Monday, December 29, 2008

Mission Creep

A reasonable definition of insanity is the process of repeating an action multiple times and expecting (hoping for?) different outcomes. History reveals that mankind has over the last several millennia improved on his capabilities to wreak havoc on his enemies through improved technologies in warfare. This linear and exponential advance in technology has historically resulted in various attempts to arrest the horrors associated with warfare by various means.

In one of the first such efforts, the crossbow was banned by Pope Innocent II in 1139 for use against "christian" enemies as being a weapon "...hated by God". It was apparently acceptable to use the device against adversaries of the non-christian persuasion.
For the most part such bans on arms have gone ignored or un-enforced except against ordinary subjects and serfs by their feudal or political "leaders".

Enter the 20th century and the unpleasantness of 1914 1918 "to make the world safe for democracy". By 1914, technology had outpaced military tactics to the extent that waves of infantrymen were ordered by slow to learn tacticians into frontal assaults on entrenched defenders equipped with Hiram Maxim's machine guns, not to mention poison gas and long range artillery. These horrors were sufficient to inspire the formation of the League of Nations by the "well meaning" victors for the purpose of avoiding the future need of such efforts to make the world safe for democracy.

A glance at recent history reveals how well the League worked out in such localities as Manchuria, Ethiopia, Spain, the Rhineland, Austria and Czechoslovakia and which resulted in a resumption of the hostilities placed on temporary hold in November of 1918. Since the League of Nations was such a success in promoting "peace through collective security" (irony alert) the new and improved version was launched in August of 1945 and designated the United Nations. Of course the victors of the second act of the world conflict were not about to allow pipsqueak former colonial nations to wield real power, thus the division of the new body into the General Assembly and the Security Council. It was thought that merely allowing third world powers the opportunity to engage in what amounted to a debating club would suffice to forestall any pent up urges they might have regarding the wielding of real power. WRONG! The "great powers" failed to perceive the second law of bureaucracies known as "mission creep" which is "the expansion of a project or mission beyond its original goals, often after initial successes". Examples of this phenomenon include the March of Dimes and the "humanitarian" intervention in Somalia 1992. The most egregious example of "mission creep" however is the juggernaut known as the United Nations .

It is doubtful that the founders of the UN in 1945 foresaw the multiplicity of agencies that would be emerging under the aegis of their creation such as:

Food and Agriculture Organization
International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia
United Nations Crime and Justice Information Network
United Nations International Computing Centre
United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights
United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees
United Nations International Children's Fund
Water and Sanitation Division of UNICEF
United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL)
United Nations Development Programme
United Nations Environment Program
United Nations International Centre for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology
United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs
United Nations Volunteers
World Health Organization (WWW)

The notorious Goebbelesque pronouncements (“If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it. The lie can be maintained only for such time as the State can shield the people from the ... consequences of the lie..." ) of the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) which have been issuing forth for 20+ years under the auspices of the UN Environment Program have gained substantial traction in the service of unlimited governmental power. It is understandable that a substantial portion of politicians have subscribed to this nonsense as it increases their power and insures their perquisites. There is a possiblity however, that a turning point has been reached. Data collected over the past decade fails to validate the predictions of the computer models that the warmistas have utilized. This has caused them to not only spin the reasons for their error but in other instances to actually fabricate misleading data.

Why is it that the term "strangle in the cradle" only comes to mind in retrospect? In any event, there may be an up side to the present economic downturn; the politicians may shrink from burdening us with "Son of Kyoto". At least one can "hope".

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Let's Call it What it IS...

...an establishment of religion.



The soon to be emperor resident at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue in New Rome Washington DC has just appointed as Pontiff Science Advisor John Holdren, a member of the College of Cardinals of the Warmista sect of the Green Religion Harvard faculty of environmental policy. By making this appointment according to the New York Times, the Marxist Messiah "...Pledges Allegiance to Science". This humble writer begs to differ.

The warmista sect bases its dogmas exclusively on the projections generated by computer models and asserts that this is "science". Computer modeling is by no means science. The generation of projections by computer modeling while useful for limited applications does not qualify as science:

A simple single word definition of science is the ability to predict. It is not used by the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change), yet they present their work as scientific predictions. Media and the public generally believe the IPCC is making predictions and that is clearly the assumption for government policies. Sadly, members of the IPCC do nothing to dissuade the public from that view. All previous “projections” were wrong. The most recent example is the period from 2000 to 2008. IPCC predicted warming but temperatures went down while CO2 increased. Finally, the IPCC AR4 itself explains why IPCC model projections fail.

“Models continue to have significant limitations, such as in their representation of clouds, which lead to uncertainties in the magnitude and timing, as well as regional details, of predicted climate change.” (AR4, Chapter 8. p.600)

It is hard to imagine a better example of Beadle’s axiom paraphrased as follows, “Half the work done by the IPCC is to make things appear what they are not.”

The warmistas dismiss the global cooling that has been objectively measured during the last decade as a "mere interruption due to la niña of the long term warming trend caused by human CO2 emissions". If this is the case, why have not the computer models predicted it since they are "reliable enough" to provide the basis for extreme government regulatory actions? Another glaring flaw common to virtually all of the computer models relied upon by the warmistas is the total absence of any factoring in of solar output variations as they have impacted previous changes in climate.

For these reasons as well as others I would assert that congressional confirmation of Professor Holdren's appointment as "Science Advisor" is a violation of the Establishment clause of the First Amendment to Constitution: "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion...". Religion is defined as: "3. A set of [unprovable] beliefs, values, and practices based on the teachings of a spiritual leader [i.e. Al Gore]" who was consulted prior to the Holdren appointment.

Saturday, December 06, 2008

Musings From Beyond the Crab Nebula...

...Or; how we spent our Saturday morning.

We were up bright and early (07:45 will pass for such on a December weekend at Lacedaemon) and out for a chilly drive to the "Largest gun show in the South" which should more precisely be characterized as an 80,000 square foot candy store for us "good ol' boys". This would include a native California political refugee and Mrs. ΛΕΟΝΙΔΑΣ who is a Swedish national. The facility did not officially open until 09:00 hrs. and when we arrived at 09:10 hrs. the 50 acre parking lot was about 20% full (lots of pickups and SUVs) and the queue to enter the building which included an ethnic representation of the local population including a few wearing Obama for president regalia extended about 200 feet but was moving steadily.


Early in the show

Once inside the building, a tentative survey of some of the 2000 display tables whose exhibitors were already doing a somewhat brisk business revealed that mere possession of approximately 75% of the items being openly exchanged here could get the ordinary otherwise law abiding California citizen arrested and convicted of a felony in most cases and at the very least a plea bargain down to a serious misdemeanor.

Lots of Kalifornia Kontraband

The paradox here is puzzling indeed. A comparison of the firearm related crime rate between California and Georgia would indicate that on a per capita basis there is considerably less blood flowing in the streets of Georgia than in California . This is in spite of the legal presence of "assault weapons", high capacity ammunition magazines, flash hiders, bayonet lugs and pistol grips on semi automatic rifles and shotguns as well as private owners of firearms enjoying the right to give, sell or trade their property to relatives, neighbors or, allah forfend, willing strangers, without the permission and payment of fees to the state.

By 11:00 hrs. the crowd was shoulder to shoulder

ΜΟΛΩΝ ΛΑΒΕ!!

Sunday, November 30, 2008

The REAL Threat to Western Society: Attack of the Field Mouse


In an interview dated 1 December 2008 in the German publication Frankfurter Allgemeine, the erstwhile Swedish "Weapons inspector" for the UN, Hans Blix stated the following as translated by TransAtlantic Intelligencer:

Q. Many Arab countries want to obtain atomic energy. Are you worried about this?

A. Everything involves risks, including atomic energy. But in the long run I'm more worried about global warming than about weapons of mass destruction.


