Monthly Archives: November 2008

>An Overview of the Battlespace

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UPDATED 1354 est 1 Dec 2008: Link and site disappeared overnight after creation of this post; just found this cached version.

Read this essay slowly, click on the embedded links, especially this one, and make sure to read the comments as well.

Use your bravo-sierra detector to sort the wheat from the chaff, as you should do with any piece of content.

And think about the essay’s closer:

Our only hope for the future is a coalition made up of Black Nationalists, old Southern Johnny Rebs, Sons of Liberty, Vermont farmers, anarcho-anthropologists, community organizers, hacker punks, and angry old Wobblies. Our only hope is to narrow our focus while expanding our networks, batten the hatches, open our hearts, and commit to fighting on our feet rather than living on our knees.

Damned straight.

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The Revolutionary American Archipeligo

I don’t know if you’ve heard the news, but apparently there’s some kind of global economic meltdown underway that threatens (or promises) to forever alter world political-economic systems, power dynamics, and resource distribution. Or something like that. I could at this point parade out dozens of statistical analysises, stock charts, and articles comparing our current situation to 1929, 1865, or 1492, but I post enough gloom and doom here and that dead horse has been thoroughly pulverized by this point. What I’m interested in is where we’re going and what to do now. There are any number of sources for prognostication we could look at but there a few recent ones that feel particularly salient. None of them are perfect, but all of them have some truth.

The Coming Challenges

First, the Global Trends 2025 report put out by the National Intelligence Council has plenty of flaws, but correctly identifies some technologies that will greatly affect the next 20 years.

1. Biogerontechnology involves technologies that improve lifespan. If people
are living longer and healthier lives, it will challenge nations to develop new economic and social
policies for an older and healthier population.

2. Crop-based biofuels and chemicals production, which will reduce gasoline
dependence.

3. Robots have the potential to replace humans in a number of industries,
ranging from the military to health care.

4. Internet pervasiveness will be in everyday objects, such as food packages,
furniture and paper documents. It will also streamline supply chains, slash costs “and reduce
dependence on human labor.”

What the report fails to discuss is how these technologies will interact with each other to create new challenges for humanity. Biotechnology will help the wealthy lead ever longer, healthier lives, while overcrowding in the cities (and government labs) spread new diseases to the masses. Corn-based biofuel will put more pressure on the food supply, contributing to the many other forces that will be decreasing annual crop yields and raising prices. We’re likely to see food shortages begin as early as next year as the global agro-industrial complex shakes apart and reorganizes. Global shipping lines could be hindered by pirates, higher fuel costs, and tight credit, leading to decreased fruit availability. A recent article in the Boston Globe pointed out that with higher food prices, more people will downgrade their diets to fast food and Spam (Spam purchases have already spiked dramatically), which could mean increasing obesity coupled with malnutrition. Vitamins and food supplements could potentially fill in the nutritional gaps in people’s diets, but with Codex Alimentarius coming into effect, they’ll all be government regulated and could become very expensive. Again, there could be great disparity between the health of the elites and the health of the proles.

Next, within the next five to ten years the surveillance grid that blankets the US is going to become even thicker. The current highly-successful trend has been surveillance as conveniance, and I think that will continue. Cameras will enter our homes under the guise of video-chat technology (keep in touch with loved ones when you can’t afford to fly), video game accessories, Fahrenheit 451-you’re-on-TV -type-technology, and burglar alarm to combat the rising crime. Cell phones already track our movements and potentially record our conversations, and this will no doubt continue. We may or may not have microchip implants in 20 years, but it may be unnecessary because RFID chips will be in all credit cards, clothing, consumer electronics, packaging, etc. and a nationwide or near-nationwide wireless network will keep the chips singing all day. All this data will be fed into SEAS.

And there will be robots. What little manufacturing there is still here will largely be performed by robots, increasing unemployment. In the cities we’ll see airborne surveillance drones at a minimum, and potentially on the ground force-multiplying armed robot police. There’s a lot of speculation going on now about Obama’s plans for the military. He’s stated he wants to increase the size of the Army and Marines, and while massive unemployment always helps military enrolement, expanded foreign and domestic responsibilities coupled with decreased tax revenue will force the Pentagon to seek creative solutions for its needs. Robots are cheap and will only get cheaper, and DARPA has dozens of projects developing robots that can crawl, walk, swim, fly, carry combat supplies, fit under door jambs, mimic insects, shoot tasers, hunt in packs, and do God knows what else. If there is a budget squeeze at the Pentagon, we may see fewer next-next generation fighter jets and battleships, but crowd control, urban warfare, less than lethal, and robot technology will only become a more important part of military spending. Americans are going to get poor, hungry, and angry, and the military will be here to apply the lessons learned in Iraq (Afghanistan, Pakistan) to keep the peace.

Our Best Defense

OK, so that’s one take on the future: unemployment is rampant, food is expensive and unhealthy, the surveillance grid is all pervasive, and the rise of the robots is well underway. So what do we do? Interestingly, one of the most interesting potential solutions to all this is coming from a military consultant. John Robb, author of Brave New War and the Global Guerrillas blog, spends a lot of time these days talking about our need for resilient communities. He argues that the only way to defend ourselves against the current (4th Generation) terrorist threat is by decentralizing, helping communities become more autonomous, and encouraging the development of networked local militias. Resilient communities able to produce their own power, grow their own food, and defend themselves with force if necessary, are our best defense against the new crop of super-empowered global guerrillas, and the lumbering armored infantry is outmoded.

Now, I think Robb’s got some great ideas here, but I also think it’s totally nuts to think the government-industrial complex would ever support resilient community projects. I mean, there are definitely some independent terrorists out there fighting the Great Satan, but the overall landscape of international terrorism/drug trade/organized crime is so dominated by the Anglo-American Intelligence Community it’s hard to imagine the Pentagon really helping communities become more secure against attacks. As far as I can tell, the Fed Gov has been on a steady course for the last century or longer, gobbling up as much power as it can, centralizing command and control, and making local communities as dependent on/vulnerable to the global-control grid as possible. So, I think resilient communities are a brilliant idea, but if they’re ever going to come about it will be through local initiative, not DHS grants.

But what would it take to make our communities more resilient? What are the biggest challenges and most important steps. First, we need to recognize the current state of most communities. They’re broken. We certainly have some model communities scattered throughout the country where neighbors know each other, help each other, and discuss issues in local government (we have these in poor urban barrios and small rural towns) but most of our communities are fractured, dysfunctional sprawling cell blocks where people sit at home watching TV without even knowing their neighbors’ names. I’m as guilty here as anyone; I only know a handful of people in my apartment building, and no one in the building nearby. The biggest cause of our isolation, I think, is time. I work a lot, and when I’m not I like being alone–the overstimulation of urban living can be exhausting. I also have friends spread around the country, and I’m often content to talk to them on the phone rather than go door to door meeting new people. And I don’t want to idealize small town life over the global network/urban living. Anonymity has its benefits, I like using email to stay in touch with distant friends instead of relying on the Post Office or losing touch, and village life where everyone knows your business can be terribly suffocating.

Our goal then, as was discussed in a post by Robert Patterson is rebalancing. Many communities have become too fractured, but we don’t want to roll back the gains we’ve made by expanding our communication network.

I have no doubt that most people would be (will be) much better off if (once) we switch to local food production and energy production. Every roof in every city should be a green roof growing food organically. Every roof should be collecting rainwater to either purify and drink or use as gray water. The government of Detroit has already begun opening up the lawns of abandoned properties for gardening, and there’s no reason that practice couldn’t spread to towns and cities accross the country. After the USSR could no longer provide food aid to Cuba, the government opened up public land for farming and small community gardens began providing a significant portion of the population’s food needs, and generating money for some people.

While part of me is glad to hear the green energy-meme spreading through the public consciousness, I keep hearing these new technologies shackled to antiquated distribution methods. T Boon Pickens and his enormous wind farm will save us. The Three Gorges Dam will produce clean energy for millions of Chinese. People fail to realize that we can be oppressed by centralized green technology as easily as by centralized carbon fuels. I’ll be damned if a giant wind farm coupled to a privately-regulated smart grid (another key component in the surveillance grid) is going to liberate anyone. What we need are localized power sources. Every building or small group of buildings has its own wind, solar, and hydro power sources. Hand cranks–on everything. Stationary-bicycle power generation. Whatever. The army has “tactical biorefineries” that generate electricity from trash and there’s a company making micro-hydro for toilets! There are many many ways to generate power and power generation should always start as close to the point of use as possible. Microgrids can link local power sources.

Finally, it is unreasonable to expect a return to a pure barter economy, but the cashless economy (and no doubt there will be a push for that soon enough) is another key part of the control grid. We need alternate currencies, local currencies to support local economies. Robert Patterson’s solution for the economic depression is a “slow money” movement to keep capital swirling through the community as long as possible. Local, unofficial, unmonitored currencies offer so much potential to get money to the unemployed, keep poor communities functioning, and resist unjust taxes. In a local economy, employers could pay employees with local script, thus avoiding taxation and the inflation/deflation waves of the global economy. Local currency is independence, and the founders of the US knew it. We forget that the Revolutionary War was primarily fought over the right to bear arms, unjust taxation, and the right to use colonial script.

If we are to survive the coming decades of hardship, it is crucial that we rebalance our lives to rely more on the local, but we should not think that thousands of isolated communities will improve anything. Divide and conquer is one of the oldest strategies and we must be careful not to fragment our nation in the process of unifying communities. Also, purely local food and energy reliance may actually make a community more vulnerable to hardship. What we really want is a network, an American archipelago that is still tied to the wider world.

Source Point Manifesto

The source point and the point of use should always be as close together as possible. Imagine a need as a body in space. The smaller the needs, the lower its gravity, the less it affects the other bodies around it. Alternately, resources form concentric circles around needs, and as a need grows it draws from ever larger resource rings.

My yard should have a garden that produces most of the vegetables I eat, but my milk could come from local farms, my grains from state farms, and oranges still grow in Florida. My laptop should have a handcrank that I can use to power it most of the time. If for whatever reason, I need more power, or power for a longer time, then I plug in to my home’s power supply. Solar panels and a small windmill on the roof generate power and batteries in the basement create a reserve. When i plug into the outlet, I begin drawing from the house’s reserve. If the house is using more power than it’s generating it draws on the community’s power sources, then the city’s, county’s, state’s, etc. If I cut my finger I use a bandaid first, or visit my community health clinic if needed, and only go to the hospital is absolutely needed. I could barter my firewood for my neighbor’s honey, uses town script to buy butter down the road, state currency to purchase hemp-biodiesel, and some sort of open-source, Revolution Money Exchange for Internet purchases.

Effective communication is the core strength of the network, of course, and we’ll need open source DIY solutions for this. We must assume that all electronic communication will be monitored, and so we’ll need codes for anything sensitive, human face-to-face-standing-in-a-Faraday cage for anything top secret, and who-cares-go-ahead-and-read-this-mail-we’ve-nothing-to-hide communication for just about everything else. Our goal is to always be forming resistance within the law, opposition operating ahead of the legislature, and as transparent as possible so as to encourage participation. Also, I’m hoping that our tech team can develop an inexpensive version of the military’s new JTRS, the switch to digital TV will open up new opportunities for pirate TV, and ad hoc networks will give us options I have not even begun to imagine.

This future will not be easy to create, but I don’t see any easy option in the future. We are in a transition period, a great cycling of epochs, and like all times of change throughout history (and in the individual life) there will be discomfort and loss. Our challenge, then, is to make sure that the suffering
does not occur in vain, and the tunnel ends in light. I see the walls of the prison planet rising around us and the devils are lighting kindling in the crematoriums. Our future, at best, looks a lot more like Afrigadget than the Jetsons, but I’m OK with that. We’ll build a new world in the dying shell of the old and our autonomous spaces will be tiger traps for the Empire.

God bless the Three Percenters who talk of a New American Revolution and are stockpiling ammo. Some of them are misogynists, homophobes and followers(!) of Ayn Rand, but the good ones ain’t racists and their courage will be vital to our resistence. God bless the bomb chucking Black Block who coalition with the Grannies for Peace to raise ruckus. God bless the eco-designers, and artists like the Future Farmers, and crazy brilliant (illuminated!) hippie entrepreneurs like Justin Boland who write inspirational things like 10 Ways YOU Can Fight Fascism Around the World.

Our only hope for the future is a coalition made up of Black Nationalists, old Southern Johnny Rebs, Sons of Liberty, Vermont farmers, anarcho-anthropologists, community organizers, hacker punks, and angry old Wobblies. Our only hope is to narrow our focus while expanding our networks, batten the hatches, open our hearts, and commit to fighting on our feet rather than living on our knees.

>Globama Declares Support of the World Socialist Eco-Agenda

>EU Referendum today features a great post on how the Obamessiah recently announced his belief in the great “global warming” swindle.

Read both the post and the enclosed links.

Relevance?

Along with the nearly-inestimable economic damage that will result from international governmental action in support of this rubbish, the anti-warming crowds are so rabid in their need for control of human action that they propose to regulate production and emission of carbon — the most abundant element in our solar system.

Given that level of neurotic control fixation amongst the global elites, is there any rational question that Globama’s likely Secretary of State will also do all she can to bring about American adoption of the UN’s agenda against private arms ownership?

There shouldn’t be any question after reading Obama’s response to an arms-control questionnaire submitted during the 2008 Presidential campaign:

ACT: There are several international initiatives under consideration or in place to reduce the threats posed by conventional weapons that take the lives of noncombatants, including a limit or ban on cluster munitions use, a global arms trade treaty to better regulate weapons transfers, and the Ottawa Convention against anti-personnel landmines. What steps, if any, should be taken to limit conventional arms dangers?

Obama: In general, I strongly support international initiatives to limit harm to civilians caused by conventional weapons. In the Senate, I worked with Senator Lugar to pass legislation securing conventional weapons like shoulder-fired anti-aircraft missiles, anti-personnel landmines, and other small arms; co-sponsored legislation introduced by Senators Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Arlen Specter (R-Pa.) prohibiting future procurement of victim-activated landmines; and voted for an amendment offered by Senators Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) and Leahy prohibiting the use or transfer of cluster munitions absent rules of engagement ensuring they would not be employed near concentrations of civilians.

As president, I will help lead the way on these issues. Our military has legitimate concerns on these issues, and I look forward to consulting closely with leadership at the Department of Defense as we shape policies on these key issues. At the same time, I recognize that our forces have been moving away from using cluster munitions and anti-personnel landmines ourselves, and these trends can be accelerated with targeted investments in innovative technologies. We also have a strong national security interest in preventing the illegal trade in small arms, including rocket launchers sought by terrorists and other extremists. I will regain our leadership on these issues by joining our allies in negotiations and honoring U.S. commitments to seek alternatives to landmines, while also ensuring that our service members have the tools that they need to do the dangerous missions that we ask them to perform.

