Monthly Archives: May 2010

>Great Depression Mark II

>From the UK Telegraph:

Leading City experts have started raising the prospect of “Great Depression II” amid worries that the European economic crisis could trigger a deeper bout of chaos.

By Edmund Conway, Economics Editor
Published: 7:03AM BST 20 May 2010

Markets on both sides of the Atlantic dipped to fresh lows as fears surrounding the fate of the euro project transmuted into worries about the wider global economic system.

Bill Gross of bond fund Pimco said that hedge funds were starting to liquidate their positions in a bid to preserve their capital – a worrying “mini relapse” towards 2008 territory.

Andrew Roberts, head of European rates strategy at RBS, said “Great Depression II” could now be approaching, adding: “It now has potential to speed toward its conclusion; a European $1trn package which does little and political panic tells you we are about to reach the end of the road. The world should be discussing deflation, not inflation.”

The FTSE 100 flirted briefly with the 5,000 point mark, eventually finishing the day down 84.95, or 1.7pc, at 5073.13, while the French CAC 40 index was 2.3pc lower and Germany’s Dax dropped 2pc. The S&P 500 and the Dow Jones index both suffered their sharpest one-day falls in more than a year. The S&P fell 3.9pc to 1071.59, while the Dow closed 3.6pc lower at 10,068.01.

Fears that Europe’s debt crisis could hurt a global recovery pushed Asian shares down for a third day. Japan’s Nikkei 225 plunged 2.5pc to 9,782.02. Markets in Australia, Taiwan, mainland China, and Singapore also retreated. Hong Kong amd South Korean bourses were closed for public holidays.

The falls in share prices coincided with increases in the price of government bonds in Germany, the US and much of the developed world as investors sought a safe haven. German 10-year bund yields consequently hit a record low, while in the UK gilt yields dropped to the lowest level since early last December.

Although the rush to safety stems originally from the euro’s difficulties this week and German efforts to ban short-selling on its banks, fears that the episode may evolve into a deeper economic crisis were bolstered by fresh data. The European Commission produced “flash” data showing consumer confidence falling from a 23-month high of -15 in April to a seven-month low of -17.5 in May. Howard Archer, of INS Global Insight, said: “This is clear evidence that the deepening and spreading eurozone debt crisis… is now weighing down appreciably on consumer confidence. This is a very worrying – if hardly surprising – development.”

In the US there was a surprise 25,000 increase in jobless claims to 471,000 in the week ending May 15. The deterioration in the employment picture, coming hard on the heels of Wednesday’s drop in inflation, underlined worries that the US is exposed to a possible global double-dip recession.

Mr Gross said investors were now being frightened off by worldwide “fiscal tightening momentum”, adding that markets were facing “a mini-relapse of a flight to liquidity as hedge funds and other leveraged positions are liquidated to preserve capital”.

One worry is that European leaders are not sufficiently behind the $1 trillion bail-out fund they announced, in collaboration with the International Monetary Fund, last week. A second fear is that other indebted countries could soon be exposed.

One rumour abounding on Thursday was that a major rating agency will soon have to downgrade Japan’s credit score, potentially bringing the world’s second-biggest economy into the spotlight.

The euro jumped to a one-week high against the dollar of $126 on speculation that European Union officials meeting today will discuss some measures to counter the region’s spreading debt crisis.

Earlier in the week the single currency has tumbled to a fresh four-year low around $1.21 after Germany’s unilateral imposition of ban on shorting of government debt and the shares of ten major financial institutions.
***

As of 0245 edt on 21 May, Asian markets are mostly down significantly.

And remember — desperate governments do desperate things.

Alea iacta est.

>One Million Visitors

>As of 0130 EDT on 21 May 2010, Sitemeter showed 1,002,234 total visitors since March, 2007.

Many humble thanks to everyone who has stopped by, as well as to each WRSA commenter and contributor.

Forward.

>Jennifer III On…

>The Great Consolidation

The Myth of Non-Violence

Fourth Generation Policing

Please do as I have done and add I’ll Take Liberty to your blogroll and daily rounds.

>Travelling

>Business commitments, shaky connectivity, and time zones.

Posting should be more frequent starting on Friday.

Cheers.

>Empty Holsters

>Read it all over at The Cliffs of Insanity.

Knocked that one clean out of the ballpark.

>Venlet: On the Constitution as a "Counter-Revolutionary" Act — Parts I &II

>Please read John Venlet’s essay here, to which I will refer as ‘Counter-Revolutionary — Part I’.

In a comment to John’s piece, I said that I would write up some thoughts on why I use the “Constitutional Restoration” as an organizing concept. As did John, I offer the same caveat — I speak only for me in what follows. Moreover, nothing below should be construed in any way by anyone as the giving of “legal advice”.

