Tuesday, November 27, 2012

War for Protective Tariffs, Income Taxes and Astonishing Profits

 " Tarif"

When the Saracens and Moors, in the 8th century invaded and devastated the rich and beautiful provinces of Spain, they were commanded by a general whose name was Tarif, who had but one eye (See Anquetil's Universal History) - Our Tariff  must be a descendant of this infamous destroyer, and inherits his defect of having but one eye, as it can see but one interest, and in one direction."
(I found the above quote on microfilm at the Tarboro Library, but I either failed to write down the source, or there was none. Also, I failed to write down the date, but remember that it was well before the War, 1823/1833 sticks in my mind. BT)

My G, G Grandfather - Tariff Must Be Reduced
Mr. Pippen adverted to the importance of the present election - important in many respects, but chiefly in respect to theTariff and Texas.
The Tariff must be reduced; it was grinding the South to powder. The northern manufacturers were declaring dividends of 25 and 30 per cent per annum, while the poor farmer at the South could scarcely "make both ends meet." The Tariff must be reduced - it made the rich richer and the poor poorer.

The War Between the States commenced by Lincoln immediately presented he and his administration with the problem of a conflict the United States could not afford. In April 1861, federal spending was only about $172,000 a day, raised by tariffs and land sales. By the end of July 1861, Lincoln had caused this to increase to $1 million, and by the end of December it was up to $1.5 million per day. Also in December, 1861 Northern banks had to stop paying their debts in gold with the federal government doing the same shortly after and resorting to printing money. The country had gone off the gold standard, Wall Street was in a panic, and Lincoln would lament, “The bottom is out of the tub, what shall I do?”

Bernhard Thuersam, Chairman
North Carolina War Between the States Sesquicentennial Commission
"The Official Website of the North Carolina WBTS Sesquicentennial"

War for Protective Tariffs, Income Taxes and Astonishing Profits:

“By May 1864 [financier Jay] Cooke was selling [Northern] war bonds so successfully that he was actually raising money as fast as the War Department could spend it, no mean feat for that was about $2 million a day at this point. Altogether, the North raised fully two-thirds of its revenues by selling bonds. If Abraham Lincoln must always be given the credit for saving the Union, there is also no doubt that the national debt was one of the most powerful tools at his disposal for forging victory.

Although the [Northern] people were willing to endure very high taxes during the war, peacetime was another matter altogether. Immediately after the war the cry for repeal of the wartime taxes became insistent. With military expenses quickly dropping, the problem, was what taxes to cut. American industrialists, who had prospered greatly thanks to wartime demand and wartime high tariffs, naturally did not want the tariffs cut.

Because the Civil War had broken the political power of the South, the center of opposition to the tariff, they got their way. The tariff was kept at rates far above the government’s need for revenue as the North industrialized at a furious pace in the last three decades of the nineteenth century and became the greatest – and most efficient – industrial power in the world.

Of course, no matter how large, efficient, and mature these industries became, they continued to demand [tariff] protection, and, thanks to their wealth and political power, get it. As Professor William Graham Sumner of Yale explained as early as 1885, “The longer they live, the bigger babies they are.” It was only after the bitter dispute between Andrew Carnegie and Henry Clay Frick caused the astonishing profits of the privately held – and highly protected – Carnegie Steel Company to become public knowledge, in 1899, that the political coalition behind high tariffs began to crack.

Before the Civil War there had been little advocacy of an income tax in this country, at least at the federal level, although by the war six States had implemented such taxes for their own revenue purposes. But once a federal income tax was in place, thanks to the Civil War, it quickly acquired advocates, as political programs always do.

These advocates pushed the idea relentlessly….Republican Senator John Sherman….said during a debate on renewing the income tax in 1872, that “here we have in New York Mr. Astor with an income of millions derived from real estate….and we have along side of him a poor man receiving $1000 a year. [The law] is altogether against the poor man….yet we are afraid to tax Mr. Astor. Is there any justice in it? Why, sir, the income tax is the only one that tends to equalize these burdens between the rich and the poor.”

