Thursday, September 25, 2008

An oldie, but a goody.

Just a reminder, The Anointed One is still out trying to sell us a bill of goods.

Have you asked an Obama supporter what specifically he has accomplished lately??

The House of Cards Shudders a Little

Finally, it sounds like there is real debate with regards to this farce of a "bailout".

While the Dems are enjoying an attempt to snipe at McCain, the basic fact is that McCain ducked out a side door after this meeting - avoiding the press altogether. It was the Dems who felt a need to go get licks in against McCain in in front of the cameras.

That said, at least one Representative showed up with 11 pages of responses from Drs. of Economics spread out amongst some of our most prestigious institutions, including Harvard, Yale, and MIT. All 11 pages were against the bailout as proposed by the administration. All agreed that infusing cash in this manner will only delay the crash, and give us that much more to fall when it does come. Another mentioned last night that comments from his constituents were running 300:1, against the bailout.

I am hopeful that the package, as it stands right now, has cut the amount of money initially available to Treasury to $250bil, with more available only after a Congressional vote. The new package also has much more oversight and approvals, and requires any profits be reapplied to the National Debt. Still not great, and still not the correct response, but a much much more manageable number. This new package also provides more time to look at the results before committing fully.

Politicians Will Say Anything

Not only to get elected, but to try and make their case and get publicity.

There are two Marines suing Representative John Murtha for his comments after a number of women and children were killed in Iraq in 2006.

Whether Representative Murtha is found guilty or not, this will hopefully serve as a warning to our Government that they will be held accountable for opening mouth before finding out the facts and engaging brain. Being an elected official does not give one carte blanche to slander and libel others, though it seems of late that that has become a common practice in the media.

It's time that our Representatives are held more accountable for the crap they spew in an attempt to grab votes and publicity.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Even More Silliness in this Bailout

Original Article Here

I noticed a few changes to the article I posted last night today. Namely, this:

The administration is balking at another key Democratic demand: allowing judges to rewrite bankrupt homeowners' mortgages so they could avoid foreclosure.

So lets get this straight. Democrats want to "prop up" the housing market. How? By destroying the ability of lenders to be secure in their contracts. The Dems basically want a judge to be able to rewrite these loan contracts however he wants to make sure that home owners do not get foreclosed on.

Boy, I'd sure like that service too. I think I need to pay half of what I'm paying now. Why? Why not. I must be entitled to the house that I'm in. Heck, I don't think I'll even pay my mortgage any more. After all, the Government will be there to make sure the big bad man at Countrywide doesn't take my house away.

I still don't understand how it is ok for people to enter into a contract, and then because it's "too hard" turn right around and get out of that contract. I don't understand how this action will "prop up" the housing market. And I really don't understand why the Democrats suddenly think that when a bill is being touted as "emergency must pass", they should add a bunch of idiocy and pork to it. As you've read here, I don't want this one to pass, but at the same time, it's obvious that the Dems see this as an opportunity to add all kinds of bullshit to this bill to ram through programs that they know they couldn't get away with normally.

Ultimately, it comes down to this. Homes are overpriced. The price of housing in most areas of this country has far, far exceeded the abilities of the average person to become a homeowner without putting themselves into crippling house payments. The response to this situation is NOT to "prop up" the housing market. The only thing that these actions is doing is prolonging the misery of the housing market itself. The market needs to be left FREE to drop and correct itself. Will this put some people in a bad way? Yes it will. Will it cause some hardships and bankruptcies? Absolutely. Will it allow us to break a few more bars in this prison of debt that we are putting ourselves into? Most certainly. And that, my friends, is a good thing.

Allow the housing market to correct. Let it go and be free. Let it correct itself and put housing back into an affordable range for our families and citizens. DO NOT prolong this overpriced situation to imprison future homeowners in a cage of mortgage debt.

Mortgages represent REAL MONEY. They represent cash that you MUST pay back to people. Don't treat a mortgage as this ephemeral situation where you're not playing with real money.

Mr. President and Congress, let the markets be FREE.

Monday, September 22, 2008

When Seconds Count, Police are only Minutes Away

So often you hear the following from anti-self defense (including anti-gun) advocates:
Don't escalate the violence by fighting back.
Just give the robber what they want.
It's the Police's job to protect you.

911 call details violent struggle for Tarrant County couple that left burglar dead

Tonight in Dallas, a couple fought a home invader for 45 minutes, tooth and nail. Either this couple didn't own a gun, or they were unable to get to it when the man entered their unlocked back door. They gave the intruder everything they had right up front, and he still starting hitting them with a pipe. At one point in the struggle, the couple was even stabbing the intruder with a knife.

They finally got the invader subdued to the point that they could call 911, and despite an immediately lethal and dangerous situation, it still took the Police 12 minutes to get to them.

This intruder was armed with various weapons, including a gun - which was unloaded.

Folks. The Police would love to help you, but they can't be everywhere at once. What are you going to do for 12 minutes when an armed invader is in your house intending to kill you? Better yet, if you are a person who owns a gun for self defense, where is that gun right now?? Is it near to hand? Is it across the house in the bedroom? Is it unloaded and locked up in a safe??

