Saturday, March 31, 2012

Speaking of central banks...

"It's as if central banks can do no wrong"

Ammo tells just part of the story

And it's not just the Feds who are arming up.

A few months back, The Daily Beast took a look at trends in local policing. Trends that come at the behest of the national Department of Homeland Security. DHS is often willing to provide the money to move your local cops in a more militaristic direction:
Like Fargo (North Dakota), thousands of other local police departments nationwide have been amassing stockpiles of military-style equipment in the name of homeland security, aided by more than $34 billion in federal grants since the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, a Daily Beast investigation conducted by the Center for Investigative Reporting has found. 
The buying spree has transformed local police departments into small, army-like forces, and places intimidating equipment into the hands of civilian officers. And that is raising questions about whether the strategy has gone too far, creating a culture and capability that jeopardizes public safety and civil rights while creating an expensive false sense of security.
In light of the federally backed trend to turn U.S. domestic law enforcement into what might be described as a civilian national security force that's just as powerful, just as strong, just as well funded as the military, massive ammunition buys will probably be the norm, not the exception.

When you see armored personnel carriers rumbling down Main Street, or hear of massive ammunition stockpiles for 'homeland security,' don't be surprised. The trend was in play before Barack Obama became president. But now, as Mr. Obama promised, the trend moves beyond what's ever been imagined. 

"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, 1816

Friday, March 30, 2012

What's behind government's big ammo buys?

A recent big government contract for pistol ammunition, and bid requests seeking evern more ammo for the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of the Interior, lead some to speculate the government is prepping for large scale unrest.

As long as we're speculating, let's consider some other possibilities.

Ammo has a long shelf life. DHS and other government agencies may be stockpiling it as a hedge against currency devaluation or even hyperinflation.

What if the dollar collapsed and government credit was suddenly no good?  Planning for that scenario might include having vital assets warehoused and ready. An extra hundred million (or two hundred million) rounds of ammo might come in handy.

And what raw if material shortages, or spikes in the price of key ammunition components, someday slow production lines or bankrupt government ammo suppliers? If key contractors go belly up, your U.S. government would want to have stockpiles in place to fill the gap until new suppliers can be found, or until a bailout is put in place to get the old ones producing again. Is this a contingency now on the tables of government planners?

Another possibility: Government is taking extra stock and dispersing deeper inventories around the country. This might keep supply lines to security agencies intact if disruptions by man-made or natural disasters made it hard to get shipments in our out of impacted disaster areas.

Again, just thinking aloud here. I can't jump to conclusions about what the government's primary motives are for its recent ammunition shopping sprees. I will say some of it seems definitely out of the norm with the past. Suffice it to say, something has apparently changed in the minds of government security planners. It's just too soon to tell exactly what that something is.

Previous postings: 
U.S. Department of the Interior also buying ammo
Now DHS is buying rifle ammunition
Hey Look: Big Sis is buying (more) ammunition

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Court rules against NC's emergency gun ban law

The Second Amendment Foundation shares some details here.

The winds of war

USS Enterprise - Navy Photo
Are data points lining up to suggest an attack on Iran may be close?

Near the end of today's Don and Doug, Don offered a few observations.

The segment runs about four minutes. It's labeled "War Signs" and is available through the new On Demand player.

For convenient sharing, it's also available for play or download here.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Back to back weekends in Chicago

Last weekend, several hundred people turned out in Chicago to protest the Florida shooting death of Trayvon Martin.

But did you read what happened in Chicago the weekend before? Let the Huffington Post fill you in:

At least 10 people were killed and 40 others wounded in one of the most violent Chicago weekends in recent history. 
The Chicago Sun-Times reports that most of the victims were in their mid-teens or early 30s, with the exception of 6-year-old Aliyah Shell, who was gunned down Saturday while playing in front of her home in the Little Village neighborhood.
Anyone see or hear Chicago's Jesse Jackson or other civil rights leaders making a national fuss and calling for justice over these Chicago victims? How about Chicago's own Barack Obama?

What about the other victims?

Writing in the Wall Street Journal, Juan Williams challenges the hype over the Trayvon Martin killing. Yes, Williams says the Martin case merits more investigation. But Williams, writing with passion, also wonders why communities don't get worked up when it comes to victims of black on black crime. And Williams questions why communities turn a blind eye to a culture that leads youth down the wrong path:
How about marching against the cable television shows constantly offering minstrel-show images of black youth as rappers and comedians who don't value education, dismiss the importance of marriage, and celebrate killing people, drug money and jailhouse fashion—the pants falling down because the jail guard has taken away the belt, the shoes untied because the warden removed the shoe laces, and accessories such as the drug dealer's pit bull.
If you look around, young people seem to get shot everyday in America. But few take much notice when the shooting is the result of a gang spat or drug deal or domestic violence. And many of those shot are innocent bystanders who weren't even part of the illicit exchange.

Last year, TV station WCPO took a look at black on black crime in Cincinnati. There's part of that story that stuck with me:
"The vast majority of people being murdered are African American in the City of Cincinnati," said Hamilton County Prosecutor, Joe Deters. "The vast majority. Well outside the 40 percent of the population it should be. In 2009, the City of Cincinnati did not have a single white victim of a homicide. (That) tells me that we have a subset in the underclass of Cincinnati which is committing a lot of violent crime and they tend to be black. And the reality is, you almost always commit murder within your racial classifications. So when we've got a young black man up in the coroners office, it's almost always a result of another young black man shooting him."
With so much violence, it's easy to understand how people can be channeled to react with rage and protest. But donning a hoodie and marching for Trayvon won't stop the problem that's sown the pain that fuels most the rage we're now seeing. The Trayvon crusade is a scapegoat. Real solutions to widespread violence, and the culture that feeds it, must start much closer to home. With the kind of stuff Juan Williams points out in today's Journal.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

More absurd by the day

A real city council member
The Birmingham City Council names Trayvon Martin an honorary citizen. And council members don hoodies while doing it.


Birmngham's Fox station tells the story this way.

Remember silver? It's gotten very pricey

Just opened an email from a reputable online precious metals and coin dealer. It's offering a special on $100 bags of Barber dimes starting at $2,628 for cash buyers. At a thousand dimes to a bag, that's $2.63 per dime.