To begin, as a refresher, take a quick glance through each of these foundational American documents:

Declaration of Independence

Articles of Confederation

USC

BoR

Pretty rapid conceptual evolution, across less than twenty years of admittedly-tumultuous British and American history, wouldn’t you say?

I will leave it to others to recount the details of that evolution. Suffice it to say that the trend to centralized, national government has its roots in the very founding of the Republic.

And as we sit here, nearly 234 years after the signing of the Declaration, it is apparent to a growing plurality that the objective of the USC/BoR drafters — to cage the embryonic national government from all but a few limited, enumerated functions — has not been met.

For that plurality, the question arises as to remedies for this situation — discussions about which must be conducted within the context of Chapter 155 of Title 18 of the US Code:

  • § 2381. Treason
  • § 2382. Misprision of treason
  • § 2383. Rebellion or insurrection
  • § 2384. Seditious conspiracy
  • § 2385. Advocating overthrow of Government
  • § 2386. Registration of certain organizations
  • § 2387. Activities affecting armed forces generally
  • § 2388. Activities affecting armed forces during war
  • § 2389. Recruiting for service against United States
  • § 2390. Enlistment to serve against United States

I commend a slow, careful read of those statutes and the cases decided thereunder to any freedom-minded activist, coupled with a cold-blooded assessment of the Mighty Kenyan’s moral and legal compass, along with those of his state security toadies Holder and Napolitano. The material and sources cited here may be helpful in that assessment, as will Will Grigg’s recent thoughts on the subject.

But in risk, there is also opportunity. Read the full text of 18 USC 2385:

Whoever knowingly or willfully advocates, abets, advises, or teaches the duty, necessity, desirability, or propriety of overthrowing or destroying the government of the United States or the government of any State, Territory, District or Possession thereof, or the government of any political subdivision therein, by force or violence, or by the assassination of any officer of any such government; or

Whoever, with intent to cause the overthrow or destruction of any such government, prints, publishes, edits, issues, circulates, sells, distributes, or publicly displays any written or printed matter advocating, advising, or teaching the duty, necessity, desirability, or propriety of overthrowing or destroying any government in the United States by force or violence, or attempts to do so; or

Whoever organizes or helps or attempts to organize any society, group, or assembly of persons who teach, advocate, or encourage the overthrow or destruction of any such government by force or violence; or becomes or is a member of, or affiliates with, any such society, group, or assembly of persons, knowing the purposes thereof—

Shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than twenty years, or both, and shall be ineligible for employment by the United States or any department or agency thereof, for the five years next following his conviction.

If two or more persons conspire to commit any offense named in this section, each shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than twenty years, or both, and shall be ineligible for employment by the United States or any department or agency thereof, for the five years next following his conviction.

As used in this section, the terms “organizes” and “organize”, with respect to any society, group, or assembly of persons, include the recruiting of new members, the forming of new units, and the regrouping or expansion of existing clubs, classes, and other units of such society, group, or assembly of persons.

But what if the agitator in question

…knowingly or willfully advocates, abets, advises, or teaches the duty, necessity, desirability, or propriety of restoring the government of the United States and the government of every State, Territory, District or Possession thereof, and the government of any political subdivision therein, to its Constitutionally-stated limits?

Aren’t the forces of tyranny potentially present in any centralized human endeavor thwarted — at least prior to the State’s inevitable use of force decision — by those who simply insist that Leviathan live within the constitutional cage designed for it more than 200 years before?

Make no mistake — this matter is NOT going to be settled by word games. The stakes are simply too high for all parties.

Leviathan will respond to the constitutionalists’ insistence with the only tools at its disposal — tooth and claw.

And when they do, the pragmatic constitutionalist will understand, once and for all, what Spooner meant.

In a few days, I’ll have the second half of my response to John’s article thought through and written.

Until then, think about these issues.

Your life, and those of your tribe, may depend on the correct answers.

>Denninger: One City Where Citizens Will Not Assist

>Karl Denninger nails it:

We all hear about “police brutality” and other similar incidents.

Then there are incidents that aren’t so clear.

Or are they?

DETROIT – Seven-year-old Aiyana Jones was asleep on the living room sofa in her family’s apartment when Detroit police searching for a homicide suspect burst in and an officer’s gun went off, fatally striking the girl in the neck, family members say.

Her father, 25-year-old Charles Jones, told The Detroit News he had just gone to bed early Sunday after covering his daughter with her favorite Disney princess blanket when he heard a flash grenade followed by a gunshot. When he rushed into the living room, he said, police forced him to lie on the ground, with his face in his daughter’s blood.

This isn’t a case where the cops barged into the wrong house: The suspect they were looking for, who was wanted for murder, was in the house and was arrested – on a lawful warrant drawn for the property they entered.