I'm not advocating leaving a firearm where an untrained youngster can get to it, but there are options that allow you to safely keep a ready and loaded weapon near to hand.

This couple got lucky. Will you count on luck if this happens to you?

Too Little, Too Late?

The $700 Billion Dollar Bungle is moving ever closer to a vote.

Democrats have successfully added "mortgage help", though I'm not yet sure what that means.


In one expansion of its original proposal, the administration is asking for broad power to buy up virtually any kind of bad asset — including credit card debt or car loans — from any financial institution in the U.S. or abroad in order to stabilize markets.

You've read that right. We've gone from making sure our well-connected friends in high places (who, I might add, are part of starting this mess) to offering to accept bad debt from around the globe. After all, with a blank check of this size, one must spread the wealth no? After all, it's not your money they're playing with...oh wait.

Frank said he and Paulson had agreed to create a congressional oversight board as part of the bailout and to mandate that the government come up with a plan to avoid foreclosures on any mortgages it acquires in the rescue. A government official with knowledge of the talks confirmed the administration backs those provisions.

Well, some oversight might be nice, but then again, the same people overseeing this are the ones willing to sign off blindly on this bailout without listening to cooler, more disconnected heads.

There is a small light revealed in this article, however:

And in a fresh sign of a challenging road ahead, Sen. Richard C. Shelby of Alabama, the top Banking Committee Republican, blasted the emerging plan as "neither workable nor comprehensive."

"In my judgment, it would be foolish to waste massive sums of taxpayer funds testing an idea that has been hastily crafted and may actually cause the government to revert to an inadequate strategy of ad hoc bailouts," Shelby said.

Will it be enough? Will your calls and the calls of your countrymen be enough?

I hope so.

Fool Me Once...

Thankfully, we did not see a massive decline in the financials today.

However, The markets were not fooled one bit.

Crude Oil made it's greatest one day increase ever, and the dollar reached a new low against the Euro. Add a $43 spike in gold and you can immediately see that this bailout isn't exactly "just what the doctor ordered".

Sunday, September 21, 2008

The Nationalization of our Banking System

This one is going to be short.

If you do nothing else, please read this post over at the market ticker.

The most chilling thing is this excerpt from the $700bil bailout bill, the text of which hit Fox News here.

"The Secretarys authority to purchase mortgage-related assets under this Act shall be limited to $700,000,000,000 outstanding at any one time"

Emphasis mine. "Outstanding at any one time". So if they buy out a company, and then sell it off immediately at a loss, that loss doesn't count. The taxpayers eat the loss, and then the Treasury immediately has the entire amount they originally spent available to do it again.

There are a number of other very scary items in this bill. Please read the analysis over at The Market Ticker. Please do it, and then call your representatives if you don't want this so called "solution" to be enacted as written.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

$700 Billion Dollars

That is the amount the Government wants to come up with to throw at this problem in our markets.

Think about that amount for a moment. Think about how much money that is. Realize that our Gross Domestic Product for an entire YEAR is only $13 billion. Think about raising the cap on our National Debt to $11.3 trillion to cover this amount.

We're in the hole. Really, truly in the hole. It's a very deep hole. And we're still digging.

And in response, Democrats say that they want to add, ADD!! money to that bill to bail out homeowners that can't stay in their homes?!?! Are you serious? What good is throwing money at people who made a mistake and can't afford their house going to do? They STILL won't be able to afford their house. They'll STILL have to sell it at a loss. And taxpayers will still be left holding the bag.

Folks, we've got a serious problem here. We are owing more and more money to the various nations of the world. And we really don't have it to pay them back. We're in a credit prison of our own making, and before long, I suspect these Nations aren't going to want to give us any more.

What then?

What then do we do when the tap of foreign investment gets shut off?

We either print money to cover the overrun, which would cause disastrous inflation, raise the hell out of taxes, destroying business as we know it (and likely making homeless and starving a fair portion of our population) or we let our infrastructure, the social programs, the pork, the ear marks, the Government as a whole die for lack of funding.

This bailing out and dumping money at things HAS TO STOP.

Our markets must adjust. They must fall, and they must adjust. We appear now to be operating under the assumption that growth, and market increases, and profits from those markets must always go up. The profits have to keep coming in. This can't happen. That condition does not exist in nature. We got a wake up call earlier this week when the market plunged. And instead of letting it correct, instead of letting businesses that are now insolvent and are more debt than assets fail and dissolve as they must, we threw money at them. We tried to keep them alive. That was the wrong thing to do.

When hints of this bold, new mistake were leaked yesterday, the markets roared back. The numbers were being trumpeted from everywhere as if they represent what is really happening.

They don't.

Despite the rises in the market, the dollar sank. Crude oil was up 7%. The world is not fooled.

I suspect, if this new bill goes through, we are not going to see the results we were hoping for. I'm no market expert, I'm certainly no financial wizard, but I know how to listen. And underneath all the hype of those gains yesterday, I'm hearing some real worry. I'm hearing some very cautionary notes coming from many sources regarding the potential for inflation out of this mess. And that potential is very high.

