Saturday, December 31, 2011

Is history repeating?

Remember the last time a divided political party thought it would be a good idea to rally behind a guy with with experience as Massachusetts governor, and made him their nominee for President?

It didn't take long for Democrats to realize they'd made a mistake. But too late. They were locked into their nominee.

Right now, it appears many Republicans are leaning in a direction of doing to their party what the Democrats did to theirs in '88.

"Those that fail to learn from history, are doomed to repeat it." - Sir Winston Churchill

Socialist website calls for revolution in the U.S.

World Socialist Web Site has published a story that begins with recap of the GM strike in Flint, Michigan 75 years ago. But the article builds into a call for socialist revolution in the modern day USA:

Conditions are created for new U.S. and global collapse of capitalism. In preparation for revolutionary struggle is now entering the American working class lessons to be learned from the strike at Flint and explosive birth of the CIO. 
Revolutionary potential was expressed so strongly in those early battles will return again to the fore. This time, the movement must be aware armed with a socialist and internationalist strategy and takes the form of a political battle to take over power by the workers. This requires breaking old organizations and leadership building new, revolutionary. Great tradition of struggle of American working class will find expression at a higher level through the establishment of the Socialist Equality Party, leader of battles to come.
The article was published in the Romanian language. The translation above is a rough one provided by Google. If anyone knows of, or can provide, a better translation, let me know.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Government exploits our fears

From the start, I've found Homeland Security's if you see something, say something campaign more than a bit creepy.

Some cities saw the messages on ad placards. Walmart rolled out special videos at its checkouts. Then it was pitched at major sporting events. Now the National Hockey League is among the latest to succumb to pitching the paranoia.

Is all this really necessary? If rational Americans see something suspicious, does the government think they'd hold back on reporting it without this crass marketing?

Before the DHS took the campaign national, See Something, Say Something made its debut in New York City. The pitch brought a satirical response by some, who countered the message with one of their own:

If you fear something, you'll see something. 

To paraphrase the counter message: Keep your wits about you even if the government is trying to scare you out of them.

Meanwhile, Homeland Security is busy in other areas as well. In 2011, the Transportation Safety Administration greatly expanded the number of teams it has to conduct security screenings at rail and bus stations, as well as at random highway checkpoints. CBS in Los Angeles reports these teams, known as VIPRs, conduct "suspicionless" searches of the traveling public. The number of VIPR teams will reportedly expand again in 2012.

The government's See Something campaign may be more about marketing encroachment on our freedom  than it is about catching a terrorist. If the public perceives an immediate threat, it is likely more likely to go along with things like government checkpoints.

Separate fact from slick marketing. The government is moving in a direction that increasingly infringes on individual liberty. Twenty-five years ago, we would not have accepted federal checkpoints that, without probable cause, randomly search citizens for something as routine as boarding a bus or train, or for driving down a highway. Why do we accept it now?

The Homeland Security Advisory Council meets January 9

The meeting notice has been published in the Federal Register. Looks like the council has a full plate for a one day meeting.
Summary of the Agenda

    Sensitive Threat Briefings against the Homeland.
    Briefing on Strategic Implementation Plan to Counter Violent 
Extremism Domestically.
    Update on Border Security and Evolving Threats.
    US Coast Guard, Update on Counterterrorism Efforts Around the 
    TSA Frequent Travelers Program Operational Update.
    Electromagnetic Pulse (EMP) Threat--Lessons Learned and Areas of 
Vulnerability, and
    Evolving Threats in Cyber Security.
    Basis for Closure: In accordance with Section 10(d) of the Federal 
Advisory Committee Act, it has been determined that the meeting 
requires closure as the premature disclosure of the information would 
not be in the public interest.
    The HSAC will receive briefings on domestic and international 
threats to the homeland from DHS Intelligence and Analysis and other 
senior leadership, and a briefing on threats at the Southwest Border 
and joint operations with Mexican law enforcement from U.S. Customs and 
Border Protection. That material, and a discussion of it, entails 
information the premature disclosure of which would not be in the 
public interest. Specifically, there will be material presented 
regarding the latest viable threats against the United States, and how 
DHS and other Federal agencies plan to address those threats. Under 5 
U.S.C. 552b(c)(7)(E)&(F), disclosure of that information could reveal 
investigative techniques and procedures not generally available to the 
public, allowing those with interests against the United States to 
circumvent the law, thereby endangering the life or physical safety of 
law enforcement personnel. Additionally, under 5 U.S.C. 552b(c)(9)(B), 
disclosure of these techniques and procedures could frustrate the 
successful implementation of protective measures designed to keep our 
country safe.
    The DHS Office of Counterterrorism will present a briefing on the 
Department's implementation plan to counter domestic violent extremism. 
Providing this information to the public would provide terrorists with 
a road map regarding the Department's plan to counter their actions, 
and thus, allow them to take different actions to avoid 
counterterrorism efforts. Under 5 U.S.C. 552b(c)(7)(E)&(F), disclosure 
of that information could endanger the life or physical safety of law 
enforcement personnel. Additionally, under 5 U.S.C. 552b(c)(9)(B), 
disclosure of this plan could frustrate the successful implementation 
of measures designed to counter terrorist acts.
    The members of the HSAC will receive a briefing on the 
Transportation Security Administration's (TSA) frequent travelers 
program that will include lessons learned, the enhanced security the 
new program provides, and screening techniques associated with this 
program. The briefing will include Sensitive Security Information 
within the meaning of 49 U.S.C. Sec.  114 and 49 C.F.R. part 1520, 
which requires nondisclosure of security activities if disclosure would 
be detrimental to the security of transportation. DHS has determined 
that public disclosure of this information would significantly 
compromise the operational security of the nation's transportation 
system if disclosed, by exposing the existing vulnerabilities and the 
physical limitations of the program. As a result, this briefing must be 
closed under the authority of 5 U.S.C. 552b(c)(3)(A).