After all, when the globalist minions come to investigate allegations made anonymously by your greenie neighbor that you have exceeded your carbon allowance for the month, they’d prefer not to come down with high-velocity catastrophic hemorrhages as they do their bit for the planet, wouldn’t you say?

As the global socialists meet and scheme, American gun owners are hoping to defend against reimposition of the last AWB by buying hi-cap magazines and scary-looking rifles, never imagining that their recent purchases might simply be declared contraband and subject to uncompensated seizure, once a brief “buyback” period ends.

‘Twas ever thus: most folks prepare for the last war, rather than what is actually coming at them.

Lesson for the decade: hope is neither a strategy nor a tactic.

Alea iacta est.

>Vanderboegh: Praxis – Small Unit Logistics

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Take the time to read Mike’s article on stocking small groups with the essentials.

Thinking though these issues and then taking indicated steps will make the Hard Times more manageable.

Those interested in more detailed consideration of squad-level operations should go here.

Tempus fugit.

>Vanderboegh: Rock ‘Em

> Folks considering what actions to take during the current political interregnum should consider the points raised by Mike in this essay, which was originally posted at David’s place during the illegal alien amnesty fiasco.

Professor Reynolds of Instapundit refers to such activities as “out-of-doors political activity”, noting that expressive behavior targeting property can help to “keep in awe those who are in power.”

The important points are these:

1) Doing the same thing as has been done before will likely produce the same result.

2) The political class has at least a year where they do not have to worry about voter reactions.

3) If you won’t pick up a rock today or tomorrow, you aren’t likely to pick up a rifle or pistol as the skies darken further.

4) Breaking rules gets much easier with practice.

5) Wear gloves.

Invictus.

UPDATED 11/30/08 1355 EST: Mike weighs in with an update:

Folks,

My friend Pete over at Western Rifle Shooters Association has relinked one of my old pieces on Sons of Liberty tactics and their applicability to the period in which we find ourselves. You may find the link and his comments here:

http://westernrifleshooters.blogspot.com/2008/11/vanderboegh-rock-em.html

My thanks to Pete for reminder, and for his on-point discussion. If I may, I’d like to add one thing at this particular moment.

It is important — no, it is VITAL — that we only react to the actual moves of this administration and not jump at phantoms. Rumors and provocations of language or perceived intent should not be met with rocks or bullets. Recall the “No-Fort-Sumters” rule. When we break windows, as with anything else, it must be focused and in direct reaction to a specific outrage.

It is well within possibility that BHO will be playing this with Gramscian gradualism and conventional politics — which means that he will not make a direct grab for power because he fears a conventional 1994 reaction.

If, however, you see an attempt to pack the Senate by bringing in DC and Puerto Rico as states, or to grant amnesty to illegals so that millions of new reliable voters will be available to sustain them at the next election in two years, then we will know that they have decided to seize power, rather than play the conventional political game.

The serious introduction of citizen disarmament legislation (or its defacto imposition by rulemaking or other bureaucratic legerdemain), or packing the Senate, or giving amnesty to illegals are all legitimate tripwires. In the meantime, let us stack up our rocks, do our homework, and await events. Oh, and don’t forget all your other preparations just in case this thing accidentally skips a DEFCON or two overnight because some damn fool gun agency bureaucrat decides to polish his apple by getting a bunch of gang members and saunter down to Sipsey Street to take down a mouthy old dying man just to shut him up.

>Rig for Storm

>
Four must-reads re the ongoing Collapse:

Buckler: The Great Deflation

Weiss: Citigroup Collapses Banking Shutdown Possible

Sinclair: What Must Be Done To Avoid Fiancial Destruction

Sinclair: 30 Reasons for the 2nd Great Depression

Relevance?

1) What do you need to do to maximize your chances, and how much more time do you think you have?

2) How will a central-planning Marxist/socialist government handle what happens when the rest of the world tells the US that they will not buy their Treasury notes, at least at the price and rates offered?

Tempus fugit.

>Words Fail…

>From Bloomberg via Balko:

U.S. Pledges Top $7.7 Trillion to Ease Frozen Credit (Update2)

By Mark Pittman and Bob Ivry

Nov. 24 (Bloomberg) — The U.S. government is prepared to provide more than $7.76 trillion on behalf of American taxpayers after guaranteeing $306 billion of Citigroup Inc. debt yesterday. The pledges, amounting to half the value of everything produced in the nation last year, are intended to rescue the financial system after the credit markets seized up 15 months ago.

The unprecedented pledge of funds includes $3.18 trillion already tapped by financial institutions in the biggest response to an economic emergency since the New Deal of the 1930s, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The commitment dwarfs the plan approved by lawmakers, the Treasury Department’s $700 billion Troubled Asset Relief Program. Federal Reserve lending last week was 1,900 times the weekly average for the three years before the crisis.

When Congress approved the TARP on Oct. 3, Fed Chairman Ben S. Bernanke and Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson acknowledged the need for transparency and oversight. Now, as regulators commit far more money while refusing to disclose loan recipients or reveal the collateral they are taking in return, some Congress members are calling for the Fed to be reined in.

“Whether it’s lending or spending, it’s tax dollars that are going out the window and we end up holding collateral we don’t know anything about,” said Congressman Scott Garrett, a New Jersey Republican who serves on the House Financial Services Committee. “The time has come that we consider what sort of limitations we should be placing on the Fed so that authority returns to elected officials as opposed to appointed ones.”

Too Big to Fail

Bloomberg News tabulated data from the Fed, Treasury and Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. and interviewed regulatory officials, economists and academic researchers to gauge the full extent of the government’s rescue effort.

The bailout includes a Fed program to buy as much as $2.4 trillion in short-term notes, called commercial paper, that companies use to pay bills, begun Oct. 27, and $1.4 trillion from the FDIC to guarantee bank-to-bank loans, started Oct. 14.

William Poole, former president of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, said the two programs are unlikely to lose money. The bigger risk comes from rescuing companies perceived as “too big to fail,” he said.

‘Credit Risk’

The government committed $29 billion to help engineer the takeover in March of Bear Stearns Cos. by New York-based JPMorgan Chase & Co. and $122.8 billion in addition to TARP allocations to bail out New York-based American International Group Inc., once the world’s largest insurer.

Citigroup received $306 billion of government guarantees for troubled mortgages and toxic assets. The Treasury Department also will inject $20 billion into the bank after its stock fell 60 percent last week.

“No question there is some credit risk there,” Poole said.

Congressman Darrell Issa, a California Republican on the Oversight and Government Reform Committee, said risk is lurking in the programs that Poole thinks are safe.

“The thing that people don’t understand is it’s not how likely that the exposure becomes a reality, but what if it does?” Issa said. “There’s no transparency to it so who’s to say they’re right?”

The worst financial crisis in two generations has erased $23 trillion, or 38 percent, of the value of the world’s companies and brought down three of the biggest Wall Street firms.

Markets Down

The Dow Jones Industrial Average through Friday is down 38 percent since the beginning of the year and 43 percent from its peak on Oct. 9, 2007. The S&P 500 fell 45 percent from the beginning of the year through Friday and 49 percent from its peak on Oct. 9, 2007. The Nikkei 225 Index has fallen 46 percent from the beginning of the year through Friday and 57 percent from its most recent peak of 18,261.98 on July 9, 2007. Goldman Sachs Group Inc. is down 78 percent, to $53.31, on Friday from its peak of $247.92 on Oct. 31, 2007, and 75 percent this year.

Regulators hope the rescue will contain the damage and keep banks providing the credit that is the lifeblood of the U.S. economy.

Most of the spending programs are run out of the New York Fed, whose president, Timothy Geithner, is said to be President- elect Barack Obama’s choice to be Treasury Secretary.

‘They Got Snookered’

The money that’s been pledged is equivalent to $24,000 for every man, woman and child in the country. It’s nine times what the U.S. has spent so far on wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, according to Congressional Budget Office figures. It could pay off more than half the country’s mortgages.

“It’s unprecedented,” said Bob Eisenbeis, chief monetary economist at Vineland, New Jersey-based Cumberland Advisors Inc. and an economist for the Atlanta Fed for 10 years until January. “The backlash has begun already. Congress is taking a lot of hits from their constituents because they got snookered on the TARP big time. There’s a lot of supposedly smart people who look to be totally incompetent and it’s all going to fall on the taxpayer.”

President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal of the 1930s, when almost 10,000 banks failed and there was no mechanism to bolster them with cash, is the only rival to the government’s current response. The savings and loan bailout of the 1990s cost $209.5 billion in inflation-adjusted numbers, of which $173 billion came from taxpayers, according to a July 1996 report by the U.S. General Accounting Office, now called the Government Accountability Office.

‘Worst Crisis’

The 1979 U.S. government bailout of Chrysler consisted of bond guarantees, adjusted for inflation, of $4.2 billion, according to a Heritage Foundation report.

The commitment of public money is appropriate to the peril, said Ethan Harris, co-head of U.S. economic research at Barclays Capital Inc. and a former economist at the New York Fed. U.S. financial firms have taken writedowns and losses of $666.1 billion since the beginning of 2007, according to Bloomberg data.

“This is the worst capital markets crisis in modern history,” Harris said. “So you have the biggest intervention in modern history.”

Bloomberg has requested details of Fed lending under the U.S. Freedom of Information Act and filed a federal lawsuit against the central bank Nov. 7 seeking to force disclosure of borrower banks and their collateral.

Collateral is an asset pledged to a lender in the event a loan payment isn’t made.

‘That’s Counterproductive’

“Some have asked us to reveal the names of the banks that are borrowing, how much they are borrowing, what collateral they are posting,” Bernanke said Nov. 18 to the House Financial Services Committee. “We think that’s counterproductive.”

The Fed should account for the collateral it takes in exchange for loans to banks, said Paul Kasriel, chief economist at Chicago-based Northern Trust Corp. and a former research economist at the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.

“There is a lack of transparency here and, given that the Fed is taking on a huge amount of credit risk now, it would seem to me as a taxpayer there should be more transparency,” Kasriel said.

Bernanke’s Fed is responsible for $4.74 trillion of pledges, or 61 percent of the total commitment of $7.76 trillion, based on data compiled by Bloomberg concerning U.S. bailout steps started a year ago.

“Too often the public is focused on the wrong piece of that number, the $700 billion that Congress approved,” said J.D. Foster, a former staff member of the Council of Economic Advisers who is now a senior fellow at the Heritage Foundation in Washington. “The other areas are quite a bit larger.”

Fed Rescue Efforts

The Fed’s rescue attempts began last December with the creation of the Term Auction Facility to allow lending to dealers for collateral. After Bear Stearns’s collapse in March, the central bank started making direct loans to securities firms at the same discount rate it charges commercial banks, which take customer deposits.

In the three years before the crisis, such average weekly borrowing by banks was $48 million, according to the central bank. Last week it was $91.5 billion.

The failure of a second securities firm, Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc., in September, led to the creation of the Commercial Paper Funding Facility and the Money Market Investor Funding Facility, or MMIFF. The two programs, which have pledged $2.3 trillion, are designed to restore calm in the money markets, which deal in certificates of deposit, commercial paper and Treasury bills.

Lehman Failure

“Money markets seized up after Lehman failed,” said Neal Soss, chief economist at Credit Suisse Group in New York and a former aide to Fed chief Paul Volcker. “Lehman failing made a lot of subsequent actions necessary.”

The FDIC, chaired by Sheila Bair, is contributing 20 percent of total rescue commitments. The FDIC’s $1.4 trillion in guarantees will amount to a bank subsidy of as much as $54 billion over three years, or $18 billion a year, because borrowers will pay a lower interest rate than they would on the open market, according to Raghu Sundurum and Viral Acharya of New York University and the London Business School.

Congress and the Treasury have ponied up $892 billion in TARP and other funding, or 11.5 percent.

The Federal Housing Administration, overseen by Department of Housing and Urban Development Secretary Steven Preston, was given the authority to guarantee $300 billion of mortgages, or about 4 percent of the total commitment, with its Hope for Homeowners program, designed to keep distressed borrowers from foreclosure.

Federal Guarantees

Most of the federal guarantees reduce interest rates on loans to banks and securities firms, which would create a subsidy of at least $6.6 billion annually for the financial industry, according to data compiled by Bloomberg comparing rates charged by the Fed against market interest currently paid by banks.

Not included in the calculation of pledged funds is an FDIC proposal to prevent foreclosures by guaranteeing modifications on $444 billion in mortgages at an expected cost of $24.4 billion to be paid from the TARP, according to FDIC spokesman David Barr. The Treasury Department hasn’t approved the program.

Bernanke and Paulson, former chief executive officer of Goldman Sachs, have also promised as much as $200 billion to shore up nationalized mortgage finance companies Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, a pledge that hasn’t been allocated to any agency. The FDIC arranged for $139 billion in loan guarantees for General Electric Co.’s finance unit.

Automakers Struggle

The tally doesn’t include money to General Motors Corp., Ford Motor Co. and Chrysler LLC. Obama has said he favors financial assistance to keep them from collapse.

Paulson told the House Financial Services Committee Nov. 18 that the $250 billion already allocated to banks through the TARP is an investment, not an expenditure.

“I think it would be extraordinarily unusual if the government did not get that money back and more,” Paulson said.

In his Nov. 18 testimony, Bernanke told the House Financial Services Committee that the central bank wouldn’t lose money.

“We take collateral, we haircut it, it is a short-term loan, it is very safe, we have never lost a penny in these various lending programs,” he said.

A haircut refers to the practice of lending less money than the collateral’s current market value.

Requiring the Fed to disclose loan recipients might set off panic, said David Tobin, principal of New York-based loan-sale consultants and investment bank Mission Capital Advisors LLC.

‘Mark to Market’

“If you mark to market today, the banking system is bankrupt,” Tobin said. “So what do you do? You try to keep it going as best you can.”

“Mark to market” means adjusting the value of an asset, such as a mortgage-backed security, to reflect current prices.

Some of the bailout assistance could come from tax breaks in the future. The Treasury Department changed the tax code on Sept. 30 to allow banks to expand the deductions on the losses banks they were buying, according to Robert Willens, a former Lehman Brothers tax and accounting analyst who teaches at Columbia University Business School in New York.

Wells Fargo & Co., which is buying Charlotte, North Carolina-based Wachovia Corp., will be able to deduct $22 billion, Willens said. Adding in other banks, the code change will cost $29 billion, he said.

“The rule is now popularly known among tax lawyers as the ‘Wells Fargo Notice,’” Willens said.

