mind-numbed bureaucrat by a libertarian infiltrator of the US political system to date. Attention my anonymous reader in Culver City, Kalifornia. You too can escape the Peoples Republic.


All the best.

Thursday, September 08, 2011

Gotcha "Journalisn" Backfires

This humble blogster heartily enjoys a good smackdown. The brief clip below is one such example. Full disclosure: ΛΕΟΝΙΔΑΣ is NOT a fan of Fox News' chief bloviator.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Saturday, August 20, 2011

An Interesting Experiment

Above is pictured a quarter dollar minted in 1950. It consisted of 90% silver and 10% copper. If you carried a paper dollar (silver certificate) to any US bank in that year you could exchange it for four of these quarters. Also in 1950 this writer with one dollar purchased 4.9 gallons of gasoline i.e. just under 20 cents per gallon for his first automobile, a 1936 Ford 5 window coupe.

Beginning in 1965 the US mint discontinued issuing quarters containing silver and substituted other base metals. Coincidentally, paper dollars although closely resembling the earlier silver certificates, miraculously morphed into what all US paper currency is today: “Federal Reserve Notes” i.e. 1 a :  a written promise to pay a debt;

On Friday last, 19 August 2011 that 1950 quarter was nominally worth $7.76. What seems to be transpiring here can only be categorized as theft and deception. Our coinage has been debased by the government mint to the status of trolly tokens and our fiat paper currency is produced by printing presses and computer keystrokes backed by nothing but promises by a “private” central bank called the Federal Reserve. Meanwhile legal tender laws enacted by avaricious politicians force us to accept these bits of junk and wood pulp under penalty of imprisonment.

Meanwhile, the media is wall to wall “election” coverage of an event 15 months in the future. Dr Ron Paul who is virtually ignored is the only presidential candidate mentioning this problem and when even discussed is dismissed as a “crackpot”.


Sign at Ashland, Oregon Gas station May 2011



We are in deep trouble.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Murphy's Law: What to expect from a government bureaucracy

The saga continues.

Last week we completed Mrs. Leonidas' application for renewal of her expired "permanent" resident card. The forms were meticulously completed with every electronic field filled in and the fee electronically submitted.

Yesterday we received email confirmation that the application had been received by the appropriate bureaucracy with a PDF document completed by the concerned bureaucrat to be proofread. Sure enough, in the field labeled "middle name" where we had carefully inserted NONE due to Mrs Leonidas having none, the bureaucrat had entered the initial "N".

These documents need to be letter perfect in order to avoid rejection or even prosecution for violating an obscure and arcane regulation. We followed the directions for correcting the document; which is telephoning the number of a government office and finally, after 12 minutes on hold and listening to instructions in Spanish after pressing 1 for English a sentient semiliterate humanoid answered the phone.

The ensuing conversation was quite bizarre due to the bureaucrat having only a rudimentary command of the English language. Many common words had to be spelled out phonetically for him. God willing the process will proceed.

Monday, August 15, 2011

The Moral Blame Game of WW II

Yesterday, 14 August was the 66th anniversary of official notification to US citizenry that the Imperial Japanese government had agreed to a nearly unconditional surrender. This action ended WW II hostilities which had really commenced in 1931 with the Japanese invasion of Manchuria.

Much ink and many electronic bytes have been spilt supporting this or that motivation for the Japanese decision to capitulate. Most of what this writer has read, especially by leftist and libertarian "pundits" hastens to assign moral culpability to US political leadership for the employment of weapons of "mass destruction" against "innocent civilians". Those who subscribe to that position offer compelling and cogent arguments against the impersonal raining down  from high altitude horrific and indiscriminate death on young and old members  of a belligerent nation's population.

By accident of birth this writer not only has living memory but reached the so called age of reason during the most destructive war of written history. He therefore can recall having participated in not only such activities as air raid alerts and buying war bonds and stamps but collecting scrap material for the "war effort". It did not evolve in the US that the cottage, backyard industry of machining and assembling military weaponry occurred as was common throughout Japanese society in 1944 45. Had such been the situation, can any of the morally righteous essayists of recent history on that basis be excused from condemning a Japanese policy of not only launching jet-stream driven incendiary balloons on the US Northwest but the shelling from submarines of the US coastal areas of California?

Overwhelming evidence supports the position that the antagonists in the Pacific theater of operations during the war of 1941 45 represented vastly different cultural philosophies. The actions and policies of Japan's military during its conquests and occupation of parts of China 1937 1945 as well as Southeast Asia and the Philippines are compelling evidence of a society whose civilian culture spawned an absence of regard for humanitarian values. During the period December 1937 and February 1938  hundreds of thousands of Chinese civilians and disarmed soldiers were murdered and 20,000–80,000 women were raped by soldiers of the Imperial Japanese Army.  "The stark differences in reported death rates for U.S. soldiers and civilians in German vs. Japanese camps dramatize the nature of the experience of Japan's camps for POWs and internees. Dr. Stenger's figures  list 93,941 U.S. military personnel captured and interned by Germany, of whom 1,121 died (a little over a 1% death rate), and 27,465 U.S. military personnel captured and interned by Japan, of whom 11,107 died (more than a 40% death rate)"

In view of these facts, can any scholar logically assert that were the fortunes of WW II reversed, the imperial Japanese war machine would have hesitated to visit a nuclear holocaust on San Francisco or Seattle? I would therefore advise those who have hastily assigned moral culpability for the unfortunate Japanese casualties of late 1945 to president Truman to rethink their condemnation.

