Thursday, April 30, 2009
The trouble with government regulation of the market is that it prohibits capitalistic acts between consenting adults.
The news was shocking:
...into a crowd of merrymakers cheering their popular queen Thursday, in a premeditated assault on the royal family that killed five bystanders and injured 12, authorities said.Five innocent people slaughtered - twelve others wounded.
A shooting spree at a mall? Another mass assault-weapon murder at a school?
No, it was some crazy bastard trying to kill the Dutch Queen. With his car.
Where are the cries from the MSM for tighter restrictions on automobiles? Clearly, registration doesn't work. THEY MUST BE CONFISCATED!
In America, about 45,000 are killed each year in traffic accidents. Fewer than 700 are accidentally killed with guns. Says who? The National Safety Council.
Over 64 times as many are killed in traffic accidents, yet we don't have a Brady Bunch for all of those poor victims.
If some crazy bastard wants to do mass harm, he'll find tool to do it with.
Constitution check: Show me the article or amendment regarding federal regulation of snack time.
U.S. schools with vending machines that sell candy and soda to students could soon find the government requiring healthier options to combat childhood obesity under a bill introduced on Thursday by two senators.I realize there's not much going on in the country right now, and it's good that these two Senators are finding a way to fill their day. But still.
While school meals must comply with U.S. dietary guidelines, there are no such rules on snacks sold outside of school lunchrooms. Many are high in fat, sugar and calories.
Senators Tom Harkin and Lisa Murkowski said their bill would allow the U.S. Agriculture Department to establish "common-sense nutrition standards" for food and beverages sold in school vending machines, stores and similar outlets.
My guess is that these, "common-sense" laws will be just as affective as the ones aimed at stopping crazy people from using guns.
"Bobby, if you eat those Twinkies, you're going down hard, boy! That's federal law you're messin' with!"
Good Lord, we're going down the shitter...
Hey, we need something else to tax to control behavior. How about the Internet?
Experts predict that consumer demand, already growing at 60 percent a year, will start to exceed supply as early as 2010 because of more people working online and the soaring popularity of bandwidth-hungry Web sites such as YouTube and services such as the BBC's iPlayer.Mark my words: Instead of letting the free market figure this thing out, Nanny will come up with a way to tax users based upon bandwidth usage, or some other horseshit scheme.
We'll screw Americans so that the poor sops in China can get their fair share.
Beam me up, Scotty...
Wednesday, April 29, 2009
Click the image to enlarge.
If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it. The lie can be maintained only for such time as the State can shield the people from the political, economic and/or military consequences of the lie. It thus becomes vitally important for the State to use all of its powers to repress dissent, for the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension, the truth is the greatest enemy of the State.
Yesterday, I was reading about how Barry and the boys were going to make it harder for the US to find gas and oil on our own soil. We wouldn't want to make ourselves energy self-sufficient or anything.
I knew what to expect with the article. It was this photo that kicked me in the gonads.
This picture isn't from some Barry fan club, or left over from the presidential campaign. It was produced by ABC News!
Here we have Barry, in his standard Jesus-like blessing pose, gracing the animals with his Godliness.
No wonder so many Americans are "drinking the Kool-Aid" - you get the same message from print, pictures and TV. It's a propaganda machine par excellence.
Did you hear about how someone in the Administration thought it would be a good idea to buzz New York City and the Statue of Liberty with a 747 being trailed by a fighter jet?.
Aside from the absolute terror that must have been in the people that witnessed this event, it cost us $330,000.
Did you hear why they did this? To do a promotional image for The One.
As Glenn Beck noted (and demonstrated) last night, all we needed to do was spend $800 on PhotoShop, plus a couple hundred dollars for someone to grab some open source photos and put a promotional image together.
And these are the people that will be in charge of our nation's banking, automotive manufacturing and health care? I feel better all ready...
I'll be watching Fox this evening.
Fox is the only one of the major networks to skip the event -- Obama's third prime time press conference to be held on his hundredth day in office -- opting instead to show the drama "Lie to Me."So, all of the other networks feel that it is more important to jeopardize their shareholder equity by foregoing ad revenues on their primary broadcast channels. Using their "news" channels is not enough. We've got to have Barry's Prophecy spread across the land, regardless of the cost.
The conference, scheduled to air at 8 p.m. ET, will not just be held during prime time, but during the important sweeps period, costing the networks each millions of dollars in ad revenue.
It will air on ABC, CBS, NBC and the cable-news networks including Fox News and Fox Business.
If I dress up like a bear or a squirrel, do you think Barry will bless me too?
Tuesday, April 28, 2009
Do not consider it proof just because it is written in books, for a liar who will deceive with his tongue will not hesitate to do the same with his pen.
One of my brothers is trying to off me again. It must be so, because he keeps sending me this crap...
I try to take a realistic, pragmatic outlook on life. If things are good, I say so. If they suck, I say so as well.
WTF is it with the media that they have this obsession to "report" from a positive perspective? How about they just try reporting?
The latest Throbbing Vein In My Forehead is that The Conference Board just released its monthly Consumer Confidence Index. This is a poll of 5,000 households to see how they feel about all things economic. Here's the headline:
The Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index™ Increases in AprilMy BS meter starts going off, big-time. They're trying to say consumer confidence is up?!
Here are the headlines in the subservient press right now:
US Stocks Steady on Consumer Confidence Report New York Times
So, unlike most of the Obama-ite press, I decide to actually read their findings. I find the portion of the release that will be "reported" verbatim in the press and by the talking-heads on TV:
Consumer Confidence rose in April to its highest reading in 2009, driven primarily by a significant improvement in the short-term outlook. The Present Situation Index posted a moderate gain, a sign that conditions have not deteriorated further, and may even moderately improve, in the second quarter. The sharp increase in the Expectations Index suggests that consumers believe the economy is nearing a bottom...Saints Be Praised! We're rockin' and rollin' now!
Oh wait. Can you clear this up for me?
Those claiming business conditions are "bad" declined to 45.7 percent from 51.0 percent, while those claiming business conditions are "good" increased to 7.6 percent from 6.9 percent.So 45.7% think shit is bad, 7.6% think things are hunky-dory (must be TARP recipients). That's a little over 53%. What was the answer from the other half of the folks you spoke with - "Uhhh, I dunno"?
More importantly 6 times as many people thought things were shitty as thought that things are good, but the headline is all flowers, chocolates and cute little puppies?!
And it's not like this is FACT. It's opinion being reported like it's fact-based. Some guy that just received, uhm, a Monica, will sure have a rosier outlook than most.
Hmmm. Maybe that's the key to turning this whole mess around...
This ties into my last post on apathy. People just hear the headline, and figure, "Hey, everything's OK. Whew!"
You really do have to have hope that things will change for the better. A hopeful outlook can help keep you moving forward. But when you're blinded by it, you tend to miss the Mac Truck barreling down the road towards your car. "Ooooooo, look at the shiny grille!"
Maybe I'm being too cynical. There was all kinds of news yesterday about newspapers taking it in the shorts with their circulation numbers. People just don't believe them any more, and are dropping their subscriptions in droves.
Maybe there's hope yet. How's that for a little sunshine in your life?! ;-)
Sunday, April 26, 2009
Republics decline into democracies and democracies degenerate into despotisms.
In a recent post (Gore At It Again), Hermit had made a comment about being around for the decline of our civilization. I posted a short list by Alexander Fraser Tytler of the 8 stages that a democracy goes through. Here's the whole thing:
Clearly, these stages don't have a clear start and stop date. There is some overlap from one stage to the next.
A democracy is always temporary in nature; it simply cannot exist as a permanent form of government. A democracy will continue to exist up until the time that voters discover that they can vote themselves generous gifts from the public treasury. From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidates who promise the most benefits from the public treasury, with the result that every democracy will finally collapse due to loose fiscal policy, which is always followed by a dictatorship. The average age of the world's greatest civilizations from the beginning of history has been about 200 years. During those 200 years, these nations always progressed through the following sequence:
- From bondage to spiritual faith;
- From spiritual faith to great courage;
- From courage to liberty;
- From liberty to abundance;
- From abundance to complacency;
- From complacency to apathy;
- From apathy to dependence;
- From dependence back into bondage.
