Monthly Archives: February 2010

>It’s For The Children

>I’m sure that these powers could never be abused by this or any other Administration…

From The Hill:

Cybersecurity bill to give president new emergency powers
By Tony Romm – 02/26/10 02:30 PM ET
The president would have the power to safeguard essential federal and private Web resources under draft Senate cybersecurity legislation.

According to an aide familiar with the proposal, the bill includes a mandate for federal agencies to prepare emergency response plans in the event of a massive, nationwide cyberattack.

The president would then have the ability to initiate those network contingency plans to ensure key federal or private services did not go offline during a cyberattack of unprecedented scope, the aide said.

Ultimately, the legislation is chiefly the brainchild of Sens. Jay Rockefeller (D-W.Va.) and Olympia Snowe (R-Maine), the chairman and ranking member of the Senate Commerce Committee, respectively. Both lawmakers have long clamored for a federal cybersecurity bill, charging that current measures — including the legislation passed by the House last year — are too piecemeal to protect the country’s Web infrastructure.

Their renewed focus arrives on the heels of two, high-profile cyberattacks last month: A strike on Google, believed to have originated in China, and a separate, more disjointed attack that affected thousands of businesses worldwide.

Rockefeller and Snowe’s forthcoming bill would establish a host of heretofore absent cybersecurity prevention and response measures, an aide close to the process said. The bill will “significantly [raise] the profile of cybersecurity within the federal government,” while incentivizing private companies to do the same, according to the aide.

Additionally, it will “promote public awareness” of Internet security issues, while outlining key protections of Americans’ civil liberties on the Web, the aide continued.

Privacy groups are nonetheless likely to take some umbrage at Rockefeller and Snowe’s latest effort, an early draft of which leaked late last year.

When early reports predicted the cybersecurity measure would allow the president to “declare a cybersecurity emergency,” online privacy groups said they felt that would endow the White House with overly ambiguous and far-reaching powers to regulate the Internet.

The bill will still contain most of those powers, and a “vast majority” of its other components “remain unchanged,” an aide with knowledge of the legislation told The Hill. But both the aide and a handful of tech insiders who support the bill have nonetheless tried to dampen skeptics’ concerns, reminding them the president already has vast — albeit lesser-known — powers to regulate the Internet during emergencies.

It is unclear when Rockefeller and Snowe will finish their legislation. And the ongoing debate over healthcare reform, financial regulatory reform, jobs bills and education fixes could postpone action on the floor for many months.

Both lawmakers heavily emphasized the need for such a bill during a Senate Commerce Committee cybersecurity hearing on Wednesday.

“Too much is at stake for us to pretend that today’s outdated cybersecurity policies are up to the task of protecting our nation and economic infrastructure,” Rockefeller said. “We have to do better and that means it will take a level of coordination and sophistication to outmatch our adversaries and minimize this enormous threat.”

>Autoextinction

>From Mark Steyn, via Malone Vandam:

***
…What’s happening in the developed world today isn’t so very hard to understand: The 20th-century Bismarckian welfare state has run out of people to stick it to. In America, the feckless, insatiable boobs in Washington, Sacramento, Albany, and elsewhere are screwing over our kids and grandkids. In Europe, they’ve reached the next stage in social-democratic evolution: There are no kids or grandkids to screw over. The United States has a fertility rate of around 2.1 — or just over two kids per couple. Greece has a fertility rate of about 1.3: Ten grandparents have six kids have four grandkids — ie, the family tree is upside down. Demographers call 1.3 “lowest-low” fertility — the point from which no society has ever recovered. And, compared to Spain and Italy, Greece has the least worst fertility rate in Mediterranean Europe….

***

Read it all.

Then go read Steyn’s America Alone, if you haven’t already.

Do you understand yet?

>“Yeah, but what does that Three Percent thing MEAN?”

>From Sipsey Street:

“Yeah, but what does that Three Percent thing MEAN?”

The muzzles of three million rifles: A more complete explication of the Three Percent and what our existence means to the rest of the population, the Founders’ Republic and all our futures.

By Mike Vanderboegh

The other day I ran into a fellow who thought he was a Three Percenter but he wasn’t sure. “Yeah,” he said, “but what does that Three Percent thing MEAN?” I explained more or less thusly:

Three Percent: The number of colonists who took the field to actively fight against King George III.

Three Percent: The number of America’s armed citizenry today who can be counted on to actively resist any future restrictions on firearms, or indeed, any more attacks on the God-given natural liberties which are codified in the Constitution (and some that aren’t).

There are, give or take, a hundred million firearms owners in this country. Three percent of that number is three million. So when we speak of the Three Percent, we are talking about three million firearms owners who are politically active, but no longer count on politics alone to defend their liberties. These three million have watched as our traditional right to arms has been attacked and diminished on the federal level for more than 75 years since the National Firearms Act of 1934. In that time, in almost every instance when a new firearm restriction has been proposed, we have lost the political argument and being law-abiding we have allowed ourselves to be shoved back, grumbling. The Three Percent are simply saying, “No more.” One more restriction on our natural liberties — the liberties the Founders did their best to secure — and we will resist.

“But what do you mean, ‘resist?’” he asked.

Very simple, I replied, we refuse to obey. If our right to peaceably assemble and personally trade our privately owned arms with other law-abiding citizens is restricted — the alleged “gun show loophole” — we will stage our own gun shows and dare the ATF to do anything about it. If the manufacture of ammunition is tampered with by further government restrictions — punitive taxes, “microstamping,” or other such nonsense — we will make it ourselves or smuggle it in and dare the federal authorities to do anything about it. If more classes of firearms are added to their onerous bans — fifty caliber rifles for example — we will manufacture our own and dare them to do anything about it. We can only be oppressed with our consent, for we are armed. And WE DO NOT CONSENT.

“They will shoot you,” said my new friend, immediately getting to the crux of the matter.

“Yes, they must,” I replied reasonably. “It is what they do. That’s the ultimate threat behind every federal infringement. ‘Do this or we will shoot you.‘ But THEY must fire first. There must be no Fort Sumters. THEY must cede the moral high ground.”

“What happens then?”

“Then,” I replied, “we shoot back in righteous self-defense. There will be no more free Wacos for them. The only thing is, to the greatest extent possible, we must then take the civil war to the people who started it and who direct it — the political mandarin class who issue the orders — the elected officials, the unelected bureaucracy and their tyranny’s cheerleaders in the intelligentsia and press who lay the predicate for it. ‘No more free Wacos’ will have personal implications for those people.”

“Isn’t that a threat?”

“It is a promise, but I hope they take it as a very real threat against their future misconduct. If they do, and they begin to internalize the fact that the people who they have shoved around these past seventy-five years are finally ready to shove back — and that it is THEY who will be personally ‘shoved back’ — then maybe, just maybe, we can avoid a shooting war. Like Mama Liberty says on my blog, ‘If they don‘t want a civil disturbance, why don‘t they quit disturbing us?’ We‘re not trying to tell them what to do and how to live, THEY are trying to force their beliefs on us — and take our liberty and property in the bargain while demanding we pay for the privilege of being robbed. If they don‘t want trouble all they have to do is leave us alone.”

“Do you think we can? Avoid it, I mean.”

