Wednesday, December 31, 2008
1. Israel versus?. Israel is currently attacking Hamas in the Gaza Strip. This could be a simple retaliation measure, or it could be a move to secure Israel's flanks for a possible attack on Iran's Nuclear Facilities. If Israel does intend to attack Iran, the need to make sure that they are not going to experience attacks from Hamas back home. Doubt it? They attacked Syria in 2008, remember? ***Editors note, Israel is still moving against Gaza as of Jan. 18th, although there is a temporary cease fire in place.
2. India versus Pakistan. India and Pakistan have both moved troops closer to their borders. My concern is that if India can find a link between the Pakistani government or military and the Mumbai terrorists, they will use it as a reason to attack Pakistan. Have no doubts that in the event of a full on war, it will go Nuclear very quickly. With prevailing winds, that spells trouble for the West Coast of the US in the form of fallout. ***Editors note, India has indeed supplied Pakistan with what they consider proof of Paki involvement in the Mumbai attacks, expect a retaliation by India at some point.
3. Terrorist Attack in the US. With the pending change in administration, Al-Quaeda could be emboldened to mount another attack on the US. It is quite possible that they expect a less severe response than they got in 2001, and in fact, with the splintering of Al-Quaeda Command and Control, they could be harder to strike now than they were then.
4. Economic meltdown in the US. With the sliding dollar, rising unemployment and a lack of faith in our government, a Great Depression style meltdown may indeed be on the horizon. The Federal Government just raised the amount of money that FDIC will cover, is the government expecting more bank failures? Will there be a run on banks? ***Editors note, As of Jan. 18th 2009 the economy continues to worsen, unemployement is up, housing starts and company profits continue to fall and now the Federal Government cannot completely account for the 70 Billion is has given to banks as part of the bailout.
5. Social Upheaval in the US. With possible fuel and food shortages (driven by weather or economics), how will the US citizenry react? Well, for the vast majority who are expecting the government to provide for them, I think they will react badly. If this situation develops, I expect food riots and widespread looting as disenfranchised sheeple panic and lash out. In addition, if President Obama does not pull the country out of the slump it is in quickly, I expect a backlash from his current supporters. He has been painted as a messiah or "The Chosen One", and if he cannot live up to that reputation, I expect fickle America to turn on him quickly. If that happens, we can expect Draconian measures from the US Government to "restore order". Expect your rights to be trampled on.
I wish I had great hope for 2009, but all I can muster is concern. I continue my preps and working within my support network to make sure we are all ready. I fervently hope it is not needed, but I just can't be sure.
Sunday, December 28, 2008
Monday, December 22, 2008
Thirty-Nine And Holding
(J. Foster, B. Rice)
He's out there somewhere every night
The music's playin' loud
He's doing all-a those fifty's steps
He's in a 1980 crowd
Dim lights hide the mileage line
Clairol hides the gray
And he won't mention anything
To give his old age away
Oh Lord, he's thirty-nine an he's holdin'
He's holdin' everything that he can
From seventeen to twenty-five
He'll prove he's still a man
Hey boy, you're holding to a candle
And it's a-burning at both ends
Thirty-nine and holding
A-holdin' everything that I can
Well, now you can bet he'll never see
Son, you oughta given up a long time ago
But you just keep on hangin' in
He still thinks that he's the man
That he once used to be
Boy, you're just thirty-nine
And you're dreamin' Acting twenty-three
Oh-oh, he's thirty-nine, he's holdin'
Holdin' everything that he can
From seventeen to twenty-five
He'll prove he's still a man
He's a-holding to a candle
My God, it's burning at both ends!
He's thirty-nine and he's holdin'
Holdin' everything he can
Sunday, December 14, 2008
Sunday, December 7, 2008
Thursday, December 4, 2008
Wednesday, November 26, 2008
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
Al Qaeda No. 2 in Video Calls Obama Dishonorable
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
CAIRO, Egypt — Al Qaeda No. 2 Ayman al-Zawahiri insulted Barack Obama in the terror group's first reaction to his election, calling him a demeaning racial term implying that the president-elect is a black American who does the bidding of whites.