We can all agree that war in all of its manifestations is man's most horrendous evil. However, as Plato observed concerning human nature: "Only the dead have seen the end of war". 

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Heads We Win; Tails Y'all Lose

As we witness the ongoing economic and financial collapse of our formerly cozy and apparently secure existence there is occasionally here and there an example of ironic levity usually generated by our ruling elite. As one example, we learn that during the recent London "riots" as British subjects have been effectively disarmed by Her Majesty's constabulary, shopkeepers and local residents have had occasion to resort to the employment of sporting equipment in an effort to defend their lives and property.  As a result, a brisk (6000% increase on Amazon UK) trade in baseball bats has emerged with the aluminum variety selling for USD $28.00.



The Turkish shopkeepers observed by the police wielding these implements have been advised that it is allowable to utilize them inside their shops defensively but are subject to arrest if caught threatening a "youth" outside preparing to launch a brick or molotov cocktail. You can't make this stuff up.

Meanwhile, on this side of the pond our very own Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA) which falls under the aegis of the Department of Homeland Security, on its web site and in various pamphlets  advises us to be prepared for all variety of emergent situations by assembling "kits" containing useful items such as: food, water, waterproof matches, flashlights with spare batteries etc. As ATMs and cash registers are likely to be inoperative due to the crashing of the power grid, cash and coins should be available for emergency purchases. Additionally Ms Napolitano's Department alleges that "...lone wolves and small terrorist cells embracing violent rightwing extremist ideology are the most dangerous domestic terrorism threat in the United States." Ignore those jihadists enrolling in flight training classes skipping the instructions on landing and takeoff.

On the other hand, the FBI's Bureau of Justice [sic] Assistance has recently disseminated a briefing for the proprietors of military surplus businesses and gun stores to be on the lookout for persons making bulk purchases of among other items: weatherproofed ammo cans, match containers meals ready to eat, night vision devices, night flashlights etc.  The surplus store operators are urged to: "require valid ID from all new customers, keep records of purchases and make note of suspicious statements, people and vehicles." Particularly suspicious are customers insisting using cash for their purchases.


It seems that if one follows the advice of one department of our rulers' bureaucracy he runs the risk of being scrutinized by another as a possible "terrorist".

As our descent into the abyss continues, we would be well advised to maintain a sense of humor.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Travelogue: Stranger in a Strange Land

This humble blogster has recently received emails from concerned readers querying as to the cause of the recent dearth of postings. The reason often assumed for such nonfeasance during the dog days of Summer is "vacationing" and in a strict sense that may be the case.

Recently Leonidas was virtually dragged "kicking and screaming" through the gauntlet which commercial air travel has become on a visit to Mrs. Leonidas' family and friends in Sweden. Understand, dear reader, that Leonidas has command of two languages and neither one of them is Swedish. Fortunately, many (but not all) swedish people are reasonably conversant in English. For that reason and the good offices of Mrs. Leonidas, the sojourn escaped being categorized as "the trip to hell".

The situation however rapidly deteriorated at the Stockholm airport upon preparing to return home. Unfortunately, Mrs. Leonidas' ten year "permanent resident" card had expired during the trip and she was denied boarding for the flight home. Until recently, such an unhappy event would not have resulted in a denial of entry but under new unpublished "Homeland Security" (yes those are sneer quotes) regulations she needed to obtain a "Letter of Transport" from the US embassy in Stockholm. Such a document requires: 1) completing a 5 page I-90 form, 2) submitting 3 passport photos, 3) Being interviewed (by appointment only) by a US Consular officer.

I would advise anyone against attempting to reach a US government office either here or especially overseas by telephone. The likelihood of communicating with a live and sentient human being has about the same probability as completing the beautification process of the Roman Catholic Church. In the event, the appropriate consular officer conducts such "business" between the hours of 1:30 PM and 3:00 PM on Tuesdays and Thursdays ONLY and the federal government exacts a fee of US $165.00 for the service.

Having gone unnoticed due to Mrs. Leonidas state drivers license being renewed at the same time as your hapless correspondent's for five years in 2009, hers was issued to expire on the same date as her "permanent" resident permit. Voilá, no longer any valid identification papers for Mrs Leonidas except a Swedish passport. To quote the gestapo agent addressing the unfortunate Norwegian civilian in 1944 Oslo: "Your papers are NOT in order!"

Upon returning home two weeks later, the Customs and Immigration agent at the Chicago airport advises Mrs Leonidas to submit a completed I-90 form (accompanied by a $450.00 fee) to the immigration office in Atlanta to apply for a ten year renewal for her expired "permanent" resident card.

Upon traveling the 90 mile round trip to the Atlanta immigration office we are advised that "paperwork is NOT accepted here". According to recently implemented "regulations" it is required to submit all forms electronically with applicable fees and await an interview and biometric sample appointment which will take "up to 3 months". If approved after that process, Mrs Leonidas will be mailed about 3 months later a renewed 10 year "permanent" residence card.

With all these requirements having being met and awaiting probably for the next six months of federal bureaucratic actions, we proceed to the local (32 miles distant) DMV office to renew the expired drivers license. After standing in line for 2 hours and filling out the multi page renewal form and passing the required exam Mrs Leonidas is advised her license CANNOT be renewed until she receives her "permanent" residence card containing an EXPIRATION date!