I sighed. “I hope the Tea Party movement can save the day politically, but I doubt that they will be able to overcome the inertia of the two-party stacked deck. For some of those in the permanent political class, it is in their interest to provoke violence. ‘Let no good crisis go unexploited,‘ as a White House chief of staff would say. For these people, especially if they see they are about to lose power, they may think that it is in their interests to burn the American equivalent of a Reichstag or two, or three. The fault is ours, for we LET them shove us back for seventy-five years with not a single shove back. Why should they expect it now? You can’t really blame them for being who they are. Such people have existed throughout history. You might as well blame a rattlesnake for biting your child when you knew the rattler was living under your porch for years and yet you did nothing about it. The blame is yours. That’s what Ben Franklin was saying when he replied, ‘A Republic, madam, if you can keep it.’” We — us, our fathers and grandfathers — have let them get away with stealing our property and our liberty for generations. Now, with our backs to the wall and no further room to give and still call ourselves free, we must deal with the rattlesnakes and eradicate them or, like St. Patrick, drive them into the sea.”

“So we need a revolution?”

No, I replied, we need a RESTORATION. It is they who are the revolutionaries, overthrowing the Founders’ Republic and the Constitution bit by bit, in Gramscian style. (I then had to explain Gramsci, but I shall not do it here. Look it up yourself, if you need to.) We simply want what the Founders wanted — a Republic of ordered liberty, the rule of law, the right to property, free markets and free men (and women, of course).

“Well, I don’t think they’re going to get it. I think we’ll have to end up shooting them.”

Perhaps, I said, if they have time to get around to it.

“What do you mean?”

“Deficit spending, mountainous debt, printing money to monetize that debt — the politicians of both parties have handed us a future that represents an existential threat to the country and its people. This administration may not get around to sparking a civil war by tyrannical misadventure, we may have a breakdown of civil order (which, in its worst form could be WORSE than civil war) because the whole house of cards collapses, suddenly and at once. And then it will be up to the Three Percent to save what can be saved.”

“Why just the Three Percent?”

“Because we are the only ones with the numbers and the firearms and because we think like citizens not serfs.”

He gave me a quizzical look.

“Citizens take responsibility for the safety of the community. They do this because they understand that this must be done in order to secure the safety of themselves and their own families. And we will do it because it is necessary, not because somebody pays us to. Look, have you ever come across a car wreck right after it happened?”

“Yeah. Twice.”

“What did you do?”

“Well, I stopped and ran down to the wrecks to see if I could help. I . . .”

I interrupted him. “Stop right there. I don’t need the details. Here’s my point. You stopped, you ran down to see if you could help. That makes you a citizen. There’s no better example of citizenship than that. And while you were down in the ditch, you had plenty of onlookers, didn’t you?”

“Yeah.”

“Was there a big crowd close around the wrecked car?“

“No. Once it was just me and a couple of guys who were riding in my pickup and the other time it was just me and another guy who stopped.”

“Okay, that’s the number of citizens on the scene. The guys who came down with you who had been riding in your truck, they came down because of your leadership probably, right?

“Well, I don’t know, they probably would have stopped themselves.”

“But you led them down into that ditch, right?”
\
“Yeah.”

“So you are not just a citizen, but a leader of citizens. But there were lots of people who stopped but only called 9-1-1, or people who just stopped and stared or people who kept on driving without doing anything, right?”

“Yeah.”

“Serfs. They drove on because it ‘wasn’t any of their business’ and most of the ones who called 9-1-1 instead of calling and THEN coming down to see if they could help did so because they have been conditioned that only ‘authorities’ are competent to handle an emergency, right? Some of them may be doctors or nurses. The driver or his passengers may be bleeding to death, but if it were up to the serfs the victims would simply bleed to death before they stirred their stumps to help, right?”

“Yeah, I see your point.”

“Serfs. They are not citizens because they take no personal responsibility. They are serfs. Willing, trained serfs. You took responsibility, so you are a citizen.”

“Well, I had some training in the Marines and I went to some classes after I got out . . .”

I cut him off again. “My point exactly. A citizen anticipates trouble and thus when he or she is called upon, they are not only willing to act, but competent to do so. Citizenship is a duty, a responsibility that is willingly assumed, along with the rights and liberties attendant to it. The problem is that the public schools no longer turn out citizens in this country, they are in fact serf factories because that‘s the way that the ‘powers that be’ want it. If you are a tyrant-wannabe, having to deal with citizens is at best inconvenient and at worst dangerous to your liberty- and property-stealing plans. Serfs are much more to their liking.”

“But,” I continued, “look beyond a simple car wreck to a car wreck times a hundred thousand like Katrina. The police did a number of things there that were in their way just as educational to anybody who paid attention as Waco was at the federal level. Some cops ran home to save Momma and the kids, leaving their posts and their duty. Some cops joined the looters. Other cops violated their oaths to the Constitution and either shot and killed innocents like some occupying army or disarmed the law-abiding, leaving them helpless against the rapists, thieves and murderers that they didn’t disarm — again, like an occupying army. When the whole SYSTEM breaks down, God forbid, Americans, being a practical people, will make their own arrangements. They will work with those law enforcement officers who will stand by their duty and their oaths but, more to the point, they will resist at the muzzle of a rifle (or, I should say, at the muzzles of THREE MILLION RIFLES) anybody — feds, cops or freelance criminals — who attempts to ‘Katrina’ them.”

I told him that a nationwide social and economic breakdown will see the revival of citizens’ militias in a huge way — instantly. However, tragedies will come to those who fail to see the need NOW for preparation, training and that “well regulated” stuff the Founders were talking about. (And if you haven’t studied how the language has changed since the Second Amendment was written, you don’t understand that “well regulated” meant at the time that the militia, the armed citizenry, should be trained, disciplined, with arms of common caliber and agreed upon tactics.)

“That’s still going to be a bunch of tragedies,” he observed.

“Yes, it is,” I answered. “But the question is, do you want to be one of them?”

“No, I don’t,” he answered.

“Then, “ I said with a grin, “you’ve just become a Three Percenter, whether you were before or not.”

“How do I join?”

“The Three Percent is NOT an organization. That would be too easy to kill, too simple to discredit. The Three Percent is an idea, a movement of like-minded people, and that is something that is far harder to kill. Almost impossible, really. You know the Oath, the one that you swore before God when you joined the Marines?”

He allowed that he remembered it, every word of it.

“Then just remember that the oath is not to a man, no matter how popular he is, or to a political party, or to an administration even if a majority of the people gave them the power by voting, but to an idea — the Founders’ Republic of God-given liberties and natural rights as expressed in the Declaration of Independence and codified in the Constitution. Remember that it is a life-time oath and has no expiration date. Once you realize those things and remember them every morning when you look yourself in the mirror, you’re a citizen. Everything after that is tougher — organizing your friends and neighbors; preparing and training for the future date when (not if) your military competence and that of your friends will be tested; getting your County Sheriff used to working with armed citizens; and finally, being awake, aware and ready to stand in the gap, come the Waco hell of tyranny or the Katrina high water of natural or social disaster. It is tougher, way tougher, but it must be done.”

He nodded his head, thinking. And in his eyes I saw his decision, if indeed there had ever been a question.

“Welcome,” I told him, “to the Three Percent.” We shook hands, and then fell to talking of his like-minded friends, how big an area of operations he thought he and they could protect, of beans and bullets, and equipment and training.

I hope this has given y’all a better idea of what the Three Percent is, and what it isn’t. What it boils down to is this: the Three Percent are the folks the Founders counted on to save the Republic when everyone else abandoned it.

And we will.

There will be no more free Wacos and no more free Katrinas.

For we are the Three Percent.

We will not disarm.

You cannot convince us.

You cannot intimidate us.

You can try to kill us, if you think you can.

