Sunday, March 11, 2012
With an annual murder rate estimated as high as 67 homicides per every 100,000 inhabitants in his country, Hugo Chavez is about to show the world that he’s tough on crime. At least, the non-governmental kind.
Chavez’s government claims that 98% of the homicides in Venezuela involve firearms. His solution? Restrict firearm ownership.
In recent remarks to the Latin American Herald Tribune, Venezuelan Interior and Justice Minister Tareck El Aissami announced that the government will begin suspending firearm importation, effective this month. Furthermore, local gunsmiths will no longer be able to market or sell firearms and ammunition.
According to El Aissami, “As of March, every last gun shop remaining in Venezuela – and there are less than 80 – should be closed. That is to say, in Venezuela, the perverse chapter of the commercialization of firearms and munitions is over.”
That ought to fix the problem. Murderous criminals obviously have no means of acquiring firearms illegally. And hapless victims clearly prefer to defend themselves with soup spoons and Tae Bo lessons.
Lately in GD we have had two different board members find themselves looking down the barrel of a gun along with the GF of another ARFCOMMER in street robberies. Also Blitz308 got shot all to pieces last year.
While many say it is better to be lucky than good, no one is lucky every time. In this post I am going to attempt to provide some insight into street encounters. Other may have different viewpoints. I am not here to argue. I will say some of the comments I have seen posted in the threads about this sort of matter make me realize that while some ARFCOMMERS are clearly street veterans others are not. This is really for those who are not.
First, my info. I worked in the street of one of America's most violent, dangerous cities for 15 years. I usually worked in the worst part of that city. I spent 15 years in patrol. I liked patrol. It was wild. Most of the time I worked in areas covered in ghetto. By that I mean large housing projects combined with run down slum housing. I have worked all shifts. Later I became an investigator including a robbery investigator. I have spent countless hours in interrogation rooms talking to hold up men. I know them. I am still an investigator but have quit playing the Robbery game because my family was starting to forget what I looked like.
Some may object to me calling hold up men "the enemy". You can call them whatever you like. I can assure you however they are as deadly an enemy as you will find anywhere but the battlefield. Even many soldiers probably lack the viciousness and utter disregard for life most hold up men possess.
No one wakes up in the morning one day and decides to become an armed robber. It is a gradual process that requires some experience and desensitizing. Before a man will pick up a gun and threaten to kill people who have done him no harm in order to get their usually meager possessions he has to get comfortable with some things.
He has to get used to seeing others as objects for him to exploit. He has to accept he may be killed while robbing. He has to accept the felony conviction for Robbery will haunt him all his life. He has to accept he may need to kill a completely innocent person to get away with his crime.
This is a process that starts with stealing candy at the corner store as a child. It progresses through bigger property crimes that may also involve violence. But one day G gets tired of selling his stolen property for nothing and decides it would be better to steal cash. Cut out all that tiresome sales stuff.
Keep in mind many petty thieves, auto burglars, residential and commercial burglars, paper thieves, and hustlers will get to that point and decide not to become armed robbers. Most will. It is a special group of outliers who decide threatening to kill people for a few dollars is the way to go.
Once a man starts armed robbing he has crossed a line most won't. Don't forget that when you are looking these bastards in the eye. Their decision to kill you is already made. Your life means nothing to him. Only his does. His sole motivation for not killing you is he doesn't want a murder case. He has already accepted he may pick one up though.
We hunt hold up men around the clock once they are identified. We send teams of fire breathing fence jumper / door kickers to find them. We will bring their mother to the office and convince her she is going to jail if we don't have Junior in our office in an hour. We have her call her son crying hysterically for him to turn himself in before she is arrested and held without bond as a material witness and her home seized for harboring him. Most of the time they won't. Fuck their own momma.
We will hit all Juniors friends and family's houses. We make it so no one will harbor him. He is so hot no one will let him in their house or even talk on the phone with him. We put money on him so he knows he is right to be betrayed and set up. We do this because of one thing.
That thing is they WILL kill someone if they keep robbing. That is why the city is willing to pay all the overtime. They don't want the murders. Think about that when you see Junior coming. The more robberies he does the closer he is to killing someone. Maybe you.