To quote the Curmudgeon Emeritus in a recent post: "Social harmony must rest on two supports: individual inhibition against lawbreaking, and an overwhelming preponderance of force on the side of social order...."

This aging blogster who has living memory of a much freer and harmonious society prior to the publication of a billion or so pages of the Federal Register hastens to raise the following rhetorical question: where do I sign up for the revolution?

Monday, June 06, 2011

A Curious, if Rare Example of Justice

Occasionally one of the "good guys" prevails in this Byzantine "justice system" we suffer under. Behold!



H/T: Market Ticker

Wednesday, June 01, 2011

The Smell Test: FAIL!

In a previous life this humble blogster had occasion to participate in a "covert" law enforcement operation involving two agencies; one federal and one of Los Angeles county. He therefore managed to acquire a somewhat rudimentary insight into the workings of "sting" operations as popularized in the 1973 film staring Paul Newman and Robert Redford.

Probably the most annoying and frustrating feature of such projects is the tendency of higher supervisorial and administrative bureaucrats personnel to micromanage how these scenarios play themselves out. Contrary to conventional wisdom, most, if not all, such capers are closely monitored by command and control functionaries for the simple reason that the political and career-destroying fallout can prove to be: shall we say "unpleasant".

In 1974 a president of the United States was forced to resign over the coverup of a third rate burglary operation aimed at garnering political dirt on an opponent who arguably had the chances of a snowball in hell of gaining the presidency. That burglary resulted in prison terms for several of the personages involved in the incident as well as the disgrace/conviction of the serving Attorney General.

The Watergate scandal did not involve the death or injury of a single human being. Such is not the case regarding the unfolding scandal involving the alleged "sanctioned" transfer of at least 1800 firearms to drug cartels in Mexico by the federal Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco Firearms and Explosives. Not only are there two federal agents murdered by the "walked" firearms, but an as yet unknown number of Mexican and US citizens whose bodies have been discovered in mass graves in Mexico.

When questioned regarding operation "Gun Runner" involving the ATF approving of the sale of firearms to "straw" buyers for illegal trans shipment to drug cartels in Mexico, the White House and the Attorney General denied approval for or much less knowledge of such an operation. In light of documents provided by ATF agents who have come forward protesting "Gun Runner" and this writers prior experience, the denials fail the smell test big time.

One may be excused for inquiring qui bono (who benefits) from what amounts to such a human tragedy. The answer is very likely contained in a revealing article here and hopefully you, dear reader will read the entire text. If whistleblower ATF agent John Dodson had not revealed that the walking of guns to Mexican drug cartels had been engineered by his bosses the allegations regarding ATF being used as a tool to advance the citizen disarmament political agenda of the Obama Administration would lack traction.

The AK-47 used to gun down fellow federal agent Brian Terry, once recovered, would no doubt have been identified by ATF as a weapon recently purchased from a US gun dealer on the southwest border (ATF would have had, after all, the serial numbers and other identifying documentation).
There would have been no need to mention the existence of any ATF ‘secret sting,’Operation Fast and Furious, or any links between these ATF endeavors and the movement of the weapon used to murder Terry across the US border and into the hands of his Mexican assailants.
Instead, the discovery and identification of the AK-47 used to gun down a US agent as one sold by a US gun dealer and then trafficked ‘illegally’ over the border into Mexico and into the possession of the cartels might have created a ‘perfect PR storm,’ neatly reinforcing the arguments put forth, first, by Mexico’s government, which contends there would be no gang violence in that country if the US didn’t supply gangs with guns; second, by higher-ups in the US government who favor tougher gun-control laws and non-intervention in Mexico (DOJ and the Obama Administration); and, third, by the public anti-gun lobby in America.
Indeed, here’s how that story would have read: Mexico’s claim re the US fueling cartel violence is right, and worse yet, weapons trafficked from the US [gun dealers and gun shows] are no longer being used just to murder Mexicans, but to kill Americans as well.
The silence concerning this unfolding scandal on the part of most of the "mainstream media" is deafening. Instead, the population is treated to a feeding frenzy concerning "Weinergate" (pun intended). We, as imperial subjects of the former Republic known as the United States are truly, not only bankrupt but thoroughly screwed.

ΜΟΛΩΝ ΛΑΒΕ!

h/t: Mike Vanderboegh

An Open Letter to My Fellow Lovers of Liberty

Yesterday concluded the trial in the Netherlands of Geert Wilders. Mr Wilders was prosecuted for speaking his opinions. He did not interfere in the internal affairs of any Muslim nation nor did he incite anyone to violence unless those who would kill him for expressing his opinions are considered "incited".

