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.

Blocking a street doesn't make you smart

Occupy Atlanta took to the streets of Atlanta yesterday, and for a brief time blocked a portion of Courtland Avenue at Georgia State University. According to a video report by WSB TV, the Occupy protesters "were protesting policies by GSU, the state, the government and corporations that left students broke without jobs and with sky high student loans."

Apparently Occupy overlooked students' individual responsibilities in its assessment of blame. There's nothing compulsory about higher education. Blocking a street won't erase protesters past bad choices, it only shows how little some of them learned while overspending for an education.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Socialists and Lincoln

In 1987, ABC TV ran a miniseries set 10 years after a fictional take over of the US by the UN and Soviet Union.

In the series, images of Lincoln are used to validate the Communist indoctrination being forced on the people.

In the series, character Col. Andrei Denisov notes "Symbols can be turned. Who could have imagined Abraham Lincoln being turned on his head"

Here is a Lenin-Lincoln image from Amerika, as well as some popular images presented around the time of Barack Obama's rise to power. The obsession with Lincoln is uncanny.

Amerika/ABC Circle Films

Luce Foundation Center, Smithsonian American Art Museum
Abraham Obama by Ron English


On a related note, some Socialists attempt to make the case Abraham Lincoln was one of their own. Is there any chance some of Mr. Obama's attempts to identify with Lincoln were intended as a double entendre? One designed to portray Obama in step with the traditional understanding of Lincoln to a mainstream audience, but also intended to send a veiled message to a sympathetic Socialist community.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Occupy Wall Street wears out its welcome

Polling reveals Occupy Wall Street does not speak for the 99 percent.

From PPP (Public Policy Poling):
The Occupy Wall Street movement is not wearing well with voters across the country. Only 33% now say that they are supportive of its goals, compared to 45% who say they oppose them. That represents an 11 point shift in the wrong direction for the movement's support compared to a month ago when 35% of voters said they supported it and 36% were opposed. Most notably independents have gone from supporting Occupy Wall Street's goals 39/34, to opposing them 34/42. 
The PPP release is available in full a the link above.

Don and Doug November 17 show pitch

In 1987, ABC ran a mini-series called Amerika. It was a tale about life in the United States ten years after the country fell to UN and Soviet Union (yeah, the Soviets were still around then) control.   The series included examples of reeduction instilled by the Soviets, stuff that seemed  off-the-wall to Americans back then. What's even more amazing is how parts of this  indoctrination have become part of our lives today, and we've done it to ourselves.

We'll have some examples, and kick around how it happened.

We'll also kick around the latest on Occupy Wall Street. November 17 is supposed to be a day of mass action. The AFL-CIO also plans to vie for protest coverage Thursday with a round of bridge occupations in cities around the country, but the union-based We are One demos sound like they're shilling for the president's languishing jobs plan. We'll talk about it.

Economies are continuing to deteriorate, most noticeably in Europe.

And our president seems to think Hawaii's in Asia.

If there's anything else on your mind - bring it to the table. The live call-in number is 678-344-9926. Join us Thursday at 1pm EST for Don and Doug on

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Are you ready for the next round down?

Here's some speculation to mull over: 
If you were wondering what the trigger would be for the next round of Federal Reserve quantitative easing, here it is; a combination of bank failure resurgence, along with city and state defaults leading to a clamoring for Federal funds just to stay in operation. Fiat injections in light of this event will dwarf previous measures. In fact, we may long for the days of TARP after the Fed has finished annihilating the dollar in order to plug thousands of ongoing municipal leaks in the hull of our sinking ship.
It was written by Brandon Smith, and was part of a guest post at Read the whole thing here. 

The Obama team's screwy stats about guns in Mexico

An unintended consequence of the Fast and Furious gunwalking investigation: Fuzzy stats used by the Obama adminstration to justify calls for more gun control are being revealed as artificially skewed and absurdly inaccurate.

Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA) spelled some of it out today in a statement to the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime and Terrorism. The statement says, in part:
At the root of Fast & Furious, and a lot of rhetoric surrounding gun control legislation, has been the gun trafficking statistics provided by ATF.  These unclear statistics have fueled the debate, and contributed to undertaking such a reckless operation as Fast & Furious.  
For example, in 2009 both President Obama and Secretary of State Clinton stated that 90 percent of guns in Mexico were from the United States.  But that statistic later changed to: 90 percent of guns that Mexico submitted for tracing to ATF were from the U.S.  And now, this year, that number has become 70 percent of guns submitted by the Mexican government for tracing were from the U.S.  What are the real numbers? 
Articles discussing the 70 percent number misrepresent the facts, as I pointed out in a letter to then-ATF Acting Director Melson in June 2011.  First, there are tens of thousands of guns confiscated at crime scenes annually in Mexico.  The Associated Press stated in 2009 that over 305,424 confiscated weapons are locked in vaults in Mexico.  However, the ATF has acknowledged to my staff in a briefing on July 29, 2011, that ATF does not have access to the vault in Mexico described in the story. 
ATF also acknowledges that only a portion of guns recovered in Mexico are actually submitted to the U.S. for tracing.  In a November 8, 2011, court filing, the Chief of ATF’s Firearms Operations Division made a declaration, saying: “It is important to note, however, that ATF’s eTrace data is based only on gun trace requests actually submitted to ATF by law enforcement officials in Mexico, and not on all of the guns seized in Mexico." 
That court filing further states that “in 2008, of the approximately 30,000 firearms that the Mexican Attorney General’s Office informed ATF that it had seized, only 7,200, or one quarter of those firearms, were submitted to ATF for tracing.”  So, if Mexico submits only 25 percent of guns for tracing, then the statistics could be grossly inaccurate one way or the other. 
The discrepancies in the numbers do not stop there.  ATF also informed my staff that the eTrace-based statistics could vary drastically by a single word’s definition.  For example, the 70 percent number was generated using a definition of U.S.-sourced firearms -- that includes guns manufactured in the U.S. or imported through the U.S.  Thus, the 70 percent number does not mean that all guns were purchased at a U.S. gun dealer and then smuggled across the border.  It could simply mean the firearm was manufactured in the U.S. 
So, when my staff asked ATF, how many guns traced in 2009 and 2010 were traced to a U.S. gun dealer, the numbers were quite shocking in comparison to the statistics we’ve previously heard.  
For 2009, of the 21,313 guns recovered in Mexico and submitted for tracing, only 5,444 were sourced to a U.S. gun dealer.  That’s around 25 percent.  
For 2010, of the 7,971 guns recovered in Mexico submitted for tracing, only 2,945 were sourced to a U.S. gun dealer.  That’s 37 percent. 
Either way, both are a far cry from 70 percent.  Not to mention that guns in 2009 and 2010 from gun dealers could include some of the nearly 2,000 firearms walked as part of the Justice Department’s Operation Fast & Furious.
Nice to know the ATF can deliver accurate stats when asked to do so. How far out of its way did the Obama administration have to go to come up with the more sensationalized interpretation it tried to put over on us?

Related previous posts:
Lanny Davis Spins for Holder
Connecting the dots, raising questions about guns in Mexico

Objective journalism

Maybe it doesn't mean what it once did.


AFL-CIO plans 'bridge actions' on November 17th

The AFL-CIO, doing business as We are One, plans a series of demonstrations around the country on Thursday. The tactic looks to borrow from the in-the-street nature of Occupy Wall Street, but the goal seems to be to put crowds in the street soliciting support for President Obama's "jobs plan."

Los Angeles, Portland, OR and Pittsburgh are among cities with bridge actions planned. Others are detailed at the We are One website.

It will be interesting to see how much cooperation and co-mingling occurs between We are One and Occupy Wall Street on November 17th. Occupy Wall Street has also announced specific plans for the day, calling it an International Day of Action. reports AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka sent an email to supporters today. In it, he talks like his group and Occupy are one in the same.

Update 11/16/2011 3:00pm EST: The SEIU is also involved in Thursday's union "bridge" actions. And SEIU makes it clear that the demonstrations are in designed to support the Obama agenda.

Monday, November 14, 2011

High taxes trigger exodus

Don't take my word for it, read what Bloomberg reports about New Jersey.

