Monday, December 29, 2014

If you like your electricity, you can keep it

The operator of America's largest electric utility grid frets that an overly ambitious schedule to close coal fired plants could leave its customers in the dark.

Bloomberg reports:
“PJM is concerned about having sufficient resources during the winter of 2015/2016, given planned environmental-related retirements and the record of generator unavailability last winter,” Ray Dotter, spokesman for PJM Interconnection LLC in Valley Forge, Pennsylvania, said in a Dec. 22 e-mail. “PJM is checking with generation owners to see if any retirements can be delayed.”
The Obama administration and its EPA have been hell-bent on making it harder for coal plants to operate. Even tighter restrictions come into play in 2015. Meanwhile, construction of gas-fired replacement plants lags well behind the coal closures, and in some regions, there is insufficient pipeline infrastructure to sufficiently fuel gas-fired plants during peak winter demands.

Perhaps a touch of irony here, but it appears that progressive Democrat controlled "Blue States" will be hit first and hardest if/when the grid collapses from insufficient electric generation capacity.

While I live in the Southeast, I've begun household planning to cope with potential blackouts or brownouts, with primary emphasis on battery backup to keep Internet and VoiP phones operating during limited duration power outages. Folks living in the Northeast should probably think doubly hard about doing something similar.
"The Obama administration's relentless expansion of executive power through extra-constitutional means only further fuels the public's distrust of government. If 2014 was a referendum on Obama, 2016 may be a referendum on whether the public wants the federal government, particularly the president, to live within constitutional boundaries." William A. Jacobson, in an op-ed at USA Today.

H/T: Sipsey Street

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Justifiable homicides up in Detroit...

As of last week, it appears Detroit's 2014 murder count will be the lowest since 1967.

Same article says Detroit's justifiable homicides are up over last year. Sixteen justifiable homicides were noted last year, while twenty-two were recorded as of press time in 2014.

It's no secret many law abiding folks in Detroit have embraced concealed carry, and while others have acquired arms for home defense.

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Dabbled in grid-down preps this week

This is a tiny 800 watt generator I picked up at Harbor Freight a year or more ago. Had a 20 percent coupon, and my cost out the door was under $80. Bought it on a whim, tossed it up on a shelf in the basement, and there it sat since purchase. Until this week.

Pulled it out Christmas Eve. Popped in a U.S. made spark plug, and fired it up.

It buzzes, it chugs, it hums right along. And it puts out AC power. Not exactly clean or steady, but close enough.

There are literally dozens of reviews online for this little machine, so I won't delve into a full review. My intended primary use is to will be to recharge batteries used to power a 300 watt inverter. Three hundred watts is sufficient to keep Internet and VoiP phone up and running during winter storm power outages, it can also run an LCD TV and recharge a laptop.

Direct current from 12 volt batteries can also be used directly to power my Ham radios.

I will say, I find this Harbor Freight unit quieter than expected. It's powered by a two-cycle engine, but running with a half-load, the engine's hum was barely audible inside my house (with windows and doors closed, of course). The unit was only about 25 to 30 feet outside the back door. No, it's not a "quiet" generator, but it's seems a whole lot quieter than the aging Coleman Powermate that's sitting in my garage.

I've undertaken several other power back-up projects this week. I mentioned the inverter; actually there's two, both rated at 300 watts and produce a true sine wave feed. And I've added a power transfer switch to the downstairs furnace. Bought it more than seven years ago, but I was diagnosed with cancer not long afterward, and never got around to installing it until today.

A couple other rudimentary enhancements are also in the works. Planning to share more about those in the coming week or two.

Dirty deeds done in back rooms

Writing at Jews for the Preservation of Firearms Ownership, Kurt Hofmann notes:
Claire Wolfe has long argued that, "Secret government is tyrannical government." It's tyrannical, because only government by the people, is not tyrannical. And government is not "by the people" when "the people" are not even allowed to know what their servants in government are doing.
Hofmann's article specifically deals with the emergence of a largely opaque group of state lawmakers who vow to pursue more restrictive gun control laws. And he's right to apply Wolfe's observation.

No one should be trusting of a group that conceals its membership roster as well as its financial backers.

But the Wolfe philosophy has even larger relevance in these uprecedented times.

The perils of secrecy also apply to a government that hashes out routine business behind closed doors, withholding even the most rudimentary disclosures until the last minute; waiting so late, even those who must vote on a measure often don't have time or don't bother to read it before voting. The way the Congress recently crammed through its CRomnibus appropriation bill also carries this trait of tyranny.


From Chris Muir's Day By Day Cartoon:

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

"Christmas at Denny's"

Possibly the most downer of a Christmas song ever.

One more from Randy Stonehill...

Christmas Song For All Year Round

Gun smuggling busted

Alleged smuggling ring said to have used commercial airline flights to get guns to New York City.

From the Atlanta Journal Constitution:
Police say more than 150 guns were illegally smuggled from Atlanta to New York on more than a dozen trips. Channel 2's Rachel Stockman broke the news Monday that a former Delta employee at Hartsfield-Jackson is accused of using his clearance to help smuggle the guns.  
Investigators believe those guns made it on to 20 different flights. 
Why fly? Seems a terribly complicated and risky way to move contraband.

Wouldn't have driving been safer, with less chance of detection, and also allowed for bigger loads?

Monday, December 22, 2014


Former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani says Obama propaganda has caused people to hate police.

If so, cast a wider net.

The GOP controlled House of Representatives has continued to fully fund the Obama administration, and that includes the administration's anti-police rhetoric.

Hold Congress accountable. Tell the House to fire Speaker Boehner.

Rumblings from within the House

Perhaps the Fire Boehner movement gains momentum.

Meawhile, I see WND reports 425,000 letters have been received by Congress seeking Boehner's ouster as speaker.  That might sound impressive until you realize it would take about 3.25 million letter writers to represent just one percent of the U.S. population.

Congress still needs to hear from you.

If you've already written, a follow-up letter just prior to the start of the January session might be a good idea as well.

Just thinking

If toy guns make 'em go nuts in the New York AG's office, what would a toy canon do?

Anyone remember the "Mighty Mo"?

Don't think I ever had one. If I recall, the one we had was my brother's.

The media and its big Fast and Furious assumption

David Codrea asks the question: "How does one track guns without making any attempt to do so?"

New York's latest gun grab

Toy guns are just too dangerous. Or so some claim.

The New York attorney general wants them swept from circulation and retailers, both online and brick and motar are being targeted with investigation.

NEW YORK – Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman today announced that his office sent cease and desist letters to several major retailers, including Wal-Mart, Amazon, K-Mart, and others for allegedly selling prohibited toy guns online to residents of New York State, and, in at least one case, in a K-Mart store in suburban Rochester. The letters, stemming from an ongoing investigation, call for retailers to immediately stop the in-store and online sale and shipment to New Yorkers of toy guns that violate New York State law pending the resolution of Attorney General Schneiderman’s investigation. 

