Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Here in Alabama, we call them "range goobs": Dave Workman on "slob shooters."

Thanks to Dave Workman for bringing my attention to his Examiner column on slob shooters. Here in Alabama we call them "range goobs." For those of us who voluntarily clean up the ranges, these guys are lower than worm excrement. I once made a guy haul off his computer (and all the pieces) with my hand on my holstered .45 and my finger pointing at the No Littering sign. He called me an "asshole." According to my ex-wife, he was right. So what? I'll be an asshole if it means I still get to shoot on a free public range. Frigging parasites.


Careless slobs jeopardize recreational shooting for everyone

Dave Workman
June 30, 11:06 AM

The lowlands corridor along Interstate 90 some 38 miles east of Seattle which runs through the Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest is being closed to recreational shooting starting this weekend and continuing for at least 12 months, while the Forest Service determines whether the closure should become permanent.

The problem: Slob shooters. The bane of all responsible gun owners, these people are responsible for other such closures on public lands all over the map. For years, they have brought their garbage onto public property, shot it to pieces, and left it as an eyesore. On rare occasions, they accidentally shoot one another while ricocheting bullets off of boulders against which they have propped a target.

Their litter in the North Bend-Snoqualmie Ranger District – where this closure is taking effect – has included aerosol cans, televisions, computer monitors, appliances and even stolen cars. In the shooting community, these individuals are not simply black sheep, they are social lepers. Responsible shooters don’t want them around, as they are typically responsible for the low image some people have of all gun owners.

Days before the closure was announced, Snoqualmie District Ranger Jim Franzel contacted me about the problem. In 2005, Gun Week – a publication owned by the Bellevue-based Second Amendment Foundation that is something of the “newspaper of record” in the firearms community – launched a series of stories under my byline that criticized arbitrary shooting closures on national forest lands. That series, which continued for two years, led to a memorandum from the Forest Service in Washington, D.C. clarifying shooting regulations on national forest lands.

This is not an isolated problem. There have been recreational shooting troubles all over the place, in New Mexico, South Carolina, California and Colorado (where it stirred up a hornet’s nest and got plenty of news coverage), often times the result of a conflict between shooters and expanding nearby development. In some cases, the problem has been addressed with the establishment of elaborate regulations that try to find common ground and give shooters some opportunity on public land.

Unfortunately, slob shooters don't follow the rules, instead preferring to act like swine.

Franzel put me in touch with a contractor who had been doing road repair work along the Tinkham Road between Exits 42 ands 47. Asking not to be identified, the contractor – himself a recreational shooter – reported that while he was on the job, he found bullet holes through signs posting a temporary road closure, and in one incident, a group of boneheads had set up targets so that they were shooting in the direction of a popular trailhead. A wildlife agent showed up and ran them out of the area.

Franzel said several citations have been issued, primarily to people who have been shooting along the road, an act that is not simply in violation of the national forest regulations; it’s also against state law. On top of that, shooting along a roadway is simply stupid.

This closure, Franzel assured, will not prohibit hunting in the area, nor does it apply to the higher elevations overlooking the I-90 corridor through the upper Snoqualmie South Fork drainage, an area the locals call “High Valley” that reaches all the way to the top of Snoqualmie Pass.

It will also not prohibit someone from carrying a firearm on a hike. Some of the region’s most popular trailheads are located here; when I hit the trail I always have a handgun, and am not alone in that practice.

Slob shooters are on the same level as trailhead and campground vandals. They spoil things for everyone and contribute to a backlash against all shooters.


By Lawrence Tribble, this poem has been variously dated as 1751, 1770 or "late Eighteenth Century." Doubtless written to celebrate "The Great Awakening" religious revival in America which began in the 1740s, it was also revived at the time of the Revolution. The poem certainly has both a religious and secular meaning.


One Man awake,
Awakens another.
The second awakens
His next-door brother.
The three awake can rouse a town
By turning
The whole place
Upside down.

The many awake
Can make such a fuss
It finally awakens
The rest of us.
One man up,
With dawn in his eyes,
Surely then,

Praxis: The Tactics of Mistake

Tactical Deception Group: A task organization that conducts deception operations against the enemy, including electronic, communication, visual, and other methods designed to misinform and confuse the enemy. -- Dictionary of Military and Associated Terms. US Department of Defense 2005.

Trouble rather the tiger in his lair than the sage amongst his books. For to you the Kingdoms and their armies are things mighty and enduring, but to him they are but toys of the moment, to be overturned by the flicking of a finger . . . Lessons: Anonymous (From the opening of The Tactics of Mistake by Gordon Dickson.)

I have always liked Gordon Dickson's Dorsai series, but of all the passages from all the books, I most savor two from The Tactics of Mistake. The one above, and this:

"Do you know anything about fencing?"

DeCastries shook his head.

"I do," said Eachan.

"Then maybe you'll recognize the tactic in fencing I use as an example for some I call the tactics of mistake. It's in the volume I'm writing now." Cletus turned to him. "The fencing tactic is to launch a series of attacks, each inviting ripostes, so that there's a pattern of enages and disengages of your blade with your opponent's. You purpose, however, isn't to strike home with any of these preliminary attacks, but to carry your opponent's blade a little more out of line with each disengage so gradually he doesn't know you're doing it. Thn, following the final engage, when his blade has been drawn completely out of line, you thrust home against an essentially unguarded man."

"Take a damn good fencer," said Eachan flatly.

"There's that, of course," said Cletus.

"Yes," said DeCastries, slowly, and waited for Cletus to look back at him. "Also, it seems a tactic pretty well restricted to the fencing floor, where everything's done according to set rules."

"Oh, but it can be applied to almost any situation," said Cletus.

Indeed it can. The military purpose of the tactics of mistake is not merely to win one battle, but to win the war by the strategic uncertainty that tactical deception engenders. Either your opponent ends up off balance and vulnerable to the final thrust, or, if he's smart enough to recognize the pattern yet unable to disupt it, he becomes frozen in place, incapable of decision since everything he thought he knew about the situation has turned out to be, more often than not, wrong.

This is called getting into your enemy's decision making cycle. See Boyd and OODA loop.

Common sense illiteracy: One EMP burst away from wiping their brains clean.

Received this email from yellowhousejake on the subject of "Hacking and how to cripple America."

Reading your blog concerning hacking and what would or would not be ethical, I was reminded of something I find completely shocking.

My wife works for a major international corporation as a product rep. Her counterparts are all college graduates, which means they always call her when they do not know what to do (This I have noticed is an alarming trend).

Example; A colleague is leaving a store out of state, and her TomTom (GPS) batteries die. She calls my wife and asks how to get back to the interstate. My wife asks her if she knows how she got to the store. The colleague explains her TomTom told her how to get there. After several minutes of frustrating conversation my wife abruptly advises her colleague that she needs to get her butt to the nearest gas station and buy a road atlas. The colleague's reply? "But how will I know which direction I am
going?". My wife's answer? "The sun rises in the East and sets in the West", then she hung up the phone.

Example; A colleague is driving from Chicago to Fort Wayne Indiana. His GPS takes him to Indianapolis first then back north. He cannot understand why it took an extra two hours over what my wife told him it would take. He had no idea he drove almost one hundred miles out of his way.

This is happening everywhere. College graduates cannot navigate an interstate. They cannot use a phone book. If spell check accepts a word then it must be right. They cannot even calculate a tip without their cell phone applications.

If terrorists wanted to cripple America they only need kill all wireless signals and everything would grind to a halt.



"Beware the Obama 'Evil Eye.'"

From the Drudge Report:


Tue Jun 30 2009 07:43:56 ET

As the summer begins, White House watchers have spotted a new look by President Obama: The Evil Eye!

Staffers have joked about the menacing glance, which comes when the president meets with world leaders who are not aligned with his progressive view.

White House photographers have captured the "evil eye" in recent weeks, during sessions with German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Colombia's Alvaro Uribev.

Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi got hit with the commander's malocchio last week in the Oval office.

And at least one White House reporter has been on the receiving end of the daggers during a press conference.


Monday, June 29, 2009

The Three Percent Idea Spreads . . .

Got yer Threeper patch yet?

. . . this time to Gun Digest, in an article entitled The Three Percent Solution by Charlie Cutshaw.

The Three Percent Solution
June 22, 2009
by Charlie Cutshaw
Summary: We are pretty sure where you stand on the debate surrounding gun control, but what are you prepared to do about it?