The message appeared chiefly aimed at persuading Muslims and Arabs that Obama does not represent a change in U.S. policies. Al-Zawahiri said in the message, which appeared on militant Web sites Wednesday, that Obama is "the direct opposite of honorable black Americans" like Malcolm X, the 1960s African-American rights leader.
Al-Zawahiri also called Obama — along with secretaries of state Colin Powell and Condoleezza Rice — "house negroes."
Speaking in Arabic, al-Zawahiri uses the term "abeed al-beit," which literally translates as "house slaves." But Al Qaeda supplied English subtitles of his speech that included the translation as "house negroes."
The message also includes old footage of speeches by Malcolm X in which he explains the term, saying black slaves who worked in their white masters' house were more servile than those who worked in the fields. Malcolm X used the term to criticize black leaders he accused of not standing up to whites.
The 11-minute 23-second video features the audio message by al-Zawahiri, who appears only in a still image, along with other images, including one of Obama wearing a Jewish skullcap as he meets with Jewish leaders. In his speech, al-Zawahiri refers to a Nov. 5 U.S. airstrike attack in Afghanistan, meaning the video was made after that date.
Al-Zawahiri said Obama's election has not changed American policies he said are aimed at oppressing Muslims and others.
"America has put on a new face, but its heart full of hate, mind drowning in greed, and spirit which spreads evil, murder, repression and despotism continue to be the same as always," the deputy of Al Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden said.
He said Obama's plan to shift troops to Afghanistan is doomed to failure, because Afghans will resist.
"Be aware that the dogs of Afghanistan have found the flesh of your soldiers to be delicious, so send thousands after thousands to them," he said.
Al-Zawahiri did not threaten specific attacks, but warned Obama that he was "facing a Jihadi (holy war) awakening and renaissance which is shaking the pillars of the entire Islamic world; and this is the fact which you and your government and country refuse to recognize and pretend not to see."
He said Obama's victory showed Americans acknowledged that President George W. Bush's policies were a failure and that the result was an "admission of defeat in Iraq."
But Obama's professions of support for Israel during the election campaign "confirmed to the Ummah (Islamic world) that you have chosen a stance of hostility to Islam and Muslims," al-Zawahiri said.
Monday, November 17, 2008
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
Thursday, November 6, 2008
Hancock organized a boycott of tea from China sold by the British East India Company, whose sales in the colonies then fell from 320,000 pounds (145,000 kg) to 520 pounds (240 kg). By 1773, the company had large debts, huge stocks of tea in its warehouses and no prospect of selling it because smugglers, such as Hancock, were importing tea from the Netherlands without paying import taxes. In response to this the British government passed the Tea Act, which allowed the East India Company to sell tea to the colonies directly and without "payment of any customs or duties whatsoever" in Britain, instead paying the much lower American duty. This tax break allowed the East India Company to sell tea for half the old price and cheaper than the price of tea in England, enabling them to undercut the prices offered by the colonial merchants and smugglers.
Many American colonists, particularly the wealthy smugglers, resented this favored treatment of a major company, which employed lobbyists and wielded great influence in Parliament. Protests resulted in both Philadelphia and New York, but it was those in Boston that made their mark in history. Still reeling from the Hutchinson letters, Bostonians suspected the removal of the Tea Tax was simply another attempt by the British parliament to squash American freedom. Samuel Adams, wealthy smugglers, and others who had profited from the smuggled tea called for agents and consignees of the East India Company tea to abandon their positions; consignees who hesitated were terrorized through attacks on their warehouses and even their homes. The first of many ships which arrived at the Boston harbor carrying the East India Company tea was Dartmouth arriving in late November 1773. A standoff ensued between the port authorities and the Sons of Liberty. Samuel Adams whipped up the growing crowd by demanding a series of protest meetings. Coming from both the city and outlying areas, thousands attended these meetings; every meeting larger than the one before. The crowds shouted defiance not only at the British Parliament, the East India Company, and Dartmouth but at Governor Thomas Hutchinson as well, who was still struggling to have the tea landed. On the night of December 16, the protest meeting, held at Boston's Old South Meeting House, was the largest yet seen. An estimated 8,000 people were said to have attended.
Tuesday, November 4, 2008
On January 21, 1981, in his first Inaugural Address, President Ronald Reagan said what I believe to be a prolific and powerful statement. He said, "Government is not the solution to our problems; government is the problem."
