Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Gustave Milleville’s Civil War (sic) Diary

The Attack On Fort Stedman

The Germans serving in Northern ranks were more interested in the generous bounties, pay and food rather than any abstract sense of liberty for the colored man. Their heart was not in the fight as money was the object of their loyalty; their Southern adversaries were motivated by the need to protect their families, hearth, and political liberty

Bernhard Thuersam, Chairman

North Carolina War Between the States Sesquicentennial Commission
"The Official Website of the North Carolina WBTS Sesquicentennial"
“On the 18th of June 1864 we arrived at the line of entrenchment in front of Petersburg. Here we had to stay in the trenches 48 hours and then be back in the rear 48 hours. This was nearly ½ mile back of the front. But there was a trench cut out from here to the front, for it was not safe to show yourself above the ground unless a man was drunk (While we lay there we drew a good dram of whiskey every morning).

A drunken man went outside the trench all the way to the front. The bullets flew all around him but none touched him. We stayed at this place till July 30th, during which time we lost a good many men, mostly by sharp shooters and some by mortar shells. One of our men was sitting by a tree with his plate on his lap eating when a sharpshooter shot him through the head. He fell over and was dead.

We had dug holes where we slept in and sat most of the time. When we were back in the rear, one fellow was lying in his hole when a mortar shell fell in the hole and exploded (My hole was about 100 feet away from his). It tore all the flesh off his leg below the knee and I guess he lost his leg.

We had port holes in the breastworks where we could shoot through without being seen by the enemy in front of us. That morning these two fellows were watching through a port hole and whenever a Johnny would show his head above their breastworks they would shoot at him. But they had not done that very long when a sharpshooter shot Elias Iran through the head and killed him. We carried him back to the rear and buried him. But before we got through they brought out the other fellow, Fred Ziehl, shot this same way.

We had a big fort on our left. It was built of pine logs and dirt. In this fort was a big gun, which threw a shell of over 62 pounds. They shot three or four of them into Petersburg every morning. We called it the Petersburg Express.

Opposite this fort the Rebs had a fort which was undermined by the 48th Pennsylvania Regiment. This fort was to be blown up on the 30th of July. Just as the sun was rising I felt the ground shaking under me. I jumped up and saw pieces of the Reb’s fort coming down in the air. Then the cannonading commenced. Then our Major (Mapes) said, “Forward boys! Every darn one of you!”

There was a regiment of Nigger troops to our left. The Rebs drove them back. They had brought up artillery in front of us and were shooting grape and canister at us. We got orders to fall back so they would not cut us off from our line. I said, “Boys, it is no use getting out of here for we will never get back to our line,” as the bullets were coming like hail. But they all started back and I was the last man in the ditch, so I concluded I would risk it too. As I went back I saw men in front of me falling and I expected any minute I’d get hit, but I got back to our line without a scratch.

When I got back to our trenches they were jammed full of Niggers, mostly bare headed and nearly scared to death and crowding for the rear. But the officers finally got them stopped and drove them back to the front.

[On the third day after the battle] There was a white flag put up on each side, and there was no shooting allowed. What I saw on the battlefield I will not forget as long as I live. The weather was hot and the dead were all black. The only way to tell a white man from a Nigger was by their hair and features. They were so badly decayed. We white soldiers were ordered to dig a ditch six or seven feet wide and four feet deep and the niggers were ordered to carry the bodies together and wrap them in a blanket and lay them side by side in the ditch and then we would cover them. They told us afterward our side lost 3000 in that battle.

After our 30 days, that we had agreed to serve as infantry, were up, we were asked to serve 30 days more. Some of the boys refused and deserted and we never heard of them afterwards. The next day when I got to the regiment they had lost 90 men, taken prisoner by some Rebel cavalry.”

(Gustave Milleville’s Civil War Diary, Part 2, Der Brief, Historical Society of North German Settlements in Western New York, July/August 2011, pp. 7-8)

Gustave Milleville’s Civil War (sic) Diary

‘Jon Voight Slams Palestinian Terror at Glenn Beck Event’


There were many themes and messages for journalists to chronicle at the Monday evening “Courage to Remember” event at Jerusalem’s Old Train Station. But it’s the remarks by actor Jon Voight that seem to be drawing a great deal of attention — particularly if you read the coverage in the Jerusalem Post.

