Monday, March 31, 2008

Dane Cook and Atheists

Vox Day asks atheists a question:

Let's assume, for the sake of argument, that you, the atheist, are completely correct and there is no God. Let us postulate that religion is merely an evolutionary spandrel and religious faith is merely a crutch for the intellectually weak, crippled, and cowardly.

Now, what is the normal human being's opinion of the sort of individual who would purposefully kick out the crutch from a cripple who is leaning upon it? Indeed, what is your opinion of such an individual?
Here's Dane Cook (I know, but I actually chuckled) talking about his encounter with an atheist. Also pilfered from Vox Day:

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Taki's Top Drawer

Taki Theodoracopolus has revamped his website Taki's Top Drawer check it out and you will find some of the best conservative writing around. Never heard of Taki Theodoracopolus before?:

Taki writes a column, the “High Life,” which has appeared in London’s The Spectator for the past twenty-five years. He writes also for National Review, the Sunday Times (London), Esquire, Vanity Fair, and Quest, among others. In 2002, Taki founded The American Conservative magazine with Pat Buchanan and Scott McConnell.
Here is a piece about McCain, the GOP, and Abortion from Dan McCartney:
The GOP has had opportunities to overturn Roe before—at any point when Republicans controlled the House, Senate, and White House, Congress could have restricted the Supreme Court’s jurisdiction over abortion using the powers invested in the legislative branch by Article III of the Constitution, overturning Roe at a stroke. Perhaps they were right not to do so: the powers of Article III, Section 2 have rarely been used in such a manner, and the precedent could easily have boomeranged against conservatives once the Democrats took Congress. Nevertheless, if the GOP were as adamantly pro-life as pro-lifers are encouraged to believe it is, the Republican Congress could have voided Roe any time between 2003 and 2007.
Read the rest here and browse around, you will see a conservatism that is almost unrecognizable for what passes for "mainstream" these days.

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Sunday, March 30, 2008

The Bills Keep Piling Up

Unnoticed in the media last week among the all important stories like what Barack Obama's preacher said on the pulpit (why are people still talking about that?), John McCain's teeth, and nipple rings, the Social Security Board of Trustees released its 2008 annual report on the finances of the Social Security Trust Fund.

It's not pretty and hasn't been for years:

The Report released Tuesday pointed out that when benefits payouts exceed revenue, Social Security will have to dig into its assets the fund has accumulated over the years to fund the over-extended benefits. The Report also noted that once Social Security goes upside down, it can only continue to fund the benefits until 2041. ... if the Government does not somehow begin to pay back the money it owes to the Social Security Funds, then current benefits will HAVE to be reduced by 2017 because there will be no assets for them to fall back on. With nearly 80 million baby boomers planning to begin drawing benefits in the coming years, there is no way possible to reduce benefit spending.

All candidates agree that a massive Social Security Reform is inevitable. The major difference is, the Democrats think the Government can fix it, while the Republicans feel it is better off partly privatized and less reliant on the Government. Where all the front-running candidates falter is the fact that they have all been in Senate for at least the last 2 years, with McCain and Hillary being in the Senate for a minimum of 6 years, and neither of them have yet to do anything about the Social Security problem.

Read the rest at Political Lore

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Saturday, March 29, 2008

Crossing the Rubicon

I'm truly speechless:

In the past two weeks, the Federal Reserve, long the guardian of the nation's banks, has redefined its role to also become protector and overseer of Wall Street.

With its March 14 decision to make a special loan to Bear Stearns and a decision two days later to become an emergency lender to all of the major investment firms, the central bank abandoned 75 years of precedent under which it offered direct backing only to traditional banks.

Inside the Fed and out, there is a realization that those moves amounted to crossing the Rubicon, setting the stage for deeper involvement in the little-regulated markets for capital that have come to dominate the financial world.

Leaders of the central bank had no master plan when they took those actions, no long-term strategy for taking on a more assertive role regulating Wall Street. They were focused on the immediate crisis in world financial markets. But they now recognize that a broader role may be the result of the unprecedented intervention and are being forced to consider whether it makes sense to expand the scope of their formal powers over the investment industry.

"This will redefine the Fed's role," said Charles Geisst, a Manhattan College finance professor who wrote a history of Wall Street. "We have to realize that central banking now takes into its orbit everything in the financial system in one way or another. Whether we like it or not, they've recreated the financial universe."

The Fed has made a special lending facility -- essentially a bottomless pit of cash -- available to large investment banks for at least the next six months. Even if that program is allowed to expire this fall, the Fed's actions will have lasting impact, economists and Wall Street veterans said.

The story is more floating of an idea than anything else. But the mere fact that our leaders are considering expanding the role of the Fed should raise alarms and red flags to everyone. The response from everyone to this idea SHOULD be a resounding Ari Gold "Fuck You!" along with calls for Bernanke resign and the Fed to be abolished. That is, unless everyone likes inflation at 20 percent, and government intruding into every aspect of your life, and us living in a banana republic like Zimbabwe.

Looking at the situation, I'm reminded of this quote by one of our founding fathers:

"If the American people ever allow private banks to control issue of their currency, first by inflation, then by deflation, the banks and the corporations will grow up around them, will deprive the people of all property until their children wake up homeless on the continent their fathers conquered. The issuing power should be taken from the banks and restored to the people, to whom it properly belongs."

Thomas Jefferson

Anyone wonder where we are at?

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Friday, March 28, 2008

The Dead Letter Office

There is actually an internet version:

When businesses want to communicate with their customers via e-mail, many send messages with a bogus return address, e.g. "" The practice is meant to communicate to recipients that any replies will go unread.

But when those messages are sent to an inactive e-mail address or the recipient ignores the instruction and replies anyway, the missives don't just disappear into the digital ether.

Instead, they land in Chet Faliszek's e-mail box.

As owner of, the Seattle-based programmer receives millions of wayward e-mails each week, including a great many missives destined for executives at Fortune 500 companies or bank customers, even sensitive messages sent by government personnel and contractors.

Read the rest here.

Pilfered from Consumerist

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Come on

The Swindle has the story of the Patriot Act being used in a drug case:

The lawyer for a man accused of being a major cocaine supplier for the Wichita Crips gang contends that a secret search of the man's house under the Patriot Act was illegal.

In a recent motion to suppress any evidence from the search, defense lawyer Charles O'Hara argued that the Patriot Act was meant for "serious matters involving national security," not drug cases like the one involving his client, Tyrone Andrews.