The more they raise taxes, the more the productive will flee

We predicted more decline in property values, more decline in the bottom line when DeKalb County, Georgia chose to raise tax rates by 26 percent earlier this year.

The AJC reports on the outcome that's shaping up in line with our expectation.

When your county is in a deep depression, bleeding the life out of the people who remain will not return prosperity. As we see in DeKalb, it won't even get you to the next year.

Humpty Dumpty

I've begun to see Humpty Dumpty as an allegory for failed central banking. The only question is, how long until political leaders finally have to admit they have no fix for the great fall?

Today's thoughts from Charles Hugh Smith.

And Martin Weiss.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Amerika revisited

In 1987, ABC TV ran a mini-series called Amerika. It told a futuristic tale of a conquered United States under the control of the Soviet Union and United Nations. From what I recall, Amerika was greeted with reviews that called it long, tedious, and very far-fetched.

Someone's loaded Amerika on, and I've taken some time to sample the first couple hours. Some of the scenes of desolate towns look very much like some of today's U.S. main streets in what we're calling the great recession.

In the first episode, there's also a classroom scene where a teacher goes over the social studies indoctrination drilled into elementary students. The exchange goes something like this:
Student 1: ...and there was lots of bullies. And when Americans conquered the continent, they killed lots of indians who had been living on the land peacefully for thousands of years.
Teacher: Can anyone tell us what caused our ancestors to be this way?
Student 2: They believed in survival of the fittest.  Everything was run by big companies. And the people who came into the country were forced on building railroads or sweat shops or coal mines for almost nothing, while the companies and bosses and government were rich and lived in big houses and had servants.
Student 3: If you couldn't work, they didn't think you were good for anything. And old people had to die because they lived in slums or got hurt in factories. 
Does this not sound like some social justice curriculum now taught in many public schools? Or the rhetoric spouted on the street by Occupy Wall Street's wannabe revolutionaries? Even our president now stoops to using this kind of anti-capitalist class war rhetoric as he tries to score political points with today's dumbed-down electorate.

In the fictional Amerika, our reeducation came at the heavy hands of Communist conquerors. So what's the excuse for the prevalence of this kind of anti-American propaganda in today's American mainstream?

It appears things have changed a lot since 1987. What was considered absurd then has become the norm now. Maybe we didn't notice because change happened slowly, over time. I guess the big question is, do we let our self-inflicted slide to socialism to continue, or do we begin restoration of our country and its economy under more traditional American ideals?

Update: We'll likely expand on the Amerika theme on this week's Don and Doug. Join us Thursday, Nov 17,  at 1pm EST on

Update on the DC shooting

A few details have been released about the investigation into the apparent firing of an AK-47 "near the White House" Friday night.  U.S. Park Police would like to interview a guy named Oscar Ramiro Ortega. Police say Ortega is 21-years-old. They apparently know he has multiple tattoos, but they don't know where he lives.

Park Police describe Ortega as a "person of interest."

CNN's telling of the story carefully notes  "The man has not been charged or named as a suspect, but he may be linked to a vehicle found nearby, police said."

No word yet on any trace data concerning the rifle reportedly recovered Friday night. Nor do I see at this time any additional reporting about the Idaho tags initially reported to be on the recovered car the night of the shooting. 
Photo: U.S. Park Police

Update (4:25pm 11/13/2011): The U.S. Park Police website has been updated. It now refers to Ortega as a wanted person and says an arrest warrant has been obtained.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Shots fired near the White House

Reports of gunfire tonight between The White House and the Washington Monument. WJLA TV in Washington DC is among those reporting an AK-47 was later found in an abandoned vehicle.

Any chance ATF will be able to trace the DC AK-47 back to Fast and Furious? 

John Conyers says capitalism is broken

And Conyers, a Democrat congressman from Michigan, said it right here in Atlanta to a room full of socialists.

You didn't read about in the local paper. Or see it on TV. But Conyers' comments have made their way to Trevor Loudon's New Zeal blog.

Here's a link to the program of the event Conyers attended, including mentions of other participants and sponsors.

Code Pink Caribbean Cruise

Being an anti-war activist certainly has changed over the years.