How many of you are “Three-Percenters?” If you are reading this, you probably should be. OK, what’s a Three-Percenter? The term goes all the way back to the American Revolution. During the war for our independence, only approximately a third of the colonists supported the independence cause. Another third didn’t care one way or the other and the last third wanted to remain under British rule. Out of those that supported independence and revolution, only some three percent were actively engaged on the battlefield with the full active support of only about 10 percent of those who were pro-independence. Twenty percent of the pro-independence faction did nothing to actively support the cause. This is the root of today’s Three Percenter term.

Those of us who currently proclaim ourselves to be Three Percenters make no claim that we actually represent three percent of the population, although we might – nobody knows for certain how many of us there are, but we stand for the Second Amendment, and our support goes far beyond mere words. Three Percenters today are American gun owners who have taken a stand. We WILL NOT disarm. We WILL NOT obey further anti-gun legislation, regardless of its source. We WILL NOT stand for further circumscription of our God-given rights and we WILL defend ourselves if we are attacked. Since our guns are the most effective means of defending ourselves, we WILL NOT surrender them. We are committed to restoring the Republic as envisioned by the Founders and are wiling to fight and to die in defense of ourselves and the Constitution.

I know that these are strong words, but in the words of Thomas Paine, “These are the times that try men’s souls.” As I wrote a few months ago, what I am currently witnessing is unprecedented in my lifetime, which has spanned more than 65 years. I noted then that Barack Obama was the most anti-gun president in the history of our Republic, but since then, things have gotten worse – much worse. Obama clearly wishes nothing so much as the destruction of our Republic. Don’t believe me? Read on. Incidentally, we DO NOT live in a “democracy” as so many in the “lamestream media” would have us believe. A “democracy” is two wolves and a lamb sitting down and taking a vote on what’s for dinner. The United States is a Constitutional Republic!

Barack Obama and his far-left cronies are attacking the entire Bill of Rights, not just the Second Amendment. In this essay, I will focus primarily on that aspect of the Obama Administration's anti-liberty attacks, although the entire Bill of Rights is under attack by Obama. There are several anti-gun measures proposed in the House of Representatives, the most draconian of which are HR45, the Blair Holt Firearms Licensing and Record of Sale act of 2009 and HR 2159, described below. You can look at the entire text of HR 45 Here.

Here are the high points:

-A federal license for all handguns and semiautomatics, including those currently owned.

-All handgun and semiautomatic owners must have their thumbprint taken by law enforcement and the owner’s signature on a certificate to the effect that the firearms will be stored in an inaccessible location, essentially where they cannot be readily accessed for self-defense.
But wait – we’re only getting started! Next is HR 2159, introduced by a REPUBLICAN!

HR 2159 was introduced by Rep Peter King (R-NY) and is titled The Denying Firearms and Explosives to Dangerous Terrorists Act of 2009. Read the full text HERE.

Here is a summary:

- In a nutshell, HR 2159 enables the Attorney General to designate anyone he desires to be a “Dangerous Terrorist” and deny him or her the right to possess firearms. (Note that the DHS Assessment on “Right Wing Extremism” defines almost anyone as a potential “terrorist,” especially veterans.) If you attended a “Tea Party” last month or plan to in the future, you can count on being labeled a “terrorist.” But as the TV commercials say, “Wait – there’s more!”

HR 45 and 2159 are clearly unconstitutional, but that hasn’t stopped the Obama Administration from its anti-American activities thus far. Besides, by the time these unconstitutional “laws” were challenged and overturned, they would have been fully implemented, although enforcement might be difficult as we will presently see. Obama and his left-wing cronies are well aware of the unconstitutional nature of their proposed “laws” and are seeking to circumvent the Constitution via international treaty. Obama has recently been bringing pressure on the Senate to ratify the “Inter-American Convention Against the Illicit Manufacturing and Trafficking in Firearms,” also known as “The Curb Illicit Small Arms Trafficking (CIFTA) Treaty.” This treaty was signed by Bill Clinton in 1997 and mandates a national database of firearms owners and registration of all firearms. This database would be accessible to any other signatory nation to the treaty and would essentially allow the government to confiscate guns from those to whom they were registered.

Obama tells us that ratifying the treaty is “the right thing to do” because 29 other countries have ratified it. But as Lou Dobbs commented in a CNN feature on the treaty, “Those countries don’t have a Constitution and a Second Amendment.” Dobbs’ coverage, by the way, was very pro-gun. The good news is that a number of senators are prepared to fight ratification of this egregious treaty.

Another component of The Bill of Rights that Obama and his cronies are attacking is the First Amendment, which recognizes our right to free speech. Obama is attempting to resurrect the “Fairness Doctrine” and make it permanent. Not only will this shut down his critics like Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, Michael Savage and others, but will also severely restrict Internet communication that is critical of government. I never imagined that anything like these proposed unconstitutional laws and actions would occur, but they all took place during
Obama’s first 100 days.

I suspect that neither the legislation I have described, nor CIFTA will become law, but the fact is that Obama and the left will never give up trying to deny us our God-given, inalienable rights that are protected by the Constitution. What this means is, as Thomas Jefferson said, “The price of liberty is eternal vigilance.” In present-day America we must therefore all be aware of what our enemies are doing and make no mistake, Obama and the left ARE our enemies, just as they are enemies to the Republic and the Constitution.

What can you do? Get out to the “Tea Parties” in your communities. Join the NRA if you haven’t already. Be vigilant, be informed and perhaps most important, be vocal! Contact your representatives and let them know your beliefs. (You DO know who they are, don’t you?) You don’t have to write a letter and mail it – they all can be contacted online and they will respond. I know because I make it a point of contacting my representatives on issues that concern me. Speak in defense of America’s values, culture and Christian foundation.

It isn’t all bad news, though – there are positive straws in the wind. One is Oath Keepers (http://oath-keepers.blogspot.com/) a fast-growing organization of law enforcement and military personnel who, like me, swore an oath to uphold and defend the Constitution of The United States against ALL enemies, foreign and domestic. I took that oath when I joined the US Army and swore a similar one when I signed on at the police department where I am a reserve police officer. I did not take an oath to uphold the president, the congress, the governor of my state, the mayor of my city or any other politician. My loyalty is to the Constitution and neither I nor any other police officer of my acquaintance will obey or enforce unconstitutional laws. I suggest that you go to the Oath Keepers web site above and read the “10 Laws We Will Not Enforce” section. I have discussed this with officers in my small department and with officers in adjoining jurisdictions and we are all of a single mind – we are in lock step with Oath Keepers and WILL NOT enforce unconstitutional laws, although this leads to another cause for concern.

Obama probably knows that the majority of serving military and law enforcement personnel apparently will not enforce unconstitutional laws and edicts, and so for some time he has been calling for a national police force that he envisions being as well armed and equipped as the military. Why does Obama want a national police force whose loyalty is to him rather than the Constitution? Go back and study history! The last time something like this took place was Germany in the 1930s, the police force was called the Sturm Abteilung (SA) or just “Brown shirts” and the leader of Germany was a guy named Adolph Hitler. The Brown Shirts were his personal enforcers. Don’t think Obama is similar to Hitler in his actions?

Compare the similarities between him and Hitler and see for yourself.

Another positive indicator is the “nullification resolutions" that have been passed by some 25 states as of the time this was written in May 2009. The list of states is growing and it appears that we may be headed for a situation similar to that which led to the Civil War of 1861-65. Nullification resolutions state in essence that if the federal government infringes on the Bill of Rights, especially the 2nd, 9th and 10th Amendments, the compact established between the state and the federal government by the Constitution is nullified and the state will secede. Nullification resolutions were passed by all eleven states that eventually became the Confederacy. The modern ones are virtually identical and the governors of several states, including Texas, are openly using the “S” word!

If you are in the military or law enforcement, I urge you to remember your oath to the Constitution and reflect on your willingness to enforce orders that clearly violate that oath. I also encourage you to join Oath Keepers. If you are a gun owner who believes in the Second Amendment, the Bill of Rights and our Constitutional Rule of Law, there are two things you should do: First get a copy of the Constitution and read it, especially the first ten amendments – The Bill of Rights, which you should commit to memory. Second, go to the following web site and learn what it means to be a Three Percenter. Click Here

Finally remember the words of Patrick Henry: “Is life so dear or peace so sweet as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it Almighty God! I know not what course others may take, but as for me: Give me Liberty, or give me death!"

"Why I Own Guns?": Michael Gaddy's battle cry.

Battle Cry: "Follow me!"

My thanks to armrdcav for forwarding me this stirring piece by Michael Gaddy at LewRockwell.Com. The last four paragraphs read like a Three Percenter battle cry.