"I thought that this Patriot Act was something passed to protect us all from these terrorist acts, and it would be used very judiciously," O'Hara said Monday. "This doesn't seem to be one where these secret searches would be used."

Should we really be surprised by this? I'm mean it's not like the pros and cons of the Patriot Act weren't debated thoroughly and every aspect of it was vetted for its constitutionality in the 30 minutes that Congress had to read its 300 plus pages before having to vote on it. I think I spent more time deciding which pair of flip flops I was going to put on this morning than Congress spent scrutinizing the Patriot Act (I went with the brown ones). But, once again, we shouldn't be surprised by the overreach of law enforcement. They are using the tools given to them.

I'm at the point where I think that the only legislation we should be seeing from Congress should just be acts that start repealing everything that the feds have done for the past 100 years. They can start with abolishing the Federal Reserve, eliminating the income tax, stopping the drug war, pulling the troops from Europe, Japan, Korea, and yes Iraq, repealing the Patriot Act and a bunch of other stuff. I have pretty much nothing but contempt for the parade of government bailouts, government entitlements, and undermining of the Constitution. It's a horrible feeling knowing that the GOP has presided over 8 years of it and the party that once preached civil liberties, fiscal restraint and limited government now must be put down like Old Yeller. (metaphorically of course! Sorry DHS, FBI, CIA, NSA, TSA, DEA, BATF, IRS, OSHA, FEMA)

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Thursday, March 27, 2008

The Spitzer Scandal by a 3 year old

Pilfered from Gorillamask

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The Revolution Lives! Part 2

Liberty Maven gives the rundown on the 40+ candidates who are running for Federal office on the Ron Paul platform.

One guy who I'm endorsing is Murray Sabrin, he's a professor at Ramapo College and is running for the Senate seat in New Jersey. Click here for his site.

Here is Dr. Sabrin getting the Ron Paul endorsement:

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Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Katrina Revisited: Walmart Wins! Part 2

Lew Rockwell and Walter Block on Hurricane Katrina, it's aftermath, and getting people to realize that central planning (whether it's for the economy or for disaster relief) sucks balls:

Watching the Capitol Hill hearings on what went wrong after Hurricane Katrina provided a glimpse of what it must have been like in the Politburo in the 1950s. The Soviet bureaucrats would gather with the party officials and factory and farm managers to figure out why grain production was down or why shop shelves were empty or why the bread lines were ever longer and the quality ever worse.

They gathered under the conviction that they had a workable system that was being rendered unworkable because of the incompetence, shirking, or wrecking of certain key players in the chain of command. No one was permitted to say that the command system itself was the problem. Instead, they had to place blame on someone, as if all problems could be reduced to issues of obedience. It was always a scramble. Whoever was finally said to be at fault faced certain ruin.
Let's be clear, we are much closer to a socialist society than we are to a free state. Every aspect of our lives can be monitored, scrutinized, criminalized, or taxed by our government. But when the opportunity came for our government to make good on the marshmellowy promise of safety and protection during the hurricane, let's face it, the government swung and missed.

I don't fault Bush for the governments weak, inefficient, and incompetent response because Katrina could have happened on Clinton's watch and I'm pretty confident we would have gotten the same bureaucratic abortion that W presided over.

What we should be questioning is the fundamental assumption that our strong central government should be handling disaster relief (among many other things) at all. That's one question that no one in the MSM is asking.

I like the way Rockwell and Block end their paper:
It took decades for the rot to give way underneath the Soviet apparatus of central planning. But eventually the implausibility of the entire project was no longer possible to deny. It gave way under an intellectual reaction against the whole of socialism. We are seeing something like that take place today, as government fails in Iraq and New Orleans, and in every place around the country and the world where it causes problems and creates no solutions. The age of confident central planning is behind us. Right now, the state is just trying to keep its head above water. If freedom is to have a future, the time will come when it will sink to an ignoble end, and we will wonder how we ever believed in this myth called government crisis management.
Read the whole position paper here.

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Too little too late

A surprisingly positive article on Ron Paul from Fox News:

Time to listen to Texas Congressman Ron Paul, the lone voice of reason in Congress today who’s got to feel like he’s shouting into a field of cotton with his repeated warnings about the dangers of a collapsing dollar, while the administration goes AWOL on the problem.

The dollar just hit a record intraday low against the euro on reports that consumer confidence levels have dropped to levels not seen since the post-Watergate era. It is down 7% year to date against the Chinese renminbi, it’s weaker than the Japanese yen and the Canadian loonie.

The joke is the greenback is now only stronger than the Mexican pesos and the Zimbabwe dollar, an overstatement for dramatic effect, to be sure.But since hitting a peak in 2002, the dollar has lost about a quarter of its value against a trade weighted basket of currencies.

Read the rest here.

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Tuesday, March 25, 2008

I think I'm in love

The only type of car I've ever owned has been 2 door coupes. From the Chevy I had in high school, to the bulletproof Toyota I kept for 10 years, to the Volvo coupe I have now, I've never had anything with more than 2 doors.

Now, the Aston Martin DBS is way out of my price range, and will be for all time (unless I win the lottery) but the new Audi A5 is not. It's brand new, and is more Grand Tourer than race car but I look at pics of it and can't wait to see what one looks like in real life:

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DC vs Heller Pundit Roundup


I dare you to watch this video of this woman testifying before Congress and not get a lump in your throat, she speaks the truth. Thanks to Eric at Red State Eclectic:

I meant to put this up last week:

Yesterday, the Supreme Court heard a case dealing with the 2nd Amendment. It could prove to be a landmark decision that SCOTUS hands down and may finally put to rest whether owning a firearm is an "individual" or "collective" right. As such, there are plenty of opinions going around before the ACTUAL opinion from the Supreme Court gets handed down. Here's a smattering of them:

Reason Mag- Jonathan Raech - Gun rights protect civil rights even if you are gay.

ABC News - Jan Greenberg - Justice Kennedy may be the "swing" vote in this case, and based on his questioning, it sounds like he's in the "individual" rights camp.

But Dakota Ranger brings up a good point in his post about the Heller case:

We don't licence our other rights, nor do we do background checks for the privilege of driving. When there are politicians that want to give drivers licences to illegal aliens it is disgusting to us law abiding gun owners that we have to go through a background check at every purchase.
The whole idea of having the 2nd Amendment was so that the people would be able to protect themselves from criminals and others who wish to do them harm. But what if the trespasser is the government itself? What if government was so tyrannical, so oppressive that IT was what people were protecting themselves from?