(Hamilton’s Blessing, John Steele Gordon, Penguin Books, 1997, pp. 79-83)

Recommended changes to the Constitution


The Founding Fathers created a good document in the Constitution, including the Bill of Rights.  I do not believe the Constitution is perfect.  Some of the things I would change.

To Safeguard Liberty

“Come Peacefully Now or by Force Later”

HSLDA Founder and Chairman Mike Farris meets with the Wunderlich family during the Global Home Education Conference held in Berlin, Germany in October. Farris is asking homeschoolers to contact German officials on behalf of the Wunderlichs.

In October of this year, Dirk and Petra Wunderlich lost legal custody of their children for homeschooling. The family was forced to return to Germany after Mr. Wunderlich was unable to locate work elsewhere in Europe. They were reported to authorities by a neighbor who saw that they did not send their children to school. The family faces both criminal and civil charges for homeschooling.

As American families enjoyed their Thanksgiving holiday, the Wunderlich family received a visit from two social workers who planned to take the children to school to test them for grade level placement. When the social workers asked the children to “come along,” the children refused. Mr. Wunderlich reported that one social worker, Frau Christa Lettau, mocked the children, saying they were just parroting their parents’ orders.

“Yeah, yeah, you do not want to go to school because your parents do not want you to,” she reportedly said.

She told Mr. and Mrs. Wunderlich, “Do you know what type of consequences this has? We will then meet at a later date in Darmstadt again, and we will take away your complete custody.”

Mrs. Wunderlich asked her: “All for the welfare of the children?”
Frau Lettau responded, “Yes.”

The family then contacted their attorney Andreas Vogt, who spoke with Frau Lettau for a short time. After the conversation the now-angry social workers left the home, tersely informing the Wunderlichs that they would see them “in court.”

Battle for the Children


Sadly, as is the case for too many German families, the Wunderlichs’ homeschooling saga began with exile. Knowing that homeschooling was not tolerated in Germany the family left for France to escape threatened truancy charges. A traumatic experience followed when their four children were taken from them for four days following a report from German social workers to French social workers.
A French judge returned the children, reportedly telling the family it was their right to homeschool. However, Mr. Wunderlich, a gardener, was unable to find sufficient employment in France. Stints in Norway and Hungary followed, where employment also proved scarce. The family eventually returned to their home in Hessen, Germany and tried to homeschool quietly until they came to the attention of school attendance officials.

Oppressive Policy


HSLDA Director for International Relations Michael Donnelly expressed frustration with Germany policy:

“By refusing to make it possible for parents to homeschool their children, German governments at the state and federal level are simply derelict. In this case, the German state has viciously attacked the most precious interest the Wunderlich family has—their children. They are terrorizing this family by continuing to threaten them with actually physically putting their children in orphanages, even though there is no question that the children are well cared for and educated.”

Donnelly wonders how policy makers justify this inaction.

“This is a brutal act of a rogue totalitarian state. Germany may have hallmarks of a free society, but in the area of educational freedom, I don’t know how lawmakers, bureaucrats and judges can escape this terrific injustice—something needs to change in Germany soon.”

HSLDA Founder and Chairman Michael Farris says Germany must recognize educational freedom as a fundamental human right.

“I met the Wunderlich family when I spoke at the global home education conference in Berlin where only one federal German policy maker even bothered to show up. This precious family is only trying to do what is best for their children—what they simply have a fundamental human right to do—something Germany must recognize.”

“Please Act Now”


Farris hopes homeschoolers from everywhere will take action in support of this family.
“I am asking our members and friends to send a statement to the German officials involved in this case,” he said. “Will you take a moment today to send a polite but firm note to the officials involved in this case? Tell them your story about the benefits of homeschooling. Tell them that homeschooling doesn’t create parallel societies. Tell them the homeschooling is beneficial to society. Tell them that a free people must tolerate educational freedom. Tell them to leave the Wunderlich children alone. Please act now to help this poor family.”