Why I Own Guns?
by Michael Gaddy

"No slaves shall keep any arms whatever, nor pass, unless with written orders for his master or employer, or in his company, with arms from one place to another. Arms in possession of a slave contrary to this prohibition shall be forfeited to him who will seize them." ~ A Bill Concerning Slaves, Virginia Assembly, 1779

"All military type firearms are to be handed in immediately ... The SS, SA and Stahlhelm give every respectable German man the opportunity of campaigning with them. Therefore anyone who does not belong to one of the above named organizations and who unjustifiably nevertheless keeps his weapon ... must be regarded as an enemy of the national government." ~ SA Oberführer of Bad Tolz, March 1933.

"The right of the people to keep and bear arms has been recognized by the General Government; but the best security of that right after all is, the military spirit, that taste for martial exercises, which has always distinguished the free citizens of these states ... Such men form the best barrier to the liberties of America." ~ Gazette of the United States, October 14, 1789

Messiah Obama, Eric Holder, Bobby Rush, Charles Schumer, Barbara Boxer, Dianne Feinstein and Sarah Brady can choose not to own a firearm; that is their right, though at least one of them felt the need to own one. I choose to own a gun for many reasons that I will touch on in this article. Those listed above do not have the right to deny me ownership of a firearm; I don’t care how many fools voted for them or who they know at Diebold who can illegally manipulate a voting machine.

We are living in an age and time where those who claim to be against violence are more of a threat to individual liberty and freedom than any gun owner. These autocrats seek to disarm his/her victim before they move to enslave those of us they view as subjects.

I have owned firearms for over half a century. I received my first gun, a bolt-action; single shot, .22 caliber Remington rifle for my ninth birthday. (I still have it) A year later, I received a single shot 16 gauge Iver Johnson shotgun. Many a rabbit, quail and occasional grouse became meals for the family, directly because of those two firearms.

Prior to owning my own firearm, I was taught by my grandfather that a gun was a tool, just like a hammer, an axe, or any other farm implement. I was taught they were to be properly maintained and never misused or abused. Safety in all tools and their operation were emphasized and violations of those policies led to a severe lecture and in some cases memory enhancement with what my grandfather referred to as a "two-handed" limb.

I remember looking into my grandparents bedroom and seeing a rifle on the wall, a shotgun in the corner and a .45 caliber Smith and Wesson top-break revolver on the nightstand, strategically located between a one quart Mason jar of Moonshine whiskey and a large tin of Prince Albert tobacco. The Moonshine and Prince Albert remained in that location for as long as I can remember. Early in high school I finally found the courage to ask my grandfather why they were there. He told me of his younger years and drinking enough Moonshine to "float a battleship" and of smoking since he was "just a nubbin." He said he discovered later in life that both habits were causing him considerable problems so he decided to quit cold turkey. He bought the Moonshine and the Prince Albert and placed them in a prominent location, because, "boy, you can’t quit something if you don’t have any."

Some of my fondest childhood and early adult memories focus on hunting trips and shooting with my grandfather; we spent many a wonderful autumn day in the backwoods. Today, when I take out any of the firearms I had or used on those hunts, it takes me back to those wonderful days and times and memories of my beloved and sorely missed mentor.

In my younger years, I remember a night when my grandfather was visiting a sick relative and I was awakened by my grandmother and instructed me to "get the shotgun and come a running, something is after the chickens." I readily and without remorse, dispatched that varmint as he sat there with a squawking chicken in his mouth. There were other occasions when I felt a great deal of mental anguish when I was tasked with putting a seriously injured or sick farm animal "out of his/her misery." I was taught I had an obligation to that animal, just as I had been taught to take "ethical" shots on game animals. Such were the lessons of my childhood, many of them centered on firearms.

Invariably, visits from friends or relatives will include at least one day of shooting at the range, or across our back pasture at wood or paper targets. Several of our children’s friends and acquaintances have learned the basics of shooting at our home. Even those who have been indoctrinated by the schools or media to abhor firearms eventually come around and get into the fun and competition of shooting.

Like L. Neil Smith, I have a passion for well-made firearms; I love to hold them, disassemble, reassemble, clean and just appreciate them, as one would works of art. To look at the firearms of John Moses Browning and not recognize the genius of the man is hard to imagine. At one time, almost every weapon employed by this country’s fighting man saw its origins in Browning’s accomplishments and expertise. I also have a passion for the Smith and Wesson blue steel revolvers, Colt Single-Action-Army revolvers, old military style weapons and rifles capable of extreme accuracy at long distances. I sometimes spend hours cleaning my military rifle collection, wondering to myself what stories each could tell. When you are holding an old Springfield Model 1898 or an original M1 Garand, you are holding a piece of American history.

I enjoy spending hours developing the skills necessary to put a group of bullet holes very close together at 800, 900 and 1000 yards. Wind, relative humidity, controlled breathing, ballistic coefficients and several other factors come into play each and every time I go out in search of perfection.

Our elected and appointed criminals have destroyed our constitution; stolen our country’s wealth; created rampant racism by polarizing the races; openly admitted to voting for legislation that adversely impacts millions without ever reading it; attempted to destroy a complete culture (Southron) because it does not fit their criminal agenda; infested their ranks with sanctimonious moral midgets who cannot control their carnal cravings; totally corrupted the criminal justice system, putting the innocent behind bars while protecting criminal cronies; imprisoned hundreds of thousands for committing "victimless" crimes; installed political and social activists in black robes; lied this nation into illegal, immoral wars that killed and maimed millions, many of them our own misguided citizens; turned our local, state and federal police into elements that would make Heinrick Himmler and Uncle Joe Stalin proud; made ignorant boobs of our children with their socialized, Marxist educational machine, and done all within their power to destroy all vestiges of our republic.

Now, these moral cowards insist the only way this nation can remain safe is to turn over to them the only tool we have left to insure liberty, because they believe themselves to be of some higher moral and intellectual plane.

I consider those in power as I do any other criminal. I would never turn over my weapon to the bank robber, murderer or rapist, therefore, I will never relinquish my right to keep and bear arms, nor my wonderful memories and experiences involving firearms to a bunch of bottom feeders in three-piece-suits or uniforms and badges.

I would not want to explain that failure in judgment to my grandfather. He would never understand if I voluntarily sold myself into slavery.

June 29, 2009

Michael Gaddy, an Army veteran of Vietnam, Grenada, and Beirut, lives in the Four Corners area of the American Southwest.

"To Shake Their Guns in the Tyrant's Face"


If you haven't bought your copy of "To Shake Their Guns in the Tyrant's Face" by Professor Robert Churchill yet, you need to. You can find it here, along with some favorable reviews (including one by Sipsey Streeter Larry Fuess). The ADL-SPLC have, as far as I know, refrained from attacking Churchill's scholarship so far, probably because they don't want to draw attention to it.

You can't know where we are unless you know where we've been. Churchill's book cuts through the lies of the MSM in the 90s and the "Narrative of 1995" pimped by the ADL and SPLC for their own selfish reasons. Get it.


PS: I didn't pay Larry Fuess for his kind mention of Sipsey Street, but I do thank him for it.

AEP's latest: "China's banks are an accident waiting to happen to every one of us."

A growing number of experts are casting doubt on China's ability to pull the global economy from recession

So what are we facing economically in the next few years? Hyper-inflation? Equally destructive deflation? Stagflation, a combination of the two? My old interviewer Ambrose Evans-Pritchard believes it is deflation. His story here is interesting and serves to back up my earlier piece on the razor's edge the PRC communist party is trying to negotiate with respect to their own legitimacy.

Food for thought.

Bottom line: Prepare. For whatever happens, those who have trained, organized along community lines, and laid back supplies will do far better than those who haven't.


China's banks are an accident waiting to happen to every one of us

Fitch Ratings has been warning for some time that China's lenders are wading into dangerous water

By Ambrose Evans-Pritchard
London Telegraph

Published: 5:38PM BST 28 Jun 2009

China's banks are veering out of control. The half-reformed economy of the People's Republic cannot absorb the $1,000bn (£600bn) blitz of new lending issued since December.

Money is leaking instead into Shanghai's stock casino, or being used to keep bankrupt builders on life support. It is doing very little to help lift the world economy out of slump.

Fitch Ratings has been warning for some time that China's lenders are wading into dangerous waters, but its latest report is even grimmer than bears had suspected.
"With much of the world immersed in crisis, China appears to be one of the few countries where the financial system continues to function largely without a glitch, but Fitch is growing increasingly wary," it said.

