Saturday, February 28, 2009

"My New Gun"

Sometime later this year, in a nifty old brownstone in the university district of a major American metropolitan area, a liberal intellectual discovers that: (a.) it isn't only "rednecks" who need firearms and (b.) that he has waited too long to obtain one -- unreasoning hoplophobia turns to unreasoning panic.
(Illustration from

Forwarded to me by Type-Ay with the comment:

Amazing that the N.Y. Times magazine even published this....

This tracks with my comment some time ago that we are not yet in a panic situation regarding the purchase of firearms. The true panic will begin when the liberals realize they must have a firearm and there are none left to purchase and no ammo either. That will be the real panic.


My New Gun.

New York Times Magazine
March 1, 2009


Back in late September, when my bank stocks began to tank — slowly, then all at once, as Hemingway described going broke — another wall in my life began to crack, as rumors of break-ins rattled my peaceful neighborhood in Allentown, Pa. The first indication that something was going on was the Crime Watch sign that suddenly appeared on the utility pole a block from my house.

To see what was happening, my husband and I attended a neighborhood-watch meeting in October at the nearby Christian and Missionary Alliance Church, where people suggested that crime was moving into our beautiful old neighborhood because the police were putting the squeeze on criminal activity downtown. A former city councilwoman sobbed as she told us how her home was broken into while she slept. An elderly man described how thieves ransacked his house in broad daylight. Some people were roving around different areas, stripping cars, the police liaison there told us, but evidently our stretched department could spare only three squad cars for the whole West End. We left feeling as if we’d have to batten down the hatches while the police tried to make it so uncomfortable for the drug gangs downtown that they’d move on. We signed up to be informed of future meetings and took the card of a local locksmith.

We live in a big old house with an open back porch and a three-tiered yard with trees. A year ago, I loved the fact that we were so open, that neighborhood kids and animals could play and hide here. But after that meeting, I began to see access points, places where we were vulnerable. “We have five doors,” I told my husband. “And the windows are a joke. The cat knows how to open them.”

Meanwhile, the financial news kept getting bleaker. A lawyer friend’s real estate and bankruptcy practice morphed into a plain bankruptcy practice. I’d always heard that crime increases when the economy goes down, and I found myself thinking of some of my grandparents’ stories about the Great Depression: people breaking the law out of desperation.

A friend told us to consider buying a gun to protect ourselves. The idea didn’t thrill me. I’d fired an M-16 when I was in the Army years ago, could take it apart and put it back together in the dark, and my experience with firearms, and what they’re meant to do, made me wary.

Still, I couldn’t get the idea out of my head, and a few weeks later I called my friend Jimmy, a gun enthusiast, and asked him to take me along to a firing range “just to see.” He brought two handguns, each in a locked metal box, and showed me how to use them. The noise in the indoor range was frightening, even though I was wearing the same ear protectors as construction workers using jackhammers. But more unnerving were the other shooters. The man in the adjacent booth had set his target at 15 feet and was firing with a coolness and precision that chilled me. Two punk-styled boys put up their own targets, life-size blowups of a man and a woman. It was like going to get your driver’s license and taking a good look at the people you were going to share the road with.

“You might as well get used to a .38,” Jimmy said. “A .22 is lighter, but you can’t really stop anything with it. You want to make a nice big hole.”

A few weeks ago, my husband went away on business, and after two sleepless nights starting every time the old steam radiators knocked, I finally decided I wanted protection.

Jimmy took me to the Army-Navy Store on Grape Street. It was 11 o’clock on Sunday morning, and 15 normal-looking — I was relieved to see — people were leaning on the gun counter at the back of the store. Jimmy explained the differences between the Glocks, semiautomatics with magazines, and the Smith & Wesson revolvers with six bullet chambers. The clerk told us a lot of handguns were out of stock; arms sales around the country have been increasing in inverse proportion to the collapsing economy and in response to the unsubstantiated buzz that the new administration is going to tighten gun control.

“You want a revolver, to start,” Jimmy said. I pointed to a dull pink Charter Arms revolver with a two-inch barrel: the Pink Lady. It looked like a toy. Jimmy laughed. “You don’t want a pink gun.”

I watched the woman at the counter next to me test the feel of several Glocks while the young girl with her thumbed an electronic game. Then finally I picked out a Smith & Wesson .357 Magnum, “the gun I started with,” the clerk said. I handed him my driver’s license and filled out the paperwork. He left us to run my license number through a criminal-records system called QuickCheck. Two minutes later I was qualified and, between gun and ammo, $762 poorer. The revolver I bought has a black handle and a four-inch stainless-steel barrel. There’s nothing pink about it.

Bathsheba Monk is the author of “Now You See It . . . Stories From Cokesville, Pa.”

Porcine Anti-Defamation League Demands Apology of David Codrea

An honest, hard-working sow, minding her own business.

David Codrea understandably got his dander up here at this story here, the substance of which is below:

For CCSU student John Wahlberg, a class presentation on campus violence turned into a confrontation with the campus police due to a complaint by the professor.

On October 3, 2008, Wahlberg and two other classmates prepared to give an oral presentation for a Communication 140 class that was required to discuss a “relevant issue in the media”. Wahlberg and his group chose to discuss school violence due to recent events such as the Virginia Tech shootings that occurred in 2007.

Shortly after his professor, Paula Anderson, filed a complaint with the CCSU Police against her student. During the presentation Wahlberg made the point that if students were permitted to conceal carry guns on campus, the violence could have been stopped earlier in many of these cases. He also touched on the controversial idea of free gun zones on college campuses.

That night at work, Wahlberg received a message stating that the campus police “requested his presence”. Upon entering the police station, the officers began to list off firearms that were registered under his name, and questioned him about where he kept them.

They told Wahlberg that they had received a complaint from his professor that his presentation was making students feel “scared and uncomfortable”.

“I was a bit nervous when I walked into the police station,” Wahlberg said, “but I felt a general sense of disbelief once the officer actually began to list the firearms registered in my name. I was never worried however, because as a law-abiding gun owner, I have a thorough understanding of state gun laws as well as unwavering safety practices.”

Now this is outrageous to be sure, and David vented quite naturally, calling Professor Anderson, among other things, "a certain miserable Marxist sow." This however was too much for the Porcine Anti-Defamation League, of which I am an associate member. Consequently, the following email was dispatched post haste.

Subject: A Letter of support from the PADL
Date: 2/28/2009 2:23:16 P.M. Central Standard Time

Professor Anderson,

We became aware of your case by monitoring the rabid gun rights blogs, among whom one David Codrea had this to say:

Paula Anderson doesn't even want to let us talk about it? This is a "communications professor"? What is that, some kind of Orwellian sick joke? I wonder if she realizes the implications of using police state tactics to close that door? Someone ought to tell her. And Wahlberg should have told his inquisitioners to speak to his attorney. I hope they end up doing so, along with a certain miserable Marxist sow.

This is an awful calumny and an insult to honest four-legged sows everywhere. Just because a cloistered liberal university professor reacts to the mere mention of armed self-defense by law-abiding citizens as would, say, Dracula to a crucifix or a lesbian to a male phallus is no cause for surprise. By calling in the coercive power of the state to enforce your collectivist opinion, you have simply done what you have been programmed to do by years of state-worshipping propaganda. It is perfectly understandable. One might as well blame a rattlesnake for biting, or a skunk for stinking. They are what they are. You are what you are.

However, this is no reason for Mr. Codrea to call you a "miserable Marxist sow." THAT is an insult to honest sows everywhere. I am copying him on this email so that he may be advised of our demand that he apologize to our millions of hard-working honest porcines.

Mike Vanderboegh
Porcine Anti-Defamation League
PO Box 926
Pinson, AL 35126

If you would like to express your opinion on this matter, you have but to send Professor Anderson your own email to:

Friday, February 27, 2009

"Semper Fidelis": You MUST see this.

My sincere thanks to TypeAy for forwarding this to me.


Comments from a current-serving NCO . . .

Well spoken. Not going to lie, I got a little weepy. It is getting many hits and the comment board is going through the roof. I do hope someone else is paying attention. . . I dont think this guy told us anything that we did not already know.