[[Page 81517]]

    The members will also receive a briefing on recent Cyber attacks 
and the potential threat of an electromagnetic pulse attack. Both will 
include lessons learned and potential vulnerabilities of infrastructure 
assets, as well as potential methods to improve the Federal response to 
a cyber or electromagnetic pulse attack. Disclosure of this information 
would be a road map to those who wish to attack our infrastructure, and 
hence, would certainly frustrate the successful implementation of 
preventive and counter measures to protect our cyber and physical 
infrastructure. Therefore, this portion of the meeting is required to 
be closed under U.S.C. 552b(c)(9)(B). Accordingly, this meeting will be 
closed to the public.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

A few topics for Thursday's (Dec 29th) "Don and Doug"

Where is America's next generation of leaders? Or will our society opt for a crop of bureaucratic managers instead?

Data suggests Americans bought half a million guns in the week leading up to Christmas. What's up with that?

The economy continues to look bleak. But there's a new push to make you think it's not. Can government and the media keep the population believing in a turnaround long enough to get through the 2012 election?

Don and I will tackle these issues and more Thursday (Dec. 29th) at 1:00pm EST at  If you'd like to jump in, we take live calls during the show at 678-344-9926, or just hit me with your comment via Twitter @TalkSouthRadio.

Americans take up more arms

Looks like gun sales so far this month beat last month's record.

CNN reports:
With a few days left in December, the FBI reports the number of background checks has already topped the previous one-month record -- set only in November -- of 1,534,414 inquiries by gun dealers to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System also known as NICS. Almost half a million checks were done in just the last six days before Christmas.
CNN's story goes on to say the number of actual firearm sales likely exceeds the number of background checks. Buyers sometimes pick up more than one gun when making purchases.

I stopped by a sporting goods retailer near my house the day after Christmas. The gun counter was doing a brisk business. Most the customers were looking at guns - with emphasis on shotguns and pistols. Others just wanted more ammo for the guns they got for Christmas.

What Obama's Communist supporters are saying

The Communist Party USA proclaims itself an ally of President Obama's re-election effort: 
"2012 is a big election year and as we know the stakes are very high. The right-wing Republican opposition unashamedly defends the wealth and privilege of the 1% over the 99% that includes tens of millions who are struggling to survive. These self-proclaimed patriots are willing to wreck our country in order to defeat Barack Obama in 2012 elections. Our party and youth league are an active part of the great democratic mass that is standing against them...
"New battle lines have been drawn. The Occupy Wall Street movement and the fight for the American Jobs Act have fired up the democratic forces. They are taking the offensive. We must continue to be fully involved...
"Our job is to contribute all that we can to maximize that power. And that is what will set the stage for a new progressive era and for a socialist transformation. Big progressive change is closer then we think."

The 12 percent

I'm not endorsing Gary Johnson here. But a campaign ad of his asks questions we should all ask ourselves. Among them, are you in on the fight for liberty or merely looking on?

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

What Sears did wrong

Maybe Sears and KMart would be in better shape today if they hadn't ceased gun and ammo sales back in the 1980s.

The retailer announced today it will close another 120 Sears and KMart stores as it struggles to attract shoppers.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Somebody has a sense of humor

This showed up under my Christmas tree yesterday.

Yes, it made me laugh.

Blasting holes in Harry Reid's unicorn myth

Earlier this month, Senate President Harry Reid (D-NV) made a bold statement: "Millionaire job creators are like unicorns. They’re impossible to find, and they don’t exist…" 

An article in Forbes now debunks Reid's claim. The Forbes offering is worth a look, but if you're pressed for time, this excerpted line sums it up:

"Millionaire tax filers earn almost a quarter trillion dollars from their businesses. They must hire hundreds of thousands of employees to do so."

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Ruger Mini-14 mags

Ruger fans might like to know MidwayUSA is advertising a sale on factory (Ruger made) mags for the Mini-14.

30 rounders going for $33.99.

20 rounders for $26.99.

Not cheap by any means, but these are some of the best prices I've seen this year for Ruger manufactured mags.  And from what I've been told, nothing works in a Mini like factory magazines.

Midway's site says the prices are good through January 2012.

Stratfor has been hacked

Stratfor, the private intelligence firm, reports it has been hacked. The company has sent two alerts to subscribers. The second one says, in part:

On December 24th an unauthorized party disclosed personally identifiable information and related credit card data of some of our members. We have reason to believe that your personal and credit card data could have been included in the information that was illegally obtained and disclosed.

Also publicly released was a list of our members which the unauthorized party claimed to be Stratfor's "private clients." Contrary to this assertion the disclosure was merely a list of some of the members that have purchased our publications and does not comprise a list of individuals or entities that have a relationship with Stratfor beyond their purchase of our subscription-based publications.

We have also retained the services of a leading identity theft protection and monitoring service on behalf of the Stratfor members that have been impacted by these events. Details regarding the services to be provided will be forwarded in a subsequent email that is to be delivered to the impacted members no later than Wednesday, December 28th.
As of 8:30 pm EST on Christmas Day, Stratfor's website appears to be down.

The BBC reports the hacktivist group Anonymous has claimed responsibility for the attack. has more on the alleged Anonymous tie and possible intent.

Update 12:40 pm ET 12/26/2011: TG Daily reports persons associated with Anonymous claim Anonymous was NOT behind the Stratfor hack.

Washington's Christmas camel

In 1787, George Washington paid to have a camel brought to Mount Vernon to entertain Christmas guests.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

A presidential Christmas address

Ronald Reagan. From 1981:


An excerpt:

"Some celebrate Christmas as the birthday of a great philosopher and teacher. Others of us believe in the divinity of the child born in Bethlehem, that he was and is, the promised Prince of Peace.

"Yes, we've questioned why he who could perform miracles chose to come among us as a helpless babe. But maybe that was his first miracle, his first great lesson: That we should learn to care for one another.