It's debatable where we stand now. I think we're in the 7th stage - Apathy to Dependence. Some might say we've already become dependent and are sliding into bondage.
It struck me, how long it took us to pass through the first three stages. Let's say this time line starts with the Pilgrims/Mayflower escaping religious persecution in England. That was 1620. We were officially liberated in 1783 with the Treaty of Paris. So those three stages took a total of 163 years.
I'm going to lump the next two together as well
From liberty to abundance
From abundance to complacency
I think this period spans from 1783 to the early 1900's - let's say 1920, or another 140 years or so.
We had our freedom and liberty, and ran with it. The Industrial Revolution spread to the US and we took full advantage of it. But near the end of that time frame, socialism around the world was taking hold. Russia had its revolution, and the rumblings of revolution - which would eventually morph into the PRC - were happening in China.
We, too, were starting the with "baby steps" towards a more powerful central government. The Federal Reserve bank was started. The Harrison Narcotics Tax Act was enacted the following year, in 1914. The decade ended with a bang with the 19th amendment - Prohibition.
We had gone from a nation of very successful and industrious individuals, to one that codified personal behavior. Not just the acts someone takes against someone else, but the federal government telling us how to live our lives.
While there was some push-back, there was no outrage. We had truly become complacent. One hundred and fifty years prior, such government acts resulted in rebellion. Now, because we had full bellies, decent living conditions and great freedom - when compared with the rest of the world - we let it pass.
Nanny was on the rise.
Complacency to Apathy
Our abundance was lulling us to sleep. Our complacency ("I sure am fat, dumb and happy") was morphing into apathy ("I've got mine, so I don't care what's going on around me").
From the 1930's to the early 1960's we hit this stage. The Greatest Generation knew the tough times of the Depression, WWII and the Korean War, but in general, their kids didn't feel the drive. We were losing our genuine understanding of what had made America great.
This apathy towards American ideals was moving towards an embrace of socialist ideals. The idea that society as a whole was responsible for the individual members - instead of the members being responsible for themselves.
It was a sort of National Guilt Trip: We have so much as individuals, surely we can share some of our wealth with others.
The Civil Rights Act was the exclamation point at the end of this era. What was ironically intended to fix the past sins of slavery has instead effectively enslaved huge numbers of black Americans.
And that takes us to where we are now.
From Apathy to Dependence.
From the mid-1960's to today, we have codified the Marxist mantra:
From each according to his ability, to each according to his needIt sounds so humane. If someone is down on their luck, we should all pitch in and help them up.
But that's not how it works. We have a citizenry that continues to voluntarily increase its dependence on the State. Why work for your needs when Nanny will provide them for you? We have dis-incentivized work and personal responsibility.
Remember what Tytler said:
A democracy will continue to exist up until the time that voters discover that they can vote themselves generous gifts from the public treasury.It is stunning to me that roughly 41% of all Americans pay absolutely no federal income tax.
During 2006, Tax Foundation economists estimate that roughly 43.4 million tax returns, representing 91 million individuals, will face a zero or negative tax liability.Hell, Barry ran on the promise that 95% of all Americans would get more goods and services from Nanny without having to pay for it. If you are part of that 41% of Americans not paying federal taxes, why wouldn't you vote for the guy? Everyone wants free stuff!
That's out of a total of 136 million federal tax returns that will be filed. Adding to this figure the 15 million households and individuals who file no tax return at all, roughly 121 million Americans—or 41 percent of the U.S. population—will be completely outside the federal income tax system in 2006.
This total includes those who pay no tax, and those who pay some tax upfront and are later refunded the full amount of the tax paid or more.
When you throw in other Americans that still have the American Abundance Guilt thing going on, I'm shocked Barry didn't win the election with a bigger margin.
What simply makes my head explode is the fact that:
...the portion of Americans feeding substantially at the public trough stands at 52.6 percent. In 2000, it was 49.4. It seems unbelievable that in 1950, only 28.3 percent of Americans lived off the taxpayers. Shilling projects 60 percent by 2040.This includes people that are paid by our tax dollars to work for the government, that receive Social Security or are on some sort of federal welfare program.
Let that sink in: Over half of all Americans are dependent upon tax dollars for their very existence.
I hold no grudge against any federal employees, especially those that are employed in Constitutionally mandated departments. Nor do I hold a grudge against retirees that worked and paid into Social Security.
But I hold a HUGE grudge against the politicians that built this mess, and against the teat-suckers.
I've written before about my mother-in-law. She has essentially never worked in her life, and you and I are paying for her housing, food, clothing, medical and whatever else she "needs". Marx would be so happy for her.
You and I have no say in the matter. Our taxes are taken and put into her care.
If this "safety net" were now removed, literally millions of Americans would die. The kicker is, we're going to come to that point any ways. Nanny can only borrow and tax so much. Soon, the producers will simply quit producing, and it will all come a-tumblin' down.
...with the result that every democracy will finally collapse due to loose fiscal policy, which is always followed by a dictatorship.----------
I can't say for sure how far down the line we are towards bondage/dictatorship. Any dictator worth his salt knows that to be successful, he must first dis-arm his subjects. Keep that in mind when "common sense" gun laws are passed or proposed.
Tytler stated that democracies usually last for 200 years or so, and we've already passed that milestone.
We got ourselves into this mess by hiring politicians more concerned with re-election than with upholding the Constitution. It will be up to us to fix it, or accept the consequences.
Perhaps we're waking up from our complacency and apathy with things like the Tea Parties. I don't know. More and more Americans are taking on a, "I've got nothing to lose" attitude.
We've got some interesting times ahead of us...
Saturday, April 25, 2009
If you've read this blog for any amount of time, you're sure to have seen comments posted by The Hermit. He has had a restricted access blog for quite a while. To the benefit of all of us, he is moving to a public blog.
On The Skyline.
Gotta love the name!
Take the time to stop by and say Hi. You will not be disappointed.
Labels: Life and Times
Friday, April 24, 2009
A guest contributor to the Wall Street Journal wrote a satirical proposal on how to get rich with the upcoming Carbon Credit swindle. He goes one step further: Combine Carbon Credits with Credit Default Swaps (CDS):
Just think of all those new government jobs that can be created under Obama’s cap and trade system. First we need to hire G-men to go around and assess the amount of carbon each company should be allowed to emit. Then we need a regulated exchange to ensure the trading of such credits is done accurately. We also must hire carbon police to ensure there aren’t any counterfeit credits running around diluting the value of this new valuable commodity. What a boon this will be to the accounting industry as well. An army of pencil pushers will need to learn how to recalculate book value based on excess credits held on the balance sheet.Sadly, more of what he pokes fun at will come to be, than not...
Then maybe we can trade credit default swaps and futures contracts on carbon credits. Investors can get wealthy betting on how fast a company can go belly up after they receive a new contract and must increase carbon-belching production.
“I believe this legislation has the moral significance equivalent to that of the civil rights legislation of the 1960s and the Marshall Plan of the late 1940s,”
He's good. Very good.
Al is talking about legislation on global warming. Equating global warming legislation with the civil rights movement (use guilt to fix past wrongs) and the Marshall Plan (fixing something that we broke) is brilliant, and will play right into every liberal's view of the world. It might even snag some soft-headed "moderates" as well.
Never mind that the civil rights movement has resulted in huge parts of the recipients of our largess - black Americans - now being helpless wards of the state. Or, that the reason we "broke" Europe was because we were busy saving their asses, AT THEIR REQUEST.
Facts and empirical evidence are irrelevant. Do what feels right. Who wouldn't want to save the planet except big, bad businesses.
The only problem is, well, there's no problem. At least not with carbon dioxide. Or with global warming either. We've been cooling for years.
"The sun is very cold right now and when there are no sunspots, the sun is cold, and that is one of the reasons we haven't seen warming for the past 12 years or so," said former Virginia state climatologist Patrick Michaels.