The same dealer's website shows a five dollar roll of 'good or better' Barbers selling for $197, that's $3.94 a dime.

Barber dimes were minted by the U.S. from 1892 to 1916. A dime was real money back then. Still is, if you have ones like the Barbers that are made of silver.

Hoodies are adaptable


I had no idea the NRA was into hoodies. Now I see the official online store of the National Rifle Association sells several designs.

Including one for concealed carry.

Obama's war on coal escalates

He's not waiting until after the election. The move to crush coal power continues. From the Washington Post:
The Environmental Protection Agency will issue the first limits on greenhouse gas emissions from new power plants as early as Tuesday, according to several people briefed on the proposal. The move could end the construction of conventional coal-fired facilities in the United States.
We're a nation blessed with vast coal resources. No matter. The EPA now carries out policy that candidate Barack Obama promised in 2008. Mr. Obama and his EPA allies must realize blackouts and brownouts will result from killing off electricity from this cheap and plentiful domestic energy source. Or, at the very least, that more Americans will find abundant electricity priced beyond their reach. The Obama team doesn't seem to care. They likely believe they'll be long gone from office when the lights go out, and a successor administration will get saddled with the blame when they do.

Squatter nation

In New York, a city funded activist group gives people a crash course in squatting. 

What's an apocalypse without bacon?

They call it "Tactical Bacon" Seems they've thought of everything to help us prep for TEOTWAWKI.

From the product description: "Its Tactical Bacon in a can. Fully cooked and fully prepared. 10+ year shelf life. Perfect for camping, hunting, zombie standoffs, end of the world scenarios etc. Don 't be caught without Tac Bac! Now with more better grammar!"

I've not bought it or tried it. But if interested, shop around. Price can vary.

Think you've seen Hollywood trash America and glorify violence before?

Hold on. You ain't seen nothing yet.


How many who took part in the making of this absurd mockery of God Bless America also complained Sarah Palin's cross-hair ad was too violent? How many who now publicly profess outrage over Trayvon Martin's death will yuk it up through watching this?

Monday, March 26, 2012

Coming up Thursday on 'Don and Doug'

We're back with a new Don and Doug on Thursday, March 29.  Among the stuff we'll hit on:

Just wait until after the election. Obama makes whispers to the Russians about our missile defenses.  There's also a lot of other stuff set to trigger in 2013 and beyond. American life as we know it may change radically regardless of who is elected.

Left and right, there's crazy talk on the Internet. How can you decide what's true and what's not? We live in an era that requires personal discernment. Are you up to challenge?

We've found the goverment seeks to make yet another big ammo buy. 180,000 rounds of .45 pistol ammo is sought for delivery to an agency warehouse in Washington DC.

The show's unscripted, so who knows what else we'll work in. Your calls are welcome too at 678-344-9926. Join us Thursday at 1:00 pm EDT for the next live Don and Doug on

When government pushes too hard

The city of Roswell, Georgia decided a man was raising too many chickens.

Over time, and as the city tightened restrictions, the man ended up in jail for his resistance to change.

In jail, he apparently fell behind on his mortgage.

Monday, he faced eviction. He didn't go quietly.

Coverage of the story in the AJC and at WSB-TV.

Obama has big plans

Caught on a 'hot mic' in Seoul, our president seems to tell the Russians he's got their back:

Jack Tapper has the comments over at
President Obama: On all these issues, but particularly missile defense, this, this can be solved but it’s important for him to give me space. 
President Medvedev: Yeah, I understand. I understand your message about space. Space for you… 
President Obama: This is my last election. After my election I have more flexibility. 
President Medvedev: I understand. I will transmit this information to Vladimir. 
Many have expressed concerns about what a left-leaning President Obama might do domestically if given a second term with no fear of accountability to American voters. Looks to me like Mr. Obama has validated those fears, and upped the ante. 

Trayvon Martin. Is there more to his story?

Other than seeing a photo of a young kid in a hoodie, what do we know about Trayvon Martin? 

Other than paint a picture of a near ideal son and friend, we've been told very little by family and friends. 

In recent years, it has been customary for mainstream media to run to social media to fill in the holes in profiling a perp or victim in a major story. I haven't seen any of that in this case. 

Then I ran across a post at (which, seems to post at a suspiciously infrequent rate in the past year). I don't vouch for its accuracy. But it certainly raises some questions.

Suggesting Tray was a drug dealer may be a cheap shot, and the writer leaps to other conclusions that would be better off framed as speculation. But between the Tweets and My Space photos presented, you have some fodder for reasonable doubt that Tray may not be the sweet, innocent Skittle-eatin' kid that some have tried to sell us on. 

Just a little digging, and I find the creator of Wagist, posting online back in 2006, cited his plans for his site in this fashion: 
So, I've been stewing over the idea of developing a clean, progressive news aggregation site for some time now. I'm going to officially start on it tonight, and I thought it would be nice to dedicate a thread to the process. Transparency plus plus. 
So why does an inactive website come back to life to tell us about Trayvon? Maybe its webmaster just got tired of mainstream media not doing it's job. I'm delighted to see at least some evidence not all progressives are donning hoodies to blindly follow un-vetted tales and other rhetoric being spewed by self-appointed activists. Many of them seem to make their impassioned pitches based not on fact, but on their own prejudices.

What's the harm in waiting for more facts before jumping to conclusions?

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Mark Steyn says what politicians won't

Political writer and commentator Mark Steyn's latest column is chock full of facts and figures every American needs to know. Here's just one of his gems:
Only America is spending trillions. The 2011 budget deficit, for example, is about the size of the entire Russian economy.
Steyn also cites specific examples of deep cuts in exchange rates suffered by dollar compared to other currencies. For those who still believe America's debt-driven spending frenzy can end well, I suggest you read Steyn's column in its entirety. It's available at National Review Online.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

U.S. Department of the Interior also buying ammo

Looks like the Department of the Interior and its National Park Service are (or were recently)  seeking bids on ammunition. Mostly .45 ACP pistol rounds, 12 gauge shotgun shells, and a little .308 thrown in for good measure.