My point is that the idea of having a license program for guns seems antithetical to what the 2nd Amendment is about. Because if the government was the enemy of the people, then a firearm registration program is nothing more than a roadmap to tell the government exactly where the guns are.

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Katrina Revisited: Walmart wins!

As if we don't already know that private enterprise almost always does things better than the government, it turns out that even in disaster FEMA (whose sole reason for existence is handling disasters) sucks balls and should be eliminated. From Federal Times:

Private organizations such as Wal-Mart, Home Depot and other so-called “big box” stores provided more supplies and relief than the Federal Emergency Management Agency in the days immediately after Hurricane Katrina, George Mason University’s Mercatus Center said in a report released March 20. Local store managers took advantage of their autonomy and moved quickly to reopen after the storm and distribute supplies — sometimes for free, and often without the permission of superiors. One Wal-Mart employee in Kenner, La., broke through a warehouse door with a forklift to get water for a nearby retirement home, the report said.

But at the bureaucratically stymied FEMA, supply purchases and shipments were tied up in red tape, and offers of help from other parties were turned down for fear of liability issues.

The main difference, said report author Steven Horwitz, is that private companies have to make sure there are still people in the community to shop at their stores after a disaster and who think well enough of stores like Wal-Mart and Home Depot to give them their business. That prompts companies to act quickly and keeps them from gouging prices, which, they believe, hurt them in the long run.
Wow, look people are able to make decisions for themselves without taking orders from central planning! Who woulda thunk it?

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Monday, March 24, 2008

Hmmm, Intriguing.

There's talk that former Congressman Bob Barr could run for President as the Libertarian Party nominee. From the Washington Times:

"There is great deal [of] dissatisfaction with the candidates for the two major parties, particularly among conservatives, but also a great deal of Internet and other support for a candidate like Ron Paul who advocates libertarian and true conservative principles," said Mr. Barr, who is now a Libertarian.
If he were to get the nomination, his presence could really hurt John McCain. McCain already has enough problems with the hard core base as it is. The presence of Bob Barr (whose conservative cred is well documented) would only highlight McCain's weakness with that base. I think I'd vote for him instead of McCain.

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Sunday, March 23, 2008

Deja vu, All Over Again

William Anderson gives an overview of what we can expect over the next decade in our economy by comparing it to what happened in the 70's. Read the whole thing here.

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Nice Job! Part 2

Big government incompetence fever!:

"During his nearly four years as a translator for U.S. forces in Iraq, Saman Kareem Ahmad was known for his bravery and hard work. "Sam put his life on the line with, and for, Coalition Forces on a daily basis," wrote Marine Capt. Trent A. Gibson.

Gibson's letter was part of a thick file of support -- including commendations from the secretary of the Navy and from then-Maj. Gen. David H. Petraeus -- that helped Ahmad migrate to the United States in 2006, among an initial group of 50 Iraqi and Afghan translators admitted under a special visa program.

Last month, however, the U.S. government turned down Ahmad's application for permanent residence, known as a green card. His offense: Ahmad had once been part of the Kurdish Democratic Party, which U.S. immigration officials deemed an "undesignated terrorist organization" for having sought to overthrow former Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein.

Ahmad, a Kurd, once served in the KDP's military force, which is part of the new Iraqi army. A U.S. ally, the KDP is now part of the elected government of the Kurdish region and holds seats in the Iraqi parliament. After consulting public Web sites, however, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services determined that KDP forces "conducted full-scale armed attacks and helped incite rebellions against Hussein's regime, most notably during the Iran-Iraq war, Operation Desert Storm and Operation Iraqi Freedom."

Ahmad's association with a group that had attempted to overthrow a government -- even as an ally in U.S.-led wars against Hussein -- rendered him "inadmissible," the agency concluded in a three-page letter dated Feb. 26."

With friends like that...

Pilfered from Obsidian Wings

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Saturday, March 22, 2008

Nice Job!

Conservative Belle has news about progress being made on the border fence. In fact, the Army Corp of Engineers have been dispatched to the border to facilitate the building. Unfortunately, the engineers and the $23 million that goes with them is being sent to the border in Egypt.

Click here to see the details.

Big government incompetence fever, catch it!

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Friday, March 21, 2008

Chertoff on Real ID: We're not Kidding

Of course DHS isn't kidding about the Real ID. Because you can't kid when the jokes on you.

Homeland Security Chief Michael Chertoff has come out today saying that all states must comply with the mandate from the Feds, otherwise travelers won't be able to board planes at airports. Reaction from states like South Carolina, Maine, and Montana? I would describe it as making a loose fist, putting it in the general vicinity of ones nether regions, and shaking vigorously. Oh, and don't forget to throw in a rolling of the eyes.

Montana's Governor REALLY doesn't like the REAL ID, listen to an interview he gave recently to NPR here. I've never heard of a governor actually saying "blah blah blah" on the radio in an official interview. It's friggin hilarious. Here's what DHS's reaction to Montana:

On Friday, the federal agency granted Montana an extension, even though state officials didn't ask for one and insist they will not adhere to the Real ID law.
Go Montana.

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Ron Paul Schools Some Douchebag about the Gold Standard

Yeah, I'm pretty sure that the guy who they brought on to counter Doctor Paul was talking out of his ass especially when he started talking about the Great Depression. But don't take my word for it. This is what Milton Friedman had to say about what caused it. From a recent article in Worldnetdaily:

Friedman: Well, we have to distinguish between the recession of 1929, the early stages, and the conversion of that recession into a major catastrophe.

The recession was an ordinary business cycle. We had repeated recessions over hundreds of years, but what converted [this one] into a major depression was bad monetary policy.

The Federal Reserve System had been established to prevent what actually happened. It was set up to avoid a situation in which you would have to close down banks, in which you would have a banking crisis. And yet, under the Federal Reserve System, you had the worst banking crisis in the history of the United States. There's no other example I can think of, of a government measure which produced so clearly the opposite of the results that were intended.

And what happened is that [the Federal Reserve] followed policies which led to a decline in the quantity of money by a third. For every $100 in paper money, in deposits, in cash, in currency, in existence in 1929, by the time you got to 1933 there was only about $65, $66 left. And that extraordinary collapse in the banking system, with about a third of the banks failing from beginning to end, with millions of people having their savings essentially washed out, that decline was utterly unnecessary.

At all times, the Federal Reserve had the power and the knowledge to have stopped that. And there were people at the time who were all the time urging them to do that. So it was, in my opinion, clearly a mistake of policy that led to the Great Depression.

Click here to see what current Fed Chair Ben Bernanke has to say about Friedman's assessment. I'm sure you'll find it enlightening.