"We haven't seen any net change in temperature for about 12 years now," Michaels added. "We had a warming that began in 1977 and ended somewhere in late1997, and it hasn't been seen since."Unless the eco-freaks can come up with a way to influence the actions of the sun, there ain't diddly-squat we can do to affect our global temperature in a major way.
But that doesn't fit into the meddling ways of the Gore-ites, so here comes the legislation. BOHICA, baby...
GuyK had a piece about how he was an environmentalist, but would never accept that moniker or join the national organizations. It's been bastardized by the eco-freaks.
I commented that I'll very often go fishing and bring a garbage bag and pack out more than I brought in. Most folks want to protect our environment.
In my eyes, there is a huge difference between pollution, conserving natural resources and this global warming tripe. I'm all for strict particulate standards for automobiles, smoke coming from coal plants and chemicals being dumped into rivers.
You can easily connect the dots between chemical X being dumped into a river and finding tons of it in the fish in the river - or the dead fish floating in the river.
If the eco-freaks could show actual evidence that CO2 was causing global warming, I'd be right on board. The problem is, CO2 is the RESULT of global warming, not the cause.
I've used this example before: Take two bottles of beer, and open both of them. Place one in the sun and one in the fridge. Twenty minutes later, pour each of them into a glass. The warm one will be flat, the cold one will be fizzy.
Why? Science. CO2 stays in solution when cool, it comes out when heated.
In An Inconventient
The problem was, "the complex relationship" was misrepresented. His own numbers showed the correct relationship, but his graph was tweaked to show what he wanted it to show.
No need to let facts get in the way of Acadamy Awards and Nobel Peace Prizes...
Still, we're screwed.
So many Americas have swallowed this crap - hook, line and sinker. Our legislators don't have the stones to stand up against this public opinion.
So we'll get Cap and Trade, Carbon Taxes and a slew of other "incentives" to fix this manufactured problem. It will end up just like the Civil Rights movement, except it will bring all of us closer to being destitude and dependent.
What a wonderful country in which we live.....
Thursday, April 23, 2009
There will never be a really free and enlightened State until the State comes to recognize the individual as a higher and independent power, from which all its own power and authority are derived, and treats him accordingly.
--Henry David Thoreau
The "Nanny-est" of the Nanny States, California, is hard at work making sure that those of us who support freedom and the Second Amendment are kept at bay. I received this very disappointing email from the NRA yesterday:
Yesterday, the Assembly Committee on Public Safety considered two bills of great concern to California’s law-abiding gun owners.I guess they figure that with that first bill, if we can't get any ammo, we can't use our guns and all gun violence will magically melt away. What these pinheads continually forget is that the criminals don't follow the law. They'll continue stealing ammo, or going out-of-state to get it.
Assembly Bill 962 was passed and now heads to the Assembly Committee on Appropriations where it awaits a hearing.Sponsored by Assembly Member Kevin De Leon (D-45), AB962 would make it a crime to privately transfer more than 50 rounds of ammunition per month, even between family and friends, unless you are registered as a “handgun ammunition vendor” in the Department of Justice’s database. Ammunition retailers would have to be licensed and store ammunition in such a manner that it would be inaccessible to purchasers. The bill would also require purchasers submit to fingerprinting, which would be submitted to the Department of Justice. Lastly, mail order ammunition sales would be prohibited.
Assembly Bill 357, sponsored by Assembly Member Steve Knight (R-36), was defeated.This bill would have created a “shall issue” concealed handgun permit system in California. Under current law, an applicant must show cause as to why they should be issued a permit to carry a concealed handgun for self-defense. AB357 would have removed that stipulation and required sheriffs to issue the license if all other mandated criteria were satisfied.
Once again, they have recommended a piece of legislation that has a negative impact on law-abiding citizens, and does nothing to prevent gun violence. Nothing.
The second bill hurts even worse, although it fared precisely as I expected. It didn't even make it out of committee to get voted upon by the full legislature.
Today, I received a bit of good news. The idiotic 'smart gun' legislation was withdrawn by its sponsor:
Senate Bill 697 was scheduled to be heard on Tuesday, April 28 in the Senate Public Safety Committee.Yesterday, SB697 was pulled from the committee schedule at the request of the sponsor, State Senator Mark DeSaulnier (D-7).This bastard DeSaulnier is my state senator. He's not a socialist or communist, he's a dyed-in-the-wool totalitarian. He was my county supervisor before being promoted to state office. I actually had my disgust of a past proposal of his, entered into the official supervisor minutes a couple of years ago.
SB697 would prohibit the sale of handguns other than "owner-authorized (or ‘smart’) handguns" -- that is, handguns with a permanent, programmable biometric feature that renders the firearm useless unless activated by the authorized user. No proven, viable handgun of this type has ever been developed. The bill would require the California Attorney General to report to the Governor and Legislature on the availability of owner-authorized handguns; once the Attorney General finds that these guns are available, only “owner-authorized” handguns could be approved for sale in California.
I guarantee you, this bill is not dead...
A bit of a follow-up on my Caching post (pure coincidence that it follows a post about the government restricting our gun rights... I promise!):
Stephen suggested trying to locate a site that you believe won't be disturbed for 20+ years.
Western mass man reminded us to consider where you live. If during the winter, your ground is frozen solid, you ain't gonna get your stuff out quick and easy like.
Jim recommended something called B 1/2 Sealant. It's a sealant used on aircraft fuel tanks. I can't vouch for it, but something able to keep fuel tanks sealed can't be all bad!
Dave made note that hiding a cache on government lands (national parks, state parks, etc.) might work. You could be pretty sure that it would never end up with a Walmart on top of it, but as he noted, it might be like hiding your chickens in a fox den. I like it, though...
TOR suggested using precise compass degrees in the instructions. I should have said that.
Finally, jimmycrackcorn, gave a link to a great Backwoods Home Magazine article about a guy who buried a rifle for 15 years. He was worried he was going to lose it during the Billy Jeff Clinton administration.
It's a great read of an actual start-to-finish caching.
I say this every time it shows up in my mailbox, but you're nuts if you don't subscribe to Backwoods Home Magazine. I literally read it from cover-to-cover each time it arrives. It is always full of practical things you can do to make yourself more self-sufficient and/or save money.
I wonder how long it will take before the self-sufficiency publications are publicly heckled like talk-radio, or simply shut down as, "subversive".
Wednesday, April 22, 2009
Necessity is the plea for every infringement of human freedom. It is the argument of tyrants; it is the creed of slaves.
-- William Pitt, The Younger
Lot's of gun and Constitution stuff going through my head.
This weekend in Reno while decompressing after Day One of the gun show, my brother and I were talking about limits placed on private citizens owning guns. We were both in awe with the guns that people from free states can own.
During the conversation, I made a comment to the effect that I believe whatever weapons the police can have, the common citizen should be able to have. The police are citizens who are being paid to do a job.
But as citizens, they must be held to the same standards of Constitutionality as the rest of us. No one said it would be an easy job. Since there is no Constitutional provision to do so, they should not be granted super-constitutional powers.
Yet, they are. Or more precisely, OUR rights have been eroded.
He winced a bit, but I think he generally agreed with that.
After I got home, I happened to turn on MSNBC (I think), and they had a show about kids and guns. In it, they showed a bunch of families that were "gun nuts" - kids as young as 5 or 6 shooting guns.
The reporter, with his very civilized British accent, voiced the displeasure of the producers with his negative comments and innuendo. I guess instead of teaching kids how to properly use guns, they felt it better that the kids figure guns out on their own, or better yet, never be exposed to them.
One of the segments showed a father with his AK47. The reporter asked why he needed such a powerful weapon in his home, especially considering he had so many kids around. His answer was basically that he hoped that a bad guy, seeing the AK, would choose to flee rather than fight.
[I answered the question in my head as I watched: "I have this gun because I don't want it to be a fair fight. If this bastard has the balls to break into my house, I have to assume he is armed and dangerous. I want him dead and I want to be sure of it."]
Fast forward to Monday night. The TV show Jericho was on. The show is about what happens in some small American town after a big city has been nuked.
