Monthly Archives: January 2009

>Holder: Transcript of Senate Judiciary Committee Hearings

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

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

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

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

COBURN: It’s nothing you’re contemplating.

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

HOLDER: Yes.

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

COBURN: OK. Thank you.
***

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

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

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

HOLDER: In the opposing state legislation? I’m not…

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

Let me say it again.

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

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

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

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

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

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

HOLDER: OK.

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

HOLDER: I think…

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

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

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

HOLDER: Senator, yes, I guess — I mean, in favor…

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

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

LEAHY: Well, if the Senator yields to me.

COBURN: I’d be happy to.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

HOLDER: Thank you, Senator.

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

HOLDER: Thank you.

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

HOLDER: Thank you very much. I think I’ve been very…

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

HOLDER: Thank you, Senator.
(end)

Call the Judiciary Committee members per this entry from David.

Call and write your home Senators.

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

Keep hammering.

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

Dum spiro, pugno!

>Fabius Maximus: 4GW, Simplified

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

Key grafs:

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

Remember this device?

Remember what we said here?

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

That’s why we referred to the Flip video camera as “the single most effective tool against Tyranny.”

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

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

Got Flip?

>Five from Michael Gaddy

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

Buy, Buy, Buy

Courage and Guns

The Bitter Fruits of Compromise

The Five Ps

The Gathering Storm

Enjoy.

Tempus fugit.

>Morris: Here Comes Socialism

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

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

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

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

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

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

To paraphrase Billy Beck:

Welcome to the cannibal pot.

>Holder: Hold It!

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

Read David’s article.

Do what it says.

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

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

Invictus.

>US and UK On the Brink of Debt Disaster

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

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

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

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

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

***

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

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

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

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

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

Alea iacta est.

>A Telling Milestone

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

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

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

We’re finding out as we speak.

Those who believe that a political solution is still possible:

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

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

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

Alea iacta est.

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

>The Leviathan Changes Masks

>
From ¡Ya Basta!:

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

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

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

Read the whole thing.

Tempus fugit.

>Spartacus: The Sweet Smell…

>…of raw POWER is such an aphrodisiac.

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

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

Alea iacta est.

>Roubini: US Financial System Losses to Exceed $3 Trillion

>From Bloomberg via the LATOC Forum:

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

By Henry Meyer and Ayesha Daya

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

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

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

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

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

‘Bankrupt’ System

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

>From Glenn Beck:

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

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

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

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

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

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

GLENN: Yeah.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

SOWELL: Oh, yeah.

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

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

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

SOWELL: Yes.

GLENN: So you think this is a possibility?

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

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

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

SOWELL: That’s right.

GLENN: I mean, it’s insane.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

SOWELL: I look forward to it.

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

SOWELL: Bye-bye.

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

STU: He’s one of the best, yeah.

GLENN: You are not on mic.

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

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

Alea iacta est.

>The Financial Crisis Deepens

>
Read this article from Mish and this one from the Telegraph, as sent by Spartacus.

Then ask yourself:

– How will the global financial crisis be used to vest more power in government?

– How will that affect me and my family?

– What am I willing to do about it?

Tempus fugit.

>WRSA Grid-Down Medical Course – Lancaster, PA – February 7-8

>Details here.

Hope to see you there.

>Waiting in the Oval Office’s "In" Box

>
Just waiting for the soon-to-be-official Narcissist-in-Chief to recover from his Coronation Ball are these steaming heaps of economic reality:

Will China Lead the World Into Depression?

Monetary Union Has Left Half of Europe Trapped in Depression

Shipping Rates Hit Zero As Trade Sinks

Roubini: Worst Is Still Ahead of Us

Biggest Korean Fund: Time to Sell US Treasuries

California and 43 Other States Face Huge Budget Shortfalls

Buffett: US In Midst of ‘Economic Pearl Harbor’

Prediction: with his range of action on the economic front severely constrained (likely even more so than can be surmised by open-source info, despite Buffett’s slobbering kisses), Hopey-Changey will resort to a little saber-rattling as a diversion.

Your call as to whether it will be against enemies foreign — or domestic.

Alea iacta est.

(h/t to Spartacus for several of these links)

>It’ll Never Happen Here

>From JPFO:

“It’ll Never Happen Here”

By Kirby Ferris

Gun owners now face what appears to be the seeming inevitability of nationwide gun registration and ammunition registration. Many longtime pro-gun advocates, even in their most fitful dreams, had not foreseen the immensely somber showdown we are confronting.

One writer (Bob Unruh in World Net Daily) appropriately used the phrase “perfect storm” to describe what American gun owners face at this moment in history. All the elemental societal and political forces seem to have conjoined to form an immense “low pressure” zone of impending anti-gun legislation.

The goal: Confiscation.