"Future losses on stimulus could turn out to be larger than expected, and it is unclear what share the central and/or local governments ultimately will be willing or able to bear."

Note the phrase "able to bear". Fitch's "macro-prudential risk" indicator for China threatens to jump from category 1 (safe) to category 3 (Iceland, et al). This is a surprise to me but Michael Pettis from Beijing University says China's public debt may be as high as 50pc-70pc of GDP when "correctly counted".

The regime is so hellbent on meeting its growth target of 8pc that it has given banks an implicit guarantee for what Fitch calls a "massive lending spree".

Bank exposure to corporate debt has reached $4,200bn. It is rising at a 30pc rate, even as profits contract at a 35pc rate.

Fitch traces the 2009 bubble to the central bank's decision to cut interest on reserves to 0.72pc. Bankers responded to this "margin squeeze" by ramping up the volume of lending instead. Over half the new debt is short-term. Roll-over risk is rocketing. China's monetary stimulus since November is arguably more extreme than the post-Lehman printing of the US Federal Reserve, though less obvious to the untrained eye.

Under the Taylor Rule, US policy remains tight (for the US). China's policy is loose (for China). New loans doubled in May from a year earlier, almost entirely to companies.

China's Banking Regulatory Commission fired a warning shot last week. "The top priority at the moment is to stop explosive lending. Banks should carefully monitor the process of credit approval and allocation, and make sure that loans flow into the real economy," it said.

Unfortunately, 40pc of the "real economy" consists of exports, mostly to the US and Europe, the consequence of a mercantilist export model that has qcrashed and burned. Chinese exports were down 26pc in May.

World trade may be stabilizing at last after contracting at faster rate than during the early Great Depression. But it will not rebound fast in a world where the US savings rate has risen to a 15-year high of 6.9pc. A trade policy based on the assumption that debtors in the Anglosphere and Europe's Club Med can ruin themselves for ever is absurd.

Andy Xie, a Sino-bear and commentator for Caijing, said Western analysts are in for a rude shock if they think that China's surging demand for raw materials implies genuine recovery.

Commodity speculators have been using cheap credit to play the arbitrage spread between futures and spot on the oil markets. They have even found ways to trade lumber to iron ore by sheer scale of leverage. "They've made everything open to speculation," he said.

Mr Xie thinks the spring recovery is an inventory spike, to be followed a double-dip downturn into next year as stimulus wears off.

Reformers know what must be done to boost consumption. China needs a welfare revolution. But creating a social security net takes time, and right now Beijing is facing a social crisis as 20m jobless workers retreat to the rural hinterland.

So the regime is resorting to hazardous methods to keep excess factories humming: issuing a "Buy China" decree: using a plethora of export subsidies; holding down the price of coke, bauxite, zinc and other resources to lower production costs (prompting a complaint from America and Europe); and suppressing the yuan, again.

Protectionism is a risky game for a country that lives off global trade and runs a surplus near 10pc of GDP. Mr Pettis said he fears China is nearing its "Smoot-Hawley moment", repeating the US tariff blunder of 1930 that brought the world crashing down on Washington's head.

Two facts stand out about China's green shoots. While the Shanghai composite index is up 70pc since November, Chinese imports are down 25pc from a year ago. China is still draining real stimulus from the global economy.

If the world's biggest surplus state ($400bn) is too structurally deformed to help offset the demand shock as Western debtors retrench, we are trapped in a long deflation slump.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

The Intangible Rewards of Blogging.


I received this email today and it illustrates one of the intangible rewards of blogging -- getting to meet good folks from everywhere, have them share their stories, and know that your writing is making a small difference.



I found your blog from a link on "Dissecting Leftism" out of Australia.

I'm an Orthodox Jew, a Holocaust survivor's child...and I just wanted to tell you I appreciate what you have written, because I think you are absolutely right about everything. I'm glad you work to keep anti-Semites out of your movement, and by the same token, I can't stand when the ADL or SLPC use hysteria to further their own ends. It's ALL wrong.

My grandparents were murdered in Auschwitz, my dad survived 4 camps and was liberated from Bergen Belsen in 1945. He turned conservative and voted Republican at a time when few Jews would (and yes, I know that the majority still would not; makes me crazy), and it was precisely because he understood that totalitarianism crouched waiting to be unleashed. But he LOVED America. I remember when he was enthralled that we could force Nixon out-of-office and no one died in the process. He literally cried, not because he hated Nixon, but because he believed that the "system" and our Constitution and our political process worked.

My mother's parents, who survived pogroms in Russia, and came here as children, also had a deep and abiding love of America. They too understood what it meant as a beacon of freedom, and they are gone now, but I was lucky enough to grow up having them, and I know they would be sickened at what is happening. They too understood what could happen. They came with nothing, had virtually no help from anyone...worked their asses off and made a life, and today, all their grandkids have "made it".

Anyway, I did not write to extol the virtues of my family. I wanted to just say thanks for what you write. I have sent your pieces to some who would buy into the DHS "right wing extremism" report, because you have done some of the best debunking of it I've seen.

BTW, I've never shot a gun in my life (which I need to rectify), was a typical lib on gun control, learned better and totally changed my mind. I work in an emergency room...and I see gun violence, but I did figure out that there are 2 gun cultures...one of law-abiding citizens and one of "Lord of the Flies" denizens, and the government will only take away guns from the former. And I admit to being scared of that 2nd group, that has no regard for life. (So yes, I'm going to learn to shoot and about firearms and all that I could never have imagined back when).

Keep up the wonderful writing.

Maurice S.

"What's the Rush" on Amnesty?: Why November 2010, of course.

What's the Rush?

Interesting analyses of National Review Corner columnist Mark Krikorian here which buttresses my argument here on why the rush to amnesty for illegals. ("The Powers That Be." How can you tell this will only end in violence?)


What's the Rush?

[Mark Krikorian]

Yesterday's twice-delayed White House pep rally for amnesty offered no surprises, other than the exclusion of Steve King, who's just, you know, the ranking Republican on the House immigration subcommittee. In fact, despite the meeting's billing as broadly inclusive, only three of the 30 members of Congress there were opposed to amnesty: Sen. Jeff Sessions and Reps. Lamar Smith and Heath Shuler.

But a couple things were notable:

* McCain's still for amnesty, obviously, but he's digging in his heels insisting that it be coupled with massive increases in future immigration (packaged as a "temporary" worker program). This is because the two main labor federations, the AFL-CIO and Change to Win (led by the SEIU) have agreed to oppose the inclusion of any guestworker programs in an amnesty bill. What they're backing instead is a standing commission to determine future levels of immigration. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the other cheap-labor lobbyists are rightly concerned that this is a bait-and-switch just like they pulled on us with regard to enforcement in 1986; in other words, the lefties would get their amnesty up front, and business would get promises of future cheap labor — promises that they fear would be abandoned. The unions haven't really switched back to the restrictionist side, but the logic of reduced immigration is inescapable, even for the culturally leftist post-Americans in charge of organized labor today.

* Some of the comments after the meeting by amnesty supporters were hyperbolic in their sense of urgency. For instance, from Reuters:

If Congress cannot meet that deadline, "we may not get to do it for a generation," Schumer said.

Senator Lindsey Graham, a Republican, also said he saw only "one more chance" to pass a bill because of the political heat that immigration reform stirs up.

"If we can't get it done this time around, no politician is going to take this up in a generation. That would be a shame for this country," Graham said.

Assuming this isn't just political spin, I'm not sure what they're so worried about.

Either they're afraid that enforcement really can reduce the overall illegal population, in which case the problem would seem to be that they don't want any illegals to go home (which I suspect is the case). Or, if there's no stepped-up enforcement (or if enforcement doesn't work, despite evidence to the contrary), then the failure of another big amnesty push would simply result in continued growth of the illegal population, giving amnesty boosters plenty of opportunities to revisit the issue, long before a "generation" passes.

"I am a passionate conservative Republican": Governor Riley's bagman announces he wants Riley's job. Riiiight.

Well, well. Bill Johnson sez he just can't wait to be king, er, ah, I mean governor of Alabama. He announces in the story below that he is "a passionate conservative Republican." Well, passionate perhaps. Certainly this is the same (married) guy who got caught screwing a (married) judge's wife at the Republican National Convention, so OK, I'll concede "passionate."