I'd like to be able to say that I trust our Government to make the right moves here. But then the Dems go and announce that they want to continue the same, failed policies and add worthless, expensive gestures to this bill. They are not taking this seriously. They have not opened their eyes to realize that it was the insistence that everyone own a house is part of what got us into this mess.

Our Government, as a whole, has failed this nation miserably. They have failed to properly ensure that all of the debt that is currently being hidden from the public books of these companies was reported, they have failed to stop Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac from operating in a fraudulent manner, and their failure may be the end of this nation as we know it.

Keep your powder dry folks. I have a bad feeling that things are going to get a whole lot worse before they get any better. I sincerely hope I'm wrong on this one.

I'd recommend everyone take a read at this article over on The Market Ticker. I don't understand everything this guy is saying, but it makes a ton of sense to me.

Obama's "Plan" for Failure

The following are segments from Obama's "plan" for our economy. This was copied directly off of My remarks are inline in red.

Energy Rebates

Obama and Biden will enact a windfall profits tax on excessive oil company profits to give American families an immediate $1,000 emergency energy rebate to help families pay rising bills. Read more »

Listen carefully to what they are saying here. They are going to take an industry that, on average, makes about 10% profits on their revenues each year, and take those profits away. There are a goodly number of industries out there making higher profit margins than that! Should we also take away the profits of the Clothing and Retail industries? Some of which make 20% profits?

Ask yourself - who benefits from profits? Yes, the CEO maybe gets a bonus, but ultimately where do those profits end up? They end up as a higher stock price, as dividends, as expansion of the operations of that company. They end up as money in the shareholder's pockets. That's right - you, and me, and the rest of America that owns stock in that company benefit from those profits.

In this, Obama and Biden show truly as the bullies that they are. They've found an industry that has been villified by the Left and they want the entire schoolyard to help steal their rightful earnings. Who's next? Maybe YOUR industry is making too much profits and needs to be punished as well.

Create 5 Million Green Jobs

Obama and Biden believe that we should invest in innovation and manufacturing jobs in the growing clean energy market, freeing us from our dependence on foreign oil within a decade and creating 5 million green jobs. Read more »

Obama doesn't want to raise taxes on the Middle Class, but here he wants to spend more money on something that the free market has not demanded. He wants to dump your money at any and every crackpot "green" idea that comes down the pipe, in the hopes that "something" will free us from foreign oil in a decade. They want to dump money here, and money there, BILLIONs at this. But they're going to lower taxes?

Who pays for this? Who pays for the more expensive energy and technology that will be Federally mandated out of this? YOU do. YOU pay. The middle class will pay, the lower class will pay, and the "rich" (see my blog post here on the fallacy of raising taxes on the "rich") will pay through the nose. And in the end, we'll all lose.

New Jobs Through National Infrastructure Investment

Obama and Biden believe that rebuilding our highways, bridges, roads, ports, air, and train systems will create jobs, ensure safety, and bolster our long-term competitiveness. Read more »

Here's another $60 billion over 10 years to maintain our infrastructure. What happened to the monies set aside for this? Oh right, already spent by the Government on other things.

Technology, Innovation and Creating Jobs

Obama and Biden will increase federal support for research, technology and innovation for companies and universities so that American workers can lead the world in cutting edge jobs and products. Read more »

Even more tax credits! Are you keeping track? Lots of money going out so far...

Support Small Business

Obama and Biden will level the playing field for small business by eliminating all capital gains taxes on start-up and small businesses. Read more »

So now these guys want to get a $500 per worker credit to small businesses, and have the business pay both sides of the income tax for those workers. I'm not even sure how that works. They also want to throw $250 million per year to "incubate small businesses in disadvantaged areas". So the market won't bear a business in that area, we need to make sure there is one there anyways by spending our tax dollars on it. Brilliant.


Obama and Biden will strengthen the ability of workers to organize for good wages, healthcare, and secure pensions. Obama and Biden will fight for passage of the Employee Free Choice Act. Obama and Biden will ensure that labor appointees support workers' rights and will work to ban the permanent replacement of striking workers. Obama and Biden will also increase the minimum wage and make sure it remains a real wage year over year. Read more »

Now this one gets my goad. This would essentially force companies to pay workers whatever the workers demanded. Not being able to permanently replace workers who are being unreasonable about their requirements on pay/benefits/etc. would essentially force most companies into bankruptcy, AND raise the prices of their goods and services should they remain in business to the point that no one would be able to afford them. The beauty of a free market is simply that if I have a group of workers that strike for higher wages, and I can replace them with similarly skilled workers that work for lower wages, the people demanding higher wages shouldn't be making higher wages in the first place! This part of the plan means that the inmates would be running the asylum.

While they're at it, they'd continue to impact the free market by demanding higher and higher minimum wages. Why not just go ahead and pay workers at Burger King $25/hour. They obviously deserve the house in the foothills and the plasma tv just like everyone else who actually went to school and worked hard to make something of themselves.

