Sunday, May 30, 2010

Memorial Day & Midway

The pilots of Torpedo Squadron Eight. By nightfall of 4 June 1942, all but one -- plus all their radiomen/gunners -- would be dead.

Vin Suprynowicz gives us a Memorial Day column on the battle that changed everything. Read it and I will have some comments afterward.

The slow, obsolescent TBD-1 Devastator Torpedo Bomber similar to the ones flown by Torpedo Squadrons Three, Six and Eight at Midway. They suffered a 90% loss rate.

May. 30, 2010

Las Vegas Review-Journal

VIN SUPRYNOWICZ: The battle that changed everything

When war is thrust upon us -- as it was on Dec. 7, 1941, and again on Sept. 11, 2001 -- we ask our young men to put their lives on the line. Then the college debate squad in charge at the White House proceeds to spend more time worrying about how to avoid civilian casualties (actually proposing to award medals, now, to soldiers who manage to avoid hurting anyone) -- than they do mobilizing to grind our brutal assailants into the dust of history.

As our leaders suck their thumbs and decline to commit "too much force" because the polls might turn against them, one can't help but wonder if America has anyone left in long pants still willing to take over. (A few years back, it was Mr. Aspin refusing to send tanks to back up the Rangers in Mogadishu, today it's an Afghan "war" with a pre-designated surrender date.)

In such moments, it bears remembering that within living memory, a desperate nation entrusted to untested Rear Adms. Jack Fletcher and Ray Spruance three of its four remaining front-line aircraft carriers (the Saratoga arriving two days late) in a desperate gamble to turn the tide of Japanese conquest at a little mid-ocean sandspit called Midway Island.

On June 4, 1942 -- 68 years ago -- a few dozen lonely fliers aboard the USS Enterprise, Yorktown and Hornet were America's last line of defense. A more timid commander might have hoarded those minimal forces until the war factories, just churning into high gear, could supply him with some reserves.

Not Chester Nimitz. He had had enough. He sent Spruance and Fletcher to Midway -- the workers still aboard the Yorktown, trying to patch up the damage she'd sustained in the Coral Sea just a month before. The Japanese hoped to lure the last remnants of the American fleet out of Pearl Harbor to defend Midway. But the American code-breakers intercepted their plans, and Spruance and Fletcher were in position early enough to ambush the ambushers. If only, by some miracle, the green American pilots could get their bulky planes through the vaunted air defenses of the four front-line carriers of Vice Admiral Chuichi Nagumo's First Air Wing.

At 4:30 in the morning of June 4, 240 miles northwest of Midway, Nagumo's four carriers began launching more than 100 planes to attack the U.S. base there. But just as Nagumo was re-arming his planes for a second strike at Midway, a tardy Japanese scout plane reported the startling presence of an American carrier only 215 miles away. Changing his plans on the fly, Nagumo ordered the planes on his carriers' decks rearmed with torpedoes to attack what he now correctly saw as the primary threat, the "lone" offensive American warship.

Spruance launched first. Struggling fully loaded into the air between 7 and 9 a.m., three squadrons of torpedo bombers and five squadrons of dive bombers, plus a pitiful few F-4 fighter escorts, vectored toward the Japanese fleet's last known position. But these slapped-together forces were badly coordinated.

At 9:15 a.m., the first U.S. carrier planes sighted their targets and began their attacks. Fifteen TBD-1 Devastators of Lt. Cmdr. John C. Waldron's Torpedo Squadron Eight from the Hornet dove without hesitation into combat against the more maneuverable Zeroes of the Japanese combat air screen.

They were all shot down.

They scored not a single hit.

One man, Ensign George Gay, bailed out and survived, acquiring history's greatest (if not necessarily most comfortable) box seat as he watched the rest of the battle from sea level, bobbing in his life vest.

The Enterprise's Torpedo Squadron Six, led by Lt. Cmdr. Eugene E. Lindsey, bored in next. Lindsey's squadron scored no hits, while losing all but five of its 14 TBDs.

Lt. Cmdr. Lance E. Massey's Torpedo Squadron Three from the USS Yorktown was next. Two planes survived. No hits.

It was a disaster. Would you have kept on? Dozens of precious, brave, American planes and air crews lost -- nearly the last of their kind between Tokyo and San Francisco -- and nothing accomplished.

Unless you count one thing, so seemingly insignificant. Through their dogged, relentless, suicidal attacks, the slow and outdated Yankee torpedo planes had pulled down the Japanese air cover to sea level, where the covering Zero fighters now skipped off at wave top height, chasing the last, escaping American stragglers. That and the fact that the desperate maneuvering of the Japanese carriers had slowed the rearming and refueling of their planes on deck, so the fuel hoses and piles of bombs and torpedoes still being off-loaded and on-loaded were piled everywhere.

If only the Americans had just a few more planes in reserve, somewhere up in those clouds. Just a few.

Nagumo knew that was impossible, of course. His scouts had spotted just the one enemy carrier. The Americans couldn't possibly have sent every attack carrier they had left on the face of the Earth to this one featureless spot in the middle of the God-forsaken Pacific Ocean. America was a nation of soft-headed cowards. Who there would authorize such a gamble?

Led by Lt. Cmdr. Clarence W. McClusky, the Enterprise's luckless Bombing Squadron Six and Scouting Squadron Six had missed the Japanese carriers entirely, steering too far south. They did finally spot the little Japanese destroyer Arashi, speeding north with a bone in her teeth. But she wasn't much of a target, and McClusky's planes were nearing the point of fuel depletion, which would require them to turn back. McClusky could have turned for home.

Instead, on a hunch, he decided to take a bearing from the course of the fast-moving destroyer, turning north to see where she was headed in such a rush. The Arashi, speeding north to rejoin her fleet after depth-charging the USS Nautilus, led him directly to four Japanese aircraft carriers, their decks littered with bombs, torpedoes and fuel -- and no air cover in sight.

At the same moment, Lt. Cmdr. Maxwell F. Leslie arrived from the east, with Bombing Squadron Three from the carrier the Japanese believed was sunk at the Coral Sea: the USS Yorktown.

And so at about 10:25, with the Japanese fighter cover still down at wave top height chasing off the last American torpedo planes, "blessed with an extremely lucky degree of coordination" (in the gentle words of official U.S. naval historians) McClusky and Leslie "commenced one of history's most dramatically decisive attacks."

It took five minutes. By 10:30 a.m., the battle -- and the eventual course of the naval war in the Pacific -- was decided. The carriers Soryu, Kaga and Akagi erupted in flames and perished. Of the once proud Japanese First Air Wing, only the carrier Hiryu remained.

With the Japanese top cover pulled down to the deck by the sacrifice of the Devastators, the SBD Dauntless dive bombers had a clean shot at the Japanese carriers.

A flight of Yorktown SBDs found her at 5 p.m. And then there were none.

A stunned Adm. Isoroku Yamamoto called off the invasion of Midway the next day.

June 4, 1942. Lt. Cmdr. John C. Waldron. Lt. Cmdr. Eugene E. Lindsey. Lt. Cmdr. Lance E. Massey. Lt. Cmdr. Clarence W. McClusky. Lt. Cmdr. Maxwell F. Leslie.

Will we live to see their like again?

I think so.

Vin Suprynowicz is assistant editorial page editor of the Review-Journal, and the author of "Send in the Waco Killers" and the novel "The Black Arrow." See

Here is Ensign George Gay's description of the sacrifice of Torpedo Squadron Eight.

No flowers mark these brave men's graves. They are remembered only in obscure, and these days largely unread, history books. So we must remember them and pass their story on to our children, lest one day the Republic needs such men and falls for the lack of them.

Here are the names of the dead of VT-8, 4 June 1942.