If you look at the big bad military like the run of the mill tin foil hat, Bildeberger, (fill-in-the-blank) global conspiracy theorist that haunts youtube or facebook, then you would find all kinds of reasons to tuck your balls between your legs and decry how you could not do anything useful against the NWO other than sit on your keyboard and pout. . .

F-ck the lot of 'em, I say. It is not like they will be around when anything counts. They have done more to bring discredit upon everyone else then they ever could help. Paralyzed by the fear of some grand conspiracy is about as worthless as you can get. I bet their ancestors used to surrender to thunderstorms.

I do believe that in the case of a military call up in the case of civil disturbance, the military will act only in the cause of preserving peace. Vis a vis a hurricane disaster relief or massive flooding. With that said, it will not be the case of the Soccer Stadium Massacre in Ireland nor will it entail breaking in random doors and herding people off to camps.

As a Soldier you understand the fact that your life is forfeit for the benefit of your countrymen. The mentality of the Gestapo or Khmer Rouge just ain't in the Soldiers Creed or the NCO Creed.

The "Feckless" New York Times

Function: adjective
Etymology: Scots, from feck effect, majority, from Middle English (Scots) fek, alteration of Middle English effect
Date: circa 1585
1 : weak , ineffective
2 : worthless , irresponsible
-- Merriam-Webster Dictionary

This is the New York Times Building.

This is the latest New York Times editorial demanding more draconian gun control laws:

The Drug Cartels’ Right to Bear Arms

Published: February 27, 2009

The hypocrisy grows all too gruesome: The Justice Department pronounced the Mexican drug cartels “a national security threat” this week, even as American gun dealers along the border were busily arming the cartels’ murderous gangs. Mexico complains that American dealers supplied most of the 20,000 weapons seized last year in drug wars in which 6,000 Mexicans died.

A vast arms bazaar is rampant along the four border states, enabled by porous to nonexistent American gun laws. Straw buyers can pick up three or four high-powered war rifles from one of more than 6,600 border dealers and hand them off to smugglers. They easily return to Mexico, where gun laws are far less permissive.

Licensed dealers routinely recruit buyers with clean criminal records to foil weak laws and feed the deadly pipeline, according to a report by James C. McKinley Jr. in The Times. The countless unlicensed “gun enthusiasts” free to deal battlefield rifles at weekend shows, thanks to loophole-ridden laws, are a second source.

The federal government is allowed to only trace weapons used in crimes and has no idea of the full scope of the border trade, which accounts for 9 out of 10 recovered weapons.

One dealer exploited the lack of federal controls by packing up his California shop, where laws were tougher, and moving to the lenient Arizona border. He is accused of selling hundreds of AK-47 rifles to the cartels before he was finally arrested in a sting by undercover agents. He’s more the exception. At best, 200 agents work the border expanse where gun smugglers operate as a “parade of ants,” in the words of one frustrated prosecutor.

There should be enormous shame on this side of the border that America’s addiction to drugs is bolstered by its feckless gun controls. Firm federal law is urgently needed if the homicidal cartels are to be seriously challenged as a threat to national security.

This is what Serbian Television and Radio Headquarters looked like after Bill Clinton decided to modify American rules of engagment to include the media, politicians and ideological support structure of an enemy regime as legitimate targets of war.

Among the 16 vicious enemy combatants killed in the air strike above were janitors and makeup artists.

Can someone explain to me why, if the NYT gets its way and the current American regime provokes a civil war over gun confiscation, this

shouldn't look like this?

After all, Bill Clinton said it was OK.

Of course Three Percenters don't have cruise missles and precision guided bombs, and unlike our enemies (witness Waco and Ruby Ridge)we wisely eschew any attacks which might cause innocent deaths. That only makes the potential process more targeted and personal.

The New York Times editorial board is willing to fight to the last ATF agent to enforce the theft of our traditional, God-given and natural rights to liberty and property -- a process they must fully realize will be resisted and will place our own families at risk of government execution by raid party. Thus, they are also more than willing to fight to the last firearm owner.

But, are they willing to fight to the first editorial writer?

The second anti-gun politician?

The third columnist?

The fourth collectivist intellectual?

If they get their wish, we will most likely find out.

Be careful what you wish for, New York Times, Bill Clinton's rules of engagement may give it to you.

You want "feckless"?

Look in the mirror, before it is too late.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Byrd Denounces Obama Power Grab

You asked for my source, here it is:

Byrd: Obama in power grab


Sen. Robert Byrd (D-W.Va.), the longest-serving Democratic senator, is criticizing President Obama’s appointment of White House “czars” to oversee federal policy, saying these executive positions amount to a power grab by the executive branch.

In a letter to Obama on Wednesday, Byrd complained about Obama’s decision to create White House offices on health reform, urban affairs policy, and energy and climate change. Byrd said such positions “can threaten the Constitutional system of checks and balances. At the worst, White House staff have taken direction and control of programmatic areas that are the statutory responsibility of Senate-confirmed officials.”

While it's rare for Byrd to criticize a president in his own party, Byrd is a stern constitutional scholar who has always stood up for the legislative branch in its role in checking the power of the White House. Byrd no longer holds the powerful Appropriations chairmanship, so his criticism does not carry as much weight these days. Byrd repeatedly clashed with the Bush administration over executive power, and it appears that he's not limiting his criticism to Republican administrations.

Byrd also wants Obama to limit claims of executive privilege while also ensuring that the White House czars don’t have authority over Cabinet officers confirmed by the Senate.

“As presidential assistants and advisers, these White House staffers are not accountable for their actions to the Congress, to cabinet officials, and to virtually anyone but the president,” Byrd wrote. “They rarely testify before congressional committees, and often shield the information and decision-making process behind the assertion of executive privilege. In too many instances, White House staff have been allowed to inhibit openness and transparency, and reduce accountability.”

The West Virginia Democrat on Wednesday asked Obama to “consider the following: that assertions of executive privilege will be made only by the president, or with the president’s specific approval; that senior White House personnel will be limited from exercising authority over any person, any program, and any funding within the statutory responsibility of a Senate-confirmed department or agency head; that the president will be responsible for resolving any disagreement between a Senate-confirmed agency or department head and White House staff; and that the lines of authority and responsibility in the administration will be transparent and open to the American public.”

Attention NRA Weenies: You remember that precious "political capital" you refused to spend on the Holder fight?

New NRA limousine.
(A Big Tip of the Sipsey Street boonie hat to Art.)

You'd better go rob a bank for the "capital" necessary for this one. Oh, yeah, and how's that Heller decision working out? You stupid putzes.

Obama to Seek New Assault Weapons Ban

The Ban Expired in 2004 During the Bush Administration.


WASHINGTON, Feb. 25, 2009

The Obama administration will seek to reinstate the assault weapons ban that expired in 2004 during the Bush administration, Attorney General Eric Holder said today.
"As President Obama indicated during the campaign, there are just a few gun-related changes that we would like to make, and among them would be to reinstitute the ban on the sale of assault weapons," Holder told reporters.

Holder said that putting the ban back in place would not only be a positive move by the United States, it would help cut down on the flow of guns going across the border into Mexico, which is struggling with heavy violence among drug cartels along the border.

"I think that will have a positive impact in Mexico, at a minimum." Holder said at a news conference on the arrest of more than 700 people in a drug enforcement crackdown on Mexican drug cartels operating in the U.S.

Mexican government officials have complained that the availability of sophisticated guns from the United States have emboldened drug traffickers to fight over access routes into the U.S.

A State Department travel warning issued Feb. 20, 2009, reflected government concerns about the violence.

"Some recent Mexican army and police confrontations with drug cartels have resembled small-unit combat, with cartels employing automatic weapons and grenades," the warning said. "Large firefights have taken place in many towns and cities across Mexico, but most recently in northern Mexico, including Tijuana, Chihuahua City and Ciudad Juarez."

At the news conference today, Holder described his discussions with his Mexican counterpart about the recent spike in violence.

"I met yesterday with Attorney General Medina Mora of Mexico, and we discussed the unprecedented levels of violence his country is facing because of their enforcement efforts," he said.

Holder declined to offer any time frame for the reimplementation of the assault weapons ban, however.