But remember, we’ll shoot back .

We are not going away.

We are not backing up another inch.

And there are THREE MILLION OF US.

Your move, Mr. Wannabe Tyrant.

Your move.

>Why the Economic Theory of Mutually Assured Destruction is Flawed

>Must-read think piece from JohnGaltFla on why there will be relative winners and relative losers (most certainly including the former US of A) as the Collapse accelerates into high gear during 2010.

Read it.

Go clean yourself up.

Then get back to work.

Tempus fugit.

>Beck: The Whole Damned Country Is A "Place Like This"

>From Billy Beck:

“Well, about 33% disagreed with the founders at the time of the Revolution, so we haven’t fallen all that far.”

(Glenn Reynolds)

Oh, yeah? Well, go read that and then see this.

The tag:

“If people don’t even have the guts to raise their hands in a room full of as like-minded a bunch as you’re going to find, how on earth do they expect their politicians to do anything?

I suspect California’s not the only place like this.”

At this point of this disaster, there will be no voting our way out of it. The prevailing epistemology doesn’t permit it: there simply are not enough people out there who know how to think. The dominant ethics of the culture won’t have it: everybody wants to live at the expense of everyone else, and freedom is not a value in this country, anymore.

I say that you can count California as quite fairly representative of the United States at large, and you can take it from there.
***************************************************

Got monkeys?

>Up In The Sky

>Please review this collection of UAVs.

Think about what this means.

Think, also, about how to build their FreeFor equivalents and/or countermeasures.

Soon.

>Stasi in Training?

>Am I the only one who gets chills in reading this story?

>The Slaughterhouse

>JohnGaltFla schools us on the past twenty years in the fleecing…uh, stock and bond markets.

Read it all.

Then get back to your preps.

And as the author urges:

…Stand clear as the meat and bone bits fly off of that band saw blade.

>Evans-Pritchard: Concerns Grow Over China’s Sale Of US Bonds

>From A E-P at the UK Telegraph:

Concerns grow over China’s sale of US bonds
Evidence is mounting that Chinese sales of US Treasury bonds over recent months are intended as a warning shot to Washington over escalating political disputes rather than being part of a routine portfolio shift as thought at first.

By Ambrose Evans-Pritchard, International Business Editor
Published: 5:42PM GMT 23 Feb 2010

A front-page story in the state’s China Information News said the record $34bn sale of US bonds in December was a “commendable” move. The article was republished by the National Bureau of Statistics, giving it a stronger imprimatur.

It follows a piece last week in China Daily, the Politburo’s voice, citing an official from the Chinese Academy of Sciences praising the move to “slash” holdings of US debt. This was published on the same day that US President Barack Obama received the Dalai Lama at the White House, defying protests from Beijing.

“There are ongoing spats between the US and China on so many fronts so you have to assume that this is some sort of implicit threat,” said Neil Mellor, a currency expert at the Bank of New York Mellon, who cautioned that it can be hard to read the complex signals from China.

“We still think China will have to continue buying US Treasuries by the bucket load. Where else can they invest in a liquid market. The euro has become a tarnished currency,” he said.

China’s power is growing so fast that it now feels confident enough to raise the stakes on a string of festering conflicts with the US. It has threatened to impose sanctions on any US firm that takes part in a $6.4bn arms deal for Taiwan agreed by the White House. This is a tougher response that on any previous occasion and raises the spectre of a trade war over Boeing, the key supplier.

“Chinese leaders are deploying their reserves to try and pressure the US to stop haranguing China about its currency and trade policies, and to back off from interference in its domestic issues,” said professor Eswar Prasad, ex-head of the IMF’s China division.

Stephen Jen from BlueGold Capital said Chine is probably moving out of bonds from many countries as it prepares for a likely 5pc revaluation of its currency in coming weeks. Other assets might prove better protection against an immediate loss on holdings

Use of China’s $2.4 trillion reserves to challenge US foreign policy is fraught with problems, not least because any damage to America will recoils immediately against China – which depends on the US market for its mercantilist growth strategy. Beijing cannot stop accumulating dollars unless it is willing to let the yuan ride, eroding the margins of its export industry. Some reserves can be parked in gold or even copper, but liquid commodity markets are not big enough to absorb the scale of Chinese surpluses.

China and America are locked together by fate. Any petulant action by either side involves a degree of `mutual assured destruction’. But sometimes in politics – as in life – emotion flies out of control.

>Quote of the Week

>
Strap the f**k in, kids, this is going to be one fun ride and I don’t just say that because I have a really sick, really inappropriate fixation on the Fed. Um, 5% that maybe.

Jr Deputy Accountant, commenting on the resulting blamestorm as the Federal Reserve System poobahs go into a cannibal frenzy over who broke the US economy.

>A Parable, A Warning, And A Fact Check

>First, the parable, as cited by Denninger, from Charlie Munger, long-time business partner of Warren Buffett and Vice-Chairman of Berkshire Hathaway:

Basically, It’s Over

Next, the warning, as cited by Jim Sinclair from Zero Hedge:

FDIC Hits Record “Default” Level As Deposit Insurance Fund Plunges By $12.7 Billion To NEGATIVE 20.9 Billion

Finally, the fact check, from your friends at the Central Intelligence Agency, courtesy of Jr Deputy Accountant:

Per the CIA, the United States is the Brokest Nation in the World

Excerpt:

***
The top five (based on “a country’s net trade in goods and services, plus net earnings from rents, interest, profits, and dividends, and net transfer payments (such as pension funds and worker remittances) to and from the rest of the world during the period specified. These figures are calculated on an exchange rate basis, i.e., not in purchasing power parity (PPP) terms.”):

* 1 China $296,200,000,000
* 2 Japan $131,200,000,000
* 3 Germany $109,700,000,000
* 4 Switzerland $79,180,000,000
* 5 Norway $58,560,000,000

Those are positive account balances in case the coffee hasn’t kicked and you’re confused.

Putting this into perspective, Zimbabwe comes in #112 with an account balance of -$597,400,000. The United States?

***

Read the rest for Uncle Sam’s score.

Any questions why Zippy sez:

>Some Big Wild Guesses About the Future

>Another interesting essay by Charles Hugh Smith at ‘Of Two Minds’; read it all, but here’s a taste:

***
…7. The State, which was intended as a bulwark against the natural dominance of concentrated private capital and Monarchy, has instead become the handmaiden of the rentier-financial Power Elites. The Elites and the State have thus become partners in the task of diverting ever-larger shares of the national income to their own coffers.

8. As a result, inequality–as measured by shares of the national income and wealth–widens, furthering the divergence of interests between the productive class and the Elites/States’ unproductive fiefdoms and dependents.

9. The State/Elites seek to counter these growing imbalances by extracting more from the productive class via taxes and “theft by other means” and masking this rising inequality by manipulating the politics of experience via relentless mass media propaganda.

The goal is four-fold: nurture complacency and fatalism in the citizenry; divert their attention from the concealed parallel system that benefits the Plutocracy and State Elites exclusively; legitimize simulacrum democracy and delegitimize protest.

10. To keep the State dependents passive and unthreatening, the Elites/State placate this class with “bread and circuses,” State-funded entitlements paid for by raising taxes on the dwindling productive class. Under the guise of entitlements, the State (and the Elites who control it) has in effect bought the passive complicity of its dependents in the Elites’ growing dominance of national income and wealth.