We must ban them so all are safe. Or at least the ones that look "realistic." Or so they say.

Meanwhile, generations of American kids grew up playing with toy guns. Yes, ones without orange striping or end caps.

And there's probably plenty of grounds to argue that those who did, grew up with a more sense, and better emotional balance that the ones being raised in today's "progressive" nanny state.

Maybe cops and attorneys general had more sense back then too.

Here's a few classic commercials you might enjoy:

The "Tommy-Burst Detective Set" from Mattel.

The "Thunder-Burp" from Mattel.

The "Safe Shootin' Rifle" also from Mattel.

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Iraq deployment announced

Obama orders more troops to Iraq.

Elements of the 82nd Airbourne will be boots on the ground by late next month.

MSM scarcely seems to notice. It remains more focused on its pre-planned coverage of Obama's latest vacation.

Using social media for effective political protest

Don and I kick around some ideas on Friday's program about using social media to voice political protest.

It's all built around a rising people's campaign that House Speaker Boehner must be denied another term, more principled House leadership must be imposed by Republicans in Congress

A caller bought additional advice gained from experience to the program.

It was a great first hour, and I highly recommend.

As far as influencing Congress, and turning America around, Don still thinks we're past the point of no return. Don't expect a mass wake-up prior to some sort of crash that grows ever more near.

I'm in the camp that hopes we can still soften the crash, and at the very least, make those in DC understand we're on to their tricks, and have tired of their arrogance.

The caller retains optimism. And is waging incremental battles one at a time.

Check Out Politics Conservative Podcasts at Blog Talk Radio with TalkSouthRadio on BlogTalkRadio

Was it really North Korea?

Despite what Obama and the FBI says, it appears many in the cyber security field are not convinced it as North Korea that hacked Sony.

Things aren't always as they're presented, or as they first appear.

Sometimes, circumstances are exploited to justify action, even tho the truth is never fully sorted out.

History would suggest a more thorough approach is in order. Especially before a president starts touting retaliation.

Remember the Maine?

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Selling the sellout

Local paper covered an event featuring my Republican congressman.

Don't worry, be happy, he says.

All those trillions in debt we're racking up are going to deliver America's best days ever.

This guy's peddling some Kool-Aid that would make Jim Jones blush.

The Gwinnett Daily Post quotes Rep. Rob Woodall (R-GA):
“I am grateful for the opportunity to serve you,” he said. “I won’t tell you that every day is a good day, but I will tell you that there’s nobody on Capitol Hill that has a bigger smile on their face than I do because there is nobody on Capitol Hill who represents folks who are as committed to each other as a community than those of us here in Gwinnett and across the border into Forsyth County.”  
And what happens at the community level, Woodall said, is what makes America great — not what happens in Washington, D.C.  
“I see nothing but better things ahead for America,” he said. “I have no doubt that America’s best days are ahead.” 

There's no will in DC to make hard choices, make necessary reforms. Sure, they tell you there is. But they've been telling us that for years.

So, they tell us all is well. We're good people. We're in good hands.

Then they fly back to DC and resume their business as usual politics.

And that national debt, much of it accrued from programs they use to keep us distracted from the painful truth, keeps getting bigger and bigger.

Christmas shopping

It appears at least two ammo calibers are still in short supply this Christmas: .25 acp, and .22 rimfire (all variants).

Anyone else noticing others?

Ammo makes a great stocking stuff for the firearms owner in your life.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Is someone pulling strings, or is the hard truth just too hard for some to take?

There've been hints of speculation by some that perhaps Obama and his team may have some special sway over House Speaker John Boehner.

From Chris Muir's Day by Day Cartoon:

Matt Drudge had this:

It's not my intent to spread idle rumors or speculation, but Washington's a tough place to keep a secret. Especially a big secret over a long period of time. Is there a wannabe whistleblower out there with a racing heart, on the verge of offering revelation? If so, now's the time to come forward. Or begin a series of leaks.

Or is it just the betrayal perpetrated by Mr. Boehner goes so deep, people grasp at conspiracy theories, trying to find some way to explain his behavior as something other than simple out-right free-will complicity with those seeking to fundamentally transform America?

Monday, December 15, 2014

Fire Speaker Boehner. Are you workin' it?

Haven't pulled together a lot of thoughts for blog posts the past couple days.

I've been banging away on social media expressing grave displeasure with CRomnibus passage, and encouraging my congressman to vote 'no' on another term as speaker for John Boehner.

In the process, I've noticed something. While most members of Congress have Twitter accounts or Facebook pages, few constituents make use of them.

Well, we need to start using them. Posting a social media comment or response is a great compliment to a more formal email to express your viewpoint, ask your congressman for a desired action.

Here's how my Congressman tried to put positive Facebook spin on his vote for Cromnibus approval:

I'm among those who posted a reply:

Keep it short. Try to be polite. But it's okay to be firm.

Best part of Twitter or Facebook is that other constituents can see your post.

Put enough "Fire Speaker Boehner" tweets in his timeline, maybe these guys will get the message.

My Twitter efforts have been more of a shotgun approach. Some tweets to my rep, but I've included other reps as well. Others are simply a blind call for action.

I've also tweeted various Republican activists and organisations asking if they'll join us in our call.

Tuesday, December 16

It's also the 241st anniversary of the Boston Tea Party. 

But the Boston event wasn't a stand alone affair. It just got the party started. 

          Thursday, December 22, 2011
Ten Tea Parties 
An advance copy of Ten Tea Parties by Joseph Cummins came my way. 
It's a fascinating, quick read that brings to life much of the forgotten history of the Boston Tea Party, and the Tea Parties that followed in other colonies. 
The Tea Parties weren't a fluke. Or a prank. They were hard-edge, well planned economic protests that helped unite a soon to be born nation. 
Ten Tea Parties is a book well worth putting on your reading list. If you're politically minded, it's likely one you'll want to share with friends. The book's announced release date is January 17, 2012.

The book's still available at Amazon, some copies at deep discounts.

Now that my memory's been jogged, I may give it a reread over the holidays.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

CRomnibus is in

The Senate approved the appropriations abomination known as CRomnibus last night.

While I may offer more on the senate shenanigans later, we still need to keep focus on the House.

Republicans in the House showed no remorse for the way CRomnibus was shoved through.

In fact, those who crafted the bill seemed pretty satisfied afterward at the way the knife was inserted in the backs of conservative voters.

Congressional Republicans likely think we will quickly forget about CRomnibus. They'll find new crises to fuel their distractions.

But we need to held them accountable.

Ball's in our court right now. Next order of business for the House will be to swear in new members, choose the next speaker.