This episode ("New Bern") was about how another town was trying to take - by force - a bunch of farms that were part of Jericho. They built and fired a number of mortars into Jericho to make their point.
Since the nuke, food and other resources had become scarce. The federal government was no where to be seen. Jericho was on its own.
The folks of Jericho were able to fend off the attack because they all had Evil Black Rifles of the sort that are banned in many places in our country. They exercised their inalienable right to self-defense.
Now, it would be easy to pass this off as some sort of survivalist wet dream or far-fetch ratings-grabber.
But is it?
The papers and Internet have been covered lately with stories about how the feds are concerned about some foreign country lighting off a nuke, producing an ElectroMagnetic Pulse (EMP), and frying up to 90% of our country's electrical infrastructure.
"As a scientist and engineer now serving my 17th year on the House Armed Services Committee, I have studied the threat of EMP with the world's experts," said U.S. Rep. Roscoe Bartlett. "It is real."If one of these goes off 200 miles above the center of the country, the result would be "effectively sending the continental U.S. back to the 19th century with a recovery time of months or years."
As if that were not bad enough, we have the increased likelihood of a massive solar burst sometime in 2012 - perhaps as early as 2010. They are predicting it will be a big one.
Who is "they"? NASA.
This week (March 2006) researchers announced that a storm is coming--the most intense solar maximum in fifty years. The prediction comes from a team led by Mausumi Dikpati of the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR). "The next sunspot cycle will be 30% to 50% stronger than the previous one," she says. If correct, the years ahead could produce a burst of solar activity second only to the historic Solar Max of 1958.Nature's very own EMP...
So, back to the Constitution. Its primary purpose is to define the scope of the federal and state governments. They are only Constitutionally allowed to act within the framework specifically granted in the various articles and amendments. The Tenth amendment is intended to keep the feds in check by making it crystal clear that if a right has not been granted to them, that right falls to either the state or to the individual citizen.
The amendments can also either grant or guarantee rights to the individual. An example of a granted right would be in the Fifth Amendment, where you cannot be punished if you refuse to testify against yourself.
It's a bit different for the guarantee of rights. These are presumed to be, "God given," or inalienable rights which the government is compelled to guarantee and protect.
An example would be the Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms. Through the written structure of the amendment - the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed - the founders recognize it as a pre-existing right, not one granted by the Constitution.
Yet this right is stomped on every day, in every state. I'll probably get some grief over this, but I have long asked how we can restrict any Constitutional rights of unsavory folks. A politically touchy example would be felons, for instance.
How can we rescind their right to bear arms once they are out of custody? The Constitution says nothing about felons, people with restraining orders (valid or not) or a history of violent acts, etc., losing rights simply because they were once a felon.
I'm not saying I would feel warm and fuzzy having some former murderer/rapist running around with a gun, but I believe in the Constitution as it is written. I believe in the rights and responsibilities as they are vested. No more, no less.
With the Constitution, I figure you're either all-in or all-out. If you don't like a part of the Constitution, change it with an amendment just like we've done 17 times since the original 10 were ratified.
Quite honestly, the EMP examples from earlier are irrelevant. We don't need justification to exercise our rights.
Why am I so adamant about this? Because once government begins limiting rights beyond that which is Constitutionally allowed, that right starts to become a privilege. And privileges can be revoked.
In California, Wisconsin, Illinois, New York and 9 other states, the right to keep and bear arms anywhere you wish is gone. Even in states with "shall issue" laws, you must first get the permission of the government before you can carry a gun.
It is now a government-granted privilege in all 50 states for any American to exercise any portion of their Second Amendment rights.
So where am I going with this? I'm not 100% certain.
I know I will continue to exercise my right of free speech, my right to peaceably assemble, and my right to petition my government for redress of grievances.
I will also continue to exercise my inalienable rights, regardless of what the law may prescribe.
How far this is pushed is something I won't openly discuss, at least not now. There may come a time where I'll feel the need for my inalienable right of self-defense to become the public topic of my granted right of free speech.
Tuesday, April 21, 2009
Like the effect of advertising upon the customer, the methods of political propaganda tend to increase the feeling of insignificance of the individual voter.
Did you hear how Barry is going to buckle down and cut $100 million from our national budget? Sounds pretty impressive, right? One Hundred Million Dollars.
Do you realize how small an amount that is? Our budget this year is $3.9 trillion. That is equal to $10.8 billion per day, or $450 million per hour.
Barry is going to cut less than 15 minutes of government spending. FIFTEEN FUCKING MINUTES!!
Thanks for all the effort, big guy.
Did you hear how Oracle is buying up Sun Microsystems? I don't like this for one reason: Sun is a huge supporter of open source software, with Open Office being one of the best ones out there.
Larry Ellison, the head dude at Oracle is not a "give it away for free" kind of guy. I fear Open Office might be headed for the trash heap.
The only potential saving grace is that Open Office is a thorn in the side of Microsoft, and Ellison has no love lost for MS....
I read the Constitution on a pretty regular basis. I must admit, there was a phrase in there that I did not understand, nor had I taken the time to learn about it.
From Article 1, Section 8:
To declare war, grant letters of marque and reprisal, and make rules concerning captures on land and water;What the hell are letters of marque and reprisal? Thanks to a recent article by Ron Paul, I know. He was offering suggestions on how our country could actually address the problem with the Somali pirates in a Constitutional manner:
The second line of defense would be for Congress to act within the Constitution and issue letters of marque and reprisal, deputizing private organizations to act within the law to disable and capture those engaged in piracy. This approach to keeping ships safe at sea would minimize the effect on international relations by keeping our Navy out of it, as well as keeping costs to a minimum.It was actually Wikipedia that told me what they are:
A letter of marque is an official warrant or commission from a government authorizing the designated agent to search, seize, or destroy specified assets or personnel belonging to a foreign party which has committed some offense under the laws of nations against the assets or citizens of the issuing nation, and has usually been used to authorize private parties to raid and capture merchant shipping of an enemy nation.Sounds like a legal way to hire mercenaries to go kick some ass and take some names. No skulking around with CIA agents, or bringing the US Navy into this. Hire Blackwater or some other folks with guns and boats and let them blow the hell out of the pirates.
Since the federal government is charged with protecting commerce, and an American flagged ship was seized, it all fits together so nicely. We have justification to do this. Actually use the Constitution to our advantage.
What a concept.....
Sunday, April 19, 2009
Desperation is the raw material of drastic change. Only those who can leave behind everything they have ever believed in can hope to escape.
--William S. Burroughs
Reno is truly an armpit. A desperate armpit, I believe.
Even though it's only a couple of hours drive away, the last time I was there was 27 years ago when I was 23. I remember at the time that the place seemed old and gray. Everyone there seemed to be old.
Twenty-seven years later, I still got the same feeling. I'm obviously much older, but I felt like a youngster in Reno. The place is loaded with old-farts. It must have the per-capita corner on those little personal sitting scooters.
It's pretty dreary on the other end of the age scale as well. Very high unemployment. So many "lost children" walking the street. Teens and "twenty-somethings" that have that meth-head look - anxious, scabbed up, paranoid. This is right downtown near the major casinos and touristy stuff.
Lots of cops driving by, not seemingly doing much about it. Not really a Chamber of Commerce-worthy environment.
My brother had made the comment that he wanted me to carry concealed when we went out on Saturday night. I was already carrying (my set-up had virtually no "printing" and I was wearing a polo-style shirt). I was not going outside of the hotel unarmed. Period.
The gun show was clearly a big financial boost to the area. Virtually everyone we spoke with (that worked there) had said Reno had been a ghost town of late, and it was nice to see the cash flowing for a while.
It was an interesting thing to see inside the guns show: the areas that were doing a brisk business - primarily the ammo, holster and magazine vendors, and the utility gun booths with modern, practical workhorse weapons - were all charging sales tax. Most of the others were only charging face value for the goods.
I was kind of surprised to see the large numbers antique gun dealers. I did not see a single sale at one of these booths. Same goes for the vendors selling animal pelts, WWII or Civil War memorabilia.