Code Pink, for instance, seems to prefer doing its fundraising and organizing while sipping tropical drinks on the decks of a cruise ship. According to Code Pink's website, you can join them for a cruise next month.

                   From: CODEPINK

While Occupy Wall Streeters camp out in tents in cold, wet weather to protest capitalism and corporations, their champions like Van Jones and Code Pink's top leaders plan to mingle with financial benefactors in the dining rooms and on the dance floors of a corporate owned cruise ship.

Don't be surprised when you see today's progressives act this way. George Orwell described their mindset perfectly in Animal Farm: "All animals are equal. But some animals are more equal than others."

It's Veterans Day

Take some time to remember those who have served and those now serving in the U.S. Armed Forces at home and abroad.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Occupiers are learning an age-old lesson

Creating Utopia is not as easy as some thought it would be. The Occupy folks reminds me of an old Statler Brothers song:
We all thought we'd change the world with our great works and deeds,
Or maybe we just thought the world would change to fit our needs.

Things get complicated once you get past 18...
But the class of '57 had its dreams.
Problem is, many are now convinced they don't have to worry about complications. But sooner or later, they'll find they've been snared. For some, it may come too late.

Occupy Atlanta has big plans Friday

It's been a bad day for Occupy Atlanta. First, its Snellville occupation collapsed. Then reports surfaced that its homeless shelter headquarters in Atlanta has an outbreak of TB.

Will tomorrow be any better?

Tomorrow is Friday, November 11th, Veterans Day. Banks are closed.

Occupy Atlanta has announced plans to march to a Bank of America office - and "foreclose" on it?

Occupy protesters gone, family vacates

Snellville Patch reports:
Occupy Atlanta moved off the lawn of Tawanna and Christopher Rorey's home, just in time for the family's eviction.

Some thoughts on the economy - and where we go from here

First, from the American Thinker: We are looking straight in the face of a Great Depression

And here's one from (which, judging by the website name and the writer's affiliation, may show some bias, but it is still worth reading): The dollar is done - deal with it

Here's an excerpt from the SilverSeek column:
To get past denial you must accept the truth of sayings such as, "democracy is two wolves and a sheep voting on who to eat for dinner", and realize that our founding fathers never gave us a democracy, but rather, a republic, because they hated democracy, which is nothing more than mob rule.  Democracies are inherently unstable, because when the people understand that they can vote for themselves benefits out of the public treasury, then it's over.  Why is it over at that point?  Because with socialism, eventually you run out of other people's money to redistribute.  And then, to pay for things, the only way to do that is to print money, which will destroy the dollar... 

Occupiers depart foreclosure home they vowed not to leave

Snellville Patch reports the following:
They were taking a stand, and vowed not to leave. 
But, now Occupy Atlanta, Occupy Gwinnett and any other "occupiers" besides the Rorey family, are leaving Shoreside Circle on the outskirts of Snellville...
Can't wait to hear more of what's behind this new development.

More reporting, little analysis of the Snellville home "occupation"

It gets old watching the media jump all over the Occupy Atlanta based "occupation" of a home that's in the process of foreclosure.

A blog at Time magazine is among those to jump on the story:
According to the protesters, Tawanna Rorey of Snellville, Ga., is at risk of being evicted from her home after she had trouble paying her mortgage and tried to get a loan modification. The authorities say the foreclosure process is ongoing and no eviction is scheduled.
Has anyone bothered to read the narrative provided by Occupy Atlanta? It says, in part:
Tawanna Rorey is a full-time homemaker, while her husband works in law enforcement; they have three children. The house on Shoreside Circle was their first home purchase, in 2003.  When SunAmerica, their original mortgage company went out of business, their mortgage become securitized and was eventually purchased by Fannie Mae and serviced by EverHome. The Roreys had never missed a payment on their mortgage, but sought loan modification because of rising expenses and also because they were trying to send their oldest daughter to college.  They were told by EverHome they would have to show financial hardship and should do so by missing a payment; this practice is increasingly common and puts homeowners at risk unnecessarily. EverHome began foreclosure  proceedings immediately while also moving forward with the loan modification, a practice called “double processing.”  At this point the Roreys approached by a con artist named John Harris; he pretended to be an advocate for borrowers who would help them with the loan modification process.  His real motive was to gain access to homes which were being foreclosed on so that he could pretend to be the landlord and rent them once they were empty; he was arrested in Cobb County October 17.  Before the foreclosure they engaged a lawyer who did not file properly; the suit was dismissed for that reason.  At that point they engaged a new lawyer who is addressing the situation as it now stands.
If the narrative provided is accurate, the Rorey's had money to cover their mortgage payment, but they decided they wanted to spend the money elsewhere. Educating a daughter may be a worthwhile endeavor,  but should you really expect your mortgage company to underwrite the bill with a modification?