The guys who hit you on the street are gang members. They are Gangster Disciples, Vice Lords, Crips, Sureonos, many others. They do not see themselves as part of society. The street is all they know. They don't expect to live long or stay out of prison. They take a delight in your fear and suffering. They are warped individuals for the most part. They can be extremely dangerous.
One time we were locking up a hold up man and having a conversation about how they target their victims. I was saying they pick easy ones, another guy was saying they preferred easy ones but would take anybody.
I pointed out a uniform Officer there was an NFL size guy to that hold up man. Frankly the dude was a monster. I asked hold up man if he would rob him. He said "If I needed the money".
Chances are good you are a law abiding person except for maybe a little light weed smoking and maybe driving a little drunk every once in a while. Most of your life you have been taught to be nice and don't point guns at people. You are the exact opposite of your enemy who was taught just the opposite. Remember a lot of street life is like prison life. Who's the man is everything. Violence is the currency of the street.
You do not possess total disregard for the lives of others and do not want to kill anyone. You are concerned about the ramifications of shooting someone. Your family, your possessions and finances on the line. Your enemy has none of these concerns.
The laws that keep you from carrying your gun in bars or where ever mean nothing to your enemy. Your reluctance to shoot someone works to is advantage. His greater experience in street violence and the element of surprise is on his side.
Everyone should call their local FBI office and get a copy of Law Enforcement Officers Killed and Assaulted. When it first came out it was ground breaking because it demonstrated to academics and other elites what street police knew all along. What did it show in interviews with cop killers? Nice guys finish dead. That's right. Most of those offenders commented that the Officer they killed set himself up to be killed because of reluctance to use force early in the encounter.
You can probably find it on line now. A lot of the victim Officers were a lot like a lot of other people, normal people. They were the opposite of their enemy.
Am I advocating becoming the enemy? No. I am saying the person who is robbing you has certain traits, attitudes, and background. That is all.
Dynamics of Encounters
Hold up men target victims on the street in an impulsive, opportunistic manner. They see someone and make a quick judgment call on whether to rob them. The time between when you are targeted and they are on you isn't long. Therefore, situational awareness is everything.
If you see G coming you are in good shape. If you don't you will be the victim who says "He came out of nowhere". No he didn't. There are many tricks to watching out but simply watching your back is the main thing. Watch your back. If you do it enough it becomes second nature and you won't even realize you are doing it.
Watching out is great but unfortunately many self defense courses stop there. You have parked you car in a well lit area, are aware of your surroundings, and looky here, here comes three guys across the parking lot and they start to kind of fan out.
When you lock eyes with G the very first thing you need to do it indicate you have a weapon. It doesn't matter if you do or not. If you are a woman put your gun hand in your purse and keep it there. If you are a man fan your shirt or coat tail with your gun hand. Make it clear to dude you are mentally prepared to draw and making sure your gun is clear. This will many times result in an about face by dude. It is the single best robbery avoidance tactic IMHO.
Not long ago I was walking down the sidewalk in my town to go get my car. I was holding a folding chair in my gun hand. A car slow rolled past me with four heads in it. The guys in the back seat turned around as they went by looking at me. They went a little farther and U turned in the street.
Here they come back. As they started to slow down I looked at them with as contemptuous a look as I could muster and switched the chair to my left hand and flicked my shirt tail with my right hand. They just drove on mad dogging me.
In another case I was at a Christmas party and walked a girl to her car about 3 am. As we said our good-byes two guys were walking across the parking lot. One went behind a dumpster. I though he was peeing. He came out from behind the dumpster with a bottle.
As they got closer I stepped clear of that girl and unzipped my jacket at those two guys. When I did the guy threw down the bottle and they walked by cussing at me. If someone challenges you after you indicate you are armed say "I don't have a gun". Then they will know you do.
Here is an opposite story. A girl my brother knows was walking her dog when a guy approached her. She was polite. Mistake. He talked to her about the dog and said she had pretty hair and reached out and touched her hair. She did not slap his hand down or aggressively object. Mistake. He asked her if her dog bit and she said "No". At that time he slapped the shit out of her, drug her into a wooded area, and raped her.
