Monthly Archives: April 2009

>Vandam: 100 Days — A Marxist Takeover by Leftist Slobs

>From New Paltz Journal:

***
…Obama rounded the curve and sped past the creepiest thing I’ve ever seen in American politics way back in the campaign. All along that campaign way it was clear to me that he made the Clintons and James Carville look like the front porch crowd at Maggie’s Rest Home.

Belong your adult life to the black equivalent of a Klan-based Christian Identity church? No problem. Just pretend you’re shocked when the stuff you’ve been listening to for twenty years goes mainstream and say you never heard it. You only went to the Klan rallies because your uncle ran them, but you certainly never set any of the crosses on fire.

A little lying is a part of political life in America. The Clintons saw that normative political lying and raised it a house of lies. Obama has pushed reality itself into the pot, along with the United States of America. Does he have any cards?

Of course not. For starters, this administration doesn’t even qualify as a television reality show. It doesn’t have the bona fides for that. This is a make it up as you go along Marxist takeover by Leftist slobs. My guess on boxers or briefs for this administration is: neither…
***

Read the whole thing, then buckle up.

The cars are still jostling upwards towards the beginning of the fun ride.

>Additional Military Readings

>Commenter Redleg on our Defence of Duffer’s Drift post:

Here is the modern version of “the Defense of Duffers Drift”. It is entitled “Infantry Combat: The Rifle Platoon An Interactive Exercise in Small-Unit Tactics and Leadership”. It is available through Amazon.com.

You are asked to make choices at the end of each chapter. You are then told what chapter you have to read next based on your choice. There are some valuable lessons to be learned here, ESPECIALLY FOR THOSE WITH NO COMBAT ARMS MILITARY EXPERIENCE.

There are two others available — one for the armor company and one for the infantry company. I feel the one for the infantry platoon is the most pertinent and would be the most beneficial to this situation though.

I found this book of value when I was in the Army.

Many thanks, Redleg.

Two other suggestions:

1) From Small Wars Journal, the Duffer’s Drift dream concept applied to counterinsurgency in Iraq — The Defense of Jisr al-Doreaa.

2) All of Poole’s works, starting with The Tiger’s Way: A U.S. Private’s Best Chance For Survival.

As you do your reading and thinking, don’t forget the Z axis either — the threat of air observation/interdiction, which freedom forces will face in abundance and which American-authored tactical manuals neglect (i.e., .mil air supremacy is assumed). However, as Sean and I opined in the Duffer’s comments:

Sean: Very instructive, and first rate. However, one must allow for the “aero-plane”, musn’t one? Oh, and tanks. And night vision devices. And smart bombs. And satellite pictures. And robotic devices. And oh, well, you know. Things a bit more complicated these days,eh,wot? More’s the pity.

CA: Sean:

You correctly point out one of our largest vulnerabilities.

However, as wise folks have counseled me, all of the modern toys depend on:

- POL (fuels and lubricants)

- specialists (toy operators)

- data connectivity/nodes (if the ones and zeros can’t get to or from, the toys no worky)

- other logistics (everyone has to eat, drink, crap, bathe, get ammo, med supplies, batteries, et cetera ad infinitum).

Thinking about interdiction on those points of vulnerability will help blunt the toys.

>Two Recommended Medical Emergency/Survival Books

>Two titles highly recommended by students at our medical courses:

When Hell Beaks Loose: Stuff You Need to Survive When Disaster Strikes

98.6 Degrees: The Art of Keeping Your Ass Alive

According to folks who have read and used them, both titles go well beyond the usual in discussing realities such as disposal of dead bodies, human waste, and other inevitables neglected by the “polyethylene and duct tape” FEMA advisories supplied by your tax dollars.

Any connection to this story is purely coincidental, I am sure.

>Remember Chief Flynn

> From the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel via Instapundit comes this story of police lawbreaking in the face of a state attorney general’s opinion:

***
Madison gun owner Auric Gold said he often carries a handgun in a holster while walking in his east side neighborhood, a right that attorney general J.B. Van Hollen affirmed in a memorandum to prosecutors on Monday.

Van Hollen said it’s legal to openly carry a gun on the street in Wisconsin and advised prosecutors that merely having a gun doesn’t, by itself, warrant a disorderly conduct charge.

The advisory gives those who choose to carry guns in public more confidence in doing so but isn’t likely to spark a rush to arms, said Gold, who works with OpenCarry.org, a gun rights advocacy group based in Virginia…

Milwaukee Police Chief Ed Flynn said he’ll continue to tell officers they can’t assume people are carrying guns legally in a city that has seen nearly 200 homicides in the past two years.

“My message to my troops is if you see anybody carrying a gun on the streets of Milwaukee, we’ll put them on the ground, take the gun away and then decide whether you have a right to carry it,” Flynn said.

“Maybe I’ll end up with a protest of cowboys. In the meantime, I’ve got serious offenders with access to handguns. It’s irresponsible to send a message to them that if they just carry it openly no one can bother them…”
***

As Professor Reynolds advises:

So if you see Police Chief Ed Flynn, put him on the ground, take his wallet away, and then decide whether he’s accepted any bribes that day. If, after doing that, you think the money’s his, give his wallet back. Who cares what the law says? It’s the Milwaukee Way!

Remember Chief Flynn.

Sic semper tyrannis.

>Sound Advice From Across The Pond

>Courtesy of Theo comes this timely message, along with the helpful information below:

>WRSA "Thank You!" Handgun Training Party at Front Sight — June 5-8, 2009

>Join us at the world-class Front Sight firearms training institute for a four-day defensive handgun course and rendezvous on June 5-8, 2009.

Details are:

Where: Pahrump, NV; map

When: June 5-8, 2009

How Much: $450/person

Admin: Here’s the rules per Front Sight — each student should download the application and background inquiry on the Front Sight website. Make copies. Fill out the application and background form.

Each guest who hasn’t had a Front Sight background done within the last year must submit the $50 background check payment with the application, background form, and course fee.

Label each application along the top with “Birthday Party for WRSA”.

Front Sight will email confirmation to each guest at least one week before the course.

Questions? Go to westernrifleshooters@gmail.com

NOTE: This training opportunity is just that — an opportunity put together by some of our WRSA members for folks to receive four days of quality handgun training with a retail price of $2000/person for $450/person. Some folks won’t like the fact that Front Sight requires all students to submit their info for a background check. It’s their school and their rules, so make your own risks/benefits analysis and proceed accordingly.