"Tonight, in millions of American homes, the glow of the Christmas tree is a reflection of the love Jesus taught us."

An interesting choice of wine marketing

Comrades, have you sampled anything from Uncle Joe?

Yes, that's Joe Stalin on the bottle, beckoning you to sample this red wine.

It's a Kindzmarauli. According to the label, that's a variety of wine Stalin ordered to be served aboard Soviet subs as part of the crew's daily ration. That's supposed to make it good?

I ponder why a wine marketer would tailor a brand around the image of brutal Communist dictator. Is this what sells to American consumers?

Perhaps this is just a bit of novelty marketing targeting those who remember the Cold War. On the other hand, it could be a sign Stalin's image is getting a makeover to a softer, gentler people's Joe. Is Ameican pop culture in the process of giving Uncle Joe the sort of history rewrite it's already given Che Guevara?

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Are guns and ammo the new gold?

Some interesting stats put to graphics over at Here's a taste:

This is just the first couple of boxes in the first of two lengthy graphics. Check out the full treatment here.

Ten Tea Parties

An advance copy of Ten Tea Parties by Joseph Cummins came my way.

It's a fascinating, quick read that brings to life much of the forgotten history of the Boston Tea Party, and the Tea Parties that followed in other colonies.

The Tea Parties weren't a fluke. Or a prank. They were hard-edge, well planned economic protests that helped unite a soon to be born nation.

Ten Tea Parties is a book well worth putting on your reading list. If you're politically minded, it's likely one you'll want to share with friends. The book's announced release date is January 17, 2012.

Can kicking in ever shorter increments

The GOP caves. It appears the House will now go along with the Senate's 60 day payroll tax extension.

It's another can kick. But those in doing the kicking do so in ever shortened stretches.

Do those who do the kicking see there's a cliff up ahead?

Gingrich v Romney

Economist and conservative author Thomas Sowell makes the case for Newt Gingrich over Mitt Romney in a column at National Review Online.

An excerpt: 
"Romney is a smooth talker, but what did he actually accomplish as governor of Massachusetts, compared with what Gingrich accomplished as speaker of the House? When you don’t accomplish much, you don’t ruffle many feathers. But is that what we want?"

The CMP still acknowledges Christmas

Saw this in an email from the Civilian Marksmanship Program:

Exploit the holidays. Exploit your families.

The Obama campaign tells its faithful the holiday season is a time to propagandize for Barack Obama. Here's a video from the campaign cheering the seasonal joys of targeting your family for indoctrination:

From: via YouTube.  H/T

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Challenging the figures

There have been recent reports that one in every two Americans is either considered low income or in poverty.

But TV station owned by NBC challenges that assessment. 

KNBC in Los Angeles reports the alarming earlier report was based on an experimental assessment. A more traditional methodology yields different results.

Friday, December 16, 2011

ZeroHedge goes prepper

ZeroHedge, a website which usually vends economic and financial information took a decidedly prepper direction with this post on Thursday.

Did a little shooting today

It had been about a month since I pulled a trigger, so I dashed off to a local firearms retailer with an indoor range for awhile today.

Mid-afternoon, the place was packed. It has four rifle lanes. I had to wait an hour for one to open up.

While I was waiting, I browsed inventory and watched people in the store.

Many who came to shoot (both long guns and pistols) were carrying new range bags or had their rifles in new cases. I presume many of these new cases contained recently purchased firearms. I was toting a 25 year old rifle in a 40 year old rifle case.

There were a number of young adults in the store. They came and went in groups of two, three or more. And there were older folks too. Some came in as families: Mom and/or dad escorted by grown kids. It seems shooting is a social thing as much as anything else.

Mosin Nagant 91/30 (file photos)

Arsenal stamp on Mosin Nagant

The store appeared to have laid in plenty of stock for the Christmas season. Plenty of black rifles in the racks (some with pink accents), Ruger 10/22s (a Christmas favorite), and there was even a couple of cases of Russian surplus bolt-action Mosin-Nagant 91/30s near the front of the store. Now retailing at around $129, Mosins are an easy entry point rifle that's rich in history.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Recapping today's Don and Doug

We spend a good bit of time questioning why Repbulican elites rush to embrace Mitt Romney's presidential bid. He's the same Mitt Romney who, in the past, publicly dissed the policies of the Reagan-Bush era. Romney also distanced himself from the Contract with America in 1994, saying he saw it as divisive. In 2002, Romney campaigned in Massachusetts declaring himself a progressive.

An easy-going, moderate GOP president will likely have little success in undoing what the left has put in place over the previous four years.

We also wondered aloud where the Tea Partiers who filled the streets and town halls in 2009 are now. We know some have been assimilated into local Republican Party structures. We also suspect many now emphasize self-reliance and prepping over political solution to what they believe is coming.

The program is available through the site. Or you can listen from start to finish with this link.

All the world's a circular firing squad

The Republican presidential contenders aren't the only ones lashing out with destructive behavior.

The whole world seems to increasingly be getting into habit.

Talking about it at 1:00 pm ET today (December 15) with Don and Doug on

Wednesday, December 14, 2011


Jonah Goldberg opines about Newt Gingrich in the Los Angeles Times.

While I'm not locked into favoring Gingrich, I am in the camp that believes we're in crazy, extraordinary times. A politician that wants to follow the herd or who can't set precedent won't get us out of the mess we're in. I'm not sure anyone can.

But it's clear that status quo won't cut it.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Predator drones now deploy to assist local police

The federal government has begun using advanced Predator drones for domestic surveillance and other local law enforcement actions. The use is not limited to border issues or enforcement. 

The Los Angeles Times reports:
The drones belong to U.S. Customs and Border Protection, which operates eight Predators on the country's northern and southwestern borders to search for illegal immigrants and smugglers. The previously unreported use of its drones to assist local, state and federal law enforcement has occurred without any public acknowledgment or debate.
Perhaps we're now getting another glimpse of what Mr. Obama was pitching on the campaign trail in 2008 when he talked of a domestic civilian national security force as well funded, and as well equipped, as the military.