Here's the load sought for delivery to the U.S. Park Police in Washington DC:
12 ga 00B Lead Free Frangible: All 20 cases (5000 rds.)12 ga Lead Free Frangible Slug: All 20 cases (5000 rds.)12 ga 8 pellet reduced recoil 00B: 32 cases (8000 rds.)12 ga reduced recoil slug: 32 cases (8000 rds.).45 ACP 230 grain tactical HP: All 200 cases (100,000 rds.).45 ACP 175 grain frangible lead free: All 160 cases (80,000 rds.).308 168 grain Sierra BTHP: All 80 cases (16,000 rds.)
Other parts of the bid were to be delivered directly to San Franciso and Staten Island, New York. It's unclear from the bid request where the ammo would be distributed once delivered.

It's a small order by DHS standards. But I'd guess 180,000 rounds of pistol ammo might last a while. I had no idea National Park Police carried .45's. Upon further checking, I see several notations on the web that the Park Service is apparently fond of Sig P220s.

One thing is becoming clear in recent weeks. Agencies of the federal government are either stockpiling or burning through some ammo.

Updated 6:50 pm EDT 3/26/2012

Related posts:
Now DHS is buying rifle ammo
Big Sis is buying (more) ammo

Friday, March 23, 2012

Looks like Katadyn filters had a price hike

In anticipation of some camping and hiking trips, I picked up a Katadyn Pocket Microfilter not too many months ago for around $279. They're now around $300 on Amazon.

And if you think $300 is high, look what they're selling for elsewhere.

The Maginot Line

During this week's show, I referenced a little ditty from 1939 by British entertainer George Formby.

Imagine Me on the Maginot Line was a big hit for Mr. Formby. One performance was captured in newsreel film of the era. It's a song about soldiers called to defend France as Nazi storm clouds gathered.

Not a lot of urgency in Formby's lyrics, however:
Now it's turned out nice again
The Army life is fine
French girls make a fuss of me
I'm not French as you can see
But I know what they mean when they say "oui, oui"
Down on the Maginot Line
How many today have a Formby-like cheery assessment as clouds linger over our economy? Or gather over the Middle East?

By May 1940, British troops were nowhere near the Maginot Line. They had dumped their gear and made a hasty retreat toward Dunkirk.

Rent-to-own tires

Yes. It's come to this. Many Americans now struggle to put tires on their cars, and some apparently don't have credit sufficient to make an out-right purchase.
Photo courtesy Anna Cervova

How do I know this? Because rent-to-own tire stores have entered the market.

Tire prices have risen rapidly in recent years. And you can't entirely blame tire makers or commodity prices.

Blame Barack Obama. He got higher tire prices rolling in 2009 when he slapped China-made tires with import tariffs. He said it would help American workers, but even Huffington Post reported the protectionist tariff was also about pandering to American unions to win support for the Democrats' health care reform plan.

Today, we have an America where both health care and tires are more expensive than they were in 2009. It's an America where some now drive on rented tires because they can't afford a cash or credit buy, and there are direct Obama policy choices that helped put us here.

Are housing bulls delivering another head fake?

Mike Larson at Money and Markets seems to think so.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Ruger orders top a million guns in first quarter 2012

Ruger says its production is so backlogged, it's imposing a moratorium on taking new orders to allow some time to catch up:

Sturm, Ruger & Company, Inc. Reports Strong First Quarter Bookings
March 21, 2012
Sturm, Ruger & Company, Inc. (NYSE: RGR), announced today that for the first quarter 2012, the Company has received orders for more than one million units. Therefore, the Company has temporarily suspended the acceptance of new orders.

Chief Executive Officer Michael O. Fifer made the following comments:
  • The Company's Retailer Programs that were offered from January 1, 2012 through February 29, 2012 were very successful and generated significant orders from retailers to independent wholesale distributors for Ruger firearms.
  • Year-to-date, the independent wholesale distributors placed orders with the Company for more than one million Ruger firearms.
  • Despite the Company's continuing successful efforts to increase production rates, the incoming order rate exceeds our capacity to rapidly fulfill these orders. Consequently, the Company has temporarily suspended the acceptance of new orders.
  • The Company expects to resume the normal acceptance of orders by the end of May 2012.
The Company will announce its results and file its Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the first quarter of 2012 on Tuesday, May 1, 2012, after the close of the stock market. 

Related post: Can't make enough guns

Upgraded TalkSouthRadio player

We've updated our player on the website.

It should take a little less bandwidth (loads faster). It should sound a little better.

And it features a photo of Molly the Cat, who from time to time likes to get into the studio and yank wires loose.

We're also experimenting with a more convenient On Demand player as well for our most recent Don and Doug show.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

"End of the Road"

If the trailer is any indication, this promises to be a film well worth time spent watching.

End of the Road Documentary Trailer from Tim Delmastro on Vimeo.

Many of the theme stressed in the trailer have been common discussion points on Don and Doug over the past year and a half.

Ammo rumors begin to run wild

If you listen to Don and Doug, you'd know retail inventories of .223 rifle ammo are running low. We spotted the trend more than a month ago and gave first warning. Since then, many ammo sellers have run dry, especially when it comes to .223 (or 5.56) loaded with 55 grain bullets.

As demand ramps up, it appears hysteria may be setting in. Take this claim at a website called Before It's News:
Subject: Government buying out all the 5.56 Military surplus ammo and is telling ammo dealers to stop selling to their vendors and civilians.

Source: US Army rifle marksmanship manual
Let's dissect the claim. First off, for ammo to be military surplus it either has to be government owned stock being sold by the government to the public, or it's a manufacturer's government contract overrun. In the case of an overrun, it seems logical the government would have first option on purchase or, at the very least, have insider knowledge that would let it buy any excess before it reached the secondary market.

Why would the government be repurchasing something it initially owned, or why would government have waited to buy in the after-market when it could have had first dibs? Something's going on in the marketplace, but it's too soon to jump to conclusions. What we're seeing now may simply be a case of consumer panic buying, or the result of speculators buying now for resale later.