If you don't want two more years of Speaker Boehner, now's the time to make yourself heard.

Make calls to district offices. Send emails. Blast your Republican congressman on social media like Twitter or Facebook. Tell 'em you want them to fire Speaker Boehner.

As seen on Twitter

Posters make a fine way to dress up a tweet or Facebook post to make sure it gets noticed.

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Outing media hypocrisy

Two senators have taken high profile roles in opposing senate passage of the "Cromnibus" bill.

But the endeavors of Democrat Elizabeth Warren and Republican Ted Cruz get vastly different press treatment.

"Warren Makes Her Mark", while "Cruz Center of Senate Meltdown"

Meanwhile, it looks like the senate may not vote on Cromnibus until Monday at the earliest, suggesting some members in the senate may actually have time to read it before voting.

It's an ugly bill crafted under a corrupt appropriations process.

The whole thing needs to die. But it will probably survive and win passage in some form.

Friday, December 12, 2014

Weekend rallies

First off, the agitation express rolls into DC on Saturday.

Meanwhile, out west, gun rights activists rally in Olympia, Washington.

Think everybody's going to be on their best behavior?

Get 'em while you can

Several years back, the Obama EPA banned some of the more effective rat poisons that had been available to consumers.

The stuff that remained on the market after that wasn't nearly so good.

Guess what?

They're at it again.

Another list of rat-killing products, probably not near as potent as what was banned before, is about to get yanked under EPA order.

Production of products on this new banned list ends at the end of December 2014.

Better get 'em while you can.

Atlanta magazine recently did a profile of that city's rat problem. The writer failed to mention EPA rodenticide bans and resulting reformulations as a potential reason Atlanta's rat population has exploded.

Who do they represent?

Georgia is among the states joining a lawsuit to block President Obama's executive amnesty plan.

Meanwhile, Georgia's congressional delegation overwhelmingly votes, via Cromnibus, to fund start-up of the executive amnesty Georgia's fighting in court.

How many other states have congressional delegations that voted in direct conflict with the wishes and intent of their state governments and constituents back home?

Seems to me, our supposed congressional reps have deeper allegiance to DC than they do us folk back on the home turf.

Americans declared independence and fought a war over lack of representation.

Does Congress understand the depth of its Cromnibus folly?

Does Congress understand how high the stakes are?

Protest to the U.S. Senate

Sent this to Senators Isakson and Chambliss of Georgia this morning:
Cromnibus is a pork laden corruption of the federal appropriations process. 
Cromnibus allows the entrenchment of Obama's executive amnesty to begin. 
If you are serious about honest, responsible, transparent government, there's no way to justify a vote in favor of Cromnibus.  
If Boehner wants to destroy public confidence in the House, so be it.  
Please hold the line, protect the Constitution,and the American people's faith in government; vote NO on Cromnibus.

What have you sent to DC?

The hit to our republic gets worse the deeper you look

Well, well, just looked what they crammed into Crominibus.

Perhaps Boehner and his Quisling "establishment" Republicans think their rich friends will just buy future elections for them. notes:

Tea party activists are attacking a campaign finance rider in the $1.1 trillion spending bill that they view as a sneaky power grab by establishment Republicans designed to undermine outside conservative groups. 
The provision would increase the amount of money a single donor could give to national party committees each year from $97,200 to as much as $777,600 by allowing them to set up different funds for certain expenses. The change would be a huge boost for party committees that have faced steep challenges in recent years from well-funded outside groups.

The goal, it seems, is to build party machines big enough to keep members of Congress in line with Big Party agenda, as well as beat back any primary challengers.

In other words, no more fretting over pesky Tea Parties or independent thinking conservatives. Big Parties will own Congress. The likely bottom-line result: Individual members will no longer have the clout or freedom to actually represent constituents.

We lost more of our republic last night than most folks realize.

Seriously doubt the senate has the will to resist.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Bug out bags for bankers

Don found this one and forwarded it:

Headlines from the Washington Free Beacon:
Treasury Department Seeking Survival Kits For Bank Employees 
Emergency masks, solar blankets to be delivered to every major bank in the U.S.
How much time does our shell of a financial system have left?

Update:  Here's a link to the actual RFP. It's legit.

A couple of additional thoughts:

If Treasury wants to buy survival kits for regulators, fine. But why is government apparently seeking acquisitions for banks as well?

It's also interesting that government ramps up these kinds of preps on the inside, yet there's no campaign to raise the general public's level of preparedness.

In the old days, there were common themes along the lines of  Civil Defense is for everyone.

Is it now just bureaucrats and their commercial cronies that government advises to get ready?

The Republican sell out isn't an overnight phenomenon

Yes, I voted for Mitt Romney in 2012, but I had longstanding reservations of what a Romney victory might mean.

I outlined my apprehensions of a potential Romney presidency, but more importantly, the overall "mainstream" Republican Party, in a January 2012 post:

I would feel better about Romney had the current GOP leadership and Republican dominated House showed the principles and resistance it promised it would deliver with the November 2010 elections. So far, their performance has been marginal at best, and compromise seems to have gone in favor of the president. 
An Obama second term would likely face continued resistance from Republicans. But a President Romney would  likely return to his roots, and strive to show compromise with Democrats. Compromise would be spun as progress, and Republicans would join right in.
If we're going to continue on the path that destroys liberty and adds to the national debt, why not let a Democrat own it? The Republicans, by their own performance over the past decade or so, have shown they have little interest in sticking to true conservative ideals. If we're going to have a progressive president, I'd rather have one that galvanizes resistance than one who lulls the resistance into complacency.

Well, here we are: December 2014, just a month after another Republican congressional landslide delivered by passionate conservative voters.

And John Boehner of the House and Mitch McConnell of the Senate work to sell out the party's conservative base in record time.

Damn. Just damn.

I get no pleasure from being right about this stuff.

This is what "voting Republican" gets you

Time after time in the past year, I heard (presumably) well intentioned Repubicans insist voting Republican would be the key to holding the president accountable, the key to rolling back abuses inflicted by Obama and his progressive cohorts.

They said a conservative pedigree wasn't necessary. The larger Republican Party had the will and a plan to save the country. So-called mainstream Republicans could be trusted.

Well, here it comes. My "I told you so."

You got snookered.

Things go from bad to worse from here.

Government is not only out of control, key players (and may smaler ones) no longer make any pretense of hiding their contempt for those they're supposed to represent.

Don't count on conservative voters voting Republican in 2016.

If the USA as we know it makes it to 2016.

To quote Hillary Clinton, "What difference does it make?"

NBC law breaker

Despite official warning, an NBC program host went on TV and willfully showed himself violating the law in Washington DC. 

Remember how David Gregory waved that rifle mag in the face of an NRA official?