The regulation was changed to make it easier for healthy banks to buy troubled ones, said Treasury Department spokesman Andrew DeSouza.

House Financial Services Committee Chairman Barney Frank said he was angry that banks used the money for acquisitions.

“The only purpose for this money is to lend,” said Frank, a Massachusetts Democrat. “It’s not for dividends, it’s not for purchases of new banks, it’s not for bonuses. There better be a showing of increased lending roughly in the amount of the capital infusions” or Congress may not approve the second half of the TARP money.

To contact the reporters on this story:

Mark Pittman in New York at mpittman@bloomberg.net; Bob Ivry in New York at bivry@bloomberg.net.

Last Updated: November 24, 2008 13:26 EST

>Quote of the Month

>
In comments to this post at Vin Suprynowicz’s place:

Whether people want to admit it or not, we are currently engaged in a civil war in America waged between those of us who recognize that freedom defines the difference between living and merely existing, and those who proclaim that freedom is too dirty, too expensive, too selfish, too unfair and simply too dangerous to be enjoyed by this and future generations. When I observe potential tyrants whisper “danger,” and watch far too many of my fellow Americans nearly trample one another in their haste to surrender yet more freedom in exchange for more false promises of security, I greatly fear for the future of our Republic.

If America falls, she will fall from within. Perhaps a fitting epitaph for a Nation that achieved her greatness not from a mindset of “safety first,” but rather “live free or die,” but whose citizenry ultimately lost their backbone along the way will be simply this:

“Too ignorant, too lazy, and too craven to remain free.”

>Suarez: Ambidextrous Gunfighting

>A superb article from Gabe:

AMBIDEXTROUS GUNFIGHTING

Go to any Force on Force class and watch the students. Invariably, you’ll find the majority of them get shot in the hands. This is due to several factors. Primarily, the shooter is placing the gun midway between him and the adversary, thus any incoming rounds will likely impact the gun and hands. Secondly, the adversary may visually focus on the gun thus orienting his physical index toward the gun as he fires. And finally, it could just be pure chance. Nevertheless, if anything is going to be hit, its very likely to be the hands.

This brings up some interesting needs in training. The majority of shooters spend time training material they already know. Its an ego thing. The majority of shooters are also highly deficient in one handed shooting skills, or in shooting with their less dexterous hand. Let’s remember that although firing a pistol with two hands generally yields better result, the weapon was intended to be a one-handed weapon. This leads us to an analysis of Ambidextrous Shooting (some call it Bi-Lateral Shooting). Specifically we need to address why its needed, when it may employed, and how to train the skill.

Other than the wounded shooter factor, are there any other situations where on-handed shooting would be required?

1). Movement Off Line Sometimes requires Firing On-Handed.

In our Close Range Gunfighting Series and its close cousin, the Interactive Gunfighting/Force on Force Classes, we establish early on that you must move off the line of attack. In fact, if you do not move, regardless of how fast your combat master draw is, you will get shot or stabbed by the other man. Remember that gunfights do not happen at ten yards, but rather ten feet and closer, thus the difference between a 1.0 second draw and a 1.5 second draw are not very great. As Lynn Thompson of Cold Steel pointed out a few years ago, “proximity negates skill”. At ten feet even a neophyte with a rusty Raven .25 Auto can get lucky, and ten feet is a long distance in true gunfighting. Movement off line is key and mandatory to avoid being shot.

When we move off line, we prefer to move laterally (3:00 or 9:00) , or at angles such as the 5:00, 7:00, or 2:00 and 10:00. We prefer to walk as God designed us to walk, forward. The popular sideways “crab walk” will not move you off the line fast enough. Similarly, almost never do we want to move backwards. Again, this is shown in force on force drills when every backpedaler gets literally run over by his adversary.

When moving at these angles its sometimes impossible to maintain a traditional two-handed grip on the pistol. Your goal is always to keep the muzzle pointed at the adversary. You maintain that objective and move your body around that orientation. Sometimes keeping a two-handed grip will be easy, at other times it will not. Rather than give up the objective of keeping muzzle on contact, you may need to go one-handed.

As an example take a right handed shooter moving to his left. At some point, he will be unable to maintain both hands on the gun, and the gun oriented on the threat as he moves. As the angle between him and his adversary grows, so will the tension in the torso, requiring he let go with the support hand to keep the muzzle on target. One handed shooting.

2). The Use Of Back-up Guns As An Immediate Action Response

Many students are carrying secondary weapons as a true non-diagnostic immediate action response for a malfunctioning gun. You can certainly discard the malfunctioned gun and shoot the BUG (back up gun) two-handed, but perhaps in a dynamic environment it may be a better choice to transition the “jammed up” gun to one hand, and draw the BUG one handed.

3). Tactical Necessity in Moving/Clearing Operations

While not everyone will need to “clear” a house, the possibility of having to move tactically through a hostile environment may easily occur. Moving (or its tactical relative, “clearing”) are all based on the study of cornering. There are right side corners and left side corners. It may be a wise option in many cases to transition the pistol to the opposite hand to carefully move through an uncomfortable corner such as a right handed shooter clearing a left handed corner.

4). Gunfights Are Close –

This may require firing from a weapon retention position, or in some cases, shooting at the close range envelop when the other hand is occupied in striking/deflecting a blow, responding from seated positions as in a vehicle, and of course, in the event you are injured.

5). Injured Shooter

Finally, as we mentioned earlier, there are situations when you may be injured and unable to maintain a two-handed hold due to injury. The idea that you “will be shot in any gunfight” is silly. However, there is always a possibility that you may be shot. But understand that nearly 80% of those shot with handguns survive, so even if you’ve been hit, keep fighting. Cultivate a spirit of never giving in. While you still have blood in your veins and breath in your lungs, keep fighting.

Ambidextrous shooting skill is one of those things we were led to believe was impossible or untrainable. Not true my friends. It not only possible, but as we discussed, necessary for a complete education of the gunfighter. Like any other martial skill, all it takes is judicious practice. Practice not only shooting one-handed, but also with the support (weak) hand, and with the support side two-handed grip. And get good at transferring the gun from one hand to the next as needed. Thus you can shoot right one-handed or left one-handed, and right two-handed or left two-handed. There is some skill transfer to the other side, but go slow at first until the other side catches up. Pay particular attention to trigger finger placement (on trigger or on index point). The strong side is generally well-trained in terms of trigger finger placement. Not so with the left so be careful.

One Handed Drawing

Drawing one handed, strong side is no big deal, but it makes for a slightly different draw stroke. Train it, because at bad breath range, you may need it. If you are wounded, you might experience dropping the weapon as you draw, so practice picking it up and fighting.

Also, remember the dynamics of the gunfighting (for some of you look at Force On Force). Will you have the time, or the ability to stand still and reach around the back for the gun as Mongo is closing in with his Bowie knife? I’m not saying yes or no, but rather simply offering it up for discussion.

Support side drawing with an open ended time frame while stationary on the range is one thing. Support side draw from under real concealment, on the move, under fire? Different thing altogether.

One Handed Gun Manipulations

Other things to study are keeping the gun loaded and fixing any malfunctions that come up. The only time you would ever need to do this is if you are wounded. All situations where the gun fails to fire (for any reason) are initially responded to with a “Knee/Rack/Point”, reminiscent of the tap/rack. That is you knee the magazine bottom, hook the rear sight on your belt (or holster, or cover, or…) rack the slide, and point in. As you are conducting this maneuver and moving, you are analyzing the gun. (Did the clearance fix it? Is it still out of battery? Can I see brass?). If the Knee/Rack/Point didn’t fix it, you have either a Feedway Stoppage (Fail To Extract), or an Empty Gun.

To keep the gun loaded you will do the reactive (empty gun) reload and the proactive (tactical) reload the same way. Keep it simple grasshopper. You are already wounded so why complicate matters. Secure the pistol in holster, waistband or under the arm – remove empty (or partially empty) magazine – replace with full magazine – rack the slide if needed by using the rear sight to hook onto your belt, holster or other item – keep fighting.

Notice I didn’t say to secure the pistol between the knees. I know all about cover, but its rarely available in a reactive gunfight. Even if it was, you will still need to get to it. Don’t do anything that would compromise your mobility. Got a holster on? Stick the gun in the holster right way or reversed. No holster? Stick the gun in the waistband. Can’t do that? Then put the gun in your armpit, muzzle rear. Adapt and overcome!

To clear the Feedway Stoppage/Failure To Extract, you will use the same procedure, but add a series of “Racks”, before reloading to clear out the chamber.

Developing ambidextrous (or Bilateral) skill with your weapons is not an easy thing, but it is important. Historically, the best warriors were the ones who could fight with either side as the situation demanded. David’s Mighty Men, for example, could “shoot arrows and sling stones with either the right or the left hand” (1Ch 12:2). The day of being lop-sided gunmen is past.

Get good with both hands, and you will have doubled your combat survivability.

Gabe Suarez

One Source Tactical
Suarez International USA
Christian Warrior Ministries

Matthew 10:34:

Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword.

>Bradys On The Move

>
From Arms and the Law comes this Brady-born rationale/explanation piece supporting a new AWB.

I wonder how those who encourage “being polite” to Marxist and statist totalitarians expect to win against the better-organized, better-funded, far more powerful prohibition/confiscation crowd?

Especially once the new Administration welcomes millions of “undocumented immigrants” onto the Democratic voting rolls….

Tempus fugit.

>Vanderboegh: A Common Language of Resistance

>From Mike’s blog at Sipsey Street Irregulars:

“A common language of resistance . . .”

Beyond the Internet and Talk Radio: A Call for Creating New Committees of Correspondence

“A common language of resistance . . .”

Colonial rebellions throughout the modern world have been acts of shared political imagination. Unless unhappy people develop the capacity to trust other unhappy people, protest remains a local affair easily silenced by traditional authority. Usually, however, a moment arrives when large numbers of men and women realize for the first time that they enjoy the support of strangers, ordinary people much like themselves who happen to live in distant places and whom under normal circumstances they would never meet. It is an intoxicating discovery. A common language of resistance suddenly opens to those who are most vulnerable to painful retribution the possibility of creating a new community. As the conviction of solidarity grows, parochial issues and aspirations merge imperceptibly with a compelling national agenda which only a short time before may have been the dream of only a few. For many Americans colonists this moment occurred late in the spring of 1774. — T.H. Breen, The Marketplace of Revolution: How Consumer Politics Shaped American Independence, Oxford University Press, 2004, p.1.

Folks,

I ran across this as part of my reading in the economic basis of the Revolution, searching as always for clues to our own Restoration of that Revolution. (Another book that a cursory examination promises much from is Smugglers and Patriots: Boston Merchants and the Advent of the American Revolution by John W. Tyler. Thank the Lord for the Birmingham Public Library.)

The Breen observation enunciates a fundamental truth about movements such as ours. Before we can be successful, we must overcome the isolation we all initially feel. I have personally experienced how the Internet has broken through that isolation for many people. But the fact of the matter is that we must develop ways of continuing to communicate if the new regime denies us talk radio and the Internet.

We need new Committees of Correspondence in every town, county and city. We must develop NOW alternate communication paths so that the regime cannot win simply by pulling this plug, or flipping that switch. The first thing that occurs to me is ham radio networks. The second thing that occurs to me is how little I really know about radio communications in its entirety.

And we mustn’t restrict ourselves to simply radio. We need a lot of “out-of-the-box” thinking here.

The Soviet Union was laid low by “samizdat” – leaflets that attacked the lies of the regime and which were produced by individuals in one town and laboriously distributed by hand to another. The Soviets had been safe when they controlled all the printing presses. However, when they needed to modernize their offices along Western lines, they began using Xerox machines. Machines that stood unguarded in offices overnight. A good argument can be made that it was the Xerox machine that destroyed the old Soviet order.

We must find the modern day equivalent of the Xerox machine/samizdat networks. And we must recreate the modern equivalent of the Committee of Correspondence – only it must be a system that will able to get and receive the word on multiple bandwidths by multiple means.

So let this be a call to all of those out there who have been doing a lot more thinking along these lines than I have.

What shall we do when AM radio and the Internet are denied us by an increasingly tyrannical regime?

What is to be done?

Whatever solution we craft, it must be one that allows us to speak “a common language of resistance.” It must be a system that enables us to organize, to fight for, and to win the restoration of the Founders’ republic.

Tempus fugit.

>Vanderboegh: Losing the World War for Liberty, or "Will Book Tour for Food"

>
From Mike Vanderboegh at Sipsey Street Irregulars:

Losing the World War on Liberty, or,

“Will book tour for food.”

A buddy of mine called me the day after the election and said, “Mike, we gotta get the band back together.” He was referring, of course, to the constitutional militia movement of the Nineties. Well, he was right, but wrong too. We need to prepare, we need small units of the armed citizenry to be training all over the country. We need to be preparing for the day when our fight moves beyond the political theatre. What we don’t need is to repeat the mistakes of the 90s — the fumbling, the failed attempts at regional and national organizations, the toleration of fools, “militia generals,” conspiracy theorists and the Turner Diaries crowd who showed up claiming to be our allies. We have no time for those same mistakes. We didn’t know it at the time, but the Clintonistas were punks compared to this crowd. Bill was just in it for the babes. Barry’s in it for the raw power.

So the stakes are higher now, and the potential for catastrophe is higher as well. Let me emphasize one thing: we won’t get a second chance at this. If we lose individual liberty here, now, in this country to our would-be socialist overlords, we won’t get it back in the next hundred years, if then. This is a World War on liberty, people, and right now we’re losing it, and losing it badly. We have all of the dangers of 1940 without any of the future promise of success. America does not sit in the distance waiting to come to the rescue of Europe. Name one government ANYWHERE which is committed to free markets and individual liberty. Name one. Unlike 1940, the United States has BECOME Europe. The night beckons.

So what do we do? The short answer is we do what we can. I am close to being finished with Absolved, a book that is at once a novel and a combined field and technical manual for the armed citizenry and might be useful in rolling back that beckoning tyrannical night. It happens that my work is getting great response from those who have read chapters on the Net. For this I am grateful. But we must get this information in the hands of the million or so Three Percenters who are with us but don’t know how to proceed.

Absolved, when printed, will be done by an on-line, on-demand publisher. Lacking established writer’s credentials to attract a regular publisher, the resources to produce it myself, and most especially lacking the time to get it out before the sea change following Barry the Lightworker’s inauguration, this is the only way to distribute it.

