Monday, February 28, 2011

A union guy who gets it

When the SEIU rolled up to the Georgia capitol last week for a rally in solidarity with public unions in Wisconsin, a self-professed union guy was standing with Tea Party counter demonstrators across the street.

While he says he's still a union man at heart, he understands what's at stake in Wisconsin:

"I came today because I've been a union member all of my life. My dad was a union member, his dad was a union member. I've been a member of three different unions, I believe in unionism and America wouldn't be a good place without unions or the freedom to have 'em.

"But I believe like like FDR did, government employees should not be in a union...."

Listen to more of his comment here:

Don and I will have more on the Atlanta rallies Tuesday on

Join us for liberty loving conversation at 8:00pm EST.

The call-in number is 678-344-9926.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Saturday's demonstrations in Atlanta

People gathered in support of both sides of the Wisconsin debate today in Atlanta.  

Pro-union demonstrators gathered at the steps of the state capitol: 

Counter demonstrators staged across Washington Street at the corner of MLK Jr. Drive:

Friday, February 25, 2011

Begging for food

Had a guy come to the door of rental property I own. Said "food was running short" at his house.

First he asked for work. When told I had none, he asked if I'd meet him at a nearby convenience story and buy him a loaf of bread or some bologna.

He didn't ask for cash.

Would have liked to help. But I don't know what this guy's situation really is. And I can't encourage beggars coming to the front door of a house where a new family is about to move in.

A couple years ago, you might have seen panhandling at the nearby Interstate exit ramp. Maybe some at a bus stop. But never at a front door stoop.

Hard times are evident.

And from my street level view, I see very few - if any - signs to suggest a local economy in recovery.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

CBS "uncovers" the unfolding ATF scandal

If you've read this blog previously, you know much of the information in the CBS report isn't exactly new.

The Project Gunrunner story has been unfolding for nearly two months through bloggings at, David Codrea's Gun Rights Examiner, and Mike Vanderboegh's Sipsey Street Irregulars.

And Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA) has been working with, as well as working to protect, ATF whistleblowers who've come forward.

But the CBS report brings the story exposure to a wider audience and with chilling new detail:

"50-caliber weapons are fearson. For months, ATF agents followed 50-caliber Barrett rifles and other guns believed headed for the Mexican border, but were ordered to let them go. One distraught agent was often overheard on ATF radios begging and pleading to be allowed to intercept transports. The answer" "Negative. Stand down.

"CBS news has been told at least 11 ATF agents and senior managers voiced fierce opposition to the strategy. "It got ugly..." said one. There was "screaming and yelling" says another. A third warned: "this is crazy, somebody's gonna get killed."

"Sure enough, the weapons began surfacing at crime scenes in Mexico - dozens of them sources say - including shootouts with government officials." 

CBS says ATF was asked to comment for its report. The request was denied.

The agency's continued silence draws even more attention to this still unfolding story.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

TalkSouthRadio tonight

We'll talk about Wisconsin.

The wishy-washy DNC.

And we'll likely work in an Allen West update.

Join Don and Doug live Tuesday night at 8 o'clock Eastern here on

Listen live here.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

House budget vote takes a shot at ATF

The Republican controlled House of Representatives on Saturday morning took a swipe at ATF's proposal to require gun dealers to report multiple purchases of semi-automatic rifles.

Details are reported at

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Putting the US debt in perspective

I recommend sitting down to watch this.

Dr. Antony Davis is an economics professor.

Supporting graphs are available here.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

The NRA called today

A very nice lady called me on behalf of the NRA today. She implored me to renew a long-lapsed membership.

She told me it was important because the United Nations was trying to take away our gun rights, and that Obama wouldn't stand in the way.

I told her the NRA needed to pay less attention to the UN and more attention to events unfolding with the ATF along the Arizona border. Stuff like the circumstances surrounding guns recovered at the Brian Terry murder scene, or the ATF's  proposed reporting rule for multiple rifle buys in our border states.