I don't think anyone ever figured out what really caused the retail ammo shortages of 2009. Some say it was election related hoarding where people feared a new administration would cut off civilian supply, and that may have been part if it. Others suggested it was global demand from military contracts tying up production. That too, may have been part.

For whatever reason, inventory outages appear to be reemerging for the 2012 election cycle. .223 rifle rounds appear to be the first impacted. It remains to be seen whether shortages expand to include other calibers like they did three years ago.

If you want to do some shooting later this year, it might be a good idea to buy your ammo now. Ammunition has a long shelf life. If you enjoy shooting, it never hurts to keep your own personal inventory at least slightly ahead of anticipated demand. Especially in this age of spotty supply.

What game is Mitt Romney?

Folks on Twitter are having fun with a new hashtag. Some quick, unedited samples:

Don and Doug today (March 21) at 1:00 pm EDT

Just a reminder, Don and I are doing the show on Wednesday this week.

Plan is to go back to Thursday next week.

Media revises French shooting story

Media accounts of the suspect search after this week's shooting at a Jewish school in France initially touted suspicions of a Nazi tie-in.

From Google
Now, reports are being revised. Some scrubbed.

Most reporting now says the suspect claims allegiance to al Qaeda. Some report his first name is Mohammed.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Why hasn't real estate recovered?

"Central Planning has crippled the real estate market to 'save' their core constituency, the banks."

Charles Hugh Smith offers more insight with How To Cripple the Real Estate Market in Five Easy Steps. 

Now top secret: Malia Obama's spring break in Mexico

Yesterday, there were numerous reports giving account of 13-year-old Malia Obama spending spring break in Mexico with a dozen friends and a large contingent of Secret Service agents.

Today? The stories have all but disappeared. Dylan Byers at notes:
On Monday, the AFP reported that Obama's daughter was vacationing abroad, along with a number of friends and 25 Secret Service agents. The story was picked up by Yahoo, the Huffington Post, and the International Business Times, as well as UK publications like the Daily Mail and the Telegraph and other overseas publications like The Australian. 
But on Monday night, the story had been removed from those sites.
What gives? Has some kind of security threat to the first daughter triggered a media blackout? Or does the White House have other reasons to hush things up?
In a time when many Americans struggle to keep their homes, feed their families, and top off their gas tanks, sending a young teen on a foreign vacation with a dozen friends might seem a bit overindulging to most U.S. voters. Though appearances of overindulgence in vacations and getaways have never embarrassed the Obamas before, this is an election year.

Update: Politico's post has been updated with an email from the First Lady's Communication's Director:
From the beginning of the administration, the White House has asked news outlets not to report on or photograph the Obama children when they are not with their parents and there is no vital news interest. We have reminded outlets of this request in order to protect the privacy and security of these girls.
Earlier this month, Mr. Obama referenced his daughters in his comments to Sandra Fluke, employing their image in a vilification of Rush Limbaugh. The White House allows the daughters to be referenced when it coincides with Michelle Obama's appearance on Nick TV's iCarly to push a White House PR program.

So it's apparently okay for the White House to make Malia and Sasha public figures when it suits Daddy's  political needs, it's just off limits when one's seen in the act of indulging in an extravagant (by most Americans means) foreign vacation with 25 Secret Service members in tow.

One more thing, when did the media allow the White House to dictate what's a vital news interest and what's not?  Perhaps allowing a 13-year-old to vacation abroad sans parents tells us something we should know about the family in now occupying the White House.

Gas pump politics

Newt Gingrich and Mitt Romney each have new ads attacking the Obama administration as a willing partner in rising gas prices.

First, Gingrich:

Here's Romney's:

Hard to argue with facts. Even if these administration appointees didn't directly raise the price of energy that consumers pay, they've long championed policies that would trigger the kind of price hikes we're now seeing.

Where will gas and electricity prices be if we get four more years of Obama?

Monday, March 19, 2012

Special time for 'Don and Doug' this week

To accommodate events beyond our control, Don and Doug will be live at 1:00 pm ET on Wednesday this week instead of the usual Thursday webcast.

What's on our hot list?

Victory Through Air Power. Did you know the United States Air Force has two entire squadrons  exclusively dedicated to the election year travel needs of the president.  No, not just Air Force One and it's twin. There's also two entire transport squadrons just waiting for Obama's team to call. No kidding.

Big ammo buys. The Department of Homeland Security just awarded a contract for up to 450 million pistol rounds of ammo. That's more than double the department's last ammo order that was supposed to cover a similar period. And DHS isn't finished buying. It's looking for bids to provide another 175 million rounds of rifle ammo.

Which brings us to President Obama's Friday night Executive Order regarding Emergency Preparedness, a document that, in part, details which cabinet member is in charge of wresting control of each aspect of the U.S. economy if the country were to face some undisclosed emergency. Some assess the document as big government business as usual. Others declare it a blueprint to install American fascism. We'll kick it around and see what we come up with.

Don and Doug is a live weekly two-hour webcast that also runs in replay on after its initial live presentation. Join us at our special time this week, 1:00pm EST on Wednesday as we go about connecting the dots in perilous times.   

We knew Fast and Furious blew it, but this example shows how big

What happened when Fast and Furious investigators actually caught a top target of their investigation? According to the Los Angeles Times, they let him go:
The top Fast and Furious investigator, Special Agent Hope MacAllister, scribbled her phone number on a $10 bill after he pledged to cooperate and keep in touch with investigators. 
According to the Times, suspect Manuel Fabian Celis-Acosta was arrested ten months later, in February 2011, after Fast and Furious was shut down. 

The arrest came two months after Border Patrol Office Brian Terry's December 2010 murder.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Now DHS is buying rifle ammo

Fresh on the heels of awarding a contract to buy up to 450 million rounds of .40 caliber pistol ammunition, the Department of Homeland Security is looking to buy a bunch of rifle ammo too.