* Lt. Commander John C. Waldron
* Lt. Raymond A. Moore
* Lt. James C. Owens, Jr.
* Lt.(jg) George M. Campbell
* Lt.(jg) John P. Gray
* Lt.(jg) Jeff D. Woodson
* Ens. William W. Abercrombie
* Ens. William W. Creamer
* Ens. Harold J. Ellison
* Ens. William R. Evans
* Ens. Henry R. Kenyon
* Ens. Ulvert M. Moore
* Ens. Grant W. Teats
* Robert B. Miles, Aviation Pilot 1c
* Horace F. Dobbs, Chief Radioman
* Amelio Maffei, Radioman 1
* Tom H. Pettry, Radioman 1
* Otway D. Creasy, Jr. Radioman 2
* Ross H. Bibb, Jr., Radioman 2
* Darwin L. Clark, Radioman 2
* Ronald J. Fisher, Radioman 2
* Hollis Martin, Radioman 2
* Bernerd P. Phelps Radioman 2
* Aswell L. Picou, Seaman 2
* Francis S. Polston, Seaman 2
* Max A. Calkins, Radioman 3
* George A. Field, Radioman 3
* Robert K. Huntington, Radioman 3
* William F. Sawhill, Radioman 3

Remember them, and the men of VT-3 and VT-6 who fell with them on 4 June 1942, and remember their sacrifice that turned the tide of the war in the Pacific.


King Cuomo the Second.

"The community advocate and radio host Curtis Sliwa dressed as 'King Cuomo II' at the New York State Democratic convention. To his left, a woman he called 'Lady Godiva' threw satin flower petals into the air."

The video. What a hoot.

The NYT coverage.

Excellent guerrilla theater.

David Codrea and I make the Romanian papers.

Deader than Kelsey's nuts, as my grandpa used to say. Nicolae Ceausescu after he got his just desserts from the Romanian people, 1989.

After 19 April, I was interviewed by a number of foreign journalists, among them Razvan Sibii of Adevărul (Romanian pronunciation: adeˈvərul; meaning "The Truth"), a Romanian daily newspaper, based in Bucharest. Wikipedia reports that it is "one of the most popular and trusted press venues" in Romania.

Sibii also interviewed David Codrea and after publication sent David a translation of the original article along with this explanation:

I am attaching a (very) rough English translation to this email. It is hopefully better than what Google can give to you... I followed the original Romanian phrasing as closely as possible, so some of the wording might come off a little weird. I apologize for that. A more literary translation would have required that I make significant changes in the way the sentences are organized.

Some folks have asked why I spend the time with foreign news outlets. Aside from the fact that they tend to a. spell my name right and b. quote me accurately (two things you definitely cannot count on with domestic media), I look upon the fight for liberty as a world-wide struggle. Thus, in the interests of some future "Liberty International" I am always happy to explain the Founders' Republic to foreign press. Our enemies think globally. So should we.

The translation is a bit stilted, but I think you'll get the points made. The original link contains a great video clip of J.J. Johnson at the Senate hearing on militias in 1995.


What do America’s “militiamen” want?

"For some Americans, the unabridged right to bear arms is sacred."

Some consider them “fanatics,” others – Americans with a pronounced sense of one’s civic duty. Who are, in fact, America’s “militiamen”? Against the background of the disintegration of America’s economy and the return to power of Obama’s Democrats, the constitutionalist militias have experienced a strong comeback.

They are not neo-Nazis, although some hold extreme right ideas. They are not bloodthirsty, although many own entire arsenals. They are not a majority, although their libertarian principles are embraced by more and more Americans who are angry at Barack Obama’s government. They are an amorphous group of men and women, mostly white, who train periodically in self-defense techniques.

The paramilitary organizations that they have formed are called “militias,” to differentiate them from the government’s armed forces. (The Communists gave the same name to their police units to show that they are the people’s armed forces).The American “militiamen” are a modern phenomenon (and spread throughout America), but they consider themselves the direct successors to the patriotic colonists who fought against the British troops in the 18th century.

The first wave: 1994

According to Professor Robert Churchill, an expert in the subject of American insurrectionist groups, the militia movement’s history begins during the second half of the ’80, with the political and media lobby undertaken by several gun rights organizations.

“The gun rights movement was looking for a way to argue its case. So it commissioned historical scholarship about the American Revolution and the role of the citizens’ militia at the time. Through this scholarship, the idea that the militia was intended from the beginning as a potentially insurrectional deterrent against government abuse seeped out into the gun rights movemement,” says Chruchill. “At the same time, many police departments were creating their own special paramilitary units (SWAT). As the issue of gun control was heating up, these law enforcement units began acting increasingly aggresively. They had become accustomed to using paramilitary tactics in the war on drugs, and now they looked like they were about to begin a war on guns,” says Churchill.

Against the background of these tensions, which were exacerbated by two bloody incidents (Ruby Ridge, Idaho in 1992 and Waco, Texas in 1993), when federal law enforcement units stormed the compounds of people accused of illegal weapon possession, tens of thousands of Americans began creating armed self-defense groups – in other words, militias.

The Decline: 1995

The militia movement has never had a centralized command structure. Also, being the result of a mostly spontaneous phenomenon, the hundreds of emerging groups that called themselves “militias” didn’t always share the same values and beliefs. From the very beginning, historians and sociologists identified at least two distinct branches in the movement: one which was concerned primarily by what it called the restoration of the American Republic based on individual rights and liberties (the “constitutionalist” militias), and another with racist and apocaliptic overtones, animated by a dark vision of an international conspiracy bent on enslaving the “free Americans” (the “milleniarian” militias).

On April 19, 1995, Timothy McVeigh, a fan of milleniarian doctrines, detonated a massive bomb outside a federal building in Oklahoma City, killing 168 people. The bombing had great repercussions on all militias, which, almost overnight, came to the attention of both the media and the FBI.

Shortly after the bombing, many milleniarian militias were dismantled and some constitutionalists interrupted their organized activities. Recently, however, with the disintegration of America’s economy and the return to power of the Obama-led Democrats, the constitutionalist militias have experienced a strong comeback.

The second wave: 2009-2010

The militias have acquired new members in the past two years. There are few complete sociological studies of the movement out there, which makes it very hard to identify the exact causes of this comeback. Mark Potok, a director with the Southern Poverty Law Center, an organization that keeps track of extremist organizations in America, speaks of three major causes for the militia’s revival.

First, one has to consider the economic problems which have tended to radicalize some Americans. Another strong influence is the increasingly violent discourse of conservative politicians and commentators, who put forward various conspiracy theories. Finally, according to Potok, the demographic changes that America is currently undergoing – symbolized by the election of Barack Obama as president – are very disturbing to some white Americans. The great majority of militiamen, however, vehemently deny any accusations of racism.

"David Codrea, American of Romanian ancestry."


Neither the constitutionalists, nor the milleniarians shared the racist ideologies of the Ku Klux Klan or the skinheads, but the millenarians’ paranoid vision of an international conspiracy attracted during the 90s enough individuals with racist and antisemitic tendencies.

“American Ceausescus, Beware!”

Mike Vanderboegh was the leader of an Alabama militia during the first wave, and is now considered by many to be the eminence gris of the militia movement.

“Liberty is a God-given, inalienable right. The present administration thinks that it can dictate to the minority how to act, because they were elected by a majority. But the founding fathers of this republic said that unrestrained democracy is just as dangerous as tyranny. Unrestrained democracy is three wolves and a sheep sitting down to vote on what they will have for dinner. Absent a constitutional menu that says ‘Sheep will not be eaten,’ and absent a sheep dog who enforces the dining room conduct, the sheep will be eaten by the wolves. It will be perfectly democratic and, at the same time, perfectly dictatorial. The armed citizens of the United States are playing the part of that sheep dog,” says Vanderboegh.

He does not hesitate to compare contemporary American society with Romanian society under the Communist rule. “We are witnessing creeping government tyranny – see, for example, the recent health care bill. The Ceausescus of America are walking appetites for personal liberties. I hope that the Obama regime remembers what happens to tyrants such as Nicolae Ceausescu and his charming wife!” says Vanderboegh.

The inalienable right to bear arms

By far, the most important claim made by those who agree with the goals of the American militia movement is the need to protect the right to own arms. The Second Amendment to the American Constitution forbids limiting the people’s right to bear arms. The law, however, does not specify which types of weapons are allowed, which has led to numerous virulent arguments between those who would like to ban at least some types of weapons and those who believe that citizens have the right to own any type of weapon, including automatic rifles, such as the Kalashnikov.

“The second amendment is the ultimate guarantor that the citizen may exercise his right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness,” says David Codrea, whose grandparents emigrated from Transylvania during the first half of the 20th century.

“The American government has forgotten that this amendment says that the right of the people to bear arms cannot be infringed. We are witnessing continued efforts to disarm the people, under the pretext of the war on terror. We are constantly associated with extremism, with hate; it’s funny, I get attacked by people from the left as being a racist and an anti-semite, and I get accused by the real racists and anti-semites as being a sellout because I write for the right of all people to keep and bear arms, regardless of race, color or creed.”