“This is any parent’s worst nightmare. It also is any police officer’s worst nightmare,” Godbee said.

Really?

Then perhaps you might consider your tactics in serving such warrants.

Let’s remember that while a suspected murderer that was being sought, the key word here is suspected. Until tried and a judgment is entered of “guilty”, he’s a suspect, not a convicted murderer.

Needless to say someone suspected of murdering another is presumed dangerous. But from reports it was obvious there were children in the house (there were toys in the front yard), the raid happened at 12:30 in the morning, and a “stun grenade” or “flash-bang” device (basically a big firecracker) was tossed in a window first.

One word comes to mind: Why?

What sort of insane definition of “police work” leads a department to do this? Isn’t this pretty much like David Koresh?

Remember, at Waco, rather than waiting for Koresh to leave the compound and arresting him in town or in his car (which would have almost certainly been a peaceful arrest), they instead stormed the compound at Waco and many people, including innocent children who had no connection to the crimes alleged, died.

In this case instead of performing police work (that is, staking out the property and arresting the suspect when he attempted to leave – as he eventually almost certainly would – without incident) the cops decided to use their “flashy SWAT tools” and storm the house, despite apparent obvious and clear knowledge, just as at Waco, that there were known-innocent persons inside.

The militarization of “police response” at times and during events when it is unnecessary and excessive is a dangerous step, and not only for the obvious reason that there is now a dead girl who did nothing wrong.

No, the more serious problem comes if and when order degenerates generally in society.

Logical and reasonable police forces and officers, of which there are many, will find themselves allied with the citizens of the area against the gang-bangers and common thugs who would otherwise seek to play “Zombieland” in our nation’s cities and towns.

But in places where the gendarme has chosen to play “Big Balls” instead of acting with logic and reason they will find that the citizens will defend only themselves and not the institutions and officers of law and order.

And let’s be clear, simply on the numbers: There are more bad guys than there are cops; only the general trappings of polite society keep them from deciding to go on human hunting expeditions with seriously-destabilizing results for the public at large.

If you doubt this then read some news, such as the LA task force that has had apparent gang-bangers try to blow up their offices by diverting a gas line! To say that the trappings of “polite society” are getting stretched a bit thin these days is not an overblown conclusion.

“No-knock” warrants are almost always abusive. If you know the person you want is inside, there’s no reason to go in with guns blazing or in a military-style raid – unless you intend to kill. Does it matter if you catch the person you’re after right this instant or the next morning when they step out for a pack of smokes – or some food?

There is no difference if your primary intent is to arrest and displaying your flashy hardware and tactics as a device to intimidate the population is not part of your agenda.

Are there instances where a raid as occurred in this case is justified? I can come up with a few. An active hostage situation where the assailant has demonstrated the will to kill hostages is one.

But a duplex where the sought person is believed (by, as it is alleged, observation of a vehicle registered to him) to be inside along with persons known to be uninvolved and innocent, such as the girl who is now dead, is not one of those circumstances until and unless said suspect barricades himself and threatens in some form to injure or kill the family, which obviously was not the case here.

The test should not be “can we get this guy if we storm the place” – it should be if we don’t storm the place is someone likely to be injured or worse as a consequence of doing police work and arresting the suspect when he emerges, since by definition the use of these tactics has a high probability of injuring or killing someone innocent of any wrongdoing.

If I engage in conduct that has a high probability of killing an innocent person, I do so on purpose, and an innocent person dies, I face a near-certainty of being charged with some form of manslaughter – as I should.

Justice in this case cannot simply extend to the officer whose weapon went off via a negligent discharge or some sort of “I’m sorry.” (As an aside there is no such thing as an “accidental discharge”; an unintended discharge of a firearm happens due to negligence, not accident.) Rather, it must extend to the preference of manslaughter charges against everyone involved in the planning and execution of this raid, without exception, up to and including those in the department who authorized this “show of force.”

Trust and partnership between law enforcement and law-abiding citizens has, in many cases, become something that law enforcement no longer values.

Sadly, by the time law enforcement in these areas recognize the foolishness of their militaristic approach to serving warrants and enforcing the law it will be too late for them to change their mind and rebuild the trust that they will need.

If you live in such an area and cannot change your law enforcement agency’s approach to the community via peaceful means you must leave now for a village, town or area where law enforcement recognizes the essential marriage between public policy and law enforcement. Such areas, if and when the gang bangers decide to try to serve “Zombieland” upon your area, will find both you and law enforcement standing shoulder-to-shoulder in your effort to resist – and you will be successful in doing so.

Cities like Detroit, on the other hand, will most likely literally burn to the ground.

Your choice to stay or go may, in the not-so-distant future, turn into the difference between life and death.

Choose wisely.


Local coverage here and here.