Unfortunately, this is also one of the most overlooked viewpoints in politics. Most politicians (before and since) see government as a tool for curing our countries woes and steering it in their own chosen direction.
Keep this in mind as you hit the polls today. Maybe Ron was right. Instead of being a solution, maybe government is the biggest impedance to America truly being free. I am not advocating that we have no government, it is necessary to our survival in the world. However, we should remember that it is OUR government, not the politicians. It belongs to the people. And whomever we elect today, we as Americans should remind them of this fact. ***Editors note, Good job America, you have really screwed us now. Although I think both candidates sucked, you have chosen the one who assures bigger government, a larger tax burden, a weaker stance against our enemies and a continuation of our entitlement society. Indeed, we will truly reap what we have sown.
Sunday, November 2, 2008
Friday, October 31, 2008
Monday, October 27, 2008
I was going to write a review of the Gerber ASEK/LMF knife, but I found an excellent review by Bob Galvin at http://www.policeone.com/police-products/duty-gear/knives/press-releases/120430/. I received this knife as a Christmas gift from my son and I have never owned a better knife for all around "chores". It is practically unbreakable, keeps a good edge and is short enough to use for prying and cutting and not have to worry about skewering yourself on accident. If you need a fixed blade knife, this is the one to have in your BOB or on your belt.
I don't think I could put it any better than Bob did, so with all due credit, here is his review:
Case Study: New Gerber LMF II Tactical Knife Proves Versatile Ally in the Field
No one will argue that a good quality knife must be standard equipment in military or tactical situations. The question becomes one of how well the knife being used can multi-task. Today's tactical knife isn't just a tool, but really an extension of its user. The knife must perform a variety of tasks superbly, efficiently and quickly. After all, time and human life are precious in the tactical world. This partly explains why the new LMF 2 Infantry Knife from Gerber Legendary Blades (Portland, Oregon) was designed. The bigger reason was that two years ago the U.S. Army came to Gerber asking for a "pilot's knife" to be made. Specifically, the Army wanted a survival knife for use among pilots involved in a helicopter crash. Up until then, existing survival knives, and even their sheaths, just weren't performing. To ensure that the new knife would perform, the Army issued a daunting list of 30 design criteria to be met for what it calls the "ASEK" (Aircrew Survival & Egress Knife). And, of course, the knife had to be affordable for any GI using it.
Heavy Buttcap Pierces Glass, Skulls; Is a Hammer
What the Army got was a knife that not only met its design criteria, but that is a durable, all-purpose tactical knife that makes survival a priority above all. Several design features make the LMF 2 a particularly staunch knife. The 5-inch stainless steel blade has a 3/16" thickness, and a Rockwell Hardness C Scale rating of 58. The blade also has a high length-of-arc to provide an increased cutting edge. As for the LMF 2's intended purpose of providing quick egress in a downed helicopter situation, there are holes drilled through the blade and handle to allow lashing a spear. But the more noticeable "egress" design feature of this knife is the unique buttcap. It is the heavy end of the knife, made of stainless steel, and, with a point at its end, capable of breaking 1" helicopter Plexiglass or even skulls. Also, the buttcap is physically separated from the knife's tang by handle substrate material. This design gives the buttcap terrific shock absorption when it's used as a hammer and electrically isolates the blade from the buttcap.
Still another bonus with the LMF 2 knife is a removable and replaceable carbide sharpener built right into the sheath. The sheath itself is easily detachable from the vest plate and can be used as a handle when using the buttcap to hammer.
Blade Sharpness Withstands Abuse
Just how important these performance features are for Gerber's new tactical knife can be seen in comments from soldiers using the LMF 2. A retired SEAL, who is presently an independent contractor in Iraq, for example, gave high marks to the new knife after he had several tactical officers conduct rigorous testing. "One classic story is of a sniper team in Iraq that used the knife to knock a hole through a solid brick wall to create a shooting lane to the intended target," the SEAL said. "While the job took a while to complete, using both ends of the weapon, minor damage to the blade incurred that was quickly fixed by the sharpener on the blade's sheath."
The LMF 2's buttcap also was put through its paces during this trial test. "The skull crusher is a favorite for every use, including minimum non-lethal force control of prisoners (arm bars or pressure holds), breaching vehicle windows and basic locks, and, of course, lethal hand-to-hand combat," the SEAL continued. He added that the knife's rubber-coated hand grip creates a secure hold on the blade during the worst conditions.