Eric Holder's definition of lying

In providing false information to Congress, did members of the Justice Department lie?

Attorney General Eric Holder tells members of Congress that lying depends on one's "state of mind."

Friday, December 9, 2011

More Osawatomie revisited

The Battle of Boston

No! To Racism

Roots of the Economic Crisis

Looking at the choice of headlines from Osawatomie, a 1975 publication of the radical Weather Underground Organisation, you'd almost have to wonder if some of the same forces who wrote for the publication are playing part crafting the events or framing the issues of today.

More on the content of Osawatomie's first volume is available for review in a Zomblog post from 2008. 

A second Osawatomie volume is available for review or downlink here. Its emphasis is on revolution. And it brags of using tactics of violence in efforts to bring it about.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Another Osawatomie coincidence?

Earlier today, Don and I kicked around whether there might be veiled symbolism sent by President Obama in choosing Osawatomie, Kansas as a place to deliver an address.

Was Mr. Obama just trying to ride Teddy Roosevelt's progressive coattails or was there more to his choice of venue?

                               Link to December 8th's Don and Doug program

Over at, they've come up with another interesting tie to the name Osawatomie.

During the president's address, the high school audience snickered when Mr. Obama referenced "Communist" and "Socialist." It seemed to be the reaction the president was seeking.

I wonder if the students know their town was the namesake for the Weather Underground newspaper. Do they even know what the Weather Underground was?

President Obama's Kansas Address

President Barack Obama compares himself with Teddy Roosevelt.

But not the T.R. who charged up San Juan Hill.

Mr. Obama likes the Teddy Roosevelt who morphed into a progressive by 1910.

Mr. Obama is right. 1910 was part of era that changed America. But not just in the ways he addressed in Kansas.

Mr. Obama neglects to mention this early progressive era established the Federal Reserve Bank and  established for the first time a permanent United States income tax. He also neglects to venture into the erosion of states' rights by replacing the election of U.S. Senators by state legislatures with a popular vote. All are part of the legacy bestowed on us by early 20th century progressives.

We'll talk more about Mr. Obama's attempt to cast himself as the new Teddy Roosevelt today (December 8)  with Don and Doug on We'll also take a look at Mr. Roosevelt's original New Nationalism address.

Join the conversation if you like by calling 678-344-9926. Our program starts at 1:00pm EST.

Update: This week's Don and Doug is now complete. You can listen here. Obama's Kansas address with a Teddy Roosevelt hook is the lead topic.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Foreclosure auction protests

Members of Occupy Atlanta and Occupy Gwinnett set out to protest Tuesday's foreclosure auctions on the steps of courthouses in Fulton, DeKalb and Gwinnett counties.

No doubt they made some noise and created a little chaos (foreclosure auctions are usually a little chaotic anyway).

But for all the effort, did these Occupy protests managed to prevent any auctions from going forward? Even if they did stop one or two, nothing was resolved long term. Lenders can simply re-advertise, and go through the process again.

Would a "DC insider" make the best next president?

With the demise of the Herman Cain campaign, and the rise of Newt Gingrich in GOP presidential polls, I begin to wonder if some adherents of the Tea Party philosophy aren't rethinking their strategy.

While the Tea Party was once seen as favoring new and fresh in a presidential candidate, it could be members now warm to the idea that someone who knows well the choke-points of DC politics may hold the best key to quickly reversing many of the unpopular and impractical policies the current administration has put in place.

Agree or disagree? Don and I will kick the question around tomorrow (December 8) on Don and Doug at 1:00 pm EST on You can call the show ahead of time at 404-981-1775 to leave a comment, or call in Thursday at 678-344-9926 as the show airs live.

Atlanta recollections of Pearl Harbor Day

It was a Sunday morning in Hawaii but, given the time difference, it was a Sunday afternoon in Atlanta when Pearl Harbor was attacked on December 7, 1941.

Twenty years ago, prior to the 50th anniversary of America's entry into World War II, I interviewed several Atlanta area residents about their recollections of the day.

Former WSB General Manager Elmo Ellis was among them. At the time, Ellis was a publicist for the station.

"Doug Edwards (who went on to work for CBS) was then on the WSB news staff and was on duty in the news room. The message came across, the bulletin. And I happened to be in the newsroom with him," Ellis recalled.

Jeanette Winslett remembered as well. "I was at my mother's house. And she began to cry because she knew her boys was going to have to be in the service.  She couldn't stand for her boys to be away from home."

Gilbert Baker was on active duty with the 128th Observation Squadron based at middle Georgia.

"Maybe I ought not to tell this, but we were in  a theater in Atlanta. We were supposed to be in Fort Benning."

Baker said he and his buddies were back in camp by next morning. The 128th would deploy to Louisiana and spend 1942 flying anti-submarine patrols over the Gulf of Mexico.

After the attack, Winslett said she and her husband decided to spend Christmas savings on a defense bond  rather than toys for their young daughter. The bond purchase turned into a photo-op. They dressed their daughter in a soldier outfit borrowed from the local Kress department store. Her photo appeared in an Atlanta newspaper.

Monday, December 5, 2011

DOJ's document dump backfires

It was apparently supposed to help make the case that lead officials weren't in the know.

But last Friday night's document dump by the Department of Justice only stirred the hornet's nest.

Michael A. Walsh at the New York Post sees it this way:
It was all a lie. The angry denials, the high dudgeon, the how-dare-you accuse-us bleating emanating from Eric Holder’s Justice Department these last nine months. 
Operation Fast and Furious — the “botched” gun-tracking program run by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives — did, in fact, deliberately allow some 2,000 high-powered weapons to be sold to Mexican drug cartel agents and then waltzed across the border and into the Mexican drug wars — just as Sen. Chuck Grassley and Rep. Darrell Issa, who are leading the congressional investigations, have charged all along.
It's been nearly a year since bloggers Mike Vanderboegh and David Codrea began revealing details of Fast and Furious, and how the operation played part in the death of Border Agent Brian Terry.