Is “confiscation” too harsh a word? Ladies and gentlemen, every government on Earth that has orchestrated a genocide first registered, and then confiscated, personal firearms. See: JPFO Genocide Chart .

Ironically, no one element of this “perfect storm of gun control” is actually new. We’ve had plenty of warning. It’s just that this time all the conditions truly are perfect.

Like Katrina headed for New Orleans.

1. We’ve heard of ammunition registration schemes for years. Using the Georgia State Legislature as a probing device, the victim disarmament crowd is going to bar code your bullets, and, if they can pass the whole enchilada, make you “dispose of” your present ammunition by January of 2012. Of course, that means you will have to sign for every box of ammunition you buy from now on. My opinion? The NRA will squawk loudly … and then compromise. The NRA will consider it a victory that they get the “dispose of” clause dropped.

Desired goal: Confiscation.

2. Let’s all watch as thousands of homecoming veterans become ineligible for gun ownership. This law is a done deal. The NRA backed it and Bush signed it. Some brave soldier, fighting house to house in Fallujah, might decide to seek some counseling for the horror he’s seen. Sure he’s got issues. War is hell. Ask any WWII, Korean, or Vietnam combat veteran. No one can remain psychically unscarred. But now this combat veteran, this soldier who offers his life to protect your freedom, will be denied the most fundamental human right, the right to self defense.

Desired goal: Confiscation.

3. Universal handgun registration. And this one is wafting up from Barack Hussein Obama’s home State of Illinois. Again, this is a probe: Get a law passed on a State level and then let it “trickle up” to Congress and a President who will be the most anti gun in our history.

Desired goal: Confiscation.

4. Obama’s pick for Attorney General, and pending legislation to give that officeholder complete personal discretion to ban firearms that were originally designed for military or law enforcement use. That means pump shotguns (used in WWI), Grampa’s old Garrand that he gave you (used in WWII), and any semi auto rifle or pistol that has military or police background use. Oh yeah, toss in your .308 deer rifle. It’s a “sniper rifle”.

Desired goal: Confiscation.

Additionally Obama is going to probably get two chances at new Supreme Court justices. And, because the NRA long ago retreated into a reactive stance when it actually had the power to utterly defeat prior legislation, our so-called gun rights advocates will once again fall prey to typical “dialectic” maneuverings by the victim disarmament crowd.

An insane bill is presented (thesis), reaching far beyond what our opponents actually want (at the moment), the NRA screams and takes a flaccid stand (antithesis) … and then compromises, and we get saddled with another sellout of our rights (synthesis).

What can be done? Petition the politicians who already ignore you? Petition the NRA Board of Directors, when it is blatantly obvious that the NRA was infiltrated by Bill of Rights saboteurs decades ago? No, all your letters and faxes and emails and phone calls won’t work with the two- faced connivers who are running things, both in D.C. and deep within the NRA. Forget the traitors and their dupes. Don’t waste your breath.

It’s time to take it to the streets. No, I’m not talking about open shooting … yet. I’m talking about educating your friends and neighbors. If every ardent gun owner can bring just one other person over to our somber understanding of freedom and private firearms, this battle … no, this war … will be won. You need a “secret weapon” that will quietly penetrate the awareness of your friends and neighbors. JPFO’s DVD “2A Today for the U.S.A.” is just that “secret weapon”. This documentary film is quietly persuasive. What it presents is inarguable. (“2A Today for the U.S.A.” is free online from www.jpfo.org.)

What if every ardent gun owner brought two people over to our side? We can bury the moral perversity of victim disarmament for decades.

There’s a storm a comin’. Tell your neighbors.

Yes, the “perfect storm” of “gun control” approaches.

Batten down the hatches.

>If Leonidas Had Been A Pragmatist

>

David explains.

>Stockdale’s Paradox

>
“You must never confuse faith that you will prevail in the end – which you can never afford to lose – with the discipline to confront the most brutal facts of your current reality, whatever they might be.”

Vice Admiral James Bond Stockdale, USN

>Thanks, But I Have Other Plans

>From Home on the Range via The Liberty Sphere:

***
…I’m not going to watch the inauguration. I love my country, but don’t think I want to watch another 150 million spent in what is proving to be not a solemn rite of passage, but what looks more and more like the confirmation of the divine right of kings. I don’t wish to celebrate another day in which I see our country moving further away from that which made it great.