11. Having over-promised entitlements to the unproductive and garnered the majority of national income and wealth for themselves, the Plutocracy/State Elites can only tax the productive class so much lest they kill the horse they ride so majestically. Their only alternative to loss of income and power is to debauch the currency by printing money and debauch credit by borrowing far in excess of what can possibly be paid back.

12. The debauchery of credit and currency and rising inequality/diverting of national income to the Elites continues in a process of devolution until a phase shift/tipping point is reached and the status quo collapses in insolvency…
***

We do indeed live in interesting times.

And we will soon learn why that ancient Asian wish is, in fact, a curse.

Tempus fugit
.

>A Simple Step

>David Codrea reports on how he and the other Gun Rights Examiners (“GREs”) are starting to move from a niche audience to a broader readership.

We are truly blessed to have advocates in the media like David and his colleagues.

But they still have a long way to go, both in terms of optimizing their natural gun-rights audience and also in bringing the message of freedom to the larger American media marketplace.

Here’s one simple step that I have taken to support the GREs:

I have made David’s Examiner page my home page in both the MS Explorer and Mozilla Firefox browsers.

That way, I’ll be sure every day to read the latest from the GREs, so that I can pass it on to others in the community.

I’d like to ask each WRSA reader to do the same, and to help spread the word any way that you can about the Gun Rights Examiners.

To be blunt, we are going to need David and his fellow “Media Free America” journalists even more in the coming months and years, as Leviathan lurches and thrashes across our country, alibied by the “Authorized Journalists”.

Let’s lend a helping hand to the GREs today.

>Denninger: How Long Before You Wake Up, Politicos?

>Karl Denninger takes both American politicians and “the Only Ones” to the woodshed:

I’m going to write today about a very somber subject. It will be, as it usually is here in one form or another, about math.

First, some background. If you believe that we have “escaped” from the mess that gripped this nation in 2008 and 2009, or that said mess “suddenly appeared” and “nobody saw it coming”, stop reading now and have your Thorazine dosage checked. It’s way off.

Assuming you accept the truth – that this mess was 20 year or more in the making, that it involved creating credit (that is, debt) which the debtor could never pay, and that it still exists because our government policy has been to extend, pretend and allow lies that should be considered accounting fraud and result in prison sentences, then you’re on the right page to understand the rest of this missive. Again, if not, go check your Thorazine dosage.

Yes, I know all about the stock market rally from last March. I know all about the claimed GDP “improvement.” But I also know that we got both by adding more than $2 trillion in debt to the United States – or roughly 14% of GDP – over the space of the last 18 months. That’s about 10% of GDP annualized, and incidentally, a 10% GDP contraction is the common economist’s definition of an Economic Depression.

So let’s cut the crap – we are in a Depression right now. We are pretending we are not, just like you can pretend you didn’t really lose your job so long as your credit card does not reach its limit. We have been in that depression for about 18 months and there is no evidence that we will exit it, as we have yet to find a way to pull back the deficit spending without an instantaneous collapse in the economy.

Yet at some point we must and will stop. We will either do so of our own volition, or we will do so when the cost of borrowing skyrockets, as others get tired of funding our profligacy. If we attempt to “print” our way out of it the cost of petroleum products will shoot the moon and destroy our economy anyway.

You haven’t seen the half of what happened though – not yet. It appears that AIG – the company we have bailed out (thus far) to the tune of some $100 billion plus, in fact isn’t done. It appears they may have written credit protection on Greece. If this allegation by the German equivalent to The New York Times is true Americans are going to be asked to pay billions of dollars – or more likely, hundreds of billions (since Greece is almost certainly not the only place – try Spain, Portugal, Ireland, etc) to bail out a bunch of FOREIGN NATIONS.

Do you both think Americans can and will pay that bill? A bill that has been forced on us, and yet benefits not The United States economy, but foreigners?

Wars – big wars – start over much less, my friends.

Oh, and let’s not forget – some 30% of Greece’s workers went out on strike to protest their “austerity measures.” That’s right – one in three.

The Fed and our fabulous Treasury Secretary already gave tens of billions of our hard-earned money to foreign banks to prop them up via AIG. That was just a down payment; now we all get to – quite literally – buy all their houses over in Europe. They get to keep living in them.

If you do not believe it is going to get much worse than it is now, economically and otherwise, you once again need to go have that Thorazine dosage adjusted.

A recent Rasmussen poll disclosed that only 21% of the voters in this country believe that the government enjoys the consent of the governed. Put another way, only 21% of the voters in this nation consent to what Washington is doing.

More ominously, 61% say the government does NOT have consent. The remainder (18%) are not sure.

May I remind you that in 1776 less than that 21% of the population (19%, actually) were loyal to Britain?

If you do not believe this nation is wound tighter than a clock spring, you need to have that Thorazine dosage checked again.

You are in denial.

After denial comes anger, then bargaining, and finally acceptance.

Let’s not do anger on a mass scale in this country, ok?

Neither I or my daughter will appreciate it if it happens; shall we skip that and go right to “acceptance”?

Let’s assume your answer is “yes.”

Now let’s talk numbers.

There are approximately 150,000 federally-attached law enforcement personnel. Another 750,000, roughly, state and local cops are employed by our various government arms. Of those various officers well more than half sit behind a desk and haven’t left one gram of shoe leather on a street or in a cruiser in the last year. The majority of you fire your weapons for periodic qualification and they have never been warm or dirty besides. You’ve never faced death, you’ve never had a weapon pointed at you in anger, and you’ve never drawn your service weapon in the line of duty. Those are facts.

Now consider the “bad side” of America. The Justice Department estimates there are at least one million gang members – active gang members – in America. These people, mostly young males, have nearly all drawn or fired weapons in anger. They are responsible for more than three quarters of all crime in this country, and some eight out of ten violent crimes. Those gang members have families – younger males who are “coming up”, “friends” (if you can call a murderous thug a friend) and others. Between all of those “loosely attached” folks and the hard-core inner circle itself we probably have somewhere between 5 and 10 million people in this nation who, given the wrong sort of provocation, might decide that “Zombieland” wasn’t just a movie.

Our politicians created most of these monsters so the “finest” would have something to do. A nearly-100-year obsession with what consenting adults put in their bodies is largely responsible for this, and an intentional policy of allowing an effective invasion of illegal aliens over our southern border provides some the most-violent core of this group. The illegal drug trade has fueled international wars, international gangs, and virtually all of the organized violent crime in this nation going back to Prohibition. Essentially every automatic weapon in the hands of criminals (and there are plenty of them) comes into the US through this same intentionally-left-open border as do the gangbangers, lies of this (and previous) administrations notwithstanding. Those of you in the Law Enforcement business may not want to accept these facts, but if you reflect on it you cannot escape reality: weapons, ammunition and other means of street thuggery all cost money, and without these drugs being illegal there would be no profit in it, and thus a huge part of the criminal gangland element would not exist. You’ve cheered on the War on Drugs as it has meant more cops being hired and more, better, fancier toys for you to play with, along with $200,000+ pensions (in some areas.) You’ve been fools and even self-destructive assholes for having done so. But that, today, is water over the dam – the bad guys are here, they’re not leaving, and there’s no evidence that the political class is going to suddenly legalize these substances tomorrow, cutting the source of funds for the thugs off at the knees – after all, you won’t rise up and demand it happen. So we must deal with reality on the ground as it is (and as you have cheered on the creation of), whether we like it or not.