The answer in the street is always "No". Can I ask you something? No. Do you have a cigarette? No. Can you tell me what time it is? No. The answer is always "No". Don't be nice. Stop the encounter as soon as it starts.
When to draw
Despite warnings I often see on the Net I have yet to encounter an instance in which a hold up man called the police to report his intended victim threatened to shoot him. Thugs do not want to come into contact with the police. They may already be wanted or realize chances are good they have been identified in a recent robbery. Or what ever. They are not going to call the police if you draw on them.
Supposed two guys are approaching you in a parking lot and do the classic fan out maneuver. You indicate you have a weapon by clearing your gun hand and fanning your jacket at them. They are not discouraged. DRAW!
I am not saying you should pull your gun out, assume a Weaver stance, and scream "That's close enough -------------!" What I am saying is draw your gun and hold it beside your leg as you start to move to cover. I am very fond of telephone poles. Anything will do though. They will see this. They will remember they have to be somewhere else. They will not call the police.
Then you can just put your gun back in the holster and go back to whatever you were doing like nothing happened. Why? Because nothing did happen. A happening is when shots are fired.
Do not hesitate to draw. If you are somewhere you are supposed to be and someone appears who is not supposed to be there like a closed business show him the end of your gun. Could it be Mother Teresa looking for her lost cat behind your closed business? No it is some motherfucker up to no good. He won't call the police to report he was prowling a location when a guy ran him off.
When to shoot
The time to shoot is immediately upon seeing his weapon. You are not a police man who has to try to arrest the guy. No need to scream at him. No exposure while you yell for him to drop the gun.
In deer hunting the experienced hunter takes the first good shot. May not be the perfect shot but it never is. Novices pass up a doable shot waiting for a better shot and then the deer is gone. Take the first good shot you are offered. Hopefully your alertness and hostile cues will prevent you ever having to fire. But once you see his weapon, shoot.
If a guy is coming at you with a gun in his hand shoot him. Shoot him right then. If you don't shoot first you may not shoot at all. I have known more than one person who was shot and received life changing injuries and also shot their attacker. Their only regret was not shooting sooner. Like Bill Jordan said "Nothing disturbs your enemy's aim like a slug delivered to the belt buckle area".
Guns and weapons
The handgun is the best weapon you can carry easily. I understand it is not always possible to have one due to laws, restrictions, whatever. I am not telling anyone to disregard laws about carrying weapons. Each person has to decide for themselves what they are comfortable with. I will say there is no substitute for a pistol when you need one.
Also if you can not be trusted with a pistol after a few drinks you can't be trusted with a pistol period. Booze is liquid bad judgment no doubt but it shouldn't make you into a damn moron. If you are a moron sober I don't know what to tell you.
Types of guns and ammo are always debated and probably always will be. I have seen people shot with all common calibers. My conclusion is if you hit someone between the collar bone and the tip of their ribs three times with anything, they are handled. Bigger is better but something is better than nothing. Get your front sight on his shirt and stay on him as long as he is standing with whatever gun you have.
Just have a gun with sure fire ammo. Draw early and fire immediately upon seeing his weapon. That course of action is about all you can do to up your odds of ending things favorably. Guns like the Ruger LC9, SIG 239, Glock 26/27 are examples of guns small enough to carry but with enough power and capacity to be useful. Do not be afraid to use a French Lebelle if that is the only gun you have. A gun is a gun. I like a Glock 19.
We all want the best training. It can be expensive if you are having to pay for it and it can be hard to find the time to do it. There is a whole lot of BS out there. What can you do? First, pistol handling is not rocket surgery. If you will learn the basics and practice on your own you can be fine. Smooth draw, quick pairs, reload. If you know those things well you can be OK.
I know a young man who shot down two hold up men in 2010 at very close range while he and his GF were walking home from the store. He in Wyatt Earp like fashion ignored the fire coming from the gunman and killed him and wounded his accomplice. He nor his GF were injured. He like many was willing to give them the money until he picked up on nonverbal cues that because of his GF they were not quite satisfied with the money. He had a Glock 27.
He had only the most basic of training in gun handling but did do some draws and some dry fire a couple times a week and live fired maybe once a month. That basic skill combined with knowing what to do was enough. He shot at the first possible moment despite having let the guys get the drop on them. When the gunman turned his head because a car drove by that was the opening. A split second is a long time sometimes.