Voight, who is not Jewish, praised Israel and the Jewish people in his speech. He made reference to suicide bombings and to the March 11 slayings of the Fogel family in Itamar.

“How have we come to a time when blowing up babies and cutting their throats are an acceptable means to a political goal?” Voight asked.

86 year old Iwo Jima Veteran Speech At A City Council

Via The Excavator

Sock it to them!

"Sixty three years ago right now I was aboard a ship, and I was heading to a place called Iwo Jima. And I led a division of men into combat, and over half of them were wounded or killed so that they could give you people liberty and freedom and justice for all. Now wake up."

Abortion isn’t about women’s rights. Abortion is about population control.

Biden, Abortion, and Earthquakes

Vice-President Joe Biden’s China trip has turn very dark. He blessed the most oppressive government in the modern world. He sanctioned the cruelest population control tactics since ancient Mesopotamian days. He even praised China for achieving superior economic power over the United States.

Just after we get this news of Biden’s professional political delusions in China, Washington, D.C. gets hit with an earthquake. How appropriate.

Epicenter of a 5.8 earthquake (tremor)–Mineral, Virginia.

China has had a “one child” policy since the late 1970′s. Time Magazine reported in 2009:

The one-child policy relies on a mix of sticks and carrots. Depending on where they live, couples can be fined thousands of dollars for having a supernumerary child without a permit, and reports of forced abortions or sterilization are common. (Blind rural activist Chen Guangcheng made international headlines in 2005 for exposing just such a campaign by family-planning officials in Eastern China; he was later imprisoned on charges his supporters say were retaliatory.) The law also offers longer maternity leave and other benefits to couples that delay childbearing. Those who volunteer to have only one child are awarded a “Certificate of Honor for Single-Child Parents.” Since 1979, the law has prevented some 250 million births, saving China from a population explosion the nation would have difficulty accommodating.

Such liberal, glowing assessment of mass murder certainly leaves out the brutal details. The “human rights” violations are unspeakable, and represent liberalism at its finest, freakish hour. In 2004, NewsMax gave a ghoulish report:

The case of Mao, said Michael Kozak, the State Department’s acting assistant secretary for democracy, human rights and labor, highlights four serious abuses in the Chinese system: coercive family planning, continued use of “re-education through labor” camps, forced incarceration in psychiatric hospitals and torture.

Reggie Littlejohn, advocate of Chinese women and girls, campaigning against the violence against these vulnerable people.

So what did Biden, our warm-hearted representative of the United States have to say about this matter? Along with welcoming Chinese “competition” with American economy–for which America has prepared China, either by selling information, giving information, or allowing Chinese spies to steal it from America, Biden virtually sanctioned China’s brutal one-child policy and its ghastly implementations.

“Your policy has been one which I fully understand — I’m not second-guessing — of one child per family. The result being that you’re in a position where one wage earner will be taking care of four retired people. Not sustainable. So hopefully we can act in a way on a problem that’s much less severe than yours, and maybe we can learn together from how we can do that.”

In other words, the problem is the aged far out-numbering those able to take care of them? The problem isn’t mass murder (infanticide)? Sounds like China has another plan, a second phase to mass murder–the elderly.

Federal Government Tramples Conscience Protections


Narrow Religious Exemption to New Health Insurance Guidelines

William A. Estrada, Esq.
Director of Federal Relations

August 23, 2011

Introduction and Background

On Monday, August 1, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) unveiled new guidelines related to the Obama administration’s implementation of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA).

The new guidelines require most health insurance plans in the United States—including those offered by private employers—to provide full access to birth control, as well as abortion-inducing drugs such as “Ella” and “the morning after pill.” “Ella” and the “morning after pill” have been shown to harm women, and actually kill the developing baby by starving it of nutrients.

You may remember that HSLDA opposed the PPACA that was passed by the Democrat-controlled Congress and signed into law by President Obama last year. While this was not necessarily a homeschool issue, we believed that the health care law would increase the power of the federal government over families, threaten homeschool freedom through home visitation programs, and force all employers (including HSLDA) to fund abortion services in health care plans.

This concern is now becoming reality. Under the new HHS guidelines, most health insurance plans in the United States will have to provide the full range of birth control drugs by August 1, 2012. No co-pay can be required. From a fiscal perspective, it is impossible to see how this will bring down health care costs because birth control drugs are extremely expensive. And more importantly, this regulation will completely eliminate the right of employers to follow their conscience and refuse to offer birth control drugs to their employees in company-funded health care plans. Many employers object to using their company resources to pay for birth control, and many more strongly object to using company resources to pay for abortion-inducing drugs like “Ella” and the “morning after pill.”