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Tuesday, March 18, 2008

The Revolution Lives

In Missouri from St.Louis Post Dispatch:

The first hints were the phone calls.

Never before had St. Charles County Republican Party Chairman Jon Bennett received so many queries about where this year's party caucus was to be held. And Bennett didn't recognize most of the callers.

On Saturday, Bennett learned why. Dozens of avid supporters of Ron Paul, a Texas congressman who is running a renegade quest for the presidential nomination, staged a political guerrilla attack. At that caucus at St. Peters City Hall — as well as others across the state — party regulars like Bennett were overwhelmed.

Party crashers! How rude.

The LA Times has additional coverage of what happened in Missouri:

Usually attended only by party apparatchiks, the caucuses help set the official party platform and deal with internal rules issues. The kind of stuff most folks ignore. Not the Paulistas, who swarmRon_pauled meetings in St. Louis, Kansas City, Springfield and some rural counties and, as the St. Louis Post-Dispatch put it, "snagged roughly a third of the 2,137 state Republican delegates."

This reminds me of that scene in Old School where the character played by Jeremy Piven finds out that Luke Wilson and crew were able to get their fraternity set up. "They're really good at paperwork!"

Of course, this really didn't go over too well with some of the Republican blogosphere. Take for example Dee over at Chatterbox Chronicles.

Now, I've always maintained that the way that most of the Pajamas Media Right react to Ron Paul is not really any different than what you would find with the Daily Kos crowd about George W. Bush. Mostly rantings and name calling, but never really anything that challenges the basic questions that he asks and that makes them squirm.

Anyway, one question that will be asked is now that the GOP is the party of big government and we are now paying for the sins of our largesse, why should anyone vote for the party hack McCain if it's just more of the same thing we've had for 8 years? Look at where all this spending has gotten us. Up until yesterday, the silence from the PJM right on the collapse of the dollar and government bailouts for financial institutions had been deafening. My opinion is because this disaster can be laid squarely at the feet of GWB and 6 years of GOP rule and to all the neocon enablers who cheered every step of the way. Well, people are waking up, and all of the "Old Right" are pissed. Because you ruined it all for me, my kids, and my grandkids.

God Bless Ron Paul for standing up there and speaking the truth.

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Another Casualty in the War

The War on Drugs that is:

Imagine you're home alone.

It's 8 p.m. You work an early shift and need to be out the door before sunrise, so you're already in bed. Your nerves are a bit frazzled, because earlier in the week someone broke into your home. Oddly, they didn't take anything; they just rifled through your belongings.

But the violation weighs on your mind. At about the time you drift off, you're awakened by fierce barking from your two large dogs. You hear someone crashing into your front door, as if he's trying to separate it from its hinges. You grab the gun you keep for home defense and leave your room to investigate.

This past January that scenario played out at the Chesapeake, Virginia, home of 28-year-old Ryan Frederick, a slight man of little more than 100 pounds. According to interviews since the incident, Frederick says when he looked toward his front door, he saw an intruder trying to enter through one of the lower door panels. So Frederick fired his gun.
The story isn't over yet. It turns out that the intruders were the Cheseapeake Police Department. They were serving Ryan Frederick a drug warrant using a tactic called a "noknock" raid .

Fredericks fired his weapon and ended up hitting Detective Jarod Shivers, who died of his wounds. Now, Ryan Frederick is on trial for murder.

Read the rest over at Reason.

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This Guy Knows Something that Bernanke Does Not

How come Jim Rogers and Peter Schiff are the only ones on TV who know what they are talking about when it comes to the Fed and our economy:

The unprecedented actions of Bernanke and company this week ALWAYS comes at the price of the taxpayer. Bailouts, inflationary rate cuts: it's not necessary for a central planner like Bernanke, or Greenspan, to have a job dictating what our dollar should be doing. Get rid of the Federal Reserve.

People should be angry that their wealth is being stolen from them. I know I am.

Did Maria Bartiromo get collagen injections in her lips?

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That's Just Wrong

Consumerist has this entry:

A woman has filed a $200,000 lawsuit against American Airlines alleging the flight crew failed to protect her from a passenger who moved into the seat next to hers while she was sleeping, then "masturbated to her" and—well, you've seen "There's Something About Mary"? Yeah, that.
Come on, do they let just anybody on airplanes these days? Yeah, that's pretty foul and to her, it's probably more "Silence of the Lambs" creepy then "Something About Mary" gross out. I hope she gets the $200k

But I am curious, I wonder how hot she is?

Here's the link

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Sunday, March 16, 2008

Call of Duty 4: The Musical

This is a video for a song made entirely from the different gun shots in Call of Duty 4. It's pretty awesome:

Song Made From Call Of Duty 4 Gun Shots - Watch more free videos

Pilfered from Gorillamask

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Someone owes Someone a Penny

This is a clip from CNBC two years ago between Art Laffer and Peter Schiff. Prescient.

Pilfered from Lew Rockwell.

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Friday, March 14, 2008

Pajamas Media Blogosphere Reaction to Falling Dollar and Government Bailouts: Outrage and Silence But Mostly Silence

I took a brief survey of the Pajamas Media Blogosphere that I visit on my web travels looking for the reactions to the dollar crisis that has been brewing for awhile and is finally coming to a head. Let's see:

Hotair: There's a nice video of Dana Perino's appearance on the Daily Show, but no mention of the Bear Stearns bailout by the government, or the continued free fall of the dollar. Come on, I would have thought Ed Morrissey would have had something to say about it.

LGF: There's a couple of entries about Obama and his religion, Elliot Spitzer gets goofed on a bit as well. But nothing about the economy or the dollar there either.

Malkin: Michelle See-dubya has a story about Obama, Michelle writes about Dickie Scruggs as well as an entry about the super-secret session in Congress that didn't accomplish anything. Anything about the financial health of the country? Not today, maybe something on Monday.

Ace: We have a winner! An entry on the bailout for Bear Stearns. It's a brief mention because entries about Obama and Spitzer dominate.

One entry out of all of the PJM blogs I visited mentioned the big financial news today. What's wrong with them? They are supposed to be "conservative" but nothing about the bailout? Malkin, to her credit, has talked about the sub prime mortgage crisis that has been developing into a story over the past year, and her take on that has been correct. Suck it up, no bailouts for the people who took crappy loans. Does that apply to the banks and other financial institutions? I don't recall seeing any mention from her about the dollar tanking in the past few months either. Why is that?