While expressing gratitude the NRA finally had a statement last week concerning Sen. Chuck Grassley's  probe triggered by ATF whistleblowers, I told my caller the NRA was way too late in moving on the matter.

C'mon, NRA. Don't waste my time with some old UN will take my guns rhetoric, let's see some action on what's playing out behind closed doors in DC this week.

Any chance she'll pass my comments up the NRA's chain of command?

Monday, February 14, 2011

For Tuesday: The Allen West phenomenon

Allen West's CPAC address was a smash hit. This Tuesday, Don will discuss the West phenomenon from a military perspective, and we'll discuss what sets a leader like West apart in uncertain times.

Also up for discussion on Tuesday, February 15th's show:

Food prices play a big part in Middle East unrest. Freezing weather causes a surge in produce prices in the U.S. And China's wheat crop is devestated by drought. Where does the global food situation go from here? And what does it mean for us?

Join us for live talk Tuesday at 8:00 pm EST here on Your calls are welcome at 678-433-9926.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Georgia's Declaration of Independence original

Georgia's original copy of the Declaration of Independence was on display at the state capitol in Atlanta on Thursday. The document, along with the original royal charter establishing the colony of Georgia, are placed on public display just one day each year.

Here's a look at the documents along with some oral history presented Thursday at the capitol:

Questions need answers before more power given

With members of the Congress now probing whistleblower allegations of improprieties in ATF gun interdiction efforts along the U.S.-Mexican border, is it wise to give the agency more power?

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives wants to require gun dealers to report people who buy more than one semi-automatic rifle in a five day period.

The deadline for public comment on the proposed regulation ends Monday, February 14.

The NRA-ILA issued an advisory on Thursday which includes a link to make your public comment.  David Codrea at Gun Rights Examiner says the matter is made more urgent with Congress looking at whistleblower allegations.

Let's demand answers about existing ATF operations before allowing government to expand the scope and scale of the agency's reach.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Senator's letter: Stepmother alleges cover-up in border agent's death

The stepmother of slain U.S. Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry says the family's pleas for information on the case have been met with silence from federal agencies. The stepmother, Carolyn Terry, has e-mailed Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA) asking for help in prying loose information:

"We have not had any contact from the Border Patrol or any other agents since returning home on the 22nd of [January]. Our calls are not returned. I truly feel that our son's death is a cover-up and they hope we will go away. That will not happen. We want to know who allowed the sale of that gun that murdered our son. Any help will [be] appreciated. We are the victims in this case and we want some answers."

Terry's comments are disclosed in a February 9th letter from Grassley addressed to Attorney General Eric Holder. David Codrea has posted the letter, and other related documents, along with his column at Codrea does not disclose how he obtained the letter or documents.

Grassley's office confirms the letter's authenticity.

The Grassley letter is apparently the latest in a series of exchanges between the senator and federal officials as Grassley, acting as a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, probes whistleblower allegations of wrongdoing and/or negligence in connection with gun interdiction efforts along the U.S.-Mexican border by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

The Justice Department has denounced whistleblowers' claims as false. Grassley contends the allegations are supported by documentation.

Grassley's letter states the Terry family deserves answers, and calls on the Justice Department to move toward more disclosure in the case.

A Senate committee hearing, with answers compelled under oath, would be a solid step toward honest and accurate disclosure. Not only for the sake of Agent Terry's family, but also because allegations raised by Grassley's whistleblowers seem directly tied to the debate of how our nation should respond to fight illicit gun trafficking along the U.S.-Mexican border.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Bullet points from February 8th show

The realities and perceptions of Peak Oil.

Will Republicans follow Tea Party principles? And if not, should the Tea Party run it's own candidate in 2012?

Where's the anticipated Obama gun control push? Maybe it's gun control advocates who are pushing Obama.