Hope to see you there!

>More on the Oath Keepers’ Oath Renewal Ceremony

>http://static.ning.com/socialnetworkmain/widgets/video/flvplayer/flvplayer.swf?v=
Courtesy of Boston Gun Rights Examiner Ron Bokleman comes the video above of the actual oath ceremony, along with his column describing the Oath Keepers’ Oath Renewal Ceremony.

See also this article from the New American for more coverage. We’ll post the video from Alex Jones (whose crew was embedded with the Oath Keepers team) when it’s available.

Thanks to Mike V. for the links.

UPDATED 1800 EDT 22 APRIL 09: Oath Keepers has their coverage up. Watch ‘em all, but start with this video of LCDR Guy Cunningham, USN (retired), explaining the origins and importance of his famous “29 Palms survey”:

>Beck: Ideas in Action

> From Billy Beck:

Tue Apr, 21 2009
Ideas In Action

Man, this is the third link to McPhillips in a row — to an item that just went up — and it’s been days now that I’ve been thinking that I should have hit him every day over there, lately.

Look:

“I honestly don’t see how a country can survive where these people — Obama, Pelosi, Geithner, Emanuel, Reid, Frank, Dodd, Napolitano, Holder, Soros — are taking it. They will drive the United States into bankruptcy, violence, and civil disaster. None of this began overnight, but these people are, and I want to emphasize this, vanguardists. They are not just effects, no more than Lenin was just an effect of Czarism.It was not some sort of mistake, some minor aggressiveness of minor players, that this administration turned and glared at its political opponents and at returning veterans via its Homeland Security Department. Had a Nixon or a Bush administration done something like that the wildfire of indignation would have burned in the media for weeks and even months. Janet Napolitano did not first apologize for that report: she first defended it and defended it vigorously.”

I’m told that he “toned it down” before he put it up. I would have thought so anyway: it ends like a man who can’t breathe enough to say everything that needs to be said….which is the state of things now.

It was yesterday that I told an old dear friend of mine on the telephone, “Listen, everybody can hate Bush all they want to, and anyone paying attention knows that I was the first one they know who said he would be a rotten president. But this is a different order of things now.”

McP: “They are not just effects…”

That’s crucial. All the political initiative now is with the forces of Amsoc. Where the so-called conservatives have fought generations of piece-meal rear-guard action against the integral resolution of socialism to corrode its worst enemy — the practical and living ideal of freedom: America — out of existence, and as they have done so as effects of disintegrated philosophy, the socialists are assuming the commanding heights in full political battle gear.

It is important to understand that this can only and inevitably mean physical battle gear, right in front of your eyes, right here in America. The spirit of this place that was not born of the slave’s obesience will require this government to bare its fangs. I still believe that. The ways in which and the singular souls from Americans select their values are not yet so beaten to any alien molds so well that they will peaceably stand for the conformations that this government will eventually require and demand — not “ask”.

Always remember: at the bottom of every stack of government paperwork, there lies a loaded .45. Always remember that: government is force, and it is now moving on the original and last hope of freedom in all the time of all the world. It’s doing that to scale and scope that would have seen the men who first set this concept (not “experiment”) in action up in action again, for all the same reasons.

Now, in an age when every manly instinct toward freedom is strained through myriad distractions and actively malicious state repression, it’s hard to see exactly how or when a natural rejection of state dominion might find action. My sense is that it will take weights of imposition to seriously approach comparison to Warsaw Pact satellites before it is widely understood that political violence is a necessarily accountable factor in regular American life. For instance: cigarettes will have long been driven to delicate rarity deep underground. That’s just a symptom — a depth-gauge — of what we’ll live with before and as we approach a reality-driven dissolution of popular delusions that we can all live at each others’ expense.

The ideological fact of matters is a de facto state of war, and ritual pleas for “non-partisanship” will not alter the fact. These opposed principles will necessarily become manifest in real life.

That’s how principles work, and they do it whether anyone knows it or not.

You must read Malone Vandam’s article, then go back and read Billy again.

Really.

This is not a drill.

>III Patches — Update

>
The patches are in and orders are being filled as you read this.

We have both Woodland and 3 Color Desert available. For those who are patiently waiting for their back orders to be fulfilled, our sincere thanks; they are being processed in the order received. All ‘back orders’ should be out no later than April 25th.

As a reminder, USPS money orders, certified or cashier’s checks process immediately; orders with personal or company checks are held until cleared.

Again, many thanks for your patience!

Raven’s Wood Enteprises, LLC
http://www.ravenswoodenterprises.com
ravenswoodent@sbcglobal.net

>Success

>
Still on the road while also trying to stay employed, but here is my initial field report from the Oath Keepers event at Lexington Green on April 19, 2009:

– Success.

– Hundreds of current and former military and police personnel publicly renewing their Constitutional oaths, along with hundreds of other freedom fighters who took the oath for the first time.

– The beginnings of a groundswell which, even in its early stages, is introducing strategic uncertainty into the plans of tyrants and thugs at the Federal, state, and local levels.

– Plans for another oath renewal ceremony, this time on the Mall in Washington on June 13, 2009 as part of the Gathering of Eagles Victory in Iraq ceremony.

Plan to be there.

More later, both here and at Sipsey Street.

>Thank You

>Two years ago, the Western Rifle Shooters Association launched their efforts, including this blog.

Since that time, we have conducted numerous shooting and medical clinics.

Our blog has hosted more than 324,000 visitors, with more than 612,000 page views.

We have met, either virtually or in person, hundreds of right-minded folks working for the same goals — freedom on the increase in this country, rather than in retreat.

That work continues, and today finds us in Lexington, Massachusetts at the Oath-Keepers Constitutional Oath Ceremony.

When we return on Tuesday evening, we’ll be announcing a special “thank you” event for WRSA readers at the Front Sight firearms training institute in Pahrump, Nevada later this year. You’ll want to check it out!

In the meantime, on behalf of everyone at WRSA, let me offer every WRSA reader a very sincere thank you for your readership, your contributions, and your friendship over the past two years.

May we each meet someday in the free country we each work so hard to achieve.

Forward!