It's past time Washington DC begins to hold all those responsible accountable.

Central bankers celebrate the Euro

Europe's economies may be in shambles. But the European Central Bank attempts to reassure the continent with a new video to celebrate ten years with the Euro.

I like the opening scenes. Roads and bridges materialize from nothing. I see it as a metaphor for how fiat currencies are created. Question is: With fiat currencies churned out at an ever increasing pace, where are they taking us?

Weiss downgrades five European countries

"The entire continent continues to virtually crumble before our eyes."

Countries getting new downgrades by Weiss Ratings are Ireland, Portugal, Hungary, Sweden and Russia.

Martin Weiss shares their new ratings and states his case for the changes at

Weiss continues to rate the U.S. at C-minus. One notch above "junk."

Ron Paul gets it right

Congressman and Republican presidential aspirant Ron Paul says it's wrong for candidates in the GOP field to cater to Donald Trump as if he were some kind of GOP deity.

I think Paul gets it right.

When GOP candidates rush to catch a bit of the Trump spotlight or make time to meet with him, they look more like they're auditioning for The Apprentice rather than running for president. Democrats will enjoy mocking these moves now through November 2012. And with good reason.

Trump's a guy who sent a congratulatory note to Nancy Pelosi when she rose to be Speaker of the House.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

The Fed seems a bit touchy these days

Specifically, Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond.

The Richmond Fed is out with a some of videos that, shall we say, may seem just a bit defensive.

One is The Fed Doesn't Print Money.

"The Fed doesn't print money. But we do issue currency, distribute it, and store it..."

Another is The Fed Is Not Controlled by Wall Street

"Directors are selected by banks within their communities and the Fed's board of governors..."

And then there's The Fed is Audited.

"However, monetary policy deliberations like those that consider the target federal funds interest rate are not audited by the GAO..."

Is anyone buying the messages here? Are you now feeling warm and fuzzy about the Fed?

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Black Friday gun sales break record

The long time tradition of guns as Christmas gifts appears to be intact.

While throngs of people stormed stores on Black Friday for wide screen TVs and other faddish consumer stuff, others lined up at sporting goods stores and gun shops to pick out firearms.

USA Today reports:
Gun dealers flooded the FBI with background check requests for prospective buyers last Friday, smashing the single-day, all-time high by 32%, according to bureau records.
As far as I know, there wasn't one case of a Black Friday trampling or pepper spraying or shooting at a firearms retailer.

We've got to get over the leftist-induced stereotype that guns are bad.

Once upon a time it was common knowledge that nice people have guns.

"Nice girls have shotguns" (1974) by Gil Elvgren via delta x-ray one

The young woman in the poster not only has a shotgun. It's a semi-auto.

Friday, December 2, 2011

No Euro-zone worries for this pair

No worries about unemployment or the U.S. national debt. No worries about Euro-zone troubles. Not a thought of Middle East unrest.

As significant events unfold, how many people are sleeping through them as soundly as these two cats?

(Look closely, and you'll see one kitty is hoarding the TV remote).

Some irony from Van Jones

Van Jones tweets endorsement of Occupy's next big push:

Where will Jones be when Occupy blockades the ports?

According to a Code Pink flyer, Jones will be with them on a cruise ship.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Grassley questions the ignorance of Eric Holder and Janet Napolitano

From Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA): "Why Didn’t the Attorney General and the Secretary of Homeland Security know about the Connection between Fast and Furious to Agent Terry’s Death?"

It's been nearly a year since Agent Brian Terry's murder. It's way past time for federal agencies to willingly clarify details surrounding the murder, and to come clean on circumstances of Operation Fast and Furious leading up to it. But rather than disclosure, the Obama administration is moving the other way by recently sealing records in the ongoing Terry case.

How many people does it take to do one White House interview?

This official White House photo may give some idea:

Staff from ABC and the White House watch monitors in the East Room as President Barack Obama participates in an interview with George Stephanopoulos nearby in the Blue Room, Oct. 3, 2011. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

White House follies

This is not a Photoshop. This is not a spoof. This is, according to the White House, the real deal.

From the official White House photo stream at

Guinness Book of World Records holder John Cassidy performs a balloon act for First Lady Michelle Obama in the Diplomatic Reception Room of the White House, Oct. 11, 2011. Cassidy performed for kids on the South Lawn before the First Lady launched a challenge to break the Guinness World Records title for the most people doing jumping jacks in a 24-hour period.
(Official White House Photo by Chuck Kennedy)

Are you still expecting this administration to fix the economy? It seems to have other priorities.

Central Bankers rush in to save Europe

Think it's gonna work?

funny gifs

Don and I talk about Europe, the Fed, and other important stuff coming up at 1:00pm EST today on

Update: The December 1 show is now available for playback or download.

Europe and the Fed to play big on today's "Don and Doug"

Don and I are back today (December) 1st at 1:00 pm EST on There's plenty to talk about:

We've long been warning about the situation in Europe. Now the Federal Reserve and other central bankers have stepped in to provide Europe with more "liquidity." Why the rush to flood the continent with dollars when systemic problems of too much entitlement spending on too little tax revenue haven't been fixed? It's just another chapter in too big to fail. Things there are now rapidly escalating toward a broadening financial crisis.

Dennis Kucinich charges the Federal Reserve has seized control of the government. The congressman from Cleveland may be on to something.

And have you ever thought about how America's emphasis on celebrating cultural diversity may make it possible for government to do as it pleases with little worry the people will stand in the way?

Join us for Don and Doug today and every Thursday from 1:00 to 3:00 pm EST for live talk. During the show, we take live calls at 678-344-9926. If you want to drop us a voicemail before the show, the call-in drop box is at 404-981-1775. I also monitor Twitter @talksouthradio during the webcast.