A volunteer editor is working on chapters now, getting them set in pdf format so we can send them on to the publisher when completed. I am struggling to turn out the last chapters with a Lexington & Concord finish as fast as possible. But what happens after the book is available for sale? The Internet, powerful tool that it is, is still limited in its reach. The fact of the matter is that most Three Percenters don’t even know that they are Three Percenters. I’m talking about the working fellers, the redneck NASCAR boys, the modern Deacons struggling to protect their inner city neighborhoods from the gangstas and the drug epidemic. The people who know vaguely that somewhere there is an Internet, but have neither the time nor the resources to figure out how to use it.

Yet it is precisely these people we must reach. Events, as they always have been, are our greatest recruiter. But how shall we help folks who are self-mobilized but unsure how to proceed? We cannot expect them to come to us. We must go to them. How?

For one thing, use the tried-and-true methods of communication while we can. Chief among these is talk radio. Once the book is out, mouth-to-mouth-to-radio tower is the best advertisement of all. Second, we must go where our fellow gunnies go: the private and public ranges, the gun shows, the marksmanship events and sometimes right into their homes, if they’ll have us.

And while we’re talking up the book, we can make other points of principle and praxis. We can also link up like minded people in a given area. So how do we do this on our own limited means.

Have laptop and sleeping bag, will travel.

One of the ideas that has been suggested to me is a low-budget book and speaking tour, where I could go on the road, ALICE pack, laptop and sleeping bag in hand, and travel from prearranged palce to prearranged place. It would go like this: I would arrive at a place where some Three Percenter would put me up for the night or weekend, I would do the gun show or speaking engagement, whatever, and the host would commit to see that I got to the next place, where I could do it all over again.

Among other things, this would take a considerable amount of pre-planning. I would committ to do it for say a month or six-weeks. The Three Percenters who wished me to visit their area would have to contact me well before the tour with their suggestions, and I would have to knit together an itinerary consistent with geography and schedule desires. The tentative period would be from 1 February to 31 March.

I’m open to suggestions, folks. Whaddaya think?

Mike
III

Drop a line directly to Mike at georgemason1776@aol.com.

Tempus fugit.

>Your New Attorney General

>
In 58 days, that is…

David Kopel writes the following at the lawblog Volokh Conspiracy:

Eric Holder on firearms policy: Earlier this year, Eric Holder–along with Janet Reno and several other former officials from the Clinton Department of Justice–co-signed an amicus brief in District of Columbia v. Heller. The brief was filed in support of DC’s ban on all handguns, and ban on the use of any firearm for self-defense in the home. The brief argued that the Second Amendment is a “collective” right, not an individual one, and asserted that belief in the collective right had been the consistent policy of the U.S. Department of Justice since the FDR administration. A brief filed by some other former DOJ officials (including several Attorneys General, and Stuart Gerson, who was Acting Attorney General until Janet Reno was confirmed)took issue with the Reno-Holder brief’s characterization of DOJ’s viewpoint.

But at the least, the Reno-Holder brief accurately expressed the position of the Department of Justice when Janet Reno was Attorney General and Eric Holder was Deputy Attorney General. At the oral argument before the Fifth Circuit in United States v. Emerson, the Assistant U.S. Attorney told the panel that the Second Amendment was no barrier to gun confiscation, not even of the confiscation of guns from on-duty National Guardsmen.

As Deputy Attorney General, Holder was a strong supporter of restrictive gun control. He advocated federal licensing of handgun owners, a three day waiting period on handgun sales, rationing handgun sales to no more than one per month, banning possession of handguns and so-called “assault weapons” (cosmetically incorrect guns) by anyone under age of 21, a gun show restriction bill that would have given the federal government the power to shut down all gun shows, national gun registration, and mandatory prison sentences for trivial offenses (e.g., giving your son an heirloom handgun for Christmas, if he were two weeks shy of his 21st birthday). He also promoted the factoid that “Every day that goes by, about 12, 13 more children in this country die from gun violence”–a statistic is true only if one counts 18-year-old gangsters who shoot each other as “children.”(Sources: Holder testimony before House Judiciary Committee, Subcommitee on Crime, May 27,1999; Holder Weekly Briefing, May 20, 2000. One of the bills that Holder endorsed is detailed in my 1999 Issue Paper “Unfair and Unconstitutional”.)

After 9/11, he penned a Washington Post op-ed, “Keeping Guns Away From Terrorists” arguing that a new law should give “the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms a record of every firearm sale.” He also stated that prospective gun buyers should be checked against the secret “watch lists” compiled by various government entities. (In an Issue Paper on the watch list proposal, I quote a FBI spokesman stating that there is no cause to deny gun ownership to someone simply because she is on the FBI list.)

After the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the D.C. handgun ban and self-defense ban were unconstitutional in 2007, Holder complained that the decision “opens the door to more people having more access to guns and putting guns on the streets.”

Holder [also] played a key role in the gunpoint, night-time kidnapping of Elian Gonzalez. The pretext for the paramilitary invasion of the six-year-old’s home was that someone in his family might have been licensed to carry a handgun under Florida law. Although a Pulitzer Prize-winning photo showed a federal agent dressed like a soldier and pointing a machine gun at the man who was holding the terrified child, Holder claimed that Gonzalez “was not taken at the point of a gun” and that the federal agents whom Holder had sent to capture Gonzalez had acted “very sensitively.” If Mr. Holder believes that breaking down a door with a battering ram, pointing guns at children (not just Elian), and yelling “Get down, get down, we’ll shoot” is example of acting “very sensitively,” his judgment about the responsible use of firearms is not as acute as would be desirable for a cabinet officer who would be in charge of thousands and thousands of armed federal agents, many of them paramilitary agents with machine guns.

Now, just so you have just a little more insight on how things will be going during the Obama/Holder regime, take the time to scroll down and read all of the comments to Kopel’s piece.

Alea iacta est.

>Vanderboegh: Helmke, "Answer the Fookin’ Question"

>Go check out Mike’s latest at the new Sipsey Street Irregulars blog.

Any bets on whether the Bradys will reply?

>Vanderboegh: Brady Bunch’s Paul Helmke Unclutters the Battlefield

>
Brady Bunch’s Paul Helmke Unclutters the Battlefield,

- or -

Through the Looking Glass of the Gun Grabbers’ Liberal Language to the Bloody Red Queen on the Other Side

It has always astounded me that collectivists of all stripes (communists, Nazis, socialists, liberals, progressives and present day gun prohibitionists) have had such success in winning arguments by redefining the terms before they begin. Take the latest crowing by Paul Helmke of the Brady Campaign (formerly too-truthfully named Handgun Control) over the results of the 2008 election, “We Win, They Lose, Now Let’s Get to Work”.

“The elections two weeks ago reflected significant advances for the cause of gun violence prevention.”

Hmmm.

“Gun violence prevention.”

The problem is not criminals who are using guns to facilitate their crimes, but those pesky violent guns themselves. It is not the context in which the tool is used, but the tool itself. However, if you read the details of what Helmke and his ilk have proposed over the years, “gun violence prevention” is in fact citizen disarmament.

I would like to take Helmke’s second sentence and deconstruct it as we go:

“Meanwhile, with stories of fear-driven gun sales. . .” (Read: law-abiding people voting with their wallets. . .)

“Emerging since the election, the shallowness. . .” (Read: Only we understand the received “truth.”)

“Of the gun lobby’s. . .” (Read: These law-abiding people are not human but an inanimate object.)

“Divisive . . .”
(Read: Because they don’t agree with their own disarmament.)

“Approach to America’s problems. . .”
(Read: If they would only consent to disarmament, ALL our nation’s problems would be solved.)

“Has never been more apparent.”

Now, put it all together.

“The elections two weeks ago reflected significant advances for the cause of gun violence prevention. Meanwhile, with stories of fear-driven gun sales emerging since the election, the shallowness of the gun lobby’s approach to America’s problems has never been more apparent.”

Well, if you haven’t been studying the gun control advocates’ true position on this issue and lack, as do almost all the products of public education in this country, a firm grounding in the Founder’s intent of the Second Amendment, this sounds perfectly reasonable. Heck, if I didn’t understand the lie over which this veneer of redefined terms was glued, I might call Helmke’s “reasonable regulations,” well, reasonable.

Note that here again it is the language they couch their position in that serves them so well:

“Reasonable regulations.”

It is as if anyone who disagrees with them, who refuses to compromise with them, is, by definition, “unreasonable.” The funny thing is, they haven’t seen “unreasonable” yet. But more of that in a minute.

Another way they state “reasonable regulations” is “common sense gun laws.” Again, anyone who disagrees with Helmke and his minions is, by definition, lacking in “common sense.”

The term with which the nimble liars of the citizen disarmament crowd have achieved their greatest success, however, is “assault weapon.” Originally, an “assault rifle” was a fully-automatic military rifle of intermediate caliber, between that of a pistol and a battle rifle, such as the Sturmgehwer 1944 or the Kalashnikov AK-47. Automatic weapons of course have been tightly regulated since the National Firearms Act of 1934.

They could not accurately describe the types of weapons they wished to ban as “semi-automatic rifles of military appearance” so they came up with “assault rifles,” and later “assault weapons,” to further enlarge the class of firearms they wished to ban. Today, they even refer to “assault pistols” and “assault shotguns.” Note that by the very term, they preclude the concept of these firearms being put to defensive use by law-abiding citizens against a violent criminal or a predatory government. In their Alice in Wonderland universe, the term becomes the reality. And the weak-minded fools who pass for American citizens these days, sagely nod their heads in sheep-like trance.

The worst of Helmke’s Through the Looking Glass concepts, however, is “closing the gunshow loophole.” Now, a cursory glance at this “reasonable regulation” by someone whose understanding of language has not yet been corrupted by Orwellian doublespeak shows that this, of all Helmke and Co.’s demands, is the most tyrannical, the most breathtaking.

Recall that all of their previous attempts at restricting our firearms freedoms have been based on the wobbly pivot point of the “interstate commerce” clause. That is, that the sale of firearms by dealers affects interstate commerce. The Founders would have found this outrageous. But with this latest proposal, the gun grabbers seek to control the sales of ALL private individuals, including those who sell even one gun within his own state of residence, even, in some writings of this “common sense proposal,” the transference of your granddaddy’s shotgun to your son.

NOT EVEN KING GEORGE THE THIRD WAS SO GRASPING.

And the Founders shot at his troops for much less than this.

“They’ve got us surrounded . . . the poor bastards.”

Which brings me to my final point.

The remainder of Helmke’s article is a recitation of the political successes of the gun grabbers in the past election and especially of the ineffectiveness of the National Rifle Association and the “Grand Old Party” in the political arena. (I refuse to call them “Republicans,” which is a profanation of the term.) It is also a call to arms to his collectivist buddies to finish the gun control agenda. In this Helmke is right, he and his kind have us politically surrounded. But we are not mesmerized by the illusionist language of professional liars. We know that on the other side of Helmke’s “Alice in Wonderland” looking glass awaits the bloody Red Queen.

To quote the anonymous paratrooper of the 101st Airborne Division at Bastogne in 1944, “They’ve got us surrounded . . . the poor bastards.”

For when democracy becomes tyranny, those of us with rifles still get to vote.

By Helmke’s definition, I am one of the “unreasonable” ones, lacking in “common sense.” There are many, many more like me. We call ourselves, proudly, the Three Percent, after the fraction of the population of the American colonies who took up arms against the British.

I have news for Helmke and his ilk. Celebrate, if you wish, the sweeping away of what you think is our “political protection.” Go ahead and crow at having isolated us beyond any power to construct a political defense to your designs on our property and liberty.

You think the GOP protected US?

My poor, deluded gun grabbers — they protected you FROM us.

Fools like Helmke think that if they pass a law we will have to obey it, no matter that it strikes at our God-given inalienable rights, which are not protected by the Constitution, but merely delineated therein. The Helmkes of the country believe that winning an election, merely outnumbering us, can change our minds, can intimidate us, can force us to submit.

Helmke, you stupid schmuck, we will not submit.

We will NEVER submit.

We, the Three Percent, will not back up any more, no matter how many “laws” you contrive to pass. By defeating the GOP utterly, by demonstrating once and for all what political eunuchs the NRA actually are (something of which we already had no doubt), by uncluttering the political battlefield, indeed, by removing politics as a consideration whatsoever and making the question simply one of force not law, you have simplified our problem.

When the tyrant’s servants come to our door at your behest, we will now know not only just when, but who, to shoot in self defense.

Thank you in advance, Mr. Helmke, for doing us this service.

Mike Vanderboegh
PO Box 926
Pinson, AL 35126
GeorgeMason1776@aol.com

III

PS: If you agree with this, pass it on far and wide.

>Daily David

>David Codrea has more on gun buybacks in today’s column.

Enjoy.

>Suarez: How Long Do We Have?

>
From Gabe Suarez:

I was in this biz back when Americans turned stupid once before (1992). Remember those days? Ross Perot – the little handgrenade with a bad haircut gave us Bill Clinton by default when Bush I did in fact give us “new taxes” in spite of us trying to read his lips.

The backstory during Clinton’s first half-term was that the Stockton school shooting and a few other similar events gave California (always a haven for left wing ideology and extremism) a perceived reason to pass their anti-freedom anti-gun law a few years earlier (1989?). Then in 1991 we had the infamous Rodney King deal and the subsequent Race Riots in Los Angeles.

All the usual suspects got involved (Shumer, Kennedy, Boxer, Fiendstein, and all the other let wing socialists in power) and set up the now expired AWB which was finally signed in 1994.

But initially Clinton had plenty of other issues to deal with before getting to that one. He did get to it – eventually – and before the 1994 mid term elections. But if you recall the fall out from that decission caused them to lose the majority in congress.

Do we have a similar set of events today?
How will this affect us?
And how long do we have?

Some points of consideration –

1). The 1990s saw an incredible amount of growth in private sector training and gun businesses, while we saw a shift to the left in politics. These companies were around before, but the prevalence of the Clintons made them grow to an incredible level. It was during this time that Gunsite flourished, and that both Thunder Ranch and Front Sight were created – as well, I think – Blackwater and other training companies. We also saw a distinct shift from sports guns to fighting guns. Winchester model 70s languished in stores while AR-15s flew off the racks.

I think we will see the same things now. Obama (excuse me while I spit) has single handedly armed more people in the past week than any other president in history. These people have bought fighting weapons and the ammo that goes with them. Later they will want to learn how to use them.

So “Thanks, Barack!”

2). Ammo will go up. That is inevitable. It always has. But just like gasoline…it will only sustain at that level while people are fearful and scarcity-driven enough to pay those prices. As everyone’s armory gets filled, the purchases will drop off and sellers will be forced to lower prices to get new sales. How far they lower those prices remains to be seen. A look at gasoline will show a similar trend.