The Frankfurter Allgemeine interviewer appeared to mistakenly include Iran in the category of "Arab" country.

As many Arab and Muslim majority countries are committed to the violent (if necessary) destruction of Israel as well as the US, this response by Mr. Blix is an interesting (but not surprising) position to be extolled by a European UN bureaucrat. The EU, having committed itself to the exponential accretion of power to its unelected bureaucracy by signing on to the warmista agenda (which thankfully is being increasingly questioned by the scientific community) this comes as no surprise.

This writer would posit that there is developing an even greater threat to our culture than "global warming" and that is the "Attack of the Field Mouse". We could probably get the politicians and politicised scientists to accept this threat if they can be convinced a governmental program to address it will increase their emoluments and perquisites.

In a previous posting I misquoted (since corrected) Mr. George Monbiot attributing to him a statement in his book "Heat" a remark which was in fact written by a blogger. For that reason I link to a posting on Mr. Monbiot's blog concerning the total "decarbonization" of the global economy. I will leave it to you dear reader to evaluate the charicterization of Mr Monbiot as "moonbat".

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Another One Bites the Dust?



There are several emerging factors that lead this blogger to conclude that the long visible light at the end of the global warming cum climate change hoax tunnel is growing larger and it is obviously not the oncoming train of catastrophic sea level rise.

1. Your humble scribbler was required to fire up the wood stove 10 full days earlier than last year. Unscientific you say? No more so than the female journalist in the Atlanta Journal and Constitution reporting on recent heavy rains along the Gulf coast using the statement: "These flood producing heavy rains from Texas to Tallahassee simply scream of global warming".

2. The shrillness of the warmista religionists in hurling invective at any and all of the increasing number of climate and geological scientists who posit that no global cataclysm is immanent as a result of climate change. The following is a partial list of the epithets used to describe the growing number of so called "deniers": extremist denier, moron, rank amateur, stupid, pimp, liar, pseudo scientists, malpractitioners, right wing, bastards etc.

3. The calls to hush and censor scientists and others who have, on the basis of emperical data recanted their belief that human activity has had any significant negative impact on global climate change as evidenced by Joseph Romm in Climate Progress who states the following: "Modern journalists from traditional media have for years made the mistake of balancing stories on the reality [?] of accelerating human-caused global warming with a quote or two from deniers, though some are starting to do that less."
On his blog "Gristmill", David Roberts makes the following statement: "...we should have war crimes trials for these bastards -- some sort of climate Nuremberg."

4. And NOW, this just in (ht/¡No Pasarán!):

German Chancellor Angela Merkel faced calls from fellow conservatives Sunday to fight to water down a European Union climate pact until the recession-wracked economy is moving again.

Bavarian premier Horst Seehofer said in an interview with the Bild am Sonntag newspaper that he had written to Merkel calling on her to back away from EU climate protection goals to be approved next month for a time.

Added bonus:

German Economy Minister Michael Glos, also of the Christian Social Union, the Bavarian sister party of Merkel's Christian Democratic Union, agreed that Germany could ill-afford to make a priority of climate protection with the economy hobbled by the global financial crisis.

"It is not the time to burden the economy with excessive environmental targets," he said.


Perhaps we can add the warmista religion to the list of doctrines that have vanished by being "overtaken by events"?

Monday, November 24, 2008

Desde Cuba (From Cuba in the Winter)



The following is translated from a the posting 19 November 2008 of a Cuban blogger Yoani Sanchez. She posts from Havana and must surreptitiously view her blog from a tourist hotel which excludes Cuban citizens who are not Communist Party apparatchiks. It seems not much has changed since ΛΕΟΝΙΔΑΣ visited that hapless communist nation some years ago. See here, here and here.

The sky is not always that precious blue of the tourist postcards. Thank goodness, because I can not imagine a year with scorching sun without the pause of these weeks that bring cold fronts. Since Monday a cloud has come, bringing London to Havana and severe flooding in the east of the country. The streets are remarkably empty at night because the cold scares away the usual denizens of the parks and sidewalks. Boarding a crowded bus is no longer the fastest way to acquire odor in one’s armpits, rather the entrance to a warm and friendly space. With the low temperatures, humor and tolerance improve; for the old, their bones ache and hot chocolate becomes a recurring hallucination. December is so close that it’s not worth starting anything, say those who have postponed projects throughout the year. The time to spend more is coming, presaging that pockets will be especially empty this Christmas. However, the most sensitive topic is that of coats and blankets, the little protection from the damp cold that enters through the gaps in the windows.

I see people on the street with sweaters and thick, padded synthetic coats, but none of these garments could be purchased with the wages they earn from their work. One has a leather coat sent to him by a sister who lives in New York and the striped one was given to the girl as a gift from a tourist passing through the city. A young boy has a waterproof raincoat inherited from his brother, who in turn got it from an uncle who confiscates luggage at customs. The old woman crossing the street is careful of her wool socks, which she got from a neighbor in exchange for a blender. Only the guard at the hotel boasts a denim jacket, with shiny new buttons.

I like the winter and the affability it awakens in people, but I know that for many it’s the season of certain worries and shame. Of not being able to sleep on the park bench, where the rest of the year one gentleman with raggedy clothes has his only home. Of children mocked in school for wearing a coat purchased during the rationing of the 1980s. The cold emphasizes the differences between those who can close the door and those who don’t have a house with windows that shut. It highlights the contrast between those with a long-sleeved garment and those who wear two sweaters because they don’t have a coat. Everything depends on the thermometer and its not dropping another ten degrees, because the housing and clothes of the poor will not withstand a single snowflake.


To experience Cuba under the Communist regime is to view any society which is unfortunate enough to fall under the sway of the collectivists. Yoani is from time to time arrested and harassed by the Cuban police.

cross posted at: Eternity Road

Friday, November 21, 2008

They're Going to do it Again...

But this time it is likely to be worse!

I suspect that most readers of these postings are not old enough to have first hand recollections of the Great Depression and fewer still have a grasp of its causes and effects. In any event, it will be worth while for those with Mp3 and podcast capabilities to spend the required 15 minutes to listen to THIS.

I will guarantee that the above podcast will generate one of 3 responses:
1. Anger
2. Fear
3. Disbelief

For those whose reaction is #3: I sincerely hope you are correct and enjoy your delusion. Meanwhile, please steal, copy or plagiarize this posting.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Cost Effective Defense vs Government

During the 23 years this humble scribbler lived aboard and cruised his 34' sailboat LEONIDAS from San Francisco to Trinidad, he lost count of the instances various "authorities" boarded and searched his vessel for "contraband". Generally the contraband sought was drugs but often the authorities were searching for firearms. As a US flagged vessel, firearms are allowed on board but they must be surrendered for "safekeeping" when entering most foreign ports. This can become a hassle as occasionally the Port Captain will "misplace" the weapons and thus several hundreds of dollars worth are "lost" (no compensation was ever offered that we are aware of). We know of several cruising families that simply cleverly concealed their defensive armament on board in discrete hiding places and falsely declared that no weapons were in their possession. That is usually all well and good as third world corrupt officials are often less than competent in the art of searching.

That scenario had an unfortunate outcome in one instance we know of in the far out islands of the Bahamas and Turks and Caicos. It seems that some of the marine police were moonlighting as pirates and upon accosting a couple aboard their 36' sailboat anchored in a remote cove near Great Inagua island they demanded the ship's valuables at gunpoint. The skipper asked his wife to retrieve the cash (wink wink) from below decks. Instead, she shortly emerged and handed the skipper his .45 caliber pistol. The ensuing gunfight left 2 off duty marine police/pirates dead. The couple who knew what "justice" they would be accorded by the local gendarmery simply weighed anchor and departed for The Virgin Islands leaving the two pirates with emptied service revolvers adrift in their fishing skiff.