Protect Homeownership and Crack Down on Mortgage Fraud

Obama and Biden will crack down on fraudulent brokers and lenders. They will make sure homebuyers have honest and complete information about their mortgage options, and they will give a tax credit to all middle-class homeowners. Read more »

More tax credits in this one. I'm still not seeing any "fiscal responsibility"...

Work/Family Balance

Obama and Biden will help working families by doubling funding for after-school programs, expanding the Family Medical Leave Act. They will provide low-income families with a refundable tax credit to help with their child-care expenses, and encourage flexible work schedules. Read more »

Obama wants to cut the size of companies required to comply with the FMLA from 50 to 25. This may result in critical positions in a small business being unfilled in the event that worker has an emergency for a long period of time. This is not good for small businesses, some of which couldn't survive in that state for long.

Obama also wants another $1.5 billion to provide monies to people taking time off work for certain charitable activities. While a nice idea in principle, I question it as being "fiscally responsible".

In this point also are doubling funding for after school programs, increase the amount of money given to low-income families for child care, as well as create other programs.

So I have one question for Sen. Obama. Where does all the money for this come from? It certainly won't happen from a "windfall profits tax", and I have a feeling that you couldn't squeeze the "rich" taxpayers for nearly enough to cover this.

Where does it come from?

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Buy Your Patriotism!

Joe Biden today proudly announced that it is patriotic for those that earn more than $250,000 to pay more taxes! He went on to say that the money we take from the wealthy will be given to the middle class. In any other circle in this country that would be called grand larceny.

Amazing. The Democrats continue to use class warfare as a distraction by insinuating that the people that pay the most taxes (and indeed, the upper echelon of this country already pays 94%+ of all tax revenues) should pay even more! Further, they continue to have the audacity to act like the money is theirs to take from you.

What they don't tell you is that many of the entities paying these taxes are not all "fat cat" individuals. They're not all oil barons, or bandit CEOs - many of them are actually businesses. Those same businesses that provide jobs, goods and services to millions of Americans.

Think it through now, what happens when a business' costs go up?

Their prices go up too. And not only do prices go up for consumers, decreasing their abilities to buy those goods and services, but wages go down, and people lose their jobs. That's right, even the lowest earners with the least (or no) tax burden lose money. Further, the folks that are really paying the taxes, that top 1%, utilize more tax shelters and havens and further reduce income tax revenues coming in to the government.

Now, a quick history lesson. Who was a prominent Democratic Party President who realized this? President Kennedy of course. And his course of lower taxes to increase productivity and ultimately tax revenues was confirmed when President Reagan did the same thing. This is not a new idea to either party.

So what do Obama and Biden *really* want to do? They want to reduce your purchasing power. They want to further harm businesses that employ Americans, some of which are already on the ropes. They want to make sure this economy goes down in flames. They want to arbitrarily say who has too much money and who has too little, and rob Peter to pay Paul. All in the name of raising taxes only on the "wealthy". And even if they don't actually raise those taxes, Obama has stated that he will let the Bush tax cuts we have been enjoying for the last 6 years expire. Oops, higher taxes for everyone. But wait! He flipped on that again. So which is it Sen. Obama?

Don't be fooled. Don't support people who want to raise taxes in any way shape or form. The average American worker ALREADY works 113 days to pay off all of the taxes that are assessed on them throughout the year. Why would you possibly want to increase that burden? That is money going to pork and failed social engineering programs that could be putting food in your children's mouths, and keeping the roof over their heads.

Do not let anyone *near* the White House that even breathes that they are going to increase taxes for anyone. Biden's unguarded statement today shows the true Socialist roots of these two fools. They do not want you to succeed. They want themselves and their cronies to succeed at YOUR expense.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Petulant Children (Part 2)

In the last post, I shifted gears rather abruptly, here is why.

In another stunningly stupid move, the House yesterday approved a new energy plan which includes more domestic drilling. Or does it?

This is a long one, but read up and see the bill of goods you're being sold by your government.

Once again, they think we're too quiescent and stupid to see through their obvious ploys. They want to say they did something about it, and pin any resulting failures on the oil companies, or anyone else that is conveniently nearby.

Am I sounding cynical enough yet? Some highlights:

Permanently institutes a ban on new offshore development out to 50 miles. [Sec. 102] Folks, you can't just go out in your back yard, and successfully drill for oil. Oil exists in very specific geological structures and locations. Most known offshore oil is inside of 50 miles of the coast, and that which isn't is so deep, we don't currently have the technology to get at it easily or economically.

But that's ok! Except:
Permits leasing only between 50 and 100 miles offshore only if the adjacent state legislature ‘opts-in’ to allow leasing off its coastline. [Sec. 102] Oh. So this, plus no provision for the state to share in the revenues means - you got it. No state has the particular urge to allow anyone to drill even within 100 miles. And states such as California, who love to use oil but don't particularly feel like allowing anyone to drill for it *gasp*, well you get the picture.