I have seen nothing in the so called "libertarian" media expressing any outrage at this so called trial in a "Western" nation. I have however, read reams condemning Israel for defending its existence against those who are routinely incited to commit a second holocaust.
The following is a translated transcript of Geert Wilders' closing argument at his trial:
Mister President, members of the Court,
I am here because of what I have said. I am here for having spoken. I have spoken, I speak and I shall continue to speak. Many have kept silent, but not Pim Fortuyn, not Theo Van Gogh, and not I.
I am obliged to speak. For the Netherlands is under threat of Islam. As I have argued many times, Islam is chiefly an ideology. An ideology of hatred, of destruction, of conquest. It is my strong conviction that Islam is a threat to Western values, to freedom of speech, to the equality of men and women, of heterosexuals and homosexuals, of believers and unbelievers.
All over the world we can see how freedom is fleeing from Islam. Day by day we see our freedoms dwindle.
Islam is opposed to freedom. Renowned scholars of Islam from all parts of the world agree on this. My witness experts subscribe to my view. There are more Islam scholars whom the court did not allow me to call upon to testify. All agree with my statements, they show that I speak the truth. That truth is on trial today.
We must live in the truth, said the dissidents under Communist rule, because the truth will set us free. Truth and freedom are inextricably connected. We must speak the truth because otherwise we shall lose our freedom.
That is why I have spoken, why I speak and why I shall continue to speak.
The statements for which I am being tried are statements which I made in my function as a politician participating in the public debate in our society. My statements were not aimed at individuals, but at Islam and the process of islamization. That is why the Public Prosecutor has concluded that I should be acquitted.
 Mister President, members of the Court,
I am acting within a long tradition which I wish to honour. I am risking my life in defence of freedom in the Netherlands. Of all our achievements freedom is the most precious and the most vulnerable. Many have given their lives for freedom. We have been reminded of that in the commemorations of the month of May. But the struggle for freedom is much older.
Every day the armoured cars drive me past the statue of Johan de Witt at the Hofvijver in The Hague. De Witt wrote the "Manifesto of True Freedom" and he paid for freedom with his life. Every day I go to my office through the Binnenhof where Johan van Oldenbarneveldt was beheaded after a political trial. Leaning on his stick the elderly Oldenbarneveldt addressed his last words to his people. He said: "I have acted honourably and piously as a good patriot." Those words are also mine.
I do not wish to betray the trust of the 1.5 million voters of my party. I do not wish to betray my country. Inspired by Johan van Oldenbarneveldt and Johan de Witt I wish to be a politician who serves the truth end hence defends the freedom of the Dutch provinces and of the Dutch people. I wish to be honest, I wish to act with honesty and that is why I wish to protect my native land against Islam. Silence is treason.
That is why I have spoken, why I speak and why I shall continue to speak.
Freedom and truth. I pay the price every day. Day and night I have to be protected against people who want to kill me. I am not complaining about it; it has been my own decision to speak. However, those who threaten me and other critics of Islam are not being tried here today. I am being tried. And about that I do complain.
I consider this trial to be a political trial. The values of D66 [a Dutch leftist liberal party] and NRC Handelsblad [a Dutch leftist liberal party] will never be brought before a judge in this country. One of the complainants clearly indicated that his intentions are political. Even questions I have asked in parliament and cooperation with the SGP are being brought as allegations against me by Mr Rabbae of GroenLinks [the leftist Dutch Green Party]. Those on the Left like to tamper with the separation of powers. When they cannot win politically because the Dutch people have discerned their sinister agenda, they try to win through the courts.
Whatever your verdict may be, that is the bitter conclusion of this trial.
This trial is also surrealistic. I am being compared with the Hutu murderers in Rwanda and with Mladic. Only a few minutes ago some here have doubted my mental health. I have been called a new Hitler. I wonder whether those who call me such names will also be sued, and if not, whether the Court will also order prosecution. Probably not. And that is just as well. Because freedom of speech applies also to my opponents.
My right to a fair trial has been violated. The order of the Amsterdam Court to prosecute me was not just a decision but a condemning verdict by judges who condemned me even before the actual trial had begun.
Mister President, members of the Court, you must now decide whether freedom still has a home in the Netherlands
Franz Kafka said: "one sees the sun slowly set, yet one is surprised when it suddenly becomes dark."
Mister President, members of the Court, do not let the lights go out in the Netherlands. Acquit me: Put an end to this Kafkaesque situation.
Acquit me. Political freedom requires that citizens and their elected representatives are allowed to voice opinions that are held in society.
Acquit me, for if I am convicted, you convict the freedom of opinion and expression of millions of Dutchmen.
Acquit me. I do not incite to hatred. I do not incite to discrimination. But I defend the character, the identity, the culture and the freedom of the Netherlands. That is the truth. That is why I am here. That is why I speak. That is why, like Luther before the Imperial Diet at Worms, I say: "Here I stand, I can do no other."
That is why I have spoken, why I speak and why I shall continue to speak.
Mister President, members of the Court, though I stand here alone, my voice is the voice of many. This trial is not about me. It is about something much greater. Freedom of expression is the life source of our Western civilisation.
Do not let that source go dry just to cosy up to a totalitarian regime. "Freedom," said the American President Dwight Eisenhower, "has its life in the hearts, the actions, the spirit of men and so it must be daily earned and refreshed - else like a flower cut from its life-giving roots, it will wither and die."
Mister President, members of the Court, you have a great responsibility. Do not cut freedom in the Netherlands from its roots, our freedom of expression. Acquit me. Choose freedom.
I have spoken, I speak, and it is my duty - I cannot do otherwise - to continue to speak.
Thank you.
The verdict in Mr Wilders' trial is expected to be handed down on 23 June.

ΜΟΛΩΝ ΛΑΒΕ

Tuesday, May 03, 2011

A May Day "Surprise"?

The "wetwork" executed this past weekend by Dick Cheney's "hit squad" had this writer scratching his head, especially in view of the fact that we now know that Sheik Bin Laden's compound in Abbottabad had been under surveillance by US intelligence assets since 2007.

Our current administration is known for NEVER undertaking any potentially major project without considering the probable impact on its political objectives i.e. getting the leftist collectivists re elected in 2012. For that reason; why not wait until October of next year to take out the most wanted fugitive on the planet? That would be a major "October Surprise".