The owner of several pistols and rifles, Codrea believes that disarming the people will not strengthen public safety in any way. “If you think about it, the greatest mass murder in American history was initiated using box cutters. The second greatest mass murder, the Oklahoma City bombing, was done with fuel and fertilizer. Anyone can have access to such items,” adds Codrea.

What the “militiamen” believe in

The Americans who already belong to a militia share their reasons for joining these groups and their plans for the future.

Roy McCarty, member of the Northern California State Militia: “A few years ago, I was living in Arizona, where there’s a real problem with illegal immigrants who are coming across the border. In the little area where I lived, the Border Patrol was getting over 2,500 illegals a month. The Border Patrol was just overwhelmed, so the people who lived down there started a militia to assist them. What we would do is patrol the border, detain illegals and hold them until the authorities came to arrest them. It used to be that joining a militia was a very patriotic thing to do. Things changed when you started getting radicals, like the neo-Nazis. But we are just neighbors helping neighbors in case of floods, fires, earthquakes or other things of that sort. We’re not out to destroy anything or to work against the government.”

William Krause, member of The Liberty Guard of New America: “At this point, 40 percent of Americans are paying for the other 60 percent. The government is not doing anything to fix this – neither the Republicans nor the Democrats. They’re just worrying about taking our money and making the government larger in a socialist-communist way. Here, in Oregon, we have many illegal Mexicans who are in the street all day long, committing crimes, and the police is not doing anything about it. They don’t want to learn English and they won’t try to get a job. If there is a flood or an earthquake, they might just start stealing and looting. But if people are going to threaten us, we’re going to meet force with force. I think it’s really bad and it could lead to civil war.”

Jeff Foust, member of Indian Militia: “We feel that everyone should be prepared for any kind of worst-case scenario. Back in the day, it was normal to prepare to be able to provide for yourself, even in really hard times. People just can’t do that anymore. When you talk about being prepared like that, they think you’re crazy. A lot of people have their eyes closed. Our society is conditioned not to worry about personal liberty.”

“I will resist at the muzzle of my rifle”

Mike Vanderboegh – former leader of Alabama Constitutional Militia and a current militia strategist – explains his reasons, as well: “The new health care bill forces us to buy health insurance. When we refuse to do that, they will fine us. When we refuse to pay the fine, they will come to arrest us. If we refuse to be arrested on our doorstep, they will send for us an armed federal raid party to blow in our doors and take us to prison. At that moment, I will resist at the muzzle of my rifle. The English and the Americans have a long tradition of fighting tyranny.”

Jennifer III on 4GW and the International Order.


Saturday, May 29, 2010

Praxis: The "AK-47 Disease" in Afghanistan.

Afghan with Enfield rifle, 1985.

From last month at

No Known Cure For The AK-47 Disease

April 12, 2010: American and NATO trainers are frustrated at their inability to train Afghans to shoot accurately. The Afghan soldiers and police, despite the constant example of superior marksmanship on the part of foreign troops, persist in pointing their weapons, instead of aiming them. Meanwhile, Afghan traditionalists are trying to change the way the Taliban fight. This can be seen by the increase in the use of sniping by the Taliban. In the two years, NATO units in southern Afghanistan estimate there has been a sharp (over 30 percent) percent increase in sniping incidents. This is not seen as a major danger. NATO troops wear protective bests and helmets that can stop bullets fired at long range, making it very frustrating for the Taliban shooters trying to hit a distant target in a vulnerable spot. And there was not a lot of sniping by the Taliban to begin with.

This shift in tactics is largely a reaction to the better training, and weapons, of U.S. and NATO infantry. Afghans, and especially the Taliban, consider themselves great warriors. But they are getting tired of being defeated every time they get into a firefight with the foreign troops. Worse yet, if the Taliban stay put during a fight, the damned foreigners bring in a warplane that drops a smart bomb or two, bringing an inglorious (for the Taliban) end to the action.

Then some of the young guys remembered grandpa decrying the decline in marksmanship years ago. Back before the Russians showed up, in the 1980s, the best an Afghan could hope to have was a World War II, or World War I, era bolt action rifle. These weapons were eclipsed in the 1980s by full automatic AK-47s and the RPG rocket launcher. The young guys took to the AK, and the thrill of emptying a 30 round magazine on full automatic. Not bad for a brief firefight, and suddenly hardly anyone, except a few old timers, wanted to use the old bolt action rifle, or learn how to hit anything with single shots.

What was not noticed much outside of Afghanistan, was that this shift in weaponry brought to an end a long Afghan tradition of precision, long range shooting. Before the 1980s, this skill was treasured for both hunting and warfare. When doing neither, Afghan men played games centered on marksmanship. One, for example, involved a group of men chipping in and buying a goat. The animal was then tethered to a rock, often on a hill, and then the half dozen or so men moved several hundred meters away and drew lots to see who would fire in what order. The first man to drop the goat, won it. Since Afghanistan was the poorest nation in Asia, ammo was expensive, and older men taught the young boys all the proper moves needed to get that first shot off accurately.

During the 1980s, Saudi Arabia spent billions of dollars to arm Afghans with all the AK-47s and ammo they could use, and they used lots of it. But rarely for target practice. Compared to bolt-action rifles like the British Lee-Enfield, the AK-47 was less accurate when one shot at a time was fired. The old timers, or a few young traditionalists, kept their Lee-Enfields, and made themselves useful picking off Russian soldiers at long distances, on those rare occasions where that was needed. A few Afghans noted that the AK-47, fired one shot at a time, was pretty accurate out to about 300 meters. But the Russians had more firepower, and it was rarely prudent to stay too close to them for too long. So "spray and pray" (going full automatic all the time) became the new Afghan warrior tradition.

The Lee-Enfield is one of the oldest, and still widely used, rifles on the planet. Over 17 million were manufactured between 1895 and the 1980s. While there are more AK-47s out there (over 20 million in private hands), these are looked down on by those who use their rifles for hunting, or killing with a minimum expenditure of ammunition. The 8.8 pound Lee-Enfield is a bolt-action rifle (with a ten round magazine) noted for its accuracy and sturdiness. The inaccurate AK-47 has a hard time matching bolt action accuracy more than a hundred meters out. Meanwhile, the Lee-Enfield can drop an animal, or a man, at over 400 meters, on the first shot.

There are millions of Lee-Enfields still in use throughout India, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and even Iraq and other Persian Gulf nations. These are largely World War II leftovers. In the early half of the 20th century, the British gave out millions of these weapons to allies, or those being courted. Noting the accuracy of the Lee-Enfield (.303 caliber, or 7.7mm), the locals came to prize the rifle for hunting, and self-defense. There are still many gunsmiths throughout the region (and at least one factory in India) that will refurbish century old Lee-Enfields to "like new" condition. Ammunition is still manufactured, with the high quality stuff going for a dollar a round, and lesser quality for 25 cents a round. These rifles sell in the west for $500-1,000. The Lee-Enfield will carry on well into the 21st century.

One place where the Lee-Enfield found lots of fans was Afghanistan. There, the Afghans had been introduced to rifles in the 19th century, and they treasured these weapons. This was particularly true after the introduction of smokeless powder rifles in the late 19th century. Many Afghans were still using black powder rifles well into the 20th century. But once Lee-Enfields began show up in large numbers after World War I (1914-18), no one wanted the larger, heavier and less accurate black powder rifles (which always gave off your position, with all that smoke, after you fired a round.) Now, wealthy drug lords are buying expensive hunting and sniper rifles for their militias, but so far, the Taliban Snipers appear to be using grandpa's old Lee-Enfield.

NATO trainers get nowhere by mentioning the old Afghan warrior tradition of sharpshooting. The lack of discipline, and literacy, among so many Afghan recruits leaves less time for weapons training anyway. Meanwhile, the allure of "spray and pray" is too strong for a generation that has access to automatic weapons, and all the ammo they can carry.

Praxis: M14/M1A Scope Mount from Bassett

Threeper Luke reminds me of something I've been meaning to tell y'all for a while. He sends this link to Bassett Machine of Dripping Springs TX and their excellent M14 scope mount pictured above.

Luke calls it correctly:

Good M14 mount that's quick on-off, zero hold to within 1-1 1/2 MOA and won't shoot loose


Only mount I've found so far that won't give a wandering zero. If you take it off and put it back on, it will come back to within 1 MOA of zero, if you use the included strap wrench to torque it per the directions. Has only one screw to fiddle with, too!