"It's something, as I said, that the president talked about during the campaign," he said. "There are obviously a number of things that are -- that have been taking up a substantial amount of his time, and so, I'm not sure exactly what the sequencing will be."

In a brief interview with ABC News, Wayne LaPierre, president of the National Rifle Association, said, "I think there are a lot of Democrats on Capitol Hill cringing at Eric Holder's comments right now."

During his confirmation hearing, Holder told the Senate Judiciary Committee about other gun control measures the Obama administration may consider.

"I think closing the gun show loophole, the banning of cop-killer bullets and I also think that making the assault weapons ban permanent, would be something that would be permitted under Heller," Holder said, referring to the Supreme Court ruling in Washington, D.C. v. Heller, which asserted the Second Amendment as an individual's right to own a weapon.

"Oh," squealed the NRA wussies in falsetto alarm, "but Heller will protect us! Protect us, O Heller, from the big bad collectivist wolf!" To which Antonin Scalia has already responded:

"The Second Amendment right is not unlimited. It is not a right to keep and carry any weapon whatsoever in any manner whatsoever and for whatever purpose: For example, concealed weapons prohibitions have been upheld under the Amendment or state analogues. The Court’s opinion should not be taken to cast doubt on longstanding prohibitions on the possession of firearms by felons and the mentally ill, or laws forbidding the carrying of firearms in sensitive places such as schools and government buildings, or laws imposing conditions and qualifications on the commercial sale of arms."

Pre-register for the NRA Blogger's Convention and get your ID badge here.

Three Percenter Note: OK, OK, quit bitching. I'm going back to Absolved now. This was, however, too important a milestone not to comment upon. -- MBV III

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Praxis: Ammo Corrosion Question


"The BS penalty flag is on the field!"

Question from a good friend:

"Received my order of German 7.62x51mm. Serious corrosion problems with 25% of the order. We will see what transpires. . . Note their description (”slight tarnish”) versus the reality of the attached picture. Assuming the badly tarnished and/or corroded rounds pass the chamber-gauge test, do you think the brass will maintain sufficient intregrity to shoot? Since they are Berdan primed, I am not worried about reloading (although I will save the brass for re-sale as scrap)? And I was so looking forward to having a bunch of German 7.62.

Now I'm not going to make a big deal about the ethics involved here until my buddy hears back from the distributor involved. However, he asks a good question about when is "corroded" too much? Opinions?

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Benito Hussein Obama

Another Mussolini moment for Barry Soetero featured on Drudge Report.

Monday, February 23, 2009

"My Lord" imitates the Borg, and manages to insult all Catholics in the process.

Someone with the odd moniker of "Monsignor" has announced Borg-like that "restistance is futile" over at David Codrea's Gun Rights Examiner column here. ("Test your knowledge of 'gun control'")

So anyway, David asked Pete if I could come out and play "stomp the weenie," and Pete said I could take a break from Absolved so I did. This is of course the same old "Almighty is the Leviathan State" crap that other disarmament advocates spew from time to time. See for example "Resistance is Futile": Waco Rules vs. Romanian Rules posted on David's blog almost two years ago.

No, the odd thing is not the victim disarmament pitch, but rather the guy's handle: "Monsignor." Now for those of you Catholic boys and girls, you know that a real Monsignor looks something like this:

Monsignor is an honorific used in the Catholic Church which describes a title and an office conferred upon a priest by the pope. Something tells me this guy is no priest.

On the other hand, this could be the Monsignor he's talking about:

Monsignor is a 1982 film about a Roman Catholic priest's rise through the ranks of the Vatican, during and after World War II. Along the way, he involves the Vatican in the black marketeering operations of a mafia don, and has an affair with a woman in the postulant stage of becoming a nun. -- Wikipedia.

So, OK, if he's not a priest, maybe he's just anti-Catholic, or is a seriously twisted fan of molesting nuns.

Or, perhaps he means it literally, for Monsignor is a derivation of the Italian "monsignore," which comes from the French "mon seigneur," meaning "my lord". So maybe he just believes he's been appointed by the Collectivist Borg to instruct us commoners in how best to be assimilated. Certainly his response to David's post and subsequent comments suggests a certain arrogance --

Monsignor: Ok. Let's say for instance that the government is really out to exterminate you and your family.

And you have prepared for this by legally arming yourself with the maximum amount of firepower available to a U.S. civilian. You are 100% legal and within your rights.

Do you really think you'll be able to stop laser-guided munitions dropped from 20,000-30,000 feet with your legally-acquired weapon? Do you think you'll ever even see the Navy SEAL who puts the laser-emitter on your roof?
Do you suppose your legally acquired weapon will prevent a chemical attack from a tank sitting a half-mile to your north? How many rounds of ammo do you think it will take to win when the government decides to poison your water? Do you REALLY think you can outshoot a two-man Marine sniper team? How many of them do you think you can defeat? One? Two? A hundred? You honestly believe that you can outshoot 100 Marine sniper teams from your standard brick-n-mortar American home?

Get real. When the government wants you dead you will be dead. Should you cause the deaths of any American soldiers commiting atroicities or violating your rights then the media will simply use this as proof that your death was necessary for order and security.

This "Guns will secure our rights" argument is a canard in the age of smart weapons and megatonnage. Always has been. Always will be.
February 23, 2:04 PM

So anyway this is how I played "stomp the weenie" ad seriatim with this Catholic-insulting scum sucker:

Mike Vanderboegh: Monsignor sings the lullabye of borg slavery, "resistance is futile":

"Ok. Let's say for instance that the government is really out to exterminate you and your family. And you have prepared for this by legally arming yourself with the maximum amount of firepower available to a U.S. civilian. You are 100% legal and within your rights. Do you really think you'll be able to stop laser-guided munitions dropped from 20,000-30,000 feet with your legally-acquired weapon?"

MBV: Yes, by killing the UAV operator, raiding the airbase before the strike is launched, killing the pilot while he is defenseless in the arms of a provided patriotic prostitute. There is ALWAYS a way.

Monsignor: "Do you think you'll ever even see the Navy SEAL who puts the laser-emitter on your roof?"

MBV: Uh, dickhead, its a "laser designator." If you're going to try to scare people, at least get the evil clown's name right.

Monsignor: "Do you suppose your legally acquired weapon will prevent a chemical attack from a tank sitting a half-mile to your north?"

MBV: Again, your ignorance is astounding. Tanks do not have standoff chemical weapon dispensers. Can't you at least conjure some demonic threat that is believeable?

Monsignor: "How many rounds of ammo do you think it will take to win when the government decides to poison your water?"

MBV: Again, patently ridiculous. How can a governemnt, ANY government, wage a civil war against an enemy that is across, athwart and within ITS OWN LOGISTICAL TAIL? All you're doing here is demonstrating your own military ignorance. Let's get this straight. You want us to be frightened of an INVENTED boogeyman from your own imagination?

Monsignor: "Do you REALLY think you can outshoot a two-man Marine sniper team?"

MBV: Me? No. Some of many friends? Oh most certainly yes. You are also assuming that Marines will take orders from collectivist dickheads to kill their own neighbors and relatives. They are more likely to shoot the SOB who gave the op order.

Monsignor: "How many of them do you think you can defeat? One? Two? A hundred?"

MBV: As many as they send, jerk. As many as they send, with a little help from my friends.

Monsignor: "You honestly believe that you can outshoot 100 Marine sniper teams from your standard brick-n-mortar American home?"

MBV: Again, you're assuming they will fight on the evil bad guys' side, but even if they do, why would I want to wait for them? There are better ways to kill people in righteous self-defense than standing up and waiting on them.

Monsignor: "Get real. When the government wants you dead you will be dead."

MBV: Perhaps. But when they do, they will have sown the wind to reap the whirlwind.

Monsignor: "Should you cause the deaths of any American soldiers commiting atrocities or violating your rights then the media will simply use this as proof that your death was necessary for order and security."

MBV: Certainly. And right after that, my friends will enforce Bill Clinton's Serbian rules of engagement on the politicians who sent the killers and the media who support them. They are willing to fight to last ATF agent. Are they willing to fight to the first politician? The second editor? The third media talking head? If they try it, we will find out.

Monsignor: "This 'Guns will secure our rights' argument is a canard in the age of smart weapons and megatonnage."