Work on some one hand shooting at close range. That is a skill not as popular as it once was and you want to use two hands when you can. Often you can find yourself doing something with your off hand though so be able to shoot with one hand out to 5 yards or so.
If it comes to pass you are forced to shoot someone do not feel bad. When the police come just tell them a guy threatened you with deadly force and you were forced to fire. I know there are bad police out there in some parts of the country who don't support self defense. I can't help you with that.
Do not talk to them until you have your attorney present. Now most young guys don't have an attorney on retainer and you may have no idea who to call. That is OK. You will figure it out but in the mean time don't talk about what happened other than to say you were forced to fire. You don't have to be an asshole just remember wait for your attorney.
Hopefully you will not give a statement for a couple days. Remember if you are put in jail that doesn't mean you are charged. Most places can hold you 48 or 72 hours on a felony before charging you or letting you go. Breath deep and get an attorney.
Expect to never get your gun back. You may get it back one day but maybe not. Do not buy expensive guns for the street. Buy yourself a nice sporting gun if you want a nice gun. Keep your street guns basic. The factory Model 10 Smith and the GI 45 have done a lot of work over the years and aren't fancy.
We all live in different worlds. My world is filled with felons and gang members. Violence is common place. No one would be surprised if one of their friends called and said they shot a hold up man at a place of business or parking lot. In the past when I made calls the fact that the guy who is beating his GF is also on parole for 2nd degree murder flavored my world.
You may live in a smaller, less violent place where shootings seldom occur and it would be a rare to shoot a hold up man. I envy you and will be moving to a place like your town as soon as I can.
But be advised no matter where you are a hold man is going to be about the same. Whether he is a home boy or a guy who just exited the interstate into your town and needs some quick money. He is going to have a vicious streak and no regard for your life. Treat him like he treats you.
Giving them the money, doing what they say, all that may work but there is no guarantee. If you have never read Jeff Cooper's book The Principles of Personal Defense I suggest you order a copy immediately. It is a short book but summarizes a lot of important things.
Last year we had a trial here regarding an armed robbery that occurred. Three or four guys took a young couple from a parking garage near a college out by some railroad tracks where they raped, shot, and beat them. Their lives will never be the same.
The lesser thugs all turned on the trigger man at trial. The trigger man's statement in the paper was after all that had happened he felt like he was a victim. Think about that. That is the mindset you are up against.
Foreign companies are increasing their industrial investment in the United States and concentrating their growth in the Southern states due to their “most hospitable business climates,” according to a new report.
Industrial investment by overseas firms in America rose $30 billion between 2009 and 2010 alone, much of it concentrated in the chemical and automotive industries.
“It is heavily focused on the southeastern states and Texas,” according to Joel Kotkin, executive editor of NewGeography.com and a contributing editor to the City Journal in New York. He cites a study showing that the five states with the best business climates and 10 of the top 12 are from the old Confederacy.
He also notes that foreign companies generally invest in those “right to work” states to avoid troubles with unionized workers.
The largest Mercedes plant in the United States is in Tuscaloosa, Ala., and last year the German company invested $350 million in the plant.
German automaker Volkswagen announced it will build a new assembly plant in Chattanooga, Tenn. Nissan, Toyota, and Kia have also announced major new plant openings or expansions in the South.
The average cost of building these facilities is over $1 billion, and they bring not only higher-paying jobs at the auto plants, but also employment at parts suppliers and other related industries. For instance, Germany’s Thyssen Krupp has invested $4.6 billion in the steel industry in Alabama, reports Kotkin, whose article originally appeared in Forbes.com.
He writes that managers in foreign firms believe Southern workers “have not picked up the bad habits and work rules common among their unionized Midwestern brethren.”
Only 7,100 auto workers in Alabama are unionized, and less than five percent of workers in Texas, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, and Virginia belong to a union.
And according to the U.S. Department of Commerce, foreign industrial firms are far less likely to impose layoffs on their workforce than their domestic competitors.