A report by Neil Sears in the UK Daily Mail states:

For although the CIA has thought since September that he [bin Laden] was in hiding in Abbottabad, special forces stormed his fortress only days after the website [Wikileaks] published new secret documents.
These made reference to named ‘couriers’ carrying Bin Laden’s message to his followers, and also to Abbottabad as a possible Al Qaeda bolthole.
America has already revealed that it was led to Bin Laden by tracking a man identified as his key courier. 

We may have differing viewpoints as to the degree we support or condemn Mr. Assange's publication of documents embarrassing to our rulers, but the possibility his actions may have been instrumental in forcing the US government's hand at this early date prior to the 2012 elections could be seen as a "goodness thing", at least by conservatives.

I should remind readers that with the passage of a similar period of time between George H.W. Bush leading the "liberation" of Kuwait (March 1991 94% approval rating) and his defeat at the polls in 1992, the parallel to 2012 cannot be lost on Democrat operatives. This is especially true when the Repubs will likely be taking a page from Mr. Carvill's playbook: "It's the economy, stupid!"

h/t Thomas Lifson

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Déjà Vu with a Variation

Easter Greetings to all you impatient readers. Your humble blogster has finally (with the assistance of some truly outstanding 21 year old Panamanian rum) toasted the Rising of the Christian Savior and partially overcome his depression induced by observing the recent unfolding events on the planet's social, cultural and economic stage.

In many respects recent events as viewed by us superanuated citizens exhibit copious doses of déjà vu. For example, the recent spike in the price of motor fuel is considered sufficiently threatening to our political rulers that we are being assured that the "authorities" will leave "no stone unturned" in unmasking the "possibly" illegal actions of "those in the oil and gas industry" responsible for this outrage. What a relief.

Such announcements by politicians seem to be routine when the media begin reporting public outrage, and to that extent there is little surprise. What is a new twist to the currently unfolding price increases is the willingness by the mainstream media to insulate the political establishment from any culpability. We are not now treated to the shrill condemnations of "gouging and profiteering by Bush/Cheney oil industry cronies". Instead, reporters of MSNBC and the New York Times hasten to assure us that Mr Obama is blameless. Wait a minute!

1) Domestic exploration and drilling for new sources and often in producing/existing crude oil fields has been effectively banned by Mr Obama's bureaucratic goons throughout this administration; thus withholding billions of barrels from the global market thereby reducing supply of the product.

2) No permits for the construction of new petroleum refining facilities have been issued for over 3 decades in spite of exponentially increasing demand.

3) The Federal Reserve has been operating its printing presses at warp speed in excess of 2.5 years to pay for out-of-control federal expenditures resulting in the devaluation of the US dollars which are used to purchase crude oil on the international markets.

To illustrate this condition, simply examine the chart below recently posted by Karl Denninger at The Market Ticker®.

Click the graph to enlarge

The red and green line is the price of crude oil per barrel and the white line is the value of the US dollar.

In modern times politicians have been extremely sensitive to the consumer price of motor fuel. In some nations the low price of gasoline is subsidized by the government. In Venezuela when ΛΕΟΝΙΔΑΣ was cruising aboard his auxiliary sloop LEONIDAS, the mid 1980s' price of diesel fuel for foreign flagged vessels at the fuel docks amounted to US $1.55/gallon. The price to all domestic Venezuelan consumers was US $.06/gallon. The price for Venezuelan consumers of gasoline was equivalent to US $.12/gallon. These are the same prices that continue today. Indeed we witnessed subsidized Venezuelan fuel for sale in the harbors of Grenada and Bequia by enterprising smugglers.

The last time a Venezuelan leader successfully raised gas prices was in 1998, when then-President Rafael Caldera also ended Petróleos de Venezuela's monopoly on domestic gasoline sales. Foreign companies, which were promised that the country would eventually end fixed gasoline prices, rushed in, hoping to capitalize on growing demand. But when Chávez took office in 1999, those promises were forgotten. Many of the companies that invested in stations, including Shell and ExxonMobil (XOM), subsequently wrote off their investments and left.
In the years since, prices of most other goods have risen dramatically—consumer prices in general are up fivefold since 1998—and the Venezuelan minimum wage has kept pace. The widening gap with gas prices has forced many gas station operators to shut down.
The US government has long been loath to admit the true extent of monetary and thus price inflation as reported by the Consumer Price Index which conveniently omits the costs of energy and food. The index does however factor in shelter i.e. home prices which have declined sharply since 2008.

An excellent example of what our rulers have done in order to finance the welfare/warfare state is observed in the decline in the value of the US dollar since the establishment of the Federal Reserve bank in 1913: The price of a high quality Men's suit in 1910 was $20.00 i.e. one ounce of gold. In 2011 an equivalent man's suit is priced at about $1450.00 i.e. just under the present price of 1 oz of gold. The slight decline in the cost of today's men's suits is the productivity increase due to recent advances in technology. Other such comparisons abound.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

"Freedom" Packages

Your humble host is not a big fan of John Stewart but occasionally one of his skits is hilarious. This is one such example.

Tuesday, March 08, 2011

Project "Gunwalker" Updated

Since 14 December of last year when two semiautomatic AK 47 "assault" rifles were recovered at the scene of a "shootout" between Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents and Mexican criminals in southwest Arizona leaving Agent Brian Terry dead, the "mainstream" media has finally been dragged kicking and screaming into reporting the story.  Also, US government agencies such as ICE and the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco Firearms and Explosives (ATF) have been less than forthcoming on the circumstances and background surrounding the incident.