In many third world countries tourists and cruising sailors are routinely mugged and robbed while their means of self defense are securely in the custody of the local port captain. Such are the risks of world travel aboard one's own vessel.

These days we learn of other instances of piracy where the stakes are considerably higher. For example:

Writes Felix Moreno:

The piracy case in Somalia is a perfect example of victim disarmament at sea. Most merchant ships are forbidden by their countries' laws from having weapons on board (a ban which is enforced by rigorous inspections), which leaves a 20.000tn ship worth hundreds of million of dollars vulnerable to a pirate dinghy with a crew of five armed with AKs and RPGs worth a few hundred bucks. So do we allow owners to spend a few thousand dollars on weapons and private security on board? God forbid! No, much better to send a carrier group, or just nuke the high seas.

At present the war navies of India, Russia, Britain, the US, Malasya [sic] and a NATO taskforce are in the Gulf of Aden playing cat-and-mouse with a few Somali pirates. An EU fleet is on its way.

This seems to be the way our world is moving. Meanwhile, the US will continue to fund the United Nations efforts to disarm the victims.

ΜΟΛΩΝ ΛΑΒΕ!!

cross posted at: Eternity Road

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Imagine That II

Now that the election is over there seems to be more than a few people doing postmortems on the reasons behind the outcome. One such effort is by John Ziegler and another is the Zogby polling firm. The results are rather interesting and appear to confirm several theories. Two of the theories are widespread media bias and voter ignorance.

Take a few minutes from your busy schedule and view this video.


This is pretty scary stuff.

h/t: Neal Boortz

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Holding Back the Tide




The current government panic at the cascading disintegration of the global markets and the accompanying pressures forcing price deflation recalls the legend of King Canute who after unsuccessfully commanding the tides of the sea to recede stated: "Let all men know how empty and worthless is the power of kings. For there is none worthy of the name but God, whom heaven, earth and sea obey."

One wonders at the reasons for the desperate efforts of the US treasury and Federal Reserve Bank injecting mind numbing quantities of fiat "money" into the system in order to avoid price deflation. It is the same policy that was followed beginning in 1930 by the Hoover administration and continued by FDR's "New Deal". Those policies of protectionism (Smoot Hawley Tariff) and destroying agricultural products to prop up prices as well as raising taxes resulted in an ordinary and recurring recessionary event being prolonged into a decade long depression.

Apropos the present situation one need only ask: qui bono? Who benefits from price deflation (a decline in the market prices of goods and services)? Answer: consumers and savers whose savings will purchase more products. Conversely, who is damaged by deflation? Answer: Borrowers who must repay debts formerly contracted at elevated rates.

The greatest beneficiaries of inflation are borrowers who repay bonds and debts with devalued currency. Who are the greatest debtors in the history of civilization? If you answered "governments", go to the head of the class. That is the reason for the panic expansion of fiat currency by governments who have been financing their wars and Marxist social engineering with money borrowed or created out of thin air rather than raising the tax burden on the productive elements of society beyond the already confiscatory levels. I fear that in view of the falling prices of many commodities the Fed and Treasury will presently discover the futility of its policy; but the wreckage will not be a pleasant sight to behold.

Viva deflation!

cross posted at: Eternity Road

Friday, November 14, 2008

Is The "Fix" In?




The national debt of the US as of this date is over 10.5 Trillion dollars and has been increasing at the rate of just under 4 billion dollars per day. That is all about to change very soon as Washington issues bales of new treasury notes to fund the massive bailouts of the various banks, insurance companies, and industrial enterprises lining up at the door of "Bailout" Ben Bernanke and Hank Paulson. Various estimates of the ultimate cost of filling the trough from which these failing parasites are about to sup range from a low of $3.6 Trillion to upwards of $5 trillion when the interest is computed.

This weekend, the worlds G-20 industrialized nations will be meeting in Washington to discuss addressing the planet's monetary/economic crisis (arguably caused by the insane creation of fiat money and junk credit by those same nations). The "fix" (yes gentle readers those are scare quotes) will likely be the devaluation of the world's currencies by "monetizing" most outstanding debt. In other words:

They cease all gold sales and instead [of confiscating it], raise the current official central bank price of gold from its booked value of $42.22 an ounce — to a price that monetizes a large enough portion of the world's outstanding debts.

That way, just like in 1933, the debts become a fraction of re-inflated asset prices (led higher by the gold price).

And this time, instead of staying with the dollar as a reserve currency, the G-20 issues three new monetary units of exchange, each with equal reserve status.

The three currencies will essentially be a new dollar, new euro, and a new pan-Asian currency. (The Chinese yuan may survive as a fourth currency, but it will be linked to a basket of the three new currencies.)

Under this nightmare(?) the new price of gold would range between $53,000 and $10,000 per ounce depending on the percentage of the debt to be monetized. One's first reaction to the possibility of such a scenario playing itself out is incredulity; but consider this: 1. The Constitution of the United States in Article I section 8 assigns the power to coin money to the Congress. The US currency has had NO connection to metal coinage since August of 1971. 2. Twenty years ago would we have foreseen that in 2008 a more or less admitted Marxist would be elected to the US presidency?

ΜΟΛΩΝ ΛΑΒΕ

cross posted at: Eternity Road

Monday, November 10, 2008

Your Government at Work

In yesterday's posting I referenced the truism that "government can never do just one thing" citing the federal income tax legislation impact on social engineering. Now we learn that the governmental love affair with recycling is having some unforeseen consequences resulting from the current and projected economic downturn. Due to said downturn the demand for discarded material which many municipalities mandate that their citizens recycle is at a record low bordering on the non existent. Consequently, these materials are accumulating at collection depots and in some cases constituting a health hazard. Unless this condition (the market) experiences an early turnaround, the material will need to be disposed of in various landfills, a scenario that among others the governmental action was intended to terminate.

As regards so many governmental programs, recycling mandates are based on often faulty or at least debatable premises, to wit:
1.Natural resources are finite and mankind will inevitably exhaust them.
This premise ignores the development and discovery of substitutes and new technologies. For example, the "crisis" experienced in the 1850s over the depletion of whale oil for lighting purposes miraculously disappeared with the new technology associated with petroleum. The free market with its supply and demand cost adjustments is invariably a better mechanism than a government bureaucrat or a pointy headed academic with a political agenda for the determining the use of resources.
2. The continued use of paper and other wood products will result in the complete deforestation of the planet'
In fact, not only are trees a renewable resource, but tree farming has resulted in the existence of more trees now than existed in 1820.
3. The areas available for landfills are finite and we will eventually be buried by our garbage.
A. Clark Wiseman, an economist at Gonzaga University in Spokane, Washington, has calculated that if Americans keep generating garbage at current rates for 1,000 years, and if all their garbage is put in a landfill 100 yards deep, by the year 3000 this national garbage heap will fill a square piece of land 35 miles on each side. This doesn't seem a huge imposition in a country the size of America. The garbage would occupy only 5 percent of the area needed for the national array of solar panels proposed by environmentalists. The millennial landfill would fit on one-tenth of 1 percent of the range land now available for grazing in the continental United States. And if it still pains you to think of depriving posterity of that 35-mile square, remember that the loss will be only temporary. Eventually, like previous landfills, the mounds of trash will be covered with grass and become a minuscule addition to the nation's 150,000 square miles of parkland."