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What the Price of Gold is Telling Us

You know who deserves a second look as President? The guy who wrote this a few years ago:

Though everyone decries inflation, trade imbalances, economic downturns, and federal deficits, few attempt a closer study of our monetary system and how these events are interrelated. Even if it were recognized that a gold standard without monetary inflation would be advantageous, few in Washington would accept the political disadvantages of living with the discipline of gold – since it serves as a check on government size and power. This is a sad commentary on the politics of today. The best analogy to our affinity for government spending, borrowing, and inflating is that of a drug addict who knows if he doesn’t quit he’ll die; yet he can’t quit because of the heavy price required to overcome the dependency. The right choice is very difficult, but remaining addicted to drugs guarantees the death of the patient, while our addiction to deficit spending, debt, and inflation guarantees the collapse of our economy.

Special interest groups, who vigorously compete for federal dollars, want to perpetuate the system rather than admit to a dangerous addiction. Those who champion welfare for the poor, entitlements for the middle class, or war contracts for the military industrial corporations, all agree on the so-called benefits bestowed by the Fed’s power to counterfeit fiat money. Bankers, who benefit from our fractional reserve system, likewise never criticize the Fed, especially since it’s the lender of last resort that bails out financial institutions when crises arise. And it’s true, special interests and bankers do benefit from the Fed, and may well get bailed out – just as we saw with the Long-Term Capital Management fund crisis a few years ago. In the past, companies like Lockheed and Chrysler benefited as well. But what the Fed cannot do is guarantee the market will maintain trust in the worthiness of the dollar. Current policy guarantees that the integrity of the dollar will be undermined. Exactly when this will occur, and the extent of the resulting damage to the financial system, cannot be known for sure – but it is coming. There are plenty of indications already on the horizon.

The whole article is here. And if you've ever wondered or been confused about *why* a monetary system will survive over the long term only if it's asset backed, click on the link, you will find the answer there.

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Rep. Jeff Flake on Cuba

UPDATE: I forgot to add the link to Reason where I pilfered this video from. Click there and you can watch Congressman Flake go into more depth on his visit to Cuba (about 15 mins of video, very fascinating) Click here.

I hope his district keeps sending him back to Congress. He's a rising star in the GOP.

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Ron Paul Supporter Spotlight

This is a fully animated 3D Ron Paul commercial. It's pretty impressive:

An HQ version is available at the website

Pilfered from Liberty Maven

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Thursday, March 13, 2008

Federal Reserve: We should put it on the Green Mile

The reports of the weakening dollar keep coming in:

Antique store owners in lower Manhattan, ticket vendors at India's Taj Mahal and Brazilian business executives heading to China all have one thing in common these days: They don't want U.S. dollars.
The reason people don't want dollars is simple, people don't want what the dollar is offering. The dollar, at one time, used to represent stability, value, and security. Now, based on the unprecedented liquidity injections, interest rate decreases and other market manipulations by Bernanke and company, one can conclude that a full fledged panic is just around the corner because that stability, value, and security is being shredded.

What offends me the most is that peoples life savings are being stolen from them by inflation. The buying power that someone on a fixed income (like the elderly) has is being taken from them through no fault of their own. It was bad enough when 3 percent inflation was deemed "acceptable" (sorry Milton Friedman, you were wrong on this) but now that the inflation rate is pointing towards double digits. Where is the outcry?

Shouldn't I see headlines like: "US Economy Killed by Terrorists and Excessive Government Spending and Inflation, but mostly by Excessive Government Spending and Inflation" over at Ace?

or even a "Dude" by Allahpundit over at Hotair?

What does the White House have to say about the weakening dollar? Oh yeah:

We should be at LEAST as offended about the Federal Reserve as we are about illegals coming into this country.

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Good Riddance Elliot Spitzer

One of my favorite columnists William Anderson gives his take:

...for all of the "cleaning up Wall Street" rhetoric that came from Spitzer and his main supporter, the New York Times, his actions were more about shaking down firms and forcing them to pay for legal protection than "saving capitalism from itself." For example, he fingered PayPal while the fledgling company was maneuvering to have an initial public offering (IPO) several years ago.

PayPal was permitting its payment mechanism to be used to pay for online gambling, which then was legal. However, Spitzer told the principals of the company that he would block their IPO and give them trouble unless they paid his office $150,000. Now, had he come in with a fedora and Sicilian accent, people might have understood he was running a protection racket. But, instead, the New York Times insisted he was "protecting the public integrity."

It's amazing to me that he was elected into office with 70 percent of the vote. Buh-bye.

Read the rest of Professor Andersons column here and check out his archives here. I originally started reading his stuff from the Duke Lacrosse Case but his columns on the abuses and often criminal (as well as nonsensical) activities of the feds in the name of "justice" are what made me a fan. This is a good one about Martha Stewart and here is a different perspective on fighting terrorism.

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The Fed Makes it Rain

The more I listen to the chorus of this vid by Fat Joe and Lil Wayne the more I think of what Bernanke and the Fed are doing with our dollar.

Gary North has an analysis of the recent action by the Fed and the other Central Banks:

Here is the FED's official description. The first two paragraphs are clear. They are a warning call.

Since the coordinated actions taken in December 2007, the G-10 central banks have continued to work together closely and to consult regularly on liquidity pressures in funding markets. Pressures in some of these markets have recently increased again. We all continue to work together and will take appropriate steps to address those liquidity pressures.

To that end, today the Bank of Canada, the Bank of England, the European Central Bank, the Federal Reserve, and the Swiss National Bank are announcing specific measures.

This is an international credit crisis. Make no mistake about this. No single central bank can deal with it successfully.

Read the rest here, and remember, if we even introduced legalized competition of gold and silver as legal tender, those who aren't rich and ridiculously handsome like me will have a better shot at preserving their wealth instead of having it eaten away by inflation. F#$@ the Federal Reserve.

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Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Daily Show: Marines in Berkeley

Pretty funny:

Pilfered from Hotair

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The Dollar and Oil

From Reason Mag:

Let's start with geopolitical uncertainties. Last year, oil consumers watched warily as unrest in Nigeria's oil fields, the possibility of war between the U.S. and Iran, and the antics of Venezuela's Hugo Chavez threatened to disrupt oil supplies. That analysis may have once made sense, but most of those tensions have abated in recent months. Nevertheless, it remains true that most of the world's oil is produced in volatile regions and by erratic governments, so the price of crude must still include some kind of political risk premium.