Update: The December 1st show is available for on-demand listening or download here.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Flashback 2009:

Here's a date to remember: February 6, 2009.

Newsweek cheered that Barack Obama would take us in a direction to make America's economy look more like Europe's.

Hindsight being 20/20, it now seems like a pretty stupid idea.

2009 seems so very long ago.

Dennis Kucinich lays it out

There are occasionally times I agree with Dennis Kucinich. This is one of those times.

"The banks, with the help of the Fed, have captured control of our government."

Kucinich is right. The Founding Fathers did give warning.

"And I sincerely believe, with you, that banking establishments are more dangerous than standing armies; and that the principle of spending money to be paid by posterity, under the name of funding, is but swindling futurity on a large scale." ~ Thomas Jefferson to John Taylor, May 28, 1816

Helicopter Ben

Looks like Bernanke just launched a wave of dollar-laden helicopters over Europe.

Bloomberg has details.

Afghanistan is a box canyon

Afghanistan is a landlocked nation. No access by sea. Other nations, with interests often competing with our own, can control access to Afghanistan's borders.

Long before I started this blog, I warned that Afghanistan was the equivalent of a box canyon in Old West yarns:  A place where our enemies could cut off resupply, bottle up our troops and choke our war effort. At the very least, operations could be significantly hampered.

My fear may be becoming reality. STRATFOR, a private subscription-based intelligence service, had a warning this morning:
Days after the Pakistanis closed their borders to the passage of fuel and supplies for the NATO-led war effort in Afghanistan, for very different reasons the Russians threatened to close the alternative Russia-controlled Northern Distribution Network (NDN). The dual threats are significant even if they don’t materialize. If both routes are cut, supplying Western forces operating in Afghanistan becomes impossible.
STRATFOR's full assessment, Pakistan, Russia and the Threat to the Afghan War is available for your review.

Cultural diversity has consequences

Government increasingly seems to disregard the wishes of the American people. Politicians have increasingly segmented us into groups that are small enough to manipulate or disregard, and then encourage us to celebrate our cultural diversity.

All the while, government keeps expanding, at least in part, to better control us.

Cultural diversity seems to come at a high price when it comes to our liberty.

It is much easier for government to lord over a fragmented population than to deal with a citizenry embracing a common set of goals and ideals.

We can expand on the topic if you like. Join us tomorrow (December 1) at 1pm EST for Don and Doug on

A new round of pro-Obama art

I saw this at
Obama for America invited artists from across the country to volunteer their creativity to support President Obama's jobs plan and the campaign...
The imagery of one contest entry caught my attention.

Is the guy on the phone pole in the upper right tapping my line? Is the park ranger with binoculars on the upper left watching my every move as I hike with my family? 

An industrial scene in the center, perhaps one of making steel, is coupled with an image of a guy in a wheelchair. Was he injured because of an industrial accident, or by a product later litigated to a finding it was defective? 

In the lower center, the man on the computer could be the new Central Planner who's sending directives to the farmer in the field and America's industrial base to his left and right.

To me, the images here don't speak primarily to jobs or productivity. Instead they conjure thoughts of control and big government. Strictly my interpretation, mind you. You're welcome to your own. 

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Steyn sees signs

Mark Steyn makes an observation:  "America is seizing up before our eyes. And I'm a little bewildered by how many Americans can't see it." 

Do our swaggering slogans of liberty blind us to the fact that our liberty is being taken away?

Steyn's thoughts on the matter can be found here.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Final harvest

A hard freeze is expected later this week. So tonight we picked what fruit was left on our 2011 backyard tomato vines.

These are from hybrid Better Boy plants. We also had some heirloom plants, but they withered and quit producing when cooler weather set in several weeks ago.

If anyone knows of an heirloom variety suited to a north Georgia climate, I'm open to suggestions for 2012. Leave a comment or drop a line at or hit me on Twitter @talksouthradio. I'm also looking for other veggie candidates that grow well in partial sun.

Progressive wants the Fed to rescue Europe

Dean Baker is muckety-muck at a progressive think tank. He sees Europe as needing help to prevent a collapse. And he thinks he has the solution. Just let the U.S. Federal Reserve Bank make it all better.

Mr. Baker writes:
Fortunately, the Fed has the tools needed to prevent this sort of meltdown. It can simply take the steps that the ECB has failed to do. First, and most importantly, it has to guarantee the sovereign debt of eurozone countries. The Fed simply has to commit to keep the interest rate yields on debt from rising above levels where it risks creating a self-perpetuating spiral of higher debt leading to higher interest rates, which in turn raises the deficit and debt.
Baker's comment is excerpted from an op-ed piece that appears on al Jazeera's website (though al Jazeera wisely denies any claim to the opinion expressed).

Question to Mr. Baker: Since the Fed's policies have failed time after time at home,  do you really think it can do better elsewhere? And if things still go sour, who picks up the tab? 

Martin Weiss bangs the table

Investment guru Martin Weiss got my attention with his Money and Markets report today:
"The global contagion is spreading so quickly, it could strike the United States before yearend."
Read the whole column here. If it happens, are you ready?

Some retro things that still work

We've got a pot of beans soaking in the kitchen for tonight's supper.

On a related note, we've begun using a Foodsaver vacuum system to prolong shelf life for some of our dry foods. Dried beans, rice, flour, and pasta top the early list. Good old fashioned "depression era" staples. We're using reusable Mason jars.

I'm delighted to see the vacuum sealer attachment seems to work with the antique blue jars. I've got a stash of the old jars from the 1930s and earlier handed down to me in the '70s. My Great Aunt Norma provided some of them. She and Uncle Alfie once had a farm on the outskirts of Cincinnati, but sold it to developers in the 1950s and it became the site of Cincinnati's Tri-County Mall. They then moved a few miles up SR 747 where they continued farming well into the 1980s.