However I'm sure there are still some Missouri Libertarians out there who remember old Bill's checkered career in that neck of the woods. And, there will be more than a few folks like me who remember Bill's interesting foray into the Alabama militia movement. For my part, I recall vividly the time he palmed off some deliberate disinformation on me to try to maneuver me into making a political point for him. I still have the forged document and the witnesses to back it up. This was before he hitched his wagon to Riley's rising star.

Then there was the time he didn't pay taxes for a long while. Oh, and his foray into Afghanistan. And the more than sneaking suspicion extant in the 90s that Johnson was a federal snitch in the militia movement.

This guy has more political baggage than Imelda Marcos had shoes, and he must be banking on mass amnesia to think he can be elected Governor in this state.

He is brilliant, amoral, and a complete sociopath. His next move will be to try to hack this site because he really likes to use technology on political dirty tricks. Just ask Dr. Russ Fine.

Oh, yeah, and when I called him Governor Riley's "bagman," I meant it. Why do you think Riley stuck him in ADECA? Somehow I can't see Riley wanting a whole lot of attention to get focused on Johnson. For Riley, this will be like the Return of the Creature from the Black Lagoon, especially if he wants to be Senator or something later on.

My prediction is that this will be recorded as the shortest campaign for Governor the state of Alabama has ever seen. Riley will make sure of that.

Of course there was that rumor that Riley only held onto Johnson when he was first running for governor when all the tax crap came out because Johnson had some blackmail stuff on Riley. . .

Should be interesting to see how this plays out.


PS: by the way, BJ, remember that hacking is a federal crime. You don't want to add THAT to your checkered resume, do you? There aren't any judge's wives in prison.

Former Birmingham City Councilman Bill Johnson enters Alabama governor's race

Saturday, June 27, 2009


News staff writer

Make it a half-dozen seeking the Republican Party nomination for governor in next June's primary.

Bill Johnson, a former Birmingham city councilman and, for the past four years, director of the Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs, abruptly resigned that post Friday and declared his candidacy for governor.

"I think I have demonstrated over my years in public service that I am a passionate conservative Republican who believes small government is best and in low taxes," Johnson said. "But I also feel government has a role and responsibility to help those citizens who cannot help themselves."

Johnson, who lives in Prattville, said he has been encouraged to run by a host of people across the state who still have not found a candidate to their liking among the other five Republicans.

"Every time another one of the other candidates would announce I would get a phone call from someone encouraging me to get into the race," said Johnson.

After a number of such calls, Johnson began thinking about a bid and said so publicly. Word that he was mulling getting into the race caused Gov. Bob Riley to set a deadline for Johnson to make a decision.

"The governor felt that it might be seen as a conflict, me talking about making a run for governor while I was still at ADECA," Johnson said. "He gave me until Friday to make up my mind. I met with him Friday morning and told him I was running and then I resigned."

Riley praised the work Johnson has done at the state agency.

"Bill Johnson has done a great job at ADECA and I am truly grateful to him for his outstanding service to the people of Alabama," Riley said in a prepared statement.

This will be Johnson's second run for statewide office but his first in Alabama. In 1994, Johnson ran as a Libertarian for the U.S. Senate in Missouri, where he campaigned for the legalization of marijuana and prostitution. Johnson has since renounced those views, explaining that he was running as a Libertarian and as such was loyal to the party's platform.

Johnson joins a crowded GOP field: former state senator and two-year college Chancellor Bradley Byrne, state Rep. Robert Bentley, Alabama Treasurer Kay Ivey, Greenville businessman Tim James and former Chief Justice Roy Moore.

Democrats in the race include U.S. Rep. Artur Davis and state Agriculture Commissioner Ron Sparks.

Riley wasted no time filling Johnson's old job with ADECA's Doni M. Ingram, who had been assistant director of the agency.

E-mail: cdean@bhamnews.com

Cyber-communications: "Control, Halt, Delete."

"User ID: a police officer checks registrations at an internet café in Xuchang, central China. From next month, Beijing wants new computers to be installed with extra controls." Check out the little rat bastard in the back with the camera.

Interesting article in Financial Times found here. I know from anecdotal evidence that there are Threepers out there working on their hacking skills. We need more for, if, as and when. I would be interested to see some philosophical (and obviously hypothetical) discussion about legitimate targets in the event of a civil war sparked by government tyranny. For example, hacking a power grid to collapse it with predictable innocent casualties would, in my mind, be off limits. Hacking to get around government censorship and targeted cyber or EMP attacks on government databases on the other hand would be acceptable and even necessary.

Your thoughts?


Control, halt, delete

By Joseph Menn, Richard Waters and Kathrin Hille

Published: June 26 2009

This week, an open letter appeared on Chinese blogs and online bulletin boards. “Hello, internet censorship institutions of the Chinese government,” it said. “We are the anonymous netizens. We hereby decide that from July 1 2009, we will start a full-scale global attack on all censorship systems you control.”

Beijing’s attempts to manipulate the internet would, the message predicted, “soon be swept on to the rubbish pile of history”.

Chinese internet users, although skilled at dodging the censors, are angrier than they have ever been. The anonymous declaration of war is just one sign of the strains emerging as the global spread of internet access, and its embrace by activists of all stripes, triggers an unprecedented crackdown by national governments that threatens to transform the way hundreds of millions of people communicate.

China is trying to force censorship software on to every new personal computer, while Iran succeeded this week in virtually eliminating the spread over the internet of first-hand accounts from protests in the streets at the handling of its presidential election.

That stifling of web freedoms that many people around the world take for granted are being accompanied by more novel means of combating cyber opponents. Those methods range from directing stealthy technological attacks that shut down dissident websites to unleashing swarms of paid commentators to argue the government position on supposedly independent blogs.

Both carry the added attraction of deniability: many regimes are employing advanced repressive techniques that are hard to identify in action, let alone circumvent. At a time when new communication technologies, from text messaging to Twitter, promise to put greater power in the hands of the individual, these techniques are having a chilling effect. Internet experts from more open societies fear that this will lead to greater self-censorship by organisations and individuals, which they see as the most effective tool of all.

Even the optimists warn of setbacks. “In the end, the winners of the race are most likely to be citizens and activists who use these technologies for democratic purposes,” says John Palfrey of Harvard University, an authority on internet filtering. But he adds: “With respect to individual battles, the states that practise censorship and surveillance are winning some of them.”

The number of such states is in the dozens, researchers say. In Burma and Moldova, governments recently resorted to pulling the plug on mobile phone networks amid unrest magnified by text messages; in Uzbekistan, there is widespread suspicion of internet monitoring but few ways to prove it. That is despite the fact that a lot of the surveillance and security software in the hands of governments across the world comes from western suppliers. In what is by its nature among the most globalised of industries, technology companies are seeing a revenue boost from governmental interest in data mining, search and storage products, though they periodically draw fire from activists for assisting repressive states.

The most gripping evidence of the change at hand has come from Iran. The theocratic regime has been in a protracted struggle over the free flow of information and communication with many of its largely young urban populace since the day after this month’s disputed election.

Tehran has a decided advantage in that it runs the country’s leading internet service provider. Called DCI, it throttled back the amount of bandwidth available to its citizens so that web video traffic dropped by as much as 90 per cent and e-mail leaving the country fell by nearly as much.

Data assembled by Arbor Networks, a US internet security company, show the Iranian government was picking and choosing what types of traffic to let through and which parts of the net to leave unimpeded. Just as the security forces adjusted their response to counter the changing nature of the protests on the ground, Iran’s internet police changed which sites could be reached.

Facebook and other social networks were easy to block and fell quickly. Twitter, a web-accessible broadcasting service that can process messages from mobile phones, proved harder to take down without killing off all text messaging.

Activists proved agile at hopping from one medium to another. For more than a week, outsiders would send people in Iran the addresses of “open proxies”, computers outside the country set up to relay traffic. That way, Iranians could still reach sites they were blocked from accessing directly. But the authorities hunted down most of those proxies and cut off access. Finally, on Thursday, they killed most outgoing traffic, including Twitter blasts.

“It’s a big problem when a government is just willing to shut down communications,” says John Perry Barlow of the Electronic Frontier Foundation, a non-profit organisation based in San Francisco, who was helping dissidents get the word out. “If they do that, you’re down to smoke signals.”

Iran’s response evolved rapidly, aided by filtering technology in place long before the election. No country, though, has been as thoroughly policed through as many means as China, which has long been on the cutting edge of censorship.

Now, Beijing is trying to cement its control with a decree that from July 1, all computers sold in the country must come with a program called Green Dam/Youth Escort, which the government says will be used to block access to pornography sites.

Dell, Hewlett-Packard and other computer makers are protesting and have won the support of US trade officials, who are threatening to bring the matter to the World Trade Organisation.