What is gradually emerging from this tragic event is the liklihood that federal agencies are being used as tools in the pursuit of a political agenda undermining rights guaranteed by the second Amendment.

For many months it has been alleged by spokespersons at the highest levels of the Administration that the violence of the drug cartels in Mexico has been fueled by weaponry supplied by private legal sources in the US; thus justifying additional regulations on gun transactions by heretofore legally licensed firearms dealers.

The ATF keeps statistics on the origin of "cherry-picked" weaponry seized at crime scenes in Mexico and has been massaging them to make it appear their major sources were gun shops and gun shows in the US. This practice proving insufficient in generating public support for additional gun control regulations has apparently resulted in the policy of sanctioning the transfer of larger masses of weapons into Mexico (project gunrunner). This project would serve two bureaucratic purposes: 1) a justification for additional funds and personnel for ATF and 2) mobilizing political support for more stringent gun control legislation.

Apparently our bureaucratic and political "servants" failed to realize that the historic ability to control cultural memes via the MSM no longer obtains in the era of "alternative" media. Two dedicated and unpaid members of that alternative media, Mike Vanderboegh  and David Codrea have, virtually unaided, engaged in the investigative digging, reporting and prodding which has resulted in the exposure of this scandal which in the opinion of this observer far exceeds the importance of the Watergate affair in that the resulting deaths in both the US and Mexico are yet to be enumerated. A daily perusal of both of the above web sites is highly encouraged in order to obtain an understanding of the scope of our rulers efforts to eliminate our liberties.

The most outrageous facet of this scandal is the spin produced by not only the federal agencies complicit in the coverup but the traditional media outlets who serve as government apologists and spin doctors.
By far the best illustration of the of the mentality of these government employed creeps is recorded in an exchange between Mike Vanderboegh and an un-named veteran of government operations which is here reproduced with permission of the author:

Let me tell you what this was, and where it came from, based on a conversation I had with a long-time, well-informed veteran of American government intelligence operations the other day.

"Do you think," he asked me, "that this happened accidentally in a vacuum?" Meaning that one day "Gunwalker Bill" Newell, Phoenix SAC, just got a wild hair and decided to invent his own foreign policy. "Things like this happen because of meetings. People sit in meetings and they decide what they want to happen. And then they take decisions, make policy and implement that policy to achieve those ends." He added, "That's why State is so nervous. They signed off on this. In a meeting."

Gunrunner, I pointed out to him, predated the Obama administration. "Yes, but 'walking guns' didn't." I told him it seemed to me that given the dates on the documents that the meetings crafting this policy must have taken place sometime in mid-2009. "And who took power in January, 2009?" he replied.

He continued, summing up this way. The gun issue was known to be radioactive. Every time the Democrats embraced it they got killed at the polls the next election cycle. What was needed, in Rahm Emanuel's parlance, was a good crisis to exploit, something to change the paradigm. The gun confiscationists had always danced in the blood (my term, not his) of every mass shooting and gotten nowhere, to their chagrin and frustration. What was needed was a game changer. Something that fit the meme of "we've got to tighten up on American gunowners, gun stores and gun shows because they are feeding the slaughter." Mexico was perfect. The ATF controlled the reporting of the statistics, the headlines were lurid and if the rest of us gunnies knew that you don't get automatic weapons, hand grenades and RPGs from gun shows and gun stores, most of the American people were too ignorant of the issue to care about the distinction. But the fact was, as the IG report and other sources concluded, the amount of weapons from those legitimate American sources did not meet the allegation. More importantly the statistics didn't meet the policy need. So, how to "fix" that? Project Gunwalker. If there weren't enough semi-auto "assault rifles" in Mexico, the ATF could fix that. And the murders would follow, justifying the policy change of cracking down on "assault rifles," gun shows and the like.

"So," I said, "you're saying that this was a deliberate attempt by policymakers at the highest levels of the Obama administration to subvert the Second Amendment and further diminish the free exercise of firearm rights of honest citizens?"

"You got it. Sucks, huh?" He laughed bitterly.

I thought of Zed in "Men in Black."

He added, "Of course the meeting transcripts won't reflect the truth so plainly, but then neither did the Wannsee Conference. These bastards always talk in riddles about what they're really after. Watch what they do, not what they say."

Sucks, huh?

Interestingly enough, this humble blogster has in a previous life attended and participated in similar "meetings".

Updated 9 March 2011 @ 17:10 EST




ΜΟΛΩΝ ΛΑΒΕ!

Sunday, March 06, 2011

A "Brave New World"

Mostly absent from the recent reporting of widespread unrest in the Mideast is a curiosity concerning the underlying cause of such a seemingly tectonic shift in the political fortunes of so many "tyrannical" governments. The casual references to a sudden awakening of interest in "democratic" governance begs the question as to why after the better part of a century following the departure of the European colonial powers such events would emerge within the span of less than 100 days.

The common denominator throughout the region encompassing the upheaval is the relative poverty of the masses of the population even in regions blessed with substantial natural resources such as petroleum. Those populations are forced to expend larger percentages of their incomes on necessities especially food which has undergone exponential price increases over recent months.  This brings to mind the aphorism: "a hungry man is an angry man".