A solicitation posted on a government website says DHS seeks a contractor or contractors to provide up to 175 million rounds of Enhanced Performance and Standard Duty .223 ammo over a period of up to five years:
Requirement:  The total requirement is to provide an estimated 33 million rounds of .223 Remington Caliber SD and 2 million rounds of .223 Remington Caliber EP Ammunition in the base year and an estimated 33 million rounds of .223 Remington Caliber SD and 2 million rounds of .223 Remington Caliber EP ammunition in each of four option years in accordance with Attachment 2, Statement of Work for .223 Remington Caliber SD and .223 Remington Caliber EP Ammunition. 
The deadline for submitting bids on the rifle ammo solicitation has been extended until April 12, 2012.

With commercial retailers continuing to report strong ammo demand from civilian customers, and now the federal government chiming in with hefty contracts, it looks like 2012 will be another banner years for ammunition makers.

Update August 19, 2012: DHS document reveals plans for a new .223 supply contract didn't go as expected.

Two Air Force squadrons activated to support Obama election travel

The activations came in December. The moves were documented in an Air Force public affairs release:
12/5/2011 - JOINT BASE ANDREWS, Md.  -- The 89th Airlift Wing activated the 305th and 306th Expeditionary Airlift Squadrons here, Dec. 1. The squadrons will play an integral role supporting presidential airlift in the coming months. 
"This mission provides dedicated assets to our highest priority airlift - presidential support. Air Mobility Command accomplishes this during election years by standing up two squadrons, C-17s based here at Andrews, and C-130s based in Wilmington, Del.," said Col Allan Hess, 89th Operations Group commander. 
Aircraft and personnel are prepositioned to support an expected surge in airlift so the Air Force is postured to more efficiently and effectively meet the needs of the commander in chief while remaining good stewards of taxpayer funds.
Am I reading this right? Looks to me like the Air Force openly admits to being a political tool of the president, putting extra assets in place to serve his election year campaign surge. Is this really good stewardship of DOD funding?

Putting two whole Air Force squadrons on standby to serve the whims of a president running for reelection puts an entirely new spin on the popular World War II phrase Victory Through Air Power.

Updated 1:13pm EDT 3/18/2012

Obama's professional government

President Barack Obama issued an Executive Order on Friday that would allow government to seize control of industry and assets in situations the administration deems an emergency.

It's all done in the name of "preparedness." But it reads more like fascism.

For those who haven't read them, I recommend a couple of books.

First is They Thought They Were Free by Milton Mayer. It gives account of the rise of fascism in Germany in the 1930s. I've quoted from the book in the past:
This separation of government from people, this widening of the gap, took place so gradually and so insensibly, each step disguised (perhaps not even intentionally) as a temporary emergency measure or associated with true patriotic allegiance or with real social purposes. And all the crises and reforms (real reforms, too) so occupied the people that they did not see the slow motion underneath, of the whole process of government growing remoter and remoter. 
The other book worth reading is It Can't Happen Here by Sinclair Lewis. Written in the 1930s, it tells of a fictional rise of a fascist American president. In the book, voters embrace the populist message of candidate Buzz Windrip, and dismiss his threats to capitalism as merely electioneering babble. But upon election, Windrip destroys congressional oversight and seizes power over industry and other institutions, leading to dire consequences.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Very scary document

Obama's latest Executive Order.

Does government have some specific scenarios in mind that would trigger these steps?

The order comes on the heels of Homeland Security awarding a new contract for millions of rounds of ammo for DHS/ICE officers. Coincidence?

A booming category on eBay

Assembling Garands in wartime
Farm Security Admin. (Library of Congress)

Looking for M-1 Garand rifle parts? From bolts to grease pots to barrels and more, there appear to be plenty on eBay these days.

Garand parts have gotten pricey in recent years. But I suspect prices will go through the roof when the supply of surplus rifles coming onto the civilian market eventually dries up (No, I've not seen any estimates of when that might be).

More government regs may drastically impact food prices

A study by a  food industry trade group says increased regulation of America's agricultural industries may lead to skyrocketing food prices.

The study released this month by the United Soybean Board summarizes, in part:

The United States is a leading global producer and exporter of animal products. In 2010, this production led to $283 billion in economic output and 1.8 million jobs. But the farmers, ranchers, and the innumerable companies involved in manufacturing and delivering the meat, egg, and dairy products that make up a key part of the American diet operate in a regulated world. And they are threatened by additional potential regulatory measures that would further constrain or control the manner in which livestock and poultry products are produced. 
Laws and regulations imposed by federal, state, and local governments can make domestic farmers and ranchers uncompetitive with competitors overseas and drive them out of business. Just as manufacturing and service jobs have been “offshored” to Mexico, China, South Korea, India, and other countries, excessive regulation could eventually cause animal agriculture to move offshore. This could lead to higher consumer prices. 
The cost of regulation 
The five regulatory areas most likely to generate increased costs for US producers in the near term are animal housing, environmental regulations, the use of antimicrobials and other drugs, livestock trading, and labor regulations. We found that leading the charge on adopting new regulations that impact production costs is often followed by a substantial decline in production that tends to increase consumer costs. 
Using a conventional economic model, we estimated the consumer cost impact of higher production costs for pork, beef, chicken, turkey and eggs that could result from an increased regulatory burden from various sources. We looked at two scenarios – increases of 10% and 25% in production costs for each product. 
Taking into account supply and demand elasticities and the share of the retail price represented by producer costs, we estimate that the additional cost to US consumers would be $6.8 billion and $16.8 billion per year, respectively, for the two scenarios. In addition, in the 25% scenario, there would be a reduction in net exports of $1.1 billion that would in turn imply the elimination of about 9,000 jobs.
If you think such talk is fantasy, merely a scare tactic by an industry group seeking to preserve its status quo, think again. New regulations over the egg industry in the European Union went into effect earlier this year.  One British newspaper reports wholesale egg prices are up by 98 percent as a result. And eggs in Europe are in short supply.