To address the concerns of employers who have conscientious or religious objections to the new guidelines, the Obama administration also issued a regulation establishing a religious exemption to this new requirement. Unfortunately, the religious exemption is extremely narrow and will only apply to churches and other houses of worship, and possibly denominational seminaries. Religious organizations, most religious colleges, and other religious employers who have conscientious objections to offering birth control or abortion-inducing drugs will be forced to choose between abhorrent options. They will have to decide whether to end their insurance programs—which will hurt millions of employees across the nation—or violate their conscience by including birth control and abortion-inducing drugs in their insurance programs.

HSLDA has grave concerns with this narrow religious exemption. We believe that it should be broadened to not only include houses of worship, but also religious organizations, religious colleges, and employer-funded private health insurance plans if the employer has a conscientious objection to using corporate funds to pay for birth control or abortion-inducing drugs.

Action Requested

Yesterday, HSLDA submitted public comments opposing this proposed religious exemption regulation, and urging that it be substantially strengthened. You may read the text of HSLDA’s comments online.

In addition, we encourage you to submit comments to HHS about this proposed religious exemption. You may read the full text of the proposed religious exemption regulation and submit comments online. Please feel free to use some of HSLDA’s comments, or revise them into your own words. We also encourage you to bring this issue to the attention of your two U.S. senators and U.S. representative. You can find contact information for them by visiting HSLDA’s Legislative Toolbox.

Please note that your comments—including your name and contact information—become part of the public record. It is not required that you submit your name and address, however.

Additional Information

Because of the way that the previous Congress drafted the PPACA, there is no requirement that the administration respond to citizens’ comments about the new guidelines that force almost all insurance plans to provide abortion-inducing drugs like “Ella” and the “morning after pill.” These guidelines will go into effect on August 1, 2012 without anything that the new Congress or concerned citizens can do to stop it, short of Congress passing and President Obama signing new legislation into law.

However, the weak religious exemption regulation is open to public comments. The administration is required to respond to every comment that is made about the religious exemption regulation, and there is a chance that if enough Americans oppose this regulation and urge HHS to strengthen it to provide all employers with a religious exemption, the Obama administration will withdraw or modify it to protect the right of conscience. We encourage you to read the following resources for additional information:

If you have additional questions about this issue, please feel free to contact HSLDA’s federal relations department at federalrelations@hslda.org or 540-338-5600.

Episode 1 - Introduction to the Constitution


Trailer for 25 lesson series.

Allen West and Lamar Smith on backdoor amnesty

Via Angry White Dude


"I claim the glory of Agincourt, Trafalgar and the Battle of Britain as my birthright........

Morning of the Battle of Agincourt 25th October 1415, painted by Sir John Gilbert

........and I accept the shame of Dunkirk and Singapore. I will not share my birthright with aliens. England is our land and our land must be ours. Shame and glory make a nation: shame is the punishment for failing to honour the covenant with our past, with what it means to be English; glory is a reminder of what can be achieved when the nation knows itself and her people are unafraid to be themselves, to revel in their national being. Shame and glory, good and evil, light and dark are some of the eternal truths with which we must live. They are the challenges that shape us and mould us. But a nation that denies its history, its language, culture, folkways; that mocks its heroes and heroines will be brought low and made easy meat for those who have no love for England.

I hope you are very worried. You should be. The ways of history are not always straight. Let us hope it is not too late to be delivered from the pestilence that threatens to overwhelm us. If you want to prevent this catastrophe then bestir your conscience and ask yourself why you still vote for a Conservative Party that prostrates itself before aliens; that hates you; that despises you; that taxes you to pay for aliens and the feckless; that sneers at your love of your great history; that wants to trample England and her people into the dust in pursuit of its hideous multiculturalism; that has betrayed you; and that actively works towards the day when England has been devoured by the United States of Europe.

Response to Cameron's Statement to the House of Commons



We Few, We Happy Few, We Band Of Brothers......

..... For He To-Day That Sheds His Blood With Me Shall Be My Brother.
Wonderful, exhilarating voice.