Yes, you read that right — the SWAT team’s raid was being filmed for an A&E network “real crime” drama.

Now there’s an episode for the November ratings “sweeps” period….

UPDATE 17 MAY 2010 2005 EDT: From this WaPo article submitted by a commenter, this statement by the family attorney:

***
…But [attorney] Fieger said the [A&E] video shows an officer lobbing the grenade and then shooting into the home from the porch.

“There is no question about what happened because it’s in the videotape,” Fieger said. “It’s not an accident. It’s not a mistake. There was no altercation.”

“Aiyana Jones was shot from outside on the porch. The videotape shows clearly the officer throwing through the window a stun grenade-type explosive and then within milliseconds of throwing that, firing a shot from outside the home,” he said…
***

>RTC: Possible Names of Dog-Killing Officers In MO Search Warrant Execution

>An update here; additional details/corroboration will be appreciated.

On the SWAT front, another story — this time, even more disturbing.

Remember: 100+ raids per day.

Every day.

They hate us because we’re free.

>Evans-Pritchard: Forget The ‘Wolf Pack’ – The Ongoing Euro Crisis Was Caused By EMU

>Ambrose Evans-Pritchard in the UK Telegraph:

Jean-Claude Trichet tells us the world faced a second Lehman crash in the days and hours before EU leaders launched their €720bn (£612bn) defence fund. If the European Central Bank’s president is correct, we are in trouble. The EU-IMF package is already unravelling. What will the West do for its next trick?

By Ambrose Evans-Pritchard
Published: 5:37PM BST 16 May 2010

Mr Trichet was ash-white at the Brussels summit a week ago. He distributed charts of credit stress to every eurozone leader. By the time he had finished his hair-raising discourse, everybody round the table finally understood what they faced.

“The markets had ceased to function,” he told Der Spiegel. “There is still a risk of contagion. It can happen extremely fast, sometimes within hours.”

The spreads on Greek, Iberian, and Irish bonds have, of course, dropped since the ECB stepped in with direct purchases. But the euro rally fizzled fast, to be followed by a fresh plunge to a 18-month low of $1.24 against the dollar. European bank stocks have buckled again. Spain’s IBEX index fell 6.6pc in capitulation fever on Friday.

Geneva professor Charles Wyplosz said EU leaders made the error of overselling up their “shock and awe” package before establishing any political mechanism to mobilise such sums. “The fund is an empty shell,” he wrote at Vox EU. “Worse still, crucial principles have been sacrificed for the sake of unconvincing announcements.”

Brussels was unwise to talk of smashing the “wolf pack” speculators and defeat the “worldwide organised attack” on the eurozone. As Napoleon said, if you set out to take Vienna, take Vienna. Besides, the language of the EU priesthood – ex-ECB board member Tomasso Padoa-Schioppa talks of the advancing battalions of the “anti-euro army” – frightens Chinese and Mid-East investors needed to soak up EU debt. These metaphors are a mental flight from the issue at hand, which is that vast imbalances – masked by EMU, indeed made possible only by EMU – have been decorked by the Greek crisis and now pose a danger to the entire world.

One can only guess what Mr Trichet meant when he said we are living through “the most difficult situation since the Second World War, and perhaps the First”. Is this worse than Credit Anstalt in the summer of 1931, the event that brought down central Europe’s banking system and tipped Europe into depression?

Or was Mr Trichet alluding to something else after witnessing the Brussels tantrum by President Nicolas Sarkozy? According to El Pais, Mr Sarkozy threatened to pull France out of the euro and break the Franco-German axis at the heart of the EU project unless Germany capitulated.

To utter such threats is to bring them about. You cannot treat Germany in that fashion.

Chancellor Angela Merkel has put the best face on a deal that has so damaged her leadership. “If the euro fails, then Europe fails and the idea of European unity fails,” she said. Too late, I think. The German nation is moving on. I was struck by a piece in the Frankfurter Allgemeine proposing a new “hard currency” made up of Germany, Austria, Benelux, Finland, the Czech Republic, and Poland, but without France. The piece entitled The Alternative says deflation policies may push Greece to the brink of “civil war” and concludes that Europe would better off if it abandoned the attempt to hold together two incompatible halves. “It can be done,” the piece says.

What makes this crisis so dangerous is not just that Europe’s banks are still reeling, with wafer-thin capital ratios. The new twist is that markets are no longer sure whether sovereign states are strong enough to shoulder rescue costs…
***

Read the rest.

Who cares?

You better.

The FedGov’s ability to extract blood, sweat, and bone marrow from the American taxpayer on behalf of its master, the Federal Reserve Bank, is the only reed supporting the entire global financial structure.

That means as the Euro goes, so goes any restraint against seizing whatever they can from you.

Do you understand yet?