I now have one of these on the China Doll and will test it next time I'm at the range.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Freedom Songs: Die Gedanken sind frei. (Thoughts are free.)

I first heard this song on Pete Seeger's 1966 album Dangerous Songs!? Here is his version. I next heard it in the TV movie The Birdmen in 1971. The Birdmen is a fictionalized account of a very real plan by Allied POWs to build a glider and escape from Colditz Castle during World War II. The soundtrack song and more on the movie and history of the real escape plan is here. And a traditional German rendering of the song is here.

The only known picture of the real Colditz glider constructed by Allied POWs.

Here is the Wikipedia citation for Die Gedanken sind frei:

Die Gedanken sind frei

"Die Gedanken sind frei" is a German song about the freedom of thought. The text and the melody can be found in Lieder der Brienzer Mädchen, printed in Bern, Switzerland between 1810 and 1820. The original lyricist and the composer are unknown, though the most popular version Aus Neukirch bei Schönau (Nowy Kościół) was rendered by Hoffmann von Fallersleben in his 1842 collection Schlesische Volkslieder mit Melodien.


The idea represented in the title — that thoughts are free — was expressed as early as in Antiquity[1] and became prominent again in the Middle Ages, when Walther von der Vogelweide (c.1170-1230) wrote: joch sint iedoch gedanke frî ("yet still thoughts are free")[2]. In the 12th century Austrian minnesinger Dietmar von Aist (presumably) had composed the song Gedanke die sint ledic vrî ("only thoughts are free"). About 1229 Freidank wrote: diu bant mac nieman vinden, diu mîne gedanke binden. ("this band may no one twine, that will my thoughts confine")[3].

The text as it first occurred on leaflets about 1780 originally had four strophes to which a fifth was later added. Today, their order may vary. An early version in the shape of a dialogue between a captive and his beloved can be found under the title Lied des Verfolgten im Thurm. Nach Schweizerliedern ("Song of the persecuted in the tower. After Swiss songs") in Achim von Arnim and Clemens Brentano's circa 1805 folk poetry collection Des Knaben Wunderhorn, Vol. III. This version was given a new musical setting by Gustav Mahler in his 1898 Lieder aus "Des Knaben Wunderhorn" for voice and orchestra.

The lyrics


Die Gedanken sind frei, wer kann sie erraten,
sie fliegen vorbei wie nächtliche Schatten.
Kein Mensch kann sie wissen, kein Jäger erschießen
mit Pulver und Blei, Die Gedanken sind frei!

Ich denke was ich will und was mich beglücket,
doch alles in der Still', und wie es sich schicket.
Mein Wunsch und Begehren kann niemand mir wehren,
es bleibet dabei: Die Gedanken sind frei!

Und sperrt man mich ein im finsteren Kerker,
das alles sind rein vergebliche Werke.
Denn meine Gedanken zerreißen die Schranken
und Mauern entzwei, die Gedanken sind frei!

Drum will ich auf immer den Sorgen absagen
und will mich auch nimmer mit Grillen mehr plagen.
Man kann ja im Herzen stets lachen und scherzen
und denken dabei: Die Gedanken sind frei!

Ich liebe den Wein, mein Mädchen vor allen,
sie tut mir allein am besten gefallen.
Ich sitz nicht alleine bei einem Glas Weine,
mein Mädchen dabei: Die Gedanken sind frei!

English translation:

Thoughts are free, who can guess them?
They flee by like nocturnal shadows.
No man can know them, no hunter can shoot them,
with powder and lead: Thoughts are free!

I think what I want, and what delights me,
still always reticent, and as it is suitable.
My wish and desire, no one can deny me
and so it will always be: Thoughts are free!

And if I am thrown into the darkest dungeon,
all this would be futile work,
because my thoughts tear all gates
and walls apart. Thoughts are free!

So I will renounce my sorrows forever,
and never again will torture myself with some fancy ideas.
In one's heart, one can always laugh and joke
and think at the same time: Thoughts are free!

I love wine, and my girl even more,
Only I like her best of all.
I'm not alone with my glass of wine,
my girl is with me: Thoughts are free!

The rhyme scheme of the lyrics is a - b/ a - b/ c - c/ d - d.


Since the days of the Carlsbad Decrees and the Age of Metternich Die Gedanken sind frei was a popular protest song against political repression and censorship, especially among the banned Burschenschaften student fraternities. In the aftermath of the 1848 German Revolution and in Nazi Germany, the song was proscribed. It had importance for the White Rose anti-Nazi resistance movement in Germany. [4] One night in 1942 Sophie Scholl played the song on her recorder outside the walls of Ulm prison where her father Robert had been detained for calling Adolf Hitler a "Scourge of God".

Pete Seeger recorded the song in 1966 on his Dangerous Songs!? album. Norwegian composer Alf Cranner translated and recorded it as Din tanke er fri in 1985. Parts of the poem were also taken as the basis of a song on the 2005 album of the band Brazilian Girls.

In Canadian author Jean Little's book From Anna the song is used to represent the freedom the titular character's father craves for his children, and as such figures predominantly into the plot at the beginning of the novel.

Die Gedanken sind frei was used as the theme and was sung by the Allied Prisoners of War in the 1971 TV movie The Birdmen, which was a fictionalized dramatization of an attempt to escape from the German Oflag IV-C camp at Colditz Castle in World War II. It is also featured in the 1998 German movie 23 about the hacker Karl Koch.

In recent years the song again gained popularity among the movement against internet censorship in Germany.

Praxis: Advice to counterinsurgents -- "Travel light."


From Counterinsurgency by David Kilcullen, Chapter One, "Twenty-eight Articles: Fundamentals of Company Level Counterinsurgency."

5. Travel light and harden your Combat Service Support. You will be weighed down with body armor, rations, extra ammunition, communications gear, and a thousand other things. The enemy will carry a rifle or RPG, a shemagh, and a water bottle if he is lucky. Unless you ruthlessly lighten your load and enforce a culture of speed and mobility, the insurgents will consistently outrun and out maneuver you. But in lightening your load, make sure you can always "reach back" to call for firepower or heavy support if needed. Also, remember to harden your CSS. The enemy will attack your weakest points. Most attacks on Coalition forces in Iraq in 2004 and 2005, outside preplanned combat actions like the two battles of Fallujah or Operation Iron Horse, were against CSS installations and convoys. You do the math. Ensure that your CSS assets are hardened, have communications, and are trained in combat operations. They may do more fighting than your rifle squads.

Minute Man of 1775.

My advice to insurgents: Travel lighter. Nay, indeed, travel lightest.

Modern Minute Man. Photo courtesy of Oleg Volk. Minute Man courtesy of Wisconsin Spartan Academy. 4 pocket Magazine Bandoleer courtesy of Minute Man's Mother and her sewing machine. British 75 round bandoleer of 7.62 NATO on stripper clips courtesy of Radway Green. "China Doll" M14S with M14E2 muzzle brake courtesy of me.

What I told the Census.

A U.S. Census worker "had been confronted by residents who pointed a firearm at the worker and said they would not answer any questions and closed the door," said police spokeswoman Shawna Pavey.

So read the story about the police killing of a Yuba City CA woman who ran off a Census taker who appeared at her door at 9 o'clock at night.

The other day, another Census worker raped a disabled woman in Indiana.

Now Bob Barr reminds us that Census workers can enter your rented apartment or house while you're away.

Constitution of the United States, Article 1, Section 2: "The actual Enumeration shall be made within three Years after the first Meeting of the Congress of the United States, and within every subsequent Term of ten Years, in such Manner as they shall by Law direct."

Like everything else about the Federal Leviathan, over the years the demands of the Census have gotten more intrusive and tyrannical, demanding to know all sorts of personal data including the number of toilets you have. This time when I filled out the Census, I was tired of the regime's obsession with race, so I wrote in "American."

They have been badgering me by phone ever since. Each time I tell them that I have answered the principal question the Constitution requires about how many folks live here and that they are not getting anything else from me.

What are they going to do? Send a cop to my door to kill me if I refuse?

Well, maybe.


If you commit a crime in Maryland, just do it before the cops get there and you won't be prosecuted.

Go here and watch the Megan Kelly video clip. At least if you're the SEIU that's the way it works.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

My youngest daughter Zoe graduates high school today.