“Green Dam will be a game-changer, if in fact it goes into effect,” says Harvard’s Mr Palfrey. “The desktop is the last bastion of personal freedom. It would change the way people use these devices in extraordinary ways.”

Beijing has for years blocked many sites by setting up filters on the country’s largest internet backbones, using a method nicknamed the Great Firewall of China.

The central government has more recently heaped additional blocking and monitoring responsibilities on to internet service providers, web companies and local censors, all of which have been upgrading the technology they use.

TRS, a Chinese supplier of internet security products, says growing numbers of police departments are replacing their traditional search engine-based efforts with state-of-the-art data mining applications, which are capable of analysing large bodies of information.

All this has its limits. “Controlling public networks is very, very difficult,” says Tony Yuan, chief executive of Netentsec, another Chinese security provider. “Bandwidth and traffic are huge, so normally you don’t have the computing power.”
But the latest effort by China’s central authorities takes them further still, to the PCs that stand at the edge of the network. It is not clear they will succeed.

The computer makers and US government are being joined in their opposition by security researchers who have identified flaws in Green Dam that could allow third parties to take control of PCs.

Even if the blanket order is delayed, circumvented or quietly forgotten, the Chinese government has already gained access to many PCs. Earlier this year, Beijing made the bundling of Green Dam a precondition for eligibility of PCs in its subsidy programme for PC sales to rural residents. In May, it ordered all schools to install the program. “I would estimate that we’re already looking at more than 10m computers in China with Green Dam installed,” says an executive at a Beijing internet portal company.

An estimated 300m Chinese have online access. Though the more determined among them are likely to find ways around Green Dam, many may not even try to defy the message of disapproval being sent by Beijing.

Some of the surveillance and censorship technology in Iran and China is home-grown but much of it is western. Nokia Siemens Networks, a joint venture between the two European companies, says, for example, that it was required to sell Iran equipment for monitoring phone calls as part of a contract for a communications network. Cisco has periodically come under fire for selling its routers to China but says the same equipment is used in both open and closed internet systems.

Under laws in the US and elsewhere, telecommunications companies must make it easy for law enforcement agencies to conduct authorised wiretaps – and equipment providers say they cannot shut that capability off depending on the customer.

Collection, in fact, is no longer so much the problem: analysing the masses of data is a bigger issue, as is massaging search technology to look for more than simple keywords that alarm officials, such as “Tibet” and “democracy”. That technology is becoming much better – spurred in part by the increasing global attention to cyber security. Notably, the US defence department this week approved a new military cyber command that will answer to the National Security Agency, which in recent years has been exposed for mining Americans’ e-mail without warrants.

Concerns about pernicious criminal software and “denial of service” attacks, which have shut government websites in Estonia and elsewhere with bombardments of useless data, have prompted further efforts to scrutinise internet traffic. But according to some researchers, technologies developed to counter insidious attacks such as these will only serve to advance the techniques of information control – to the eventual detriment of future mass revolts against oppressive political forces.

“If security starts becoming job one, then a lot of things being used by repressive states will become commercialised and normalised,” says Rafal Rohozinski, a founder of the OpenNet Initiative, which tracks filtering. “We’ll be doing the same thing as Iran, or using the same technologies. And that’s what I worry about.”

How curbs on net users work:
Internet filters
Method: Set up on the main conduits of the internet, known as backbones, these software filters block traffic from websites on a proscribed list.
Example: “Great Firewall of China”.

Deep packet inspection
Method: A layer of software that looks to identify the content of individual pieces of information, or “packets”. This can be used to read, store or block individual messages and connections to websites.
Example: Commercial providers including Phorm and NebuAd.

Denial of service attacks
Method: Large numbers of PCs bombard a website with requests, making it inaccessible to other users.
Example:Sites in Estonia and Georgia during conflicts with Russia.

Toeing the party line
Method: Some regimes recruit people to present their case online, sometimes paying them.
Example: “50-cent bloggers” in China.

Method: Governments bring pressure on companies to restrict access to content. Bloggers must register.
Example:MSN Spaces, Microsoft’s blogging service in China, bans phrases including “human rights”.

Edge-of-network restrictions
Method: Censors push control to a more local level. Internet providers’ terms of service make them act as agents of the state. Restrictions at the edges of the network can reach all the way to curbs installed in PCs.
Example: China’s Green Dam/Youth Escort software.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Keep us in your prayers.

My wife's mother, Anne Morgan, passed away last night in hospital in Memphis, Tennessee. Please keep Rosey and her surviving family members in your prayers.

Thanks, Mike

"The Powers That Be." How can you tell this will only end in violence? Let me point out some mileposts from just this week.

"Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable." -- President John F. Kennedy, address to the diplomatic corps of the Latin American republics on the first anniversary of the Alliance for Progress, March 13, 1962. Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States: John F. Kennedy, 1962, p. 223.

I put up the full citation because Kennedy is often mis-quoted as having said, "change" instead of "revolution." This is not so great a stretch, since Kennedy was horribly imprecise with words, and "revolution" in America has become, and was even in 1962, a word stretched beyond its original meaning. The invention of "The Pill" was beginning a "sexual revolution" and Americans were buying cars and other products which were of "revolutionary design."

On this occasion, in fact, he misjudged his audience. None of these Latin American diplomats, many of whom had experienced violent revolution first hand, had any idea what a "peaceful revolution" looked like. State Department old-hands were said to have cringed at his characterization, and in fact, Kennedy -- an anti-communist -- was incessantly quoted in later years by many a bloody-handed Marxist guerrilla to justify all manner of things he certainly had not intended to countenance.

But for all that, Kennedy was right on the big thing, which is probably why someone took the trouble to misquote and "correct" him. Those who make peaceful change impossible, DO make violent change inevitable.

The tricky thing is to know how far down the road to violent social upheaval you are in your own society at any given time. Let me provide some recent mileposts, largely unknown and unnoted.

Milepost #1: "A repudiation of the Federal Reserve would be highly destructive to the stability of the financial system."

"Helicopter Ben" Bernanke prays as he awaits extraction from his final mission. "Please don't let them find out what we're doing to them before I'm outta here."

First we have this, posted by "tmartin" on Ron Paul.com:

Ben Bernanke: Federal Reserve audit would constitute “takeover” by Congress, threaten the “financial system, dollar and economy”

When asked by Rep. John Duncan on Thursday about the fact that a majority of Congress is co-sponsoring Ron Paul’s HR 1207 bill to audit the Federal Reserve, Ben Bernanke responded:

Ben Bernanke: “My concern about the legislation is that if the GAO is auditing not only the operational aspects of the programs and the details of the programs but making judgments about our policy decisions would effectively be a takeover of policy by the Congress and a repudiation of the Federal Reserve would be highly destructive to the stability of the financial system, the dollar and our national economic situation.”

"tmartin" commented:

While many viewers interpreted Bernanke’s statements as a “threat”, we would not rule out the possibility that he was merely stating an opinion that is indeed shared by many economists who grew up under the notion that the autonomy of the Federal Reserve and its mission to centrally manage the economy is sacrosanct and not open to debate.

Threat? Blindness? Does it matter? The Fed stands there, unchallenged, unrestrained, and absolutely opaque to even inquiry let alone oversight. And when they are swept away, finally, by events, no one will be more astonished than the central bankers themselves.

John Conyers.

Milepost #2: "The Powers That Be."

You have no doubt heard of the Obamnanoid purge of Gerald Walpin, AmeriCorp's inspector general, who was dismissed over his handling of an investigation of the mayor of Sacramento, Calif., Kevin Johnson, an Obama supporter during the presidential campaign.

This is dangerous principally because it sends the message to the regulatory agencies, especially the three-letter boys, that the executive branch will protect its own. Milepost #2 is even worse than the Walpin case.

Washington Times

June 25, 2009

Conyers abandons plan to probe ACORN

'Powers that be decided against it,' he says

By S.A. Miller

House Judiciary Committee Chairman John Conyers Jr. has backed off his plan to investigate wrongdoing by the liberal activist group ACORN, saying "powers that be" put the kibosh on the idea.

Mr. Conyers, Michigan Democrat, earlier bucked his party leaders by calling for hearings on accusations the Association of Community Organization for Reform Now (ACORN) has committed crimes ranging from voter fraud to a mob-style "protection" racket.

"The powers that be decided against it," Mr. Conyers told The Washington Times.

The chairman declined to elaborate, shrugging off questions about who told him how to run his committee and give the Democrat-allied group a pass.