>Spengler: Ignore That Keynes Behind The Arras

>The latest from Spengler at Asia Times:

This was supposed to have been the final triumph of John Maynard Keynes, the crisis in which governments actually did what he urged them to do during the Great Depression, the proof that an elite of puppeteers in control of monetary and fiscal policy could make the innumerable actors in economic life march wide-eyed toward recovery.

Keynes’ idea is simple; in fact, it is simple by construction, for it focuses on the very short term within a closed economy. If consumers won’t spend, the government will spend for them; if businesses won’t invest, the government will invest for them; and if investors won’t take risks, the central bank will reduce the yield on low-risk investments to almost nothing.

No forecaster of note a month ago expected the Greek debt problem to threaten the world financial system, yet it has. Nemesis always comes in through the unwatched door. The risk is that lending among international banks may freeze up as it did during the late autumn and winter of 2008-2009, with catastrophic consequences for governments that depend on the banks to fund enormous deficits.

The cost of insurance against European bank defaults is now even higher than after the Lehman Brothers bankruptcy of 2008. This is not a drill. It is a real crisis. Perhaps the European Community will calm things down for the moment. No matter: if they succeed, the crisis will find another outlet soon enough.

The Barack Obama administration, like most of the world’s governments, decided on a massive dose of Keynesian medicine, taking the budget deficit to an unheard-of peacetime level of 13% and keeping short-term interest rates at near zero. It was advised by macroeconomic royalty: Obama’s chief economic advisor Lawrence Summers is the nephew of two Nobel-Prize winning economists, Kenneth Arrow and Paul Samuelson, of whom the latter literally wrote the textbook that trained three generations of economists in Keynes’ wisdom.

And it all seemed to be working. Even some of the bitterest critics of the Obama administration and Keynesian economics in general hailed the coming “V-shaped recovery”. American consumers, right after suffering a US$6 trillion loss in wealth in the form of household equity, and right before the greatest retirement in American history, decided that they did not have to save after all. The savings rate fell and consumer spending rose. American corporations in the S&P 500 index stripped down to skeleton staffs and stopped investing, and declared a 60% rise in profits between the second quarters of 2009 and 2010. And the latest employment data show real improvement in the labor market.

It was Keynes’ “money illusion” writ large. Inflate the currency, and the workingman will still see the same number of shillings in his pay packet, Keynes wrote at the beginning of his 1936 General Theory. Inflation thus will stimulate economic activity. This crude example illustrates a broader principle that might be called “wealth illusion”: reduce the yield on low-risk investments to almost nothing, and investors will have to shift portfolios to riskier assets, stimulating investment and hiring.

As a closed-economy, short-run model, Keynes’ approach has had two quarters of real success, and it behooves the Keynesians to declare victory and go home, as a Vermont senator proposed during the worst of the Vietnam War.

After the sovereign debt crisis erupted in Greece and spread globally – to the surprise of this writer as well as every forecaster he knows – the Keynesians must feel a bit like the hero of Pushkin’s story The Queen of Spades, who plays cards on the advice of a ghost, only to win the first two rounds and lose everything on the third. One can imagine Lawrence Summers going as mad as Pushkin’s gambler: “He is in the Obuhovsky hospital, room Number Seventeen; he does not answer any questions, but keeps muttering with astonishing rapidity: ‘Three, seven, ace! three, seven, queen!'”

The trouble is that the world is not composed of closed economies, and investors do not think in terms of the short run – not always, in any event, and not when long-run considerations manifest themselves…
***

Read the rest.

We ain’t seen nothing yet.

Bet on it.

>IMF: US Faces One Of Biggest Budget Crunches In World

>Battlespace preparation continues against American taxpayers at Ground Zero in the upcoming Creditors’ War, starting with this report from the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

This UK Telegraph article explains, at least in part.

Dick Morris explains further.

Just remember this list.

Those people will insist on being paid what is owed to them.

In full.

>Balko: More Militarized Than The Military

>Read Radley’s latest, which begins:

A reader who asks his name not be used writes about the drug raid video from Columbia, Missouri:

I am a US Army officer, currently serving in Afghanistan. My first thought on reading this story is this: Most American police SWAT teams probably have fewer restrictions on conducting forced entry raids than do US forces in Afghanistan.

For our troops over here to conduct any kind of forced entry, day or night, they have to meet one of two conditions: have a bad guy (or guys) inside actively shooting at them; or obtain permission from a 2-star general, who must be convinced by available intelligence (evidence) that the person or persons they’re after is present at the location, and that it’s too dangerous to try less coercive methods. The general can be pretty tough to convince, too. (I’m a staff liason, and one of my jobs is to present these briefings to obtain the required permission.)