Blade durability was a highlight of the LMF 2's tour of duty so far in Iraq. "It (the blade) needed hardly any maintenance, and stayed sharp without having to take time out of my day to sharpen it," the SEAL reveals. Such accolades don't get any better when you consider that the LMF 2 was deployed in more than 60 training exercises and 130 world combat missions. Sometimes, a knife can be the best tool or weapon, if not the only one, a soldier has at a given moment. Perhaps the SEAL sums it up best: "I would hate to be on E&E without my LMF 2."
Bob Galvin is a Portland, Oregon freelance writer, based in Portland, Oregon, who writes about various law enforcement/tactical/military tools and technologies, and their applications.
Where it all went wrong-
America has always been an experiment in progress. Social, Economic, Legislative, lots of different things have been tried in our country. This is one of the things that has made us strong. However, I believe there was one huge national tragedy, one failed experiment, that has burdened America for more than 70 years. That experiment? FDR's "New Deal". Let's take a look at the New Deal and draw some parallels to today.
From Wikipedia- By March 4, nearly all banks in the country were closed by their governors, and Roosevelt kept them all closed until he could pass new legislation. On March 9, Roosevelt sent to Congress the Emergency Banking Act, drafted in large part by Hoover's Administration; the act was passed and signed into law the same day. It provided for a system of reopening sound banks under Treasury supervision, with federal loans available if needed. Three-quarters of the banks in the Federal Reserve System reopened within the next three days. Billions of dollars in "hoarded" currency and gold flowed back into them within a month, thus stabilizing the banking system. During all of 1933, 4,004 small local banks were permanently closed and were merged into larger banks. (Their depositors eventually received 85 cents on the dollar of their deposits.) Anti-New Deal economists Milton Friedman and Anna Schwartz said, "The 'cure' came close to being worse than the disease." To avoid future "cures" the Congress created the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) in June, which insured deposits for up to $5,000. The establishment of the FDIC virtually ended the era of "runs" on banks.
Sound familiar? The Federal Government bailing out banks? The New Deal set a dangerous precedent. If something doesn't work, Uncle Sam will step in and fix it. The Welfare State for businesses. Not to mention, it was small depositors who got burned. If the Fed determined your bank did not fit their model, they simply closed it down, and as a consequence, stole 15% of your saved money as a penalty for being stupid enough to trust a small local bank. Seems to me the Fed was creating a system of banks beholden to Uncle Sam. With smaller, less controllable, local banks out of the picture, and larger banks being propped up with Federal money, the Fed could now dictate the rules to these banks.
Oh my God! The Fed is making a move to control banking again? Apparently they didn't feel it worked well enough when FDR did it, because the current administration just did the same thing. Even going so far as to force stable banks to take bailout money. But wait, it gets better (or worse)!
From Wikipedia- In March and April in a series of Acts of Congress and executive orders Roosevelt and Congress suspended the gold standard for United States currency. Under the gold standard, the Federal Reserve was prevented from lowering interest rates and was instead forced to raise rates to protect the dollar. Actions to suspend the gold standard included Executive Order 6073, the Emergency Banking Act, Executive Order 6102, Executive Order 6111, the 1933 Banking Act and House Joint Resolution 192. Anyone holding significant amounts of gold coinage was mandated to exchange it for the existing fixed price of US dollars, after which the US would no longer pay gold on demand for the dollar, and gold would no longer be considered valid legal tender for debts in private and public contracts. The dollar was allowed to float freely on foreign exchange markets with no guaranteed price in gold, only to be fixed again at a significantly lower level a year later with the passage of the Gold Reserve Act in 1934. Markets immediately responded well to the suspension, although it was assumed to be temporary.
Wow, we are getting screwed. Quite a realization. Surely there is a bright spot, right? Surely since our government is expecting us to make sacrifices to help the economy, we can be assured that they are doing everything they can to keep a lid on their spending? Think again, monkey-boy!