As I’m sure you’re aware all of America sees some of our “finest”, not to mention our politicians, in various forms of misbehavior virtually on a daily basis. A girl beaten on a train platform while uniformed rail security stands and watches. A young man who appears to have been executed by a different rail security officer, even after he was subdued, face-down, without a weapon and easily able to be cuffed. The infamous Rodney King incident. The false accusations against the Duke Lacrosse team that threatened young men with many years behind bars for something that never happened. Our current Treasury Secretary who cheated on his taxes, not to mention the chair of the House Ways and Means Committee who did as well (that’s the committee that writes tax law, if you’re not up on your American Government.) And now, in the latest bit of ignobility we’re expected to swallow, we have accusations that a school district has been taking pictures of kids in their bedrooms using state-issued laptops that said kids were required to accept in order to pass their high school classes.

Here’s the problem: We the people increasingly don’t trust you, the law enforcement community, and we definitely don’t trust Washington. It’s not just beating a black man within an inch of his life, or shooting a prone, subdued suspect in the back.

Oh that’s bad enough, don’t get me wrong, but it gets worse.

Much worse.

See, our economy wasn’t ruined by accident. These crimes of economic activity were every bit as destructive, if not more so, than the bank robber, rapist or even murderer is. These economic offenses have literally dispossessed millions of Americans of everything they once owned. They have destroyed the hopes, dreams, and lifestyles of entire cities, sent tens of millions of jobs overseas into slave labor camps and stripped off the wealth of our nation through the issuance of securities that were worth nothing, just to add insult (and yet more profit for these banksters) to injury. Take a drive through Detroit if you doubt me, if you dare, and are appropriately armed to defend yourself (you’ll need the latter, especially if you’re white.)

As I noted above the bad news is nowhere near being over. We’re denying as a nation, as corporations, as politicians and as people. You’ve drank your coffee and eaten your donuts, but what you haven’t done is taken the initiative and marched down onto Wall Street and K Street (in DC), along with the myriad bankers, mortgage brokers and yes, even borrowers who were lying and cheating at the same time. You should have broke out the handcuffs by the crate-load and frog-marched these people into the dock en-masse over the last two decades, but you didn’t. You should do it today, but you won’t.

I know, you don’t make the laws and you just follow orders from above.

But you’re who we see. You’re “The Badge” or “The Squad.” And what we, the people don’t see is perp walks of those people who richly deserve it – who have in fact broken the law and destroyed our nation’s economic vitality for their own personal profit.

Remember, ladies and gentlemen, no matter what branch of law enforcement you hail from, your primary oath was not to a person. It is not to your commander, your captain or your squad.

Your oath is to The Constitution. You swore to defend that Constitution against all enemies, foreign and domestic. You swore to God and countryman alike, and your oath does not have a “use by” date at which point it expires.

Now consider this: the unspoken “social contract” says that the good guys go about their business without harming other people, and the occasional miscreant commits some offense, gets arrested and put in the dock by you. There they face their twelve, and in many cases subsequently do their time.

But what really inhibits the miscreant from his deed? Is it that you will show up and take a report after the stereo is stolen, the car burgled or the bank robbed, and attempt post-hoc to have them face the music?

No.

It is the possibility that he will break into or attempt to rob a home or business that has an armed citizen in it who is prepared and willing to defend him or herself. Armed not only with the ability to fight back but the weapon of familiarity of surrounding, said homeowner or shopkeeper might well splatter the brain of said felonious thug all over the far wall – in righteous and perfectly-legal defense of one’s person (except in places like Chicago, of course.) The truth of this is clear on its face – those places where citizens are “restricted” (illegally, I might add, under the clear language of our Constitution) from mounting their own defense to rape, robbery or murder the bad guys pretty much take turns “at will”, as opposed to places like Kennesaw Georgia which mandate instead that every homeowner have a firearm and ammunition.

One last thing to consider, and I will leave you be, as I have others to address this fine day.

If it gets bad, and I believe both history and the math says it will, who’s going to help you? Do you really think the entirety of the 150,000 Federal Officers will come to your aid? Or will they sit in Washington DC and in their big black Suburbans (armored, of course) issuing orders for you to go into the streets in your (unarmored) Crown Vics and die in their place? Remember that the “bad guys” in such a circumstance outnumber you 10 or even 20:1 and not only are they probably armed as well as you are, they’ve actually shot – offensively – at other human beings. Unless you’re one of the “bad cops” you’ve never done that, and few of you have had to fire in self-defense. Your only realistic advantage in such a situation is that most of the gangbangers are pretty poor marksman.

What’s the outcome of such an event likely to be? Remember, we may distrust you, but the bad guys hate you to the core and would BBQ and eat you for dinner if they thought they could get away with it. If things get bad they might deduce – en-masse – that they can get away with it.

Let’s face facts: while today we all count on being able to pick up the phone and call “911″ if we need an officer to take a report on our stolen stereo, if the bad times come you will need us, not the other way around. We the people will, under such a circumstance, have the luxury of determining whether your oath of office has been faithfully discharged, or whether the only difference at that instant between you and the gangbanger is that you’ve got a fancy hat and a nicer car.

Most of us, should we determine that you’re just the thug with the fancy hat will hide under the desk. We won’t shoot at you – that’s not our way. We’re law-abiding citizens, for the most part, and while we will shoot back, we won’t shoot first. But what we won’t do is help you, because your time – your opportunity to help us prevent this catastrophe – will have expired. We will protect our neighbors, our friends, our fellow citizens.

But that’s all.

You will get to deal with Zombieland, and in the back of your mind as you’re literally consumed will ring that old saw you laid on us for the last two decades: “I just follow orders; I don’t make the rules.

Be honest with yourselves: Is this where you want to be, or would changing things now be worthwhile? Would regaining the trust of the people be a good thing? Would replacing the large percentage of law-abiding citizens who now would spit on your shoes with those who will stand shoulder-to-shoulder with you, weapons facing the oncoming zombie hoard, be a good thing?

If so you have some work to do and there’s still time left to accomplish it.

To the politicians who are reading this, your Thorazine dosage needs adjustment as well. The math is irrefutable. If, in point of fact, AIG has entangled itself with the European Continent there is no escape from what is to come. There is only destruction, and our only two choices are to cause as much of it as we can to occur there, by pulling the plug on these clowns now, or risk a literal World War. We may get one anyway, but if we bring the bulk of the damage here we’ll be dealing with a civil collapse at the same time, and have no chance of being able to deal with the geopolitical implications. We must not allow that to happen. You must not allow that to happen.

We understand you give the orders to the people I’ve been talking to (mostly) up above. But you have less excuse than they, when it comes to oaths. You all took an oath to uphold The Constitution as well. You’ve used it as toilet paper, and that’s on a good day. The rest of the time we see you gleefully burning it in the Wells of the House and Senate, dancing around the smoke and fire like some odd pagan ritual.

It’s time to stop. Not because you want to, not because you fear us (even though you should – after all, we’re your employers and can fire you) but because if you don’t there won’t be a nation worth governing left. You know who the crooks are – including those among you.

Let’s talk taking this nation back.

It starts with declaring all CDS written against sovereign debt, directly or indirectly, void as contrary to public policy. Yes, that cuts Europe off from any prospect of a US bailout. So be it.

Next, all the banksters who were involved in these bogus securitizations need to be hauled into the dock. Now. William Black and his merry men sent over 1,000 people to the slammer in the S&L crisis. There are ten times that many who need to go this time.

Third, force all credit-default swaps onto a public exchange with published bids, offers, last trades, open interest and nightly margining. In public, where we all can see it. Either that or ban these obscenities outright. Choose one, and only one of those two options, and do it now. Yes, I know the banksters will howl. Too damn bad, and while you’re at it, make it unlawful for any institution that does business in this country to transact in any way in any instrument that does not comply with that rule. This monster, as I’ve been writing about for almost three years now, must be caged.