If it wasn't something with a practical use, the sales were light.
I stayed at Harrah's, but that may be the last time I stay at any of their facilities in Nevada.
We got a room upgrade. What did that consist of? We got a coffee maker (no microwave) and this lovely lamp:
Click the picture. We named it "the Hair Lamp". It was this hideous thing covered in some kind of fabric that looked like hair. It looked like a big tinder bundle. And this was in a room that allowed smoking! Every time I'd stand up, my head went right in the middle of the lamp. I was not pleased.
The primary source of my anger was their policy on concealed carry. I honestly did not see the signs when we first arrived, but they had at least one of the entrances posted with signs saying that concealed carry was not allowed, even with a permit.
From what I've read, to be enforceable, the signs must be posted at all entrances and be very visible. As I said, I honestly did not see it until we were actually leaving.
Now, it's their property, and they can choose the type of clientele they want in their hotels and casinos. And it's my prerogative to spend my money elsewhere - and that is a prerogative I will exercise.
I'm going to write their CEO to voice my displeasure, most likely to no avail.
A company can pick its market niche - the rich, the common folk, the young, the ultra-cool. Apparently, they want to cater to sheeple, and that's their prerogative.
I ain't sheeple, and they'll get no more of my money. In all of the markets they're in, I have alternatives, and I'll spend my money in those businesses.
They're the newest member of the No Buy Zone, joining Miller Beer (pro-illegal aliens), Pizza Hut (for firing a CCW-carrying employee for defending himself by using a gun) and McDonald's (for not supporting an employee that came to the aid of one of THEIR customers who was being assaulted).
OT: Why are we cutting Cuba a break? Is not it the job of the president to do things that are in the best interest of our country? If so, what did we get in return for the recent loosening of travel restrictions to Cuba?
This is going to be a huge boost to the Cuban economy. What did we get in return? Political prisoner releases? Free elections? How about cheap cigars?
This is nothing more than one Marxist giving a gift to another Marxist.
Friday, April 17, 2009
For those of you that don't know what that means, look at the first two letters of that phrase. The "C" stands for Cluster. You can guess what the "F" stands for.
We arrived around 8:30, and the line was already several THOUSAND people long. There were a number of lines, none with any signs saying what line was for what. When they finally opened the doors at 9am, we just swerved over one of the Enter doors.
We (and everyone else) went straight for the ammo vendors. There were two of them. In the whole 5 acre space. We stood in line for 2 1/2 hours and moved perhaps 60-70 feet in that time. One of the guys standing near us walked up to see what was going on. He said that people were coming from the side of the ammo counter, and just jumping in line.
To say we were pissed off would be an understatement.
We got 4,000 rounds for $1,200 - mostly 9mm, some .38spl and .357 Magnum.
That much ammo weighs a damned ton. We carried it out of the show into the hallway, and I went to the car and got the cart which we brought.
Did I mention 4,000 rounds of ammo way a damned ton?
A couple of friends showed up after noon, walked in and got their ammo in 10 minutes as well. There's no damned justice...... ;-)
I mentioned that this place is 5 acres. It's huge. We have seen 4 black guys. In total. A handful of Asians. WTF? They own guns, don't they?
With all of the time I spent in line, I'm now close personal friends with some guy from a county in the Sacramento area. He's a cop and competes in some kind of cop shooting contest. He said it's sponsored by NRA, but is only open to cops.
As we were talking he mentioned that he shoots so much, it has given him carpal tunnel disease (he had that brace thing on his wrist). He left for a while, and his buddy said he's got a firing range set up in his back yard and the guy shoots like 400 rounds a day! He said the cop is something like #3 or #4 in the country in this cop shooting sport.
Very nice guy. VERY pro concealed carry for citizens. He said he actually has his cop permit (used nationally) PLUS he has a personal CA one (he lives in one of the few Shall Issue counties in the state), in case he ever has his badge taken.
I didn't quite know how to process that statement!
We spent a bit more time browsing, but were pretty worn out from all of the standing around. We're going back tomorrow to do some serious shopping. Lots of prepping stuff, and decent prices on magazines, maybe some more ammo.
Time for some cocktails, a bit of gambling and grub. More tales tomorrow....
I had noted in my last post that I was putting together an email newsletter. Actually 3 of them - Personal Safety, Emergency Preparedness and Continuity of Operations.
My intent is to emulate newsletters I like: They contain a lot of useful information, and the sales part is WAY, WAY secondary. For now, at least, I am making the assumption that this is the type of newsletter EVERYONE likes.
I had noted over on TORs post that I had recently signed up for the FrontSight.com newsletter. They had a couple of posts with some very good information. I had even referenced some of them in this blog.
It seemed like they pretty quickly started going very heavy on the sales. They started basically telling me that if I didn't jump at their latest offer, I was an idiot.
I am now more likely NOT to buy a class from Front Sights than I am to send them some money, or to recommend them to a friend.
I'll try and do a post later this afternoon with our "findings" from the Big Reno Gun Show. We're leaving in a couple of minutes to get there a couple of hours before it opens. We're not taking any chances of NOT getting ammo.... if any is available.
It will also be interesting to see if we draw any attention from the Three-Letter Ageny crowds. We're going to be buying a pretty decent amount of ammo (between my brother and I), so this should be interesting.
Pixs if I can sneak some on my cell phone.....
Labels: Life and Times
Wednesday, April 15, 2009
Perhaps a lunatic was simply a minority of one.
Remember back in late 2008 when a bunch of Bay Area schools actually encouraged their students to cut school to join in protests over ICE raids? The supposed justification was something like, "living the Constitution" by exercising their First Amendment rights to free speech and petitioning the government.
Where was all of the pantie-wetting to teach kids with the Tea Party protests? No schools here in the People's Republic of California busing their kids to the big events, at least not here in Northern Ca....
Oh, never mind. Will someone please just pull the chain and flush this crap down the tube?
I had a couple of choices for a local Tea Party. In Sacramento, they were holding a huge one, but that drive was a bit much. There was another one a bit more local (Pleasanton) where one of the larger conservative radio stations was going to have a couple of their hosts at the rally. That drive was a bit far as well.
My day got away from me, so I decided to go to another one about 15 minutes away. When I got there (around 3pm) apparently the party had already ended (if it ever started). I was pissed.
I'm guessing that both the Sacramento and Pleasanton parties will get a decent amount of press, so I'll be able to see what happened. The Pleasanton one probably pulled off the attendance from my local one, but I'm still bummed.
Weird ammo happenings: I just got my order of 9mm ammo for which I paid $21.79 a box. In the same order, I bought 4 boxes of 5.56 NATO. It was a great price at $11.97 a box. This is Lake City ammo, and is supposedly the exact ammo used over in the Sand Pit. It's got a 62 grain "Penetrator" bullet. It was available and on sale because of a printing error on the box.
I went to CheaperThanDirt.com to see if there had been any price movement. The 9mm had actually dropped in price by $2 a box. The 5.56 had almost doubled in price to $21.59 a box - in less than a week!
A couple of questions:
1. Can you carry concealed at a gun show? This will be my first gun show in a state where I can carry. The show website doesn't say anything either way.
There will be guns and ammo available literally right next to each other, so if someone wants to go off, they can easily do it. Or are these typically "gun free zones" - at least for the attendees?
2. Business help: I'm putting together a newsletter for my biz, and I need ideas for some more target markets - for the personal safety classes in particular. I want people that might have a higher than normal chance of getting into trouble.
So far, I'm compiling lists of real estate agents (out on their own a lot) and health clubs/gyms (personal responsibility types). I'll also be targeting men's/women's clubs, trade groups (local chambers of commerce, etc.), unions, churches and groups like that.
Who else? What broad demographic groups/professions might be interested in this type of thing?
No. You don't get a commission on each sale... ;-)
My favorite rendition of the National Anthem. No, the best rendition. Ever.
It actually made me kind of melancholy to listen to it. I normally listen, and it pumps me up and gets me feeling all patriotic.