She will leave the panzerfaust at home at the principal's request.

Just kidding. But it is a big day, so you won't get any substantive posts until later in the evening. Sorry.

CNN's piece on ATF supervisory misdeeds, Part One


Wednesday, May 26, 2010

"Lies, damn lies and statistics."

Everything out of this government is smoke and mirrors.

Scratch a liberal, get a fascist. Obama gets in touch with his inner Hitler.

Embracing the moustache.

Also, Der Fuehrer begins stamping his feet in frustration.

Obama has told aides in recent days to "plug the damn hole" and he will head to the Louisiana Gulf coast on Friday for the second time since the April 20 rig blast that killed 11 and unleashed the oil.

No doubt foaming at the mouth and chewing the carpet is next.

On intel and credibility by Tom Fernandez.

Thanks to Daniel Almond of Restore the Constitution for forwarding this.

Monday, May 24, 2010

All Civil War is Local: Reverse Engineering the Latest Insights In Counterinsurgency into a Template for Restoration Victory.

"The fact that the candidate you're being asked to vote for is at this moment rotting in an English jail shouldn't put you off! Sure, wasn't I in one myself till a week ago! They can jail us. They can shoot us. They can even conscript us! They can use us as cannon fodder in the Somme! But... we have a weapon more powerful than any in the whole arsenal of the British Empire! That weapon is our refusal! Our refusal to bow to any order but our own! Any institution but our own!" -- Liam Neeson in Michael Collins, 1996.

One of the joys of this weekend was meeting up with my brother from another mother over in Georgia -- he had been called to Atlanta by work on Friday and thus was within reach. He gave me a copy of the above book, Counterinsurgency by David Kilcullen.

Kilcullen is also the author of The Accidental Guerrilla: Fighting Small Wars in the Midst of a Big One.

I have not yet had time to finish the book, but I was struck by Chapter Five, "Deiokes and the Taliban: Local Governance, Bottom-up State Formation, and the Rule of Law in Counterinsurgency."

You can find this chapter on-line here at Google Books from pages 147 to 161.

It is based on a presentation Kilcullen made to the 2009 Wallace Wurth Memorial Lecture at the University of New South Wales, Australia. The speech can be found here. Kilcullen's presentation begins about 12 minutes in.

To understand what I am about to say, you must either read the above chapter, listen to the presentation, or both. Preferably both.

Assuming you have done so, and that you find much food for thought in Kilcullen's thesis, here is my initial reaction.

Kilcullen enunciates intellectually what I have long known in my gut, if more inchoately. Remember when I wrote "All civil war is local"?

When I quote (as I do frequently) Michael Collins speaking about "Our refusal to bow to any order but our own! Any institution but our own!" it is Kilcullen's thesis distilled down to its essence.

What Kilcullen reminds us is that all insurgencies are conflicts AT THE LOCAL LEVEL FIRST AND FOREMOST over legitimacy and competence. Legitimacy derives from the consent of the people and is an expression of their God-given inalienable rights to liberty, safety and property. Competence in providing those things is what determines success.

In this we have an advantage over the present domestic enemies of the Founders' Republic. Recall this from my Open Letter to American Law Enforcement.

Systemically, “duly constituted authority” derives its legitimacy from the founding documents of our country, the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution and from the Founders’ concepts of the rule of law. These have all been under attack for a hundred years or more by both corrupt political parties and their union and business familiars. The Constitution has become for some a joke and for others an inconvenient speed bump on the road to tyranny. As long as this degradation of the legitimacy of our political and legal system was perceived by only a narrow portion of the population, it was manageable in a societal sense. This is no longer true.

When a president and Congress robs one set of people to enrich their cronies, when they violate the settled rule of law regarding bankruptcy to stiff secured creditors in the case of General Motors while rewarding self-anointed unsecured creditors -- their political allies, the auto unions -- the rest of the population cannot fail but conclude that we are no longer under the rule of law, but the rule of men, which is to say, the law of the jungle. Or, put another way, they -- the “authorities” -- can do anything that the citizenry can’t or won’t stop them from doing. This is the societal Catch 22 we are now in (and have been for a while) that I call “Waco Rules.” . . .

Katrina showed us many things. It showed that in a disaster many cops will look to their families and not the public duty, leaving their fellow law enforcement officers with an even greater burden. It showed us that cops can be opportunistic criminals as well, partaking in looting with as much energy as professional criminals. It also showed us that the police no longer trust the law-abiding citizen with arms, depriving them of their only means of self-defense once the cops have moved on, thus leaving them to the tender mercies of robbers, rapists and murderers.

It is perhaps dangerous to make too large of a generalization, for there are many rural jurisdictions where this does not apply, but the fact of the matter is that by and large, the police no longer trust the people they are supposed to protect, and they especially do not trust an armed citizen, even if he represents no danger to the cop. This is standing the oath on its head. The people do not exist to serve the servant, but rather the other way around.

When a policeman pulls over a driver whose computer record shows not only the driver’s license of the vehicle’s owner, but the fact that they have a concealed carry permit, it is too often SOP for the cop to approach the vehicle, gun drawn, order the man or woman from the car, put them on their knees and cuff them before anything else transpires. These are not the acts of public servants but rather of an occupying army. And with each breach of trust, the glue holding society together is further weakened. For the more you distrust us, the more we are reminded to distrust you.

It is important to remember, Mr. and Ms. Law Enforcement Officer, that you need us, the law-abiding armed citizenry, one hell of a lot more than we need you. Just ask any criminal. Who is it that they fear most? The encounter with a policeman or a would-be victim who turns out to be armed? I tell you this uncomfortable truth and I hope you have the honesty to admit it -- the criminals of this country are far more scared of the armed citizenry than they are of the police.

It is not the fear of the patrol car that inhibits criminal behavior the most, but rather the prospect of screwing up and getting his brains blown out by a citizen in righteous self defense. And so, when you participate in citizen disarmament efforts, whether gun seizures like Katrina, or merely identifying otherwise friendly peaceable folks as “the enemy” just because they are armed, you are alienating your most valuable friends and empowering your most vicious enemies. Not to mention the fact that you are violating that sacred oath you took.

So ponder that deteriorating social trust that holds civilizations together, and then ponder this: the worst is yet to come.

What will happen when we are faced, God forbid, with some dislocating national disaster -- natural or man-made -- that makes Katrina look like a kindergarten playground? Now, even if you intend to run off like some New Orleans policemen did, to see to the safety of their families rather than keep order in the city, you are still going to need the cooperation of the armed citizenry in your home neighborhood to protect your family.

You -- ALL of you -- law enforcement officers, will then need us, the armed citizenry -- ALL of us willing and competent to muster -- to defend public order against the tide of chaos represented by five or ten million gang members and the tens of millions of panicked unprepared refugees or opportunistic criminals left unrestrained by a breakdown.

In their continued assault upon the Constitution and the Founders' Republic, these domestic enemies forfeit more of their legitimacy with every blow. In their ability to oppress the people by more taxes and greater constraints on their personal and economic liberties while at the same time being unable to provide true economic and personal security from the assaults of petty criminals or corrupt bureaucrats, the wannabe tyrants of the present regime -- both political parties -- alienate the people and force them back upon their own resources.

And who will be there, in the local world where they live, to help them fend off threats to their liberty, property and safety?

We will.

The armed citizenry will.

IF we have the sense to recognize the opportunity.

IF we have the determination to prepare for it.

And IF we have the guts to seize it.

The sense that that federal government has not only lost its legitimacy but its competence at doing the most basic of things grows daily.

Sometimes it is in big chunks like Katrina or the Gulf oil spill. Mostly it is in little pieces as when a SWAT raid kills a 7 year old girl or a corrupt politician goes to jail, or, more often, when they do not.

The federal Leviathan pretends to wield absolute power and absolute authority, yet this is far too large a country for them to do so. And as these elements of the regime gradually discredit themselves, more and more people are indeed paying attention to the little man, the humbug, behind the curtain. When enough of them do, the little man loses his hold over them all.

And all of this will be played out locally first: in our own neighborhoods, towns and counties. And it is there that we are strongest.

The people will be mobilized, as they always have been, by events in their own lives that radicalize them, that scare them, that get momma onto her high horse and daddy off the couch in response to her demand to DO SOMETHING!