Fourth, reinstate Glass-Steagall. Yeah, I know, the Senate doesn’t want to do it. The Senate wants a nation that’s worth governing though, right? We won’t have one if this crap isn’t stopped. Mssrs. Glass and Steagall had it right in the 1930s. Put it back.

Fifth, stop lying to the people – and this includes lies told through deficit spending. We don’t have the money and can’t keep borrowing it. If you don’t stop we will find the “knee point” the hard way, at which point once again, you won’t have a nation worth governing. Remember the four steps above – neither I or my daughter, nor most of the 330 million Americans in this country, want to see the “anger” phase. Our country is like a powder keg and every time you lie you’re playing with matches in the room. Stop it before you blow us all up.

Sixth, we’re in a Depression, like it or not, and we’re not going to get out of it until the bad debt is defaulted and cleared from the system. Your job is to make that happen and get it over with. That’s deflationary. Sorry; this is math, not politics. The housing bubble was a hyperinflationary event – one hidden from the people by bogus government statistics and outright lies. Deflation always follows hyperinflationary credit booms – it’s either that, or the destruction of the government, political system and currency. You choose, but if you do not decide, destruction it will be.

Seventh, close the damn border and declare all the illegal immigrants as what they are – invaders. Tell them to either leave or will expel them – and mean it. Declare “LaRaza” a terrorist organization and lock ‘em all up. Americans need the jobs and we cannot afford to have five or ten million thugs just waiting for opportunity in the smallest loss of civil order to swoop in and take advantage of us all. At the same time, drop your insane “War on Drugs” and replace it with a taxation, regulation and legalization structure. Yes, I said legalize – federally. While we still have time we must cut off the chief funding source for the murderous thugs who otherwise, given the opportunity, will feast on you after they BBQ the local and state law enforcement crowd in our major cities. Don’t BS me or anyone else with your claims that such isn’t a real risk – I don’t see you strolling around in your fancy suits through the bad parts of Washington DC sans security details. Gee, I wonder why not……

Finally, to President Obama. You can’t serve both the banksters and The American People. You took the oath of office too. Now you have to choose. Not only will you lose in 2012 (badly) if you don’t start locking up the jackasses that got us into this mess but if you don’t ram the above seven points down the throats of these banksters and others in the next couple of months your party will be decimated in the November elections. Some of your oldest allies in the Democratic Party are resigning; Senator Bayh, for example. Illinois’ State financial health is akin to someone with terminal pancreatic cancer, and that’s where you’re going home to in 2012 if you don’t quit being nice-nice with people who have played rape-rape to the American people and economy for the last two decades. You didn’t make the mess (you weren’t around long enough to do it) but you had damn well better clean it up, or what will be left of this nation is unlikely to be worth governing by the time your term expires.

Health care may be important but not until the above is taken care of. Fixing the financial system is the issue you must confront and fix in its entirety. Not half-way, not by compromise – you simply must fix it. The seven points above are not options, they’re not discussion points – they’re mandatory. All of them. Don’t believe me if you don’t want to – believe Charlie Munger, one of the wisest investment professionals ever to live, and, in my opinion, the smarter half of Berkshire Hathaway (with no disrespect intended to Warren.)

The choice is yours Mr. President, but the consequences will belong to all of us.

Choose wisely.

Amen, brother.

>Fed Tale

>Over the transom from an old Drug War amigo:

A DEA agent stops at a ranch in Texas, and talks with an old rancher. He tells the rancher, “I need to inspect your ranch for illegally grown drugs.”

The rancher says, “Okay, but do not go in that field over there,” as he points out the location.

The DEA officer verbally explodes, saying, “Mister, I have the authority of the Federal Government with me.” Reaching into his rear pants pocket, he removes his badge and proudly displays it to the rancher.

“See this badge? This badge means I am allowed to go wherever I wish… On any land. No questions asked or answers given. Have I made myself clear? Do you understand?”

The rancher nods politely, apologizes, and goes about his chores.

A short time later, the old rancher hears loud screams and sees the DEA officer running for his life chased by the rancher’s big Santa Gertrudis bull……

With every step the bull is gaining ground on the officer, and it seems likely that he’ll get gored before he reaches safety. The officer is clearly terrified. The rancher throws down his tools, runs to the fence and yells at the top of his lungs…..

“Your badge. Show him your BADGE!”

>Highly Recommended

>Order info here; overview from the Amazon write-up:

Working in teams of two, [Embedded Training Teams] ETTs are tasked with training, leading in combat, and mentoring the Afghan Army to victory against the thriving and brutal Taliban insurgency. Writing and recording from a remote outpost, Benjamin Tupper’s boots-on-the-ground dispatches were broadcast on NPR and posted on Doonesbury’s milblog The Sandbox. Now he takes us inside the intricacies of the war, opening up a unique and multifaceted view of Afghan culture and war tactics. From the rush of gunfire to surreal, euphoric moments of cross-cultural understanding, this emotional and thought-provoking narrative is rich with humor, eloquence and contradiction. Writing of danger and desire, confusion and camaraderie, outrage and inspiration, Tupper illuminates the challenges of the war, vividly bringing to life both the mundane and the extraordinary and seeking a way forward. Readers will take away an understanding of the Afghan people, from soldiers to interpreters to villagers, that is critical to shaping our policies in what will soon be America’s longest war. His journey comes full circle; from direct involvement in fighting for Afghanistan’s future he is suddenly transported back home, haunted by dreams and enduring the travails of PTSD. ‘Welcome to Afghanistan’ offers new insight into America’s eight-year mission, and takes readers to a place where our warriors need us to go.

Don’t let the ‘NPR’ and ‘Doonesbury’ references deter you. This book is a quick read (opened it one bedtime and was done by 0300), is wonderfully written, and is free from virtually any of the knee-jerk collectivist tripe usually peddled by those outlets.

Let’s put it this way — it is so powerful that I am NOT recommending to the two tribe members whose men are in AFPAK now.

>Doesn’t Fit the Narrative

>As I was reading Mike’s debunking of the media psyops campaign concerning the Austin attack, the thought struck me:

I wonder how much of this guy’s anti-IRS rant has a basis in law?

Apparently I wasn’t the only one wondering about that topic, as Instapundit notes:

***
TAXPROF: The Austin Pilot Had a Valid Tax Beef About § 1706.

Plus, Tim Cavanaugh notes that Joseph Stack is becoming a lefty folk hero:

The Southern Poverty Law Center’s Intelligence Project hits the perfect storm of journalistic clichés by detecting a “perfect storm” of anti-government militias and “so-called Patriot groups.” Daily Kos claims (without evidence) links and ties to the tea party movement.

But a strange counterforce has been developing, visible in the comment boards on lefty websites and Facebook. The left’s creepy efforts to turn Stack into a club with which to hit advocates of lower taxes and smaller government keep getting met with responses, from other lefties, along these lines: “I read his manifesto, and you know, a lot of his points make sense.”

Heh.

***

Think that point of view will make it onto the torrent of juvenile dreck carried 24/7 on the cable nets?

Me neither.

Here’s some cold, hard truth:

1) The only thing holding the dollar back from complete collapse is a general belief by global markets that the Mighty Kenyan and his minions will be able to hold American taxpayers down and shear them even closer than has been done to date.