UPDATE 19 APRIL 09 0750 EDT: Please take a few minutes to read Mike’s thoughts on this particular Patriots’ Day.

>Hysteria

>Read Mike’s latest here.

>Allies

>
From ¡Ya Basta!:

***

…There is a straight line between the maroon colonies, the Continental Army, Geronimo, Dorothy Day, the Black Panthers, the Young Lords, punk rock, Waco, Ed and Elaine Brown, and the Oath Keepers. On the other side of this conflict, a mantle has been shared by monarchs, Federalists, robber barons, bankers, Bull Connor, eugenicists, and globalists.

This conflict is between those who believe they have the right to liberty and those who believe they have a right to rule. As George Orwell wrote, “The distinction that really matters is … between having and not having the appetite for power.” More recently, Kevin Barrett has written, “[t]he only conspiracy that matters is the conspiracy of the psychopaths against the rest of us…”

***

Read the whole thing.

>Junkies

>Some readers know that I am a recovering alcoholic and drug addict. I have been extraordinarily blessed, having put down the booze in August, 1981 and being clean since April, 1982.

But recovery is a daily matter, and continued sobriety is a function of rigorous honesty about who I am and what I become when I use alcohol and/or drugs. In the first and last analysis — if I use drugs or drink booze, I will go straight back to where I was when I began my clawing journey into responsible life 28 years ago.

Nothing more, and nothing less.

I was thinking about addiction as I took mass transit home from tonight’s Atlanta Tea Party. On the surface, the event was very successful; speakers claimed more than 15,000 people in attendance, and that number made sense based on my ground-level estimates. Several presenters also stated there were more than 800 separate Tea Parties held across America today. While the majority of folks at the Atlanta gig were over forty, there was a significant sprinkling of older children, teens, and college students. Most people were white, although there were a few Asians, blacks, Hispanics, and other ethnicities mixed in the crowd.

As I stood listening to the speakers, I kept listening and looking around for any signs (literally and figuratively) that folks actually understood politics in Comrade Barry “We Won” Soetero’s America, circa 2009.

The closest I saw?

One woman I spotted on my way to the transit station holding a sign which simply said, “Peaceful Attempt”.

But if I gotten up on stage and said, “Do you understand that by demanding the elimination of socialism from this country — which you claim to want — you are implicitly and necessarily demanding the end of

- Social Security;
- Medicare;
- Medicaid;
- the new prescription drug benefit for geezers;
- Federal aid to local schools;
- the deductibility of mortgage interest;
- subsidized student loans; and
- a myriad of other government transfer payments?”,

I would have been booed off the stage, at best.

And the Second Amendment?

Oh, no. Far too scary that topic, apparently, for the Tea Party organizers. Only two speakers mentioned gun rights, and let’s just say that those references were hardly Vanderboeghian.

Riding the MARTA train back to my parking garage, I realized where I had previously experienced the kind of cognitive dissonance I saw demonstrated en masse tonight by both speakers and attendees.

In a countless number of 12-step meetings, I had both attempted to alibi for myself and listened while others did the same about the realities and consequences of drug addiction:

“I wouldn’t drink, except for my lousy home life.”

“If you had my problems, you’d use drugs, too.”

“I don’t have a drinking problem. My spouse has the problem. I just drink to calm my nerves.”

Et cetera, et cetera, ad nauseum.

Only when I learned that my only real problem was my addictions, and that every other issue was a consequence of those addictions, did I begin to turn around my life. Only by disciplining myself to understand that as long as I thought like a junkie, I would continue to act like a junkie, was I able to put those issues behind me (at least so far today, as we say in the “one day at a time” business).

With all due respect to the organizers, speakers, and attendees of the various Tea Parties, I would offer this observation:

Only by understanding that the overwhelming majority of Americans have become almost hopelessly addicted to government intervention in their lives can we, as a society and as individuals, begin to get free and clean from that vice.

So long as any American’s position on the relationship between state and individual can be reduced to “Let’s just go back to the amount of socialism (and its necessary correlative theft from my fellow citizens) that I liked”, that American is just as deranged and just as pathetic as an alcoholic who, after a bad incident, vows to avoid hard liquor and only drink wine in the future.

Recovery is always possible, even for the most dissipated of addicts.

I know.

But recovery simply is impossible until the junkie gets honest with himself about what the real problem is and who is responsible for that problem.

Be honest, America.

The real problem is not the politicians. They’re just doing what a majority of your fellow citizens have directed them to do at the ballot box.

The real problem is the junkie’s mindset in most Americans — young, middle-aged, and senior varieities — that it is both possible and morally acceptable to get other people’s money for yourself via state-sponsored theft by taxation.

Until people understand that addiction, we’re doomed.

>Obersturmfuhrer Janet Twists It More

>From the Washington Times:

Napolitano stands by risks report
Audrey Hudson and Eli Lake

Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said Wednesday that she was briefed before the release of a controversial intelligence assessment and that she stands by the report, which lists returning veterans among terrorist risks to the U.S.

But the top House Democrat with oversight of the Department of Homeland Security said in a letter to Ms. Napolitano that he was “dumbfounded” that such a report would be issued.

“This report appears to raise significant issues involving the privacy and civil liberties of many Americans – including war veterans,” said Rep. Bennie Thompson of Mississippi, chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, in his letter sent Tuesday night.

The letter was representative of a public furor over the nine-page document since its existence was reported in The Washington Times on Tuesday.

In her statement Wednesday, Ms. Napolitano defended the report, which says “rightwing extremism” may include groups opposed to abortion and immigration, as merely one among several threat assessments. But she agreed to meet with the head of the American Legion, who had expressed anger over the report, when she returns to Washington next week from a tour of the U.S.-Mexico border.

“The document on right-wing extremism sent last week by this department’s Office of Intelligence and Analysis is one in an ongoing series of assessments to provide situational awareness to state, local and tribal law enforcement agencies on the phenomenon and trends of violent radicalization in the United States,” Ms. Napolitano said in her statement.

“I was briefed on the general topic, which is one that struck a nerve as someone personally involved in the Timothy McVeigh prosecution,” Ms. Napolitano said.

Ms. Napolitano insisted that the department was not planning on engaging in any form of ideological profiling.