The fear that Obama (excuse me while I spit) will ban ammo is ridiculous and will not happen. Think of the myriad of American companies that will be out of business. People like Winchester, Remington, etc. have political pull, and will keep their doors open. And still….when has ammo ever been banned in the USA. If they can’t keep drugs or machineguns out of the hands of illegal alien gangs, how do you think they will eliminate ammo? We need to move on. What may happen is a curtailing of importation of ammo. American ammo makers will need to produce more “training level” ammo to fit the gap. Those that do will reap huge rewards.

3). I do see another AWB in the distance. But not only that. That they will try to do this is a given. I see them trying to target training schools as well. This is what he and his minions want. Not particularly to “keep their little urban hoodlums” safe, or to keep anything out of the hands of criminals, but simply to control the american people more and modify this once great society further down the leftist path. There wasn’t much civilian gun ownership nor civilian skill-at-arms schools in Stalin’s Russia nor Hitler’s Germany either.

Now – before we get all weepy eyed again.

The world is full of problems that Obama (excuse me while I spit) must deal with. And I thank God for every single one of them!

The Russians are flexing their muscles in Eastern Europe again.

The Israelis will need to make a quick decision about Iran before Obama (excuse me while I spit) is inaugurated. And he will have to deal with the fallout from that.

Iraq and Afghanistan still remain as issues to deal with, and he will realize that his promise to pull out will not only be a slap in the face to those who have died there (a good many of them friends of mine) but it will also create a devastating power vacuum in the region that will inevitably be filled with Iranians.

And let us not forget the economy and all the empty promises made with references to “spreading the wealth”. Democrat economic policies always lead to ruin. The only thing that lifts an economy is a conservative-based policy and lowered taxes. So his results will invariably be poor, and he will not be able to confiscate Americans wealth without a serious political fight on his hands.

Assault Weapons are on his list, but not as number one. I don’t think they are even on the first page. But they are on his list.

My best-guess prediction?

We won’t see this until about 2010, more or less. By 2010 he will had two years to really screw up America, disenchant those who wanted “change”, and things will likely be a big mess. Hopefully the imbeciles who voted for him will have come to their senses, and the imbecile Republican party will have come to its senses, and the Senate and House will change the balance of power as it did in 1994. And then there is 2012. We will see.

My suggestions…I have been inundated with emails about which AK to get and what magazines to get and so on.

Gents…the word of the day is this. IF YOU SNOOZE – YOU LOSE. You can’t get AK kits anymore. Those who waited? Too bad dudes…there are no more. Those who didn’t get an AK at reasonable prices? Again…too bad dudes…now you will pay almost twice as much. But waiting, at this point, is simply stupid.

If you want a rifle…GET ONE NOW! Any rifle will do. Yes, I like AKs, but if my choice was a Mini-14 or nothing, I’d say grab up the Mini! If your wife or your mom won’t let you, grow some hair on your chest and get one anyway. Buy some flowers on the way home to make up for it. Same goes for ammo. If you don’t do it now, and you can’t get one due to what we have just discussed coming to pass, or simply due to supply-demand issues, don’t call me and ask where you can get a good deal.

Ammo? Looking at four years of Obama (excuse me while I spit) in office, I would suggest the following as minimum. 5000 rounds of each fighting caliber as minimum. Get 1000 rounds of good quality fighting ammo and 4000 rounds of training ammo. Use up 500 – 1000 per year to train (or less), and replace it as used – if possible.

Training? I understand that people are buying more rifles and ammo now, thinking they can train later. Maybe so. But here are a few points.

If you like WT and the DVDs and all the free stuff we share here, send some money to SI/OST. Support those who support you. We will see about offering as much stuff as possible, at as reasonable as possible prices next year. But understand that this activity is on their hit list. Do it while you can. Don’t put it off thinking you can do it later.

I have been in this business since the early 1990s and if the country does not bounce back by 2010, I can almost guarantee that training will be gone as well.
So there it is.

The time to check the life boat is not when you wake up on the bottom of the sea – it is when the rain begins to fall – and it has been coming down pretty good from where I stand.
__________________

Gabe Suarez
Suarez International USA, Inc.
One Source Tactical
info@suarezinternational.com
Office 928-776-4492

Spaniard by Heritage
Cuban by Birth
Christian by Grace
FREE American by Choice

>Vanderboegh: Question 59 and the Myrmidons

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Editor’s Note: I first learned of the Obama staff questionnaire and its gun questions from Spartacus, who noted that there appeared to be no legitimate reason to be asking those questions in that manner.

Mike Vanderboegh now gives us some insight into the possible story behind the questions.

Question 59 & the Myrmidons

Vetting The Ant People for Our New Ruler

by Mike Vanderboegh
15 November 2008

The Myrmidons (or Myrmidones) were an ancient nation of Greek mythology. They were very brave and skilled warriors as described in Homer’s Iliad, and were commanded by Achilles. Their eponymous ancestor was Myrmidon, a king of Phthiotis who was a son of Zeus and “wide-ruling” Eurymedousa, a princess of Phthiotis. She was seduced by him in the form of an ant. An etiological myth of their origins, simply expanding upon their supposed etymology— the name in Classical Greek was interpreted as “ant-people”, from murmekes, “ants”— was first mentioned by Ovid, in Metamorphoses: in Ovid’s telling, the Myrmidons were simple worker ants on the island of Aegina. Another common variation had King Aeacus of Aegina, father of Peleus, pleading with Zeus to populate his country. Zeus said his people would number as the ants on his sacred oak, and from the ants sprang the people Aegina, the Myrmidons. . . The Myrmidons of Greek myth were known for their loyalty to their leaders, so that in pre-industrial Europe the word “myrmidon” carried many of the same connotations that “robot” does today. Myrmidon later came to mean “hired ruffian” (according to the Oxford English Dictionary) or “a loyal follower, especially one who executes orders without question, protest, or pity; unquestioning followers.” — Wikipedia.

During the first debate between John McCain and Barack “the Lightworker” Obama, there came a moment that revealed, unintentionally I am sure, far more about the candidates than they wished to show us. It also illustrated how far we have come from the Founders’ republic. It was this:

Jim Lehrer, PBS: Before we go to another lead question. Let me figure out a way to ask the same question in a slightly different way here. Are you — are you willing to acknowledge both of you that this financial crisis is going to affect the way you rule the country as president of the United States beyond the kinds of things that you have already — I mean, is it a major move? Is it going to have a major effect?

Now when he asked this question, I sat up straight on the couch. I said to my wife, “Did you hear that?”

She ignored me, as is her wont.

Obama went first, saying “There’s no doubt it will affect our budget,” etc., etc., ad nauseum.

When he finished, I said, “McCain’s got him now.”

“How?” my wife Rosey asked.

“Listen,” I insisted.

But then it turned out McCain had missed it, too. His answer was a similar prattle of programs and budgets. I couldn’t believe it and I raged at the television screen.

“You IDIOT!” I yelled, “You stupid moron! You could have knocked that out of the park!”

My wife cautioned me that I was scaring the cats, and then asked what I meant.

“Didn’t you hear the question?” I demanded. “Old Jim ‘Proletarian Broadcasting System’ there asked them how they’d ‘RULE’ us. All McCain had to do was to wait for Barack to stick his head in that trap, which he did, and then say, ‘Jim, I want to back up to how you phrased that question. You asked how this crisis would affect the way we’d ‘rule’ the country. Jim, the President of the United States doesn’t rule the country, he serves it. I’m astonished that Senator Obama would take such a question at face value. America doesn’t have a king who rules. I can’t speak for Senator Obama, but I’m not running for the office of king.’”

My wife looked at me and said, “OK, I get that, but you still scared the cats.”

Well, the cats can always use a good scaring, but that’s another story. The lesson this little exchange taught me was that both men thought they had the right to rule the United States of America. I wasn’t surprised that they thought that. I WAS surprised that neither man saw fit to reassure the American people that they didn’t intend to do so, if only for appearances sake.

All this came back to me when I read about Question 59.

In the “Miscellaneous” section of the Obama administration’s 63-item questionnaire given to prospective myrmidons, er, ah, I mean, job applicants is Question 59:

“Do you or any members of your immediate family own a gun? If so, provide complete ownership and registration information. Has the registration ever lapsed? Please also describe how and by whom it is used and whether it has been the cause of any personal injuries or property damage.”

Now this is a question worthy of a king, or a dictator. Only kings and dictators worry about the possession of legal firearms in the hands of the people.

This is not an Alice’s Restaurant draft board “Have you ever been arrested?” question. Note the phrasing, “has it been the cause of any personal injuries.” There they go with that anthropomorphizing of inanimate tools again.

What they are really asking is, “Do you own any evil guns and have you realized how much you need professional help for doing so?”

Presumably someone who answers “no” to this question will be in much better shape to lock down that really choice bureaucratic flunky job than someone who says “yes” and then has to explain himself.

This is indeed a question worthy of a “ruler.” Which should tell you all you need to know about what’s coming.

Make ready.

Your would-be ruler and his entourage of willing myrmidons cometh…

>Vanderboegh: Praxis — Shooter Ready

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Folks,

You are going to read about this training game in a future chapter of ‘Absolved’. You might as well get started practicing with this, then move to the AQT, and so on.

Mike Vanderboegh


Reviews
scope

The Long Range Shooting Simulation was recently tested and recommended by the members of the National Tactical Officers Association with an overall score of 4.53 out of a possible 5. The following are comments from the reviewers published in the November, 2006 issue of The Tactical Edge Product Review Guide.

Tested by a police officer from Pennsylvania
“I found the program to be both informative and challenging. Until now I have had very little practice “ranging” targets beyond 300 yards. Over the years I have come to rely to laser range finders. This program offers a cost effective means of practicing unknown distance shooting and the opportunity to use the “mil dot” system to range targets and gain experience working with the formulas. I believe that this is a useful tool for both the novice and the experienced shooter. If you know what you are doing you can jump in and practice and sharpen your skills. If you do not know, you can go through the training section until you do and then shoot the drills. All of this is done from the comfort of your own PC.”
Score: 4.57

Tested by a police officer from Kentucky
“ATTENTION SNIPERS! Want to spend as much time on the range as possible? Ready to spend hours on the range and never sweat, freeze, or be eaten for luch? Ever wish that you could rewind time and get that one shot back? Ready to shoot as much free ammo that you can possibly shoot. And last but not least, shoot as much as you want and never clean your weapon!

“f this sounds good then you need to log onto http://www.shooterready.com and play the demo. After a few minutes, if you are like me, you’ll quickly realize that shooterready has discovered a way for us to train without ever leaving the office/training room.

“I use this CD as a training multiplier. I not only use this as a sort of “hip-pocket,” call it informal training opportunity, I also offer it to those team members that are interested in becoming an observer/sniper. I also use it as a semi-annual requirement for our team observer/snipers to train at estimating range and shooting at unknown distances. It’s that good of a program.

“The software is very user friendly; just log onto their website and run the demo for yourself. This is a great training multiplier. For about the cost of a few boxes of Federal .308, you and your team can spend hours on shooting at unknown distances.”
Score: 5

Tested by a police officer from Texas
“The Long Range Shooting Simulator from shooterready.com is an excellent training tool. I was a bit skeptical about this precision shooting simulator when I first received it. Any trained marksman would know that you cannot simulate all of the factors that are involved with precision shooting (i.e. trigger squeeze, body mechanics, environmental conditions, and recoil) with a computer. I was a bit surprised, however, by just how much this simulator was able to replicate.

“The software included a training area where you can “attend” classes on ballistics, mil ranging, wind, and moving target leads. The different shooting ranges (.308, .338, and .50 cal) require the user to mil range the targets and make elevation and windage adjustments based on the range and environmental conditions. Wind conditions will often change between shots, requiring the user to pay close attention to the wind indicator.

“Obviously, the Long Range Shooting Simulator is no substitute for actual range time; however, it is an excellent training tool for keeping your range estimation, hold-off, and moving target engagement skills sharp when you cannot make it out to the range. The software also has the potential to be used as a teaching aid during precision/long range shooting lectures and classroom instruction.
Score: 4.11

Tested by a police officer from Ohio
“I was initially skeptical upon receiving the disk to test. Having been a shooter for sometime now I have found little that can replace actual trigger time. The Windows and MAC compatible program has numerous training sections that are useful tools for the beginning shooter and the experience sniper. With sections on basic training, hold offs, MilDot ranging and use, Minute of Angle/Milradian application, Elevation effects, Windage, ballistics and moving targets provide the user a practical application to the theories that are often only read about in class. With the training locations limited for distance shooting to most shooters, this program can provide a variety of sample backgrounds in ranging, wind estimation, and mil dot use with simulated ranges out to 1000 yards. The various options for 5.56mm, .308, .338, 300wm, and .50cal caliber weapons as well as moving target elements provides a system to work on visualization simulations when actual trigger time is not available. Sample graphs and equation charts helped out for the ranging exercises provided in the program.

“One shortcoming that could be addressed would be real video segments for wind estimates with normal elemental movements (trees, leaves, paper trash) versus the simulated range flags that are provided in the program. The flag element is a good learning tool, but for the practical training aspect other than the formal range use, the field shooter would benefit from applying the wind estimate skills on field elements.

“The minimal cost of this program makes it a small investment for a nice training tool for the long-range shooter. Should the developer make a LE/Military version for the sniper elements out there I would be glad to run it through it paces also.”
Score: 4.44

>Vanderboegh: Saving Lives, Two Uncomprehending Texas Twits at a Time

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UPDATED 11/15/08 930 PM EST: David has the latest.

The tale begins at David’s place with this post, wherein David stomps a reporter and a sociology professor.

Mike Vanderboegh then provides this piquant perspective (cross-posted at Mindful Musings):

I address this missive principally to Dr. Agger, but it also impacts Bro. Witt as well in his role as a representative of the Fourth Estate. You are no doubt surprised and shocked by the reaction that Dr. Agger’s comments aroused amongst the firearms-owning hoi polloi when repeated in Mr. Witt’s story. Both your responses to David Codrea, et al, demonstrate that you equally fail to realize that the election of Barack Obama and the total empowerment of his collectivist Democrat party has carried us all — you, me, and everyone in this country — through Barack Obama’s looking glass into a wonderland where many of the old verities no longer apply.

The GOP pols, who we first put in power in 1994 with their false promise that they would shield us from more gun control, are gone, swept away. Talk radio is about to muzzled by the Orwellian-named “Fairness Doctrine.” Next will be Hate Speech Codes on the Internet (three guesses who that will be aimed at). And then there’s this wacky Obama “civilian defense corps” which is supposed to be as large as the military and with as big a budget. What’s that going to look like? The Hitler Jugend? The Young Communist League? The Ton-Ton Macoute? And, no, Dr. Agger, you are wrong. This has nothing to do with race.