Possession of the mag was illegal in the district.
Legal Insurrection was one of the first to note the violation of law, and we pursued the story in a long series of posts. 
Despite the clear violation of law, the D.C. Attorney General, Irvin Nathan, decided not to prosecute Gregory or any NBC News personnel.

That’s not how the average person is treated in D.C., where the technicalities of the gun laws are enforced with obsessive prosecutorial vigor.
Legal Insurrection went to court to win access to a supporting document, one that shows NBC was warned in advance not to use an actual magazine.

David Gregory may be gone from NBC. But there's nothing to suggest DC's double standard legal games don't remain in full force.

Laws, it seems, are for little people. Or for others who otherwise fall outside government's favored status.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Goes from bad to worse

The U.S. military is locked into a new fighter plane that can't fly on warm fuel. 

Good luck working things out on desert deployments.

No white cop need apply

It seems the mayor of New York has an opening on his personal security team. 

But he's picky about who he'll take.

From the New York Post:
The head of Hizzoner’s protection unit — staffed by a racially diverse group — has been calling other commanders asking for recommendations, law enforcement sources said.  
“A boss on his security detail is looking to recruit a new sergeant but they have to be the right racial makeup. He is looking for a sergeant but the sergeant has to be black,” a source told The Post.
I'm so old, I remember when equal opportunity employment was touted as the law of the land.

I remember an era where the goal to judge  someone  by the content of their character, not predetermine their place by the color of their skin.

Progressive Democrats like De Blasio seem to operate differently.

Gruber's grilling

Obamacare's architect of deception Jonathan Gruber is due to appear before Congress on Capitol Hill today.

But while Gruber's anticipated grilling is greatly deserved, I can't help but think timing is suspect.

A public grilling of Gruber will do much to distract from the sneaky budget dealings on the hill.

Deadline for Congress to pass a spending plan is only days away.


Just days after President Obama is diagnosed with acid reflux...

The White House announces the Obama's personal chef is leaving to pursue other interests.

I just find the timing amusing.

Dirty deeds done in backrooms

Those drafting the proposed national spending plan in Congress are doing so with the utmost of secrecy. 

Whatever happened to our representative democracy where issues and priorities were publicly debated, where the people were supposed to have a role in governing decisions, where transparency was a highly prizes attribute of good governance? 

Secrecy and governing in "crisis" - be it a real crisis, or one ginned up for the occasion - appear to be the new American order. 

Your Congressional leaders, of course, defend the opaqueness. 

But it's a model that's been used in the past to lead others down a dark and dangerous path. 

I've quoted a Milton Mayer before. And I'll quote him again.

Mayer, a historian, wrote of Germany's transition to Nazism:
"What happened here was the gradual habituation of the people, little by little, to being governed by surprise; to receiving decisions deliberated in secret; to believing that the situation was so complicated that the government had to act on information which the people could not understand, or so dangerous that, even if the people could not understand it, it could not be released because of national security. And their sense of identification with Hitler, their trust in him, made it easier to widen this gap and reassured those who would otherwise have worried about it.
"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.
It's been said history may not repeat, but it often rhymes. 

Not all rhymes are good rhymes. 

Monday, December 8, 2014

Disingenuous Republicans

Is Issa telling it straight about Boehner? One of the guys who first exposed Fast and Furious says no.

Shared knowledge, common experience

America's traditions of liberty and freedom.

Are you sharing our heritage with the next generation?

Are you sharing what's necessary to defend it?

Image courtesy: Oleg Volk

White privilege

Seems the U.S. Justice Department has a message.

White people are racist. Even if they don't know it.

DOJ has special teams now. They head for crisis zones to educate the minority masses about something it calls white privilege

Government, deliberately working to divide the people. Teams dispatched around the nation to sow seeds of discord and distrust.

This won't end well.

Government gets more dysfunctional with each passing day

Is bone-head Boehner still going to fund Obama's executive order immigration amnesty...

If there's no executive order? 

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Lack of transparency

Hey Republicans, are you gonna pass the spending bill before we get to see what's in in?

Welcome to government, Gomer Pyle style.

Escalating tensions with Russia, and precedents of history


An older generation of lefties now feel the younger generation of lefties running Washington is getting in over its head as it ratchets up rhetoric over Russia.

A new media news site called Sputnik offers this:
"If you wonder," wrote Robert Parry, "how the world could stumble into WWIII — much as it did into WWI a century ago — all you need to do is look at the madness that has enveloped virtually the entire US political/media structure over Ukraine where a false narrative of white hats versus black hats took hold early and has proved impervious to facts or reason." 
Parry, the journalist who revealed Iran-Contra, is one of the few who investigate the central role of the media in this "game of chicken", as the Russian foreign minister called it. But is it a game? As I write this, the US Congress votes on Resolution 758 which, in a nutshell, says: ‘Let's get ready for war with Russia’.
And, yes, economic sanctions, if applied in a reckless or overzealous manner can have unintended consequences up to and including full scale, all out, world war.

Don't believe me?

Take a look  at history. Parry may harken back to World War I, but there's a more recent and arguably better example.

American sanctions on Japan preceded Japan's attack on Pearl Harbor.

The case can be made Roosevelt never intended those sanctions to be a stringent as they were, but that overzealous federal bureaucrats worked them every way possible, likely hurting Japan deeper and faster than Roosevelt intended.

Japan's attack on Pearl Harbor came roughly five months after Roosevelt's executive order freezing Japanese assets in the U.S.

The Obama adminsitration began rolling out its sanctions against Russia last March.

And there's one more wild card in play right now. Cheap Saudi oil that currently threatens the profitability of U.S. shale drillers already appears to be wreaking much deeper havoc with Russia's oil based economy.

The more players you have, the more complicated things get.

The more complicated things get, the greater the chance of unintended consequences.

Related: Putin's boast

December 7, 1941

Today marks the 73rd anniversary of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.

Most Americans, I presume, still know of the attack. But the generation that actually experienced it, and responded to avenge it, is passing away.

Even so, it's expected more than 50 World War II veterans will gather today in Hawaii to commemorate today's anniversary. Among them, four actual survivors of the attack on Pearl.

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Remember Ebola?

West African case count rising.

More Hillary Clinton self-indulgence

Lifted a screen grab from that Hillary Clinton county song video

Hillary Clinton image courtesy Stand With Hillary PAC
Washington bust courtesy George Washington Bicentennial Commission

Is the shot from the video (left) suggesting Clinton is the next George Washington?

Maybe it's symbolism for the first female president. 

Maybe it's just that her ego and pretentiousness know no bounds.

Double standard

Have you notice how some in Congress have jumped aboard the Eric Garner protest parade?

Plenty of pundits have piled on too.

Hashtags abound. #ICantBreathe and #BlackLivesMatter to cite just two

So here's my question: Where were these voices last year when a Black mom named Miriam Carey was gunned down near the U.S. Capitol? Carey died after being repeatedly shot in the back by police. She was unarmed.