In any event, the various government entities will discover the truth in what Michael Munger, the Chair of Political Science at Duke University, wrote ,
"... if recycling is more expensive than using new materials, it can't possibly be efficient... There is a simple test for determining whether something is a resource... or just garbage... If someone will pay you for the item, it's a resource [absent a government subsidy]... But if you have to pay someone to take the item away... then the item is garbage."

We shall await with bated breath the actions taken by our rulers upon making this discovery. All the evidence points to substantial increases on the fees for garbage collection.

h/t: Fred Mangels
cross posted at: Eternity Road

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Coming Soon?





Not long ago a very prescient philosopher/economist uttered the following, which rightly should be emblazoned in the mind of every liberty loving resident of this fair land: "A government can never do just one thing". Whatever the motive for taking what appears to be a single action to address a so called "problem" the unforeseen will eventually emerge bearing its attendant consequences. A glaring and painful example of this natural law is the XVIth Amendment to the US Constitution (enabling the federal government to levy taxes directly on the citizens without being apportioned among the several states) whose proponents in the early years of the 20th century were attempting to address budgetary shortfalls in the operation of the Federal government . The top marginal tax rate on income in 1913 was 7% on incomes above $500,000.00 . In terms of purchasing power, 500,000 1913 dollars is the equivalent of several millions of 2008 dollars.

All of this is merely intended to illustrate that the original intent of the first income tax legislation to fund operations of the federal government has morphed into the leviathan of todays federal budget which includes transfer payments, subsidies, bailouts and foreign aid, not to mention the financing of questionable military adventures on a global scale.

During the debate on the recent "Patriot" Act, Homeland Security and electronic "eavesdropping" issues many on the conservative side of the political spectrum who were anxious to facilitate the "War on Terrorism" tarred the opponents of such proposals as unpatriotic and "soft on terrorism", including in these catagories such diverse opponents as civil libertarians and far leftists. This, even though the latter two groups have vastly differing motives for their respective positions.

As a member of the libertarian group which posited objections to aspects of these acts which negatively impacted individual liberties, ΛΕΟΝΙΔΑΣ was occasionally mistakenly lumped by some into the far leftist camp which favors any action which weakens our society viz its enemies and whose aims are to erect a new collectivist society on the ashes of our individualistically oriented one.

With the militarization of law enforcement agencies which began during the middle to late 1960s and the widespread adoption of SWAT teams by even the smaller law enforcement agencies across the nation, our political "leaders" have accumulated the tools to suppress and bring to heel ANY opposition group which it can designate as "terrorist" (does the term Waco ring any bells?). What specific threat did those people pose to society?

Make no mistake, those of you who would entertain thoughts of resisting the impending collectivism by "civil disobedience" to the regime about to assume the reins of power on 20 January 2009; You will be branded as "terrorists" and be quashed with the tools you so cheerfully provided an administration whose policies you concurred with. I suggest you consult the white refugee farmers (who survived) of the former Rhodesia now Zimbabwe, concerning the fate of those who obstruct the policies of empowered collectivists.

Any who doubt the intentions of the soon to be installed collectivist regime in the nation's capitol should be aware that the implementation of a disciplined and regimented "youth" organization has been high on the agenda of all former and present totalitarian regimes. Such "voluntary" groups would include Hitler Youth in national socialist Germany, Young Pioneers in Soviet Russia and the Unión de Jóvenes Comunistas in Cuba.

Beware the government that bandies about such terms as National and Community "Service". They conjure up visions of involuntary servitude.

We are truly about to experience "interesting times".

UPDATE 10/11/08 08:27 EST: If you read nothing else today read THIS!

ΜΟΛΩΝ ΛΑΒΕ

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Party Time for Usefull Idiots?



According to a Soviet author, "Before they died, people often lost their senses and ceased to be human beings." Yet one of Stalin's lieutenants in Ukraine stated in 1933 that the famine was a great success. It showed the peasants "who is the master here. It cost millions of lives, but the collective farm system is here to stay."

ΜΟΛΩΝ ΛΑΒΕ!!!

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

A New Paradigm

We occasionally hear complaints (mostly from our Leftist friends*) concerning "hate radio". These complaints generally refer to the expression of opinions conflicting with leftist dogmas by conservative talk show hosts who populate the AM band of the broadcast media. The Leftists hope to reinstitute the so called "fairness doctrine" by the Federal Communications Commission in order to silence those with whom they disagree.

Although I have yet to hear a "right wing" host engage in so called "hate speech" per se, the following video comes, in my humble opinion very close to qualifying for the definition. The pertinent verbiage begins 58 seconds into the clip.



* The term "friend" is used parenthetically above due to the leftist author referring to ΛΕΟΝΙΔΑΣ as "pal".

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

A Must read!!


Attention!

This one must be read by ALL readers of this blog!

Filed under "SUSPICION CONFIRMED"


ΜΟΛΩΝ ΛΑΒΕ

Monday, October 27, 2008

Sleight of Hand and Harlan Savage




Many years ago (1957 to be precise) this wizened senior citizen was a naive and callow youth employed in the oil fields of California. Being not only naive and callow, but imbued with the populist philosophy of his paternal grandmother he was recruited as a foil by his older and reticent colleagues into being their representative in the adversarial collective bargaining relationship with their/our employer, the Continental Oil Co. (today known as Conoco Phillips). The role necessitated his somewhat regular attendance at various meetings at the Oil, Chemical and Atomic Workers International Union hall in Long Beach.

At that time, a regular fixture in the environs of the union hall was a long time very senior member by the name of Harlan Savage. He was retired from one of the local refineries (Texaco I believe) but continued to be active for what appeared to be seizing the opportunity to address the members and anyone else he could corner on the subject dear to his heart, i.e. the unconstitutional actions of the U.S. Federal government; specifically the provision contained in Article I, section X of the Constitution which states among other prohibitions that no entity other than the Federal Government shall..."coin money"... He pointed out that the "private" Federal Reserve central bank was a de facto "coiner of money" by its issuance of fiat legal tender in the form of Federal Reserve Notes as well as the practice of the entire banking system of "fractional reserves"; that is retaining only a small portion of deposits and investing the balance in loans. Harlan swore that if this situation were allowed to continue it would constitute a serious threat to the prosperity, nay the survival of the republic.

A discussion of the ramifications of the 1913 act establishing the U.S. Federal Reserve Bank is beyond the capabilities of this humble scribbler as is the institution the same year of the income tax. Harlan Savage insisted that the 16th Amendment to the Constitution was improperly ratified and therefore null and void.

The subject of fractional reserves and fiat money is a frequent subject addressed by scholars of the Austrian School of economics such as F.A. Hayek, Ludwig Von Mises and the late Murray Rothbard who states as follows in the August 1987 issue of Free Market:

The mystery, the tricks, are necessary, because the fractional-reserve banking system over which the Fed presides is bankrupt. Not just the S&Ls [and now the investment banks] and the FDIC are bankrupt, but the entire banking system is insolvent. Why? Because the money that we are supposed to be able to call upon in our bank deposit accounts is simply not there. Only about 2% of that money is there.

The mystery and the confidence trick of the Fed rests on its function: which is that of a banking cartel organized and enforced by the federal government in the form of the Fed. The Fed continually enters the "open market" to buy government securities. With what does the Fed pay for those bonds? With nothing, simply with checking accounts created out of thin air. Every time the Fed creates $1 million of checkbook money to buy government bonds, this $1 million quickly finds its way into the "reserves" of the banks, which then pyramid $10 million more of bank deposits, newly created out of thin air. And if someone sensibly wants cash instead of these open book deposits, why that's okay, because the Fed just prints the cash which immediately become standard "dollars" (Federal Reserve notes) which pay for this system. But even these fiat paper tickets only back IOU's of our bank deposits.