What you neglected to mention in your story, Mr. Witt, is this snippet of Obama transition policy which popped up on his website:

“Address Gun Violence in Cities: As president, Barack Obama would repeal the Tiahrt Amendment, which restricts the ability of local law enforcement to access important gun trace information, and give police officers across the nation the tools they need to solve gun crimes and fight the illegal arms trade. Obama and Biden also favor commonsense measures that respect the Second Amendment rights of gun owners, while keeping guns away from children and from criminals who shouldn’t have them. They support closing the gun show loophole and making guns in this country childproof. They also support making the expired federal Assault Weapons Ban permanent, as such weapons belong on foreign battlefields and not on our streets.”

Now, the fact that this contradiction of the smooth lies told by the Lightworker during the campaign was taken down shortly thereafter did not keep it from being noticed. It is, in fact, simply a retelling of Obama’s well-established anti-firearms positions.

This is not about race, Dr. Agger. Indeed, if you wish to hear a contradictory anecdote, you have only to ask the counterman at Academy Sports in Trussville, Alabama, who told me yesterday that many of the customers buying semi-automatic rifles of military utility were black and some, dare I say it, were even white liberals.

Are THEY buying out of racial guilt or fear of Nat Turner’s ghost, Doctor?

Academy Sports, it should be noted, does not stock cheap SKS’s or semi-auto Kalashnikovs but does sell very pricey Smith & Wesson and Remington 5.56mm and 7.62 NATO semi-auto copies of full-auto military rifles. Despite the cost (between $900 and $1500 each) they are flying off the shelves. And Trussville is hardly an inner city ghetto. It is, in fact, an up-scale bedroom community suburb of Birmingham.

White folks are buying guns for the same reason that folks of other races are buying guns: because Obama and his ofay statist pals don’t want guns in ANYBODY’S hands. Have you never heard of the Deacons for Defense and Justice, Dr. Agger? The veterans of the civil rights struggle here in Alabama sure have, and it is their sons and grandsons, now successful members of an integrated community that is at peace with itself, who are down at Academy buying Smith & Wesson M4 carbines and cases of ammo to go with them. They remember that a government can easily get out of hand, unrestrained by any law other than the threat of military force in the hands of the people.

And why are many, many people of all races buying semi-automatic rifles of military utility? Oprah Winfrey once said that if someone shows you who they really are, you should believe them. OK, so we believe Obama and his white socialist friends in Congress have shown us who they are — they are gun-grabbers.

You may recall Dianne Feinstein’s infamous quote on CBS-TV’s 60 Minutes, February 5, 1995: “If I could have gotten 51 votes in the Senate of the United States for an outright ban, picking up every one of them . . . Mr. and Mrs. America, turn ‘em all in, I would have done it. I could not do that. The votes weren’t here.”

So when we see notorious anti-firearms politicos like Rahm Emmanuel, Charles Schumer, et al, ad nauseum, embracing Obama and then we read his campaign’s anti-gun words above, we’re going to take Oprah’s advice. We believe this is who they really are.

We do not trust them — we will NEVER trust them — and hence, the rush to buy.

The vehement reaction that your words caused is perfectly understandable. The anger reflects the new Wonderland world we find ourselves in. Because we believe that Obama’s intentions are to further restrict our traditional liberties and to proscribe and seize our heretofore legal property, we have been making, well, adjustments, both in our thinking and in our day-to-day lives.

Here are some facts you probably haven’t internalized yet.

First, it is a fact that there is a segment of the firearm-owning population in this country who will refuse to comply with any further infringement of their God-given, inalienable rights. Nor, I must tell you, will they surrender their property simply because someone thinks it’s a good idea. These people have been known by many names. A few years back they were known as “cold, dead hands types.” More recently, they have been described as “Three Percenters.” In 1775, they were called Minutemen. It does not matter how many million of us there are. Whatever our number, it is enough to prove an indigestible lump in any would-be American tyrant’s throat.

Ask yourself this question: Do you believe that the millions of Americans who are currently voting with their wallets by buying semi-automatic rifles of military utility are doing so simply in order to turn them in when Obama and Company pass their “reasonable regulations”? And if not, then what do you suppose they might be thinking about doing with them?

We find these proposed “reasonable regulations” to be, well, unreasonable. To disarm us as the Obamanoids wish, they will have to seek us out in our homes. And when they do, the most important fact about us that you must remember is that if we are willing to die in defense of our homes, our property and our liberty, we are also willing to kill in defense of those things as well. How many of us are they willing to kill to achieve their “reasonable” objective? And after the first few times some of us are killed in our homes resisting their “reasonable regulations,” isn’t it truly unreasonable to expect that the rest of us will sit idly by, awaiting our turn?

When democracy turns to tyranny, we still get to vote with our rifles.

Folks may sneer at us, call us names (“racists” for just one, Dr. Agger), try to marginalize us if they wish, but, as the Founders intended, they deny our existence at their peril. And the second fact should tell you why.

It is this — in 1999, then-President Bill Clinton declared that the political leadership and news media of his enemies, the Serbs, were legitimate targets of war. He announced this after (not before) he ordered precision guided bombs and missiles into the homes of Serbian politicians and the broadcast facilities of Serbian TV and radio. Now this was roundly condemned at the time by journalists and news organizations all over the world, and rightly so. However, the Clinton Rules of Engagement still stand. Indeed, there are some who regard the academicians who support such regimes with ideas as legitimate targets under Clinton’s scheme. (You may recall Martin Heidegger who, after Hitler’s seizure of power in 1933 morphed from Heidegger the world-renowned philosopher to Heidegger the Nazi, holding membership card number 312589.)

Which brings us back to you fellows. Let’s do the bloody math. You have the unreasonable Three-Percenters on one hand who will resist — with force of arms — when gun control comes to their doors. On the other hand, there is the Obama administration which seems destined to move the line of “legality” beyond where we unreasonable Three-percenters now stand. Throw in Bill Clinton’s Rules of Engagement for journalists and regime stooges and you’ve just found yourself to be legitimate targets in a civil war.

Unfair? You bet.

Unjust? Perhaps.

But hey, that’s the Law of Unintended Consequences. So please, for your own sakes as well as ours, choose your future words carefully. We’re through the Looking Glass, the Red Queen is quite unreasonable and she’ll be after all our heads if this goes too far.

And, if it comes to that, you each will have exactly two people to blame. The guy in your bathroom mirror who failed to comprehend the true nature of the “change” Barack Obama portended and Bill Clinton.

After all, it was Bill’s idea.

Bro. Mike Vanderboegh

Gun Rights Evangelist to the Heathen Press
Sipsey Street Mission
PO Box 926
Pinson, AL 35126

Our Motto: “Saving Lives, One Ignorant Editorialist at a Time”

III
***

Both the reporter and the prof replied to Mike; here’s his reply to the reporter:

Dear Bro. Witt,

Thank you for your prompt reply. If I may, let me take your points ad seriatim.

In a message dated 11/13/2008 1:40:01 P.M. Central Standard Time, HWitt@tribune.com writes:
Extremely well-written. Bravo.

MBV: Shucks, twas nothin‘. I’m just a poor scribbler.

Two points:

First: I wish you had been standing next to me as I interviewed some of the noble gun buyers lined up in Houston gun stores this week, explaining how they needed to protect themselves from the “blacks”–some used decidedly less polite terms–who, inspired by Barack Obama’s victory, would soon be threatening the sanctity of their homes.

MBV: No doubt true, as far as it goes. We can swap anecdotes all day long. Indeed, I’m sure there are also black folks and latinos who are arming out of similar racism-tinged motives. I have written before that the principal danger of the coming period is that we may end up in a three-sided race war. There is very little you can tell me about Kluxers and neoNazis that I don’t already know. I have been fighting them at street level, eyeball to eyeball, for most of my life. Google my name if you don’t believe me. When the Clintonista era Feds were giving certain favored members of the Aryan Republican Army bank robbery gang a pass, it was me and my militia buddies who embarrassed the FBI into arresting them with a poster campaign in Philadelphia. Punch in Michael Brescia and my name together and see what pops up.

The danger of Barack Obama is that he provides racial cover to what is actually an ideological divide, thus making the recruiting efforts of the Klan and the neoNazis more potent. Just as the presence of prominent Jewish American advocates of gun control such as Feinstein and Schumer help them make their case for anti-Semitism. I have never understood how members of minorities such as Jews and blacks could embrace gun control when it is so obviously against their better interests — and so recently underscored in their own histories (the Holocaust and the Deacons). My friend Aaron Zelman of Jews for the Preservation of Firearms Ownership also gets quite eloquent on the subject.

Or perhaps you would have nodded in agreement at the gun store manager–an ex-marine Iraq War vet–who proudly explained how he took it upon himself as his personal mission to decline to sell any weapons to blacks, “Arabs” or any other ethnically-funny-looking customer who made the mistake of wandering into his shop. “I just keep busy at another counter and when they ask about a particular gun, I tell them it’s all sold out.”

MBV: Well, I’ve told you above where I stand, and have for decades, so you now know that’s not true. As you’re grasping for straws here, I’ll let the insult go. Sorry that Texas seems to be a more racist place than Alabama, or perhaps you just don’t hang out in the right sort of gun store. ;-)

Would all of those characters be distinguished members of your 3-percent club?

MBV: No, none of them would. I won’t tie my flank to anyone who doesn’t believe that the Constitution extends to all regardless of race, creed, color or religion. Anyone who knows me or my writing over the past fifteen years knows that.

Second: I still don’t get how anyone could reasonably expect to defend his home from an intruder with a .50 calibre machine gun. I mean, you can’t even hide something that big under your bed, for goodness sake.

MBV: Hell, Howard, we’re not talking about Ma Deuces here, those are closely regulated under the National Firearms Act of 1934. But let’s rephrase that to a “.50caliber Barrett semi-automatic rifle.” Now if you’ve got the ten thousand dollars that it takes for one of those and the scope and ammo to go with it, I’ll tell you the utility of THAT.

When the “intruder” is Janet Reno and her minions who come to your church with their armored vehicles to burn you out, a few Raufoss rounds to the weak spots in the armor can have a decided calming effect. You seem to think that the only “intruders” we need worry about are petty criminals and gang bangers who couldn’t intentionally shoot themselves in the foot. The “intruders” we’re worried about come with badges and uniforms and are sent by tyrants. Besides, if I had a Barrett M82, I wouldn’t hide it under my bed. I’d have it out on the coffee table as a warning, pointed straight at the door. You obviously don’t understand the dynamics of credible deterrence.

Regards,
Howard Witt

MBV: Ditto, Howard. Glad we had this opportunity to chat. If I can broaden your horizons I will count it worth the trouble.

Mike Vanderboegh
The alleged leader of a merry band of three percenters and founding member of the Sipsey Street Irregulars.

Now the prof:

Thanks for your prompt reply Doc. Like Howard’s, I’ll reply ad seriatim.

In a message dated 11/13/2008 1:34:59 P.M. Central Standard Time, agger@uta.edu writes:
Mike,

I found your missive below quite entertaining.

MBV: We aim to please. (That’s a double entendre.) ;-)

It will probably displease you to learn that there is broad agreement between us (you and me) on many issues of substance.

MBV: Glad to hear it. And no, it doesn’t displease me.

Please remember that my few comments in the Chicago newspaper article do not exhaust my views of this complex and interesting question: How should we interpret the Second Amendment? Now it is quite clear to me that most people buying guns in these post-election days are simply concerned that their 2nd Amendment rights might be constrained by this new administration.

MBV: Well, I’ve gotta confess, old Howard there kinda made ya sound like a raving loon, but then that just shows that he’s not the only one who can jump to a conclusion. ;-)

Personally, I think that this is highly unlikely given that President-elect Obama has bigger issues on his plate.

MBV: From your mouth, to God’s ears, Doc. But a lot of us folks don’t think so. Remember, Obama doesn’t have to write the bill, he just has to sign it when it crosses his desk. Very little effort involved on his part. Besdies, the big things are so huge, so likely intractable, that they’ll want to show they’re doinsomethin‘ with their new-fangled “mandate.”

As a libertarian who grew up in a western state in which ‘everyone’ had a gun and fished, I can completely understand people’s concern. I don’t happen to hunt, but I fish, and I would be quite upset if I suddenly couldn’t purchase top-water lures with which to catch bass, perhaps on grounds of cruelty to animals. In fact, I think fishing has an element of cruelty, even if one catches-and-releases, but I can rationalize it with reference to the food chain and certain ecological concerns about overstocking.

MBV: Heck yeah, it’s a circle of life thing, and I don’t hunt or fish. The Founders weren’t worried about hunting either, and if anyone had suggested to them that the 2nd Amendment was about shooting furry animals, they would have laughed themselves to death — after they threw the theorist out the second story window of the Green Dragon Tavern.

Having said all that, I do sense (I’m in a ‘red’ state, remember) that there is a certain (call it) racial anxiety surrounding Obama’s election. And so perhaps a tiny fraction of people buying guns are also ‘racially anxious’ in this sense. Perhaps 1 in 1,000 people lined up at the local Fort Worth gun store fit this bill. I don’t know; I haven’t studied it. And my newspaper comment was an attempt to put myself in the shoes of this tenth of one percent and imagine what they might be thinking. As you well know, some people are not quite ready for a black President–the gun issue totally aside.

MBV: Sure. Take my “Yaller Dawg Democrat” mother-in-law. She called up my wife the day of the election and asked her who she voted for (She’s been GOP since Reagan). My wife refused to tell her, as always, and then my mother-in-law offered that she “didn’t vote for the black guy.” Hey, nobody asked her. But then nobody asked my father-in-law who he wanted to vote for, but he voted straight Democrat ticket in the seven elections that took place AFTER he died in West Memphis, Arkansas. Kept resurrecting like Lazarus every election cycle until the family caught it and had him removed from the rolls.

You may also remember ACORN started in Arkansas.

As for me, I voted for Alan Keyes back in 2000 and would have voted for any black man who lined up with my principles this time. Thomas Sowell and Clarence Thomas come to mind. Unfortunately they were too honest to qualify as major party candidates.

Look, there will always be racism on all sides. What my fellow gunnies objected to was the slur that they were stocking up for racist motivations.

The reason I am an optimist about our collective future is that children don’t see ‘color’, and they will inherit the earth. I think many adults, judging from the recent election results, don’t see color either. Hopefully, those days will soon be behind us.

MBV: I hope you’re right about not seeing color that is. I’m afraid that all the last election cycle proved to me is that frightened people flocked to a mesmerizing leftist narcissist, projecting all their hopes and dreams on a guy who can’t possibly deliver on but a fraction of them.