JLH, who kindly translated the piece for us, had this to say:
I ran across this, and the pure horror of it transfixed me. This is beyond the worst stories I heard about the Russian soldiers running amok in the streets of Berlin in 1945.The translated article from SOS-Österreich:
The only excuse I can give for translating it is that someone has to witness, and places like GoV may be alone in their efforts for some time to come.
Radio Silence? 16 Year-Old Girl — Raped, Tortured, Crippled
March 5, 2012
by Der Patriot
During the last 24 hours we have received numerous emails, asking us to report on the brutal and perverse rape of a 16-year-old girl in Worms, which has not been reported at all by German media.
On February 23, SOS-Österreich was one of the first blogs to report on this inhumanly violent attack.
Since unbelievable or horrifying reports come to us almost daily, the incident in Worms was forgotten. Only after several references in our comment section, and/or direct mails, as well as some intensive “googling,” did we notice that only diverse blogs — but no public media in Germany — reported on the rape and mutilation of a young German girl. Is this silence strange, or not?
The blog Honigmannsagt writes that the press of the Federal Republic has put an embargo on this story.
This is an appeal to them!
Please, bring this case to the attention of the public.
In accordance with §12.1 of its code, the Federal Republic press has put a gag order on this story.
It needs to be broken.
We join the following appeal by the party Die Freiheit of Hesse:
After almost three weeks the silence has been broken: Even this inhuman, bestial act of gang rape of a 16-year-old girl by Turks or those of Turkish immigrant background is exceeded by a brutality beyond imagination.
We at Freiheit Hessen are stunned, and our thoughts are with the girl and her family.
We ask everyone, please broadcast this — send it to your regional newspapers. There must be an outcry and the long overdue discussion of how to deal with this kind of behavior. We are not talking about an isolated incident. It is happening everywhere in Europe — from England to Sweden.
We already reported on this incident, insofar as we could research the information. The police spokesperson could offer no further details. The “quality media” were and are silent.
Read it for yourself:
On February 15, 2012, at 8:30 PM an unimaginably ferocious act was committed on a human being — a bestial, barbaric act. A 16-year-old girl was tormented, beaten and gang-raped in a parking garage in Worms. But that was not enough for her tormenters. They raped her with a bottle and then broke the bottle and jammed it into her, severing her intestine and slicing open her womb. She was found unconscious, severely wounded and unclothed. Only an emergency operation saved her.
The results: Because of the severe mutilation in the genital area, a permanent ileostomy was performed (creating a permanent, artificial anus). She will never lead a normal life, have a sexual life, have children. At the moment, it is a question of supporting her spiritually and finding psychological care for her. Her family will have to be there for her at all times and let her know that she is needed and will always have someone who loves her — suicide is a great danger. In a similar case, the girl tried to take her life and had to be committed to a psychiatric institution.
There were two perpetrators, a 17-year-old male and a 19 year-old male of Turkish immigrant background. One of them, however, “only” watched, and has been released.
It is really of secondary importance whether the perpetrators of such a terrible rape are native or immigrant. It is utterly inhuman. But we have one question: Would this case have been gagged by the press if the perpetrators had been named Michael, Karl or Peter? Not likely.
Whatever the names, whatever the ethnic background, there is no fitting punishment for this brutal act of torture.********UPDATELast night I posted a translated article about a horrific rape and mutiliation of a young girl in the German city of Worms. Our German translator JLH has sent some follow-up information on the incident.
Also: Other sources have written to say that the victim was a Yezidi, rather than a Muslim Kurd.
Here’s what JLH found out:Interesting what you can learn from Gates of Vienna comments.
One of them gave a reference that indicated the girl was a Kurd, so I followed it to a short English report that did say that, and then a reference from there to the story in what I think is the small local paper, Nibelungen-Kurier, which interviewed the girl and her mother at the hospital.
The story there indicates that the physical damage required one operation and another to come, but does not give the impression of life-long debility. The “social and psychological” effects may be worse. She was indeed badly slashed with the bottle. The perpetrators may even have soaked her in alcohol and thought about setting her on fire but did not.She had met them in before in the same bar and may have tried to tell police about their “drug history,” so this could have been a revenge act.
According to the mother, they left her lying naked in her blood and went on partying. It is interesting that this girl, who may have been a Kurd, was named “Sandra.” A rather kafir name. And the fact that she was willing to talk to the cops also makes her a little more West than Middle East.