Are we reading the signals in Egypt clearly? There's a good chance some of our perception is clouded by cultural bias and differing world views.

These were among topics Don and I  kicked around on Tuesday night's show.

Thanks to callers John, Randy and Rick for joining in.

The show's available for on-demand replay here.

Other show archives are available at

Latest in the border shooting story

The AP reports the Department of Justice denies whistleblower claims made to lawmakers over guns involved in a deadly shoot out that left a Border Protection agent dead.

An ABC News story also has the denial incorporated into a broader tell of the allegations as well as an assessment of anti-trafficking efforts along the border. links to the actual DOJ letter dated Feburary 4th.

Sure seems like it took the DOJ a long time to chime in on the ATF's behalf.

Meanwhile, ATF apparently isn't talking. ABC reports the agency declined comment when asked.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Local media question circumstances of agent's murder

A column in The Tucson Citizen questions the scarcity of official information regarding the investigation into the death of Agent Brian Terry:

It there a cover-up on Border Agent Brian Terry's murder?

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Obama's gun control address is MIA

Where's the gun control speech Chris Matthews told us was coming?

Even the Onion chimes in with a little satire of the address that's apparently missing in action:

"Obama Delivers Whispered, Untelevised Speech on Gun Control"

Before the jokes get out of hand, there really is a move afoot to push a gun control agenda. And it's suggesting a path that's different from past approaches.

Don and I will talk about it Tuesday night, February 8, at 8:00pm EST

Join us for this important show. We invite you to join the discussion by calling 678-344-9926.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

The push for reinterpreting gun laws

Another story this week suggests the Obama administration's anticipated push for new gun control measures may be pegged to regulatory reinterpretation of existing law rather an any serious new legislative push.

The story, from the self-titled Center for Public Integrity, targets the WASR-10 AK-47 variant from Romania. The story says, in part:

"Reliable and powerful, and a bargain at about $500 each, the Romanian-made gun, a semiautomatic version of the iconic Kalashnikov assault weapon, had become popular with the drug cartels in Mexico."

It goes on to say:

"Reports from the Justice Department’s Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) show that over the last four years, more than 500 of the WASR-10s imported into the United States by Century were recovered in Mexico after being purchased in the United States. That is the most of any rifle or pistol purchased, recovered and traced during that four-year span, accounting for more than 17% of the total guns recovered, the reports show."

It's a fact some U.S. traded guns have made their way south of the border. But the article's real focus seems to target how government regulators currently interpret rules determining what's a lawful  versus an unlawful firearm.

The article goes on to suggest guns like the WASR-10 could vanish from American retailers if President Obama used executive powers to close perceived loopholes regulating imported firearms. Increasingly, gun control proponents call on the president to bypass Congress and simply initiate tighter gun control.

But before gun violence in Mexico is used to usher in game-changing rules at home, is anyone sure we're getting an accurate picture of the Mexican arms trade? Perhaps we're being sold a perception designed to further restrict law-abiding Americans from obtaining certain types of arms.

Here are a couple of problems with the carefully constructed narrative being sold to the public:

Some guns with a U.S. pedigree are apparently turning up in Mexico after being part of interdiction efforts by ATF.  This raises questions regarding the integrity of those efforts. The Los Angeles Times reports:

In a sign of the cost of widespread U.S. weapons smuggling into Mexico, federal law enforcement sources have confirmed that two guns, part of a series  of purchases being monitored by authorities, were found at the scene of the firefight that killed a U.S. Border Patrol agent in southern Arizona. 

The LA Times identifies the recovered guns as AK-47s, but fails to tell us how many others in the series of  "monitored" purchases may have slipped across the border. Nor do we know how many, if any, of these  monitored weapons are now included in figures touted by the Center for Public Integrity.

It is now widely reported the Senate Judiciary Committee is pursuing information on what may be flawed ATF operations. But beyond ATF and its gun store stings, the argument Mexico's cartels primarily arm themselves through U.S. gun stores raises red flags of its own.