And that's just the start. This is truly pathetic. How long do you think it will be before some raging Lib uses the above passed bill in an argument about how "we keep giving them opportunities to drill but the oil companies just won't do it so they can keep the prices high!".

Bet it won't be long.

Are you getting angry yet???

Full actual text of the bill is here: H.R. 6899 -

Petulant Children

Unless you've been in a cave, if you're even remotely interested in politics you've likely heard the Heller decision from the Supreme Court. To recap, it was a wishy washy ruling that established the 2nd Amendment as an individual right, independent of service in the military, but subject to "reasonable restrictions". Just the hogwash I've come to expect from the Government these days.

The result of that decision, was that Washington D.C.'s total ban on handguns was unconstitutional. In response, D.C's City Council imposed a draconian registration scheme, requiring the presentation of the weapon at a local Police Station for ballistic fingerprinting (which is a joke), and *still* required that all weapons be trigger locked or completely disassembled and stored in a safe. A small provision was made to unlock it if you felt your life was in immediate danger.

Ever tried telling someone who just broke into your house and is advancing on you with a lethal weapon "hang on while I unlock my handgun and load it?". Yeah, right.

Meanwhile, D.C. left provisions in that named pretty much all bottom loading semi-automatic pistols (just like the Glocks, Berettas, Rugers, etc. etc. etc. that Police and citizens in other states carry daily) machine guns. That's right. Your handgun accepts a magazine from the botton - machine gun. Baaaaaanned.

While slightly better than a ban, obviously, this was the City Council's attempt to try and get back at the Court and at their Citizens.

This petulant temper tantrum became even more obvious at all the bleating and hand wringing that's been going on as the House of Representatives passed a bill today bringing D.C's gun laws into the same realm as most of the rest of the free states in the country. As that bill was being passed, D.C's City Council passed another emergency rule easing the rule on semi-automatic handguns and at least allowing unloaded weapons to be stored freely in the home.

There are two issues here though.

1. Why did the Council wait this long to ease those rules? Well, how better to take care of a tantrum than hauling the screaming kid outside of the playground and putting them in the car to think about what they've done? Good on the House for calling D.C. on it's tantrum and threatening to remove the power to throw it.

2. The down side of #1 is that the House has moved so late in the Legislative Session to do so that it is very likely that the Senate will never see the bill. Oh. So, as a slimy gun grabbing Democrat, you can stand up and beat your chest and proclaim your support for gun rights, all the while safe in the knowledge that the bill you just passed will never see the light of day in the Senate. Pardon me if I don't stand up and clap.

Folks, are we done allowing our so called elected representatives to smugly hold the chloroform soaked rag over our faces while they fish the cash out of our pockets and destroy our liberties? Can we wake up and realize that the level of Machiavellian machinations in our political apparatus are nearing a critical point? Can we even get the Bread and Circus dazzled masses to care?

Don't think for a moment that a free market has created the situation in which we find ourselves today. Don't even believe that this country was founded to run on the doublespeak, outright lies, and suppression of dissent we are seeing today.

This is not a Left versus Right wing issue. They're both at fault.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Terrorist in Training

Some great FBI material was declassified recently.

I'll direct you to the always excellent writing over at the Western Rifle Shooters Association to read about this.

By the FBI's definition, I'm proud to say that I must be a "Terrorist in Training". By their definition, are you?

From the document:
(U//FOUO) Showing a keen interest in marksmanship, obtaining sniper-related books and
other training materials, spending time at shooting ranges, modifying vehicles in a
nontraditional manner, and purchasing rifles and associated optics may be indicators of
potential terrorist planning efforts; however, most of these indicators can be associated
with legitimate purposes.

Please head over to the link above and read more.

Government Dependence

Wasn't this Great Nation founded on INdependence?

How often do you hear from the Police after a foiled robbery "don't get involved". Or "give them what they want"? Now we have welfare, Social Security, Liberals screaming to bail out people that got in over their heads by being stupid when they bought a home, bailouts of businesses that made incredibly horrible decisions (Bear Stearns, Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac, AIG), and yet let Lehman fail. Did Lehman not make contributions to the right people???

Now, the argument being made is that the loss of these companies would be too damaging to the economy. At the same time though, while things may have overcooked, and I certainly don't want a depression or worse either, how can you possibly justify using taxpayer money, and large amounts of it, to pay off other companies to take on these failed corporations? I am certainly not a financial wizard, but would welcome some good, sound reasoning on why this is a good thing for everyone.

So that said, we have the nanny state stepping in left and right. Didn't save for retirement, that's ok, we'll help! Didn't do you research and make sure you could afford a home before you bought it? That's ok! You don't have to repay those evil profiteers in the mortgage industry. Burned yourself with that coffee?? That shouldn't have been hot! You're entitled to all the money you can get from that evil corporation!! You bought a bunny advertised with floppy ears and it didn't have floppy ears? Call the cops! Wait...

Non-Floppy Emergency

Your rabbit's ears aren't floppy? Sorry, that's not an emergency. So said police in Scotland when a woman rang the emergency 999 number to discuss her concerns about her new pet. She said the newspaper ad promised floppy ears, but flop they would not.