When Carey was slain, nobody waited to learn the details.

Congress stood and gave her killer(s) a standing ovation.

Why don't those who demand "justice" for Eric Garner (or Micheal Brown) also demand "justice" for Carey?

I'm not necessarily judging the officers involved in the DC shooting. At the same time, the case of Miriam Carey has lacked even the pretense of public concern more recent cases have triggered. And most, if not all, of the high profile persons who now raise their voices loud over more recent incidents seemed to have done their best to look the other way last year.

Ever notice...

House Speaker John Boehner seems to split his time between saying he is a conservative and vowing he won't cave to conservatives.

Putin's boast

Okay, I confess. At first pass I thought Vlad Putin was just being a Russian jingoist, putting on his best spin to counter a domestic concerns of a troubled economy, as he spoke to the Russian people this week.

Putin spoke of sovereignty, and of Russia's military power, according to press reports including this one:
"I want to stress: either we will be sovereign, or we will dissolve in the world. And, of course, other nations must understand this as well."
Putin continued:
"No one will succeed in defeating Russia militarily," he said. "They would have been delighted to let us go the way of Yugoslavia and the dismemberment of the Russian peoples, with all the tragic consequences. But it did not happen. We did not allow it to happen." 
"The more we retreat and justify ourselves, the more brazen our opponents become and the more cynically and aggressively they behave."
Turns out, Putin may not have been simply been pandering to his Russian masses. His comments may have been in direct response to a U.S. House of Representatives resolution.

HR 758, passed the same day as Putin's address, was billed as a resolution “strongly condemning the actions of the Russian Federation, under President Vladimir Putin, which has carried out a policy of aggression against neighboring countries aimed at political and economic domination.”

Former Congressman Ron Paul is no fan of the House action, calling it "sixteen pages of war propaganda that should have made even neocons blush, if they were capable of such a thing."

Paul describes the resolution as a provocation, perhaps to be interpreted by the Russians in line with a declaration of war.

Ron Paul doesn't always get things right. But sometimes he knocks one out of the ball park.

I worry, as Mr. Paul does, that we have a government more focused on rhetoric and show, too impressed with its own bluster.

Mr. Putin, I suspect, has a more practical and tactical mindset.

Lessons from an anti-colonialist

Funny what can catch your eye on social media. 

This quote grabbed mine:
"When we revolt it's not for a particular culture. We revolt simply because, for many reasons, we can no longer breathe." - Frantz Fanon
Strong thought.

Turns out Frantz Fanon was an anti-colonialist from Martinique. I found a webpage with other quotes from a book he'd written.

Some samples:
 “And it is clear that in the colonial countries the peasants alone are revolutionary, for they have nothing to lose and everything to gain. The starving peasant, outside the class system is the first among the exploited to discover that only violence pays. For him there is no compromise, no possible coming to terms; colonization and decolonization is simply a question of relative strength.” 
“The claim to a national culture in the past does not only rehabilitate that nation and serve as a justification for the hope of a future national culture. In the sphere of psycho-affective equilibrium it is responsible for an important change in the native. Perhaps we haven't sufficiently demonstrated that colonialism is not satisfied merely with holding a people in its grip and emptying the native's brain of all form and content. By a kind of perverted logic, it turns to the past of the oppressed people, and distorts, disfigures, and destroys it. This work of devaluing pre-colonial history takes on a dialectical significance today.”  
“Have the courage to read this book, for in the first place it will make you ashamed, and shame, as Marx said, is a revolutionary sentiment.”
Strikes me this is the kind of writing young Barack Obama, under guidance of his Marxist professors, might have gravitated to.  But it also strikes me that the approach of the Obama government toward the American nation seems to borrow heavily from the kind of mindset Fanon ascribes to colonialists.

Pledging to "fundamentally transform" a country is something a colonial master would desire.

So too, the importation of large numbers of immigrants to reshape a country's population into something less native and more pliable in transformation would be a colonialist strategy.

A colonial master would prioritize his chosen immigrants over what he sees as the less pliable natives. A country's military veterans from the pre-colonial era, for example, might be shifted from an honored class to a slighted class of a population conquered or otherwise subdued under a new colonial ruler. New arrivals, on the other hand, might be showered with entitlements to woo allegiance.

Here's another quote from a more contemporary source:
"Barack knows that we are going to have to make sacrifices; we are going to have to change our conversation; we're going to have to change our traditions, our history; we're going to have to move into a different place as a nation." - Michelle Obama, May 2008
While most of us grew up being versed in an American government under the Constitution, Obama, simply by nature of his international background, was perhaps more interested in, or steered toward weighing philosophies of colonialism and anti-colonialism.

Strikes me, Obama's implemented a government agenda more akin to that of a colonial power than what the founders envisioned under the Constitution. Fact is, he may have been pretty much up front about his intent from the start, but he also knew a knowledge gap would make it unlikely all but few would understand what he was saying.

Friday, December 5, 2014

Lights out

One of the better explanations of grid vulnerabilities I've seen.

And yes, the dangers are real.

One big, happy family

Still think there's much difference between progressive Democrats and so-called mainstream Republicans?

Seems they're all one big, happy family.

Did you know Hillary Clinton is George Bush's sister-in-law?

Don't take my word for it.

His words, not mine. 

Protests and bottlenecks

Don's the first I've known to take note of this.

After today's Don and Doug webcast, Don shared an observation with me.

In the on-going waves of protests around the country, roving bands of demonstrators have successfully managed to block tunnels, bridges and key highways.

Some of these shut-downs are being carried out with only a handful of protesters.

Almost anyone who commutes probably passes through some kind of bottleneck on a regular basis.

Interstates may seem free flowing, but blocking just two to four lanes can hold thousands of travelers hostage.

How at risk is your commute?

Stats from a fundamentally transformed America

"With 10 million fewer Americans working full-time today than six years ago. The labor-force participation rate recently touched a 36-year low of 62.7%. The number of Americans not in the labor force set a record high of 92.6 million in September. Part-time work and long-term unemployment are still well above levels from before the financial crisis. Worse, middle-class incomes continue to fall during the recovery, losing even more ground than during the December 2007 to June 2009 recession. The number in poverty has also continued to soar, to about 50 million Americans. That is the highest level in the more than 50 years. Federal regulations now cost the U.S. more than 12% of gross domestic product, or $2 trillion annually, according to the National Association of Manufacturers. The average manufacturing firm spends almost $20,000 per employee per year on complying with federal regulations. For manufacturers with fewer than 50 employees, the per-employee cost rises to almost $35,000." - Rich Brown, as posted on Facebook

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Who the hell's running Hillary's campaign?

 Be honest.

Guys who drive tractors or pickups aren't bubbling over with the hots to elect Hillary.