Stand with Us and Persecuted Homeschoolers


HSLDA stands with the Wunderlich family and scores of others around the world who are persecuted or struggling with government oppression over the call to homeschool. If you are able please send a message to one or all of the officials listed below. Let them know that the world is watching Germany and that the Wunderlichs are not alone. Please also consider partnering with us to advance the cause of freedom to homeschool by contributing to the Homeschool Freedom Fund. These resources are used to defend homeschooling freedom wherever and whenever it is threatened.

We will keep you updated about this important case as it unfolds. Please keep the Wunderlich family in your thoughts and prayers.

Public interest law firm files brief on Holder case as GOP ‘negotiates'



An amicus brief, submitted last week and filed yesterday in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia Circuit by the American Center for Law and Justice, argues “that the court has proper jurisdiction” in a lawsuit filed by the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform to compel Attorney General Eric Holder to turn over subpoenaed documents, and that a move by the Justice Department to dismiss the case on those grounds should not keep it from moving forward.
The brief, submitted last Wednesday by Jay Sekulow, ACLJ’s chief counsel, states “At stake here is Congress’s constitutional authority to investigate an egregious federal program in which the Department of Justice intentionally permitted guns to be illegally obtained and sold to Mexican drug cartels (Operation Fast and Furious), and then obstructed Congress’s efforts to obtain key information about the Operation.

“This Court clearly has jurisdiction in this case, and contrary to Defendant’s claims, judicial abstention would do far greater injury to the separation of powers than permitting the Executive to continue its intransigent opposition to Congress’s constitutional role,” the brief maintains.
Whether this filing will have an impact on the case is uncertain amidst reports that the Republicans and Justice are in negotiations to settle the suit.

“While far from certain, a settlement would bring a quiet end to a political furor that stirred the passions of gun owners, ended some Justice Department careers and led Republicans to find U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt,” Reuters reported today.

What is certain, although beyond the ken of those who think such things can be swept under a rug, is that ultimately, if justice is to be served, the “end” cannot be “quiet.” Very real crimes have been committed and very real people have been killed. Any final “settlement” that does not take that into account, and provide for a reckoning with legal consequences, will not be accepted by a core of citizen activists, whistleblowers and survivors demanding nothing less.

Anyone who believes their concerns can just be ignored is risking much more than a mere furious political backlash – such a move would do nothing less than destroy any “rule of law” illusions the government is relying on to convince the disaffected that the justice system, which protects them as much as, if not more than it protects “us,” still works.

In a Step Towards the Modern Age........Saudi Women are Allowed to Drive!

Via The Feral Irishman


Police officer shot by partner trying to kill dog

Via Knuckledraggin' My life Away

 A Memphis Police Officer has been shot (Photo courtesy of WPTY) 



 A Memphis Police officer was shot near the downtown area Thursday afternoon.

The incident occurred around 1 p.m. on Thursday, November 8, on the 500-block of Arrington Avenue. The officer, later identified as Willie Bryant with the Organized Crime Unit, was serving a warrant when he was shot. Bryant was transported to The MED where he is listed in critical condition.

Memphis Police Director Toney Armstrong stated Bryant was accidentally shot by a fellow officer who was trying to shoot a pit bull, but missed. Officer Bryant was wearing a bulletproof vest.

Several suspects from the where the warrant was being served have been taken into custody.