One more retro thing I've dusted off and put back in use is my old Westclox wind-up alarm clock. I bought it 30 or more years ago when I was working weird hours in radio and needed a wake up alarm that would work if the power went out. Still keeps good time. I haven't seen them in stores for years, but similar wind-up Westclox are still available through on-line merchants like Amazon.

Update 11/30/2011: Disappointed to report only one of three antique blue Mason jars held a seal. I plan to dig up more test subjects... as soon as I figure where in the basement that box of old blue jars is stashed.

The USS George H.W. Bush is not off the coast of Syria

Russia Today
At least not yet.

Last week's reports that the USS Bush had deployed off Syria were apparently way off.

The Navy says the ship has docked in France for some social activities.

From the ship's public affairs office

USS GEORGE H.W. BUSH, At Sea (NNS) -- USS George H.W. Bush (CVN 77) arrived in Marseille, France, Nov. 25, for its seventh liberty port of the ship's first combat deployment. 
The visit to Marseille marks the carrier's fourth stop in the U.S. 6th Fleet area of operations, and supports efforts to build global maritime partnerships with European nations and improve maritime safety and security. George H. W. Bush and the embarked squadrons of Carrier Air Wing 8 completed combat operations in support of Operation New Dawn and Operation Enduring Freedom in the U.S. 5th Fleet area of responsibility Nov. 20. 
During the port call, officers and crew from the ship will meet with local officials and experience the rich history and culture of France. The ship's Morale, Welfare and Recreation program have a variety of tours scheduled, to include overnight trips to Paris and the French Riviera, and the Command Religious Ministries Department scheduled several community relations opportunities, including soccer games with local schools and visits to children's homes.

Pondering a European collapse and gun control

Daniel J. Mitchell writes at Forbes
If Europe does collapse, which people do you think will be in better shape to preserve civilization, the well-armed Swiss or the disarmed Brits?
Read the linked articles for context.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Obama reflects on luck

No traditional reference of giving thanks to God in today's address by President Barack Obama. No reference to the Divine or the Almighty.

Instead, the president tells the nation that he and his family will reflect on how "lucky" they are.

Luck is what happens when you win the lottery. The American story is much deeper than that.

Mr. Obama' comments ring hollow compared to the Thanksgiving proclamations and addresses of past presidents.

How to stay safe in an urban environment

A solid video primer with strong emphasis on situational awareness is available at

[Looks like the original link has gone away. Here's alternative via]

Pause to give thanks

It's Thanksgiving 2011.

Here's a lullaby of thanks that's perfectly in line with the times:

Bing Crosby with Count Your Blessings Instead of Sheep.

h/t The Black Sheep Report

Occupy hurts the little guy

The Friday after Thanksgiving is traditionally seen as the day  retailers move from being in the red to in the black. After running deficits all year, Black Friday is when they finally start to turn a profit. 

According to their websites, Occupy Atlanta and other Occupy groups plan  Black Friday protests and disruptions. Occupy claims to be standing up for victims of  unemployment and foreclosure. So Occupy and other aligned entities vow civil disobedience and other tactics to target big retailers attempting to make a profit.

What happens if Occupy succeeds? What if they deprive these corporations of profits? 

If companies are hurt bad enough, long enough, existing workers may be let go. This puts even more families at risk of losing their homes. 

It's the little guy who stands to lose the most if Occupy manages to meet its stated goal of disrupting corporate retail. If Occupy manages to keep companies in the red year-round, over time, companies and their jobs will disappear. That's not a victory for the workers.  

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Trying to avoid a hangover by remaining drunk

You can only dodge an economic correction for so long.

Daniel Hannan is a member of the European Parliament who also blogs at the UK Telegraph.
Daniel Greenfield has some profound thoughts in two recent posts at his Sultan Knish blog. 

In The Decline of Nations post of November 22nd, he writes:
The "United in Diversity" model is broken, globally and locally, and that model is used to sustain the national, regional and global federalization of government into one long iron chain of authority. Without that model, the illusion of functionality would begin breaking down, forcing a redistribution of power back to local authorities.
And then there's this from The Impossible Numbers post of November 20: 
Some political systems are based on beliefs and identity. The American congress is built on spending money. The spoils system long ago became the spoiled system with money as the lubricant of politics.
Few realize how badly things have gone awry. We, as a society, have yet to get serious about putting things on the right path. Before that happens, people have to wake up.

Big Bold Bad Sign

Germany had a bond auction yesterday, and it flopped.
The sale of 6 billion euros of 10-year government bonds, known as bunds, attracted bids totaling just €3.889 billion... 

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

SEIU gets a cut of Michigan disability care checks

This paints a disturbing picture. From WJBK/Detroit:

This looks to be another example of what happens when unions and progressive politicians exploit their cozy relationships.

And, if you believe Barack Obama's pre-election assessment, the SEIU's coziness now goes all the way to the top.

Excerpt from Obama address to SEIU members on September 17, 2007

Monday, November 21, 2011

Rising anxiety and a heightened interest in guns

I hear more people talk of buying a gun. Others are dusting off ones from the back of their closets.

Those who have guns are buying ammo. And making time for practice, some of them for the first time in years.

In 2008, there was a run on guns and ammo as people feared an election would be followed by more regulation.

This time around, the anxiety seems to run deeper.

An anecdotal example surfaced at American Thinker last week. Here's an excerpt:
It is that unrest that has settled over me.  I have never quite felt this way.  That these liberal, indoctrinated morons who defecate in the streets of New York can actually spark a following that would spread to Kalamazoo, Kankakee, or Kearney.  And since that happened, we have more idiots jumping on this, and suddenly you have "Occupy (insert name of your subdivision)."  Not mentioned, yet, is the potential for what could take place the night of and day after the next presidential election.  Especially if Obama loses.  Especially if he loses like Al Gore lost in 2000. 
No, these are unique times.  Times when I consider something that I had not really thought of before.  It might be time for me to arm myself.