This day is called the feast of Crispian:

He that outlives this day, and comes safe home,

Will stand a tip-toe when this day is named,

And rouse him at the name of Crispian.

He that shall see this day and live old age,

Will yearly on the vigil feast his neighbours,

And say 'To-morrow is Saint Crispin's:'

Then will he strip his sleeve and show his scars.

And say 'These wounds I had on Crispin's day.'

Old men forget: yet all shall be forgot,

But he'll remember with advantages

What feats he did that day.

Then shall our names,

Familiar in their mouths as household words,

Harry the king,

Bedford and Exeter,

Warwick and Talbot,

Salisbury and Gloucester,

Be in their flowing cups freshly remember'd.

This story shall the good man teach his son;

And Crispin Crispian shall ne'er go by,

From this day to the ending of the world,

But we in it shall be remember'd;

We few, we happy few, we band of brothers;

For he to-day that sheds his blood with me

Shall be my brother; be he ne'er so vile,

This day shall gentle his condition:

And gentlemen in England now a-bed

Shall think themselves accursed they were not here,

And hold their manhoods cheap whiles any speaks

That fought with us upon Saint Crispin's day.


A Picture Is Worth 1,000 Words

The Market Ticker

National Police Misconduct NewsFeed Daily Recap 08-22-11

Injustice Everywhere

  • Bay City MI settles suit for $1mil to family of 15yr-old who died after tasered. While police claim he was tasered for taking up a “fighting stance”, witnesses claim he was cuffed when he was tasered. [0] bit.ly/q2tsBp
  • Gretna LA cop who is already the subject of an excessive force case where a police dog bit off a man’s penis is now being sued by a man claiming the officer tasered him and his 7-year-old son during a traffic stop then beat him afterward. [3] bit.ly/mShOEo
  • Washington Park IL cop pleads to rights charge for firing at car, illegally jailing 2 men & unrelated fraud charges [0] bit.ly/ob6rRg
  • Portsmouth VA cop sued by man claiming he was tasered while handcuffed in drug arrest that was later dismissed [3] bit.ly/pFX4Yk
  • Palmetto FL cop arrested for threatening wife & kids w/rifle & taser had history of 14 disciplinary cases in 11yrs [0] bit.ly/n3sWCV
  • Trenton NJ cop arrested on agg assault & other charges for allegedly pointing gun at girlfriend & threatening her [0] bit.ly/od2Abg
  • Cranford NJ cop suspended w/o pay after arrested for alleged on-duty criminal sexual contact & official misconduct [0] bit.ly/ruApXf
  • Harrison Co IN sheriff gets 9mo house arrest in plea deal to groping employees & covering it up w/intimidation [0] bit.ly/orqmh4
  • Philadelphia PA cop w/history of retaliatory false arrests subject of 3rd suit alleging yet another false arrest [0] http://t.co/O1kij5L
  • Draper UT K9 cop arrested on drug paraphernalia charge after allegedly caught on video smoking heroin in patrol car [0] bit.ly/nLjBj8
  • Chicago IL police sgt threatens & takes ID from traffic cop who put boot on car of cop who had 62 unpaid tickets [0] bit.ly/pGsAjA
  • Boone IA cop subject of state criminal investigation into unspecified allegations after resigning last week [2] bit.ly/nTPX4j

Before I go there are two reports I’m trying to figure out.

First, there appears to have been a mass detention incident in the aftermath of the second OpBART protest by groups including Anonymous in San Francisco California over two shooting deaths and Bay Area Rapid Transit’s attempt to quell potential protests by shutting down cellular service. We’ve seen a number of suits arise out of similar police actions during protests where, instead of singling out individual troublemakers, the police just round everyone up in the area including innocent bystanders and reporters…. which appears to have happened here. However, nobody has come out yet and alleged that it was an illegal action which makes me wonder, was it legal? What do you think?

Second, someone sent me an email about this case in Vilas County Wisconsin where an off-duty deputy mistakenly shot his niece was a cougar while she was playing a practical joke on him. These ones are difficult as it’s a call between an honest mistake and culpable negligence. Yes, the niece unintentionally put herself at risk during the prank, but the deputy violated a general gun safety rule by firing at an unconfirmed target. I think this is one to watch to see how the internal investigation turns out, but the niece isn’t pressing charges so I don’t think we’ll see criminal negligence called on it. What do you think?