This may provide some insight into what happens to those invisible “moderate” Muslims when they get out of line.
Bernhard Thuersam, Director
Cape Fear Historical Institute
Ku Klux and Religious Bigotry in the Deep North:
“Although no one spoke of it, the truth was that a Roman Catholic had never been elected governor. Maine is preponderantly Protestant, and prejudice against the 270,000 Catholics runs deep, if silent. “Pope Night” in November , which featured torchlight parades and was climaxed by the burning of the Pope in effigy, had continued in parts of New England almost into the twentieth century. The spread of the Ku Klux Klan followed; in the 1920s the Klan had an estimated 150,000 members in Maine, more than in any other New England state.
In Portland, the state’s largest city, the Klan flourished and in 1923 plunked down $76,500 for a Forest Avenue estate which was turned into a permanent meeting place, featuring an auditorium and a sixty-foot high electric cross. In some Maine communities the Klan was given official recognition by the town fathers. Crosses were burned across the state, some bombings and fires were blamed on Klan activity, and Jews, Catholics, and the tiny Negro population were intimidated.
To be sure, the Republicans of the 1920s denounced the Klan and its burning crosses, but the Republican party in Maine is basically Protestant in composition, while Catholics – primarily Franco-Americans in the mill cities and in the St. John Valley, along the Canadian border – have formed the nucleus of the Democratic [party] organization in the twentieth century.
[Edmund Muskie] remains the only Roman Catholic ever to be elected to major office in Maine. The prejudice exists. In the hierarchy of Maine business – in the banks, the investment houses, the giant paper companies, and the private utilities – the governing offices are almost exclusively Protestant.
As late as 1958 a young college graduate seeking a job in Boothbay Harbor was interviewed at length and then bluntly asked, “Are you a Catholic?” Two years later a wave of anti-Catholicism was a definite if immeasurable factor in the Maine defeat of John F. Kennedy.”
(Muskie, Theo Lippman, Jr., Donald Hansen, W.W. Norton, 1971, pp. 63-64)
Ku Klux and Religious Bigotry in the Deep North
Chairman Gibbs brought the meeting to order by asking for any Santorum supporters to please raise their hands. A handful of people raised their hands. Then he asked for Gingrich. He got 2 handfuls. When he asked for Romney, his people clustered near the front of the main room raised their hands with a great cheer.
When he asked for Ron Paul what looked like about 2/3rds of the crowd of over 2,600 delegates leaped to their feet as one and unleashed a thunderous ovation that lasted for 30 seconds. It was absolutely electrifying.
The Chevrolet Volt is everything that is wrong with Washington on four wheels, and investors (that’s you and me) should be furious.
Wrong #1: The Volt should be re-named the Vote. Who can forget that Super Bowl ad, with the pseudo-assembly line of Volts rolling through Hamtramck, Michigan, and the voice overlay that “this isn’t the car we wanted to build; it’s the car America had to build…from the heart of Detroit to the help [sic] of the country.” How true—corporate welfare on wheels, buying votes in a state vital to the President’s re-election. There is simply no way that GM can kill it.
Wrong #2: Paying workers for not working. Several days before Christmas, production was phased out for the holidays, which in the case of the Volt plant, lasted until February 6. Last Friday, GM announced another shutdown, from March 19 through April 13, or five weeks. That’s right: the Hamtramck plant will produce “the car America had to build” for less than seven out of 18 weeks. When it’s open the plant only runs one ten-hour shift for four days a week. When the plant is shuttered, the 1,300 workers still get paid. Not counting obligations to retirement, the average hourly wage and benefits cost to GM union employees is about $55 per hour. Shareholders ponied up a little more than $30 million in wage costs alone for these 11 weeks of leisure. Nice job if you can get it! Of course, institutional overhead probably tacks on another $15 million or so. All while not one car is produced.
How many unsold Volts are out there? GM says there were 3,600 at the end of February, and Autoweek and The Wall Street Journal say 6,300 (which would be in the ball park of the total non-fleet sales of Volts for all of 2011). Cars.com lists a bit over 4,300. Even using conservative figures, the average Volt sits on the average dealer’s lot for 60 days.