MBV: Really? Then I guess the Red Chinese didn't fight us to standstill in Korea, the North Vietnamese lost the last Southeast fracas, and Robert McNamara is your candidate for sainthood.

Again we see the obvious fact that you have never smelled gunpowder, cordite, burning buildings and bloated bodies. Of what utility are WMDs IN YOUR OWN COUNTRY WHICH YOU SEEK TO CONTROL?

Monsignor: "Always has been. Always will be."

MBV: NEVER has been. NEVER will be.

I can only suggest that you crawl back in your uninformed hole, hide and watch. We will demonstrate how it is done, if we are attacked. You are welcome to take notes.

-- Mike Vanderboegh
Pinson, AL

Note: I am now back at work on Absolved so save your insults, or direct them at David and Pete.

"Der Sturm Abteilung" Cometh

H/T to Cyber-C for the link. I guess the new "Civilian Defense Force" will have "OUA" on their armbands.

Thursday, February 19th, 2009 at 6:55 pm
Executive Order: Establishment of the White House Office of Urban Affairs

Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release February 19, 2009


- - - - - - -


By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, and in order to take a coordinated and comprehensive approach to developing and implementing an effective strategy concerning urban America, it is hereby ordered as follows:

Section 1. Policy. About 80 percent of Americans live in urban areas, and the economic health and social vitality of our urban communities are critically important to the prosperity and quality of life for Americans. Vibrant cities spawn innovation, economic growth, and cultural enrichment through the businesses, universities, and civic, cultural, religious, and nonprofit institutions they attract. Forward-looking policies that encourage wise investment and development in our urban areas will create employment and housing opportunities and make our country more competitive, prosperous, and strong. In the past, insufficient attention has been paid to the problems faced by urban areas and to coordinating the many Federal programs that affect our cities. A more comprehensive approach is needed, both to develop an effective strategy for urban America and to coordinate the actions of the many executive departments and agencies whose actions impact urban life.

Sec. 2. Establishment. There is established within the Executive Office of the President the White House Office of Urban Affairs (the "Office").

Sec. 3. Functions. The principal functions of the Office are, to the extent permitted by law:

(a) to provide leadership for and coordinate the development of the policy agenda for urban America across executive departments and agencies;

(b) to coordinate all aspects of urban policy;

(c) to work with executive departments and agencies to ensure that appropriate consideration is given by such departments and agencies to the potential impact of their actions on urban areas;

(d) to work with executive departments and agencies, including the Office of Management and Budget, to ensure that Federal Government dollars targeted to urban areas are effectively spent on the highest-impact programs; and

(e) to engage in outreach and work closely with State and local officials, with nonprofit organizations, and with the private sector, both in seeking input regarding the development of a comprehensive urban policy and in ensuring that the implementation of Federal programs advances the objectives of that policy.

Sec. 4. Coordination. In performing its functions, the Office shall work closely with all relevant executive departments and agencies, and offices and councils within the Executive Office of the President, including but not limited to:

(a) the Department of the Treasury;

(b) the Department of Justice;

(c) the Department of Commerce;

(d) the Department of Labor;

(e) the Department of Health and Human Services;

(f) the Department of Housing and Urban Development;

(g) the Department of Transportation;

(h) the Department of Energy;

(i) the Department of Education; and

(j) the Environmental Protection Agency.

Sec. 5. Administration. (a) The Office may work with established or ad hoc committees, task forces, and interagency groups.

(b) The Office shall have a staff headed by the Deputy Assistant to the President and Director of Urban Affairs (Director). The Director shall report jointly to the Assistant to the President for Intergovernmental Affairs and Public Liaison and to the Assistant to the President for Domestic Policy. The Office shall have such staff and other assistance as may be necessary to carry out the provisions of this order.

(c) All executive departments and agencies shall cooperate with the Office and provide such information, support, and assistance to the Office as the Director may request, to the extent permitted by law.

Sec. 6. General Provisions. (a) Nothing in this order shall be construed to impair or otherwise affect:

(i) authority granted by law to a department, agency, or the head thereof; or

(ii) functions of the Director of the Office of Management and Budget relating to budgetary, administrative, or legislative proposals.

(b) This order shall be implemented consistent with applicable law and subject to the availability of appropriations.

(c) This order is not intended to, and does not, create any right or benefit, substantive or procedural, enforceable at law or in equity by any party against the United States, its departments, agencies, or entities, its officers, employees, or agents, or any other person.


February 19, 2009.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

"From the graves of patriot men and women spring living nations."

Patrick Henry Pearse, 10 November 1879 – 3 May 1916

Jeremiah O'Donovan Rossa (1831–1915) was a grocer in Skibbereen, Co. Cork, when he founded in 1856 a literary and political group known as the Phoenix Society, which later merged into the Irish Republican Brotherhood. Imprisoned from 1865 until early 1871, he went to America, where he organized a ‘skirmishing fund’ to finance military operations against the British rule in Ireland and later directed "The Dynamite Campaign," the first nationalist bombing campaign in mainland Britain, from 1881–5. The British often demanded his extradition from the United States, but it was always refused. He died in New York in 1915, and his Irish Republican Brotherhood comrades brought his body home to Dublin to bury in Glasnevin cemetery. As famous as O'Donovan Rossa was in life, the funeral oration by Patrick Henry Pearse sealed his immortality.

Patrick Pearse's Graveside Oration for O'Donovan Rossa

1 August 1915 at Glasnevin Cemetery in Dublin

It has seemed right, before we turn away from this place in which we have laid the mortal remains of O'Donovan Rossa, that one among us should, in the name of all, speak the praise of that valiant man, and endeavour to formulate the thought and the hope that are in us as we stand around his grave. And if there is anything that makes it fitting that I, rather than some other, rather than one of the grey-haired men who were young with him and shared in his labour and in his suffering, should speak here, it is perhaps that I may be taken as speaking on behalf of a new generation that has been re-baptised in the Fenian faith, and that has accepted the responsibility of carrying out the Fenian programme. I propose to you then that, here by the grave of this unrepentant Fenian, we renew our baptismal vows; that, here by the grave of this unconquered and unconquerable man, we ask of God, each one for himself, such unshakable purpose, such high and gallant courage, such unbreakable strength of soul as belonged to O'Donovan Rossa.

Deliberately here we avow ourselves, as he avowed himself in the dock, Irishmen of one allegiance only. We of the Irish Volunteers, and you others who are associated with us in to-day's task and duty, are bound together and must stand together henceforth in brotherly union for the achievement of the freedom of Ireland. And we know only one definition of freedom: it is Tone's definition, it is Mitchel's definition, it is Rossa's definition. Let no man blaspheme the cause that the dead generations of Ireland served by giving it any other name and definition than their name and their definition.

We stand at Rossa's grave not in sadness but rather in exaltation of spirit that it has been given to us to come thus into so close a communion with that brave and splendid Gael. Splendid and holy causes are served by men who are themselves splendid and holy. O'Donovan Rossa was splendid in the proud manhood of him, splendid in the heroic grace of him, splendid in the Gaelic strength and clarity and truth of him. And all that splendour and pride and strength was compatible with a humility and a simplicity of devotion to Ireland, to all that was olden and beautiful and Gaelic in Ireland, the holiness and simplicity of patriotism of a Michael O'Clery or of an Eoghan O'Growney. The clear true eyes of this man almost alone in his day visioned Ireland as we of to-day would surely have her: not free merely, but Gaelic as well; not Gaelic merely, but free as well.

In a closer spiritual communion with him now than ever before or perhaps ever again, in a spiritual communion with those of his day, living and dead, who suffered with him in English prisons, in communion of spirit too with our own dear comrades who suffer in English prisons to-day, and speaking on their behalf as well as our own, we pledge to Ireland our love, and we pledge to English rule in Ireland our hate.

This is a place of peace, sacred to the dead, where men should speak with all charity and with all restraint; but I hold it a Christian thing, as O'Donovan Rossa held it, to hate evil, to hate untruth, to hate oppression, and, hating them, to strive to overthrow them. Our foes are strong and wise and wary; but, strong and wise and wary as they are, they cannot undo the miracles of God who ripens in the hearts of young men the seeds sown by the young men of a former generation.