Central Scotland Police said Monday they were equally unimpressed by another caller who complained that a passing car had splashed water on him, and by someone else inquiring about the postal code for a town's post office.

"Whilst officers and staff are dealing with these frivolous matters that a member of the public has deemed so serious as to call 999, they are not dealing with genuine emergency calls," said Chief Inspector Alan Stewart. (AP)

Sure, that's Scotland, but (formerly) Great Britain is often held up as a burgeoning Socialist paradise. That's alright though, since I heard last month that a man called the cops because the Subway sandwich shop wouldn't make his sandwich correctly. Hey, your government can fix anything for you! Just call them up and they'll make it right.

Where'd our sense of intrepid independence go? When, as a Nation, did we lose that individuality and sense of adventure that allowed us our meteoric rise to power in such a short 250 some odd years? When did we start listening to people who don't make any sense (the far left and a fair number of the far right too)?

When will we wake up and realize that all this politically correct regulating of everything is destroying the very fabric of this Nation?

Hell No We Won't Go

I've been seeing reports on the local news today that some people on Galveston Island continue to hold out and do not want to leave. At this point, the Governor is looking into declaring martial law in order to try and force them out.

On the one hand, I can certainly sympathize with the holdouts. Despite the best efforts of the government, it seems that after disasters that looters always manage to get in. The worst part, is that sometimes the looters are the government themselves. The only way one can be secure in their property in a situation like this is to guard that property themselves. So long as the government doesn't decide to declare martial law and go on a gun confiscation spree that is.

On the other hand, most of the hold outs are not prepared for an extended period in a primitive environment. They are requiring the government to maintain and stock aid stations for them, which, I'll admit, does take up manpower that may (and I emphasize may - do you really think a FEMA truck driver can actually work to restore power or water to a neighborhood?) be used to restore basic services to the area. Ok, perhaps I'm not being fair. Those FEMA guys could run a chainsaw and clear up some trees too. However, that said, why not get tools to the hold-outs to clear their own immediate areas. They've got to be getting bored by now.

That does bring up another issue though. I'm sure there are many residents that would love to be helping in the recovery themselves. Are there any efforts being made to allow them to participate and help in cleaning up? Seems to me that would be a very cost effective way to speed things up rather than sitting on your butt in a hotel room somewhere on our dime.

At ultimate issue is that there is, I understand, no electricity or water available on the island at the moment. Stop for a moment and look around your home. Do you have non-perishable food and water on hand? Not the water that comes out of the tap mind you, but actual stored water? Sure, a few water bottles here and there, but gallons of water enough to last for weeks? How about Months? Some way to dispose of your own waste (ok, poo for you snickerers out there)? Food you don't need to cook for the same period of time? Food for your dog/cat/other pets? How about any meds or other special needs that you may have? If you're a diabetic, what will you do if you can't keep your insulin in usable condition?

So there we have a conundrum. I don't believe those people should be forced to leave. Heck, some of them likely don't have the finances to leave - aid money or not. I also don't believe that they should expect the government to supply their needs if they stay. After all, they defied a mandatory evacuation order to start with! Unfortunately, I think common sense in this case may require a notice to hold-outs that all aid will stop within a few days, and transportation provided to safety for those that aren't able to be self sufficient. Those that are supplied well enough to hold out for a few weeks, I say more power to 'em!

By the way, there is apparently pet tigers and lions are loose on the island. We've all talked about zombie rifles - do you have your tiger rifle just in case??

Monday, September 15, 2008

The "Art" of Politics

So what do you do when you're running a magazine and need a photo of a Candidate for Presidential Office? Naturally, you call a known freelance photographer to head out to the candidate's location and shoot them.

What happens, though, when you choose someone who is known for a very vocal and left leaning slant to shoot a right winger? Well, were we talking about your normal freelance photographer, who knows a little something about professionalism and earning the money they're trying to make, there wouldn't be a problem. Instead, this week, the Atlantic Monthly contracted Jill Greenberg.

Jill is an avowed Democrat, and shot an image of McCain for the magazine just like she normally would. However, she then proceeded to start shooting additional, differently lit portraits for her own means. The resulting images ended up on her site. The one I have posted here is the best of them. In one, McCain has a gaping maw, red eyes, and sharp, pointed teeth, and apparent blood dripping out from around his mouth and onto his shirt. There are a few more with side lighting and other attempts to make him look unsavory and vicious.

As a part-time photographer, I understand one thing very implicitly. In portrait photography, the relationship between a photog and the person they are shooting has to be one of implicit trust and good will. You don't go into a portrait session with an eye towards humiliating your subject, or casting them in a bad light (pardon the pun). You most certainly don't then go on to crow to others about how you just pulled a giant coup and showed the world who your subject "really" is. A more unprofessional attitude, representative of someone I certainly wouldn't want to hire to photograph my worst enemy, I can't imagine. To the Atlantic Monthly's credit, they have posted an editorial response to Ms. Greenberg's childish actions.