The Roreys also appear to have fallen for a slick come-on by an alleged con man. Is this the mortgage company's fault?

Occupy Atlanta also describes Mrs. Rorey as a full-time homemaker. Is this by choice? A lifestyle decision? Again, based solely on the narrative provided by Occupy Atlanta, the family comes off looking like it wanted its mortgage company to subsidized its lifestyle by lowering its payments.

If the lender was pursuing foreclosure while simultaneously pursuing the loan modification, surely the Rorey's had some notice. They chose a path with risk. They took the risk. And now want someone to bail them out for a series of what appear to be largely self-inflicted mistakes.

There are foreclosure cases where lenders have engaged in egregious practices. And in some cases, the lenders don't even have documentation they are the legitimate lien holders on the property. I'd have more sympathy for someone in a situation like that. Or someone who fell behind due to long term illness or unemployment.

But to argue a stay-at-home mom deserves a loan modification because she and her family need money to take on a new obligation of sending a daughter to college just falls flat with me.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

A few topics for this week's Don and Doug

It's a year since the midterms, and despite the huge GOP landslide, what's been fixed?

Occupy Wall Street now appears to be more of a muddled mass chaos than movement. It didn't knock us out of our seats last month like Van Jones promised. Does the left have a follow up? Or is this as good as it gets?

We'll also spend some time on a societal trend that may hurt us all as economies decline.  Many people have become so specialized in their professions and skill sets, they have an overwhelmning dependence on others. So what happens when those with other specialties are no longer available to provide their services?  We may talk about some simple, practical skills people can learn fast that can make a difference going forward.

Join Don and I as we talk about these topics and more on Thursday, November 10th, at 1 pm EST.

You can access the show through or listen to the stream simply by clicking here.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

It's November, and Occupy Wall Street says plant veggies

Occupy Wall Street members are being tutored in something called Guerrilla Gardening.

How many people can realistically be fed by what proponents describe as "an unstructured way of people just going out and planting seeds where food deserves to grow"?

I think we've just been handed yet another sign that Occupy's promised Utopia is far more fantasy than fact.

Report: Iran is working on nuclear weapons

The International Atomic Energy Agency issued a report today.

Here's an excerpt:

The Agency has serious concerns regarding possible  military dimensions to Iran’s nuclear
programme. After assessing carefully and critically the extensive information available to it, the Agency finds the information to be, overall, credible. The information indicates that Iran has carried out activities relevant to the development of a nuclear explosive device.

The report, which also addresses Iran's possible study of missile delivery systems, can be found here in pdf form.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Took the day off...

No blogging today - except for this.

I had some business to attend to. And hit some thrift stores, flea markets and did some grocery shopping  while I was out.

Prices are getting a little wacky even there.

An Army surplus store in Atlanta had some decent looking medium ALICE backpacks with frames. But they wanted $90.00 each for 'em. You can get similar items on eBay for about $40.00 including shipping.

Peanut butter was the other shocker of the day. Kroger had 16 ounce Planter's brand peanut butter on sale for $2.65. Last month, Kroger was running specials and handing out coupons that let me get 28 ounce jars of the same brand for, as I recall, under two dollars.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Situational awareness

Not everything about prepping for a storm or some other emergency involves stocking up on supplies.

Don and I spent part of today's show talking a mindset needed to see yourself through an emergency.

Among the mental skills is something we call situational awareness.

Click here for a six minute segment where we describe what me mean, and give some examples. 

The full two-hour show, with a broader emphasis on advance preparation for emergencies, is available here.