“Let me be very clear: We monitor the risks of violent extremism taking root here in the United States. We don’t have the luxury of focusing our efforts on one group; we must protect the country from terrorism whether foreign or homegrown, and regardless of the ideology that motivates its violence,” Ms. Napolitano said.

“We are on the lookout for criminal and terrorist activity but we do not – nor will we ever – monitor ideology or political beliefs. We take seriously our responsibility to protect the civil rights and liberties of the American people, including subjecting our activities to rigorous oversight from numerous internal and external sources.”

The Times reported Tuesday that the department’s Office of Intelligence and Analysis (I&A) issued April 7 the nine-page document titled “Rightwing Extremism: Current Economic and Political Climate Fueling Resurgence in Radicalization and Recruitment.” Outcry from veterans groups, Republican lawmakers and conservative activists followed, but the reaction spread Wednesday to Democratic lawmakers and liberal-leaning groups.

In his letter to Ms. Napolitano, Mr. Thompson demanded that Homeland Security officials explain how and why they wrote the report and whether it poses any threat to civil liberties.

“As I am certain you agree, freedom of association and freedom of speech are guaranteed to all Americans – whether a person’s beliefs, whatever their political orientation, are ‘extremist’ or not,” Mr. Thompson said.

Mr. Thompson said the report “blurred the line,” and that he is “disappointed and surprised that the department would allow this report to be disseminated” to law enforcement officials nationwide.

Homeland Security officials have declined to say who wrote report, except that it was a career official and not a political appointee.

Only three employees are listed in the Federal Yellow Book as working for the I&A office – acting Undersecretary Roger Mackin and two executive assistants.

Mr. Thompson’s letter said, “I am particularly struck by the report’s conclusion which states that I&A ‘will be working with its state and local partners over the next several months to ascertain with greater regional specificity the rise in rightwing extremist activity in the United States with a particular emphasis on the political, economic, and social factors that drive rightwing extremist radicalization.’ ” He demanded to know what types of activities the Homeland Security Department had planned for “the next several months.”

“Rightwing extremism,” the report said in a footnote on Page 2, goes beyond religious and racial hate groups and extends to “those that are mainly antigovernment, rejecting federal authority in favor of state or local authority, or rejecting government authority entirely.”

“It may include groups and individuals that are dedicated to a single issue, such as opposition to abortion or immigration,” said the report, which also listed gun owners and veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars as potential risks.

The assessment is not the first Homeland Security product to examine threats based on political extremism. In January, the department sent law enforcement officials an assessment of cyberterrorism threats from such left-leaning sources as environmental, animal rights and anarchist groups.

Mike German, policy counsel for the American Civil Liberties Union and a former FBI agent, said his organization was concerned about law enforcement agencies’ focus on radicalization, regardless of the specific ideology.

“Certainly, the right-wing report is focused far too much on rhetoric and things people say and things people think rather than on criminal activity and the people involved in criminal activity,” he said. “There is plenty of crime out there for federal, state and local law enforcement to worry about. They don’t need to invent threats that they have no factual basis for supporting.”

The American Legion on Tuesday said the latest report unfairly stereotypes veterans.

“I am aware of the letter from American Legion National Commander [David K.] Rehbein, and my staff has already contacted him to set up a meeting next week once I return from travel. I will tell him face-to-face that we honor veterans at DHS and employ thousands across the department, up to and including the Deputy Secretary,” Ms. Napolitano said.

“As the department responsible for protecting the homeland, DHS will continue to work with its state and local partners to prevent and protect against the potential threat to the United States associated with any rise in violent extremist activity,” Ms. Napolitano said.

Asked about the report at Wednesday’s White House briefing, press secretary Robert Gibbs said he has not spoken with President Obama specifically about it.

“Without getting into the report, I think the president works hard every day to make sure that all Americans are safe and secure,” Mr. Gibbs said.

“And I would say that, as it relates to some aspect of the report, that the president believes those who serve our country represent the very best of it,” Mr. Gibbs said.

House Minority Leader John A. Boehner, Ohio Republican, said Wednesday that the department owes veterans an apology.

“To characterize men and women returning home after defending our country as potential terrorists is offensive and unacceptable,” he said. “Everyone agrees that the department should be focused on protecting America, but using such broad-based generalizations about the American people is simply outrageous.”

Rep. Steve Buyer of Indiana, the ranking Republican on the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, called it “inconceivable” that the Obama administration would categorize veterans as a potential threat.

“This kind of mischaracterization can lead to discrimination against veterans in our society, especially in the job market,” Mr. Buyer said. “Vietnam veterans were subjected to this unfair treatment, and I call upon President Obama and members of Congress to refute any similar stereotyping of Iraq and Afghanistan veterans.”

• Jon Ward contributed to this report.

And don’t miss Judge Andrew Napolitano’s thoughts on the DHS report; key quote:

***
…My guess is that the sentiments revealed in the report I read are the tip of an iceberg that the DHS would prefer to keep submerged until it needs to reveal it. This iceberg is the heavy-hand of government; a government with large and awful eyes, in whose heart there is no love for freedom, and on whose face there is no smile.
***

Keep poking the wasps’ nest, Frau Obersturmfuhrer.

Just keep poking.

>Shedlock: Nationwide Tax Revolt Is Coming

>Spartacus sends this entry by Mish Shedlock:

Cities, states, and municipalities have a huge budget problem. That problem is caused by too much spending. The sensible thing to do would be to reduce expenditures.Instead Cities Turn to Fees to Fill Budget Gaps.

After her sport utility vehicle sideswiped a van in early February, Shirley Kimel was amazed at how quickly a handful of police officers and firefighters in Winter Haven, Fla., showed up. But a real shock came a week later, when a letter arrived from the city billing her $316 for the cost of responding to the accident.“I remember thinking, ‘What the heck is this?’ ” says Ms. Kimel, 67, an office manager at a furniture store. “I always thought this sort of thing was covered by my taxes.”It used to be. But last July, Winter Haven became one of a few dozen cities in the country to start charging “accident response fees.”