The Road to Civil War (sic) II

(My G, G Grandfather - Tariff Must Be Reduced)

The 1828 Tariff of Abominations
Part 2 of a Series

Mike Scruggs

The 1816 Tariff had raised the average tariff on aggregate (all) imports from less than seven percent to over 20 percent. Henry Clay’s clearly protectionist 1824 Tariff had increased average dutiable rates from about 25 percent to 35 percent. Southern protest was so strong that the state legislatures of five of eight Southern states passed resolutions declaring it unconstitutional, and the South Carolina Legislature added that Henry Clay’s “American System” of tariffs and corporate subsidies was “a system of robbery and plunder” that “made one section tributary to another.” The 1824 Tariff resulted in painful increases in the cost of living and doing business in Southern states and severely reduced Southern export business. South Carolina’s export business dropped 25 percent over the next two years.

Yet the tragic suffering imposed on the South by the 1824 Tariff was ignored by the Northern special interests that dominated Congress. Higher tariffs meant bigger profits to them. In 1828, another tariff bill was passed, which was so overbearing and unjust that it is known in history as the Tariff of Abominations. The dutiable tariff rate was raised to an average of 50 percent, bringing the aggregate rate on all imports to 35 percent, the highest in history to that point. The original impetus was that Northern textile manufacturers believed they needed greater protection, but the bill became a comprehensive bribery scheme to win the votes of Middle and Western states for the party of John Quincy Adams in the 1828 election. Duties on many raw materials were added, which had a mixed effect on New England, since they imported many raw materials for their industries. Logrolling was extensive, and Hemp from Kentucky and lead from Missouri were also added to gain more votes and grease the bill’s passage through the House. Many items had both fixed and ad valorem rates to disguise the enormous total increase in the tariff burden. Minimum fixed rates added to both the costs and confusion. In addition, tariffs were put on many formerly duty-free items.

South Carolina Representative George McDuffie made some memorable and prophetic remarks to the House during the 1828 debate:

“If the Union of these states shall ever be severed, and their liberties subverted, the historian who records those disasters will have to ascribe them to measures of this description. I do sincerely believe that neither this government, nor any free government, can exist for a quarter of a century under such a system of legislation. Its inevitable tendency is to corrupt, not only the public functionaries, but all those portions of the Union, and classes of society, who have an interest, real or imaginary, in the bounties it provides, by taxing other nations and other classes. It brings ambition, and avarice, and wealth, into a combination it is fearful to contemplate, because it is impossible to resist.”

Yet the 1828 Tariff of Abominations passed the House 105 to 94. It’s greatest region of resistance was the South, where, except for Tennessee and Kentucky, the vote was 50 to 3 against it. Logrolling promises on sugarcane imports probably influenced the three favorable votes. New England representatives voted against it 23 to 16, but the combined Mid-Atlantic and Western states plus Kentucky and Tennessee supported it by a vote of 86 to 21. The bill finally passed the Senate 26 to 21, with the only Southern votes being two from Kentucky, one from Tennessee, and one from Louisiana, all heavily influenced by logrolling and pork-barreling.

Senator Thomas Hart Benton of Missouri explained the injustice felt by Southerners: “The South believed itself impoverished to enrich the North.” Benton further pointed out the appalling burden the Federal Government had placed on Southern States: “…its double action of levying revenue upon the industry of one section of the Union and expending it in another.”

Tariff historian Frank W. Taussig, writing in 1888, described passage of the 1828 Tariff in censorious terms:

“The whole scheme was a characteristic product of the politicians who were then becoming prominent as leaders of the Democracy, men of a type very different from the statesmen of the preceding generation.

Its passage, however, resulted in the defeat of John Quincy Adams in the 1828 presidential election by Andrew Jackson of Tennessee, who opposed the Tariff. His Vice President, John C. Calhoun of South Carolina, a brilliant intellectual and elegant speaker, became one of the strongest advocates for States Rights and one of the most vehement opponents of protective tariffs in the antebellum era. Jackson, a fellow Southerner, had similar views but was not as committed to expeditious correction of the evils thereof. Understandably, Jackson believed that materials important to military defense should be protected. But he also believed that the tariff should not be reduced until the national debt was paid off. This thinking must have alarmed Calhoun, since Southern States paid most of the tariff revenues while the Northern States received a disproportionate share of the benefits to spend on Northern “internal improvements.” This meant that the South would be called upon to pay off most of a national debt caused by over-expenditures on mostly Northern internal improvements—an outrageous injustice.