When that happens, as it unfolds, we must be ready to provide that "something." We must be ready to insert ourselves, the armed citizenry, into the vacuum left by the collapse of order and the regime's inability to do anything but worsen things.

We must be ready, we Three Percent, to take the field as the legitimate and competent force of restoration, at first locally, and finally nationally.

We MUST be ready.

The regime, on so many levels, is an already rotted door.

When the time comes, when they provide us the excuse and the opportunity, we have but to kick it.

If we are ready.

If we have the courage.

If we are indeed the Three Percent we claim to be.

The Aryan Republican Army rides again? Probably not, but the West Memphis shootout brings back memories.


There's a lot we don't know for sure about this story about the West Memphis cop-killing and subsequent shootout which killed the apparent killers.

This story identifies the dead men as Jerry and Joe Kane of Florida.

This one has some more detail about the two, including this:

Jerry Kane has previous arrests in Ohio for assault, forgery and vehicle theft. He was pulled over at a checkpoint last month along Highway 380 in Lincoln County, New Mexico and arrested for not having a driver's license.

Lt. Eric Garcia, a spokesperson for the New Mexico State Police, says Kane was asked to provide an i.d. and refused. He was asked to step out of his car and complied, but when asked again for his license, he refused a second time. He was taken into custody without incident. Kane's son, says Lt. Garcia, was not with him during the incident. There was an unidentified woman in the van who was not arrested.

When Kane was shot and killed Thursday, he was actually wanted on a misdemeanor warrant for failure to appear in court on those charges out of New Mexico.

Interestingly, when asked what his profession was, Kane told New Mexico State Police that he was the pastor of the House of God's Prayer, which is the name of the controversial church in Ohio. The former pastor of the church, Harold Ray Redfeairn, became the leader of the Aryan Nation, and went to jail in 1993 for trying to kill a police officer. He was paroled in 1991 and died in 2003.

The minivan the Kane's were driving was registered to the church. For "controversial" substitute "Christian Identity."

The reference to the House of God's Prayer brought memories flooding back about the Kehoe brothers and the Aryan Republican Army.

Here is local Ohio story which recalls those days.

A snippet:

In 1997, there was a shootout in Wilmington between two suspected members of the Aryan Nations, Cheyne and Chevie Kehoe, and police. Chevie Kehoe was also convicted of the murders of an Arkansas gun dealer, his wife and 8-year-old daughter.

Here's more on the Kehoes, who circulated in and out of the ARA Switzerland, Elohim City, in the 90s.

So is this the latest episode of "The Aryan Republican Army rides again?" Doubtful. The accounts say that the church building has been vacant for years, although the vehicle was registered to it and Kane claimed to be pastor.

The other "Identity minister" and Aryan Nations leader in the area, Ray Redfeairn, died in 2003.

Kane seems to be one of "sovereigns" by all accounts. What his racial and religious theories were is unclear and no doubt was the subject of some discussion between him and God after the second, and final, shootout.


Well, isn't this just special?

IBM applies for right to stop your car at intersections, week after researchers hack car.

A tip of the boonie hat to Typeay for forwarding the link above. A snippet:

If you're at all in fear of a Skynet future controlled entirely by computers such as that featured in the Terminator franchise, look away now.

IBM has applied for a patent that covers "a method for managing engines in response to a traffic signal".

If you're crawling through traffic in 2025 and approach a traffic light, IBM hopes it will be able to take control of your car.

And according to the patent, you won't be able to go again until it lets you.

Which sounds relatively harmless - it's something we do, or should do, anyway - but the issue of computer-controlled cars had some uneasy light thrown on it last week, when researchers at the universities of Washington and California enjoyed themselves at the expense of current models.

In effect, they hacked a family sedan.

With a laptop and customised software called CarShark, the researchers disabled the brakes of a regular family car and switched its engine off - while it was moving.

They also played with its air-conditioning and added a "countdown" feature, which saw the car stop, doors lock and a series of little honks notify the driver trapped inside that their engine is about to die.

Hey, gang, it's SHOWTIME! Like a rotting corpse at last floating to the surface, ATF's management scandals finally get some press attention.

This just in simultaneously from CPT R.A. Bear and CPT Jonathan Tuttle.

ATF UNDER FIRE - Anderson Cooper 360, Wed. May 26 and Thurs. May 27, (Two part story) in your respective time zone. There will also be a Print media version on CNN.Com when the show airs and will be open to comments.

My comment?

This is no surprise to those of us who have been actively paying attention.


Sunday, May 23, 2010

Stupid Army risk aversion in combat zones.

Orders which cannot reasonably expected to be obeyed should not be given.

Why am I getting bounce-backs on emails I never sent?


My in-box is being flooded with bounce-backs like the one below on emails I never sent. Any ideas?


-----Original Message-----
From: Mail Delivery Subsystem
Sent: Sun, May 23, 2010 12:37 pm
Subject: Returned mail: see transcript for details


Your e-mail is being returned to you because there was a problem with its
delivery. The address which was undeliverable is listed in the section
labeled: "----- The following addresses had permanent fatal errors -----".

The reason your mail is being returned to you is listed in the section
labeled: "----- Transcript of Session Follows -----".

The line beginning with "<<<" describes the specific reason your e-mail could
not be delivered. The next line contains a second error message which is a
general translation for other e-mail servers.

Please direct further questions regarding this message to the e-mail
administrator or Postmaster at that destination.

--AOL Postmaster

----- The following addresses had permanent fatal errors -----

(reason: 554 DT:SPM mx31, UcCowKDrPa7BWflLau93AA--.3476S2 1274632646

----- Transcript of session follows -----
... while talking to
>>> DATA
<<< 554 DT:SPM mx31, UcCowKDrPa7BWflLau93AA--.3476S2 1274632646
554 5.0.0 Service unavailable

Original-Recipient: rfc822;
Final-Recipient: RFC822;
Action: failed
Status: 5.0.0
Remote-MTA: DNS;
Diagnostic-Code: SMTP; 554 DT:SPM mx31, UcCowKDrPa7BWflLau93AA--.3476S2
Last-Attempt-Date: Sun, 23 May 2010 12:37:27 -0400

Received: from (
by (8.14.1/8.14.1) with ESMTP id o4NGbDU9001260
for ; Sun, 23 May 2010 12:37:13 -0400
Message-Id: <>
Received: from PC-201002280947 (unknown [])
by (MUA/Third Party Client Interface) with
ESMTPA id 68326E000088
for ; Sun, 23 May 2010 12:37:12 -0400 (EDT)
From: "georgemason1776"
Subject: =?GB2312?B?tPq/qrXYt72wbMaxvt0xMzU=?= 342 44126 =?GB2312?B?wfW+rcDt?=
Content-Type: text/html
Date: Mon, 24 May 2010 00:37:10 +0800
x-aol-global-disposition: G
X-AOL-SCOLL-SCORE: 0:2:123148576:93952408
x-aol-sid: 3039ac1d33c54bf959b87bc7

Something similar happened to me once.

My first marriage.

Police: Man sucked into sausage seasoning machine

Associated Press

DANVERS, Mass. – Police said a cleaning man was taken to a hospital after being sucked into a machine at a sausage-making company in Danvers. The accident happened Thursday night as the man was cleaning the vacuum-type machine that is used to season the meat at DiLigui Sausage Co. Police said the man's head and shoulders became stuck in the machine after it somehow activated while being cleaned.

Lt. Carole Germano told The Salem News that the man — whose name was not released — was freed from the machine and showed no obvious sign of trauma, but was taken to a hospital as a precaution.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration is investigating the mishap.

At last, even DC policy wonks are getting it.

America's new culture war: Free enterprise vs. government control.

For Taylor H, who feels 8 rounds is not enough to deal with an SEIU mob . . .

Lessons of the natural world on a fine Saturday in the piney woods.

An old man, a cane, a boy and a BREN gun. What could be more idyllic? Almost cries out for a Norman Rockwell portrait, don't it?

Your tax dollars at work -- TSA Voodoo.

"Now go DO
that YOU DO
so well!"

-- Attorney General Hedley Lamarr to his gang of thugs in "Blazing Saddles."

My thanks to CPT Jonathan Tuttle for forwarding this.

You know, don't you, that TSA is where people who are judged too incompetent to continue working in the ATF transfer out to?

Hey! SEIU!

Walt Kowalski: "Get off my lawn."

Smokie: "Are you fucking crazy? Go back in the house."