Goodies from Ol' Remus

Via Ol' Remus

It is force, or threat of it, which lies behind every stop sign, every building code, every ordinance, every law. By what right do people have to force their will on another man? Just so they can have "safety" and "order"? Those that would commit crimes against another still do, regardless. It is the peaceful man who is harmed by these laws, not the criminals. That is the greater tyranny.
--Mayberry at keepitsimplesurvival.wordpress.com 

Regardless of their demeanor, each statist has one thing in common; an obsession with the continuance of the system to the point of madness.  There is absolutely nothing the state can do to make them second guess their love affair.  No crime too shocking, no attack too unjust.
--Brandon Smith at alt-market.com

 In our modern age, things no longer exist to perform their function. Washing machines aren't designed to clean clothes, but to save water and energy. Food isn't there to be eaten, but not eaten. And armies aren't there to win wars, but to be moral. And the truly moral army never fights a war.
--Daniel Greenfield at canadafreepress.com 

 There is absolutely no prospect of ANY reduction in the debt of the US government unless and until a meat axe is taken to "entitlements". This would involve a HUGE dismantling of the welfare state, something that neither side of US politics wants to even discuss. The situation is that simple.
--Bill Buckler at the-privateer.com 

Indian land - As regards taking the land, at least from the western Indians, the simple truth is that the latter never had any real ownership in it at all. Where the game was plenty, there they hunted; they followed it when it moved away to new hunting-grounds, unless prevented by stronger rivals; and to most of the land on which we found them they had no stronger claim than that of having a few years previously butchered the original inhabitants.
--Theodore Roosevelt, Hunting Trips of a Ranchman 1885

If today's New York Times editors were in charge in 1943 ........

Via Ol' Remus


Beer Pager

Via Ninety Miles From Tyranny

Finally, my most pressing problem is cured.:)

Are we living in the Hunger Games?

Via Hype And Fail 

D.C. has power and wealth while the rest of the country suffers. It's not a question of who the odds favor.

 You know the story: While the provinces starve, the Capital City lives it up, its wheeler-dealer bigshots growing fat on the tribute extracted from the rest of the country.

We don't live in The Hunger Games yet, but I'm not the first to notice that Washington, D.C., is doing a lot better than the rest of the country. Even in upscale parts of L.A. or New York, you see boarded up storefronts and other signs that the economy isn't what it used to be. But not so much in the Washington area, where housing prices are going up, fancy restaurants advertise $92 Wagyu steaks, and the Tyson's Corner mall outshines -- as I can attest from firsthand experience -- even Beverly Hills' famed Rodeo Drive.

Meanwhile, elsewhere, the contrast is even starker. As Adam Davidson recently wrote in The New York Times, riding the Amtrak between New York and D.C. exposes stark contrasts between the "haves" of the capital and the have-nots outside the Beltway. And he correctly assigns this to the importance of power. 

Washington is rich not because it makes valuable things, but because it is powerful. With virtually everything subject to regulation, it pays to spend money influencing the regulators. As P.J. O'Rourke famously observed: "When buying and selling are controlled by legislation, the first things to be bought and sold are legislators." But it's not just bags-of-cash style corruption. Most of the D.C. boom is from lobbyists and PR people, and others who are retained to influence what the government does. It's a cold calculation: You're likely to get a much better return from an investment of $1 million on lobbying than on a similar investment in, say, a new factory or better worker training.

Angry farmers spray milk on riot police

Via Ryan

Thousands of dairy farmers on Monday protested low prices for their product, choking traffic in the Belgian capital with their tractors and spraying European Union headquarters and police with milk. One group started a fire in the street, but despite some pushing and shoving with police, there was no major violence. Farmers from several EU nations are demanding higher prices for milk, which currently is often being sold at below production costs, threatening the survival of their farms.

Poll: Should bill allowing people to take their guns to work pass?

Via Billy


We've had a great discussion this week on state Sen. Roger Bedford's prefiled bill to prohibit companies from keeping their workers from taking guns to work and keeping them in their vehicles on company property (here).

Columnist John Archibald also took on the topic (here). And The Birmingham News editorial board weighed in as well (here).

Bedford's bill will be debated by the Legislature when it goes into session in February.

Reader paperboy55 offers this: "Some employers have a policy of no guns on their property. Personally I don't think it's any of their business what I legally possess in my locked vehicle. I drive on a dark rural road to and from work and I would feel a lot safer if I could take my pistol with me. I'm tired of the constitutional rights we have to give up in this country. . . ."