Well-funded cartels with the ability to move illegal drugs and personnel from continent to continent aren't confined to paying retail plus a smuggling bounty to equip their foot soldiers in a piecemeal fashion.

With perhaps hundreds of thousands of military grade AK-47s and other weapons tucked away in arsenals and warehouses in Central and South America, cartels have little need to limit themselves to strip mall gun stores.

The same Center for Public Integrity now concerned over several hundred AK-47s in Mexico previously  reported tens of thousands of AK-47s were smuggled to South America. Those guns came from Jordan, not a gunshow or U.S. retailer. Meanwhile, the Washington Post reported last summer Central American arsenals are being stripped of grenades and guns with the looted inventory showing up in cartel hands. And even Venezuela might be tempted to dump some of its stockpiled AKs or a newly manufactured variant for an appealing price.

Connect the dots, apply some logic. Our government's effort to target of retail gun sellers appears more a political ploy to justify new gun control measures rather than a viable solution to end Mexican violence. If gun sellers are caught breaking the law, prosecute. But don't blame them if sloppy government stings let guns move south.

Even if the gun flow from the U.S. to Mexico was entirely halted, the cartels have other sources from which to buy.  It's only law abiding Americans who may find themselves shut off.

Our previous writing on these topics:
Of whistleblowers, watchdogs and ATF
Obama team moves toward gun control
Connecting the dots, raising questions about guns in Mexico

Update: The possibility of executive order gun control will be part of Tuesday (Feb. 8) night's show on Your call-in participation is invited.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Tax season brings too much drama

It's that time of year.

When some families swap kids around to maximize their "income credits" to boost their tax "refunds."

The streets are lined with costumed characters beckoning passers-by to pull into this tax-prep shop or that tax-prep shop to file a quick return.

At 8:00 am this morning my phone rang.

It was the boyfriend of an ex-tenant who skipped owing me a bunch of money.

He says she had him thrown in jail in Louisiana. And while he was jailed, she spent his tax refund.

So now he wants to score revenge by begging me to file a lien against her refund.

No thanks.

Tax time brings too much drama.

We could skip so much madness if we canned the IRS and went to the "Fair Tax."

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Of whistleblowers, watchdogs and ATF

The U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee appears keenly interested in probing whether Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives stings and gun-running investigations ran amok along the U.S. border, and may have actually helped facilitate assault rifles moving to Mexico. According to reports, the weapons in question may include a couple of guns used in a December shootout in Arizona that killed Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry.

Fox News and the Los Angeles Times have two of the most recent tellings of the story. It's a story also reported on the February 1st front page of The Arizona Republic.

But a lot of legwork was done before this story hit mainstream media. And that's a sidebar as compelling as the need to investigate the gun-to-Mexico allegations.

It appears ATF inside sources first opened up on a whistleblower website critical of ATF, and before long, disclosure expanded through a couple of gun rights bloggers who have since spent much time and effort moving the story forward.

One of those bloggers is David Codrea of's Gun Rights Examiner.

The other is Mike Vanderboegh of Sipsey Street Irregulars. You may recall Vanderboegh. He's the guy who last year suggested  throwing a brick or two through Democrat Party office windows as a means of getting politicians' attention.

Say what you want about Vanderboegh's politics. He's a long time and consistent critic of ATF upper management. But despite his criticism, or perhaps because of it, he appears to have attracted and courted capable inside sources. And his sources have proven accurate on stories beyond what's currently playing out.

If Codrea and Vanderboegh are where ATF insiders go to leak a story, it suggests some ATF insiders have extreme distrust of their own agency and the bureaucracy surrounding it. It strikes me they wanted to get as far from "the system" as they could while still disclosing alleged improprieties.

This does not speak well of the government, or its chief agency charged with firearms regulation.