The idea is to shift the expense of tending to and cleaning up crashes directly to at-fault drivers. Either they, or their insurers, are expected to pay. With the economy flailing and budgets strained, state and local governments are being creative about ways to raise money. And the go-to idea is to invent a fee — or simply raise one. Ohio’s governor has proposed a budget with more than 150 new or increased fees, including a fivefold increase in the cost to renew a livestock license, as well as larger sums to register a car, order a birth certificate or dump trash in a landfill. Other fees take aim at landlords, cigarette sellers and hospitals, to name a few. Wisconsin’s governor, James E. Doyle, has proposed a charge on slaughterhouses that would be levied on the basis of each animal slaughtered. Washington’s mayor, Adrian M. Fenty, has proposed a “streetlight user fee” of $4.25 a month, to be added to electric bills, that would cover the cost of operating and maintaining the city’s streetlights. New York City recently expanded its anti-idling law to include anyone parked near a school who leaves the engine running for more than a minute. Doing that will cost you $100.The “accident response fee” idea could spread, too. A company in Dayton, Ohio, called the Cost Recovery Corporation specializes in setting up collection systems for municipalities that bill for police and fire responses. (The company keeps 10 percent of billings.) Inquiries have tripled in the last year, says the company’s president, Regina Moore.

Tax Capital of the World

In a game of leap-frog between New York and California, once again New York has the dubious honor as The Tax Capital of the World.
Like the old competition to have the world’s tallest building, New York can’t resist having the nation’s highest taxes. So after California raised its top income tax rate to 10.55% last month, Albany’s politicians leapt into action to reclaim high-tax honors.

Maybe C-Span can make this tax competition a new reality TV series; Carla Bruni, the first lady of France, could host.They can invite politicians from the at least 10 other states that are also considering major tax hikes, including Oregon, Illinois, Wisconsin, Washington, Arizona and New Jersey.In New York, Assembly Speaker (and de facto Governor) Sheldon Silver and other Democrats will impose a two percentage point “millionaire tax” on New Yorkers who earn more than $200,000 a year ($300,000 for couples). This will lift the top state tax rate to 8.97% and the New York City rate to 12.62%. Since capital gains and dividends are taxed as ordinary income, New York will impose the nation’s highest taxes on investment income — at a time when Wall Street is in jeopardy of losing its status as the world’s financial capital.

Mr. Silver says of the coming tax hikes: “We’ve done it before. There hasn’t been a catastrophe.” Oh, really? According to Census Bureau data, over the past decade 1.97 million New Yorkers left the state for greener pastures — the biggest exodus of any state. New York City has lost more than 75,000 jobs since last August, and many industrial areas upstate are as rundown as Detroit. The American Legislative Exchange Council recently said New York had the worst economic outlook of all 50 states, including Michigan. And that analysis was done before these $4 billion in new taxes. How does Mr. Silver define “catastrophe”?This is advertised as a plan of “shared sacrifice,” but the group that is most responsible for New York’s budget woes, the all-powerful public employee unions, somehow walk out of this with a 3% pay increase. The state is receiving an estimated $10 billion in federal stimulus money, and Democrats are spending every cent while raising the state budget by 9%. Then they insist with a straight face that taxes are the only way to close the budget deficit.

Taxing Your Way Into A Deeper Hole

Cities and states are taxing themselves in to an ever deepening hole. It is fiscally irresponsible to do anything but shrink government salaries and privatize all services that cannot be eliminated.
Irresponsibility in Vallejo, California
The unions of Vallejo, California got part of what they have coming when a Judge Ruled Vallejo Can Void Union Contracts.Not surprisingly, a self-serving website sponsored by the Vallejo Police Officers Association, Firefighters Local 1186, and IBEW Local 2376 is pleading the case for raising taxes so they can receive ridiculous, unjustified salaries and pensions at taxpayer expense.

Taxpayer Resentment Is Growing

Resentment towards unjustified property taxes, sales taxes, income taxes, and fees is building. At some point, I just do not know when, there is going to be a massive taxpayer revolt to throw the bums out, privatize services, and end the powerful grip public unions have over our lives.

Private pension plans have gone the way of the dinosaur. It’s long overdue that public sponsored pension plans and public unions follow suit.

Mike “Mish” Shedlock

Had enough yet?

>Want

>
Hat-tip to Jay for this piece from Wired:


Pirates Beware: Next-Gen Snipers Could Get Guided Bullets, Super Scopes
By Noah Shachtman April 13, 2009
11:04:00 AM

American snipers are already center-of-the-bullseye accurate – just look at the three shots that ended the Somali pirate standoff in the Indian Ocean. But tomorrow’s sharpshooters could be even sharper still, if a slew of Pentagon research projects work out as planned.

Already, we’ve seen Navy SEAL shooters take out three pirates with three trigger-pulls — despite uneven seas and bobbing ships. Imagine how much easier the snipers’ jobs would have been, if they had rounds that could change course in mid-air, to account for crosswinds, air density, and moving targets. Darpa, the Defense Department’s way-out research arm, launched a $22 million effort in November to do just that. By countering these “fundamental limitation[s] of accuracy,” Darpa thinks it can dramatically improve American snipers’ range — and “provide a dramatic new capability to the U.S. military.”

And if this EXACTO (“EXtreme Accuracy Tasked Ordnance”) project doesn’t work out, Darpa has other guided-bullet programs — like a $7.5 million effort to use lasers to steer rounds to their targets. Laser guidance systems are what made the some of the early “smart bombs” so much more accurate than their predecessors; it changed how war was waged from the sky. “Smart bullets” could eventually make a similar impact, perhaps.

The agency is also working on ways to radically upgrade snipers’ scopes and spotting gear. Researchers in the “One Shot” program are trying to build an optical system that’ll compensate for hiccups in the local atmosphere. By using thousands of laser pulses, agency-funded investigators are hoping to create a profile of the “eddies” in the air, as the light bounces back. The scope, through a series of algorithms, can take those eddies into account, as the sniper team aims. Darpa hopes the new scope will give snipers lethal precision at a range of up to 2000 meters, in winds up to 40 miles per hour. If it happens, Defense Department researchers say, it’ll boost a sniper’s kill-rate by ten-fold, or more, and let snipers “engage and pull the trigger” in “less than one second.”

A companion project, Super-Resolution Vision System (SRVS), wouldn’t just make snipers more accurate. It would make them functionally invisible, as well. The system is trying to use “heat haze” — that shimmer you see on summer days, out in the distance — for helping snipers, instead of inhibiting them. In any given instant, the heated air acts as a series of lenses; you may be able to look right through them and see a magnified view of the scene beyond. The trick is to use digital technology to identify the “lucky regions” or “lucky frames” when a clear view appears and assemble them into a complete picture. SRVS researchers are aiming to do just that.