From Wikipedia- The Economy Act, drafted by Budget Director Lewis Douglas was passed on March 14, 1933. The act proposed to balance the "regular" (non-emergency) federal budget by cutting the salaries of government employees and cutting pensions to veterans by forty percent. It saved $500 million per year and reassured deficit hawks such as Douglas that the new President was fiscally conservative. Roosevelt argued there were two budgets: the "regular" federal budget, which he balanced, and the "emergency budget," which was needed to defeat the depression; it was imbalanced on a temporary basis.
Wow, this sucks so far. Our government, who we elected, is putting the screws to us pretty hard. They shut down our local banks, and stole 15% of our savings while doing it. They took away the guarantee that printed money was worth something. They have banking in their pocket. They are artificially stimulating the economy via interest rates and they are lying to us about having a balanced budget. How much worse could it get? Grab you ankles America, here comes daddy!
From Wikipedia- Roosevelt was keenly interested in farm issues and believed that true prosperity would not return until farming was prosperous. Many different programs were directed at farmers. The first hundred days produced a federal program to raise farm incomes by raising the prices farmers received, which was achieved by reducting total farm output. The Agricultural Adjustment Act, created the Agricultural Adjustment Administration (AAA) in May 1933. The act reflected the demands of leaders of major farm organizations, especially the Farm Bureau, and reflected debates among Roosevelt's farm advisers such as Secretary of Agriculture Henry A. Wallace, Rexford Tugwell, Lewis C. Gray and George Peek. The AAA used a system of "domestic allotments," setting total output of corn, cotton, dairy products, hogs, rice, tobacco, and wheat. The farmers themselves had a voice in the process of using government to benefit their incomes. The AAA paid land owners subsidies for leaving some of their land idle with funds provided by a new tax on food processing. The goal was to force up farm prices to the point of "parity," an index based on 1910-1912 prices. To meet 1933 goals some growing cotton was plowed up, and little pigs killed. The idea was that the less produced, the higher the price, and the farmer would benefit. Farm incomes increased significantly in the first three years of the New Deal, as prices for commodities rose. One legal historian says that consumers bore the brunt of higher food prices and were "horrified with its policy of enforced scarcity." A Gallup Poll printed in the Washington Post revealed that a majority of the American public opposed the AAA.
Now, in case you think I am just another "FDR Hater", I will give the New Deal it's props. Here are the good things:
Creation of jobs and rural development through programs such as the CCC, REA, WPA, Forest Service and TVA. People needed work, and FDR found it. My Grandfather was a CCC firewatcher in the Kisatchie Nation Forest during the Great Depression. Electricity came to areas of the country that desperately needed it. Real, tangible, concrete improvement in the way of dams, roads, schools and National Parks were built.
The repeal of Prohibition. Why America was ever so stupid as to let morality overwhelm the ability to collect taxes on our vices escapes me. FDR saw the light. Legal booze flowed again, and we collected the taxes.
Set minimum wage, maximum work week and limits on child labor. As much as I hate government interference is any kind of economics, it was truly needed in these areas. With 25% unemployment, the American worker had nothing to bargain with against management. Evening the playing field was in order.
However, in the grand scheme of things, this grab for power by the government has had dire consequences for America. Government regulation, deregulation, price manipulation, interest rate variation and a general sense that Uncle Sam should control the economy have led every successive administration to apply their version of control to our economy. What you see in the markets is not real. Prices are driven by speculation. Commodities such as gas and oil are sold on "futures". This does not take into account real world economic situations, but instead leaves the American consumer vulnerable to the whims and worries of investors. This is why gas prices increase every time the "President" of Iran breaks wind.
I don't have an easy fix. No one does. However, I think that it is our duty as Americans to be informed and whenever possible to call out our government for it's attempts at fascism (and/or socialism). When I went to school, someone told me that our government was "of the people, by the people and for the people". I think we need to remind Uncle Sam who he works for.
Friday, October 24, 2008
he is enslaved politically; conversely, man’s political freedom is illusory if he is dependent for his economic needs on the State- This is why Socialism is a failed experiment. Putting heavier political burdens (taxes) on those who earn more saps their will and desire to excel. Why work harder if the government is just going to take it away. And conversely, State mandated handouts (welfare) create an environment where hard work is not rewarded, so why work hard? If all Americans are to be given an equal chance as well as an enticement to succeed, we have to stop the silliness of punished those who do succeed and rewarding those who put forth no effort.