And the seeds sown by the young men of '65 and '67 are coming to their miraculous ripening to-day. Rulers and Defenders of Realms had need to be wary if they would guard against such processes. Life springs from death; and from the graves of patriot men and women spring living nations.

The Defenders of this Realm have worked well in secret and in the open. They think that they have pacified Ireland. They think that they have purchased half of us and intimidated the other half. They think that they have foreseen everything, think that they have provided against everything; but the fools, the fools, the fools! — they have left us our Fenian dead, and while Ireland holds these graves, Ireland unfree shall never be at peace.

Nine months later, Pearse led the Easter Rising and was among the first executed by the British army. At his court martial, he said this:

When I was a child of ten I went down on my knees by my bedside one night and promised God that I should devote my life to an effort to free my country. I have kept that promise. First among all earthly things, as a boy and as a man, I have worked for Irish freedom. I have helped to organize, to arm, to train, and to discipline my fellow countrymen to the sole end that, when the time came, they might fight for Irish freedom. The time, as it seemed to me, did come and we went into the fight. I am glad that we did, we seem to have lost, we have not lost. To refuse to fight would have been to lose, to fight is to win, we have kept faith with the past, and handed a tradition to the future… I assume I am speaking to Englishmen who value their own freedom, and who profess to be fighting for the freedom of Belgium and Serbia. Believe that we too love freedom and desire it. To us it is more desirable than anything else in the world. If you strike us down now we shall rise again and renew the fight. You cannot conquer Ireland; you cannot extinguish the Irish passion for freedom; if our deed has not been sufficient to win freedom then our children will win it by a better deed.

I guess you can tell I've been working on some Absolved chapters that deal with the Irish struggle for independence. I hope you are as moved by Pearse's words as I am.

My thanks to Bob Wright for reminding me of this. You will be hearing more of Bob Wright as time goes by. Believe me. He has been plagued by serious health problems for the past couple of years, but he is coming back to the battlefield like the old war horse that he is. Welcome back to the fight, Bob. We've missed you.

Bob Wright, of Eunice, Nex Mexico.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

"For Freedom Float the Flags I Love"

Major Hogan: Surprised to see me, Richard? Well you've done a grand job, a grand job. But now, at dawn tomorrow, with the help of my agent Commandante Teresa, who I believe you've met, I want you to seize the chapel at Torre Castro and hold it against all comers until Major Vivar has raised the gonfalon of Santiago over the chapel roof.

Richard Sharpe: Seize Torre Castro? With six men and a straggle of Spaniards? Can't be done! May I remind you of our main mission, sir? To find a missing gentleman?

Major Hogan: Not now, Richard. Our mission is Torre Castro. Spain is a sleeping tiger! If the people of Torre Castro rise up, even for an hour, the shock will shake the whole of Spain. Carry on, sir.

Richard Sharpe: Rise up? Do you really believe men will fight and die for a rag on a pole?

Major Hogan: You do, Richard, you do.

-- Sharpe's Rifles, 1993.

Men of MacBride's Irish Transvaal Brigade during the Boer War, 1899.

On the 4th of March 1902, Confederate veteran Dr. Orion T. Dozier presented the poem, "For Freedom Float the Flags I Love", to the Gaelic Literary Guild's Robert Emmet Anniversary celebration at the Jefferson Theatre in Birmingham, Alabama. The Second Anglo-Boer War was sputtering to a conclusion of Boer defeat and English victory when Dozier rose to speak. It must have brought back bitter memories of 1865 to the good Doctor. In the poem, which I reprint only in part here, Dozier is struck by the similarity of the flags and the men of three lost causes: the Confederacy, the struggle for Irish independence and the Boer's failed war against the British Empire. He also uses the poem to criticize the United States' new imperialism at the time, exemplified by the campaign to subdue the Philippine Insurrection.

There was much sympathetic sentiment among Irish nationalists for the plight of the Boers and John MacBride, a friend of Arthur Griffith's, organised the Irish Transvaal Brigade by recruiting Irish or Irish-American miners living in the Transvaal.

The brigade (also known as MacBride's Brigade) was operational from September 1899 to September 1900. In that time, the brigade fought in about 20 engagements, with 18 men killed and about 70 wounded from a compliment of no more than about 500 men at any one time. When it disbanded, most of the men crossed into Mozambique, which was a colony of neutral Portugal. Colonel John Y. F. Blake, a former United States Army officer was the brigade's commander. When he was wounded, his second-in-command, Major John MacBride, took command. At the Siege of Ladysmith, they serviced the famous Boer artillery piece, called Long Tom, and they fought at the Battle of Colenso. Having worked in the gold mines, they had a well deserved reputation as demolition experts and it was they who delayed the British advance on Pretoria by blowing up bridges. -- Wikipedia.

The Vierkleur flag of the Transvaal Republic

Dozier refers to the Irish Transvaalers in his poem, marking their fight as a landmark in their own struggle for independence which Dozier predicted.

It was fitting that Dozier used the occasion of the celebration of the birth of Robert Emmet to sing the praises of lost causes, for Emmet represented what, up until that time was the quintessential lost cause.

The Leinster flag was used by the United Irishmen in 1789 and the Irish Republican Brotherhood (IRB).

Robert Emmet, born on the 4th of March, 1778, was an Irish nationalist leader who led an abortive rebellion against British rule in 1803 and was captured, tried and executed on September 20th, 1803. emmet was enshrined in the Irish nationalist canon by the fortitude with which he met his death and the eloquence that he displayed in his "Speech from the Dock," after he had been sentenced to death. An excerpt:
“ Let no man write my epitaph; for as no man who knows my motives dare now vindicate them, let not prejudice or ignorance, asperse them. Let them and me rest in obscurity and peace, and my tomb remain uninscribed, and my memory in oblivion, until other times and other men can do justice to my character. When my country takes her place among the nations of the earth, then and not till then, let my epitaph be written. I have done.”

On 19 September, 1803, Emmet was found guilty of high treason, and the death sentence required that he be hanged, drawn and quartered. He was executed the following day by hanging, and was beheaded after death. His remains were secretly buried and their location remains a mystery to this day.

Dozier's poem is long, excessively so in my opinion, and becomes lurid with bloody predictions of an exiled Irish army and navy coming to drive the British from their native land in an invasion of horse, foot and artillery -- a campaign that was the dream of every turn-of-the-Twentieth Century Fenian -- but which was hopelessly outdated and frankly militarily impossible when the Confederate veteran wrote it.

But it is the first part of the poem which speaks to me here, over a hundred years later in the opening decade of the 21st Century. See if it speaks also to you:

I love the man who loves his God,
His country and his fellow-man,
No matter what his state or birth,
No matter what his creed or clan;
And in my very inmost heart,
In spite of all that fates decree,
I love him ever more and more,
The more he loves his liberty.

I love the flags, the fallen flags,
Of every land of all the world
By men upreared in freedom's cause,
But which oppression's hands have furled.
Their memory, like a sweet incense,
A fragrance sheds, all hearts to thrill,
And keeps aglow the lingering spark
Of liberty remaining still.

And by my faith in living God,
I still maintain that free consent
Of subjects is the only grant
Entailing right of Government.
That conquest only paves the way
For brigands and despotic might,
Which in the sight of Holy God
Was never, nor can e'er be right.

I love the glorious stars and stripes,
My great fore-father's flag and mine;
It gives me joy to see it wave
Where'er it floats o'er Freedom's shrine,
But if profaned by traitor hands,
To subjugate on foreign shore
A nation struggling to be free,
If I were there, -- 'twere mine no more.

Nor would I follow in its wake,
Nor treat with those who thus offend,
For all who dare that flag pervert,
Deserve the death which has no end.
And rather than that I should aid
In such unjust, unholy shame,
I'd suffer this warm heart of mine
Torn from my breast and cast in flame.

But if there be on this wide earth
A people bowed by galling yoke
Of tyrant, Emperor, King, or Czar,
Who would be free, and should invoke
"Old Glory's" shielding strength and might,
Before God I'd bid it fly
And with it there myself would go,
To make them free, or 'neath it die.