What effect does the falling dollar have on the price of crude? Most oil price contracts are denominated in dollars. The dollar has fallen in value by more than 30 percent against a Federal Reserve index of major currencies since 2002. This means that the price of imports, including oil, have gone up. To some extent, the chief of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) Chakib Khelil was correct when he said earlier this week, "What's happening in the oil market is due to the mismanagement of the U.S. economy." Continuing U.S. trade and fiscal deficits along with lower interest rates are stoking inflationary fears.

So one of the reasons that oil prices are so high is that the dollar just doesn't buy what it used to. So what does the White House, purveyors of economic stimulus packages and unprecedented government spending have to say about that:

I will say that Dana Perino is smokin'.

Pilfered from Crooks and Liars

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Does Admiral Fallon Stepping Down Open the Door for War with Iran?

Justin Raimondo thinks so:

One can hardly imagine a clearer indication that the White House has made the decision to go to war with Iran . It's just a matter of when and how the administration can provoke an incident.

That's why U.S. warships are patrolling the Lebanese coast; and why our warships are playing hide-and-go-seek with Iranian gunboats in the Gulf. It's the reason the Israel lobby has been beating the tom-toms for war, and the reason the anti-Fallon, Petraeus, has been so vocal about the Iranian roots of our Iraqi problem. With Fallon out of the way, the road to war – a regional conflagration that will make the invasion of Iraq seem like a holiday picnic – is cleared. Get ready for World War III.

Read the whole thing here.

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Tuesday, March 11, 2008

An Eclectic Linkorama

Reason Mag has a couple of entries in their Hit and Run blog that caught my eye:

Democrats Pick Pork over Police Accountability - You know how everyone knows that the "War on Drugs" is a waste of money? You don't? Then click here.

Show us Your Money - From 2003 - The Patriot Act lets the government spy on your finances, but does it catch terrorists? It looks like it helps catch governors spending money on hookers.

From Lew Rockwell -

Cop Ratings Website Infuriates Police - Think of it as customer feedback

Fed Nationalizes Some Banks
- Fascism isn't always jackboots and "Sieg Hiel!" to the Fuhrer.

La Shawn Barber
- It's been awhile since I've visited her site but it looks like she has changed her focus away from politics. Amy Winehouse makes an appearance on her blog. Take a minute to listen to her cover of "Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow"

From The Crossed Pond
- Will the Fed Be Left Holding the Kitchen Sink? Of course not, the taxpayers will.

Also from TCP - Regarding Adm Fallon (current and soon to be former Centcom Commander), Adam asks:

At times like this, the poor choice of McCain’s “Bomb Iran” joke is highlighted. Also, does Bush just plan to keep appointing senior military commanders until one agrees with him?

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In case you were wondering

Here's what $5k per hour would have gotten you from the call girl outfit that Elliot Spitzer was busted on.

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Monday, March 10, 2008

Jury Nullification

Radley Balko over at Reason mag posted a blurb about jury nullification based on the statements of Ed Burns and Company (creators of the show "The Wire") from Time Magazine:

If asked to serve on a jury deliberating a violation of state or federal drug laws, we will vote to acquit, regardless of the evidence presented. Save for a prosecution in which acts of violence or intended violence are alleged, we will — to borrow Justice Harry Blackmun's manifesto against the death penalty — no longer tinker with the machinery of the drug war. No longer can we collaborate with a government that uses nonviolent drug offenses to fill prisons with its poorest, most damaged and most desperate citizens.

Jury nullification is American dissent, as old and as heralded as the 1735 trial of John Peter Zenger, who was acquitted of seditious libel against the royal governor of New York, and absent a government capable of repairing injustices, it is legitimate protest. If some few episodes of a television entertainment have caused others to reflect on the war zones we have created in our cities and the human beings stranded there, we ask that those people might also consider their conscience. And when the lawyers or the judge or your fellow jurors seek explanation, think for a moment on Bubbles or Bodie or Wallace. And remember that the lives being held in the balance aren't fictional.

This set off a 300 comment discussion over at Patterico's Pontifications. It's a good back and forth that I would recommend reading. Patterico is a prosecutor in LA county, so take his perspective with a grain of salt.

I'm of the opinion that a jury has a duty to judge the law as well as the facts precisely for the reasons that the creators of "The Wire" give. Lawmakers create stupid laws all the time and one of the reasons that we have 1 in 100 Americans in jail now is because we have a criminal justice system that has moved away from letting juries decide the merits of the law and only judge the facts presented in a case.

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Saturday, March 08, 2008

Montana is Awesome Part II

Throw this brief interview of Democratic governor Brian Schweitzer on the Real ID along with Montana's stance on the 2nd Amendment on that growing pile of evidence that Montana is the awesomest state in the Union. The "Live Free or Die" state of New Hampshire has nothing on Montana.

Not really having to do with Montana but with the liabilities of the Real ID, Kerry Howley at Reason mag says one group of citizens who is extra vulnerable:

Organizations such as the National Network to End Domestic Violence contend that stores of half-guarded data would empower stalkers, violent exes, and obsessive abusers hunting for information. Abuse survivors are living repudiations of the assumption that only criminals need seek the comforts of anonymity.
Read the whole thing here

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Friday, March 07, 2008

Secession Fever: Catch It! (Follow Up)

As a follow up to my post on the Lakotah Indians withdrawing from its treaties with the United States (which you can see here) I emailed the tribe with some follow up questions and received a response from Phyllis Young (aka Mni yuha Najin Win) one of four signatories on their "Declaration of Independence" which you can see here.

The following is part of Young's response to me on how they got to the point of withdrawing:

Lakotah chiefs and treaty councils made the Declaration of Continuing Independence in l974. This was a conference of over 5,000 people and 98 tribal nations held in Lakotah country. There were two objectives: one, to seek recognition and support from the United Nations. The International Indian Treaty Council was recognized as an NGO(non-governmental organization) in l977. At that time, the first International Conference on Indian Peoples and their Lands was held at the UN in Geneva, Switzerland. After thirty three years, the United Nations adopted the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, with l43 countries supporting it and four opposing, including the United States. The US does not recognize collective rights, which is, of course, Indian tribes.

With the culmination of this Declaration at the United Nations, Lakotah set out to fulfill the second mandate of l974: to address the United States Department of State on the Treaty Relationship and the negotiation of the treaties. The United States unilaterally abolished treaty making in l87l on an Appropriations Rider because they did not want to continue payments to Lakotah. But the provisions of the treaties are continuing rights.