Wrong #3: Subsidizing well-off taxpayers. The Administration is doing everything it can to goose sales. The President’s new budget raises the subsidy paid to Volt buyers another 33%, to $10,000 per car in a direct tax credit. The median price of all the Volts on cars.com is $43,200. The average household income of Volt purchasers is in excess of $170,000, around the 93rd percentile. At the 28% tax bracket (married, filing jointly), this is equivalent to $36,000 of tax-free income. The car which is traded most for the Volt is none other than the Toyota Prius, which, according to most analyses, will not have been owned long enough to save in gas money the total premium paid for the car, compared to a comparable conventional vehicle.
Wrong #4: Corporate cronyism and coercion. Last month, General Electric, whose CEO Jeffrey Immelt chairs the President’s Council on Jobs and Competitiveness, announced that all 2012 sedans ordered by employees for corporate use will be Volts. That’s Competitive! Beginning next January 1, GE will not reimburse employees for any corporate travel unless it is done in a Volt. If GE purchases the 12,000 Volts it is committed to buying, it will get a $120 million subsidy.
Mark Modica, of the National Center for Policy Analysis, has uncovered another whopper. Dealers that sell Volts to nonprofits, such as municipalities, can claim the subsidy. The Obama Administration is simply determined to give away money to move this car that so few want.
The political calculus on the Volt may in fact be wrong. Yes, it may deliver Michigan. But people in other battleground states aren’t happy about subsidizing a car with their children’s (and grandchildren’s) future wages.
When testifying to Congress about the (overhyped) Volt battery fires last January, GM CEO Dan Ackerson lamented “We did not develop the Chevy Volt to be a political punching bag”, but rather “We engineered the Volt to be a technological wonder”.
In fact, it is an impressive piece of technology. It is also an expensive one for which the shareholders (us) are paying workers not to work, buying the vote in Michigan, subsidizing the wealthy and paying one of the richest corporations in the world to be subsidized to buy something that just cannot roll on its own four wheels.
How could the more-aptly named Chevrolet Vote not become a political punching bag?
An American soldier left his base in Afghanistan and went from house to house in two villages, killing 16 people in their homes, Afghan officials told CNN Sunday.
The dead include nine children and three women, plus five wounded, President Hamid Karzai said.
"The murdering of innocent people intentionally by an American soldier is an act of terror that is unforgivable," Karzai said.
The incident looks likely to inflame tensions still further between foreign troops and Afghan civilians, many of whom were enraged by the burning of Qurans by American troops last month.
SMYRNA — Anita Teague has been the director of the Sam Davis Home for five years. She recently sat down with The Daily News Journal to talk about the mission and the future of the historic home.
Q: Tell me a little bit about Sam Davis Home.
Teague: Sam Davis Home is a local nonprofit agency. The Sam Davis Memorial Association is the governing board for the Sam Davis Home for all the 168 acres, the buildings and grounds that we have here. We are very blessed to have that still in Smyrna, which is growing rapidly. The Sam Davis Memorial Association was founded in 1930 and so we’ve been around for quite a while and that is definitely evident on the seal for the town of Smyrna, as the Sam Davis Home is prominent in the seal and we’re very excited about that.The Sam Davis Home is here for several reasons. The story of Sam Davis is a very compelling story. He was a scout for the Confederate Army with Coleman’s Scouts. At the age of 21, he was captured right outside of Pulaski in Giles County and he very bravely gave his life. The famous phrase is “I would rather give my life than betray a friend or my country.” So he embodies characteristics that we still want our youth to embody today: integrity, honor, courage. So that is definitely a compelling story.
The March 14, 1862 battle saw 11,000 Union forces defeat 4,500 ill-equipped Confederate troops and marked the beginning of the Union occupation.
“A lot of people don't realize that New Bern was an occupied town for most of the war,” said Jeff Bockert, the assistant curator of education for North Carolina historic sites. “The Union Army was here for three years."
Complete with costumes, encampments and canons, this event was a real life history lesson for spectators as re-enactors showed them what life was really like during the Civil War.
“The bayonets from 150 years ago were pretty lethal,” said David Lloyd, a battlefield visitor.