I love the flag, the honored flag,
Now drooping o'er the dying Boer,
'Tis tattered, drooping, sinking low;
Perhaps to float on earth no more.
But braver deeds in freedpm's cause
Were never done by sons of Mars,
Than those beneath Paul Kruger's flag,
Old Erin's and the Stars and Bars.

The Stars and Bars of the Confederate States of America

And well may England stand aghast
While she reviews the awful cost,
And contemplates the countless graves
Filled with the legions she has lost
In trampling down that honored flag,
Since well she knows not all her dead
Were stricken down by native Boers,
For thousands died of Irish lead.

Nor will the Irish e'er forget
To right the wrongs of England's might,
Nor ever shirk or slight a chance
To show how they love to fight
'Neath any flag in freedom's cause,
Her mean, rapacious course to check,
While she retains her despot heel
Upon their prostrate country's neck.

Nor love I less old Erin's flag,
Kept sacred thro' the countless years
Unspotted by a single stain,
Save by a loving people's tears.
I love it for its sacred cause,
A cause forever dear to me, --
The right ordained of God to man, --
The right inherent to be free.

Its hue, the shamrock's living green,
whose roots lie deep in mother sod,
And like that plant, tho' crushed and torn,
That flag though under foot be trod
Survives in spite of time and fate,
And like the sun in yonder sky
Comes forth renewed at every turn,
By God ordained never to die.

Born in the love of liberty,
By faith enshrined in every heart
That beats in breast of patriot
Disdainful of the tyrant's art;
That flag shall yet triumphant wave
Above the land that gave it birth,
And kissed by every ocean breeze.
Be hailed in every port on earth.

There is more, but this first half of Dr. Dozier's poem speaks to me across the years. Ireland's flag did finally wave over Irish soil, but it was not as the result of a U.S.-led Fenian invasion but of guerrilla war -- a guerrilla war designed largely by Michael Collins and based upon the lessons taught by the great Boer leader, Christiaan de Wet.

Christiaan de Wet, Boer guerrilla leader.

Collins studied de Wet's campaigns, and incorporated their lessons into the concept of the "flying columns." Collins did so with the assumption that the British could never introduce -- do close to home -- the barbarous tactics of scorched earth and concentration camps for Boer women and children which broke the back of Boer resistance. In the end, he was right.

But let us for a moment back up to this verse of Dozier:

Nor would I follow in its wake,
Nor treat with those who thus offend,
For all who dare that flag pervert,
Deserve the death which has no end.
And rather than that I should aid
In such unjust, unholy shame,
I'd suffer this warm heart of mine
Torn from my breast and cast in flame.

You see, this is the difficult thing we face -- now, today, in the near future. "For all who dare that flag pervert." The thing is, the people who are even now laying claim to more of our liberty and property will send men to enforce their will. And when they do, they will be flying this flag:

It happens that this is our flag, too. Who then is entitled to claim it? Whose vision shall, in the end, this flag represent? The Founders? Or the collectivists who have risen to power determined to kill off once and for all their Republic? Whose flag is it?

I know this. If it is still to be ours, we must fight for it. We must fight for the restoration of what the Founders meant by it. We must, and will, fight for that "rag on a pole," and for all the Founders' meant by it and all the additional meaning added to it by generation after generation of bloody sacrifice sustaining the liberty it represents.

They will claim it. We must reclaim it. Make ready.

(Author's note: Before you folks start screaming about neglecting the novel, you should know that this is a part of one of the chapters and thus I had to transcribe it anyway. You will see how it fits into the narrative of the book in short order. This will not, I realize, be enough to keep some of you from complaining. I shall bear your misplaced calumny with fortitude. MBV)

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Remember, "Il Douche" is Watching You.

(It's pronounced "doo-chay." H/T to Stewart Rhodes for the forward from theospark.)

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

"I Shall Return" (but not before the book is finished.)

After an afternoon and evening of hobnobbing with my fellow Three Percent wizards yesterday, it has been decided that the following drastic steps are necessary:

1. "Vanderboegh will cease and/or drastically cut back on blogging," so that

2. "Vanderboegh can finish the damn book."

This has been coming for a while. In order to write a book you must zone out just about everything else and get into that alternate reality. Some folks can do both. I cannot.

This is not to say that blogging here hasn't paid off handsomely in terms of friends found and message spread. It has. But I must have two to four weeks to finish the book, ere it will never be. Time is short and I must needs finish what I started.

I ask my friends to continue to read and debate at places like David Codrea's War on Guns and especially his Examiner column, at Pete's WRSA, and other Threeper blogs.

"I shall return," quoth Dugout Doug. Fortunately it will not take me three years like he did. Patience, I beg of you. I will try to whet your appetite with another on-line Absolved chapter in a few days. You may also, in the interim, wish to take a trip down memory lane and vist older posts which you merely skimmed over before.

I may post one or two items of interest in the mean time, but don't expect daily posts. It ain't happenin' until the Absolved manuscript is off to the publisher.



What is a "Three Percenter"?

The Three Percent in 1775.
During the American Revolution, the active forces in the field against the King's tyranny never amounted to more than 3% of the colonists. They were in turn actively supported by perhaps 10% of the population. In addition to these revolutionaries were perhaps another 20% who favored their cause but did little or nothing to support it. Another one-third of the population sided with the King (by the end of the war there were actually more Americans fighting FOR the King than there were in the field against him) and the final third took no side, blew with the wind and took what came.

Three Percenters today do not claim that we represent 3% of the American people, although we might. That theory has not yet been tested. We DO claim that we represent at least 3% of American gun owners, which is still a healthy number somewhere in the neighborhood of 3 million people. History, for good or ill, is made by determined minorities. We are one such minority. So too are the current enemies of the Founders' Republic. What remains, then, is the test of will and skill to determine who shall shape the future of our nation.

The Three Percent today are gun owners who will not disarm, will not compromise and will no longer back up at the passage of the next gun control act. Three Percenters say quite explicitly that we will not obey any further circumscription of our traditional liberties and will defend ourselves if attacked. We intend to maintain our God-given natural rights to liberty and property, and that means most especially the right to keep and bear arms. Thus, we are committed to the restoration of the Founders' Republic, and are willing to fight, die and, if forced by any would-be oppressor, to kill in the defense of ourselves and the Constitution that we all took an oath to uphold against enemies foreign and domestic.

We are the people that the collectivists who now control the government should leave alone if they wish to continue unfettered oxygen consumption. We are the Three Percent. Attempt to further oppress us at your peril.

To put it bluntly, leave us the hell alone.

Or, if you feel froggy, go ahead AND WATCH WHAT HAPPENS.

This is a linkable version of the explanation at the upper right hand corner of my blog, Sipsey Street Irregulars ( It was suggested by good friends that we needed a linkable version, so here it is as a straight-up post and also as an email to my private list. Feel free to circulate it far and wide.

"Give me liberty - or I'll get up and get it myself!" Another Three Percenter blog was born this month.

Eschatology (from the Greek ἔσχατος, Eschatos meaning "last" and -logy meaning "the study of") is a part of theology and philosophy concerned with what is believed to be the final events in the history of the world, or the ultimate destiny of humanity, commonly referred to as the end of the world. While in mysticism the phrase refers metaphorically to the end of ordinary reality and reunion with the Divine, in many traditional religions it is taught as an actual future event prophesied in sacred texts or folklore. More broadly, eschatology may encompass related concepts such as the Messiah or Messianic Age, the end time, and the end of days. -- Wikipedia

Here's another Three Percenter blog born this month. Longtime trenchant observer GunRights4UsAll, my favorite paraphraser of Patrick Henry ("Give me liberty, or I'll get up and get it myself!") has now jumped into swimming with the sharks on his own account. I can only predict that he will be dorry. Blogging becomes a full-time job if you let it.

I take note that eschatology is one of his interests, which is why I chose Durer's The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse to illustrate this announcement. Maybe one day I'll have enough time to discuss it with him. Now is not that time. But check out his blog, certainly. And David's War on Guns blog and Examiner column, and Pete's at Western Rifle Shooters Association, etc. It will give you something to do while I am off the air for a bit.

Monday, February 16, 2009

"Why do you always copy the entire document instead of just giving us a link?"