Among the areas of new regulation proposed by government for U.S. agriculture are new restrictions on  youth involvement in running family farms. The Saratogian, a newspaper in Upstate New York, reports under newly proposed U.S. Department of Labor rules, 14 and 15-year-olds would not be allowed to operate even the most basic power equipment, such as battery-operated screwdrivers.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Hey Look: Big Sis is buying (more) ammo

Secretary Janet Napolitano's Department of Homeland Security and its ICE division are awarding a new contract for up to 450 million rounds of .40 caliber pistol ammunition:
ANOKA, Minn., March 12, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- ATK (NYSE: ATK - News) announced that it is being awarded an Indefinite Delivery/Indefinite Quantity (IDIQ) agreement from the Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (DHS, ICE) for .40 caliber ammunition. This contract features a base of 12 months, includes four option years, and will have a maximum volume of 450 million rounds. 
ATK was the incumbent and won the contract with its HST bullet, which has proven itself in the field. The special hollow point effectively passes through a variety of barriers and holds its jacket in the toughest conditions. HST is engineered for 100-percent weight retention, limits collateral damage, and avoids over-penetration. 
"We are proud to extend our track record as the prime supplier of .40 caliber duty ammunition for DHS, ICE," said Ron Johnson, President of ATK's Security and Sporting group.  "The HST is a proven design that will continue to serve those who keep our borders safe." 
ATK will produce the ammunition at the Federal Cartridge Company facility in Anoka, Minn.  Deliveries are expected to begin in June.
What's not immediately clear is whether this ammo buy replaces, or is in addition to, the contract Homeland Security and ICE awarded for up to 200 million rounds in 2009:

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Winchester Ammunition was recently awarded a contract by the Immigration, Customs and Enforcement (ICE) division of the Department of Homeland Security to supply a maximum of 200 million, 40 cal. rounds over the next five years... 
The load selected for this contract is a 135-grain, hollow point designed for the office of Field Operations of Customs and Border Protection. It will fall under the Winchester Ranger line of products.
Based on the information released by DHS and its contractors, 200 million rounds was apparently deemed a five year supply in 2009, but now DHS puts a plan in place to acquire 450 million rounds in the same caliber over a similar five year period. What's behind the DHS push for an ammo contract more than twice as big as was deemed necessary just three years ago? And again, we can't tell from the information here whether the new contract for ATK ammo replaces, or is in in addition to, the previous one for Winchester.

Post updated 12:00 pm EDT 3/18/2012

Related: Now DHS is buying rifle ammo

On the financial health of U.S. cities...

Financial analyst Meredith Whitney sticks with her call many U.S. cities are insolvent. Whitney tells CNBC
There's been so much backroom political maneuvering to keep these cities from going bust...There's been every effort on the part of states to prevent really this tidal wave of defaults which is going to happen sooner or later. If people want to tell me 'you're wrong because this hasn't played out,' stay tuned.

Paint prices keep rising

I've posted about it before, but I continue to be amazed as how rapidly paint prices are rising.

It appears shortages of titanium oxide are to be blamed.

Not only is the cost per bucket rising, paint packaging is shrinking. I noticed this week that at least one brand at a big box home improvement store had dropped its five gallon bucket in favor of one that's only 4.8 gallons.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Obama's latest attack ad

Talk about fighting the last war. The Obama campaign's latest attack ad attacks Sarah Palin.

No, I'm not kidding.

From: BarackObamadotcom via                                                                               h/t Fuzzy Logic

Question for the president:  If Palin is so wrong, why has your campaign created a separate web portal for African Americans as well as other minorities and groups?


Wednesday, March 14, 2012

February looks like a record breaker for gun sales

Some charts and figures compiled by the National Shooting Sports Foundation are available at

Here's a sample: A graph showing gun purchase instant background checks over the past thirteen Februarys.

From: National Shooting Sports Foundation via

The damage is done

Low interest rates now mask the damage that's been done by mounting federal debt.

The Wall Street Journal is among the latest to lay out the danger in an article published this week.

Read it. Understand it.

Voting Republican won't fix it. Seriously bad times lay ahead regardless of who's in the White House.

We've covered this theme before on Don and Doug. We'll take it up again on tomorrow's show.

Join us Thursday at 1:00 pm ET for live talk on

Georgia Democrats say what?

A tweet from the Democratic Party of Georgia grabbed my attention.

Really? All national advertisers are off the Limbaugh show? I suspect the Dems got caught up in the spin, and didn't parse the facts of what was really said.

Maybe Georgia Democrats should read The New York Times:
Along with LifeLock and Lear Financial, at least one other advertiser, Hillsdale College, remains supportive of Mr. Limbaugh. An ad for Hillsdale, a small conservative college in southern Michigan, appeared on his Web site on Tuesday. In a statement, Hillsdale said that his remarks about Ms. Fluke were “of a kind that are destructive to reasonable political discourse,” but that it accepted his apologies. 
I may listen to Limbaugh later today. What are the chances he still has national advertisers? Even if some of his national spot breaks are gone, short term, it may simply mean more time for commentary and callers.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Allen West becomes a big brother government kinda guy

So much for the Tea Party, less-government Allen West.

Congressman West (R-FL) is now pitching nationally mandated restrictions for teen drivers, and big insurance seems to love this big govenrment idea.

Allstate is among those cheering West's move:
NORTHBROOK, Ill., March 13, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Allstate joined U.S. Rep. Allen West (R-FL) in Jupiter, Fla. today as he announced his co-sponsorship of the Safe Teen and Novice Uniform Protection (STANDUP) Act – H.R. 1515.
"We are proud to stand with Congressman West on this important piece of legislation that will help save lives and helps create a culture of safe driving for current and future generations," said Bill Vainisi, senior vice president and deputy general counsel, Allstate Insurance Company. "This is truly a bipartisan issue that affects American families across the country, and we urge leaders in Congress to join us in the fight to enact federal uniform graduated driver licensing (GDL) standards that empower states to establish stronger teen driving laws. This can be done either by passing STANDUP as a stand-alone bill or by supporting its inclusion in pending transportation reauthorization bills before Congress."
The STANDUP Act creates minimum GDL standards for all young drivers to protect them on America's highways and roads. GDL programs allow new young drivers to gain experience under supervised and less risky conditions, addressing several major facets of the teen driving problem.
Nice spin Allstate, but do we really need national restrictions of this nature? Does Mr. West believe states are incapable of determining what regulations should be applied to drivers without the strong arm of the federal government once again exerting coercion by withholding highway tax dollars?