Now illegal for two-year-olds to bag a deer in Arkansas

New law says you gotta be at least six.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Hillary rising?

Pollsters for Presidents Carter and Clinton say Obama should abandon his bid for reelection.

Firearms as Christmas gifts - and as a store of value

The previous post showed some yesteryear Christmas ads for firearms.

Often the gift of a gun was seen as a rite of passage. Others were given knowing they would be a gift that would last a lifetime. Chances are, most the firearms given as gifts in the last century are still around. Many continue to be passed down from one generation to the next.

And those guns given as gifts decades ago likely have resale value today that's far higher than their original purchase price. Firearms have a reputation as a store of value.

Ad from the 1937 Sears Christmas Book
The rifle shown above appears to be a Winchester Model 60 or Model 60-A, and it sold for $5.25 in the 1937 Sears Christmas catalog. Scouting the Internet, I see these vintage single-shot 22s now appraise for between $100 and $400 depending on condition (Here's one that apparently sold for $197).

Christmas ads from long ago

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Occupy Atlanta marches with the Teamsters

On November 17th, Occupy Atlanta joined with Teamsters to provide foot soldiers for a labor protest at Home Depot. Teamster Nation reports Ben Speight, organizer with Local 728, took part in leading the protest.

Speight's getting some attention recently. Earlier this month, he received an award  from the Democratic Socialists of America chapter in Atlanta for his organizing work.

Occupy. Teamsters. Socialists. Connect the dots. There certainly appears to be overlap and cooperation.

Is there another dot we can add to broaden the picture?

On September 5th, Teamsters' boss Jimmy Hoffa Jr. pledged his union's support as an army "ready to march" for Barack Obama.

Occupy Atlanta's candidate is goes missing

Occupy Atlanta planned to have a fundraiser today. For a donation, you could talk to a dog described as their "candidate":
We are speaking, of course, of Copper the Dog.  If you come to the park on November 19, cash in hand,* you will be allowed to speak to our candidate.  Other attendees will include all of the big shot political campaign contributors we can scare up, enthusiastic Occupy Atlanta participants, and some nonplussed bystanders.
According to Occupy Atlanta's website, the fundraiser won't happen today, and is now postponed until November 26 because their "candidate is walking the Appalachian Trail." 

Really? There was once a South Carolina governor who said the same thing.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Hacker inflicted damage on public water system

This is one of the most alarming reports I've read recently:

The Christian Science Monitor reports:
A state report claims that a foreign cyberattack disabled a water pump at an Illinois water utility, say experts who have seen the report. After discovery of the Stuxnet cyberweapon a year ago, many experts predicted that cyberattacks on US infrastructure were imminent.
It seems hackers now have the ability to reach inside utilities and inflict damage. One must assume the tactics can be refined to increase the level of damage, or to strike multiple systems if that was the desire.

Also, there are reports two U.S. satellites were hacked by a foreign entity in 2007 and 2008.

Cyber attacks don't come with the same kind of warning a traditional attack would trigger.

Someone's apparently out to get us. Or just out to show us how smart they are. I doubt it's the latter. And it may be a bunch of someones, not just one. The big question is, have they thrown their best attempt at us? More likely, efforts thus far simply to probe for weakness.

Here's the point to take home: We're probably more vulnerable than most people think. Advances in cyber technology have made systems more efficient. But in exchange for that efficiency, we've introduced vulnerability in areas that would have been impossible to breach even ten years ago. Internal tampering at a municipal water service from some remote (possibly foreign) control point is just one example.

Pelosi now targets child care for an Obamacare style makeover

Nancy Pelosi's on the the march. The former speaker is on a roll as she roams the country raising money for Democrats. And she's set her sights on child care. 

According to the Washington Post:
Last week, the California congresswoman hit five cities in five days, barnstorming for money to try to win the 25 more seats it would take to regain control. And if that happens — or when, according to her — at the top of her to-do list, she says, will be “doing for child care what we did for health-care reform” — pushing comprehensive change.
Exactly what does this mean? Will all children be required to enroll in government approved child care? Perhaps Ms. Pelosi envisions moving us toward a single-payer, government operated child care system.

Do you think you'll get a final warning?

Don Dickinson and I have talked about the direction of the economy, both specific to the U.S. and on a global scale, in many of our Don and Doug webcasts over the past year. Far as we can tell, things remain heading in a negative direction.

While we can't say we're facing an imminent hard crash,  we can say such an event may come without a lot of additional warning.

Along those lines, Don sent me a few bullet-points this morning: 

When you study, simply as a part of systems, or physiology, or geology, or engineering the collapse of complex systems you find that everything usually seems normal or near normal right up until the moment of collapse.

  • The engine was running great until the piston came through the hood.
  • The gun was shooting fine until it suddenly blew up.
  • I was just sitting at the kitchen table with my wife when suddenly I smelled smoke we later found out that the house had already been on fire for an hour or more.
  • I though the car was making the turn just fine until it spun out.
  • The horse was winning the race until without warning, his right rear leg shattered.
  • The soldier was leading the five mile run until his heart broke and he died in an instant.
  • The World Trade Center towers were on fire but in no apparent danger of collapsing until suddenly, they did.
  • Rome had stood as the greatest power in history for over  a thousand years and then it fell almost without warning.
  • No one saw the collapse of the Soviet Union coming.
  • No one saw the collapse of LTCM coming.
and on and on............. 
Some of the things that will make the collapse longer and deeper when it comes are:

  • So few people are aware that it is coming.
  • So few people are prepared emotionally, in skills, or in physical preparations.
  • Modern societies are vastly more specialized and dependent on the system for survival than any others in history.
  • Few people have ever faced anything tough before in their lives and many have long ago renounced religion so they will have little emotional strength and no spiritual support.
  • This will be the first financial collapse in which everyone was on fiat and digital systems so there are no mass available backups like the US dollar during the German hyperinflation of the 1920s.
and on and on.....

Prepare for a hard landing.