Those of us in "western" society appear to have difficulty grasping such a concept but the likelihood of our experiencing such a reality increases inexorably day by day. The main reason? Enter stage left Mr. Benjamin S. Bernanke and his fellow banksters:

Remarks by Governor Ben S. Bernanke
Before the National Economists Club, Washington, D.C.
November 21, 2002:
".... Like gold, U.S. dollars have value only to the extent that they are strictly limited in supply. But the U.S. government has a technology, called a printing press (or, today, its electronic equivalent), that allows it to produce as many U.S. dollars as it wishes at essentially no cost. By increasing the number of U.S. dollars in circulation, or even by credibly threatening to do so, the U.S. government can also reduce the value of a dollar in terms of goods and services, which is equivalent to raising the prices in dollars of those goods and services. We conclude that, under a paper-money system, a determined government can always generate higher spending and hence positive inflation."

Until August of 1971, international financial accounts were settled with gold. Subsequently, the means for settlement  has been (printable) US dollars i.e. the world's "reserve currency". When US dollars are printed or created by electronic fiat irresponsibly the result as we know is inflation and it is exported globally to foreign central banks who are also engaged in currency inflation. 

Gold closed last Friday above $1432.00 per troy ounce.

Welcome to the brave new world of inflation.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Sunday, February 13, 2011

"Who You Gonna Believe, The Government or Your Lying Eyes? UPDATED

It has been many years since this writer first observed the aphorism: "Don't steal; the government hates competition". At the time, the admonition fit nicely onto a bumper sticker and elicited a smile and a chuckle. Likewise, almost everyone is familiar with the proverb regarding 'the only sure things in life are death and taxes". To those two categories could doubtless be added a corollary: the ruling government elite lies systematically in the furtherance of its various agenda items. The case for this assertion is presented convincingly by Judge Andrew Napolitano in his recent publication Lies the Government Told You.

The government consistently promotes its agenda of disarming the U.S. population and  relies heavily on the "mainstream" media outlets by touting the meme that the narco terrorists in Mexico are obtaining their arms and weaponry from the same suppliers who sell guns legally to law abiding US citizens e.g. mom and pop gun stores and gun show venders in the southern tier of states.
Since early last year, the [ATF]’s press releases have constantly made mention of the so-called Iron River. Call it branding, sloganeering, or the Big Lie. Say something often enough and people believe it. If the federal agency charged with policing American gun sales keeps talking about an Iron River of illegal gun sales, if the media repeats the menacing meme like a well-meaning mantra, an iron river there must be.
Not a trickle. A river. A steady flow of weapons, moving from Bob’s Gun Stores (or similar)  to Los Zetas drug cartel (or similar). A river that must be dammed! Because we’re damned if we don’t. Damned by a personage no less prominent than Felipe Calderon, the President of Mexico. Damned, chided and publicly humiliated for our inability to staunch the flow.
 Such assertions are eagerly spread from government agency press releases by graduates of leftist journalism schools who are both lazy and anxious to further the government's citizen disarmament agenda.

I recently posted on the likelihood that the ATF was attempting to "pad" the statistics on private US sources for weapons recovered from Mexican drug gangs in order to justify its budget requests. Consider that as it seamlessly dovetails with Parkinson's Law to what has been learned of  "Project Gunwalker" especially as evidence surfaces  via WikiLeaks that our lying government has known from the get-go that the real main source of the weaponry in the hands of the Mexican cartels is in fact the Pentagon. (scroll up as the link is to the bottom of the posting)

Ask yourself, dear reader how many of the types of weapons displayed in the above graphic are sold at your local gun shop or gun show. If the truth of the matter is ever revealed, the minute trickle of gun shop arms making their way south into Mexico will turn out to be ordinary Mexican citizens attempting to defend themselves from the Zetas and the Sinaloa drug cartel.

UPDATE:  TUESDAY 15 FEB 2011  10:05 HRS

[T]he 90 percent number [touted by the agenda driven ATF] was derived from a June 2009 U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) report to Congress on U.S. efforts to combat arms trafficking to Mexico.

According to the GAO report, some 30,000 firearms were seized from criminals by Mexican authorities in 2008. Of these 30,000 firearms, information pertaining to 7,200 of them (24 percent) was submitted to the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) for tracing. Of these 7,200 guns, only about 4,000 could be traced by the ATF, and of these 4,000, some 3,480 (87 percent) were shown to have come from the United States.
his means that the 87 percent figure relates to the number of weapons submitted by the Mexican government to the ATF that could be successfully traced and not from the total number of weapons seized by Mexican authorities or even from the total number of weapons submitted to the ATF for tracing. In fact, the 3,480 guns positively traced to the United States equals less than 12 percent of the total arms seized in Mexico in 2008 and less than 48 percent of all those submitted by the Mexican government to the ATF for tracing. This means that almost 90 percent of the guns seized in Mexico in 2008 were not traced back to the United States.

The remaining 22,800 firearms seized by Mexican authorities in 2008 were not traced for a variety of reasons. In addition to factors such as bureaucratic barriers and negligence, many of the weapons seized by Mexican authorities either do not bear serial numbers or have had their serial numbers altered or obliterated. It is also important to understand that the Mexican authorities simply don’t bother to submit some classes of weapons to the ATF for tracing. Such weapons include firearms they identify as coming from their own military or police forces, or guns that they can trace back themselves as being sold through the Mexican Defense Department’s Arms and Ammunition Marketing Division (UCAM). Likewise, they do not ask ATF to trace military ordnance from third countries like the South Korean fragmentation grenades commonly used in cartel attacks.