Pittsburgh lawyer Heather Heidelbaugh, whose testimony about ACORN at a March 19 hearing on voting issues prompted Mr. Conyers to call for a probe, said she was perplexed by Mr. Conyers' explanation for his change of heart.

"If the chair of the Judiciary Committee cannot hold a hearing if he want to [then] who are the powers that he is beholden to?" she said. "Is it the leadership, is it the White House, is it contributors? Who is 'the power?'"

Capitol Hill Democrats had bristled at proposed hearings because it threatened to rekindle criticism of the financial ties and close cooperation between President Obama's campaign and ACORN and its sister organizations Citizens Services Inc. and Project Vote.

The groups came under fire during the campaign after probes into possible voter fraud in a series of presidential battleground states, including Ohio, Pennsylvania, Michigan, New Mexico and Nevada.

ACORN and its affiliates are currently the target of at least 14 lawsuits related to voter fraud in the 2008 election and a Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act complaint filed by former ACORN members.

The group's leaders have consistently denied any wrongdoing and previously said they welcomed a congressional probe. The group did not immediately respond Thursday to questions about Mr. Conyers being convinced to drop those plans.

The "Powers That Be." And who might that be? Here's a hint:

The booking photo of Mrs. John Conyers.


Conyers pleads guilty to conspiracy

She faces up to 5 years in prison

Detroit Free Press, June 26, 2009

Detroit City Council President Pro Tem Monica Conyers pleaded guilty this morning to conspiring to commit bribery and is free on personal bond.

U.S. District Judge Avern Cohn said, "The defendant now stands convicted."

The one count of conspiring to commit bribery is punishable by up to five years in prison.

No sentencing date has been set.

In court, Conyers’ combative demeanor was gone, replaced by soft-spoken resignation as the judge and his staff several times asked her to speak up.

Conyers, the wife of powerful Democratic congressman U.S. Rep. John Conyers, appeared before Cohn to answer charges in connection with the wide-ranging probe of wrongdoing at Detroit city hall.

She has long been under suspicion in the Synagro Technologies bribery probe, not least because she had been a vocal opponent of the contract before suddenly switching her sentiments. She became the deciding voice in the city council’s 5-4 vote to approve the sludge-hauling deal in November 2007.

“This is not the beginning and it is certainly not the end, folks,” FBI Special Agent in Charge Andy Arena said at a news conference this morning.

Arena said the message to corrupt public officials is, “We’re coming after you.”

U.S. Attorney Terrence Berg, a Detroit resident, said the city corruption probe continues, but this is the end of his office’s investigation “of Synagro-related conduct.”

It remains unclear if federal investigators are still considering Synagro charges against Sam Riddle, the ex-Conyers aide, who court documents suggest was with Conyers when she received at least one of the bribes.

Go to the link if you want more. This is why this is worse:

It is plain that if the Obamanoids want no Congressional oversight, they will get no Congtessional oversight. THEY are "The Powers That Be."

This is not only bad for the prospects of reining in Acorn and thereby preventing them from executing their part of the obvious Rahm Emanuel plan to steal the 2010 federal elections, but now the three-letters don't have to worry if a Waco happens. Oversight will be swept under the rug. This is dangerous stuff, people. And they don't understand that if the rule of law no longer protects us, it no longer protects them either. Dangerous, dangerous stuff.

Nancy "The Finger" Pelosi

Milepost #3: Nancy Pelosi fingers America -- Biggest tax increase in the history of the country passed in the middle of the night without anybody reading it.

Drudge reports 300 of the 1200 pages of Cap and Tax were dumped into the bill at 3:00AM that morning. The truth is nobody knows exactly what's in this bill. Once again our wallets will foot the bill for their ignorance.

The story below is here.

House passes climate-change bill


Democrats narrowly passed historic climate and energy legislation Friday evening that would transform the country’s economy and industrial landscape.

But the all-hands-on-deck effort to protect politically vulnerable Democrats by corralling the minimum number of votes to pass the bill, 219-212, proves that there are limits to President Barack Obama's ability to use his popularity to push through his legislative agenda. Forty-four Democrats voted against the bill, while just eight Republicans crossed the aisle to back it.

The Finger again.

Despite the tough path to passage, the legislation is a significant win for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Ca.) and the bill’s two main sponsors – House Energy and Commerce committee chairman Henry Waxman (D-Ca.) and Massachusetts Rep. Edward Markey (D) – who modified the bill again and again to get skeptical members from the Rust Belt, the oil-producing southeast and rural Midwest to back the legislation.

“We passed transformational legislation which takes us into the future,” Pelosi said at a press conference following the vote, after she and other leaders took congratulatory phone calls from Obama, former Vice President Al Gore and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.

“It has been an incredible six months, to go from a point where no one believed we could pass this legislation to a point now where we can begin to say that we are going to send president Obama to Copenhagen in December as the leader of the of the world on climate change,” said Markey, referring to world climate talks scheduled this winter.

After months of negotiations, 211 Democrats and eight Republicans voted for the bill of more than 1,200 pages, setting the legislation on a path towards the Senate. There, it faces a far more uncertain future given the opposition of key moderates and the already-heated battle over health care.

Newt Gingrich said this:

“The reality is that the bill before the House today imposes what could be the largest tax increase in history on the American people. And every single one of us who heats a home, drives a car, and manufactures or consumes products made in America will pay the price. Estimates are that the Waxman-Markey bill will raise electricity prices by an astounding 90 percent. It will raise gasoline prices by 74 percent. It will raise the average American family's energy bill by $1,500 each year. And, far from creating jobs, experts predict that the global warming bill will destroy 1,105,000 jobs on average each year, with peak years seeing unemployment rise by over 2,479,000 jobs. All in all, the bill is expected to reduce our gross domestic production (GDP) by $9.6 trillion. And for what?"

The Finger is more powerful than Newt.

Of course if Newt had been able to keep his johnson in his pants in the 90s, and not given the Clintons an issue to blackmail him over and put himself on the political defensive, he might have been in a position (Speaker of the House) to guide policy in the 2000-2008 time frame and could have acted as a restraint on Bush, thereby short-circuiting Obama's presidential aspirations.

The dangerous thing here is not that they are sacrificing any chance of prosperity in the middle of a recession with a bill that attempts to suspend the laws of economics. The dangerous thing IS THAT THEY THINK THEY CAN DO IT AND GET AWAY WITH IT. Why? See Milepost #4.

They're laughing because the amnesty joke is on you.

Milepost #4: They're starting the engine on the amnesty bus again.

Here's why:

As Obama sets course for immigration reform, roadblock appears

The president tells lawmakers at a White House meeting he wants to overhaul the system by early next year. But how to regulate the future influx of foreign workers emerges as a sticking point.

By Peter Wallsten
June 26, 2009

Reporting from Washington -- President Obama told congressional lawmakers Thursday that he would push for a sweeping overhaul of the nation's immigration system by early next year. But during the White House meeting, a new political obstacle came into view: how to regulate the future influx of foreign workers.

The issue was raised by Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), a principal architect of past attempts to rewrite immigration laws. McCain challenged Obama and other Democrats to stand up to labor unions that are pushing a plan business groups fear could be overly restrictive in admitting future immigrant workers.

"I would expect the president of the United States to put his influence on the unions in order to change their position," McCain said after the hourlong session, which included Obama, Vice President Joe Biden, senior White House officials and about 30 lawmakers from both parties.

The White House had been taking pains to foster the impression that the senator would be a partner in striking a deal. Obama sat directly beside McCain, his former campaign rival, during the meeting. And the president praised the senator in his public remarks, saying McCain had "already paid a significant political cost for doing the right thing."

Still, Obama offered no commitments on how to handle future immigrant workers, and White House officials said the meeting was not meant to be a forum for policy details.

Obama did offer his firmest pledge yet as president to push aggressively for legislation by the end of this year or early 2010, according to meeting participants. The president had been reluctant to offer a timeline. As his administration in recent weeks focused its attention on healthcare and energy, some Latino leaders and immigrant advocates cautioned that delaying on immigration could anger Latino voters who turned out strongly for Obama in last year's election.

"What I'm encouraged by," Obama said, "is that after all the overheated rhetoric and the occasional demagoguery on all sides around this issue, we've got a responsible set of leaders sitting around the table who want to actively get something done and not put it off until a year, two years, three years, five years from now, but to start working on this thing right now."

Obama said that his administration was "fully behind" an immigration overhaul, and that Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano would spearhead the effort.