Meanwhile, alabam-uh had this question: "If gun ownership is such an inalienable right, then why doesn't the government provide guns for everyone? Why is such an important right entirely dependent on whether or not you can afford one? Seems a little unfair. Why are background checks necessary for such a God-given right? Isn't that impinging on someone's rights?"

There was even a lot of humor.
BrianO'Alabaster had this quip: "Of course I keep a loaded gun at work. You never know when some lunatic will come barging into the office, saying crazy (stuff) like 'You're fired!' Got to be prepared. That's my motto."
Our poll wants to get an idea where people fall on this bill. Remember, this is not a scientific poll, but will gauge our readers' thoughts on this clearly popular topic.

Vote @ AL

What is the Truth about American Muslims, Part 1

Via midnightrider


The First Amendment Center, the Muslim Brotherhood and assorted leftists at the Interfaith Alliance have produced a polished piece of apologist propaganda for Islam. It has been getting a lot media play, because it says all the things the public would like to believe about Islam. It is a textbook
summary of arguments made by Islam’s apologists and serves as a teaching example of how to refute this propaganda using the scientific method.

The theme of this propaganda brochure is that “truth” about Islam is all about opinions. But, the truth of Islamic ideology is found in the Koran, Sira (Mohammed’s biography) and the Hadith (his Traditions). Mohammed’s acts and words are the perfect model of actions (Sunna) for all Muslims.
The grand lie of this propaganda comes from confusing cause and effect about Islam and Muslims. Islam is a concrete doctrine that produces Muslims. This brochure, What is the Truth about American Muslims, argues that we may learn about Islam from Muslims. The beauty of this approach is that you can choose the Islam you want by choosing the right Muslim. Although Islam can be precisely defined, Muslims are all over the map. There is one Islam, but 1.5 billion Muslims and whatever answer you want about Islam, you can find a Muslim who will tell you what you to hear. And that is what this piece is about—finding the Muslims who will tell you what you want to hear.

Here is the truth about Muslims. They will not tell you the whole truth, but only a half truth. Islam is inherently dualistic and holds two opposing truths at the same time. There are two Korans, an early Koran written in Mecca and a later Koran written in Medina. There is no jihad in the early Meccan Koran, but the later Medinan Koran is filled with jihad. So which is the real Islam? Both peace and war are true Islam. A Muslim will only talk about the half he needs. But, there is one Muslim who will tell you the complete truth—Mohammed. Needless to say, this propaganda does not consult him.

Knowing all of this, the following quotes are taken from the brochure, What Is the Truth about American Muslims?

“This resource has been endorsed by 21 diverse religious, secular, interfaith and civil rights organizations…”

Black Friday gun sales highest ever despite system glitch, FBI spokesman says

Via Don

Can't imagine why.........


So many gun dealers called the FBI's National Instant Criminal Background Check System, or NICS, on Black Friday that the system went down twice and was slowed for those who did get through, Maine gun dealers said Monday.

Even with the glitches, a record number of guns were sold on Black Friday all across the country, Stephen G. Fischer Jr., director of the FBI's Criminal Justice Information Services Division, said Monday.

"We had an awful time getting through all day, and sometimes we couldn't get through," Adam Copp, president of Howell's Guns & Archery Center in Gray, said Monday. "I don't know what the problem was. They set a record last Black Friday, so I figured it had something to do with that." Those who want to purchase a gun in the U.S. must fill out and sign FBI paperwork. The gun dealer then calls NICS to see if the buyer is barred by federal law from possessing firearms.

"We had people waiting and some said, 'I can't wait all day,' and left," Copp said. "We may have lost of couple of sales, but we got everything through by Saturday morning. It was the busiest day we've had all fall."

More @ TMC

73rd Anniversary of 'Gone with the Wind' Premiere Nears

Via Calvin Johnson

 Gone With the Wind premiere  

Do you, your parents or grandparents remember the year 1939 when….