Of course, some or even many of the 22,800 firearms the Mexicans did not submit to ATF for tracing may have originated in the United States. But according to the figures presented by the GAO, there is no evidence to support the assertion that 90 percent of the guns used by the Mexican cartels come from the United States — especially when not even 50 percent of those that were submitted for tracing were ultimately found to be of U.S. origin.

Latin America is awash in weapons that were shipped there over the past several decades to supply the various insurgencies and counterinsurgencies in the region. When these military-grade weapons are combined with the rampant corruption in the region, they quickly find their way into the black arms market. The Mexican cartels have supply-chain contacts that help move narcotics to Mexico from South America, and they are able to use this same network to obtain guns from the black market in South and Central America and then smuggle them into Mexico. While there are many weapons in this category that were manufactured in the United States, the overwhelming majority of the U.S.-manufactured weapons of this third type encountered in Mexico — like LAW rockets and M60 machine guns — come into Mexico from third countries and not directly from the United States.

Mexico's Gun Supply and the 90 Percent Myth is republished with permission of STRATFOR.

ΜΟΛΩΝ ΛΑΒΕ!

cross posted at: Eternity Road

Monday, February 07, 2011

A Short-Notice Invitation

For those readers within puking reasonable traveling distance of the District of Criminals Columbia, you are invited to:
The historic first hearing of Chairman Ron Paul's monetary policy [sub]committee, to expose the Fed as the prime creator of unemployment and so much human suffering, will take place at: 10:00AM on Wednesday, February 9, 2011, in Room 2128 of the Rayburn House Office Building, the main hearing room of the Financial Services Committee. The witnesses include the eloquent Austro-free-market stars Thomas DiLorenzo of Loyola College and Richard Vedder of Ohio University.
Source

Friday, February 04, 2011

Glimmerings of a Eureka Moment

More evidence emerges daily supporting the assertion engendered in my previous post as evidenced by the below embedded video produced by the main stream financial media. Heretofore the fiat currency dots were connected only by such "fringe" voices as Peter Shiff, the followers of Ludwig VonMises and the Austrian school of economics.

The so called "main stream" economic scholars are beginning to understand that the recent and ongoing unpleasantness in the middle east is driven by the planet's largest central banks causing inflation in the commodity (food) markets by running the printing presses in overdrive. As the talking head in the video points out, the poor in the Arab world must spend 80% of their income on food and food prices continue to rise exponentially. The populations of those countries are lashing out at their only available targets, the oppressive regimes tormenting them which in most instances are propped up by the American Empire.

Until recently the US through military and economic aid to tyrants in the region has been able to precariously maintain the political status quo. Those days are swiftly coming to an end as the US treasury is effectively bankrupt. We are very likely beginning to reap what our corrupt rulers have sown.



cross posted at: Eternity Road

Friday, January 28, 2011

The End Game Begins

Recent postings and comments here as well as on other sites appear to be assuming a somber note. Can it be that the citizenry is at last awakening to the precarious nature of Western culture in general and the American empire specifically? We are now beginning to hear even the "One" speak of the "unsustainability" of our present economic and financial direction. However, can he be taken seriously when in the next breath he proposes we "invest" additional (borrowed) treasure in a rail scheme which has already been proven bankrupt?

If one does not have his head buried in either the sand or his rectal cavity he should be beginning to consider individual options for dealing with the deteriorating situation. What continues to amaze this observer is the debate on how the now ongoing collapse can be reversed by "cutting expenditures" on this or that government "program" by some miniscule sum. By miniscule, we continue to insist on defining such "cuts" as mere billions of dollars (Federal Reserve banknotes) of increases in future growth.

The time is now past when such a discussion is relevant to the real world. The Empire has begun collapsing around us and academic debate over which interest group's sacred cow is to be slaughtered and whose is to be spared serves little objective purpose. We have been overtaken by events. An example would be the back and forth over reductions in the "defense" budget. It may or may not be advisable to maintain hundreds of thousands of military personnel and hardware thousands of miles from our shores. More importantly, how can such policies be pursued when the means for supporting them is borrowed from our likely competitors? As in the later part of the fourth century Roman empire, the legions will be retreating from the periphery whether or not it pleases the emperor.

If you look at what they pay, you will think them abundant in riches, but if you look at what they actually possess, you will find them poverty stricken. Who can judge an affair of this wretchedness? They bear the payment of the rich and endure the poverty of beggars...



It now behooves individual families to consider which tools will be useful in addressing the cascading of events. The only sure wager is that the world of 5-10(?) years hence will be substantially changed from what obtains today. For example, will that hoard of gold bullion coins and bags of junk silver serve to ameliorate the dearth of what are  now considered necessities? Will we be able to defend from predators consisting of starving mobs of our fellow citizens or a desperate and dying government the meager means of continuing a brutish existence? Only those of the remnant either blessed or cursed by experiencing these most dangerous of times will be equipped to record the events for the enlightenment of future generations. Make no mistake, just as a wounded beast is the most dangerous of creatures, a dying empire is a most murderous enemy of the lives, liberty and property of its subjects.

If there is a God may he have mercy on us all. Meanwhile, keep the powder dry and sell your liberty as dearly as possible.

ΜΟΛΩΝ ΛΑΒΕ!

cross posted at: Eternity Road