Let me make one more candid comment. I remember during the election, perhaps early in the summer, when Obama made a remark about how certain people find salvation (or alleviate their anxiety) in ‘guns and religion.’ I can certainly understand how that would alienate people who are gun enthusiasts and religious. I imagine how I would feel if he had said ‘bass fishermen and long-distance runners.’

I hope this attempt at dialogue has been at least modestly useful.

MBV: Dialogue is almost always useful, Doc. You have at least given me a reason to question my long-standing prejudice about bass-fishing long distance runners. ;-)

best,
ben agger

MBV: You too. However, I was serious about the period we are entering, and about the three percent. You ought to study us. Get started now with your research and you’ll be the first out with a scholarly work after we win the next civil war that the Obamanoids inadvertently start. ;-)

What significance could there possibly be to what could be viewed as a mere “flame war” between opposing political partisans?

Just this: we have reached a point in this country’s history where, as Billy Beck has pointed out repeatedly, metaphors such as “ideological war” simply fail.

Those metaphors are about to fail for one reason — they are soon to be replaced by the real thing.

Think about this — what will you do when:

1) Codrea’s site goes off the air permanently, and he is incarcerated indefinitely as a “suspected domestic terrorist”?

2) Vanderboegh is killed “resisting arrest”?

3) Aaron Zelman of JPFO dies of a “heart attack” during questioning by the Department of Homeland Security?

4) the new AWB — only without the ’94 AWB grandfather clause permitting continued possession of weapons and gear purchased prior to enactment — passes and is signed into law by the new President?

5) the FBI and BATFE (just two of the Obama Administration’s Federal law enforcement enforcement agencies), acting on one of a sheaf of executive orders signed by the new President on the afternoon of 1/20/09 and pursuant to the new AWB, start using 4473 form information to confiscate assault weapons and accoutrements purchased since Election Day?

6) your local police department, already facing a Collapse-driven budget catastrophe, agrees to assist the Federal firearms enforcement agencies as the price for continued Federal funding and establishes “rolling safety stop” roadblocks to serach for firearms and other contraband?

6) you awake from a deep sleep to hear your dog’s frantic barking abruptly stop, followed immediately by a splintering crash as your home’s front and back doors are “dynamically entered” by hooded figures in black tactical gear?

Vanderboegh is dead right when he says that we are through the Looking Glass.

Best get all kinds of things sorted out in the remaining 66 days…

Tempus fugit.

>You’ll Click What We Let You Click

> From Down Under comes this story of a trial Web-censoring program, designed ultimately to be deployed across Australia:

Web filter to block 10,000 internet
Jennifer Dudley-Nicholson

November 13, 2008 12:32pm

Australia’s mandatory net filter is being primed to block 10,000 websites as part of a blacklist of unspecified “unwanted content”.

Some 1300 websites have already been identified by the Australian Communications and Media Authority.

Communications Minister Senator Conroy revealed details of the Rudd Government’s proposed web filter as he called for expressions of interest from internet service providers (ISPs) for a live trial of the technology, the Courier-Mail reports.

ISPs will test ways to filter the web using volunteer subscribers. The trial will start before Christmas and is expected to last six weeks.

“The pilot will specifically test filtering against the ACMA blacklist of prohibited content, which is mostly child pornography, as well as filtering of other unwanted content,” Senator Conroy told Parliament today.

“While the ACMA blacklist is currently around 1300 URLs, the pilot will test against this list – as well as filtering for a range of URLs to around 10,000 – so that the impacts on network performance of a larger blacklist can be examined.”

A spokesman for Mr Conroy later said: ”The pilot will provide an invaluable opportunity for ISPs to inform the Government’s approach.

”The live pilot will provide valuable real-world evidence of the potential impact on internet speeds and costs to industry and will help ensure we implement a filtering solution that is efficient, effective and easy for Australian families to use.”

An ACMA trial of web-filtering technology this year found it could slow internet access by as much as 87 per cent and by at least 2 per cent.

Electronic Frontiers Australia board member Colin Jacobs said his civil liberties group was concerned at what would be deemed “unwanted content”.

“It is unclear how ACMA will scale up their blacklist to 10,000 websites and what will go on the list,” he said.

“Conroy said the list would contain illegal and unwanted content but we still have to see what would end up on that list.

“Under the current mandate that includes adult material, which would mean most material that could be rated R and, in some circumstances, material rated MA15+.”

Applying this technology here in the States would be a relatively elegant way of effecting the “internet hate crime” restrictions that will inevitably follow the Obama Administration’s resurrection of the Fairness Doctrine against broadcasters.

Talk radio — gone.

Websites such as our shop, along with Codrea, Volk, and thousands of others — gone.

Two action items here:

1) Start downloading and, where advisible, printing hard copies of material you think you would need if the ‘Net went dark-ish; and

2) Start thinking about how you will share information between your mates — political, social, and otherwise.

Tempus fugit.

>Desperate Times

>Spartacus sends this CNBC story re the possibility of FedGov insolvency.

What are the chances of the FedGov relaxing its grip on Americans’ wallets as the crisis worsens?

Try about zero.

And the states are just as hosed.

Do you see now why they need you to be disarmed?

Armed peasants cause problems, especially when you try to take even more of their money, seize their property, and shackle their remaining freedom.

Unless those peasants have been socialized since childhood to follow this advice when a robbery occurs:

- stay calm,
- cooperate,
- avoid startling the robber as this could lead to gunfire,
- take note of the robber’s physical appearance and clothing,
- activate the alarm when it is safe to do so, and
- do not use weapons.

Do you understand yet?

Do you really think you are going to avoid getting drenched as the statist tsunami grows ever higher?

Do you really think the Looters will stop of their volition?

Or that they’ll overlook you and your family?

>Obamanation Minus 68 (O – 68): Gordon Brown on a "Global Society"

>Delivered on November 10, 2008, to the Lord Mayor of London, here is UK PM Gordon Brown’s vision of the next steps to be taken by President Obama and the rest of the global elites.

Read in conjunction with his related remarks last April, anyone who wishes to listen can decide for themselves whether or not there is indeed a plan for one-world coordinated governance of every human being on the planet.

Any bets on whether that one-world-government will permit its subjects to keep and bear arms so as to keep politicians in check?

***

Prime Minister Gordon Brown sets out the five great challenges the world faces today (10/11/2008)

In his annual foreign policy speech to the Lord Mayor’s Banquet in London, Prime Minister Gordon Brown said:

“Uniquely in this global age, it is now in our power to come together so that 2008 is remembered not just for the failure of a financial crash that engulfed the world but for the resilience and optimism with which we faced the storm, endured it and prevailed. And remembered too for how in doing so we discovered and refashioned the global power of nations working together.

“And having shown the power of coordinated global action to recapitalise our banks and cut interest rates for homeowners and businesses, this weekend in Washington we will seek to go further, launching the process of rebuilding the international financial system.

“So while I see a world that is facing financial crisis and still diminished by conflict and injustice I also see the chance to forge a new multilateralism that is both hard headed and progressive. And if we learn from our experience of turning unity of purpose into unity of action, we can together seize this moment of change in our world to create a truly global society.”

Prime Minister Brown also said that the role of the US, Britain and Europe are critical:

“The alliance between Britain and the US – and more broadly between Europe and the US – can and must provide leadership, not in order to make the rules ourselves, but to lead the global effort to build a stronger and more just international order. The transatlantic relationship has been the engine of effective multilateralism for the past 50 years.

“As America stands at its own dawn of hope, so let that hope be fulfilled through a pact with the wider world to lead and shape the 21st century as the century of a truly global society. And I believe the whole of Europe can work closely with America to meet the great challenges which will test our resolution and illuminate our convictions.”

Prime Minister Brown set out the five great challenges the world now faces: the need to reassert faith in democracy and win the battle of ideas against terrorism and extremism; the need to strengthen the global economy; tackling climate change; resolving conflict and the need for a new stabilisation and reconstruction agency ready, through civilian as well as military assistance, to rebuild conflict-ridden and fragile states; and meeting the Millenium Development Goals.

On the economy Prime Minister Brown said:

“As the world’s financial system works through this night of uncertainty towards a new dawn – we must use the power of multilateralism to establish a global consensus on a new, decisive and systemic approach to strengthening the global economy. An approach which I believe should be built around five key stages: the recapitalisation of banks and their resumption of lending to families and businesses; better international co-ordination of fiscal and monetary policy; immediate action to stop the spread of the financial crisis to middle-income countries, building agreement for a new facility for the IMF; urgent agreement on a trade deal and rejection of beggar-thy-neighbour protectionism that has been a feature in transforming past crises into deep recessions; and a restoration of confidence by addressing the root causes of the instability through reform of the global financial system based on the principles of transparency, integrity, responsibility, sound banking practice and global governance with co-ordination across borders.

“In Washington this weekend, the British Government will work with its G20 partners to establish that consensus and with it to begin to build a new Bretton Woods with a new IMF that offers, by its surveillance of every economy, an early warning system and a crisis prevention mechanism for the whole world.”

Read full speech:

My Lord Mayor, my late Lord Mayor, your Grace, my Lord Chancellor, your Excellencies, my Lords, Aldermen, Sheriffs, Chief Commoner, ladies and gentlemen.

These last weeks and months will be studied by generations to come. Historians will look back and say this was no ordinary time but a defining moment: an unprecedented period of global change, a time when one chapter ended and another began – for nations; for continents; for the whole world.

To us falls the challenge of leading Britain through the first financial crisis of this new global age and, as reflected in the huge volatility in the price of commodities, its first resources crisis too.

But these crises reflect underlying and unprecedented transformations in our world:

- the rise of Asia and the shift of global manufacturing power;
- growing resource pressures – from oil to food;
- the undeniable reality of climate change; and
- new political instabilities and conflicts

All accompanied by the growing gap between rich and poor countries; and of course by the impact of new technology and the rise of the internet giving millions of people for the first time the ability to communicate, do business and organise across frontiers.

The range, complexity and impact of these forces underline just how much we are taking the first tentative steps towards what I will call a global society. And that what is at stake now is not just the success and legitimacy of our global economy but ultimately the prosperity and security of nations and communities in every corner of the world.

The decisions we make now will re-shape our societies in all probability for decades and more.

And we have a choice: to retreat or advance; to turn inwards or to look outwards; to be cowed by our fears or led by our hopes.

The world today can seem a daunting place – and when people feel buffeted or bewildered by the scale of the changes it can seem easy to retreat into the outworn and failed responses of yesterday – to a time of pessimism, protectionism and retrenchment.

But we could make a far better choice.

I want this to become the moment when we rise to the new challenges by purposeful visionary and international leadership, leaving behind the orthodoxies of yesterday. And embracing new ideas to create a better tomorrow: not as victims of history but as shapers of an open, free trade, flexible globalisation that is also inclusive and sustainable.

For while today so much looks grey or dark in the global economy we should not forget that we are in the midst of an economic transition to a new global age: whatever happens now, it is likely that in the next two decades the world economy will double in size. And that means twice as many opportunities for good businesses and twice as many opportunities for men and women with new ideas to market. And as many as one thousand million new jobs for skilled workers will be created. So this is the other side of globalisation – not just the insecurities we know about but the opportunities, the promise it holds for tomorrow.

And it is, indeed, possible to see the threats and challenges we face today as the difficult birth-pangs of a new global order – and our task now nothing
less than making the necessarily painful transition through a new internationalism to a more collegial, collaborative and opportunity-rich global society, not muddling through as pessimists but, as optimists, making the necessary adjustment to a better future.

Since the financial crisis began it has dominated the agenda. I have travelled perhaps more than I had planned to. But all in the protection of the British economy, British jobs and firms, British living standards — knowing the livelihoods of British families and businesses is shaped in an ever more interdependent world.

And so we can see this year as definitive in another way: the year where we not only came to recognise our deep and irreversible interdependence, each nation with other nations , but acted upon it: nations agreeing not just on high aspirations but on practical actions; governments ready to act collectively and quickly to take radical – indeed previously unthinkable – measures to avert global meltdown; discovering a common purpose amid the necessity of dealing with the financial crisis; but a common approach forged first to deal with the financial crisis but one that will, I believe enable us to respond positively also to climate change, conflict and poverty. And in doing so to build the confidence in the future that is key to bringing back confidence today.

So, while I see a world that is facing financial crisis and still diminished by conflict and injustice, 1 also see the chance to forge a new multilateralism
that is both hard-headed and progressive. And I believe that in our international co-operation on finance, climate change, terrorism and ending conflict, there is evidence of this new multilateralism at work in the world: fairer, more stable, and more prosperous because it is rooted in cooperation and justice.

And if we learn from our experience of turning unity of purpose into unity of action, together we can seize this moment of profound change to create, for the first time, the age of the truly global society — one where progressive multilateralism, not narrow unilateralism, is the norm; one where people find that what unites them is far greater that what ever divided them; and where it is cooperation, not confrontation, that flourishes in answer to age-old challenges:

- the challenge to reassert our faith in the advance of democracy as the most effective weapon in our arsenal against terrorism and tyranny – and – as we mark armistice day tomorrow and remember the sacrifices made in darker times ;
- the challenge to build for peace – the challenge to build consensus for a new global financial system;
- to need to confront the realities of global climate change by building a sustainable low-carbon economy; and
- to make a reality of the vision of a global society by creating global partnerships across public, private and voluntary sectors to address poverty and move toward economic justice.

I believe that we in the West should approach these great challenges of our time with some humility. The West certainly does not have all the answers to them. We need more than the G8 – for the time when just a few powers could sit around the table and set the global agenda is over. Quite rightly, the emerging powers of the 21st century will want to – and must – play their part. And so the G8, the IMF and the world bank must change to meet the new realities.

But my central argument this evening is that the alliance between Britain and America – and more broadly between Europe and America – can and must provide leadership in this, not in order to make and impose the rules ourselves, but to lead and broaden the global effort to build a stronger, secure and more equitable international order.

Rightly people talk of a special relationship: but that special relationship is also a partnership for a purpose. The transatlantic relationship has been the engine of effective multilateralism for the past 50 years. Together

- we faced down aggression and dictatorship;
- in a few short years we built the great international post-war institutions – the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, the United Nations; and
- we led the drive for trade, enterprise and dynamic markets.

Now unprecedented events have brought a turn of history that few would once have foreseen or expected.

Just days ago, across the Atlantic, our closest ally gave new meaning to its founding creed that all “are created equal.” Gave new strength to the notion that the American dream is for all Americans.

More than 140 years after the abolition of slavery; and more than 40 years on from the civil rights and voting rights acts; America has chosen Barack Obama to be President.

And – as we have seen from reaction in America, Europe and around the globe – whatever one’s politics, it can surely only be a source of hope and inspiration that a nation which once would have looked at Barack Obama and defined him only by his colour today sees in him the man they want to be their President and Commander-in-Chief.