Generally, our troops, including the special ops guys, use what we call “cordon and knock”: they set up a perimeter around the target location to keep people from moving in or out,and then announce their presence and give the target an opportunity to surrender. In the majority of cases, even if the perimeter is established at night, the call out or knock on the gate doesn’t happen until after the sun comes up…
***

Read the rest, along with this recap of the review board meeting.

>Meltup

>
Courtesy of Accept The Challenge, please watch this video.

Think.

Plan.

Act.

Tempus fugit.

>Rand: The Nature Of Government

>From the Ayn Rand Institute:

A government is an institution that holds the exclusive power to enforce certain rules of social conduct in a given geographical area.

Do men need such an institution—and why?

Since man’s mind is his basic tool of survival, his means of gaining knowledge to guide his actions-the basic condition he requires is the freedom to think and to act according to his rational judgment. This does not mean that a man must live alone and that a desert island is the environment best suited to his needs. Men can derive enormous benefits from dealing with one another. A social environment is most conducive to their successful survival—but only on certain conditions.

“The two great values to be gained from social existence are: knowledge and trade. Man is the only species that can transmit and expand his store of knowledge from generation to generation; the knowledge potentially available to man is greater than any one man could begin to acquire in his own lifespan; every man gains an incalculable benefit from the knowledge discovered by others. The second great benefit is the division of labor: it enables a man to devote his effort to a particular field of work and to trade with others who specialize in other fields. This form of cooperation allows all men who take part in it to achieve a greater knowledge, skill and productive return on their effort than they could achieve if each had to produce everything he needs, on a desert island or on a self-sustaining farm.

“But these very benefits indicate, delimit and define what kind of men can be of value to one another and in what kind of society: only rational, productive, independent men in a rational, productive, free society.” (“The Objectivist Ethics,” The Virtue of Selfishness)

A society that robs an individual of the product of his effort, or enslaves him, or attempts to limit the freedom of his mind, or compels him to act against his own rational judgment-a society that sets up a conflict between its edicts and the requirements of man’s nature—is not, strictly speaking, a society, but a mob held together by institutionalized gang-rule. Such a society destroys all the values of human coexistence, has no possible justification and represents, not a source of benefits, but the deadliest threat to man’s survival. Life on a desert island is safer than and incomparably preferable to existence in Soviet Russia or Nazi Germany.

If men are to live together in a peaceful, productive, rational society and deal with one another to mutual benefit, they must accept the basic social principle without which no moral or civilized society is possible: the principle of individual rights.

To recognize individual rights means to recognize and accept the conditions required by man’s nature for his proper survival.

Man’s rights can be violated only by the use of physical force. It is only by means of physical force that one man can deprive another of his life, or enslave him, or rob him, or prevent him from pursuing his own goals, or compel him to act against his own rational judgment.

The precondition of a civilized society is the barring of physical force from social relationships—thus establishing the principle that if men wish to deal with one another, they may do so only by means of reason: by discussion, persuasion and voluntary, uncoerced agreement.

The necessary consequence of man’s right to life is his right to self-defense. In a civilized society, force may be used only in retaliation and only against those who initiate its use. All the reasons which make the initiation of physical force an evil, make the retaliatory use of physical force a moral imperative.

If some “pacifist” society renounced the retaliatory use of force, it would be left helplessly at the mercy of the first thug who decided to be immoral. Such a society would achieve the opposite of its intention: instead of abolishing evil, it would encourage and reward it.

If a society provided no organized protection against force, it would compel every citizen to go about armed, to turn his home into a fortress, to shoot any strangers approaching his door—or to join a protective gang of citizens who would fight other gangs, formed for the same purpose, and thus bring about the degeneration of that society into the chaos of gang-rule, i.e., rule by brute force, into perpetual tribal warfare of prehistoric savages…
***

Read the rest.

Now look around, and behold the antithesis.

>The Grey Girl

>Go and read.

Think about the implications of such a thing.

Then start planning how to make it happen in your AO.

Boadicea smiles…

>Who These People Are

>Jennifer has some thoughts on the Coming Storm here.

Woe unto those who don’t understand the essential nature of bears.

>Will The Real Tom Dresner Please Stand Up?

>Following up on the Columbia, MO dog killers, the following comment was posted here this morning:

This is Tom Dresner. If you’re really planning to come by my house, fine.

I hear it’s because you want to demand the release of the names of the officers involved in the Feb 11 warrant service.

They’ve already been released.

Now what?

Tom Dresner

Assuming that the commenter is in fact the Deputy Chief of the Columbia PD, the following questions seem logical:

1) Where have the names of the officers involved in this raid been published? Please provide the link(s).

2) Where is a copy of the applicable search warrant and supporting affidavit available to the public? I am sure you have a copy of each document or can get same, so we would be happy to publish the warrant and affidavit once you load a .pdf of it to scribd.com.

3) Since 1/1/2009, how many times has the Columbia SWAT team been deployed?