Walt Kowalski: "Yeah? I blow a hole in your face and then I go in the house... and I sleep like a baby. You can count on that. We used to stack fucks like you five feet high in Korea... use ya for sandbags."

-- Gran Torino.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Tell me again about the wonderful things open borders gives us.

Jose Lopez Madrigal: The new poster boy.

Kim Jong Il authorized act of war against South Korea. . . What's Obama's next daring move, dispatch Hans Blix?

Kim Jong Il: Hans Brix? Oh no! Oh, herro. Great to see you again, Hans!

Hans Blix: Mr. Il, I was supposed to be allowed to inspect your palace today, but your guards won't let me enter certain areas.

Kim Jong Il: Hans, Hans, Hans! We've been frew this a dozen times. I don't have any weapons of mass destwuction, OK Hans?

Hans Blix: Then let me look around, so I can ease the UN's collective mind. I'm sorry, but the UN must be firm with you. Let me in, or else.

Kim Jong Il: Or else what?

Hans Blix: Or else we will be very angry with you... and we will write you a letter, telling you how angry we are.

Kim Jong Il: OK, Hans. I'll show you. Stand to your reft.

Hans Blix: [Moves to the left]

Kim Jong Il: A rittle more.

Hans Blix: [Moves to the left again]

Kim Jong Il: Good. [Opens up trap, Hans falls in, is deposited in tank with shark, which eats him.]

--Team America: World Police, 2004.

So now we know, Kim Jong Il authorized the act of war against South Korea, figuring he can get away with it.

In truth, he can and he will. What's Obama going to do? He just declared a new "international order" based on "diplomacy." Perhaps he'll dispatch Hans Brix? Er, ah, I mean, Hans Blix?

U.S. Implicates North Korean Leader in Attack


May 22, 2010

WASHINGTON — A new American intelligence analysis of a deadly torpedo attack on a South Korean warship concludes that Kim Jong-il, the ailing leader of North Korea, must have authorized the torpedo assault, according to senior American officials who cautioned that the assessment was based on their sense of the political dynamics there rather than hard evidence.

The officials said they were increasingly convinced that Mr. Kim ordered the sinking of the ship, the Cheonan, to help secure the succession of his youngest son.

“We can’t say it is established fact,” said one senior American official who was involved in the highly classified assessment, based on information collected by many of the country’s 16 intelligence agencies. “But there is very little doubt, based on what we know about the current state of the North Korean leadership and the military.”

Nonetheless, both the conclusion and the timing of the assessment could be useful to the United States as it seeks to rally support against North Korea.

On Monday, South Korea’s president, Lee Myung-bak, who has moved cautiously since the assault, is expected to call for the United Nations Security Council to condemn the attack and is likely to terminate the few remaining trade ties between North and South that provide the North with hard currency.

Another country heard from . . .

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "The Treaty is coming! The Treaty is coming!"

Gentleman, I can excuse the younger guys but, all the old timers should know Mike is a RAT. He blathers out comments in the hope of inciting a few of the more eager beaver citizens to say or do something illegal, passes such intel to his contact and collects his meager reward. Be wise new people. Those that do, DO. Those that make outrageous statements, statements that guarantee a visit from FBI yet nothing happens, are I N F O R M A N T S. Be wise patriots.

Actually I was born in 1952, the year of the dragon.

Explain to me how this differs from law enforcement support of the Klan in the 1960s or German police assistance to the Brown Shirts in the 1930s.

This is why God inspired Hiram Maxim and John Moses Browning.

A situation just begging for the application of automatic weapons fire.

Here's a question: If these thug sonsabitches show up threatening your children on your property, why shouldn't you shoot as many of the bastards as possible while they are still in range?

And why shouldn't you shoot the thug cops operating under color of law, too?

The Deacons for Defense and Justice would understand.

When mama ain't happy . . .

A tip of the boonie hat to Jennifer III for forwarding this:

"Preserving the spirit of resistance." God bless the truck drivers.

"What country can preserve its liberties, if its rulers are not warned from time to time, that this people preserve the spirit of resistance? Let them take arms. The remedy is to set them right as to the facts, pardon and pacify them. What signify a few lives lost in a century or two? The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time, with the blood of patriots and tyrants. It is its natural manure." -- Thomas Jefferson.

From Threeper Stan in the People's Democratic Socialist Republic of Kalifornia we have this image from, where rgs1975 posted:

Saw something cool on my drive home today . . .

I'm in Marin County. On my daily drive to work and back I see dozens of Obama, Kerry, Free Tibet, No War For Oil, etc... type bumber stickers daily. Today, this truck passed me by and I thought it was just about the neatest thing I've seen in a very long time. Had to snap a shot of it.

Friday, May 21, 2010

"The Treaty is coming! The Treaty is coming!" SFW? An Open Letter to Hillary Clinton.


I continue to get breathless emails about the "imminent danger" of the small arms non-proliferation treaty. Here is one of the latest news articles about that. I reproduce the entire article below, and then, my response.

U.S. reverses stance on treaty to regulate arms trade

Arshad Mohammed, Reuters

Wed Oct 14, 2009 11:56pm EDT

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The United States reversed policy on Wednesday and said it would back launching talks on a treaty to regulate arms sales as long as the talks operated by consensus, a stance critics said gave every nation a veto.

The decision, announced in a statement released by the U.S. State Department, overturns the position of former President George W. Bush's administration, which had opposed such a treaty on the grounds that national controls were better.

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said the United States would support the talks as long as the negotiating forum, the so-called Conference on the Arms Trade Treaty, "operates under the rules of consensus decision-making."

"Consensus is needed to ensure the widest possible support for the Treaty and to avoid loopholes in the Treaty that can be exploited by those wishing to export arms irresponsibly," Clinton said in a written statement.

While praising the Obama administration's decision to overturn the Bush-era policy and to proceed with negotiations to regulate conventional arms sales, some groups criticized the U.S. insistence that decisions on the treaty be unanimous.

"The shift in position by the world's biggest arms exporter is a major breakthrough in launching formal negotiations at the United Nations in order to prevent irresponsible arms transfers," Amnesty International and Oxfam International said in a joint statement.

However, they said insisting that decisions on the treaty be made by consensus "could fatally weaken a final deal."

"Governments must resist US demands to give any single state the power to veto the treaty as this could hold the process hostage during the course of negotiations. We call on all governments to reject such a veto clause," said Oxfam International's policy adviser Debbie Hillier.

The proposed legally binding treaty would tighten regulation of, and set international standards for, the import, export and transfer of conventional weapons.

Supporters say it would give worldwide coverage to close gaps in existing regional and national arms export control systems that allow weapons to pass onto the illicit market.

Nations would remain in charge of their arms export control arrangements but would be legally obliged to assess each export against criteria agreed under the treaty. Governments would have to authorize transfers in writing and in advance.

The main opponent of the treaty in the past was the U.S. Bush administration, which said national controls were better. Last year, the United States accounted for more than two-thirds of some $55.2 billion in global arms transfer deals.

Arms exporters China, Russia and Israel abstained last year in a U.N. vote on the issue.

The proposed treaty is opposed by conservative U.S. think tanks like the Heritage Foundation, which said last month that it would not restrict the access of "dictators and terrorists" to arms but would be used to reduce the ability of democracies such as Israel to defend their people.

The U.S. lobbying group the National Rifle Association has also opposed the treaty.

A resolution before the U.N. General Assembly is sponsored by seven nations including major arms exporter Britain. It calls for preparatory meetings in 2010 and 2011 for a conference to negotiate a treaty in 2012.

An Open Letter to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton

Madame Secretary,

I note with interest your reversal of the Bush Administration's opposition to participating in the Conference on the Arms Trade Treaty. There are many firearms owners in this country who believe that this is an Obama Administration effort to backdoor firearms restrictions by means of an international treaty. As you know, this attitude has also been adopted by the National Rifle Association, which sends out millions of fund-raising appeals every mass mailing and uses it as an excuse for easily frightened people to send them more money -- as if the NRA has any intention of taking a principled stand on anything.

I disagree with these apprehensions of your motives. In fact, I embrace your committing the United States to this arms control regime and sincerely hope that you attempt apply it to firearms availability in this country.

For if you do, you and your regime will be swept out of power at the point of the muzzles of millions of rifles in the hands of men and women who will have finally had enough of your tyrannies, large and small.