2) As Drudge noted today and Denninger captured below, Barry and his crowd already have the clippers in hand:

(click to enlarge)

Key graf from Denninger:

***
…”Health Reform” was never about actually providing health care to anyone. It has been and is about trying to find a way to obtain more tax revenue to offset the huge budget deficits that President Obama is running and intents to try to continue to run, and he appears to be well-aware that there is no possibility that the market will accept the sort of Treasury Debt sales necessary to do so in the free market.

See, I told you so (again.)
***

3) The Bamster and his advisers have made a calculated decision that by “doubling down” on taxes and nationalized medicine, the most that their political opponents can do is mount a series of impotent protests, followed by acceptable casualties in the 2010 midterms and a pathetic attempted resurrection of the deservedly-dead in 2012.

4) All of you who, in Tom Baugh‘s words, “dropped your packs” at the election of Scott Brown: you might consider picking them up again.

5) And the terrible thing is, at current course and speed, the Powers-That-Be are calling things correctly.

Do you really expect the Dead Elephant Party to do anything useful?

Didn’t the shriveled old skin-pouch from Utah speak for Team Dead Elephant when he told Utah Tea Party activists last week that they must “[w]ork with the GOP or see conservatives lose more ground”?

Is there any reason whatsoever for government workers at the local, state, and Federal levels not to keep doing their jobs — however trivial or heinous — just the way they have been doing them for the past two decades?

6) In short, as long as things remain the same — taxpayers being fleeced, the elites consolidating control over all aspects of American life while stealing everything that isn’t tied down, and government at all levels losing more and more legitimacy each day — then you can bet that the millions of government workers will continue building the walls of the New American Police State.

I wonder if The Other Janet and her intellectually-challenged trolls at DHS, along with the smarter kids at the FBI and DoJ, would consider a call for ongoing nationwide tax disobedience an act of “domestic extremism” worthy of greater attention?

Especially since American taxpayers’ willingness to consent to repeated indignities by their masters is the only thing that keeps the whole global Ponzi scheme from crumbling?

Audentes fortuna iuvat.

>Latest on CMP Greek Surplus .30-’06

>From CMP:
CMP Sales Update 02/20/10‏
From: CMPupdates (CMPupdates@odcmp.com)
Sent: Sun 2/21/10 12:32 AM

*** DO NOT REPLY TO THIS EMAIL ADDRESS. THIS IS AN AUTOMATED ACCOUNT AND ANY REPLY WILL NOT BE READ ***

LATEST CMP SALES NEWS:

MORE .30-06 HXP AMMO SOON: Our most recent purchase of HXP ammunition began arriving on Feb 17, 2010. It will take another 4-5 weeks before the full shipment is received. Until we actually receive the entire shipment, we will not know what packaging configurations will be available or the amount of each configuration. We do not yet know what our final cost will be. We do know that the quantity is large enough to satisfy our customer needs for several years. We will not accept any pre-orders or establish a waiting list. Thanks for your support and patience. We expect to again begin accepting orders by the end of March, 2010.

CARBINE MAGAZINES STILL AVAILABLE: see item PS103 under the “Parts Surplus” tab on https://estore.odcmp.com.

.30 CARBINE AMMO NOW AVAILABLE: We have received enough Aguila .30 carbine ammo to fill all backorders and still have a large quantity of ammo in inventory. We are now again accepting orders for .30 carbine ammo – item 438A. See the “ammo” tab on the Estore https://estore.odcmp.com.

M1D SERVICE GRADE NOW AVAILABLE. We are now accepting orders for the M1D Service grade. $1,500. See the Garand page at http://www.thecmp.org. Other grades of the M1D are not available at this time, but we do expect to have some towards the end of 2010.

CORRECT GRADE AVAILABLE. We have accumulated several hundred “Correct Grade” Springfield Armory M1 Garand rifles and are accepting orders. See the “Garand” tab on http://www.thecmp.org.

.308 AMMO AVAILABLE ON ESTORE. We currently have several different loads of .308 ammo listed at the “ammo” tab on the Estore at https://estore.odcmp.com.Quantities in each category are very small and we expect to sell out of all of them soon. Once an item is sold out, it drops off the Estore.

BAYONET UPDATE. We have not yet received the expected shipment of Garand bayonets, but do expect to have some available for purchase by the end of April 2010.

M1 GARAND CLEANING RODS NOW ON ESTORE. Cleaning rods for the M1 stock butt trap are now available at the “parts surplus” tab on https://estore.odcmp.com. Item numbers are PS105; PS106, and PS107. Thank you for your support and patience.

Orest Michaels
Chief Operating Officer

>Wall Street’s Bailout Hustle

>Read all of Matt Taibbi’s latest Rolling Stone article on the banksters.

Compare and contrast that information with the data found on this chart re food stamp recipients.

If even half of the tales in each story are true, can anyone reasonably doubt either the likelihood or the magnitude of the conflagration to come?

Tempus fugit.

>Thoughts on Democracy

>Courtesy of a reader:

——–
Democracy, the Radical Lieutenant’s Oracle:

[Diary Entry] June 28, 1864

“Here I found my first expert on American politics, Lieutenant C. He is not only a Republican, he is a Radical, and we have already crossed swords several times. Like all Americans, he pushes adulation of his country well beyond the limits of politeness and acceptability. Democracy is his oracle, his god, and he will never agree that it may not be the same thing as liberty.

If I reply that even the will of the people should have its limits, and that if it exercises in America the absolute reign that he talks about, it is more likely to pave the way to tyranny than to preserve liberty, he answers brusquely that I am French, that I don’t understand anything about freedom and that I have no right to judge his country. “Europeans,” he told me, “are born slaves. They always have been and they always will be. Only America knows what freedom is.”

“Oh,” I replied, “get off your high horse. There are many dark spots on your wonderful picture of American freedom.” Thereupon I ticked off for him the suspension of habeas corpus, the violation of the freedom of the press, the transfer of jurisdiction over many cases from civil to military courts, secret arrests, arbitrary imprisonments and all the other abuses of power that are the sad accompaniments of the Civil War. I asked him if that was what he called freedom.

“It is freedom if we have willed it. Mr. Seward boasts that he needs only ring his little bell to have absolutely anyone put in prison. That is true, but behind him are the American people who direct him. Let him strike down the rebels and traitors…We want martial law, do you understand? We want it, and that’s why we are still free.”

“[I replied] Revolutionary power is a seed of dictatorship. Watch out that the seed doesn’t take root. You refuse to see the danger; the freedom of your neighbor means little to you! This is the way to lose your own freedom and to rush headlong into despotism one of these days. [L]et’s get to the bottom of it. I know your theories. We practiced them under the [French revolutionary] National Convention. You think you’ve discovered a new idea, but all you do is recite the sophistries of the Committee of Public Safety.”

Are these not strange opinions in the mouth of an American, notions that would fit better with the outlook of a European Jacobin or a Massachusetts Whig? We think the Americans are madly in love with their individual freedom, yet there is a school of thought which springs up to repudiate it in the name of public safety, which views freedom as submission to the multitude. Love of freedom, like all human passions, falls asleep when it is not contested.”

(A Frenchman in Lincoln’s America, Ernst D. de Hauranne, Donnelly & Sons, 1974, Volume I, pp. 67-70)

>Final Two "Day the Dollar Died" Installments

>
Sunday Service

Extinction

>Latest "Day the Dollar Died" Installments

>
Burning Fields of Cotton

Your Application Needs Revision

Birdsong

>Embracing The Suck

>From Big Fur Hat.