Good ol' boys sitting around, jammin' on their guitars about Hillary?

Don't think so. Not gonna happen.

This is laughable:

Update: Okay, just to clarify. The video comes from Stand With Hillary PAC, not directly from her campaign. Not that country boys prone to running out of gas in their pickups would parse the difference. They'd probably just say "What difference does it make?"

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

War in the streets

War in the streets. Here's a cop killing you probably never heard of.

Ignored by the mainstream media. Wouldn't want to give the Bloods a bad rap, would they?

From Richmond, Virginia's WTVR last May:
The people who carjacked, kidnapped and killed Waynesboro reserve police captain Kevin Quick were members of the Bloods street gang who robbed stores and sold drugs in the weeks and months leading up to the murder, according to a 39-page indictment unsealed Friday. 
A total of nine individuals were indicted in the abduction and slaying of reservist Capt. Quick.  
The suspects killed Quick “for the purpose of gaining entrance to and maintaining and increasing position in the enterprise, an enterprise engaged in racketeering activity,” the indictments indicated. 
The murder happened around January 31, 2014 in Central Virginia. Not exactly a stereotypical inner city.

No national TV. No outrage from Eric Holder. Not a peep from Obama.

Fast forward a bit.

Today, we have a president spreading a one sided narrative that police need to wear cameras to be trusted. And Mr. Obama employs charlatans like Al Sharpton to agitate and drill skewed narratives over events in places like Ferguson, Missouri.

Today we have an attorney general selling out cops on the street for the sake of agitation.

And, this very day in Washington DC, we have a Republican speaker of the House who is making a mockery of those who voted last month to take the country back to a more centrist direction.

Still think this is all going to end well?

If the shirt fits...

Okay, one for Georgia's other senator

Reworked my senate protest letter. 

Just dashed this off to outgoing Georgia U.S. Senator Saxby Chambliss, who, like Johnny Isakson, is a Republican.

Topic: Immigration
Subtopic: You're leaving at an ugly time in history

Dear Senator Chambliss,

Looks like a great sell-out is underway, with Republican leadership scurrying around Capitol Hill working to give Obama a spending bill, and money for his unconstitutional executive amnesty plan by Christmas. 
Americans turned out last month to elect Republicans to hold a rogue president in check. Now the GOP leadership seemingly wants to green light what they promised to stop. 
You may be leaving the Senate at year's end, but actions you vote on this month may have lasting consequences.

Forget GOP plans for symbolic votes denouncing Obama's moves, what's need is decisive, binding action to pull America back from the brink.

While Republicans play footsie with the administration under the table, we've seen forces aligned (directly or indirectly) with the president burn an American city in the heartland.

We have an attorney general now crisscrossing the country still trying to fan the flames ginned up in Ferguson, Missouri.
Sen. Chambliss, you tried to be a peacemaker with Obama, you allowed him to lobby you over dinner last year, giving the president cover to pretend he had bipartisan intentions. You played into his hands. Since then, things have gone from bad to worse.

If Republicans don't show some spine and begin to seriously counter this president and his destructive administration, very dark clouds will continue to descend on our America.
Please convey to your Republican leadership the time to act in a serious, deliberate manner is now.

Don't fund unconstitutional power grabs. Not for month, not for a week, not for a day.  
I voted for you, and I thank you for your service. Now I ask one more thing, please let your final days in office be honorable ones. Please don't fall in line with those Republicans who now conspire to betray their party, their voters and the nation.  
Thank you in advance.

Yesterday a congressman, today I wrote a senator

News accounts I'm seeing warn the Republican leadership in DC is working toward a grand sell-out, a betrayal of election promises that helped fuel the party's successes at the polls last month.

Washington needs to hear from us. 

I'm writing to those who represent me in Congress. This morning's email went to Senator Johnny Isakson.

Dear Senator Isakson, 
Looks like a great sell-out is underway, with Republican leadership scurrying around Capitol Hill working to give Obama a spending bill, and money for his unconstitutional executive amnesty plan by Christmas. 
Americans turned out last month to elect Republicans to hold a rogue president in check. Now the GOP leadership seemingly wants to green light what they promised to stop. 
Forget GOP plans for symbolic votes denouncing Obama's moves, what's need is decisive, binding action to pull America back from the brink. 
While you Republicans play footsie with the administration under the table, we've seen forces aligned (directly or indirectly) with the president burn an American city in the heartland.  
We have an attorney general now crisscrossing the country still trying to fan the flames ginned up in Ferguson, Missouri. 
Mr. Isakson, you tried to be a peacemaker with Obama last year, you even recruited other Republicans to dine with the president, allowing him to lobby his positions. But since then, things have gone from bad to worse. 
If Republicans don't show some spine and begin to seriously counter this president and his destructive administration, very dark clouds will continue to descend on our America.
Please convey to your Republican leadership the time to act in a serious, deliberate manner is now.  
Don't fund unconstitutional power grabs. Not for month, not for a week, not for a day. 
I voted for you, now I ask you to tell me how the Republicans plan to turn things around, and begin to restore rule of law in these United States. 
Thank you in advance, I await your reply.

For those interested, yesterday's letter to my congressman can be found here.

Update: I've also dashed off a letter of protest to outgoing Georgia Senator Saxby Chambliss.

Republican treachery running well ahead of schedule

House Speaker John Boehner and his sell-out GOP on Capitol Hill waste no time in breaking their word to you, the American voter. 

Less than 30 days after mid-term elections, U.S. Senator Jeff Sessions is among those sounding the alarm over GOP leadership betrayal.

National Review notes documents are circulating on the Hill which would green light funding for Obama's executive amnesty overreach:
“The executive amnesty language is substantially weaker than the language the House adopted this summer, and does not reject the central tenets of the President’s plan: work permits, Social Security and Medicare to 5 million illegal immigrants — reducing wages, jobs and benefits for Americans,” Sessions said in the statement expressing his dissatisfaction with the results of a House Republican conference meeting today. 
In the meeting, “the lawmakers began coalescing around a two-part plan that would allow a symbolic vote to show their frustration with President Obama’s executive action on immigration, before funding the government ahead of a Dec. 11 deadline,” according to the New York Times.
Americans voted enough Republicans in to give the party real power to reign in Obama overreach, yet the cowardly GOP still wants to limit itself to stupid symbolism. There seems little besides raw cowardice behind this ploy.

Meanwhile, there's another element of this GOP insanity.

The GOP campaigned for your vote, so that it would have the clout to control fiscal spending.

But now Speaker Boehner and GOP Senate Leader Mitch McConnell may be open to passing an omnibus spending bill  this month, leaving Democrats' spending priorities in place.