4) For each deployment referenced in question #3, what felony arrests and what misdemeanor arrests were made?

5) For each arrest referenced in question #4, what was the final disposition of each arrest?

6) For each SWAT team deployment referenced in question #3 that involved the execution of a search warrant, what specific contraband (i.e., guns, drugs, etc.) was seized?

7) For each SWAT team deployment referenced in question #3 that involved the execution of a search warrant, what specific non-contraband (i.e., data files, paper records, clothing, etc.) was seized?

8) For each SWAT team deployment referenced in question #3 that involved the execution of a search warrant, where can the public obtain copies of each warrant and its supporting affidavit(s)?

9) Since 1/1/08, how much Federal funding, of whatever type and including grants in kind such as vehicles and other equipment, has been received by the Columbia PD?

10) Since 1/1/08, how much of the Federal funding referenced in question 9 has been used in resourcing the Columbia PD SWAT team?

I am sure our readers can come up with other questions.

UPDATE 14 MAY 2010 1310 EDT:
Check the left margins of this local media report for more info, including some of the documents requested above.

UPDATE 14 MAY 2010 2240 EDT: More local coverage and comments here.

>All-Time Great Movie Quote

>
Alvie at The Cliffs of Insanity explains.

Know that they are looking at you, as well.

Tempus fugit.

>Read These And Connect The Dots

>See if you can see what I see:

The Next 2,000 Page Bill

Barack Obama Visits Real Time Crime Center

Pattern Of Death

Read ’em all, please.

My fave quote?

From “Pattern”:

***
…This [approach] implicitly requires a system of persistent surveillance which can track Person A through his life; notes whether he attends a Taliban training camp, records his comings and goings, observes how often he comes along on a trip where IEDs are later observed to explode, whose cell phone records suggest bad company, etc. Once that system finds his “pattern of life” sufficiently suggestive, some algorithm, assisted perhaps by some men on the loop, he may decide he needs to be zapped. The LA Times says such people are already being hit, and have been for a long time. Pattern of Life hits have been a big help at keeping down the weeds. As you live, so do you die…
***

Just remember — they hate us because we’re free.

And it’s not like any of this whiz-bang stuff would ever be used domestically.

Folks took an oath, right?

Right?

>A Hidden History Of Evil

>From City Journal via Instapundit:

In the world’s collective consciousness, the word “Nazi” is synonymous with evil. It is widely understood that the Nazis’ ideology—nationalism, anti-Semitism, the autarkic ethnic state, the Führer principle—led directly to the furnaces of Auschwitz. It is not nearly as well understood that Communism led just as inexorably, everywhere on the globe where it was applied, to starvation, torture, and slave-labor camps. Nor is it widely acknowledged that Communism was responsible for the deaths of some 150 million human beings during the twentieth century. The world remains inexplicably indifferent and uncurious about the deadliest ideology in history.

For evidence of this indifference, consider the unread Soviet archives. Pavel Stroilov, a Russian exile in London, has on his computer 50,000 unpublished, untranslated, top-secret Kremlin documents, mostly dating from the close of the Cold War. He stole them in 2003 and fled Russia. Within living memory, they would have been worth millions to the CIA; they surely tell a story about Communism and its collapse that the world needs to know. Yet he can’t get anyone to house them in a reputable library, publish them, or fund their translation. In fact, he can’t get anyone to take much interest in them at all.

Then there’s Soviet dissident Vladimir Bukovsky, who once spent 12 years in the USSR’s prisons, labor camps, and psikhushkas—political psychiatric hospitals—after being convicted of copying anti-Soviet literature. He, too, possesses a massive collection of stolen and smuggled papers from the archives of the Central Committee of the Communist Party, which, as he writes, “contain the beginnings and the ends of all the tragedies of our bloodstained century.” These documents are available online at bukovsky-archives.net, but most are not translated. They are unorganized; there are no summaries; there is no search or index function. “I offer them free of charge to the most influential newspapers and journals in the world, but nobody wants to print them,” Bukovsky writes. “Editors shrug indifferently: So what? Who cares?”

The originals of most of Stroilov’s documents remain in the Kremlin archives, where, like most of the Soviet Union’s top-secret documents from the post-Stalin era, they remain classified. They include, Stroilov says, transcripts of nearly every conversation between Gorbachev and his foreign counterparts—hundreds of them, a near-complete diplomatic record of the era, available nowhere else. There are notes from the Politburo taken by Georgy Shakhnazarov, an aide of Gorbachev’s, and by Politburo member Vadim Medvedev. There is the diary of Anatoly Chernyaev—Gorbachev’s principal aide and deputy chief of the body formerly known as the Comintern—which dates from 1972 to the collapse of the regime. There are reports, dating from the 1960s, by Vadim Zagladin, deputy chief of the Central Committee’s International Department until 1987 and then Gorbachev’s advisor until 1991. Zagladin was both envoy and spy, charged with gathering secrets, spreading disinformation, and advancing Soviet influence.