This is one reason:

From Cetme-M:

Hi Mike,

I have noticed a disturbing tendency for folks to make documents "available" for downloading or printing but only if one "signs-up" for x, y or z service.

There is a reason I have a throw-away email, ( and do not and will not use gmail), and also a reason why I will not sign-up to one of those download sites. It is part of OPSEC.

I am fully aware that IP addresses can be logged and co-related back to a particular computer, (unless I go to wayyyy more trouble than I think is necessary at this time), but why should I make that process any easier by just logging in to a service that is going to ask me a bunch of impertinent questions to allow me to download a document someone is making available for "free". Sure... I have their "assurances" that I am not being logged and that my info will not be given away but do I really want to place my faith in that, (think AOL and it's previous disgorgement of private emails to "law enforcement" without so much as a warrant).

BTW I do appreciate the fact that, in most cases, you tend t.o copy an entire article instead of making us link out to it.


"Financial Götterdämmerung" -- The Other Shoe Is About To Drop In Europe

From my long-ago friend Ambrose Evans-Pritchard, we have this dire prediction.

Failure to save East Europe will lead to worldwide meltdown

The unfolding debt drama in Russia, Ukraine, and the EU states of Eastern Europe has reached acute danger point.

By Ambrose Evans-Pritchard
Last Updated: 2:05AM GMT 15 Feb 2009

If mishandled by the world policy establishment, this debacle is big enough to shatter the fragile banking systems of Western Europe and set off round two of our financial Götterdämmerung.

Austria's finance minister Josef Pröll made frantic efforts last week to put together a €150bn rescue for the ex-Soviet bloc. Well he might. His banks have lent €230bn to the region, equal to 70pc of Austria's GDP.

"A failure rate of 10pc would lead to the collapse of the Austrian financial sector," reported Der Standard in Vienna. Unfortunately, that is about to happen.

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) says bad debts will top 10pc and may reach 20pc. The Vienna press said Bank Austria and its Italian owner Unicredit face a "monetary Stalingrad" in the East.

Mr Pröll tried to drum up support for his rescue package from EU finance ministers in Brussels last week. The idea was scotched by Germany's Peer Steinbrück. Not our problem, he said. We'll see about that.

Stephen Jen, currency chief at Morgan Stanley, said Eastern Europe has borrowed $1.7 trillion abroad, much on short-term maturities. It must repay – or roll over – $400bn this year, equal to a third of the region's GDP. Good luck. The credit window has slammed shut.

Not even Russia can easily cover the $500bn dollar debts of its oligarchs while oil remains near $33 a barrel. The budget is based on Urals crude at $95. Russia has bled 36pc of its foreign reserves since August defending the rouble.

"This is the largest run on a currency in history," said Mr Jen.

In Poland, 60pc of mortgages are in Swiss francs. The zloty has just halved against the franc. Hungary, the Balkans, the Baltics, and Ukraine are all suffering variants of this story. As an act of collective folly – by lenders and borrowers – it matches America's sub-prime debacle. There is a crucial difference, however. European banks are on the hook for both. US banks are not.

Almost all East bloc debts are owed to West Europe, especially Austrian, Swedish, Greek, Italian, and Belgian banks. En plus, Europeans account for an astonishing 74pc of the entire $4.9 trillion portfolio of loans to emerging markets.

They are five times more exposed to this latest bust than American or Japanese banks, and they are 50pc more leveraged (IMF data).

Spain is up to its neck in Latin America, which has belatedly joined the slump (Mexico's car output fell 51pc in January, and Brazil lost 650,000 jobs in one month). Britain and Switzerland are up to their necks in Asia.

Whether it takes months, or just weeks, the world is going to discover that Europe's financial system is sunk, and that there is no EU Federal Reserve yet ready to act as a lender of last resort or to flood the markets with emergency stimulus.

Under a "Taylor Rule" analysis, the European Central Bank already needs to cut rates to zero and then purchase bonds and Pfandbriefe on a huge scale. It is constrained by geopolitics – a German-Dutch veto – and the Maastricht Treaty.

But I digress. It is East Europe that is blowing up right now. Erik Berglof, EBRD's chief economist, told me the region may need €400bn in help to cover loans and prop up the credit system.

Europe's governments are making matters worse. Some are pressuring their banks to pull back, undercutting subsidiaries in East Europe. Athens has ordered Greek banks to pull out of the Balkans.

The sums needed are beyond the limits of the IMF, which has already bailed out Hungary, Ukraine, Latvia, Belarus, Iceland, and Pakistan – and Turkey next – and is fast exhausting its own $200bn (€155bn) reserve. We are nearing the point where the IMF may have to print money for the world, using arcane powers to issue Special Drawing Rights.

Its $16bn rescue of Ukraine has unravelled. The country – facing a 12pc contraction in GDP after the collapse of steel prices – is hurtling towards default, leaving Unicredit, Raffeisen and ING in the lurch. Pakistan wants another $7.6bn. Latvia's central bank governor has declared his economy "clinically dead" after it shrank 10.5pc in the fourth quarter. Protesters have smashed the treasury and stormed parliament.

"This is much worse than the East Asia crisis in the 1990s," said Lars Christensen, at Danske Bank.

"There are accidents waiting to happen across the region, but the EU institutions don't have any framework for dealing with this. The day they decide not to save one of these one countries will be the trigger for a massive crisis with contagion spreading into the EU."

Europe is already in deeper trouble than the ECB or EU leaders ever expected. Germany contracted at an annual rate of 8.4pc in the fourth quarter.

If Deutsche Bank is correct, the economy will have shrunk by nearly 9pc before the end of this year. This is the sort of level that stokes popular revolt.

The implications are obvious. Berlin is not going to rescue Ireland, Spain, Greece and Portugal as the collapse of their credit bubbles leads to rising defaults, or rescue Italy by accepting plans for EU "union bonds" should the debt markets take fright at the rocketing trajectory of Italy's public debt (hitting 112pc of GDP next year, just revised up from 101pc – big change), or rescue Austria from its Habsburg adventurism.

So we watch and wait as the lethal brush fires move closer.

If one spark jumps across the eurozone line, we will have global systemic crisis within days. Are the firemen ready?

Praxis: Pup Tents Au GoGo

Courtesy of Strategy Page, we have this on a new style individual shelter. Does anyone among the Irregulars have any experience with these?

Pup Tents Au GoGo

February 11, 2009: Once more, the infantry are getting another superior piece of equipment via the civilian market. This time it's a smaller, easier to erect one-man tent. Five years ago, Nemo Designs, a U.S. firm, introduced a line of tents, using a rigid air tube instead of a tent pole. The one man tent (the GoGo) attracted the attention of SOCOM personnel, who are always seeking more effective outdoor gear. The SEALs were the first to test and adopt the Nemo technology. There is now a military version of the GoGo (two doors in front, room for a large rucksack and weapons, and a large person, olive drab color.)

The civilian GoGo weighs less than two pounds, packs into a shape smaller than a football, and can be set up in less than a minute. It's 2.6 meters long, nearly a meter tall and 69 cm wide. The civilian version costs $265. The military version is basically the same size and weight, but costs a bit more. This is a lot more expensive than the old pup tent (two sheets of waterproofed canvas and two tent poles, put together to house two troops), but a whole lot more effective.

"This guy . . . is going to get someone hurt." -- All Hail Meeks and Engel!

No, wait, that's Marx and Engels. Or, I should say, Engels and Marx.

No, THAT'S Marx and Lennon.

Naw, that's Marx and LENIN.

Right. I'll sort this out.

THIS is Meeks:

And this is Engel:

OK, my collectivist children, let's try that again:



Well, folks, it seems Meeks and Engel have a bright idea. It will probably work out just about the same as all collectivist ideas, that is to say, both badly and bloodily. I just received this email and link from a good friend who is long experienced in the firearms business. His comment:

"This guy and the 53 co-signers is going to get someone hurt. . . Asking the ATF to get more aggressive is irresponsible. What's next -- shooting people like Olofson for suspected violations? The ability to import has been stepped on by ATF for years, you can't even get stripped barrels imported. This letter is truly dangerous."

This is what he is talking about -- the Engel letter.