Now, had this happened to Obama, I certainly wouldn't have blogged about it. I'll admit that. Would I have approved of her doing something similar there? I absolutely would not. That kind of behavior is, to quote a good friend of mine, the very epitomy of bush league incompetance.

One would hope that Jill's other clients will see this, and wonder if perhaps they're next. I do hope, for her sake, that she wakes up and realizes that if there is one real rule of business, it's keep your politics out of your business. I think most of us who work for ourselves or consult in any profession realize that it is folly to drive customers off by foisting your own political or religious beliefs on them. It's hard enough to attract and keep good clients as it is.

H/T to Michelle Malkin for additional info about Greenberg. Michelle has an excellent (and much better stated) writeup about this on her site as well at that link.

Federal Workers Giving IRS the Slip.

Federal Workers Owe Billions in Delinquent Taxes

Ooops! Looks like Federal Workers seem to think they're above paying taxes - to the tune of $3.5 billion. The worst offenders seem to be those folks at the Post Office.

Wonder if we'll see some of them "go postal" over having to pay up??

Thursday, September 11, 2008

$70 Rifle!

Russian Model 91/30 - Mosin Nagant Bolt Action Rifle

Yes, she's a bolt action. Yes, she uses ammunition that isn't always all that easy to find at places like WalMart (though admittedly, you can get 7.62x54mm pretty easily through surplus sites), but this bolt action rifle won World War II for the Russians. And we all know just how screwed they were for a while.

The Mosin Nagant played a legendary role in the world, and in my opinion its time is not yet passed. Where else are you going to get an excellent, good quality, historical bolt action rifle for $70?? Heck, where else are you going to get a functional longarm for that price?

You'll need to work with an FFL to get it sent to you (this usually costs somewhere in the neighborhood of $30 for a transfer), but act fast if you need something with a little range and don't have a lot of scratch.

And no, I don't get any commissions for this. ;)

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

The Iraq War Without the Media Bias

Some of you may have noticed The LawDog Files blog link on the left nav.  This guy has an excellent sense of humor and an excellent blog.

He posted today a video someone had sent him from YouTube regarding the campaign and the Iraq war.  I really hope you'll watch it.

Here is the video if you're too lazy to cleeeeck:

Monday, September 8, 2008

The End is Nigh!

'Big Bang' machine to start up Wednesday

Well folks, it's been a great run, but here we are at the end of the world. On Wednesday, scientists will fire up the greatest particle accelerator ever built. Lead atoms will be smashed together somewhere near the speed of light, and according to alarmists and skeptics, will likely create a cluster of micro black holes that will form a pulsar in the middle of the planet. In a few days, we'll see a strange light coming out of the Indian Ocean, followed by tidal waves, dogs and cats living together...mass hysteria!

Alright. I don't claim to know anything about particle physics. Heck, I don't know anything about physics much at all...well....except for gravity choosing inopportune moments to exert itself by slamming me into the ground. But how often do you hear these folks come out of the woodwork with a great portent of doom and gloom and they're wrong? (Hint: The answer is "just about always".)

Oh well, I figure if they're right, and we do see light coming out of the Indian Ocean in a few days, I'll light into the Single Malt and have a helluva party to greet the world's destruction.

At least we don't have to worry about Global Warming any more. *snort*

Saturday, September 6, 2008

The Gun Show

With all the talk of Politics lately, and a growing fear amongst gun owners and potential gun owners that an Obama Presidency would wreak havoc on honest, law-abiding American's gun rights, I decided that I'd head on down to the gun show and take a look around.

One nice thing about Dallas is that it seems like there is a gun show just about every other weekend. If not that, certainly at least once per month. Today's show was put on by Classic Shows, and was about the size of what you'd see in my native Tucson.

The importance of Gun Shows in our Nation are that they provide a forum for people who enjoy shooting sports to gather and talk shop. A Gun Show is no different than a Car Show, or a Rodeo, or even a Quilting Bee. The only difference between all of those activities listed are the subjects discussed and the goods available to the attendees.

In my case, I needed an extra ammo-can to store random boxes of ammunition, and a crush washer for the flash-hider on my evil black rifle. I'd also been having a nagging feeling, somewhere deep down, that I needed to grab another black rifle. And I'll say, there is an urgency to that feeling that has pierced through that little filter we have all applied to keep us from impulsively doing anything that comes to mind. I couldn't quite articulate it, but something drove me to get in the car and make the 45 minute (one way) drive down to Mesquite.

What I found was very interesting. I left earlier than I had hoped to, and ended up arriving about 15 minutes before the doors opened. Anyone who is a Gun Show enthusiast will tell you to arrive right as the doors open so that you can get in on any major deals (often supplied by private sellers that may not quite know what their deceased relative's guns are worth) that may be about before someone else does. This gave me some time to talk to a few folks in line. By and large, all of them were worried about new bans and just about every one of them in line had been having the same urges that I had.