The American Revolution was a revolution of greater note than the battles fought and the words penned. One of the most revolutionary outcomes of the formation of the United States was the subordination of government to moral law, moving away from societies in which the citizens life belonged to those that ruled, and the freedoms he had were only that which the rulers decided by whim he might have that day, or that week. The recognition of man’s individual rights by the Constitution limited the force of the power and greed of the states, protecting its citizens from an unwanted collective. The United States was one of the first moral societies in history, all previous governments viewing their citizens as a sacrificial means to the ends of others, and society as an end to itself. Our founding fathers had taken note. They recognized two threats to a man’s possessions, to his rights. One threat is a criminal. The other is a government. The most laudable accomplishment of our government when it was formed was its ability to draw a distinction between those two, thereby not allowing the second to become a sanctioned version of the activities of the first.

The Government of our founding fathers was structured to protect men from criminals and the Constitution was drafted to protect citizens from the government. The Bill of Rights was an explicit declaration that the rights of the individual citizens supersede any public power. We the People is I. And I support the constitution and ALL its amendments, not just the ones you pick and choose…
***

Read the whole thing.

Alea iacta est.

>Code of Conduct

>
From DoD:

Article I.

I AM AN AMERICAN, FIGHTING IN THE FORCES WHICH GUARD MY COUNTRY AND OUR WAY OF LIFE. I AM PREPARED TO GIVE MY LIFE IN THEIR DEFENSE.

Article II.

I WILL NEVER SURRENDER OF MY OWN FREE WILL. IF IN COMMAND, I WILL NEVER SURRENDER THE MEMBERS OF MY COMMAND WHILE THEY STILL HAVE THE MEANS TO RESIST.

Article III.

IF I AM CAPTURED, I WILL CONTINUE TO RESIST BY ALL MEANS AVAILABLE. I WILL MAKE EVERY EFFORT TO ESCAPE AND AID OTHERS TO ESCAPE. I WILL ACCEPT NEITHER PAROLE NOR SPECIAL FAVORS FROM THE ENEMY.

Article IV.

IF I BECOME A PRISONER OF WAR, I WILL KEEP FAITH WITH MY FELLOW PRISONERS. I WILL GIVE NO INFORMATION OR TAKE PART IN ANY ACTION WHICH MIGHT BE HARMFUL TO MY COMRADES. IF I AM SENIOR, I WILL TAKE COMMAND. IF NOT, I WILL OBEY THE LAWFUL ORDERS OF THOSE APPOINTED OVER ME AND WILL BACK THEM UP IN EVERY WAY.

Article V.

WHEN QUESTIONED, SHOULD I BECOME A PRISONER OF WAR, I AM REQUIRED TO GIVE MY NAME, RANK, SERVICE NUMBER, AND DATE OF BIRTH. I WILL EVADE ANSWERING FURTHER QUESTIONS TO THE UTMOST OF MY ABILITY. I WILL MAKE NO ORAL OR WRITTEN STATEMENTS DISLOYAL TO MY COUNTRY AND ITS ALLIES OR HARMFUL TO THEIR CAUSE.

Article VI.

I WILL NEVER FORGET THAT I AM AN AMERICAN, FIGHTING FOR FREEDOM, RESPONSIBLE FOR MY ACTIONS, AND DEDICATED TO THE PRINCIPLES WHICH MADE MY COUNTRY FREE. I WILL TRUST IN MY GOD AND IN THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA.

>On the Eve of Change

>In traditional statecraft, as two parties edged closer to open hostilities, the opposing diplomatic missions in each nation would be actively engaged in negotiations up to the point when further efforts were fruitless. Once that point had been reached, embassies located in soon-to-be-hostile territory would burn their files so that sensitive material would not be captured or otherwise secured for use by the enemy forces.

Rivrdog, a gun and freedom blogger in coastal Oregon, has read the hopey-changey tea leaves and has decided to reconfigure his blog and its mission. He explains the ‘what’ and ‘why’ in these linked entries.

An excerpt:

***
Going off the ‘Net, temporarily

This blog will still be there, but the content will only be accessible by password until I get all the editing done, upon which time I will open back up as a blog of political criticism and culture commentary mostly, along with nonsense about my personal life. I’m considering having a daily section of criticism aimed at the leftist Portland papers, sort of a daily debunking column. That section might morph into a separate blog, we’ll see. The daily Oregonian considers itself an actual arm of the government hereabouts, although I’ve read most of the City charters and have a decent familiarity with the State Constitution of Oregon, and strangely enough, the paper is not mentioned.

I can’t predict how long it will take, either, but I expect at least a week, maybe two or three. There are almost 2,400 posts to look at and edit.

If you wonder why I’m doing this, I posted about it yesterday.

I prefer to get into conflicts on MY initiative, not someone else’s. That’s a life principle for me, and as much as I love blogging and this blog, the principle supersedes it, so I will make the changes. The blog Paratus has been edited, and is available. I’ll use it to announce anything while this blog is down.

After the change, there will be few references made to armed conflict of any kind, with the possible exception of some which might be found in links…
***

Fair winds and following seas, Cap’n.

You will be missed.