My own opinion is that, based on Article l3 of the l868 Treaty, our us citizenship has been nullified due to the taking of our land. This provision provided each family with a tract of land and with that land came the citizenship of the United States. Our own Lakotah citizenship was retained as well and so we have dual citizenship. When that land was forcefully taken from us, the citizenship went with it.
Of course, the big question that hasn't yet been answered, and which a quick google search failed to yield any results for, is how exactly are the Feds going to react to all of this.

There are a number of factors that come into play here. I had mentioned in one of my previous posts that a number of Montana public officials have gone on record saying that secession from the United States would be on the table if the Supreme Court decided that the 2nd Amendment referred to "collective" rights and not individual rights. If Montana were to secede, would the United States recognize Montana as a sovereign country? If so, how can the Lakotah NOT be recognized as sovereign as well? If anything, their argument is at least as compelling as the one Montana has.

That's a lot of if's and in my opinion, the bridges to be crossed seem a long way off. But, it's a fascinating story to me and I'll be watching closely for a couple of reasons. First, the self determination angle (how can we preach democracy and self-determination abroad when we can't even practice it here). Second, one of the questions that I asked in my email was this: Do you (the Republic of Lakotah) plan on establishing a currency? And do you plan on having it asset backed (say with gold)? Phyllis Young wrote back two short answers: "Yes" and "yes". Given my long term financial prognosis of the United States, trying to find a currency that doesn't lose its value at 10 percent per year is something that makes me sit up and take notice.

Here is the official site for the new Republic of Lakotah

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Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Megan Fox is Hot

You know what takes my mind off of war, the falling dollar, our impending economic collapse, and our loss of civil liberties? Megan Fox in a bikini. Thank you Megan Fox.

More pics (rated PG13) of Megan over at Gorillamask

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Cracked: 7 Insane Conspiracies That Actually Happened

Here's #7:

In 1933, group of wealthy businessmen that allegedly included the heads of Chase Bank, GM, Goodyear, Standard Oil, the DuPont family and Senator Prescott Bush tried to recruit Marine Corps Major General Smedley Butler to lead a military coup against President FDR and install a fascist dictatorship in the United States. And yes, we're 6talking about the same Prescott Bush who fathered one US President and grandfathered another one.
Read the rest of this conspiracy and the other 6 plots here.

Major General Smedley Butler is an interesting character. This is what wikipedia has about him:
During his 34 years of Marine Corps service, Butler was awarded numerous medals for heroism including the Marine Corps Brevet Medal (the highest Marine medal at its time for officers), and subsequently the Medal of Honor twice. Notably, he is one of only 19 people to be twice awarded the Medal of Honor, and one of only three to be awarded a Marine Corps Brevet Medal and a Medal of Honor, and the only person to be awarded a Marine Corps Brevet Medal and a Medal of Honor for two different actions.
Major General Butler also has the distinction of being one of the first to recognize our military industrial complex. His short book "War is a Racket" lays it all out there (using examples primarily from WWI) and is still relevant today.

Take our own case. Until 1898 we didn't own a bit of territory outside the mainland of North America. At that time our national debt was a little more than $1,000,000,000. Then we became "internationally minded." We forgot, or shunted aside, the advice of the Father of our country. We forgot George Washington's warning about "entangling alliances." We went to war. We acquired outside territory. At the end of the World War period, as a direct result of our fiddling in international affairs, our national debt had jumped to over $25,000,000,000. Our total favorable trade balance during the twenty-five-year period was about $24,000,000,000. Therefore, on a purely bookkeeping basis, we ran a little behind year for year, and that foreign trade might well have been ours without the wars.

It would have been far cheaper (not to say safer) for the average American who pays the bills to stay out of foreign entanglements. For a very few this racket, like bootlegging and other underworld rackets, brings fancy profits, but the cost of operations is always transferred to the people -- who do not profit.

Read the whole thing here.

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Incumbent defeats challenger 70%-30%

No big deal, the challenger in an election always has a disadvantage. But based on the coverage of certain conservative news outlets, one would have thought that once the votes were counted the race for Ron Paul's congressional seat would have been much closer than the final tally. How could the Pajamas Media Right be so wrong? Remember this:

While pursuing his thus far quixotic quest for the presidency, Congressman Paul has fallen behind by over ten points in the polls (43-32) in the fight for the Republican nomination in the Texas 14th to challenger Chris Peden, according to internal polls from both campaigns, which Pajamas Media was told were quite similar.
Reason magazine offers this:
The part about Peden's poll was true—sort of. According to Peden's political director Onzelo Markum, the campaign ran one automated poll in the district. It was not a blind test. People who picked up their phones were told that incumbent Ron Paul didn't support the war on terror, while councilman Chris Peden did. Only when given that informed choice did voters claim to support Peden.
Click here for the rest of the story.

The problem that the GOP faces now is that Dr. Paul has promised to continue his presidential campaign as long as the money and support keeps coming in. While it's easy to dismiss a candidate who hasn't broken single digits in any of the primaries so far, time and money are on his side. His position on the economy and limited government and most everything else are winners across the board for most GOP voters. He's also on the right side as far as Iraq is concerned with the general population.

John McCain still has issues with the hardcore conservatives (like me) and his FEC issues, while being dismissed by his campaign, are not going to go away in a general election. In fact, the Dems have (and should) position themselves to keep campaign finance on the front burner "Look, McCain can't even follow McCain-Feingold!". Of course, irony of ironies would be if Hillary is the nominee.

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Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Antitrust: The Case for Repeal

Professor Dominic Armentano makes the case that all antitrust laws are BS (from the introduction):

Since antitrust regulation (at least the Sherman Act) was allegedly designed to prohibit business activity harmfulto consumers’ interests, much of antitrust policy as practiced, appears terribly misguided and might be termed a“paradox.”

The alleged paradox can be explained in several ways. One approach is to challenge the “public interest” origins of antitrust policy. If the laws were originally meant to protect less efficient business organizations from competition rather than to promote the interests of consumers, then there is no paradox. From that perspective, antitrust regulation is just another historical example of protectionist rent-seeking legislation, the overall effect of which is to lessen economic efficiency.
The subject of monopolies and antitrust legislation interests me because what we've been taught in government schools has really been one side of the argument. The simplified version of which is companies are bad, government is good. What Professor Armentano basically argues is that government can and often does more harm than good.

You can read his book for free in PDF form here

For a video discussion on this topic with Dr. Armentano and newly re-elected Congressman Dr. Ron Paul click here

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The Onion Movie

Apparently this is going straight to DVD, but Mountain Dew spokesman Steven Seagal makes an appearance. Mark my words, someday he's going to make it to the big screen!:

Pilfered from Film Drunk

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Monday, March 03, 2008

Secession Fever! Catch it!