Mr. West gained political office by running on a limited government, limited taxation Tea Party platform. Now he champions legislation demanding states adopt driving rules along nationally mandated guidelines.

It didn't take long for Allen West to become a beltway insider. But who needs the Tea Party when you have big insurance companies as your cheerleader?

Obama's hypocrisy

Chris Muir hits another bulls-eye at Day by Day Cartoon:

Tide is now a black market currency?

Tide, the laundry detergent from Proctor and Gamble, now sells retail for $10 to $20 per bottle? The Daily reports Tide's grown so pricey, it's now the target of massive, organised thefts; and is even used as a black market currency in drug transactions.

If this is any indication, things don't bode well for the dollar. Criminals seem to have caught on it's dumb to stick with greenbacks that are losing  purchasing power, when you can be holding Tide which is rising in value. The same store-of-value concept works for other commodities too.

Tide is providing an example of what to expect when hyper-inflation becomes apparent.

South Park takes on the nanny state

From South Park's website:
NEW YORK, Monday March 12, 2012 After a South Park citizen meets with an unfortunate accident, the TSA steps in to prevent it from happening again in an all-new episode of "South Park" titled, "Reverse Cowgirl," premiering Wednesday, March 14 at 10:00 p.m. ET/PT on COMEDY CENTRAL.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Revved up an old tiller

Over the weekend, we cranked up a rototiller and expanded our home garden plot.

For the past few years, we've planted a small plot that was easily hand-turned with a shovel. This year, we want to add a few more crops beyond the usual squash and tomatoes.

The larger garden isn't designed to feed a family, it's still rather small. But it gives us enough space to experiment and gain experience, should we ever feel the need (or just the desire) to go bigger.

Despite its small size, last year's tiny plot provided all the tomatoes we needed from June into late November.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Romney takes on Southern ways

Is this supposed to woo southern voters?

Speaking in Mississippi, Mitt Romney says he's turning into an "unofficial Southerner."

"I'm learning to say 'y'all' and I like grits. Strange things are happening to me."

The chameleon campaign continues. Romney finds himself changing to better blend in. Is that really what you want in a president?

The timing of the G-8 move

The White House on Monday announced plans to move the upcoming G-8 summit from Chicago to the more secure Camp David in Maryland.

Also on Monday, President Barack Obama met with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the White House.

From what I can tell, the Netanyahu meeting came first. The G-8 announcement followed. Coincidence?

Activist and former Weather Underground radical Bill Ayers said those who planned demonstrations against the G-8 in Chicago should congratulate themselves for running the summit out of their city. But if the timing of the White House announcement is any indication, the change in venue may have  more to do with the Obama administration anticipating near-future military action, or at the very least, higher tension in the Middle East.

Related post

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Guns, Greece and gas on today's (March 8) 'Don and Doug'

Economic uncertainty. Is that what's driving people to buy more guns? Don and I witnessed a capacity crowd at a gun show last weekend. We'll talk about it.

The president yanked May's planned G8 meeting from Chicago, and moved the event to a more secure Camp David. Did authorities believe protests expected in Chicago were beyond the scale they could handle?

Financial powers try to stop a Greek default by infusing cash in a bond-swap deal. But does that fix anything?

Tensions surrounding Iran and Syria continue to grow in the Middle East. Oil prices keep rising amid the uncertainty, contributing to a spike in gas prices in the U.S.

These are just some of the topics planned for today's show. Join Don and Doug for free flowing, unrehearsed conversation starting at 1:00 pm EST today (March 8) on Want to join the conversation? The phone number is 678-344-9926.

Click here for a direct link to the March 8 archived program.

Post updated 3/3/2-12 5:50pm EST

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

How old is that gun? Site for dating U.S. milsurp firearms

Have an old U.S. military surplus rifle or pistol? Want an idea of when it was made?

Go to this page.

Click on the appropriate model and maker, plug in your serial number, and it shoots back an estimated  manufacture date.

I've run a couple of tests. The responses seemed accurate.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Obama yanks the G8 summit from Chicago

The White House offers up Camp David instead.

Big protests were planned surrounding the Chicago summit. But is there more working behind the scenes of the announced swap?

My friend and radio co-host Don Dickinson had this immediate reaction:
I think this is a big deal. 
Either they think they will have real security problems due to something that has already happened or they are considering making announcements that could cause huge problems. 
Camp David is vastly more secure than any city location but the facilities are spartan for what is normally a big affair. 
I think we need to pay attention to how this story develops.
The G8 summit takes place in May. A lot can happen between now and then.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Vacuum packed ammo

Anyone (besides me) ever consider using a Food Saver to vacuum pack ammunition for long-term storage?

Seems like it might have advantages especially in humid climates. Or for stuff stored in a cabin or on a boat.

Who knows. It might even extend the shelf-life of ammo - which can often last 30 years or more just packed in a cardboard box and tucked in a dresser drawer.

For climate-proof storage, a plastic bag is a lot cheaper than an ammo can. Can anyone think of any drawbacks?

White House website hosts anti-Rush petition

Is this an example of how President Obama uses the power of the White House to get things done?

The petition to remove Rush Limbaugh from Armed Forces Radio can be found here on the official U.S. government White House website.

Related: Rush blew it

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Government regs can strangle an economy

American egg supplies are
still plentiful... for now.
And sometimes regulation can strangle a food supply.

Animal rights activists wanted better conditions for working hens in Europe. But the new EU requirements have also delivered skyrocketing egg prices and reports of shortages.

It's now feared new rules on egg production in Europe may trigger a variety of other food shortages within the next month. Eggs are a key ingredient in many items on grocery shelves.

Not so classy

According to the New York Times, President Barack Obama invited himself to be commencement speaker at an women's college in New York City:
A month ago, Barnard College announced that Jill Abramson, the executive editor of The New York Times, would be its graduation speaker, but those plans changed with the call from the White House. Ms. Spar said that Ms. Abramson had said she would be happy to speak at Barnard in the future.
Classy, eh? Shove a woman out of the way so the president can have another platform to tell us how he and his administration are champions for women and women's health.

Any desperation shown by this White House move? Gotta wonder if other schools may have already turned the president down. Or was the O Team was startin' to sweat because no school had asked him to appear this year? 