As I was listening to it, I just kept thinking, "How did we get to this place in our history?" It was partly due to reading the DHS report on right-wing terrorists. It's like Jeff Foxworthy's, "You might be a redneck if...", only it was put out by our own government.
The "Thought Police" are out in full force.
How can it be possible that to believe in smaller government, tough immigration laws, or are a "disgruntled" veteran, you are now under suspicion, or at least need to be watched? And these idiots wonder out loud why there are runs on guns and ammo?
Holy shit, we're doing a belly-flop into a pool that's been drained of all reason.
I wonder if loving the National Anthem buys you any more "domestic terrorist" points?
Tuesday, April 14, 2009
Avoiding occasions of expense by cultivating peace, we should remember also that timely disbursements to prepare for danger frequently prevent much greater disbursements to repel it.
Part of the reason this took so long to post was some uneasiness on my part.
There is a phrase a lot of former military guys use: "Stay off the ridge line." The obvious meaning is to not walk along a ridge line, making yourself an easy target for an enemy's bullet. The somewhat more subtle meaning is, "Don't draw a lot of attention to yourself, because you might not like who is taking notice."
I can't think of any reason why anyone of any level of political or police power would pay attention to anything I say or do. But why take a chance? Some weird shit is going on in our country right now, and a time may come where we all DO have to worry about who is paying attention.
So, actual information about what I have or have not done won't be disclosed. I'll provide information (and links) I've gleaned from various sources regarding the building, filling and hiding of a personal cache.
One pet peeve. Cache is pronounced like cash, not cash-ay.
Some people may use this information to hide a gun and ammo. Remember, if you do this and a child under 18 years old comes across your cache and something bad happens, YOU will be held responsible.
> Ragnar Benson's Modern Weapons Caching
> TC 31-29/A Special Forces Caching Techniques
> Weapons Caching
> CacheBox Store
> Ultimate Guide to Geocache Cache Containers
Building The Cache
Far and away, the easiest cache is made out of either PVC or ABS plastic pipes. Everything I'm going to talk about is going to assume you'll make a tube-style cache.
They are strong, easily accessible and easy to work with. The pipe itself is not too expensive, but the attachments can get a bit pricey - things like butt caps, female caps and male screws.
Regardless of the type of cache you build, it must be strong, re-locatable, and impervious to nature - air, water, dirt, bugs. Water is your biggest worry.
Take a look at this video, then read my comments afterwards:
It appears as though this guy mixed black ABS with white PVC. I'm not a plumber, but when I've walked the aisles in Home Depot, I see that they have one type of glue for ABS and one type for PVC. They may mix and match, I just don't know. If I were to do this, I'd use either all ABS or all PVC.
Also notice the treads to the screw. This is a weak place for water infiltration, especially if the tube is buried in water, or in an area that stays damp for long periods of the year. I've read of people that buy a very cheap wax toilet ring and very liberally coat the threads with the wax when they seal up the tube.
Your other option is to fully seal the tube - using two butt-caps instead of a butt cap on one end and a male screw cap on the other. Of course, you will have the issue of needing some way of cutting open the cache tube when you retrieve it, and the tube will be largely useless after you've cut it open.
Personally, I'd use black ABS before I'd use white PVC because of its better ability to stay "stealthy" if the tube is partially unearthed.
Filling The Tube
You need to determine what is going to be in your cache. Will it be a few pounds of grain? Some water and MREs? A handgun and some ammo? A rifle, ammo, and cleaning kit? This will determine the length and diameter of the tube you will be building in the previous step.
Once you know what you're going to be caching, you will want to add precautions against natural infiltrations into your tube. Assume failure!
If you are storing grain, don't just dump a bunch of grain in the tube and seal it up. I would use some sort of plastic bag barrier - a vacuum sealed bag, Ziplock bag or the like. Perhaps even double-wrapped. If it was something a bug could eat, I'd also toss in an oxygen scrubber (or two) as well.
If you were going to cache ammo, be careful. DO NOT place a box of ammo under a full vacuum. There is a belief that the vacuum might have an adverse affect on unseating the bullet or primer. If you're going to use a vacuum bag on ammo, pull as much air out as you can before the hard final "suck" is achieved, and start the heat seal. Double-wrap as well.
If you were going to store equipment - weapons, knives, camping equipment, survival gear - you need to consider the effects a long-term cache will have on the equipment. Is it made of wood? Wood rots. What will you do to protect it?
If the part of the equipment that is made of wood rotted (say an axe handle or rifle stock) and would make the piece of equipment useless without it, reconsider storing it. Can you obtain an axe with a fiberglass handle, or a rifle with a synthetic stock?
Is it made of metal? Many metals rust. What will you do to protect it and/or clean it after retrieval? At the very minimum, I would liberally slather the piece of metal with grease or oil and double-wrap it in plastic. I would also include some sort of a cleaning kit - a gun kit for your specific weapon, or some way of removing rust from other equipment. Spare parts and a user manual might be a good idea as well...
Regardless of what you are putting in your tube - food, water, equipment, ammo - you will need to toss in some desiccant packets to absorb as much water as possible that WILL infiltrate your tube. The number of packets will be determined by the size of your tube. See what the desiccant manufacturer recommends, and double it.
Before you seal up your tube for burying, consider how you will be burying it. Will it be in the vertical or horizontal position (more to follow on this)? If it will be a long tube (over 3 feet long) buried in the horizontal position and you intend to reuse it in its current location, you will need a method of retrieving the contents.
Consider a plastic or metal disk attached to a chain at least the length of the tube (both of sufficient strength). The disk (slightly smaller than the inside diameter of the tube) is first placed in the tube and the contents filled on top of it. The end of the chain (with some sort of pulling handle attached) is then at the top of the tube and is used to pull up on the disk, bringing up the contents with it. In this way, you can access the contents and re-use the tube without having to dig up the entire cache.
Site Location and Burying
Clearly, this is the most difficult part of the equation. You need the location to be stealthy, yet easily retrievable.
You also need to think about what kind of cache it will be. Will it be a one-time access cache, or a regularly used location. Think about how some African tribes bury ostrich eggs filled with water for the dry season when they are out hunting.
Will the cache be in a location that regularly gets "treasure hunters"? It would suck if your cache filled with ammo, weapons or precious metals were to be found by some guy on a leisurely weekend jaunt.
There is also a growing "sport" called geocaching. People bury crap that is intended to be found by others. Might your selected site be the "cat's meow" for such a group? Think hard about others that might stumble onto your cache.
With that in mind, any cache that is buried in a horizontal position will have a smaller "foot print" than one buried in the horizontal position. If you are caching anything with metal, seriously consider the vertical position. While it takes much more time bury, you are much less likely to have someone stumble upon your goods (remember to bury the tube screw-side up!).
Once you've found your perfect site, stand on it, and take a 360 degree look around. Can you be seen by anyone that might be on a trail, road, ridge or crossing? If so, pick a new spot. You must be completely stealthy when you are filling or retrieving your cache.
Regardless of how you bury your cache, you want to leave as few clues as possible that you were there. You will want to take a mental picture of the area and return it to that state when you leave.
For instance, use a trick that people that install lawn sprinkler systems use.
If you've found the perfect place, but it is covered with weeds or grasses, cut out a chunk of "turf" few inches wider than your hole will be, and keep it intact. Dig it out a good 3 or 4 inches deep, and set it aside - root side down - out of the sun.
Dig your cache hole, install the cache and fill it in with as much dirt as you need. Then place the chunk of "turf" back on top. In this way, the grasses will not die off, and your cache location will remain virtually invisible. Scatter the left-over dirt naturally around the area.
Retrieving Your Cache
To be able to find your cache, you need to have bullet-proof directions. Depending upon your reasons for having a cache, you might be forced to have directions which are not perfectly understandable.
If you are caching food and water, for instance, you might be inclined to have very specific location instructions. GPS coordinates, Google maps, etc.
If you are caching things such as precious metals, ammo or weapons, you will want to be a bit more careful.
You will want to locate at least two very prominent, non-movable landmarks near the cache. A tree. A rock out-cropping. A bridge.