If scope works out, it’ll be a particular spooky tool. Even if the target is looking right at you, they won’t see a thing because of the heat haze. A sniper using one of these will be a truly invisible assassin, with the ideal technology for picking off high-value targets.

The prototype is supposed to be ready this year. Finished units could be delivered to Special Operations units as early as 2011. As if pirates didn’t have enough to worry about.

– Noah Shachtman, with David Hambling

[Photo: USMC]

>Any Questions?

>Anyone doubting the level of arrogance and self-dealing amongst the FedGov’s executive and legislative branches and their friends in the banking industry needs to read this Congressional Oversight Panel report, subtitled “Assessing Treasury’s Strategy: Six Months of TARP.”

Financial planner Mike Morgan had this to say on his blog:

The Warren Report II – This one could save our country.

Elizabeth Warren, Chair of the Congressional Oversight Panel, has put together a report that should be the number one topic of main stream media. This is the finest document produced to date on TARP, TALF and all of the shenanigans going on throughout the Financial Crisis. She tells is like it is, and she exposes the details of the current financial crisis that everyone else is sweeping under the rug. Ms. Warren also tells us what we need to do, based on realistic analysis of what worked and what didn’t during the Great Depression, in Sweden, in Japan and more.

Here are a few snapshots and thoughts and here is a link to [a YouTube video of] her explaining the report.

Tim the Tax Cheat in Over His Head – You can understand just how much trouble we are in when you read the paragraph below. Ms. Warren is politely noting that Tim the Tax Cheat is clueless.

On the other hand, it is possible that Treasury’s approach fails to acknowledge the depth of the current downturn and the degree to which the low valuation of troubled assets accurately reflects their worth. The actions undertaken by Treasury, the Federal Reserve Board and the FDIC are unprecedented. But if the economic crisis is deeper than anticipated, it is possible that Treasury will need to take very different actions in order to restore financial stability.

TRANSPARENCY – One common theme we hear from Ms. Warren and the Administration is that we need transparency from the banks, financial institutions, markets and the Administration. Well, let’s explore that for a moment, because one thing lacking in this crisis is . . . transparency. And Ms. Warren documents that over and over and over and over and over and over.

What is Treasury’s Strategy? – This question was not answered in the past, and goes unanswered today. Why? Because King Henry’s strategy was:

(1) Bail out Goldman Sachs,
(2) Make sure all his friends from Goldman Sachs had plenty of money and were well placed (Bob Steel at Wachovia, Kaka Kashkari as King Henry’s lieutenant . . . and now still in charge of the TARP!!!),
(3) Make sure Goldman Sachs had favored status and AIG was pumped up with cash to funnel to Goldman Sachs, and
(4) SCREW the rest of the people in the United States.

Here is what Elizabeth Warren had to say in the report . . .

This is the fifth TARP oversight report of the Congressional Oversight Panel. In our first and second reports, we asked the question, “What is Treasury’s strategy?” In the absence of a clear answer to that question, in our third report, we looked at whether Treasury’s programs produced a clear value for the taxpayer by valuing the preferred stock that Treasury had purchased using TARP funds. In our fourth report, we looked in detail at the mortgage crisis, a key component of the financial crisis that gave rise to the TARP. Now we return to the issue of strategy as a new Administration begins to announce its intentions in detail for the TARP.

What is Treasury’s Strategy? – I’m not repeating myself, but obviously neither Tim the Tax Cheat nor King Henry felt compelled to respond to the committee. Ms. Warren makes that very clear throughout the 148 page report. Here is another quote:

The Panel has pressed Treasury for a clear statement of its strategy for stabilizing the financial system since it first posed the question in its initial oversight report in December 2008.

I REPEAT – What is Treasury’s Strategy – You can only imagine the frustration the Ms. Warren must have felt when you read this section of the report.

Despite months of requests, the Panel was unable to secure a commitment from Secretary Geithner to testify at a Panel hearing regarding Treasury’s strategy. In recent days, a date was finally set for April 21. The Panel appreciates the commitment, but it is concerned about the prolonged process.

The Panel was also quite surprised to discover it was excluded from the PPIP term sheet providing information access to GAO and SIGTARP. Thus far, Treasury has offered no explanation for why it would attempt to exclude the Panel from access to this information.

While the Panel understands the many demands on Treasury at this time, this delayed response is deeply worrisome. In his April 2 letter, Secretary Geithner promised regular meetings and briefings before major announcements. This would be a significant improvement. A productive working relationship with Treasury would provide greater transparency to Congress and the public.

What is Treasury Basing Their Plan On? – This question was asked and asked and asked and asked and asked and asked. No answers. None. Nada. Zipity Doo Daa. So Ms. Warren write, time and time and time again . . .

Since Treasury has not provided the baseline economic projections behind its
stabilization efforts, . . .

Stress Test or Self Test – I couldn’t believe the statement from Tim the Tax Cheat that all 19 of the largest banks had passed the stress test. Elizabeth Warren reveals that the banks did not necessarily pass any test. This was a self-test. Here is a statement from the Warren Report II.

“In conformity with Treasury’s assumptions, regulators will be relying extensively on the work of the incumbent financial management of the 19 firms in making these assessments.”

If you’re laughing, you should either be crying. But it gets worse. Here is how the Warren Report II sums up the Stress Tests . . .

In either case, the stress tests would not produce the desired results.

Is the Treasury Action Working? – No. I could leave it that but you wouldn’t believe me. Remember when King Henry demanded $700 billion or the world would come to and end, but if he got the $700 billion, everything would get better? Remember that? Here’s Ms. Warren’s response . . .

Worsening Metrics (Bad Signs) – Despite several measures that indicate that the government’s responses to the financial crisis relieved a panic atmosphere in October 2008, other measures indicate that there is an ongoing credit crisis despite extensive expenditures, loans, guarantees, and regulatory forbearance.

How it was done in the 1930’s – There was a lot of things in this report that the world’s most famous student of the Great Depression (Ben Bernanke) needs to read. Following is one example of how the RFC – Reconstruction Finance Corporation deal with the banks. So if Bozo Ben is the ultimate student of the Great Depression, why is he not taking note of the following? Easy answer: He’s just a student, and he’s in the back pocket of the banks.