From Gun Owners of America:
 So why would Boehner and McConnell, who trumpeted the benefits of a Republican Congress, seek to cede these decisions to Harry Reid? 
The answer is that, if all important legislation goes away until September, House conservatives will lose their ability to force Boehner to stand up to Obama -- in any context where it matters. 
But at this point, the war is waging -- and the outcome of the battle is up in the air.
Up in the air.

Okay, people, ball's in our court.

Are you writing Congress? Are you making phone calls?

Or do you sit by and nod off to sleep while disingenuous Republicans in Washington make a mockery of your vote last month?

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

White privilege is code speak

I'm seeing lots of Lefties blasting what they call "white privilege."

Here's one article. Here's another.

And there's the story of a guilt tripped college student who thinks that he, as a white person, deserves to be robbed.

Please understand, "white privilege" is an exploitative term likely meant as code-speak to attack the precepts of  western civilization, and our American system of constitutional law.

White lefties can loathe themselves all they want.

But don't let 'em guilt anyone into giving up their rights and freedoms.

America hasn't been perfect, but it's long been on a course to greater equality where a person would be judged by the content of their character rather than the color of one's skin.

At least, that seemed the course until progressive race-baiters rose to power.

Sewing racial division now seems to be a big plank in Obama's platform of fundamental transform.

We must all rise to resist the discord and damage intolerant progressives attempt to inflict.

Letter to my congressman regarding immigration

Yes, I've written my congressman again. 

If you haven't written to yours, you should. Time runs short, and those we've sent to DC continue to trek down a destructive path.

Topic: Immigration
Subtopic: The GOP has lost its soul, Boehner is betraying America

Dear Representative Woodall, 
I see radical Left members of Congress are exploiting the House floor to push debunked Mike Brown "hands up" propaganda. 
At the same time, I also read your GOP House leadership remains in full appeasement mode, ready to give Mr. Obama the funding he needs to usurp Congressional power, and violate the Constitution with an immigration power grab.  
Seriously, Mr. Woodall, America voted Republican seeking a party that would stand up and turn back the abuses of Obama's fundamental transformation.  
Yet Republicans seemingly remain stuck in stupid, groveling for positive press in the New York Times.  
The nation sees the GOP cowardice. Even full blown Communists have emerged from the shadows and once again proclaim revolution in our streets. 
Yes, the GOP will word its complicity carefully. Votes will be engineered so representatives from the most conservative districts (guys like you) can give a "show" vote against funding Obama's immigration agenda. But the bottom line is that Republicans in the House remain in lock-step behind your Quisling-like Speaker Boehner, who has every intention of letting Obama's immigration disaster move forward. 
Am I wrong? If so, tell me where or why. 
Regardless of how you personally vote, you and your Republican colleagues will share the blame for trashing the Constitution, and the unraveling of America. 
I voted for you. Now you tell me how you personally are taking a stand to right the wrongs the GOP leadership is perpetrating, and how you intend to play part in setting the Republican Party in DC back on a Constitutional course. 
Thank you in advance, I await your reply. 

Don't give members of Congress an out to say "they didn't know" what was transpiring.

Let them (especially Republicans) know you're on to their games.

Lay the facts out for them, whether you are represented by a Republican or a Democrat.

Demand accountability. .

Monday, December 1, 2014

Obama shuffles

Barack Obama says he wants to avoid a militarized police culture in America.

Could've fooled me.

I heard him loud and clear in 2008.

Boehner's betrayal

Looks like John Boehner's got a play in motion to give Obama everything he needs to "reform" immigration.

And you thought voting Republican was supposed to fix this?

How many times you gonna let the RINOs run over you?

The Commies are stirring

Many of today's Americans put Communists on par with monsters under the bed. They may have seemed real in childhood, but neither is treated with any sense of reality today.

Well, think again about the commies.

Apparently openly branded Communists are starting to come out of the woodwork.

They're energized by the Ferguson riots in Missouri and around the nation. They even claim responsibility for playing a big part.  They seem to think they're on a roll.

I say let 'em.

Their "revolution" hasn't advanced nearly far enough to start running through the streets with red flags.

Real life Communists, trying to lead the proletariat into a real life revolution. Maybe, just maybe, it's what we need to wake up those Americans who thus far have refused to wake up and see America unraveling (or being intentionally unraveled) around them.

Barack Obama's probably gonna be pissed.

It was 30 some years ago that student Obama is said to have expressed open expectations for a Marxist revolution to topple capitalist America, though in recent years he's seemingly substituted something called fundamental transformation to label his dreams of a revolutionary American remake.

And now a bunch of commies are gonna blow the cover, and put their ugly face on what he and the progressive hard cores up to.

Question is, will agitating Communists stick with their street effort long enough to really get people's attention. Or will this latest round of uprising fizzle, and they soon fade back into the woodwork?

On a related note: It's not just Communists trying to grow Ferguson protests into something bigger. Nation of Islam's Louis Farrakhan recently stoked a race war theme in an speech before a cheering audience at a college in Baltimore.

Update: For one of the Commie chants used in Ferguson,  check out the Tweet embedded here, be sure to click on the audio.

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Courting Speaker Boehner

While conservative Americans wish Speaker of the House John Boehner would show some backbone, the New York Times seems intent on wooing his ego, calling him in the direction of compromise.

Black Friday big fail

Maybe it was too much hype. Maybe it was rioters in Ferguson.

Maybe it was the politically conservative American shopper showing disdain for greedy retailers infringing on the hallowed Thanksgiving holiday.

Whatever it was, it hurt retail's bottom line big time.

Spending for the Thanksgiving holiday weekend was down eleven percent, the number of shoppers was down, and those who did show up spent less than those shopping the holiday weekend last year.

Black Friday ads started showing up in my email in September. By the time it the real day got here, any freshness and sizzle that used make it special was long gone.

I have to suspect Thanksgiving Day openings also worked to diminish what was once the Black Friday phenomenon. While millions may have shopped Thursday openings, many millions more stayed away. And I think a lot of Thursday's boycotters didn't see Friday the same knowing stores had been open the night before.

2014 may be the year it finally happened; the year Black Friday retailers jumped the shark.

Fits right in with a whole series of downward trends facing America right now. Little's being done to fix any of it; folks in charge too busy trying to convince you everything's just hunky-dory.

White House still stoking fires over Ferguson

Obama's White either ignores or disregards findings of the Ferguson grand jury.

Instead, Obama's White House encourages memorials to Michael Brown be posted or erected in America's public school classrooms.

Via Twitter:

What's White House Af-Am Ed?

The White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for African Americans.

And the article this White House office links to has this suggestion:
During the first few weeks of classes, students can create a memorial to Michael Brown on a classroom bulletin board. This activity involves having students use whatever they feel skilled in to create something that would honor Michael Brown and other people who have been victims of police and other violence. 
The article goes on to suggest once a (cultist) Mike Brown curriculum is started, the theme can continue throughout the school year, helping to push young learners towards (presumably angry) activism.