If you wonder why Occupy Oakland seems more rowdy that most...

Maybe it's because they indoctrinate their young to protest at a very early age.

Consider this YouTube video posted last year:

The post carries the following description:
Students, teachers and parents from Redwood Heights Elementary make some noise on the corner. Students have been learning about Cesar Chavez, and had a chance to make their own signs and take a stand to defend their school.

South Park takes on Occupy Wall Street

Is Occupy Wall Street a political movement? Or has it become little more than the target of TV satire?

There are additional cips, and a link to the episode at the South Park website.

I suspect there's likely a lot of South Park fans among the Occupiers. I wonder how they feel about seeing themselves portrayed this way.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

With presence of mind and gun in hand...

A homeowner captured a robbery suspect in Gwinnett County, Georgia.

From a news release put out this afternoon by Gwinnett Police (emphasis added): 

On November 1, 2011 at about 4:30 PM, Gwinnett County police officers responded to a reported carjacking at 765 Sunset Ridge Lane in unincorporated Lawrenceville.  Officers met with the victim, Robin Watkins (W/M, 46 years old), near the intersection of Simonton Road and Madison Chase Way.  Watkins reported that he was at the incident location to paint the house and had been working on it for the past two days.  He was behind the house painting when he heard his vehicle (a black 1985 Chevy pick-up truck) start up in the driveway.  
Watkins ran around the house and saw the suspect, Albert Lee Hughes Jr. (B/M, 39 years old), sitting in the driver seat.  Hughes attempted to pull out onto the street and the truck stalled.  Watkins jumped into the bed of the truck as Hughes got it started again.  Hughes drove away with Watkins in the bed.
According to Watkins and witnesses, Hughes drove erratically, swerving and hitting curbs.  Watkins felt that Hughes was trying to dislodge him from the bed of the truck.  When the truck pulled over, Watkins jumped out.  Hughes abandoned the vehicle a short distance away and fled on foot. 
Several officers responded to the area to begin a search.  The GCPD police helicopter responded to assist in the search.  Other units responding to assist included the Sheriff’s Office K-9 Unit, the Lawrenceville K-9 Unit, and the Norcross K-9 Unit. 
At about 5:45 PM Russell Gray (W/M, 55 years old) arrived in the area.  He was returning from work to his residence in the 500 block of Savannah Rose Way.  Gray was told that a search was underway for a suspect.  He returned to his home and decided to check it thoroughly.  Gray checked his home with his personal gun in hand, and located Hughes hiding in his basement.  He ordered the suspect back outside at gunpoint.  Officers were in the immediate area and took Hughes into custody. 
Officers confirmed the suspect’s identity, and determined that he lived across the street (776 Sunset Ridge Lane) from the location where he stole the truck.  He is currently in custody at the Gwinnett County Detention Center.  Hughes has been charged with one count of Robbery and one count of Aggravated Assault.  He will also be charged with one count of Criminal Trespass for entering Gray’s home. 

How to prep for an emergency

Americans have become used to warning before potential disasters.

Americans have become addicted to rushing out to get ready just before something like a snow storm or hurricane hits.

Waiting until the last minute to stock up on supplies is probably a relatively new phenomenon. Or at least one that's become far more prevalent as forecasting has improved in recent years.  But waiting until the last minute still has some major pitfalls.

Don and I will talk about differing preparedness philosophies, and discuss some practical applications, Thursday (November 3).  The live program starts at 1pm EDT on The live call-in number is 678-344-9926. I also monitor comments on Twitter (@TalkSouthRadio) during the show.

Grassley grills Breuer over gunwalking

Assistant Attorney General Lanny Breuer admits mistakes, and expresses regrets in how he handled early reports of  'gunwalking' by the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms.

Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA) was among those who questioned Breuer at a hearing of a Senate Judiciary subcommittee on Tuesday.

SenChuckGrassley via

During the same hearing, Sen. Diane Feinstein (D-CA)  attempted to blame lax gun control laws, not mistakes by the Obama administtration's Justice Department for the gunwalking scandal. Feinstein said "it's just not right" to beat up on the ATF.

You can read more about the Democrat senator's attempt at spin at The Daily Caller and