This pretty well sums up the pass to which we have come this dark October in 2008. And we're assured by the officials of our government on whom the blame for this mess rests that we must be patient as they apply more of the same lunacy in order to repair the damage which they criminally blame on "laissez fair" economics which has not obtained in this nation since before 1819.

The utter absurdity of statements claiming that the present political-economic environment of the United States in some sense represents laissez-faire capitalism becomes as glaringly obvious as anything can be when one keeps in mind the extremely limited role of government under laissez-faire...


One need only view the plethora of federal, ("IRS, the FRB and FDIC, the FBI and CIA, the EPA, FDA, SEC, CFTC, NLRB, FTC, FCC, FERC, FEMA, FAA, CAA, INS, OHSA, CPSC, NHTSA, EEOC, BATF, DEA, NIH, and NASA. Under laissez-faire capitalism, all such agencies and commissions would be done away with, with the exception of the FBI"), state and local departments, agencies and bureaus with their volumes of ukases and regulations which intrude into every facet of our lives to understand that we live more or less under what could arguably be characterized as a moderately benign(?) fascism.

As for Harlan Savage, I lost contact with him shortly after being fired laid off by Conoco in 1960 for union activity "lack of work".

Monday, October 20, 2008

Damn the Facts! Full speed Ahead!!


It seems that the warmista/green movement has recently been dealt a serious blow from none other than a government "study" funded by tax payers in good old Blighty, arguably the most radical of the warmista controlled nations in western civilization. The socialist government there, realizing that the warmista/green agenda is a government friendly, individual liberty averse movement/religion, has bought into the warmista propaganda that disposable diapers (nappies in British parlance) are a threat to the "environment" but is embarrassed by the findings of a recent study costing the British tax payers £50,000 (US $86,000) which finds that disposable diapers (nappies) have a significantly reduced impact (carbon footprint) on the environment than do the officially touted cloth reusable alternative.


The report found that using washable nappies, hailed by councils throughout Britain as a key way of saving the planet, have a higher carbon footprint than their disposable equivalents unless parents adopt an extreme approach to laundering them.

Warmistas need not however worry over dissemination of the data as ..."the government is so concerned by the “negative laundry options” outlined in the report, it has told its media managers not to give its conclusions any publicity."

Take that! you anti warmista heretics!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

About to Hit The Fan?


There are various reasons explaining why the current financial/economic "difficulties" will in all likelihood result in a reprise of the "great depression" of the 1930's. Firstly, the "crash" of October, 1929 occurred approximately two months after an economic downturn began as evidenced by increased unemployment statistics in August of that year. Secondly, the "crash" resulted in a 24% reduction in the value of the equities market as evidenced by the Dow Jones index which began a "recovery" lasting into May of 1930. Compare this to the 40%+ drop in the value of equities since October 2007.

Enter the US government at the behest of President Herbert Hoover.

Hoover did not fail to employ promptly and vigorously his "modern" political principles, or the new "tools" provided him by "modern" economists. And, as a direct consequence, America was brought to her knees as never before. Yet, by an ironic twist of fate, the shambles that Hoover abandoned when he left office was attributed, by Democratic critics, to his devotion to the outworn tenets of laissez-faire.


Fast forward to October 2008. A credit crisis caused chiefly by the government's insistance on an end to "red lining" by lenders in order to increase home ownership by favored minorities results in a crisis due to mortgage defaults cascading into a meltdown in the financial sector.

Enter the intervention by a Republican Administration which for political considerations wishes to prevent the morphing of the crisis into a widespread economic downturn.

Even though these "rescues" are too little and too late the die is cast for the most far reaching socialization of the US economy in history. The US electorate (educated in government schools) will logically lay the blame for its pain at the feet of the Republican Party. Already the Democrats as evidenced by their presidential candidate are laying plans to: increase taxes, enact protectionist tariffs, increase transfer payments to their constituencies etc. This is precisely the direction taken by the FDR Administration beginning in 1933 which prolonged the recession of 1929 1932 into a depression in which the recovery to 1929 levels extended until 1954.

This old Spartan's advice: plant a vegetable garden, arm yourself with an adequate supply of ammo (hidden of course), get out of the stock market and into gold (in small, hidden and easily traded units) and upgrade your marketable and survival skills.

ΜΟΛΩΝ ΛΑΒΕ!!!

Sunday, October 12, 2008

To The Rescue!


Are any of you gentle readers concerned over the world financial meltdown and resulting economic downturn negatively impacting your retirement plans and causing your 401k to do a disappearing act?

If so, here's an item that will relieve the pain somewhat by improving the taste of the cheap swill you will be forced to drink in order to drown your sorrows.

The Ultrasonic Wine Ager, which looks like an ordinary ice bucket, takes 30 minutes to work and has already been given the thumbs up by an English winemaker.

Mr Jones, 53, [the inventor] said: "This machine can take your run-of-the-mill £3.99 bottle of plonk and turn it into a finest bottle of vintage tasting like it costs hundreds.

"It works on any alcohol that tastes better aged, even a bottle of paintstripper whisky can taste like an 8-year-aged single malt.


Due to the deflationary pressures of the looming economic downturn the projected cost of this item is bound to be reduced from the projected £350 (US $396) unless of course, the Federal Reserve or U.S. Treasury elect to do another "bail out".

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Once Upon a Time

We all have at one time or another heard recited various fairy tales beginning with the words which are the title of this posting. A variation of the phrase has been fed to us recently by the political candidates of both major political parties and dutifully echoed by the punditocracy of the so called "mainstream media". I am of course referring to the finger pointing and blame assignment for the recent meltdown of the investment banking and insurance giants on Wall Street. The most recent version goes something like this: "Yes Virginia; once upon a time in the United States there existed a group of evil and avaricious men called 'predatory' lenders who preyed upon unsuspecting poor people and minorities and whose aim was to trick them into mortgages at usurious rates of interest in order to deprive them of any hope of achieving the 'American Dream'." If these poor victims could not convince the lenders to provide financing for homes or businesses due to the unscrupulous practice of having a reasonable assurance that the funds would be repaid, the lenders (banks) were obviously guilty of the evil practice of 'red lining'."

Government (or more precisely Democrat politicians) to the rescue, and voilá President Carter signs the "Community Reinvestment Act of 1977. As of late 2000:

Under its provisions, U.S. banks have committed nearly $1 trillion for inner-city and low-income mortgages and real estate development projects, most of it funneled through a nationwide network of left-wing community groups, [i.e. ACORN, the Obama connected group] intent, in some cases, on teaching their low-income clients that the financial system is their enemy and, implicitly, that government, rather than their own striving, is the key to their well-being.


Not to worry Virginia, "the prices of real estate will continue to rise forever" and these shaky loans will be refinanced.

Right now this crisis is being sold to the American public by the left as evidence the failure of the free market and capitalism. Not so. What we're seeing is the inevitable result of political interference in free market economics. Acme bank didn't want to loan money to Joe Homebuyer because Joe had a spotty job history, owed too much money on his credit cards, and wasn't all that good at making payments on time. The politicians told Acme Bank to figure out a way to make that loan, because, after all, Joe is a bona-fide minority-American, or forget about opening that new branch office on the Southside. The loan was made under political pressure; the loan, with millions like it, failed - and now we are left to enjoy today's headlines.


And Ms Pelosi has the gall to absolve her party, the dimocrats, of all responsibility for the meltdown.
In the words of John Stossel: "Gimme a Break." And be sure to keep kissing those frogs Virginia.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Fascism at Work, Hold on to Your Wallet!