Rush blew it

Rush Limbaugh blew it big time. Limbaugh read into contraception activist Sandra Fluke's comments to members of Congress something that's not even there.

Fluke did not speak to personal experience about sex or contraception except in citing examples she allegedly heard from others. Even when citing contraceptive costs, her words do not disclose that she's paid the now famous (or infamous) sum of $3,000. She just threw a figure out, prefaced by a "you know."

Read the transcript closely. There's an especially interesting line in her comments - if you take the words literally:
When I look around my campus, I see the faces of the women affected by this lack of contraceptive coverage. 
And especially in the last week, I have heard more and more of their stories. On a daily basis, I hear yet from another woman from Georgetown or from another school or who works for a religiously-affiliated employer, and they tell me that they have suffered financially and emotionally and medically because of this lack of coverage.  
And so, I’m here today to share their voices, and I want to thank you for allowing them – not me – to be heard.
Fluke's in training to be a lawyer. You'd expect her to use precise wording.

Limbaugh didn't parse her words well. And because of it, he allowed himself to say something really stupid. He put the spotlight on his words, and has become the issue. As a result, few now take the time to dissect the emotionally calculated (and unsubstantiated) nature of the rhetoric presented by Ms. Fluke, who is a well-trained, long-time progressive feminist activist pursuing an agenda in tandem with the Obama administration.

Wow. This is what gun shows have become?

I went to a gun show Saturday. My first in several years.

The morning crowd simply blew me away. Never saw some many people packing one of  these.

The event was held at a trade show venue on Atlanta's south side, just off I-285, near the airport. I knew something was up when traffic was backed up well onto the Interstate exit ramp. By the time I got to the parking lot, it was filled. I was directed to a dirt overflow lot which also was quickly filling up.

Don was there too. He got in ahead of me. But by the time I got inside, I couldn't find him. The crowd was that thick.

Wanna know more? We'll spend a little time on our next (March 8) Don and Doug talking about what we saw, and what we think it might mean. Join us if you can.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Donna Brazile has class

Donna Brazile, the Democratic strategist and frequent TV political pundit, had some very classy - and apparently heart-felt - comments yesterday over the passing of Andrew Breitbart:

From Twitter. Click image to enlarge.

Thank you, Donna. You made it seem so easy to say honest, but appropriate things when tragedy struck a political adversary. You conveyed compassion by seeing Breitbart family, friends and fans as people, not as political targets to be abused in their time of shock and grief. Thank you again for seeing a bigger picture.

Some media chatter regarding guns and gun law

First, there's an op-ed writer in the Massachusetts who apparently frets when otherwise defenseless little old ladies decide to be less defenseless.
Just what are these older women in the affluent suburbs going to defend themselves against? Marauding gang members from Boston? The Joint Terrorism Task Force knocking down their door to take away their gun? Is she going to join a militia and storm the White House if her candidate doesn’t win in November?
The writer wants to portray gun buyers as paranoid fanatics. But he comes across like an ostrich who pleads for another bucket of sand to better hide his head from the economic and societal realities that are building around him.

And then there's this:

Huffington Post notes there's a revived effort to pass a bill in Congress that would deny the right to buy a gun to anyone on the FBI's terrorism watch list:

"This is common-sense legislation that does not infringe on a gun-owner’s rights, and will protect our troops and our nation," said Vet Voice Foundation in a press release. The group, founded by veteran and progressive activist Jon Soltz, recently formed a new working group to rally veterans and ramp up pressure on Congress to prohibit such gun sales.
This push hides behind empty claims only terrorists would be impacted. The truth is anyone citizen who's name makes its way onto the list would lose their ability to purchase a gun.

The FBI's terrorism watch list is not a vetted document. It's a list of people based on (last I checked) undisclosed criteria, assembled by bureaucrats. And we know, it can be filled with errors.

We are a nation where citizens have a right to due process. And there is no due process when it comes to the terrorism watch list.

By the way, two years ago, ABC News reported over a thousand people on the FBI's watch list had lawfully purchased firearms:
From Feb. 2004 through Feb. 2010, FBI data shows that individuals on the U.S. terrorist watch list were involved in firearm or explosives background checks 1,225 times, according to the GAO. About 91 percent of the time, or 1,116 of these transactions were allowed to proceed because no prohibiting information was found, such as felony convictions, illegal immigrant status, or other disqualifying factors, and 109 of the transactions were denied.
Have any of the watch listed people who were allowed to legally purchase guns been charged, indicted or convicted related to terrorist activities? Did they use their guns in terrorist acts? Probably not. If they had, I'm sure we'd have heard about it by now.

Destroying the dollar

What if former agricultural commodities broker Ann Barnhardt is right?

Ponder just one paragraph from Barnhardt's February 29th blog rant On Money, Banking and Men:
In addition to the slow grinding debasement by the Fed, the Marxists have finally fully usurped and overthrown the government of the United States, and thus have now executed the coup de grace: wild, flagrant money “printing”, and by “printing”, please understand that we are not talking about the fabrication of paper bills. We are talking about computerized entries into the Federal Reserve’s ledger. The Fed literally types in an addition of x billion or y trillion dollars into its balance sheet – creating dollars out of thin air that exist as zeroes and ones on a computer server – and then use those new dollars to purchase US Treasury bonds. In this way, the Obama regime and its puppetmasters have debased the US dollar by roughly one half the total GDP in less than four years. This iteration of both the United States and the US Dollar are over. There is no way to walk back the damage that the Obama regime has done. They have accomplished their mission, no matter what happens from this day forward.
Now, how about another view of Barnhardt's observation? Strip away talk of Marxists and Obama. Just look at the money supply.

This graph comes from the St. Louis Branch of the Federal Reserve Bank.

It shows the U.S. dollar's adjusted monetary base.

Barnhardt's right. A bunch of zeros have been added to the money supply, a bunch of dollars created from nothing, and they've been shoved out into circulation.

Is she right about the other stuff too? Don't get too hung up on Barnhardt's declaration that Marxists are responsible. The more pertinent issue is whether, as she believes, the damage done is irrevocable.