The Tariff of Abominations was regarded with almost universal anger in the South. In December 1828, Calhoun wrote an anonymous 35,000-word dissertation entitled “South Carolina Exposition and Protest.” His main point was that in a constitutional republic power must not be allowed to define its own limits, otherwise growing tyranny is inevitable.

The Road to Civil War (sic) II

-26: The lowest Approval Index rating yet measured for Obama


The Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll for Tuesday shows that 19% of the nation's voters Strongly Approve of the way that Barack Obama is performing his role as president. Forty-five percent (45%) Strongly Disapprove, giving Obama a Presidential Approval Index rating of -26 (see trends).

This is the lowest Approval Index rating yet measured for President Obama. The previous low was -24 reached yesterday and also in September 2010. Additionally, the level of Strong Approval matches the lowest yet recorded.


Via Deborah


To all of my supporters,

I wanted to write this letter to the thousands of people all over the world who continue to support me and still have hope that justice is indeed attainable in the military justice system. It is an attempt to show my mindset here in prison to the people whom I have not had the opportunity to meet.

Recently the Army Court of Appeals ruled against my request for a new trial. As odd as it may sound, I have been preparing for this day for over a year. That is, I was prepared for an unfavorable decision whereby the court would uphold my conviction and sentence. Like Shakespeare said, ‘Expectation is the root of all heartache’ because expectation leaves one vulnerable to disappointment. Expectation is not the same as hope and I promise you I have not lost that. I was recently reminded of a quote from the movie Shawshank Redemption where the main character (another man who was unjustly sent to prison) says ‘Hope is a good thing; maybe the best of things.’ So while my hope was for a good outcome, my expectation was much more practical for a person sitting behind bars with a lot of time on his hands. And because I kept my expectations in check the decision by the Appeals Court did not emotionally harm me; for it to do that it would have had to come from within. No one can harm the man who refuses to harm himself.

So this court decision does not discourage at all. Furthermore, I am not bitter or angry, nor do I hate the people that had anything to do with putting me in prison. If I hated them they would still be controlling me and I refuse to give them that power. They may have confined my body and taken my physical freedom away, but my mind remains as free as any mans. I am never left with nothing so long as I retain the freedom to choose how I respond. While we cannot always control what happens to us, we can control our emotions and how we react to what happens to us.

I remain hopeful that in the end justice will prevail and that I may have a fair, impartial trial where all the evidence may be heard. As Judge H. Lee Sarokin said ‘If trials are indeed searches for the truth rather than efforts to conceal it, full and fair disclosure is necessary to protect and preserve the rights of the accused.’ May more people like you begin to shine a light on the unchecked and ‘under the table’ injustice that runs rampant in our military justice system; a system that we here at Leavenworth have known firsthand, and now the public is getting a glimpse of. This system cannot be “for justice and not against injustice.’

May the military courts learn something from the wisdom of King Solomon about being just and fair rather than abusing power. King Solomon had a dream in which God came to him and said “Ask me anything and I will give it to you.” King Solomon answered “I am but a little child. I know not how to go out or to come in, but I am a servant of thy people. Give me, therefore, an understanding heart that I may judge thy people wisely and fairly.” And God said “Because you did not ask for the lives of your enemies, did not ask for longevity, did not ask for riches, because you asked only for this one thing…understanding, I will give you understanding. There will be none wiser than you on this earth.”

So each day I strive to not focus on the bad, but to find the good. I immerse myself in books that take me a thousand miles from this place of concrete and steel. I push forward in my quest of self-discovery and self-observation seeking wisdom to call my own. From the small window in my prison cell I can see a cornfield where a farmer toils in the hot summer air and I find myself longing to walk that field and feel the earth beneath my feet and the sun against my face. My hopes are to someday have my own land upon which I will raise cattle and spend all my waking hours in that warm sun upon my horse whose name only I will know.

Gratitude is not something one would expect to find behind these walls, but it is here where I found it…waiting to teach me what really matters in this life. And while I sleep she gently reminds me how truly blessed my life is.

To my family I want to express my heartfelt gratitude for the strength, support, and unconditional love you have given me all the days of my life.

To my Uncle Rick who is facing his last days on this earth I want you to know how much I love you and admire the life you have lived.