And when Barack Obama four months ago followed in President Kennedy’s footsteps and went to Berlin he called on the world to stand together as one.

Winston Churchill described the joint inheritance of Britain and America – as not just a shared history but a shared belief in the great principles of freedom and the rights of man – of what Barack Obama described in his election night speech as the enduring power of our ideals: democracy, liberty, opportunity, and unyielding hope.

And as America stands at its own dawn of hope – so let that hope be fulfilled through a pact with the wider world to lead and shape the 21st century as the first century of a truly global society.

And I believe that with the farsighted leadership we have in Europe, the whole of Europe – can and will work closely with America and with the rest of the world to meet the great challenges which will illuminate our convictions and test our resolution.

First – we must reassert our faith in democracy and be confident in our belief that open, plural, diverse societies are those most likely to stay rich, strong and free.

So we must step up and win the battle of ideas against terrorism and extremism not by sacrificing the liberties that they scorn but by securing new international means of achieving stability, reconstruction and democracy in failed and fragile states.

And we must promote greater tolerance and understanding within and between communities. Later this week I will join King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia alongside President Bush and other world leaders for his interfaith dialogue at the United Nations – deepening understanding between religions and countering extremist ideologies.

Second, let us move quickly to complement the role of peacekeepers and aid workers through civilian as well as military assistance, to rebuild conflict-ridden and fragile states.

Just as we will continue to offer immediate help and advance the cause of peace in Darfur, Burma and Zimbabwe, and stand up for the democracies of Georgia and Ukraine, we will stand by the people of the Democratic Republic of Congo as they face new conflict and turmoil. We will get aid to those who need it. We will protect those who are threatened by ensuring that UN peacekeepers, already the largest force of its kind in the world, are properly led, trained and enabled. And we will work relentlessly to build the political settlement that is the only guarantee of long-term peace.

Ultimately our shared security should be based not on the increased use of weapons but on their reduction. At this same occasion last year, I described the leading role I saw for our country in reducing the proliferation of weapons.

I am pleased that 100 countries have joined us in banning cluster bombs; and that the idea of a multinational fuel bank to help non-nuclear states acquire nuclear energy is gaining support.

And working with our allies we are ready to do more: having extended export prohibitions on trafficking in small arms, we are ready to promote a new arms trade treaty; and to promote non proliferation. And I say to Iran which has signed the non proliferation treaty: in these new circumstances rejoin global society and benefit from help in acquiring civil nuclear power – or face new sanctions – and growing isolation.

Conflict in the Middle East and the failure to restore a Palestinian state is a festering wound that has for generations poisoned relations between the West and the Arab and Islamic world. But I believe, and I have heard for myself, that the elements that can constitute a settlement are now well understood by those on all sides who want to come together to end the divisions of the past. It has often been said that an historic hard-won and lasting peace is now within our grasp. But what I do know is that building on the work of President Bush, helping to reach that durable and just settlement is an urgent priority for the new US administration – and the UK will stand firm in support.

A Middle East settlement has the potential to transform the future of the Middle East. In Iraq we continue to defend a new democracy and last summer we set out the remaining tasks to be achieved there to make possible a fundamental change of mission and the transition to a long-term bilateral partnership with Iraq, similar to the normal relationships which our military forces have with other countries in the region. And we are making good progress with each of our objectives.

And I welcome the reaffirmed commitment from both President Bush and President-elect Obama to defend a stable and democratic future for Afghanistan and to review the best ways of achieving this through better burden-sharing: America at its best – leading a broad international effort underpinned by shared values, working more effectively with the grain of Afghan society including the tribes; working with our allies to double the size of the Afghan army, working with President Karzai to tackle corruption and supporting the democratic Afghan Government in its slow but steady attempts to build peace. And we will support the Afghan and Pakistan governments in working together to tackle the security issues across the border which the last decade has shown us are crucial to our own security at home.

Afghanistan is a test the international community cannot afford to fail. And we will not fail.

Seventy-five years ago at a time of recession nations met in London in a world economic conference – and because the talks broke up in failure the world entered a long decade of protectionism and retrenchment. In Washington this weekend, the British government will work with its G20 partners to establish consensus and begin to build a new Bretton-Woods with a reformed, modern, IMF that offers, by its surveillance of every economy, an early warning system and a crisis prevention mechanism for the whole world.

This will require:

- the recapitalisation of banks and their resumption of lending to families and businesses;
- immediate action to stop the spread of the financial crisis to middle income countries, building agreement for a new facility and new resources for the IMF;
- urgent agreement on a trade deal and rejection of beggar-thy-neighbour protectionism that has been a feature in turning past crises into deep recessions;
- a restoration of confidence by addressing the root causes of the instability through reform of the global financial system based on the principles of transparency, integrity, responsibility, sound banking practice and global governance with co-ordination across borders and every nation playing its part; and
- better international coordination of fiscal and monetary policy – recognising the immediate importance of this coordination for stimulating economic activity.

At the heart of this is a growing agreement that at a time of change and massive uncertainty, people look to governments for action. This is no time
for conventional old thinking or tired old orthodoxies. In Britain, we have already cut taxes to help families this year. And as the chancellor has said, we will maintain our essential public investments while continuing to increase the value for money of every pound spent. This is no time for the old approach of short-term spending cuts in a downturn that would hurt families and businesses today and damage the long-term productivity of the economy.

Since this is a global downturn it requires a global solution. As was the case with the bank stabilisation plan, the benefits of any individual country’s fiscal actions will be all the greater if this is part of a concerted and fairly distributed international response to maintain global demand.

There is now a growing international consensus that, especially for those countries with low debt like the UK, maintaining essential public investment is the right and sensible approach, while allowing a temporary and affordable increase in borrowing to support economic growth.

Yesterday China announced that it was injecting almost $600 billion to support its economy. The European Union has allowed a temporary relaxation of the stability pact to prevent harmful cuts in public spending. Last week, Germany announced their plans for a fiscal stimulus. President-elect Obama has already signalled his intention to do likewise. With Britain continuing to lead the debate, economic recovery will work better if we all work together.

The fourth imperative is tackling climate change. For it is clear now that if left unchecked, climate change will have catastrophic worldwide effects on our future prosperity.

The G8 has already agreed we must at least halve global emissions by 2050. But this also means emissions must peak by 2020. So we cannot afford to put climate change into the international ‘pending’ tray because of the present economic difficulties, as some might urge. On the contrary, we must use the imperative to act for our future prosperity through the transition to a low carbon economy and reduced oil dependency as a route to creating jobs and economic opportunity for our peoples today.

This is why as we prepare for an ambitious post 2012 climate change agreement at Copenhagen, for which I pledge our Government’s unbending commitment, the European Union must, and I believe will, agree in December its ’2020′ programme for energy and climate and show European leadership at its best. And I want the World Bank to become a bank for environment as well as on development, helping developing countries move towards sustainable energy paths of their own.

And a truly global society cannot of course exist without the vital humanitarian and development assistance and support for self sustaining growth that keeps millions of people alive and meets basic needs for education, food and health. For we cannot claim to be a truly global society, or one world, when 30,000 children die every day from diseases we know how to cure. This is not the time to abandon helping the poorest countries.

For now more than ever it is both our duty and in our interest to help meet the Millennium Development Goals. For we cannot solve climate change without Africa; nor can we solve the food crisis without Africa. We need a fully financed ‘energy for the poor’ initiative; where commercial sources of capital dry up support from the international institutions; and we need to support agricultural development in Africa, in the past feed the world meant that we helped to feed Africa. In future, if we do things right, we will do best by enabling Africa to feed the world.

And I am proud that, even as the world came to terms with the financial crisis, Britain has continued to drive forward the vital effort to meet the Millennium Development Goals.

Tonight I have argued that uniquely in this global age, it is now in our power to come together, confer, and decide and that we must be guided by one clear truth: that we need solutions that can no longer be defined in terms of us and them, but can be achieved only together; as us with them. I believe that people do not only cooperate out of need. There is a human need to cooperate. And I believe also that all our efforts reflect what people find when they can communicate across continents with each other; that there is a shared moral sense that we are responsible each to the other – country to country as much as person to person. And because of this no injustice can last for ever, and even in the most desperate of circumstances people can journey with hope.

So my message is that we must be:

- Internationalist not protectionist;
- Interventionist not isolationist;
- Progressive not paralysed by events; and
- Forward thinking not trapped in the solutions of the past.

And if we do so 2008 will be remembered not just for a financial crash that engulfed the world but for the decisiveness and optimism with which the world faced the storm, endured it and prevailed. And remembered too for how in doing so we discovered and refashioned the global power of nations working together.

President Roosevelt famously said “the only thing we have to fear is fear itself.” When fear overwhelms our perceptions of reality the effect is paralysing; it leaves people frozen into inaction – helpless at a time of great risk – and even at a time of great opportunity too.

But confidence in the future – that most precious asset of all – is the key to bringing back confidence today. It is dynamic, it heralds action.

And – for reasons I have laid before you this evening -I am confident. Confident that we can seize the moment, grasp it together, and use it to lay the foundations – optimistic, multilateral and inclusive – on which we can build the first truly global society.

Source: 10 Downing Street
***

>Beck: It’s About the Values – Not the Prices

>Billy Beck says a mouthful here:

Wed Nov, 12 2008
It’s About The Values — Not The Prices

Man, I was doing pretty well with Matt Welch’s article from the December ’08 print edition of Reason, “Back To The Barricades”, until I got to this line near the end:

“One could perhaps be forgiven for thinking the 20th century’s great economic argument had been settled.”

I don’t bloody think so.

The whole reason why the times are giving Matt such a fit (a righteous one, mind you: he’s right) is contained right there in his sentence that I quoted. One of the most ghastly conceptual deformities of the twentieth century lurks in one single word right in the middle of his plea: it’s the reason why this whole fight is necessary — yet again — and it cannot be won unless this is grasped and integrated as a crucial axis of intellectual battle.

Are you ready? See if you can see the difference when I change the word:

“One could perhaps be forgiven for thinking the 20th century’s great moral argument had been settled.”

Of course, the change does not survive examination against actual history — nothing about these arguments was ever “settled” — but that has nothing to do with general ignorance of the fact that the “economic argument” is an argument over consequences of a moral system. It is not fundamental in any way.

It must be understood that socialism — any political system in which people are forced to live the decisions of others (this includes all variants and their dictionary specifications) — and individualism must, in the nature of their concepts, result in economic manifestations as different as their fundamental principles. It is these manifestations — these symptoms — which have taken up so much of the debate of a whole century, and it is this superficiality which has brought us to yet another lap around the mulberry-bush.

It is this myopia which abides reference to something like communist China in terms of “markets”, thus doing horrible violence to the concept of “markets”.

It was this infirmity that made Francis Fukuyama a star among ninnies.

The economic consequences of socialism (the morality) may justly be called socialism (the well-known disasters).

The economic consequence of individualism must rightfully be known as capitalism, for all the reasons having to do with value-production and preservation, and it must be known as a consequence — a cause-and-effect product — of its necessary foundation: the morality of individualism.

To divorce “economics” from morality, as if it had no moral component and people really were the virtual lab-rats that they are taken for in contemporary “models”, is to invite endless debate of the sort that many have very foolishly thought settled. That folly is now being demonstrated.

It will not do to attempt any of this on grounds of “economics” if we float those “grounds” in mid-air without reference to the subject matter of economics, which is: the productive effort of members of a distinctive species and the known conditions for their survival and flourishing. This is the moral axis of the argument, and the reason why we have not reached “the end of history” in all this is that this lesson has never been learned. Never: in all the glory since the Renaissance Humanists and the Enlightenment, and through all the lessons that every human depravity might have taught, this one remains — exactly as Ayn Rand said — Unknown.

All that is why we’re where we are now, and the howling question is whether anyone remarking on these matters can do justice to the depth and breadth of the crisis.

~~~~~

(I just now edited two crucial words into this — 11:42am)

Nov 12, 08 | 10:06 am

>Hitchens: The Night We Waved Goodbye to America

>
Read this essay by Peter Hitchens from this past Sunday’s Daily Mail (U.K.).

Excerpt:

***
…I was in Washington DC the night of the election. America’s beautiful capital has a sad secret. It is perhaps the most racially divided city in the world, with 15th Street – which runs due north from the White House – the unofficial frontier between black and white. But, like so much of America, it also now has a new division, and one which is in many ways much more important. I had attended an election-night party in a smart and liberal white area, but was staying the night less than a mile away on the edge of a suburb where Spanish is spoken as much as English, plus a smattering of tongues from such places as Ethiopia, Somalia and Afghanistan.

As I walked, I crossed another of Washington’s secret frontiers. There had been a few white people blowing car horns and shouting, as the result became clear. But among the Mexicans, Salvadorans and the other Third World nationalities, there was something like ecstasy.

They grasped the real significance of this moment. They knew it meant that America had finally switched sides in a global cultural war. Forget the Cold War, or even the Iraq War. The United States, having for the most part a deeply conservative people, had until now just about stood out against many of the mistakes which have ruined so much of the rest of the world…
***

Read the whole thing, and think about what will be left for future generations, especially if we allow the Marxists to win.

We have less than ten weeks to prepare for that struggle.

Tempus fugit.

>Obamanation Minus 69 Days: Spot the Looters

>
Per the Randian taxonomy suggested by Spartacus here, take some time to spot all of the state-worshipping Looters in the various circles of your life.

Be specific as you consider the following examples:

- How many of the folks in your life derive their sustenance from government paychecks?

- How many people voted for Obama?

- Of that group, how many are true-believing Obamites?

- How many of the McCain or other non-Obama voters in your life are actually statists, and are cheesed merely because their dictator wannabe didn’t get the nod?

- Are there other Looters who, while personally unknown to you, live in your neighborhood or reside somewhere in your daily round?

Understand that this suggestion is based on everyone’s need to know how their associates will stand as the new Administration commences its “War on everything that stands in the way of our Change mandate.”

That neighbor who watches you load long black cases in and out of your car and who has been grousing about your hedges will soon have a new payback tool, courtesy of a “domestic terrorism hotline” funded by your tax dollars.

That academic or magazine writer down the block advocating seizure of 401(k) accounts “from rich people” will soon have the power of the FedGov to effect his envy-revenge fantasies.

That father-in-law who calls you “the right-wing militia nut-job who married my daughter” will soon be able to help his little girl find someone more suitable to his country-club Republican tastes.

The local schoolteacher and Neighborhood Watch busybody will soon have a new someone from whom “to protect the Homeland.”

Each of the Looters in your life will soon need to receive the same kind of message Billy Beck delivers here.

Every choice has a consequence.

The Looters, by definition, have made their selection.

Alea iacta est.