News Flash!

The 100+ year old investment banking firm Lehman Brothers has just yesterday filed for bankruptcy. It would appear that its management has been blindsided and overtaken by mismanagement and the events of the subprime mortgage meltdown. How interesting! Just last year the company, in an effort to boost the profits of its clients including Al Gore's carbon trading scam, the Alliance for Climate Protection issued a report concerning the economic and financial impact of "climate change" a century hence. Hoping to board the cash bandwagon of governments implementing various schemes of "carbon trading" they even presumed to assign a value to a ton of carbon emissions on a government controlled market 50 years in the future. The hubris of socialist theoreticians appears to be boundless.
A year ago they couldn’t predict their bankruptcy but were predicting the climate 100 years ahead. Thousands of green militants have been using the Lehman report as a proof of global warming and impending chaos. Lehman Bros. said it! sacred words! Its scientific advisor is James Hansen! The report is the basis for policies on climate change in Spain, Argentina and several other countries playing the progress game; it is used by economy professors playing the climatologists; by newspapers editorials, and even by a State Secretary: Lehman Bros., said it!

Lehman Brothers spoke in his report about the climate in 2100 and its economic and financial projections, about climate change costs several decades away.

By the way, we also learn that Merryll Lynch, while teetering on the brink of bankruptcy is heavily involved in the carbon trading scheme and has now merged with BankAmerica. Not many remember or are aware how heavily invested in the Kyoto Treaty and banking on huge governmental contracts that Enron was, preferring to assign that debacle to the so called failure of capitalism.
The interests of the environmental movement in acquiring more power and influence are reasonably clear. So too are the interests of bureaucrats for whom control of CO2 is a dream-come-true.

After all, CO2 is a product of breathing itself. Politicians can see the possibility of taxation that will be cheerfully accepted because it is necessary for saving the world. Nations have seen how to exploit this issue in order to gain competitive advantages. But, by now, things have gone much further.

The case of ENRON is illustrative in this respect. Before disintegrating in a pyrotechnic display of unscrupulous manipulation, ENRON had been one of the most intense lobbyists for Kyoto. It had hoped to become a trading firm dealing in carbon emission rights. This was no small hope. These rights are likely to amount to over a trillion dollars, and the commissions will run into many billions. Hedge funds are actively examining the possibilities. It is probably no accident that Gore, himself, is associated with such activities . The sale of indulgences is already in full swing with organizations selling offsets to one's carbon footprint while sometimes acknowledging that the offsets are irrelevant. ....Archer Daniels Midland (Americas largest agribusiness) has successfully lobbied for ethanol requirements for gasoline, and the resulting demand for ethanol is already leading to large increases in corn prices and associated hardship in the developing world (not to mention poorer car performance).


And now we learn that Barclays Bank UK will acquire the profitable sector of Lehman Brothers operations and the remainder will be left to be mopped up in all probability by the US taxpayer.

Monday, September 15, 2008

More Warmista KoolAid




If there was any doubt about the terrible threat that global warming poses to humanity, then it can now be dismissed - as this shocking photograph proves that climate change is turning icebergs into giant penises.


You gotta hand it to the [warmistas]. They have mind-bending gall. New Scientist, which used to be a good pop science magazine, now quotes a NASA scientist saying: “The Antarctic wintertime ice extent increased at a rate of 0.6% per decade” from 1979 to 2006, says Donald Cavalieri, a senior research scientist at the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center in Maryland. Since 1979, the average year-round ice extent has risen too.”

Let’s see, that would be 27 years, so a total increase of about 2.0% in the extent of sea ice in the Antarctic. That’s a lot of frozen daiquiris. Millions of tons of increased ice in the Antarctic sounds colder rather than warmer, no?

But the [warmistas have] a different way of spinning these facts. New Scientist begins the article with: “The amount of sea ice around Antarctica has grown in recent Septembers in what could be an unusual side-effect of global warming, experts say.” You see, when it gets hotter it proves global warming. And when it gets colder it also proves global warming. They get you coming and going.

And these people think creationism is unscientific? Don’t they ever feel embarassed? And why are all the other scientists in the world not rolling on the floor laughing at these silly twits?
source

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Deja Vu?

Except for a few interested bloggers and some of the journalists in the Miami area recent events in Venezuela have gone unremarked. The Venezuelan dictator Hugo Chávez recently declared the ambassador of the US persona non grata and ordered him to leave Venezuela within 72 hours. Señor Chávez has become increasingly unhinged as the Miami trial in the US District Court unfolds of two individuals charged with transporting a suitcase containing USD $800,000.00 to Buenos Aires for use in the recent Argentine presidential election. It seems that Señor Chávez had an interest in the election of a certain female socialist candidate in that election but the suitcase belonging to a Venezuelan agent was discovered at the Buenos Aires airport Customs desk. In any event the lady socialist handily won the election and appears to now be a cheerleader for socialism in South America.

The video below of a recent rally of the party faithful in Puerto Cabello, Venezuela seems to have eery similarities to the Nuremburg extravaganzas of the National Socialists addressed by Herr Hitler; the exception being of course Herr Hitler never indulged in the gutter language favored by Chávez. For those not conversant in Spanish, the word "mierda" translates as: "shit".


In spite of all this sturm und drang, Chávez is unlikely to sever economic relations with the US as there is as yet no other market for the low gravity crude oil from the oilfields in Carabobo. Incidentally, you should be aware that the US petroleum marketer Citgo is a wholly owned subsidiary of Petroleos de Venezuela S.A. (PDVSA), the socialized oil company controlled by Señor Chávez. In spite of these facts it appears that the prime whipping boy of the oil industry for our Democratic politicos continues to be the eeevil ExxonMobil. How dare they earn 8.3% on their investment.

Friday, September 12, 2008

When the State Violates Its Contract

In the early morning hours of this past 6 September in Gnesta, a suburb of Stockholm, a 21 year old woman was en route home from a birthday celebration when she was set upon by a gang of more than 20 "immigrant youths" (code words for the Muslim "asylum" seekers who have recently flooded that hapless nation to avail themselves of the perks of the welfare system). One of the attackers shouted "Swedish whore" and the gang proceeded to beat her senseless with clubs, fists and feet. Six members of a local soccer team witnessing the assault attempted to intervene in order to save the woman's life and were in turn severely beaten themselves. All seven were subsequently treated at the hospital for serious injuries.

Incidents such as this are in fact becoming more or less routine in Sweden and this one is only mentioned here as Mrs. ΛΕΟΝΙΔΑΣ's blog colleague posted on it here The comments thus far reveal what we here in the US might find rather astonishing.
First, your humble host is rather pleasantly surprised that the six gallant would-be rescuers were not arrested as is often the case when a victim has the temerity to mount a defense against a criminal assault. They were probably spared prosecution due to the seriousness of their injuries. Secondly, nowhere in the comments or the news article is the possibility broached that the item pictured below, judiciously brandished, accompanied by the will to use it, would in all probability have precluded the necessity of visits to the emergency room.
Tec-9

THE ULTIMATE

LIBERAL PISSER-OFFER


You, gentle reader, might consider this incident the next time a politician such as Mr. Schumer, Mrs. Feinstein, Mr. Lautenberg, Mr. Obama or the venerable ACLU assert that the language in the second amendment protects the " right of the STATE to bear arms".

ΜΟΛΩΝ ΛΑΒΕ!

Monday, September 08, 2008

Unringing the Bell

The extent to which the media have become the partisan apologists and attack apparatus for the Democratic socialist party begins to boggle the minds of those who remain sentient and less than enthusiastic about the assent to the White house of a committed Marxist and former adherent to the Muslim faith. Who would have conceived that the selection of a vice presidential candidate by a nominee who most would characterize as a geriatric pushover "Republican" could result in the pressing of the panic button by every leftist partisan and journalist (redundancy alert) from Seattle to Miami and beyond?