To my girlfriend Shannon for standing beside me I offer up this quote: ‘….and though the road’s end is out of sight, I do not think of the end, for it’s the loving I so love’. I am so grateful for the love we have for each other and know that it far outweighs the frustration of not being able to have each other like we both want.

I want to thank each of you who continue to support me with your kind letters and your thoughts and prayers. It shows that there are people who still care about me and are willing to strike out against injustice. At the grave of Robert F Kennedy there is a quote which says: ‘It is from numberless diverse acts of courage and belief that human history is shaped. Each time a man stands up for an ideal or acts to improve the lot of others, or strikes out against injustice, he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope, and crossing each other from a million different centers of energy and daring, those ripples build a current that can sweep down the mightiest walls of oppression and resistance.’ You are those ripples in my life that give me hope and for that I am eternally grateful.

Respectfully yours,


Why Amazon Can't Make A Kindle In the USA

Via Global Guerrillas

Yesterday I noted how conventional cost accounting inexorably focuses attention of executives on increasing short-term profits by cutting costs.

The same thing happens in economics. Take a recent economic study that set out to shed light on role of Chinese businesses vis-à-vis American consumers. Galina Hale and Bart Hobijn, two economists from the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, did a study showing that only 2.7 percent of U.S. consumers purchases have the “Made in China” label. Moreover, only 1.2% actually reflects the cost of the imported goods. Thus, on average, of every dollar spent on an item labeled “Made in China,” 55 cents go for services produced in the United States. So the study trumpets the finding that China has only a tiny sliver of the U.S. economy.

So no problem, right?

Well, not exactly. The tiny sliver happens to be the sliver that matters. What economists miss is what is happening behind the numbers of dollars in the real economy of people.

How whole industries disappear

Take the story of Dell Computer [DELL] and its Taiwanese electronics manufacturer. The story is told in the brilliant book by Clayton Christensen, Jerome Grossman and Jason Hwang, The Innovator’s Prescription :

ASUSTeK started out making the simple circuit boards within a Dell computer. Then ASUSTeK came to Dell with an interesting value proposition: ‘We’ve been doing a good job making these little boards. Why don’t you let us make the motherboard for you? Circuit manufacturing isn’t your core competence anyway and we could do it for 20% less.’

Dell accepted the proposal because from a perspective of making money, it made sense: Dell’s revenues were unaffected and its profits improved significantly. On successive occasions, ASUSTeK came back and took over the motherboard, the assembly of the computer, the management of the supply chain and the design of the computer. In each case Dell accepted the proposal because from a perspective of making money, it made sense: Dell’s revenues were unaffected and its profits improved significantly. However the next time, ASUSTeK came back, it wasn’t to talk to Dell. It was to talk to Best Buy and other retailers to tell them that they could offer them their own brand or any brand PC for 20% lower cost. As The Innovator’s Prescription concludes:


Douchebag Officer Re-Post

Pictures added thanks to David III's comment below.

Just noticed the verbiage below this "officer out of control video"


Las Vegas, Nevada -- The Clark County District Attorney's Office has dropped all charges against Mitchell Crooks, the professional videographer who was attacked on his own front lawn by Officer Derek Colling on March 20, 2011. Notice that Colling did not even establish if Crooks was truly trespassing, a necessary precursor to arresting Crooks, much less physically attacking him. Note also that Crooks did identify himself as the property owner immediately BEFORE Collings charged him. The Metropolitan Police Department has opened an internal investigation into the incident which will most likely be deemed unfounded, as nearly all valid complaints about police corruption are.

In 2009, Colling fatally shot a 15-year-old bipolar boy in the head under questionable circumstances. Colling also shot and killed a man at a gas station, another controversial incident involving deadly force. In addition, Collings has been the recipient of dozens of other brutality complaints. How many more people will this animal be allowed to kill and permanently injure before he gets fired? Crooks is disliked by cops because he videotaped two white cops beating a 16-year-old black boy in 2002, which led to the cops being criminally charged. Police officers are allegedly trained to avoid escalating situations, but Colling clearly provoked Crooks in this encounter.

As this video graphically evidences, police officers are brainwashed into dehumanizing civilians and viewing them as the enemy. As there is little if any accountability in any police department, even with videos like this one proving their felonious assaults, there is no incentive for cops to follow any laws except their own. Power with no accountability breeds crime and arrogance. This incident screams volumes about the contempt which cops have for the taxpaying citizens who pay their salaries. Police officers routinely torture and even murder their enemies, many of whom are not even criminals, in ways which cannot be proven.