When Gorbachev and his aides were ousted from the Kremlin, they took unauthorized copies of these documents with them. The documents were scanned and stored in the archives of the Gorbachev Foundation, one of the first independent think tanks in modern Russia, where a handful of friendly and vetted researchers were given limited access to them. Then, in 1999, the foundation opened a small part of the archive to independent researchers, including Stroilov. The key parts of the collection remained restricted; documents could be copied only with the written permission of the author, and Gorbachev refused to authorize any copies whatsoever. But there was a flaw in the foundation’s security, Stroilov explained to me. When things went wrong with the computers, as often they did, he was able to watch the network administrator typing the password that gave access to the foundation’s network. Slowly and secretly, Stroilov copied the archive and sent it to secure locations around the world.

When I first heard about Stroilov’s documents, I wondered if they were forgeries. But in 2006, having assessed the documents with the cooperation of prominent Soviet dissidents and Cold War spies, British judges concluded that Stroilov was credible and granted his asylum request. The Gorbachev Foundation itself has since acknowledged the documents’ authenticity.

Bukovsky’s story is similar. In 1992, President Boris Yeltsin’s government invited him to testify at the Constitutional Court of Russia in a case concerning the constitutionality of the Communist Party. The Russian State Archives granted Bukovsky access to its documents to prepare his testimony. Using a handheld scanner, he copied thousands of documents and smuggled them to the West.

The Russian state cannot sue Stroilov or Bukovsky for breach of copyright, since the material was created by the Communist Party and the Soviet Union, neither of which now exists. Had he remained in Russia, however, Stroilov believes that he could have been prosecuted for disclosure of state secrets or treason. The military historian Igor Sutyagin is now serving 15 years in a hard-labor camp for the crime of collecting newspaper clippings and other open-source materials and sending them to a British consulting firm. The danger that Stroilov and Bukovsky faced was real and grave; they both assumed, one imagines, that the world would take notice of what they had risked so much to acquire.

Stroilov claims that his documents “tell a completely new story about the end of the Cold War. The ‘commonly accepted’ version of history of that period consists of myths almost entirely. These documents are capable of ruining each of those myths.” Is this so? I couldn’t say. I don’t read Russian. Of Stroilov’s documents, I have seen only the few that have been translated into English. Certainly, they shouldn’t be taken at face value; they were, after all, written by Communists. But the possibility that Stroilov is right should surely compel keen curiosity.

For instance, the documents cast Gorbachev in a far darker light than the one in which he is generally regarded. In one document, he laughs with the Politburo about the USSR’s downing of Korean Airlines flight 007 in 1983—a crime that was not only monstrous but brought the world very near to nuclear Armageddon. These minutes from a Politburo meeting on October 4, 1989, are similarly disturbing:

Lukyanov reports that the real number of casualties on Tiananmen Square was 3,000.

Gorbachev: We must be realists. They, like us, have to defend themselves. Three thousands . . . So what?

And a transcript of Gorbachev’s conversation with Hans-Jochen Vogel, the leader of West Germany’s Social Democratic Party, shows Gorbachev defending Soviet troops’ April 9, 1989, massacre of peaceful protesters in Tbilisi.

Stroilov’s documents also contain transcripts of Gorbachev’s discussions with many Middle Eastern leaders. These suggest interesting connections between Soviet policy and contemporary trends in Russian foreign policy. Here is a fragment from a conversation reported to have taken place with Syrian president Hafez al-Assad on April 28, 1990:

H. ASSAD. To put pressure on Israel, Baghdad would need to get closer to Damascus, because Iraq has no common borders with Israel. . . .

M. S. GORBACHEV. I think so, too. . . .

H. ASSAD. Israel’s approach is different, because the Judaic religion itself states: the land of Israel spreads from Nile to Euphrates and its return is a divine predestination.

M. S. GORBACHEV. But this is racism, combined with Messianism!

H. ASSAD. This is the most dangerous form of racism.

One doesn’t need to be a fantasist to wonder whether these discussions might be relevant to our understanding of contemporary Russian policy in a region of some enduring strategic significance.

There are other ways in which the story that Stroilov’s and Bukovsky’s papers tell isn’t over. They suggest, for example, that the architects of the European integration project, as well as many of today’s senior leaders in the European Union, were far too close to the USSR for comfort. This raises important questions about the nature of contemporary Europe—questions that might be asked when Americans consider Europe as a model for social policy, or when they seek European diplomatic cooperation on key issues of national security…

Read the rest.

Consider the nature and historic affiliations of the current ruling party here in the US.

Do you understand yet?