Please, I ask you, commit this country to a global agenda of gun control. The sooner you do, the sooner you and all your kind will be swept into the dustbin of history.

Mike Vanderboegh
The alleged leader of a merry band of Three Percenters
PO Box 926
Pinson, AL 35126

PS: Please thank your nominal husband for me for his courtesy in condemning the Three Percenters in his recent speech and subsequent interviews. To be denounced by a serial perjurer carries particular significance.

"The future is now here, and the riots will spread."

"The future is fun.
The future is fair.
You may already have won.
You may already be there."
-- Firesign Theatre, "I Think We're All Bozos On This Bus."

Welcome to the future. I was talking to a Birmingham PD cop yesterday and asked him how he was going to react to the 10% across-the-board pay cut just announced. "Work 20% less," he replied. Understand this: Your safety, and that of your family, is now in your own hands. You'd better be getting ready for that responsibility.


Not just their Big Fat Greek Funeral

As lazy, feckless, corrupt and violent as Greece undoubtedly is, it’s not that untypical

by Mark Steyn on Thursday, May 20, 2010 8:00am

From the Times of London: “The President of Greece warned last night that his country stood on the brink of the abyss after three people were killed when an anti-government mob set fire to the Athens bank where they worked.”

Almost right. They were not an “anti-government” mob, but a government mob, a mob comprised largely of civil servants. That they are highly uncivil and disinclined to serve should come as no surprise: they’re paid more and they retire earlier, and that’s how they want to keep it. So they’re objecting to austerity measures that would end, for example, the tradition of 14 monthly paycheques per annum. You read that right: the Greek public sector cannot be bound by anything so humdrum as temporal reality. So, when it was mooted that the “workers” might henceforth receive a mere 12 monthly paycheques per annum, they rioted. Their hapless victims—a man and two women—were a trio of clerks trapped in a bank when the mob set it alight and then obstructed emergency crews attempting to rescue them.

Unlovely as they are, the Greek rioters are the logical end point of the advanced social democratic state: not an oppressed underclass, but a pampered overclass, rioting in defence of its privileges and insisting on more subsidy, more benefits, more featherbedding, more government.

Who will pay for it? Hey, not my problem, say the rioters. Maybe those dead bank clerks’ clients, assuming we didn’t burn them to death, too. The problem facing the Western world isn’t very difficult to figure out: we’ve spent tomorrow today, and we can never earn enough tomorrow to pay for what we’ve already burned through. When you’re spending four trillion dollars but only raising two trillion in revenue (the Obama model), you’ve no intention of paying it off, and the rest of the world knows it. In Greece, the arithmetic is starker. To prop up unsustainable welfare states, most of the Western world isn’t “printing money” but instead printing credit cards and pre-approving our unborn grandchildren. That would be a dodgy proposition at the best of times. But in the Mediterranean those grandchildren are never going to be born. As I pointed out in my bestselling hate crime America Alone four years ago, Greece has one of the lowest fertility rates on the planet—1.3 children per couple, which places it in the “lowest-low” demographic category from which no society has recovered and, according to the UN, 178th out of 195 countries. In practical terms, it means 100 grandparents have 42 grandkids. Greek public sector employees are entitled not only to 14 monthly paycheques per annum during their “working” lives, but also 14 monthly retirement cheques per annum till death. Who’s going to be around to pay for that?

Welcome to My Big Fat Greek Funeral. As to every profligate Western politician’s enduring faith in mass immigration, what hardworking foreigner in his right mind would move to the Hellenes? According to the World Bank, when it comes to the ease of doing business, Greece ranks 109th out of 183 countries. If they were dramatically to liberate their business-killing economy, they might overtake Lebanon at big hit position 108, and Ethiopia at 107, and maybe Papua New Guinea at 102. And who knows? With even more radical reform, they might crack the Hot One Hundred and be bubbling under such favourable business environments as Yemen (99) and Moldova (94). Greece ranks 140th when it comes to starting a business, and 154th when it comes to protecting investors. They cannot mitigate their deathbed demography through immigration, because, even more so than Canada and the rest of Europe, the only foreigners with any incentive to head there are those who either want to lounge around on welfare or plot jihad at taxpayer expense. In my “alarmist” book I put it this way:

“Projected public pensions liabilities are expected to rise by 2040 to about 6.8 per cent of GDP in the U.S. In Greece, the figure is 25 per cent—i.e., total societal collapse.”

Four years on, thanks to Obama in Washington and business as usual in Athens, the situation has worsened. Yet in a sense the comparison is academic: whereas America still has a choice, Greece isn’t going to have a 2040. The mob is rioting for the right to continue suspending reality until they’re all dead. After that, who cares?

Greece has run out of Greeks to stick it to. So it’s turned to Germany. But Germany too is in net population decline. The Chinese and other buyers of Western debt know that. If you’re an investor and you don’t, more fool you. Tracking GDP versus median age in the world’s major economies is the easiest way to figure out where this story’s heading.

Traditionally, a bank is a means by which old people with capital lend to young people with ideas. But the advanced democracies with their mountains of sovereign debt are in effect old people who’ve blown through their capital and are all out of ideas looking for young people flush enough to bail them out. And the idea that it might be time for the spendthrift geezers to change their ways butts up against their indestructible moral vanity. Last year, President Sarkozy said that the G20 summit provided “a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to give capitalism a conscience.” European capitalism may have a conscience. It’s not clear it has a pulse. And, actually, when you’re burning Greek bank clerks to death in defence of your benefits, your “conscience” isn’t much in evidence, either.

Let us take it as read that Greece is an outlier. As waggish officials in Brussels and Strasbourg will tell you, it only snuck into the EU due to some sort of clerical error. It’s a cesspit of sloth and corruption even by Mediterranean standards. On my last brief visit, Athens was a visibly decrepit dump: a town with a handful of splendid ancient ruins surrounded by a multitude of hideous graffiti-covered contemporary ruins. If you were going to cut one “advanced” social democracy loose and watch it plunge into the abyss pour encourager les autres, it would be hard to devise a better candidate than Greece.

And yet and yet . . . riot-wracked Athens isn’t that much of an outlier. Greece’s 2010 budget deficit is 12.2 per cent of GDP; Ireland’s is 14.7. Greece’s debt is 125 per cent of GDP; Italy’s is 117 per cent. Greece’s 65-plus population will increase from 18 per cent in 2005 to 25 per cent in 2030; Spain’s will increase from 17 per cent to 25 per cent. As lazy, feckless, squalid, corrupt and violent as Greece undoubtedly is, it’s not that untypical. It’s where the rest of Europe’s headed, and Japan and North America shortly thereafter. About half the global economy is living beyond not only its means but its diminished number of children’s means.

Instead of addressing that basic fact, countries with government debt of 125 per cent of GDP are being “rescued” by countries with government debt of 80 per cent of GDP. Good luck with that. Alas, the world has deemed Greece “too big to fail,” even though in (what’s the word?) reality it’s too big not to fail. And the rest of us are too big not to follow in its path:

“Another reform high on the list is removing the state from the marketplace in crucial sectors like health care, transportation and energy and allowing private investment,” reported the New York Times. “Economists say that the liberalization of trucking routes—where a trucking licence can cost up to $90,000—and the health care industry would help bring down prices in these areas, which are among the highest in Europe.”

Removing the state from health care brings down prices? Who knew? This New York Times is presumably entirely unrelated to the New York Times that’s spent the last year arguing for the governmentalization of U.S. health care as a means of controlling costs.

The EU is now throwing an extra trillion dollars at countries which by any objective measure are insolvent, and are unlikely ever again to be anything but—at least this side of bloody revolution. How do you grow your economy in a remorselessly shrinking market? That’s to say, Greece is a land of ever fewer customers and fewer workers but ever more retirees and more government. How do you increase GDP? By export? Where? You’re entirely uncompetitive; you can’t make anything at a price any foreigner would be prepared to pay for it. More to the point, foreigners already own your debt, and just servicing that in the years ahead will gobble up around 10 per cent of GDP—which you’ll have to try and make up domestically. How? You’ve got some of the lowest productivity rates in Europe, and a “workforce” that would rather rouse itself to murder bank tellers.

Greece, wrote Theodore Dalrymple, is “a cradle not only of democracy but of democratic corruption”—of electorates who give their votes to leaders who bribe them with baubles purchased by borrowing against a future that can never pay it off. The future is now here, and the riots will spread.