Montana is making noise about it because of their stance on the 2nd Amendment. Vermont has always had a secession streak as well. But the Lakotah Indians went ahead and announced their withdrawal from all treaties with the United States back in December. Now I don't know if it's technically secession, but what they are doing is declaring their independence. So go with it.

The big question, of course, is how is Washington DC going to react? We haven't had to deal with a secession question since the Civil War, and we all know how that turned out. But how can our country support the independence of say, Kosovo, and not support the withdrawal and independence of the Indians here?

My imagination does go wild with the possibilities of the restoration of a country in the middle of the United States that doesn't have to deal with the bureaucracy and burden of dealing with a heavy-handed federal government (they've already said there wouldn't be an income tax). What if they create and develop a sound, asset-backed currency that wasn't controlled by a central bank? Investment by companies and individuals would pour into their country. If they developed strict secrecy and privacy laws for their banks, they could be like Liechtenstein but here in North America. That in itself would bring untold prosperity to the indians. Just by banks respecting privacy rights for its customers (which is something we don't have here).

Anyway, here's Russell Means talking about it:

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National Security and the Falling Dollar

UPDATE: Dr. Ron Paul responds to the WSJ:

"I was delighted to read in Judy Shelton's op-ed, "Security and the Falling Dollar" (Feb. 15), that at long last the security implications of the dollar's collapse have made their way into the mainstream media. The dollar's strength (or lack thereof) has been of paramount concern to me, and the subject of many of my statements over the past several years. Decades of manipulation by the Federal Reserve have benefited the government and certain politically-connected firms, while gradually destroying the purchasing power of middle-class Americans. Despite numerous warnings in the past, it is only now at a point of acute crisis that Washington insiders are beginning to awaken to the reality of the end of dollar hegemony.

"While I desire reform of our current monetary system, my own proposals have not been as all-encompassing as Ms. Shelton's suggestion to return to a Bretton Woods-style system. Her recommendation, though, that gold backing should make up a component of a future monetary system, is one that we would all do well to heed. My own legislative proposals focus around eliminating the taxes and laws that dissuade individuals and institutions from using gold as currency or as a backing for currency. By allowing market processes to determine the issuance of currency, we can allow individuals to decide for themselves what currency they wish to use. This would lead to a gradual reintroduction of sound money and avoid the market shocks that occur when monetary decisions are mandated by government fiat."
Since today ended up with the DOW down 300, the price of gold reaching another record high, and other indicators pointing to an economy sputtering into a recession (at one time we used to call it a depression) it's good to see that the MSM is finally catching on to the threat that a falling dollar represents to our national security.

From the Wall Street Journal:

Every year, the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence is briefed by the chief of U.S. intelligence on potential threats to the nation. The list is sobering, but usually predictable and typically includes global terrorism, nuclear proliferation and regional conflicts.

But this year, there was a surprising potential foe: the falling dollar. In his report to Congress last week, Director of National Intelligence Michael McConnell went beyond the conventional world of spycraft. Mr. McConnell specifically acknowledged "concerns about the financial capabilities of Russia, China, and OPEC countries and the potential use of their market access to exert financial leverage to achieve political ends." He noted, in particular, the impact a weak dollar can have on national security: "As the dollar has weakened this year, some oil producers -- such as Syria, Iran, and Libya -- have asked to be paid in currencies other than the dollar while others -- such as Kuwait -- are delinking their currency pegs to the dollar."
This is something that the douchebags in DC haven't been talking about even though the subprime mortgage crisis has been one of the biggest red flags for the past 9 months on the economic and financial health of our country.

Also, don't people see the link that our trillion dollar foreign policy and the 65 trillion dollar future liabilities in Medicare and social security has to our economic and fiscal problems? Our "War on Terror" and our empire around the world has bankrupted us in the short term, and the enormity of our welfare state ensures that the pain is going to last in the long term as well.

The funny thing is that the only options that McCain, Clinton, and Obama offer is more of the same. Obama, to his credit, at least says he wants to get out of Iraq sooner rather than later, but we should also be out of Korea and Europe and Japan as well. But Obama, like the other two, are big government guys.

I have the answer to what ails us: Secession! Who's with me?

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Sunday, March 02, 2008

Numbers in Asia

Asian Markets 3-4 percent down in early trading and gold and silver hitting record highs as well.

I'm going to repeat: Get rid of the FED, allow gold and silver to be used as currency and get rid of the income tax. No matter what happens over the next few years (and I'm thinking there is going to be a LOT of pain), this can all be laid at the hands of Washington DC and the Federal Reserve. Too much spending, and too much regulation and too much of a war.

This thing is going to end very badly, but recovery can be had relatively quickly if we get back to an asset based currency, if we got rid of the income tax, and if we start severely shrinking the government (the easiest thing to do is start coming home).

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Michael Scheuer interviewed by Tavis Smiley

A very insightful interview by Tavis Smiley with Micheal Scheuer, the former head of the CIA's Bin Laden unit:

Pilfered from Liberty Maven

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It's all about marketing!

I'm not a big fan of amnesty for the telecoms and based on this, it looks like it's going to happen (Where are you Chris Dodd?) But you know what makes it OK? Good marketing:

The Billboard Liberation Front has taken upon itself the task of getting this new message out there about what a burden it is keeping secrets from the government. From their press release:

AT&T initially downplayed its heroic efforts in the War on Terror, preferring to serve in silence behind the scenes. “But then we realized we had a PR win on our hands,” noted AT&T V.P. of Homeland Security James Croppy. “Not only were we helping NSA cut through the cumbersome red tape of the FISA system, we were also helping our customers by handing over their e-mails and phone records to the government. Modern life is so hectic – who has time to cc the feds on every message? It’s a great example of how we anticipate our customers’ needs and act on them. And, it should be pointed out, we offered this service free of charge.”
But what was really telling was the NSA's comment:
Commenting on the action, and responding to questions about pending privacy litigation and the stalled Congressional effort to shield the telecoms from these lawsuits, NSA spokesperson [REDACTED] remarked: “[REDACTED] we [REDACTED] condone [REDACTED] warrantless [REDACTED], [REDACTED] SIGINT intercepts, [REDACTED] torture [REDACTED] information retrieval by [REDACTED] means necessary.”
And that's all there needs to be said about that.

Pilfered from The Crossed Pond

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Saturday, March 01, 2008

Yoga with Tara Stiles, Ford Model

This week: Yoga for tension in your neck

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