Cops are sanctimonious frauds who hide behind a facade of law and order. They are lying cowards who never admit to their crimes, yet self-righteously criticize, assault, and otherwise torment anyone who will not confess to crimes which they did not commit. For every police crime recorded on video, there are thousands of others which have not been so memorialized. Millions of innocent, taxpaying citizens have been robbed, framed, beaten, tortured, and otherwise victimized by arrogant, racist, inept, political-hack cops.

Most policemen do not give a rat's ass about upholding the law; their sole concern is to massage their unjustifiably inflated egos, blue-collar hero vanities, and unwarranted god complexes. Cops are not better than anyone else is. If police officers would just perform their duties in accordance with the law, there would not be such hostility towards them. If all cops were honest, even the lowest sociopathic thugs would respect them.

Custer: "We don't mention that name in my home."

Old Virginia Blog

Book Review - The Battle of Piedmont by Scott Patchan

I received the updated edition of Scott Patchan's book about the Battle of Piedmont earlier this summer but have taken my time to read through it carefully due to my keen interest in this battle. Though I'd read the previous edition some time ago, it was no longer in print and I'd been looking forward to seeing the new edition since I first learned that Scott had updated the original. It was well worth the wait. I will admit that I have a special interest in this particular engagement. First of all, Piedmont is located near my home in Augusta County, Virginia - about a 20 minute drive through beautiful countryside from where I live. Secondly, my mother was born in New Hope, which is a small community adjacent to Piedmont. (Actually, Piedmont was nothing more than a crossroads and small general store in its hey day - there's really nothing left to mark it anymore, other than the boarded up store.) Finally, my great-great grandfather, John Meredith Crutchfield, was wounded at Piedmont while serving in Virginia's 60th Infantry. He was involved in some of the heaviest fire of the battle. Grandpa Crutchfield's personal experience adds an interesting back story to what happened on that June day in 1864.

The Battle of Piedmont is probably one of the most overlooked Civil War battles to have taken place place on Virginia soil. This despite the fact casualties from the battle were more than any of Jackson's legendary Valley campaign of 1862. The casualties also outnumbered those of New Market; and the bitter memories of New Market served as a rallying cry for the vengeance seeking yankees at Piedmont. Though overlooked, Piedmont was an important battle. As Patchan points out:

Most importantly, the true significance of Piedmont has dissipated over the years. Although its obscurity can be explained, it cannot be justified. At the time, Piedmont changed the course of the war in Virginia.

Published by The History Press as part of their Civil War Sesquicentennial Series, Patchan's book is an easy, but interesting read. The style is crisp and the narrative moves along at a good clip, keeping the reader's interest while not getting too bogged down in minutia; as do many WBTS books which focus on battles. Yet Patchan does a great job of describing the terrain and movements of the opposing armies that fought at Piedmont that fateful day of June 5th, 1864. Ample maps, along with present day photographs, allow the reader to understand the strengths and weaknesses of each army's initial field positions and how Union General David Hunter took advantage of a weakness in Confederate General William E. "Grumble" Jones' line at a crucial moment in the fighting.

My ancestor was most likely wounded during some of the heaviest fighting as his unit was in the thick of it. He was taken prisoner and transferred to the infamous Camp Morton in Indiana where he suffered, along with other Conferate POW's, in miserable and cruel conditions. He was later transferred to Chimborazo Hospital in Richmond where he died in March of 1865. His widow and family never knew what became of him until the 1950's when my great aunt did the research and found his records.

Several of the homes and farm structures that stood during the battle are still there today, though driving through the quiet, peaceful community today one sees no evidence of the bloody battle that took place there almost 150 years ago. Even so, some locals still harbor not-too-pleasant memories of those who invaded their community those many years ago. Some years ago, I spoke to a woman who lived on a farm in Piedmont that had been in the family for generations. In discussing the battle with her one day, I mentioned George Armstrong Custer. Her back stiffened as she clenched her jaw and said, "We don't mention that name in my home. That devil burned our barn for no reason other than his own entertainment." I quickly changed the subject.

For a concise and interesting read of one of the Civil War's "forgotten" battles, one could not do better that The Battle of Piedmont and Hunter's Raid on Staunton.