I'm glad to see Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA) and at least a few others on Capitol Hill have taken notice, and through the Senate Judiciary Committee, now actively work to probe the allegations raised in blogs over the past month or so.

And I'm glad to see independent bloggers willing to stand in the gap fulfilling a watchdog role once held by the mainstream media.

Where was big media while Codrea and Vanderboegh were blogging?

If the Washington Post is an example, it appears to take most its reporting cues from ATF management (and perhaps others in the Obama administration), often painting a picture of ATF as an agency with dire needs to be bigger and better funded.

The Post has finally put the judiciary committee's inquiry on the record. But more is needed.

It's time the Post, and others in the media, wake up; and show they take their watchdog status as seriously as some of the independent bloggers out there. There's more to reporting than trying to curry favor with government bureaucracies.

Update: A related post.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Code Pink on tour in Cairo


Does this suggest some kind of connection with Egyptian protests and U.S. activists?

Code Pink's Medea Benjamin reports from Tahrir Square

A Code Pink photo collection suggests they've been on the ground there since January 28.'s Egypt on Flickr 

What's Code Pink 'tweeting' to the faithful?

Stuff like:

codepinkalert CODEPINK
Activist: Tear Gas, Tanks, Concussion Grenades Used Against Egyptian Protesters Are Made in US 

codepinkalert CODEPINK 
Uprisings in Tunisia, Yemen, Egypt -- America Is Paying the Price for Supporting Corrupt Dictators 

codepinkalert CODEPINK 
RT @blogdiva: THIS IS *HUGE* Local police in #Cairo taking off uniforms 2 battle #Egypt Army: #Jan25 is officially insurgency vs tyranny 

codepinkalert CODEPINK 
Beyond Egypt #Jan25, hashtag dates already planned for protests - Sudan #Jan30 Yemen #Feb3 Syria #Feb5 Algeria #Feb12 -- Know any others? 

codepinkalert CODEPINK 
@MedeaBenjamin in Tahrir Square: A group of women ran up, started hugging us saying tell Obama pull $$ now & save lives 

So why's the left-leaning media get all worked up when conservatives suggest there may be ties between the so-called U.S. 'progressive' (radical left) figures and the uprisings in the Middle East?

Obviously, there's nothing to suggest that...

Except maybe the pictures and postings they've put on-line.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Democrats borrow from the U.K. for convention branding

 The People's Convention.

That's how Obama Democrats are branding their 2012 Democratic National Convention just announced for  Charlotte, North Carolina.

So much for orginality. Radical socialists in England have used "People's Convention" as a banner for years.

George Orwell warned of the U.K.'s People's Convention in 1941, saying "thousands of simple minded people are taken in by the appealing programme of the People's Convention and do not realize it is a defeatist manoeuver..."

And it's not just a title from distant history. Use of the term "People's Convention" has recently seen a resurgence in the U.K.:

If "Win the Future" (WTF) was bad, "The People's Convention" is worse.

Do Democrats have no sense of history? Perhaps it's even more scary if they do.

So much to talk about

Egypt remains a in a state of uncertainty. Al Jazeera English has been providing unprecedented live coverage.

The Senate Judiciary Committee digs into allegations the ATF inadvertently may have played a role in arming thugs who killed a border patrol agent. Meanwhile the Washington Post calls Operation Gunrunner a "signature program" of the Obama administration.

Mayor Bloomberg sends his secret agents to buy guns in Arizona.

Russia apparently gets a chuckle over START's shortcomings as it announces "the ultimate" nuclear warhead delivery system.

And some Tea Party supporters are outraged a university has withdrawn its invitation for Bristol Palin to speak on abstinence. But can anyone who calls himself a fiscal conservative justify the kind of speaking fee Ms. Palin reportedly commands?

These are some of the topics Don and I are kicking around for tonight's show. Join us for live discussion at 8:00 pm EST tonight on We invite your call-in participation at 678-344-9926 when the show gets underway.