Your directions will be very specific in relation to the landmark, but very obscured regarding what is the actual landmark.
With your back to the large oak, facing in a due west direction, walk 15 feet forward. Now face due south and walk 10 feet. The cache is located under a large flat rock directly at your feet. You may also start in the dry creek under the bridge. While standing under the northern side of the bridge, directly beneath the center expansion joint, walk 40 feet in a northern direction. Face due east and walk 60 feet. The cache is located under a large flat rock directly at your feet.Only you or your most trusted friends/family know which tree or bridge are being referenced. Were these directions to fall into the wrong hands, they would be virtually useless in locating your cache.
Just be sure not to be too descriptive with your landmarks. Don't say, "From the Highway 99 bridge over-crossing in Galt..." You might as well place a homing beacon and flashing lights on the site.
If you noticed, the directions also include a very specific on-site marker (large flat rock). Assume the tree has grown thicker over the years, so your distances are off by a couple of feet. You want to locate and access the cache as quickly as possible. A marker will get you right to the cache. Obviously, don't use a marker that stands out from the surroundings. If your location has nothing but sandstone, don't bring a chunk of black igneous rock to place at the site. That will DRAW attention to your cache.
And why two landmarks? Assume that the immovable object has been moved. Humans tend to do things like that, and it would again suck to not be able to locate your cache becuase your landmark no longer exists.
There ya be. Go forth and cache. I strongly recommend a test run so you can judge your tube-building and retrival directions skills. Make a cache, and fill it with loose toilet paper just to see how much dampness accumulates during a given year. Maybe throw in a couple of desiccant packs, a small amount of vacuum sealed grain, and a piece of junk steel wrapped similarly to how you will wrap your gun or axe.
See what happens. Practice before you need to do it for real...
Monday, April 13, 2009
All deception in the course of life is indeed nothing else but a lie reduced to practice, and falsehood passing from words into things.
I missed the 20/20 hatchet job on Guns In America when it was shown last Friday. I went to their site, and watched the short segment they had that was titled, "If I only Had A Gun." For now, it is on the front page of the 20/20 website.
Here's the premise: They wanted to test the theory that, if regular folks had guns, would they be able to protect themselves if a bad guy came in and started shooting up the place?
They took 6 students, and gave them a basic handgun safety course. They then put them individually into a lecture hall that was holding a seminar on some safety gear. The show producers gave each one of them (one at a time) a real handgun that was loaded with mini-paintball rounds. They were told they were the only one in the class with a gun.
The instructor is doing his thing when a "bad guy" bursts into the classroom. He peppers the instructor with shots. The cameras show each of the students struggling to get their weapons out and/or firing effective shots. In every instance, the student is "killed" by the bad guy.
Here's the set up: All of the students are carrying their handguns in a belt holster. Every one of them is wearing a big floppy white tee-shirt which which extends several inches below the muzzle of the gun.
When the bad guy comes in, he fires a few shots at the instructor. All of the students in the lecture hall scatter. In every example they showed, the bad guy then goes straight for the student with the hidden gun. Without exception.
Oh, and the other "students" in the class, are all real-life cops that are in on what is going to happen, and the "bad guy" is the firearms instructor that taught the gun safety class.
The scam: In every single course I've taken, or video I've watched, CCW students are trained to make the weapon easily accessible. You would NEVER wear a big, floppy tee shirt that extended several inches below the muzzle of the gun for the exact reason you saw on the show - your gun will get caught up in the material.
And wasn't it just amazing how the bad guy knew exactly who had the firearm in every example and zeroed right in on them? Wow, those bad guys must be clairvoyant as well. In the first segment of the "mayhem", they have a "bad-guy's view" camera angle. It shows the bad guy specifically targeting the student in question, and specifically passing up people that run right across his field of fire. The same thing happened in some of the other tests.
They also just happened to place the student with the gun right in the front row. Why didn't they ever have the student in an upper level, or off to the side? We all know the answer to those questions.
Total set-up bullshit.
Another blurb that just tweaks my ass on this was Diane Sawyer then goes on to give us the physiological reasons why you react slowly and inaccurately. Heart is pumping, etc. She then goes on to show us her own test with a guy in the back of a truck with a shotgun, and how he still blew her away even when she knew exactly what was going to happen.
I'd like to know what her solution would be to this problem. Is she and ABC suggesting that the proper course of action would be to curl up in the fetal position and wait for the bullet to the head? Wouldn't you at least want a chance to live?
And one thing they failed to roll play was what actually happens in most of these mass killings. You hear the bad guy shooting in the distance. You have the ability to take a defensive position, steady your shot, and make the kill.
Remember the Virginia Tech teacher who bravely barricaded the door to his classroom? He heard the bad guy coming and did something. If just one student in that classroom had a gun, that monster could have been stopped right there.
Diane finished her hatchet job with a statement along the lines of, "We could not find one reliable study showing guns help save lives." I guess she has never seen GunFacts.info and the 481 citations it includes.
Apparently, in her eyes the US Department of Justice, the British Home Office, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, and "rags" such as US News & World Report, The Wall Street Journal and The Washington Times just can't be trusted.
I wonder if her friends at the Brady Bunch were able to supply her with any "reliable" information...
Sunday, April 12, 2009
You can bend it and twist it... You can misuse and abuse it... But even God cannot change the Truth.One of my brothers is at it again. He's clearly trying to make my heart blow up.
He sent me a link to an interview on today's Face The Nation with this:
Mexican President Felipe Calderón will tell President Obama during his trip to Mexico next week that U.S. assistance is needed to halt the flow of weapons into America's neighbor, Mexico's Ambassador to the United States, Arturo Sarukhan, told CBS News' Bob Schieffer.Two short weeks ago, I wrote about good old Bob doing the same thing during his interview with Barry - him giving credence to the lies about the source of guns going into Mexico.
Their competitor, Fox News, did a little bit of digging, and was able to expose the lie.
Click here to see the story (embedding has been disabled for some reason).
Apparently, Bob still hasn't had the time to actually investigate the lies. Or he doesn't want facts to get in the way of a good propaganda piece.
Clearly, he's a big fan of Lenin. He understands the power of the press.
A lie told often enough becomes truth.----------
Bob, we're not so stupid to not be able to see what you're trying to do. You don't like guns in and around your pricey NYC townhouse. Us little people are just so paranoid, and shouldn't be allowed to protect ourselves. We're too unstable to be trusted with such dangerous toys. Anything that YOU can do to disarm us is just fine. The ends justify the means, right?
Unless Nanny nationalizes the airwaves and newspapers, your way of making a living - spewing lies that are favorable to the views of the current administration - is coming to an end. People are tired of the lies. Tired of the distortions. Tired of the propaganda.
And we're taking our business elsewhere.
Maybe you can get a job as a tarot card reader. That is providing information based upon as much fact as you let seep into your broadcasts.
Good luck with that.
Friday, April 10, 2009
There are two fools in this world. One is the millionaire who thinks that by hoarding money he can somehow accumulate real power, and the other is the penniless reformer who thinks that if only he can take the money from one class and give it to another, all the world's ills will be cured.
I noted a few days back that I'm having difficulty understanding how the stock market has been rising. In my mind, it makes no sense as I have seen little evidence that we've yet turned the corner.
I had noted a bunch of things I saw as negative.
Virtually all of the economic news has been bad. Higher unemployment. Run-away government spending which MUST result in higher inflation. Business after business reporting staggering losses. Home values had further huge declines.A huge, HUGE item I left off the list was state and local governments. The way they survive is by sucking money out of our pockets via income taxes, sales taxes, property taxes and special assessment districts.
The only positives have been a slight rise in factory orders, and the fact that all of the job cuts and losses have not been AS BAD as expected.
Every single one of those have seen significant reductions in cash flows. Moody's - one of the companies that rate bond creditworthiness - is giving everyone a head's up that all is not rosy.
Moody’s Investors Service assigned a negative outlook to the creditworthiness of all local governments in the United States, the agency said Tuesday, the first time it had ever issued such a blanket report on municipalities.Let that sink in: They didn't say that Chicago, or San Francisco, or Idaho Falls is in trouble - they're saying EVERYONE is in trouble.