The clock was turned back for the premiere of "Gone with the Wind" at the Loews Grand Theater in Atlanta, Georgia? This beautiful theater was sadly destroyed by fire in 1978 but many folks still remember when Hollywood came to Atlanta to celebrate that wonderful movie and Atlanta’s own author Margaret Mitchell whose book about the Southern people and the War Between the States would be read by millions of people around the world and be made into an exciting motion picture that has become a classic.

Do you remember when a movie premiere was a red carpet affair of excitement and you could take your family to the movies without worrying about the language or sexual content of the film?

“News that Ann Rutherford, who played Scarlett O’Hara’s little sister, died Monday brought tears to the eyes of Connie Sutherland, director of Marietta Gone with the Wind Museum”— June 13, 2012,  the Marietta Daily Journal, Marietta, Georgia.

Ann Rutherford, who died on Monday, June 11, 2012, was a friend of Marietta and was present for the 70th Anniversary re-premiere of Gone with the Wind at Marietta, Georgia’s beautifully restored Strand Theater.

Atlanta loved Ann Rutherford!

Mrs. Rutherford was also present at the premiere of Gone with the Wind, arriving in Atlanta, Georgia at 10 AM on December 13, 1939 at the Terminal Railroad Station and stayed at the Georgina Terrace Hotel as did most of the stars. The railroad station was torn down in 1972 but the building that was the hotel still remains.

Two years before the United States entered World War II; there was great jubilation throughout America, especially in the Southland, in anticipation of the world premiere of…..

"Gone with the Wind" during the Christmas Season of 1939, just 74 years after the end of the "War Between the States" and Saturday, December 15, 2012 marks the 73rdanniversary of that classic movie which opens with:

"There was a land of Cavaliers and Cotton Fields called the Old South. Here in this pretty world, Gallantry took its last bow. Here was the last ever to be seen of Knights and their Ladies Fair, of Master and of Slave. Look for it only in books, for it is no more than a dream remembered, a Civilization gone with the wind."

"Gone with the Wind" won 8 Oscars for 1939, including Best Picture, and;

Hattie McDaniel, the first Black American to win an Academy Award, expressed her heart-felt pride with tears of joy, when she was presented the 1939 Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for her unforgettable role as "Mammy."

Victor Fleming won the Academy Award for Best Director and even though Max Steiner did not receive an award for his excellent music score, the "Gone with the Wind" theme song has become the most recognizable and played tune in the world.

Vivien Leigh, who won the Academy Award for Best Actress in a leading role, humbly and eloquently summed her appreciation by thanking Producer David O. Selznick.

And, who can forget Olivia De Havilland as the pure-sweet Melanie Hamilton, Leslie Howard as Ashley Wilkes and Clark Gable as Rhett Butler.

Atlanta’s Mayor William B. Hartsfield proclaimed a three-day festival for this grand event and encouraged all women to wear hoop skirts and men to wear Old South attire.

Friday, December 15, 1939, has been described as an icy-cold day in Atlanta but folks warmed to the excitement of the premiere of "Gone with the Wind"--The Selznick International Pictures "Technicolor" Production of the Metro Goldwyn Mayer Release of Margaret Mitchell’s novel about the Old South at the Loews Grand Theater.

Do you remember Thomas Mitchell who played (Gerald O’Hara) telling daughter Scarlett:

"Do you mean to tell me, Katie Scarlett O'Hara, that Tara, that land doesn't mean anything to you? Why, land is the only thing in the world worth working for, worth fighting for, worth dying for, because it's the only thing that lasts."

And, we all wept when Bonnie Blue Butler, the daughter of Rhett and Scarlett—played by Cammie King, was killed in a pony accident.

Anne Rutherford, who played Scarlett’s sister Carreen, took time to visit the Confederate Veterans at the soldier’s home and the stars toured the famous "Cyclorama" at nearby Grant Park.