>Where Are The New Ellsbergs?

>From Wikipedia:

…[Daniel Ellsberg] attended Harvard University, graduating with a Ph.D. in Economics in 1962 in which he described a paradox in decision theory now known as the Ellsberg paradox. He graduated first in a class of almost 1,100 lieutenants at the Marine Corps Basic School in Quantico, Virginia, and served as an officer in the Marine Corps for two years. During this time, he deployed to Vietnam as a company commander. After his discharge, he became an analyst at the RAND Corporation.

A committed Cold Warrior, he served in the Pentagon from August 1964[1] under Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara (and, in fact, was on duty on the evening of the Gulf of Tonkin incident, reporting the incident to McNamara). He then served for two years in Vietnam working for General Edward Lansdale as a civilian in the State Department, and became convinced that the Vietnam War was unwinnable. He further believed that nearly everyone in the State and Defense Departments felt, as he did, that the United States had no realistic chance of achieving victory in Vietnam, but that political considerations prevented them from saying so publicly. McNamara and others continued to state in press interviews that victory was “just around the corner.” As the war continued to escalate, Ellsberg became deeply disillusioned.

After returning from Vietnam, Ellsberg went back to work at the RAND Corporation. As a Vietnam expert, he was invited, in 1967, to contribute to a top-secret study of classified documents regarding the conduct of the Vietnam War that had been commissioned by Defense Secretary McNamara. These documents, completed in 1968, later became known collectively as the Pentagon Papers. Because he held an extremely high-level security clearance, Ellsberg was one of very few individuals who had access to the complete set of documents. They revealed that the government had knowledge, early on, that the war would not likely be won, and that continuing the war would lead to many times more casualties than was ever admitted publicly. Further, the papers showed that high-ranking officials had a deep cynicism toward the public, as well as disregard for the loss of life and injury suffered by soldiers and civilians…

From the Wiki page on the Pentagon Papers:

Leak

…The study was classified as top secret and was not intended for publication. Contributor Daniel Ellsberg, however, turned over most of the Pentagon Papers to New York Times reporter Neil Sheehan, with Ellsberg’s friend Anthony Russo assisting in their copying. The Times began publishing excerpts in a series of articles on June 13, 1971.[2] Street protests, political controversy and lawsuits followed.

To ensure the possibility of public debate about the content of the papers, on June 29, US Senator Mike Gravel (then Democrat, Alaska) entered 4,100 pages of the Papers to the record of his Subcommittee on Public Buildings and Grounds. These portions of the Papers were subsequently published by Beacon Press, the publishing arm of the Unitarian Universalist Association of Congregations.[3]

Article I, Section 6 of the United States Constitution provides that “for any Speech or Debate in either House, [a Senator or Representative] shall not be questioned in any other Place”, thus the Senator could not be prosecuted for anything said on the Senate floor, and, by extension, for anything entered to the Congressional Record, allowing the Papers to be publicly read without threat of a treason trial and conviction.

Later, Ellsberg said the documents “demonstrated unconstitutional behavior by a succession of presidents, the violation of their oath and the violation of the oath of every one of their subordinates”.[4] He added that he leaked the papers to end what he perceived to be “a wrongful war”.[4]

[edit] Impact

The most damaging revelation in the papers was that the U.S. had deliberately expanded its war with carpet bombing of Cambodia and Laos, coastal raids on North Vietnam, and Marine Corps attacks, none of which had been reported by media in the US.[5] The revelations widened the credibility gap between the US government and the people, hurting President Richard Nixon‘s war effort.

The papers also revealed that four administrations, from Truman to Johnson, had misled the public regarding their intentions. For example, Johnson had decided to expand the war while promising “we seek no wider war” during his 1964 presidential campaign. In another example, a memo from the Defense Department under Johnson listed the reasons for American persistence:
“70 %-To avoid a humiliating U.S. defeat…
20 %-To keep [South Vietnam] (and the adjacent) territory from Chinese hands.
10 %-To permit the people of [South Vietnam] to enjoy a better, freer way of life.
ALSO-To emerge from the crisis without unacceptable taint from methods used.
NOT-To ‘help a friend’ ”
[6]

Another controversy was that President Johnson sent combat troops to Vietnam by July 17, 1965, before pretending to consult his advisors on July 21–July 27, per the cable stating that “Deputy Secretary of Defense Cyrus Vance informs McNamara that President had approved 34 Battalion Plan and will try to push through reserve call-up.”[7] In 1988, when that cable was declassified, it revealed “there was a continuing uncertainty as to [Johnson's] final decision, which would have to await Secretary McNamara’s recommendation and the views of Congressional leaders, particularly the views of Senator [Richard] Russell[8]

For anyone interested, here is an online version of the actual Pentagon Papers.

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What does any of this ancient Vietnam-era crap have to do with the crises faced today by our country?

Just this — Ellsberg was a creature of the US government’s system, yet when confronted with the duplicity and deceit of our country’s leadership, he took — as a solitary individual — decisive action against that evil.

As this country lurches along its deteriorating path in the greatest long-term threat to American liberty since the 1861-1865 Recent Unpleasantness, where are today’s Ellsbergs?

I am both unsuprised and yet still appalled by the law enforcement reactions to Mike’s recent “Choose Whom You Will Serve” essay. I worked with enough local, state, and Federal law enforcement types during my career to know which way the bulk of those folks will turn come Der Tag.

On that large majority, I will waste no more breath. They have made their choices and so must live with the consequences for themselves and their families, as must I.

But as to the remaining LEOs who do not use their badge and their position as a club against their fellow citizens, I must ask:

If Ellsberg had the courage to do what he did, why haven’t you done the same?

For those of you who work in totalitarian jurisdictions such as California, New York, Illinois, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Connecticut, Maryland, and the District of Columbia:

How can you claim to be a supporter of the Constitution when your very job is to enforce unconstitutional laws, such as those against firearms possession?

You continue to enforce those unconstitutional laws, yet you hold yourselves out to be different than the “Only Ones” — your rougher, more violent, more criminal brethren in blue.

How can that be? Are you truly any different?

Try reading some Thoreau and King, then ask yourself the same questions again.

On another topic, which pertains to all of you, regardless of jurisdiction:

You either know and/or could find out what the government plans are for crushing civil disorder. You either know or could learn how your jurisdiction plans to infringe on human rights in order to “quell the disturbances.” You either know or could learn about how the US military will operate in conjunction with local, state, and Federal law enforcement, as well as foreign troops, so as to protect your true masters — not the people of the United States, but the bureaucrats and elected so-called “representatives” of the Government.

You know those “emergency plans” exist.

You know that you could obtain access to those plans and leak them to the outside world — just as Ellsberg did nearly forty years ago — to both sound the alarm and to prove just what kind of lying gobs of protoplasm actually are running this country.

Yet you do nothing of the sort.

It’s time to man up, amigos – if you are in fact any different than the majority of your thuggish peers.

It’s time for you to start doing something about stopping the madness of an ever-increasingly militarized police state being erected across this nation.

While it’s nice to hear you promise not to do bad things to the non-.gov Americans in the future, what about getting those unconstitutional plans out into the public domain today and actually prevent those bad things from happening at all?

Have you as much courage as Daniel Ellsberg had?

Man up, sheepdogs.

Man up.

>This Should Keep People on Edge

>Just two of the many stories on why 2010 will be an historic year for America:

Five Million Workers to Exhaust Unemployment Benefits by June

Trillion Dollar State Pension Gap

Tempus fugit.