Thursday February 12, 2009


Chairman of the House Western Hemisphere Subcommittee Leads Letter with 53 Members of Congress

Washington, D.C.--Congressman Eliot Engel, Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on the Western Hemisphere, wrote a letter signed by 53 Members of Congress urging President Obama to “return to enforcement of the law banning imports of assault weapons, which was previously enforced during the administrations of Presidents George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton.” The letter was also led by Congressman Michael Castle (R-DE) and Congresswoman Carolyn McCarthy (D-NY).

“The alarming prevalence of imported assault weapons in the US has put our nation’s police officers at risk. Returning to the Bush 41/Clinton enforcement of the ban on imported assault weapons will protect our brave police forces and all people throughout New York and the United States,” said Rep. Engel.

Engel added that returning to enforcement of the imported assault weapons ban is “a no-brainer that would require no legislative action.”

In recent years, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) has quietly abandoned enforcement of the import ban (which was authorized by provisions in the 1968 Gun Control Act and enforced by Presidents George H. W. Bush and Bill Clinton). As a result, the civilian firearms market is flooded with imported, inexpensive military-style assault weapons, primarily from former Eastern bloc countries including Romania, Bulgaria and the former Yugoslavia. Importers are also able to skirt the restrictions by bringing in assault weapons parts and reassembling them with a small number of US-made parts. Assault weapon “parts kits” for assembly by individuals are also being imported. ATF has further weakened the prohibition by placing certain extremely problematic assault rifles on the "curios or relics" list, making certain firearms automatically eligible for importation.

"Our failure to enforce restrictions on imported assault weapons is affecting our bilateral relationship with Mexico," said Rep. Engel. "We must do more to support our friends in Mexico whose drug war is fueled by firearms flowing south from the United States, many of which should never have entered the US in the first place.”

5,661 people died in Mexico in 2008 alone as a result of drug-related violence. This is more than double the 2007 total of 2,773. Over 90% of firearms confiscated yearly in Mexico orginate in the United States. As Chairman of the House Western Hemisphere Subcommittee, Rep. Engel is a strong supporter of the Merida Initiative – a US-Mexico security partnership announced in late 2007. However, he also believes that the US must fulfill certain domestic obligations under the Merida Initiative, including an enhanced commitment to curb the illegal trafficking of firearms from the US into Mexico.

The full text of the letter and signatories are below:

Dear Mr. President:

We write to urge you to return to enforcement of the ban on imported assault weapons, including those that are fully manufactured abroad as well as those imported as parts, which was previously enforced during the administrations of Presidents George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton. We believe that this issue has important implications for domestic public safety, homeland security, and our bilateral relationship with Mexico.

In the last eight years, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) has almost completely abrogated the ban on imported assault rifles. This ban – first established nearly 20 years ago – was authorized by provisions in the 1968 Gun Control Act allowing ATF to prohibit the importation of firearms and ammunition that are not “particularly suitable for or readily adaptable to sporting purposes.” The import restriction is independent of the Assault Weapons Ban of 1994, and was not affected by its “sunset” in 2004.

The ban on assault weapon imports was first enforced by the George H.W. Bush Administration in response to growing threats to law enforcement personnel from the increased use of assault weapons by drug traffickers and in mass shootings, like the Stockton schoolyard massacre in 1989. The import restrictions were later strengthened in 1998 by the Clinton Administration to address foreign manufacturers that were evading the ban by making minor cosmetic changes to their weapons. The definition was changed to include any assault rifle with the "ability to accept a detachable large capacity magazine originally designed and produced for a military assault weapon.”

Unfortunately, in recent years, ATF has quietly abandoned enforcement of the import ban. As a result, the civilian firearms market is flooded with imported, inexpensive military-style assault weapons from primarily former Eastern bloc countries including Romania, Bulgaria and the former Yugoslavia. Importers are also able to skirt the restrictions by bringing in assault weapons parts and reassembling them with a small number of US-made parts. Assault weapon “parts kits” for assembly by individuals are also being imported. ATF has further weakened the prohibition by placing certain extremely problematic assault rifles on the "curios or relics" list, making certain firearms automatically eligible for importation.

The noxious results of reversing long-established policy extend beyond our borders and are directly affecting our foreign policy. Assault weapons are being smuggled in bulk from U.S. border states to Mexico where they are used by narco-traffickers to fuel a drug war that is killing Mexican law enforcement and other officials at alarming rates.

The violence in Mexico has reached crisis proportions. In December, Mexican Attorney General Eduardo Medina Mora reported that the total number of organized crime-related homicides in 2008 had reached 5,700, more than double the previous record of approximately 2,700 set in 2007. The 2008 total includes 944 people killed in November alone, the deadliest month in Mexico’s history, in terms of drug violence. In addition, the Attorney General confirmed that nearly 15 percent of the victims of the violence were members of law enforcement or the military. He also projected that the country’s drug violence has not yet peaked, and is expected to continue during the first few months of 2009. When the Merida Initiative was announced in October 2007, the George W. Bush Administration made a commitment to “intensify efforts” to combat the trafficking of guns from the U.S. into Mexico. A return to the enforcement of the ban on the import of all assault weapons would help us to live up to this commitment.

Not only is the violence in Mexico already spilling over the border into the U.S., but the prevalence of imported assault weapons in the hands of criminals has made “officer survival” a critical issue for many urban law enforcement agencies. The Miami Police Department has reported a steep rise in the number of murders and other crimes committed with assault weapons; a Romanian WASR-10 (AK-type) assault weapon was used to kill two Fairfax, Virginia police officers in 2006; a Romanian WASR-10 assault weapon was used in a mass shooting that left eight dead at a mall in rural Omaha, Nebraska in 2007. The Associated Press conducted an analysis showing that the number of AK variants traced to crime by ATF has increased from 1,140 in 1993 to 8,547 in 2007.

These are just the sort of incidents and statistics that prompted the George H.W. Bush Administration to take action to halt assault weapons imports in 1989, and we believe demonstrate the importance of returning to enforcing the import ban once again.

We ask that you direct ATF to act in accordance with the 1968 Gun Control Act and return to enforcing the ban on the import of all assault weapons, both those that are fully manufactured abroad as well as those imported as parts. By restoring these important restrictions, we will be able to help reduce violence here in the United States, while also sending an important signal to our friends in Mexico. Thank you for your attention to this urgent matter.


Eliot L. Engel (D-NY)
Michael N. Castle (R-DE)
Carolyn McCarthy (D-NY)
Gregory Meeks (D-NY)
Christopher Smith (R-NJ)
Alcee Hastings (D-FL)
Jerrold Nadler (D-NY)
Nita Lowey (D-NY)
Joseph Crowley (D-NY)
Bob Filner (D-CA)
Barbara Lee (D-CA)
Dennis Kucinich (D-OH)
Ellen Tauscher (D-CA)
Louise Slaughter (D-NY)
Bill Pascrell (D-NJ)
Marcy Kaptur (D-OH)
David Price (D-NC)
Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC)
Edward Markey (D-NA)
Chaka Fattah (D-PA)
Jim Moran (D-VA)
Robert Wexler (D-FL)
Earl Blumenauer (D-OR)
Brad Sherman (D-CA)
Jan Schakowsky (D-IL)
Gary Ackerman (D-NY)
Henry Waxman (D-CA)
Jose Serrano (D-NY)
John Conyers (D-MI)
Nydia Velazquez (D-NY)
Rosa DeLauro (D-CT)
Loretta Sanchez (D-CA)
John Olver (D-MA)
Betty McCollum (D-MN)
Rush Holt (D-NJ)
Linda Sanchez (D-CA)
Albio Sires (D-NJ)
Betty Sutton (D-OH)
Donna Christensen (D-VI)
Raul Grijalva (D-AZ)
Sam Farr (D-CA)
Jim McGovern (D-MA)
Lois Capps (D-CA)
Allyson Schwartz (D-PA)
Patrick Kennedy (D-RI)
Michael McMahon (D-NY)
Donna Edwards (D-MD)
Tim Bishop (D-NY)
Pete Stark (D-CA)
Doris Matsui (D-CA)
Zoe Lofgren (D-CA)
Paul Tonko (D-NY)
Mazie Hirono (D-HI)

With apologies to Firesign Theatre.