Here is what scares me. Obama voted in 2004 for a bill in Illinois that would not only have banned most semi-automatic rifles, most shotguns, and most black powder rifles in the State of Illinois, but the bill would have authorized law enforcement officials to forcibly enter private homes to confiscate [the] newly banned firearms. (Illinois State Rifle Association Press Release)

Folks, this goes beyond just being a leftist and trying to ban things. This shakes the Constitution down to its very core. Aside from obvious 2nd Amendment RKBA and 4th Amendment Search and Seizure violations, this would basically create an Ex Post Facto situation, forcing people to turn over their heretofore legal property with no recourse and no compensation (not that compensation would make it any more legal mind you). And whether or not you turn it over, your neighborhood Officer Friendly and his .50 caliber machine gun wielding APC will be by to help you find that gun you "lost". And the best part is, that bill seemed perfectly reasonable to Obama. This is not what we need in charge of this country. We're having enough problems with the Republicans shredding the Constitution, we don't need to add more Liberals who couldn't find it with a flashlight, let alone read it.

As I strolled around, I spyed an FFL dealer that was offering Rock River Arms uppers, lowers, and assembled rifles. Being a huge RRA fan, I immediately stopped and browsed. After striking up a conversation about the Smith Industries Vortex Flash Hider, I mentioned that I had been thinking of a new rifle purchase. The dealer pointed over to the half dozen someodd uppers and lowers and said "I haven't been able to keep these in stock. People have been buying them faster than I can order them." Wow, that's huge.

This isn't the ubiquitous SKS or AK knockoff, $150 or so - favorite of college kids and folks that just don't have a huge amount of money to blow on fine firearms (not that I'm denigrating the noble AK47 mind you - not at all, they are amazing weapons systems!) - these are rifles that can run you anywhere from $800 to whatever you can get out of your home equity. And folks are snapping them up like they're going out of style. Something to be said about our perceived (or perhaps real) situation there if you ask me.

At this point, I'm recommending that anyone who has been thinking of picking up a semi-automatic rifle of any sort do so before the next election. Do it sooner rather than later, as I suspect supplies will diminsh greatly leading up to the election. Don't have $700? Fine, get a Ruger Mini-14 or an SKS/AK47 clone. Get enough ammunition to run it for a while! I'm talking 1000rds for a rifle at least. If we get McCain, unless he goes rogue again and does something stupid, everything will be well and you'll be better armed that you are now. If we get Obama, likely they'll be banned shortly afterwards, and you might just need your rifle to get your butt out of a crashing economy and rioting masses looking for their Government provided free bread and circuses. If nothing else, those standard capacity magazines and that rifle you bought will be worth a heck of a lot more after a ban.

"So," you may ask, "what became of that urge to get yourself a black rifle?" I settled on getting a nice Smith Vortex flash hider, and an A2 Carry Handle sight to add to my existing rifle to keep it running in the event batteries aren't available for the EOTech Holosight, along with some extra standard capacity 30rd magazines. Those of you thinking properly know what I mean about any situation in which you can't get batteries.

Stay frosty.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

The Assault Weapons Ban Strikes Back

Meanwhile, in Libertarian land, I'm starting to plan for a potentially disasterous Democratically controlled Congress and Executive. This involves buying a rifle before the end of the year. You know, one of those awful, nasty, baby killing, horse raping black rifles that like to sneak around at night killing poodles and generally being a nuisance.

The basic fact is that there is already a new Assault Weapons Ban in the works. While the first left a lot of wiggle room, this one is a lot more iron clad. If you are planning on buying any rifle with a detachable magazine and a pistol grip in the near future, doing it by the end of the year would be a great idea. Picking up some standard capacity magazines for your firearms now would be an excellent thing to do as well. Be aware that this time, there may be no grandfathering of existing weapons falling under their arbitrary and capricious "features". If they start attempting confiscations, it could get interesting.

I'm hopeful that the nomination of Sara Palin will jump start Conservative support for McLame. While I really don't like the guy, I have to admit, Barr isn't really Libertarian (he has said himself he singlehandedly saved the Lautenberg Amendment that caused so many problems for gun owners) so I don't feel like I'm actually not supporting the party when I vote a Republican ticket for the Executive in November. With Obama's prior support of complete gun bans, and Marxist tendencies, a full ban on most guns wouldn't be a stretch. But don't worry, I'm sure they'll still allow revolvers.

Either way, I'd rather have a chance at leaving intact some of the small strides forward we've made in recent years by putting someone in office that has a chance of vetoing this sort of legislation - than someone guaranteed to sign it while dazzling the constiuants with his empty suit and false smile.

On the other hand, in the event that McCain can't continue the Presidency, I rather like the idea of Palin as President. She seems like she has her head screwed on right, and did a lot in Alaska to clean up corruption and stop earmarking and wasteful spending. The last I heard, she had an 82% approval rating as Governor, and that after losing 10% to media smears after she ensured that an officer that had made death threats against her and her family was fired. We could really use some fiscal responsibility in Washington.

Current Quote

"I would rather be exposed to the inconveniences attending too much liberty than to those attending too small a degree of it." – Thomas Jefferson