Modern day slaves in Britain?

An official now says there could be as many as 13,000 people who live functionally as slaves in modern Britain. It's a figure four times that of previous estimates. These include domestic workers, women forced into prostitution, as well as field, factory and fishing boat workers, according to the UK Telegraph.

Has the number risen in recent times, or has it always been under counted?

Recent disarmament march in Britain
Regardless, I have to wonder if Britain's obsession with preventing its people access to personal arms is contributing factor. The British are not only denied possession of firearms, knives are now becoming taboo. Even passively defending life or property can get you in serious legal trouble.

A population that's disarmed and conditioned not to defend itself is a population that's being conditioned for slavery. So yes, I'm not at all surprised Britain now finds large numbers of its people now live under slave-like conditions.

Paging Dr. Carson... Cops shoot to kill for good reasons

You may have seen stories or the video clip where Dr. Ben Carson, a doc who now flirts with a political career - and maybe a run for the presidency, said police need to be trained to shoot for a suspect's legs.

Well, doc, there's lots of reasons.

Bearing Arms seems to sum it up better than I can.

First and foremost:
Police officers and self-defense shooters all learn the same thing: you shoot to stop the threat. The best way to stop that threat is to put bullets in the largest possible part of the body (typically, the upper torso).
Dr. Carson may be a nice guy. But his recent comments, and previous ones, show him to be woefully ignorant when it comes to firearms, defensive use of force, and our right to bear modern arms under the Second Amendment.

Carson once said "he'd rather you not have" semi-automatic firearms in large cities.  While some claim Carson has since changed his mind, others wonder if he's just choosing his words more carefully.

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Laundry day when the grid goes down

I like this idea. But double the recommendation of installing a grab-bar before trying it at home.

A writer to suggests using a bathtub for laundry duty, and make like you're stomping grapes for wine:
Have children (or adults) stomp, march, stomp, and dance on the laundry. Installing a grab bar all around the tub will help avoid mishaps. This will get the dirt out, and works best on heavy work clothes, which are the hardest to wash by hand. 
I can almost hear the off-key singing.

"Oh, I've been stomping on the blue jeans, all the live long day... "

Two tubs make up the laundry facilities at a trailer park in San Diego, circa 1940
Sign says "These Tubbs [sic] are for clothes only. No dishes, no dogs. Nothing but clothes."
Courtesy: Library of Congress

How'd the cable news outfits miss this?

A band of armed black Ferguson residents took up positions to protect a white owned business.

They see it, they just don't understand it

As seen here and there on the Internet:

Another voice heard from

Saw this this morning: "Did we just witness the last great Black Friday celebration of American materialism?" 

Cheap oil has a high price.

The assessment matches my thinking. I posted this last night.

2015 has plenty potential to be much, much uglier than 2014.

And the forces perpetrating harm on America know our government is either complicit with them, or lacks the spine to stand up and fight back.

Buying time ain't cheap

While media first stokes the fires, then makes excuses for Ferguson...

While Obama makes his unilateral move to flood our labor market with immigrants, and more are on the way with potential to overwhelm social services...

While we still counting down to the biggest shock Obamacare's packing, the employer mandate...

While OPEC dumps cheap oil in the U.S. on a scale that could eventually implode our newly revitalized drilling industry, something that could also trigger a wave of big bank distress or failures...

We have the U.S. government making continuing desperate moves to paper over our rising national debt problem.

From CNS News: U.S. Treasury issues a trillion dollars in new debt in eight weeks - to repay old debt

2014's been ugly enough.

2015 promises to be uglier.

Ugly enough that it should make you wonder, what's gonna be left by 2016?

Update: Don and I will expand on these topics and more on our December 5th radio program.

Friday, November 28, 2014

Welcome to the oil war

No, not a war in the Middle East.

I'm talking what appears to be a pricing war being waged by key OPEC players to undermine America's higher cost shale drillers.

For months, the price of oil has been tumbling, and it appears to be falling far faster than any real drop in global demand. It can be argued that producers like Saudi Arabia are targeting intentional damage to U.S. producers. Think short term pain for long term gain.

Reuters quotes oil analyst Iain Armstrong: "It is a question of who blinks first - OPEC or the U.S. shale producers. The longer the oil price stays at these levels the greater chance a U.S. shale producer will go under. But it will take time."

Conventional wisdom has been lower oil prices will bring an American economic upturn.

Not necessarily. Not this time.

Cars and trucks are more efficient. So consumer savings from cheaper gasoline aren't as significant as in the past. And any cost savings are likely to be eaten up by higher prices for other forms of energy, or for other necessities. Health insurance costs are rising. Residential property values are rebounding, likely meaning higher property tax burdens for families.

We also have to factor lost of jobs in the American oil patch. We have more jobs there now, that's more jobs at risk. If OPEC intentionally under-prices what U.S. drillers can match, job losses and other economic hits to the U.S. economy could be significant. Railroads are already starting to see impact.

A decline in oil production, brought on by under-pricing competitors, could mean a significant hit to U.S. GDP.

Was a time, the U.S. government would have taken steps to defend against price dumping by an aggressive foreign competitor. But the Obama adminsitration probably isn't all that interested in defending U.S. shale drillers. Fact is, the Obama team may have goals that are quite the opposite.

Update: From CNBC, more widespread potential economic badness from falling oil prices

Black Friday. Then and now

Great mash-up on YouTube.

Black Friday 1983 constrasted with more contemporary video.

Society's behavioral decline, when it happens over a span of decades, is mostly imperceptible on a year to year basis. But over the longer window, it can be pretty dramatic.

Too bad mainstream media won't pull from their archives, and do their own now-versus-then Black Friday mash-ups.  But I suspect they're too afraid of push back from both viewers, and perhaps more on-point, Black Friday advertisers.

If you're thinking about giving a gun at Christmas...

Is re-gifting a legacy firearm among the options you'll consider?

What's hot on Black Friday?

Forget the iPods or cheap TVs.

Black Friday is America's top gun buying day. Apparently this sparks some fretting at the Washington Post.

The Post notes that some gun purchases are allowed to go through without a full background check because the FBI fails to complete a relative handful of checks in a timely manner.

It's true. Sometimes Black Friday sales overwhelm the background check system.

The Post doesn't mention that the vast majority of unqualified buyers who are caught lying on required federal purchase forms are never prosecuted.

Last year, noted:
The Justice Department has never placed a high priority on pursuing perjury charges from background checks. There are about 70,000 denials for gun purchases a year. Under Bush, 15/100th of 1 percent of the cases were prosecuted. Under Obama, 8/100th of 1 percent of the cases were prosecuted.
Progressive politicians may fret we need more gun control to keep guns out of the what they say are the wrong hands.

But it seems foolish to argue for tougher regulation when government refuses to enforce laws already on the books.