In exchange for this government support, the RFC exercised its control of the banks by replacing senior management at some banks and forcing a change in business practices when it determined that changes were needed. The RFC also used its power to negotiate and reduce the salaries of bank managers and executives. The RFC preferred stock had a senior claim on bank earnings and common stock dividend payments were strictly limited to a specified maximum until the government investment was repaid . . .

Mark-to-Market or Mark-to-Myth – Another lesson from the Great Depression that Ben and Company are ignoring, is that we MUST mark-to-market to determine if a bank is even viable. Here is how they did it in the 1930’s . . .

It should be noted that the RFC valued banks’ assets varied over the life of the RFC. At the outset, RFC examiners evaluated assets at their fair market value, using this determination to guide them in deciding if an institution was viable, . . .

Why was the RFC Successful? – Lessons to be Learned – The Warren Report II sums it up very well. Unfortunately, Bernanke and Tim the Tax Cheat are totally ignoring all lessons they should have learned from studying the Great Depression.

Among the major reasons cited for the relative success of the RFC were that: (1) it
required banks to submit their regulatory examinations for inspection and rejected hopelessly insolvent banks; (2) the RFC was a separately capitalized institution with financial and political independence to make decisions as it deemed them necessary; and (3) restrictions on recipients of RFC assistance reduced moral hazard and ensured that banks would not take advantage of the program. Among these restrictions were the voting rights that the government gained, the influence the RFC had over personnel matters, and the seniority of RFC dividends to all other stock dividends.

Sweden and Japan – If student Ben did not learn what he should have from his studies of the Great Depression, Ms. Warren points out very clearly, that Bongo Ben is ignoring the lessons we should have also learned from Sweden in the 1990’s and Japan in the 1980’s, 1990’s and 2000’s. And the report explores the problems in Iceland, Ireland, Europe and beyond. This report ranks as one of the most detailed and footnoted document I have ever read . . . for a document that actually makes sense.

What to Do? – It seems like the panel could not agree on what to do. In fact, some on the panel felt it was not even appropriate to explore what to do. And the four less learned are being completely and totally ignored!

Options for Moving Forward
Disagreement exists among Panel members regarding the need for, and appropriateness
of, discussing potential alternative courses for Treasury to take to restore inancial stability. This section of the report is nevertheless offered to provide context to Treasury’s current efforts and to highlight the considerations involved in choosing potential alternative paths.

1. Lessons Learned
Although diverse in cause, scope, and solution, previous financial crises provide
important insights for contemporary policymakers. In particular, past experience suggests that effective solutions for banking crises often have in common certain characteristics without which a bank crisis may well persist or worsen:

• Transparency.

• Assertiveness.

• Accountability.

• Clarity.

There were discussions of each of these in the report, but enough is enough. The report is detailed and specific. The rebuttals from Sununu and Neiman, that they cloak as “Additional Views” are nothing more than partisan rhetoric. In a crisis like this, we don’t need this kind of nonsense.

I’ve just given you a few snapshots of the document. Ms. Warren professionally and politely points out just how screwed up things are, and exactly what needs to be done. Closing banks is critical, not what Tim the Tax Cheat and Sheila Baby are doing by pumping more drugs into the sick banks. Transparency is critical, but everything being done now and everything done by King Henry was cloaked in secrecy.

Sadly, the contents of this report will be buried in the Library of Congress, and Ms. Warren will disappear.

I leave you with a heading from a section of the report. You can guess what the answer is.

Time – Is it on Our Side or Not?

Tempus fugit.

>Beck: A Big, Big Part Of The Problem

>From Billy Beck:

“These lessons must be learned, else these long-term cycles of ignorance and panic will eventually claim everything we are. It might, in fact, be too late to prevent that. Combining the Obama administration with American cultural demographics (the rise of the imbecile, reared in proud ignorance at the feet of government) makes that prospect all too real.”
- me, already

“Only 53% of American adults believe capitalism is better than socialism.”
(Rasmussen)

It’s naturally an important consideration that the poll did not identify (“did not define”) capitalism or socialism. It is, however, more important to me that there may actually be no way to abstract and convey to the rising demographic the necessarily reality-referential concepts denoted by those words. (Balko: “The younger demographics are even scarier.”)

It is very important to understand that these are not reasonable times, and reason is the only hope of imparting to anyone the categorical differences between them and what they mean in all their implications. Mindless mass surrender to regularly cynical pleas for “bi-partisanship” alone short-circuits any sort of thoughtful analysis of, say, the moral differences between capitalism and socialism (of which economics is only consequential), and this is not to even touch the rampant corrosion of what passes for education at the government’s hand.

In brief, the times call for incision and precision of thought on scales and to depths for which American individuals are haplessly mal-prepared better than ever before in their history: requiring them to cognitively connect everything that their ethics and politics are about — not as some grab-bag of hazy metaphors, but as a matter of the fact that principles have real-life consequences whether anyone knows it or not — and actively figure out whether they really mean what they blubber off the tops of their heads whenever some presstitute gets in their face with a microphone.

Or every time they decide to vote.

“Government is the great fiction through which everybody endeavors to live at the expense of everybody else.”

How is it going to be possible to hip “the younger demographics” to what that means?

>"This is NOT a Tea Party. This is a Tea and Cakes Party." — A Threeper leaflet for handing out at "Tea Parties"

>From Mike Vanderboegh over on Sipsey Street:

Folks,

I have a leaflet suitable for Three Percenters to hand out at “Tea Parties.” You may copy the picture and image below, or email me at GeorgeMason1776@aol.com for a Word document suitable for xeroxing.

Feel free to hand it out, but make sure the tag line showing its provenance is on there. I want the guilty parties to know who to blame. Here is what it says:

This is NOT a Tea Party.

This is a Tea and Cakes Party.

THIS is a Tea Party:

The original Boston Tea Party was a calculated act of law-breaking designed to send the British Empire a message it could not fail to comprehend. Making long-winded speeches, thumping impassioned chests and denouncing a government made up of people who have already written you off as unimportant, impotent and no threat to their plans is a waste of time, energy and oxygen.