It would appear that the selection of a female, articulate, non feminazi conservative/libertarian to grace the number 2 spot on the ticket has forced these leftists over the edge to the extent that some are attempting to "unring the bell". For example the recent assertion by an obscure blogger that Mrs. Palin as mayor of a small town in "flyover country" had attempted to have a list of books banned from the municipal library was picked up and embellished by the Obama campaign to include the list of every publication ever banned in the US and reproduced on their website. Within two hours of the absurdity of this "report" being pointed out, the web page was taken down by the Obama campaign. Below is a screen shot of the since removed page. Click on images to enlarge.





Likewise, the freudian slip by Obama concerning his "Muslim faith" in an interview with ABC's George Stephanopolus has since been removed by YouTube but has been copied and can be viewed below.



The willingness of most media outlets to carry water for the extreme left of the political spectrum appears to have little if any limits.

ΜΟΛΩΝ ΛΑΒΕ

Apologies

ΛΕΟΝΙΔΑΣ would like to extend his apologies to the readers of this blog (both of them) for the recent hiatus. The recovery from major surgery has directed his attention to such mundane subjects as pain management and a temporary change in lifestyle. Hopefully the most unpleasant manifestations of these conditions have past. In any event, you may rest assured that the outrage meter has remained operational and he is prepared to move beyond the mere commenting on other blogs.

ΜΟΛΩΝ ΛΑΒΕ

Sunday, August 17, 2008

An Epiphany On the Road to Damascus?


Your humble scribbler is still recovering from major surgery and for that reason has of necessity been precluded from posting as frequently as he would prefer. Be that as it may, this has come to our attention, authored by none other than George McGovern, the far left Democratic nominee for President in 1972. Please read the entire op ed:
Since leaving office I've written about public policy from a new perspective: outside looking in. I've come to realize that protecting freedom of choice in our everyday lives is essential to maintaining a healthy civil society.

Why do we think we are helping adult consumers by taking away their options? We don't take away cars because we don't like some people speeding. We allow state lotteries despite knowing some people are betting their grocery money. Everyone is exposed to economic risks of some kind. But we don't operate mindlessly in trying to smooth out every theoretical wrinkle in life.

The nature of freedom of choice is that some people will misuse their responsibility and hurt themselves in the process. We should do our best to educate them, but without diminishing choice for everyone else.

Mr. McGovern's philosophical journey (maturation?) mirrors that experienced by ΛΕΟΝΙΔΑΣ from a callow, Marxist university graduate to a wizened, libertarian senior citizen.

In the words of ΛΕΟΝΙΔΑΣ‘ sainted sire: " Too quick you're old. Too late you're smart".

ht: John Ray

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Blame Game



John Hinderaker's observations on the Economy

Two thoughts about recent economic data: first, the Labor Department reported last week that private employers cut payrolls in July by 51,000 jobs. (This isn't exactly correct; employers added many new employees over the summer, as they always do, but because the increase was a little less than in most recent summers [minimum wage increase?] , it was recorded as a "decline" on a seasonally-adjusted basis.) Democrats hailed the job report as a sign of economic failure [yes, but whose?].

[The] question is: why, then, are they so intent on exporting hundreds of thousands of energy jobs? We pay around $700 billion annually for foreign oil. That represents not just an enormous amount of money, it also represents jobs that must number in the hundreds of thousands. Why shouldn't that money go to Americans? If we do our own drilling, pipeline construction, refinery expansion, etc., hundreds of thousands of American laborers, pipefitters, welders, engineers, etc., will have great, high-paying jobs. The Democrats would be happy to fund a government program that would pay a like number of Americans to do make-work. Why, then, are they so determined to stop hundreds of thousands of American workers from making an excellent living in the private sector by supplying their fellow citizens with a desperately needed commodity? The Democrats' policies are simply perverse.

Second: [recently], the administration announced increased federal budget deficit figures for fiscal years 2008 and 2009. As the Associated Press reported, "Democratic critics...charged that the soaring deficits showed the total failure of the Bush administration to put the government's fiscal house in order." But why did the 2008 deficit "soar" to an estimated $389 billion? Mostly because Congress decided that the existing budget deficit wasn't large enough to stimulate the economy, and therefore enacted a "stimulus" package in February that included mailing checks to 128 million households.

At the time, the Congressional Budget Office forecasted that the package would increase the deficit by $152 billion in FY2008, with a smaller impact in FY2009. This wasn't an unintended consequence of mailing out all those checks, it was the whole point--the source of the "stimulus."

The stimulus package, HR 5140, passed the House on a 385-35 vote, with 216 Democrats voting in favor. Only 10 Democrats opposed the act. In the Senate, the stimulus package passed on an 81-16 vote. Not a single Senate Democrat opposed the proposal to expand the federal deficit by $152 billion.

I'm not a good enough economist to be sure whether the bipartisan Economic Stimulus Act of 2008 was a good idea or a bad idea. But for anyone who voted for it--which includes pretty much everyone in Washington--to complain about the growing budget deficit is ridiculous.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Mystery Solved!

As a followup to our previous posting of 19 July, we can lay to rest the questions of our readers as to the motivation behind the convoluted (female?) District of Columbia reasoning behind the classification of a semiautomatic Colt model 1911 hand gun in the possession of a law abiding citizen as a "machine gun" thanks to Ol' Remus of the Woodpile Report.
"Chief Lanier adds, 'I will also continue to find additional ways to protect the District's residents against the scourge of gun violence.' How nice — but hold on, she's supposed to enforce the law, not find additional ways to do anything."

Back in the old days when ΛΕΟΝΙΔΑΣ was sworn in as a police/peace officer, he distinctly remembers promising to "uphold and enforce the laws of the United States, the state of California and the County of Los Angeles". He doesn't remember anything about "finding additional ways to protect...residents against the scourge of gun violence". Perhaps the "chiefette" would consider summary execution of gang bangers apprehended perpetrating "gun violence" against ordinary citizens whom she would deny the right of self defense?

Chief Lanier's related actions regarding arrested felons however, indicate she is more inclined toward "mercy" toward accused felons than otherwise law abiding citizens as indicated by her "cite and release" program for politically connected felons.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

"Jug Ears" Speak: The New "Communicator"

For several years now we have been treated to the derision of George W. Bush by members of the MSM as well as the leftist punditocracy for his propensity to mangle the spoken English language. Much of this derision can be dismissed as sour grapes due to Bush having bested their darlings in the political contests of 2000 and 2004.

Now that the contest for political power in 2008 is in the home stretch so to speak, one wonders what to make of the leftists reaction to the verbal faux paus of their designated messiah in his quest for political power: to wit Barak (jug ears) Hussein Obama who appears to be "challenged" when bereft of a teleprompter or a prepared script. A sterling example would be the following exchange on the messiah's recent overseas campaign swing. An ABC reporter posed the following question to the candidate:


In case our leftist friends believed they heard an intelligent reply to the reporter's query, here is a transcript:

Q: "If you had to do it over again, knowing what you know now, would you support the surge:"

A: "No, because keep in mind that question, you wouldn't ... but keep in mind that kind of hypothetical is very difficult to know hindsight is 20-20 ... later ... but I think that what I'm absolutely convinced of is that at that time we had to change the political debate because the view of the Bush administration at that time was one that I just disagreed with."

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Fun and Government Games











DC Police Department: Sten gun acceptable? Colt Model 1911 not Acceptable!!!