To cut through the chatter, they are saying that, if you own municipal bonds - generally thought of as "bullet-proof" investments - you might want to re-think your assumptions.
One of the ways investors used to protect themselves was to buy..... Credit Default Swaps (CDS). Those were essentially insurance policies against different types of securities going into default (not making their bond/dividend payments).
Many investors would buy these for municipal bond project where the issuing entity did not have the authority to tax. For instance, a bond for a new school. If problems arise, the school cannot unilaterally raise more taxes. A bond from a state is presumed to be safer, because a state CAN raise taxes.
Anyways, CDSs are pretty much only as valuable as the company that sells them. They are one of the primary reasons AIG is in the shape it's in.
If there is a major string of defaults in local or state government bonds, that could make the real estate crash seem like a pleasant afternoon sipping wine.
Municipal bonds are held by virtually every retirement fund, insurance company and bank in the country. They are so widely held because they are considered to be so safe.
Buckle up, cats and kittens. It's gonna be a bumpy ride....
So, they've already got the newest bailout in the works. It's just a matter of working out the details.
Reinsurance is essentially another form of a CDS - someone else will be held accountable if the municipality defaults on their payments. That "someone else" would now be you and me.
Mr. Bernanke offered his remarks in a letter to members of Congress who had asked the Fed to create a facility to breathe new life into segments of the municipal bond market that were still paralyzed. But Mr. Bernanke said municipal debt had “unique characteristics” that made it “unlikely” that the Fed could be of much help.
He suggested that instead, Congress could consider setting up some other form of assistance for municipalities unable to restructure or refinance their debt, like a federal bond reinsurance program.
Rock, meet a hard place.
From a May 2008 post of mine:
I've written in the past about how a local city, Vallejo, was having financial problems, and was biding their time, considering declaring bankruptcy.It just seems as though the thought of actually cutting back services and the size of government is not an option. Perish the thought, you conservative meanie!
That time is today.Vallejo, with a population of 117,000, is being squeezed by declining home sales that have rippled through its economy, cutting into the taxes it relies on from local retailers and home owners. It has been pushed to the breaking point, city officials say, by union contracts with firefighters and police it can't afford or renegotiate.Vallejo is simply the canary in the mine for the rest of the state. If you spend more than you bring in, you'll go broke. Duh. It has turned into an arm-pit of a city, and people are fleeing. Businesses are being taxed and fee'd out of existence. The bloated government is crushing the life out of its citizens.Megan Bolton is feeling the squeeze. Bolton, who owns a commercial and residential window business with her husband, said building and remodeling fees rose fourfold last year, and she's had to pass it along to customers.
``Vallejo doesn't value businesses,'' said Bolton, 28.
Megan, sure they do. They value you while you pay their bills. They don't care that they need to double, triple or quadruple the fees to your business to feed their beast. Do your part for your city!
State of California officials: Pay attention. What is happening in the micro economy of Vallejo is also happening in the macro economy of California. Our $15 billion budget short-fall projected for next year should be your first clue.
Rest of the States: Pay attention to California. Observe what NOT to do. Learn by our disintegration.
If cities and states start going bankrupt en masse, the result will be a crash in the bond markets.
So what is the likely end result? If the fed does a bailout, it will result in hyper, blinding inflation. The only option will be for the fed to print up more money. Or they could go the route of Argentina and start seizing retirement accounts and issuing Treasury bonds in exchange.
Either option makes the dollar worthless.
"Cheery news" like this will most likely result in a rise in the stock market. Go figure.
Thursday, April 09, 2009
A conspiracy is nothing but a secret agreement of a number of men for the pursuance of policies which they dare not admit in public.
I'm having a very difficult time believing this ammo shortage across the country is simply a result of the recent upswing in gun ownership. It's not like there are restrictions on how many boxes of the typical firing range cartridges you can buy. There are none to be had.
Yesterday, I went to 6 different online ammo suppliers. Not one of them had ANY .357 Magnum or .38 Special, and 5 of the 6 had no 9mm.
CheaperThanDirt.com had some personal defense rounds (north of a dollar per round) in 9mm, and a few available boxes of American Eagle FMJ 124 grain. I held my nose and paid $21.79 a box for 4 boxes.
Even though I'm going to the Big Reno Gun Show next week primarily to buy ammo, I don't know if they'll have any.
In the past two weeks, I have been to 3 different ranges and two different gun shops. Two weeks ago, one of the ranges had a bit of .38 Special, but no 9mm. The two other ranges and two gun shops are all out of any .38 Spl, .357 Magnum and 9mm.
That's not quite true. One of the gun shops had 5 boxes of Chinese-made 9mm. I'd never heard of the manufacturer (neither had the owner) so I opened up one of the boxes, and the metal jacket was made of brass, not copper. They wanted nearly $14 a box for it. I passed.
At one of the gun shops, the owner said they are the biggest handgun dealer in Northern California. He sells over 100 guns a week, plus 50 a week are on back-order. He sells a lot of ammo. Well, he used to. He called one of the manufacturers directly, and was told they are producing 1 million rounds a day. Where is this going?
He surmised that it was all being warehoused to push up prices when it's released at a later date. Could be, I guess.
But that would mean that every manufacturer was doing the same thing. They could all be colluding to affect prices. I just find that hard to believe, especially with all of the press that this issue has been getting. But then, that assumes the press would actually do their job and dig a bit.
I'm almost done with the caching post. I've gone back in and sanitized it a bit - I'd originally given out way too much information. A couple of finishing touches, and it will be ready for the world!
Wednesday, April 08, 2009
To sin by silence when they should protest makes cowards of men.
In terms of chronological age, I've "turned the corner". I most likely have more life behind me than I have in front of me. I'm one of those people who, if I want to do something, I just do it. I can't think of anything off-hand that I've wanted to do that I haven't done.
Next week, I'm going to do something that I never actually though I'd want to do. I'm going to publicly protest against my government.
Really, it's not a, "want to do" thing. In my mind, it's gotten to the point of, "need to do." I'm going to attend one of the thousands of Tea Parties that are happening on tax day.
Now, this may not seem like a big deal, but is to me. I was raised to believe the government was here to help - really, to serve. Only hippies and crazed liberals protested against the government. If the feds got a bit off-track, it would get corrected in due course.
This self-correct mechanism is broken. I have seen the gradual, yet steady decline of America, primarily over the past 16 years. It is no longer a "blip" or an anomaly. It's a trend. And Barry is poised to accelerate our demise.
Pick a section of the Constitution - any article, section or amendment - and I can show you documented abuses by the feds. I've listed many of them many times in the past.
What is most troubling to me is the desecration of the Tenth Amendment.
The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.It is the amendment intended to limit the size of the federal government. It is so unambiguous, yet so routinely disregarded.
How can this be? How have we allowed ourselves to get to this point?
The federal government has turned into the largest charity in the world. Social Security, food stamps, federal housing, FEMA, Department of Education, Health and Human Services, The Department of Energy - the list goes on and on.
Go here to see a list of every federal agency. How many of them are actually authorized by the Constitution? I went through most of the pages, and without exception, at each page, I had at least one, "WTF?"
Here are three just from the "A" page:
US African Development Foundation
Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry
Arctic Research Commission
You may find one and say, "Hey, that's a 'good' federal agency. What's your problem with THAT?" My problem is, it is not authorized by the Constitution. It may be a seemingly innocuous agency, but its creation leads to kind of Nanny Creep we're experiencing.
My money is being forcibly taken for unconstitutional uses. We should ALL have a problem with that.
This country is in the toilet, and DC keeps adding more crap to the bowl. Barry is poised to pull the chain with his promised unprecedented expansion of federal largess.
I can't sit and bitch any more. I've got to get out and scream.
Wanna scream too? Go here and select your state and location. There are nearly 2,000 events planned across America.
Time to take a stand.
Look at this image:
It's a bit tough to see, but what happened on each of the dates they list - December 16, 1773, July 4, 1776 and September 17, 1787? No Google searches allowed!