One major sticking point is whether the House would pass one of the key provisions demanded by advocates for immigrants -- a pathway to citizenship for many of the estimated 12 million illegal immigrants currently living in the country. About 40 House Democrats represent conservative swing districts where there is little support for the idea.

White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel told reporters Thursday that "the votes aren't there" to pass such a plan.

But it was clear Thursday that regulating the future flow of foreign workers was emerging as a partisan point of contention.

Past plans included a temporary guest worker program that was supported both by business groups and immigrant advocates. But many labor unions were wary of that plan. Some union members have argued that guest workers drive down wages and displace American workers.

This year, immigrant advocates and unions pulled together to propose that an independent commission study labor market needs and decide how many immigrant workers should be allowed into the country.

The commission plan has drawn opposition from business groups such as the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, and McCain on Thursday left no room for compromise in opposing it.

Ana Avendano, the AFL-CIO's point person on the issue, said the unions did not intend to give up.

"Just because McCain said no [on Thursday] doesn't mean we're not going to continue pushing policies that are good for working people in the United States," she said.

Democrats indicated that they are open to compromise in order to bring McCain and other Republicans aboard. Sen. Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.), chairman of a Senate committee on immigration, said that "both parties, left and right, are going to have to give in some to get immigration reform." If it is not passed by next year, he added, "we might not be able to do it for a generation."

Now note, the dispute here is not over amnesty and citizenship, it's over whether the AFL-CIO is made happy or not. Horse crap. The AFL-CIO will get screwed in the end and here's why. Here's the deal, the real politik, of this.

The Dems need miliions of new loyal voters to sustain them in the 2010 election. Amnesty is the only place they can get them. And I can hear all you open borders liberatarians tuning up your tiny violins now. When are you going to get this through your thick heads?

This isn't about economics, or free markets, or whatever.

It is exclusively about power.

Invite 10 to 15 million new voters into the American welfare state and you've got a permanent majority. What chance do you think you have of getting libertarian ideas across to THAT crowd? By the time they wise up, it will be too late.

Face it. With these milestones we have passed just this week alone, the chances we have of getting out of this with our liberty and property intact without violence is somewhere between slim and none.

So, that's what they've done to you this week. What are you doing to stop them?

There's a fight coming.

Let's win.

Mike Vanderboegh

Friday, June 26, 2009

The Hal Turner Diaries: Pity the poor neo-Nazi FBI snitch. Just because they buy you, doesn't mean they love you.

Hal Turner, right, appears in a Hudson County courtroom with his laywer, Michael Orozco, on June 8.

Well, the ever-loathesome web-Nazi and FBI paid snitch Hal Turner is in the news again. He is proving to be a most useful tool of the FBI, IF, and its a big if, this present case doesn't blow up in their faces. Not since the case of Mafia killer and FBI snitch Whitey Bolger have we had a better chance to find out the inner workings of the Kingdom of FBI Snitchdom. (What? You think it's a coincidence that Whitey's still on the lam?)

Outed as a paid FBI snitch when his emails with an FBI special agent were hacked and posted, Turner earlier this month was arrested by the FBI for threatening judges. The case has the potential to strike at the heart of the First Amendment on-line as Jacob Sullum reports here at Reason Magazine.

The Difference Between 'They Should Die' and 'I'll Kill You'

Jacob Sullum | June 25, 2009

Yesterday the FBI arrested a white supremacist in New Jersey for threatening federal judges, based on his online response to the recent 7th Circuit decision that said the Second Amendment does not constrain state and local governments. Here is a description of the crime that Hal Turner, an Internet radio host, committed:
"Let me be the first to say this plainly: These judges deserve to be killed," Mr. Turner wrote in a blog entry on June 2. "Their blood will replenish the tree of liberty. A small price to pay to assure freedom for millions."

He said the three judges, William J. Bauer, Frank H. Easterbrook and Richard A. Posner, should be made "an example" of in order to send a message to the rest of the federal judiciary: "Obey the Constitution or die."

Mr. Turner also posted the judges' photographs, phone numbers, work addresses and courtroom numbers.

There is no indication that Mr. Turner or anyone else acted on his warnings. Nonetheless, the Federal Bureau of Investigation said in an affidavit that it believed his comments constituted "a threat to assault or murder a United States judge."

This does not seem like a "true threat," one kind of speech the Supreme Court has said can be punished without violating the First Amendment. Turner did not actually threaten to commit violence; he simply argued that violence would be justified. What he said seems closer to incitement, except that in this case there is no threat of "imminent lawless action," one of the requirements imposed by the Court. Unless I'm missing something, what Turner said ought to be protected speech.

What do you think? Does the posting of photographs and information about the judges make a crucial difference?

As The New York Times notes, Turner's arrest is reminiscent of the "Nuremberg Files" case, in which the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit upheld a $109 million civil judgment against the operators of website that arguably encouraged violence against abortion providers. In 1999 I argued that the website should be protected by the First Amendment, the position that a 9th Circuit panel endorsed before it was overturned by the full court.

Now I will say that back in the 90s, when I thought such information important given local ATF misdeeds, I taught folks how to use local property records to track down personal information on ATF field agents and supervisors in the Birmingham office. In short order, we had an excellent file. I never posted them, of course, holding them back for the "tit" for their "tat," should that have ever arisen. It didn't.

Since that time, new federal laws have been laid on to make even that a federal crime. Sullum's point is a good one, though. Which may be why the Fibbies decided (beyond the considerable pressure an outraged well-placed judge can bring on a mere bureaucracy) that Turner's usefulness as an informant and agent provocateur had come to an end. Far better to use him to attack Net free expression. After all, what federal judge is going to find the posting of another federal judge's personal information on the Net NOT to be a crime?

And yet, if Turner uses his FBI paid snitchery as a defense, that could have an entirely different result than the FBI seeks. ANY publicity about the FBI's "Confidential Informant" program is anathema to them. Be interesting to watch as this plays out.

On a less important, but still significant, note. We have this breathless, silly story of last year's Paid Snitch of the Year Award winner. It seems when arrested he had legally registered weapons, and -- HORRORS! -- hollow-point ammunition.

I have two questions, three, really. First, is English this idiot reporter's native language? Second, as to the "court bombshell" (?) -- is the possession of hollow-point ammunition by civiliams really illegal in New Jersey? Third, if it is, why are there any gunnies still living there? I would have voted with my feet at such an outrage.


Court bombshell: 200 rounds of ammo, hollow-point bullets seized from hate blogger Turner's home

by Michaelangelo Conte/The Jersey Journal

Thursday June 25, 2009, 1:47 PM

Infamous hate blogger and Internet radio host Hal Turner had an arsenal in his home that included 200 rounds of ammunition and 150 hollow-point bullets -- which are illegal -- when it was searched by the FBI yesterday, it was disclosed in court today.

Federal officials dropped the bombshell at Turner's hearing this afternoon in Newark. Turner, who is charged with threatening to kill federal judges in Chicago in a blog post on June 2, was held without bail -- at least temporarily.

Turner will be held until the value of his mother's Pennsylvania home, which would be used to secure the $200,000 bail bond, could be proven.

FBI seized the ammunition as well as three handguns and one shotgun, officials said. Turner's attorney, Michael Orozco, said Turner had permits for the guns. A Jersey City police spokesman said Turner's hollow-point bullets are illegal, and added that only law enforcement officers and members of the military can own them.

Turner, wearing a gray t-shirt and blue jeans, appeared relaxed in court today. His hands were cuffed in front of him and his feet were shackled. There was a U.S. Marshal at his sides and a number marshals posted at the door of the courtroom. The hearing was attended by Turner's wife, mother and brother, who spoke with Turner briefly before the hearing.

District Court Judge Michael Shipp said at the hearing he found Turner is a danger to the community based on the remarks in his blog. Illinois authorities say Turner wrote on his blog June 2: "Let me be the first to say this plainly: These judges deserve to be killed."

The Chicago judges apparently has angered Turner with their ruling on a handgun ban.
Shipp today gave Turner a list of conditions that must be adhered to if he posts bail. He order Turner to refrain from using the Internet; he can have no contact with the judges he's accused to threatening; Turner's barred barred from blogging or broadcasting his show; he must surrender all broadcasting equipment he owns; he must remain under house arrest and wear an electronic bracelet; he must forfeit all travel documents like his passport.

Also the judge ordered his wife to serve as a third-party custodian for the government.

Turner is also facing charges that his comments in a blog post -- also posted on June 2 -- was inciting violence against two lawmakers who championed a bill that would provide more oversight of the finances of Catholic parishes.