File this under "we knew it was coming". The District of Columbia municipal government, in order to deny Richard Heller ( who recently cleaned their clock in the US Supreme Court) a natural right guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the Constitution, has had to assert the equivalence of a suspension the law of gravity by categorizing all magazine fed semiautomatic hand guns as "machine guns"!
(screen shot included in case the link vanishes)

"A spokesman for the DC Police says [Heller's] gun was a bottom-loading weapon, and according to their interpretation, all bottom-loading guns are outlawed because they are grouped with machine guns." Heller's gun appears to be a variation of the Colt model 1911. Who knew that there were several million "machine guns" in the hands of ordinary civilians here in the US? You can't make this stuff up. Perhaps the side loading British Sten submachine gun locked in semi auto mode would qualify for these cretins to register.

One commenter on the linked site asks: "So if DC redefines guns as 'footsies' and footsies are banned, is that OK?"

How do you spell "contempt of court"? Oh. I forgot. We're dealing with government here. In the immortal words of my friend Wollf: "Memo to self: time to buy more ammo"

ΜΟΛΩΝ ΛΑΒΕ!

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Copyright Stuff?


This humble writer is hesitant to enter into a copyright fray but the related example has raised his hackles sufficiently to generate the following exception:

As a California libertarian refugee and former resident of Humboldt County, California I have occasion to frequent several of the local blogs there. One said blog is Fred's Humboldt Blog.

Fred posts almost daily and on Saturday 12 July one of his postings, as is typical of Fred, was a light hearted posting on the election process in a rural community in North Dakota. The post was copied from a subscription-generated service to which I shall not link in Colorado. The post was in block quotes and linked by Fred.

The resulting response by the original author identified as "This is True" in the comments simply boggles the mind.

While the posting was a technical violation of the copy right law, Fred neither claimed authorship nor profited monitarily from it. Indeed, the posting would be construed by any sentient reader as a recommendation.

I am forced to conclude that the original author of the essay is either mentally challenged or a serious liberophobe. Unfortunately, he seems to enjoy a wider readership.

cross posted at: Eternity Road

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Pointyheaded "Logic"?


This just in from one of those attempting to make sense of the Reid/Pelosi (Democratic party's) talking point that assures us that "We can't drill our way out of this fuel crisis":

Picture if you will, an attempt to address the problem of a food shortage in the nation by those advocating the planting of more crops:
"Plant, plant, plant"

World of Unwarranted Opinion Service
From the Woodpile Report

News that fell through the time warp:

"Plans to put in crops next year have been abandoned because food is scarce now," a Dept. of Agriculture spokesman said. "This is one problem we can't plant our way out of." She pointed to promising initiatives like stomach-staples, phasing out food-guzzling bipeds and switching to alternative sources of calories such as wood chips, termites and recycled street sweepings. "Tragically," she added, "death by starvation hits the poor and minorities the hardest."

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

"Brave" New World

Many years ago I had occasion to read several science "fiction" novels by Isaac Asimov. In one of his novels of the Foundation series he described the use by henchmen of the tyrant of a distant planet a device which he called a "neuronic whip". The whip as described by Asimov eerily resembled the tasers of today and were used essentially for discouraging groups of citizens who had congregated to protest the most recent ukase issued by the government the "Mule".

Enter stage left the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS). Regular readers of these postings will understand that the threshold precluding ΛΕΟΝΙΔΑΣ from utilizing commercial airlines for travel was reached when he was subjected to a body search some years ago by one of the recently nationalized incompetent minions of the Transportation Security Administration. Be that as it may, our rulers are now expressing interest in a device which would be required to be worn by all air travelers which would among other handy functions serve as the means to administer "a disabling shock" to the wearer by airline personnel. Imagine the potential for dealing with disgruntled, drunken or otherwise obstreperous passengers , not to mention wailing infants.

In the letter to the manufacturer/developer of this bracelet device Mr. Paul S. Ruwaldt of the US Department of Homeland Security (PDF) states regarding when further development of the "bracelet concept with the localized emitter/interrogator/restraint stations, will occur": "To make it clear, we are interested in the mobile read/write emitter in conjunction with the immobilizing security bracelet, and look forward to receiving a written proposal."


There you have it ladies and gentlemen. Our rulers public servants have plans for those of us unfortunate enough to be forced to engage in commercial air travel. Come to think of it, this is evidence they have plans for the rest of us as well. As for this old Spartan, he will fly again when he either sprouts wings or is allowed to board with his Glock model 23 .40 cal S&W with the 29 round magazine. In the mean time ΛΕΟΝΙΔΑΣ will not be holding his breath.

ΜΟΛΩΝ ΛΑΒΕ!

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

"Big Oil" Part II



Your humble scribbler recently posted here on the real impact of US oil companies regarding the price of what consumers are being forced to pay for energy, specifically the fuel used in the transportation segment of our society. He pointed out the fact that 94% of the known petroleum reserves of the planet are controlled by various governments. This of course includes the US government whose vast public lands are blessed with enormous energy potential in the form of oil and natural gas.

The policies of the US and several state governments led by California beginning in the early 1960s up to the present time with regard to the extraction of these resources has been either outright prohibition or regulation to the point of driving up production costs beyond the point of economic feaseability.

What the US government also does not tell you is that it [the government] is the leaseholder and royalty recipient of most oil production, and receives 25% of the gross oil sales before we pay for electricity to lift the oil, and propane to keep the oil-water separators from freezing in the winters. We pay a pumper to visit each well everyday plus we have equipment failures all the time. We pay for that out of our 75% of gross sales. The government does not share in any expenses to run any production well. So, if the Big Oil Companies are making record profits, then so is the federal government from it's 25% tax on every molecule of oil sold to a refinery in this country. Why isn't the government on the stand for "record" profits? What you don't see is this 25% of the sales price of crude oil being siphoned away by the government. That money, plus the road taxes, state taxes, etc., amounts to over $1 per gallon of gasoline you are buying while the governments only admit to about 50 cents per gallon.

On top of all of the aforementioned taxes is added in many states, especially California, a sales tax amounting to as much as 8% of the gross.

Initially the rationale for these policies was to protect the natural environment from damage due to contamination from carelessly handled or accidentally spilled petroleum. The impact of those environmentally motivated regulations has resulted in the tremendous technological advances in the oil and gas industry's production methods. The Alaskan Prudhoe field development and the Alaskan pipeline are noteworthy examples of those improvements as are the offshore fields in the Gulf of Mexico and southern California. Indeed, the several thousand offshore wells in the Gulf have withstood nature's ravages in the form of major hurricanes with no significant impact on the environment other than the exponential increase in sea life habitat.

With the miraculous improvements in the production and handling of petroleum, the ecological objections of the environmentalists have begun to ring hollow in the ears of the public to the extent that they are not concealed or ignored. Enter the propagation of what can be described as a politician's wet dream and the greatest hoax in history, the concept of anthropogenically driven global warming.

It is beyond the scope of this posting to address the myriad refutations of this religiously held hypothesis but some of the best are here, here, here and here.
So America, enjoy your $4.00 per gallon gasoline [and it will be seen as cheap if the current gaggle of politicians of the Democratic party remain in power]. Your dollar is now worth 0.62 Euro-Cents. The lack of American production of GNP, the massive trade deficit (as labor markets have moved overseas to fight insanely high union imposed labor [and regulatory] costs in America) and the run away printing of money (backed by nothing of value here in America) has caused the dollar to become more worthless on the international market. And that's where our oil comes from. It's paid for with dollars that become more worthless everyday. If we had just kept par with the Euro, we'd be paying $62 dollars per barrel for oil (42 gallons) or about $1.50 instead of $2.50 a gallon for crude oil.