Re-enactors say it took six hours to set up one encampment. But Randy Sauls said it takes more than good costumes and a backdrop to pull this off.
"A good group of guys, and good equipment,” Sauls said. “Everything in good working order and a good public that wants to come out and learn something."
The re-enactors worked hard here to make sure everything was realistic. From the clothes, to the weaponry, to the food. They even slept in their encampments overnight.
“All the of the equipment that the men have has been made for them by experts so that everything they have is an exact reproduction of what would've been worn during the American Civil War,” Bockert said.
The commemoration continues through Sunday afternoon. Be sure to check out the commemorative service at 8:30 in the morning at the battlefield. Many of the events are free and open to the public.
A lawsuit alleging that Planned Parenthood submitted more than 87,000 fraudulent claims – and pointing out that there could be an $11,000-plus penalty for each case – has been unveiled in a Texas dispute by attorneys representing former Planned Parenthood clinic director Abby Johnson.
The case alleges the nation’s abortion industry giant submitted “repeated false, fraudulent, and ineligible claims for Medicaid reimbursements” through the Texas Women’s Health Program.
“Americans deserve to know if their hard-earned tax money is being funneled to groups that are misusing it,” said Michael J. Norton, an ADF senior counsel. “No matter where a person stands on abortion, everyone should agree that Planned Parenthood has to play by the same rules as everyone else.
“It certainly isn’t entitled to a penny of public funds, especially if it is committing Medicaid fraud,” he said.
The case was filed originally under a federal law that allows “whistleblowers” with inside information to expose fraudulent billing by government contractors. By law, the cases are filed under seal and may not be made public while state and federal governments decide whether to join the action,
Earlier today, we reported that Germans are increasingly concerned that their gold, at over 3,400 tons a majority of which is likely stored in the vault 80 feet below street level of 33 Liberty (recently purchased by the Fed with freshly printed money at far higher than prevailing commercial real estate rates for the Downtown NY area), may be in jeopardy,and will likely soon formally inquire just how much of said gold is really held by the Fed. As it turns out, Germany is not alone: as part of the "Rettet Unser Schweizer Gold", or the “Gold Initiative”: A Swiss Initiative to Secure the Swiss National Bank’s Gold Reserves initiative, launched recently by four members of the Swiss parliament, the Swiss people should have a right to vote on 3 simple things: i) keeping the Swiss gold physically in Switzerland; ii) forbidding the SNB from selling any more of its gold reserves, and iii) the SNB has to hold at least 20% of its assets in gold.
“The recent statements by Defense Secretary Panetta once again illustrate the Obama administration’s blatant disregard for the rule of law and our U.S. Constitution”
“Defense Secretary Leon Panetta’s recent statements once again illustrate the Obama administration’s blatant disregard for the rule of law and our Constitution.
“For President Obama’s head of the Defense Department to state that international permission, rather than congressional approval, is what would be needed as a legal basis to initiate a no-fly zone over Syria flies in the face of the guidelines established by our Founders.
“There is no issue more serious than war. And make no mistake, establishing a ‘no-fly zone’ is in itself an act of war.
“Our Founders understood that waging war is not something that should be taken lightly, which is why Article 1, Section 8 of the United States Constitution gives Congress – not the President – the authority to declare war.
“This was meant to be an important check on presidential power. The last thing the Founders wanted was an out-of-control Executive Branch engaging in unnecessary and unpopular wars without so much as a congressional debate.
“But such actions should no longer come as a surprise. During the conflict in Libya last year, we saw exactly what this President thinks of following the rule of law. President Obama consulted NATO, the United Nations, and the Arab League for permission and authorization to use US military force against Libya. But he utterly ignored the one body that has the legal authority to grant that permission—the U.S. Congress. That was, and still is, unacceptable.
“This is a complete 180 from what we once heard when Obama was seeking the presidency, as he spoke passionately about the abuses of the Bush Administration in violating the War Powers Act. But, like many candidates, the rhetoric did not match the disappointing reality of what he would do as President.
“I have fought my entire political career for greater transparency, greater accountability, and strict adherence to the Constitution. If elected President, I pledge to always maintain the sovereignty of the United States and remain faithful to our rule of law.”