As comfortable and deeply ingrained as they are in all Americans, the conventional political tactics of speech-making, letter-writing and electioneering have brought us to this precipice of defeat. The guttering flame of the Founders’ Republic is within one stiff breeze of going out forever. Both political parties have conspired through malice or incompetence to bring us to this state, yet still people look in vain to the system of party politics for salvation.

The Founders were not so stupid as to place all their hopes on a corrupt system. When the accepted channels of politics and remonstrance failed, they burned the King’s tax stamps, dumped his tea, broke the windows of his tax collectors with rocks and bricks, smuggled forbidden goods, defied “his royal majesty” in hundreds of other ways and dared him to do anything about it. Liberty is not free, nor is it without risk.

All these tactics are still available to us today. Any inventive mind could think of many more effective in this modern era. It is not necessary to collect a crowd to do them, either. Defiance in action can be expressed individually in many ingenious ways.

But let us not kid ourselves that standing around and listening to speeches that aren’t worth the hot air generated thereby is an effective strategy for dealing with the hard-eyed, hard-nosed collectivist domestic enemies of the Founders’ Republic in power today.

You want to send a message that you intend to defend your liberty and not talk about defending it?

Don’t mail a tea bag.

Think like the Founders, and ACT.

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

>Geheime Staatspolizei

>From the Washington Times via Drudge:

Federal agency warns of radicals on right
9-page report sent to police

By Audrey Hudson and Eli Lake
Tuesday, April 14, 2009

The Department of Homeland Security is warning law enforcement officials about a rise in “rightwing extremist activity,” saying the economic recession, the election of America’s first black president and the return of a few disgruntled war veterans could swell the ranks of white-power militias.

A footnote attached to the report by the Homeland Security Office of Intelligence and Analysis defines “rightwing extremism in the United States” as including not just racist or hate groups, but also groups that reject federal authority in favor of state or local authority.

“It may include groups and individuals that are dedicated to a single-issue, such as opposition to abortion or immigration,” the warning says.

The White House has distanced itself from the analysis. When asked for comment on its contents, White House spokesman Nick Shapiro said, “The President is focused not on politics but rather taking the steps necessary to protect all Americans from the threat of violence and terrorism regardless of its origins. He also believes those who serve represent the best of this country, and he will continue to ensure that our veterans receive the respect and benefits they have earned.”

The nine-page document was sent to police and sheriff’s departments across the United States on April 7 under the headline, “Rightwing Extremism: Current Economic and Political Climate Fueling Resurgence in Radicalization and Recruitment.”

It says the federal government “will be working with its state and local partners over the next several months” to gather information on “rightwing extremist activity in the United States.”

The joint federal-state activities will have “a particular emphasis” on the causes of “rightwing extremist radicalization.”

Homeland Security spokeswoman Sara Kuban said the report is one in an ongoing series of assessments by the department to “facilitate a greater understanding of the phenomenon of violent radicalization in the U.S.”

The report, which was first disclosed to the public by nationally syndicated radio host Roger Hedgecock, makes clear that the Homeland Security Department does not have “specific information that domestic rightwing terrorists are currently planning acts of violence.” It warns that fringe organizations are gaining recruits, but it provides no numbers.

The report says extremist groups have used President Obama as a recruiting tool.

This WND story has a link for the actual report.

It’s just starting, kiddies.

Audentes fortunat iuvat.

Fortune favors the bold.

>Comrade Pelosi

>Despite logic and evidence overwhelmingly to the contrary, Überkommissar Nancy Pelosi this week called for universal firearm registration and prohibitions on interstate transport of guns by citizens:

ROBERTS: Let’s bring it back here at home for a moment. There’s so many issues on people’s minds. This past weekend, and the past week, we’ve seen a lot of mass shootings.

PELOSI: Yes.

ROBERTS: And the shooter in Pennsylvania, he was stated as saying that part of the reason why he purchased the AK-47, that he feared that under the Obama administration, that you would reinstate the assault weapon ban. And how do you reconcile that with the work that you have to do in trying to stem these types of surges in gun purchases?

PELOSI: Clearly, this is a sick person. So, whatever excuse he uses for his behavior is about that sickness. But, it’s important to note that since March 10th to April 5th, 53 people have been the victims of gun violence in our country. Four officers in Oakland, California. But the experience in New York more recent, and even many more people killed. We have to have answers to this. We have to find some level of compromise. Right now, we have the debate in Congress over the District of Columbia, wanting a vote on the floor of the House, something we all want. That’s a civil rights issue. And yet, they want to put a gun- a draconian gun bill- attach that to that. I don’t think that that should be the price is to pay to have a vote on the floor of the House. But we have to find some middle ground.

ROBERTS: Under the Bush administration, you pretty much said the ball was in their court when it came to reinstating the ban. Now, it’s a Democratic President, a Democratic House. So, is the ball in your court where this is concerned?

PELOSI: Yes, it is. And we are just going to have to work together to come to some resolution because the court, in the meantime, in recent months, the Supreme Court has ruled in a very- in a direction that gives more opportunity for people to have guns. We never denied that right. We don’t want to take their guns away. We want them registered. We don’t want them crossing state lines as this legislation would do in the District of Columbia. We wouldn’t tell any other state what to do. But Congress wants to tell the District of Columbia. So, in any event, there’s tremendous work ahead on this. And we have to rid the debate of the misconceptions that people have about what gun safety means.

The bill to effect such a scheme — HR 45, as sponsored by Castro-buddy Bobby Rush of Illinois — is already introduced in the House.

So on the assumption that Pelosi will get her way as a ‘compromise’ in the wake of the current media-driven ‘guns are scary’ campaign, let’s think a little about how an interstate-transport provision would be enforced.

Can you say roadblocks, labeled as “gun safety checkpoints”?

A bit of reconnaissance, ranging, and topo sketching at major interstate border crossings would seem to be in order, amigos.

Enjoy the weekend.

>TWIC – A Backdoor Real ID Card

>
Real ID is dying.

But the Department of Homeland Security has a new plan to subject every American to a national ID card anyway. They plan to pick off one occupational field at a time, starting with the maritime industry. One man is fighting back.

Meet him, and help stop this backdoor Real ID plan.

(h/t to CIII)

>Codrea: A Savage Con

>
Read David’s debunking of radio shock-jock Michael Savage’s plea for AWB2.

Then pass it on.

>Oath Keepers: See You On Lexington Green On 4/19/09

>
Details here or at Oath Keepers.