The festivities surrounding the premiere of Gone with the Wind included a parade down Peachtree Street with over three-hundred thousand people cheering the playing of "Dixie," waving Confederate flags and shouting Rebel Yells.

Many people also witnessed the lighting of the "Eternal Flame of the Confederacy," an 1855 gas lamp that survived the 1864 Battle of Atlanta. The lamp remained for many years on the northeast corner of Whitehall and Alabama Streets. Mrs. Thomas J. Ripley, President of Atlanta Chapter No. 18 United Daughters of the Confederacy, re-lit the great light with Mr. T. Guy Woolford, Commandant of the Old Guard by her side.

Johnson is a speaker, writer of Historical Essays, author of book “When America Stood for God, Family and Country” and Chairman of the Confederate History and Heritage Month Committee for the Sons of Confederate Veterans:http://www.facebook.com/ConfederateHeritageMonth.

Global first: Brit visits all 201 sovereign states in the world without flying

Via Don


A British adventurer has become the first person to travel to all 201 sovereign states in the world without flying, ending his four-year odyssey early Monday when he arrived in South Sudan, the world’s newest nation.

Graham Hughes has used buses, boats, taxis, trains, and his own two feet – but never an airplane – to travel 160,000 miles in exactly 1,426 days, spending an average of less than $100 a week.

“I love travel, and I guess my reason for doing it was I wanted to see if this could be done, by one person traveling on a shoestring,” Mr. Hughes tells the Monitor Monday by telephone from Juba, South Sudan’s capital. “I think I also wanted to show that the world is not some big, scary place, but in fact is full of people who want to help you even if you are a stranger.”

Hughes, 33, set out from his home in Liverpool in northern England on New Year’s Day 2009.
Since then, he has visited all 193 United Nations member states plus Taiwan, Vatican City, Palestine, Kosovo, Western Sahara, and the four home nations of the United Kingdom.

Guinness World Records have confirmed that Hughes, who has been filming the trip for a documentary and raising money for a charity called Water Aid, is the first person to achieve this feat without flying.

“The main feeling today is just one of intense gratitude to every person around the world who helped me get here, by giving me a lift, letting me stay on their couch, or pointing me in the right direction,” Hughes said Monday. “There were times, sitting in a bus station in Cambodia at one in the morning, riding some awful truck over bad roads, when I thought, why am I doing this? But there was always a reason to keep going.”

More @ CS Monitor

Supreme Court rejects plea to ban taping of police in Illinois

Via Don

Cook County State¿s Attorney Anita Alvarez at a news conference in June. Phil Velasquez, Chicago Tribune

The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday declined to hear an appeal of a controversial Illinois law prohibiting people from recording police officers on the job.

By passing on the issue, the justices left in place a federal appeals court ruling that found that the state's anti-eavesdropping law violates free-speech rights when used against people who audiotape police officers.

A temporary injunction issued after that June ruling effectively bars Cook County State's Attorney Anita Alvarez from prosecuting anyone under the current statute. On Monday, the American Civil Liberties Union, which brought the lawsuit against Alvarez, asked a federal judge hearing the case to make the injunction permanent, said Harvey Grossman, legal director of the ACLU of Illinois.

A manifesto for those who respect property rights

Via Michael Downing


Via Alan S. Pedersen

A tale of two Americas, California and Texas

Push to step up domestic use of drones

Via David Green

ba-1024x706-main-drones25_gr-SFCG1353724061.jpg / SF 

Eight Texas House members in the caucus received more than $746,000. And five caucus members from New York got more than $400,000 from companies connected to the business of unmanned vehicles. Rep. Henry Cuellar, D-Texas, said drone manufacturers contribute just as other interest groups do.

"We get contributions from media PACs, from teachers, from doctors and from a whole lot of companies that produce drones," Cuellar said.

The House "drone caucus" was established three years ago. Senate lawmakers followed suit this fall.
Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., co-chairman of the fledgling Senate "drone caucus," said the caucus would help frame future legislation because the use of drones "carries great potential - and great risk."

Purpose of 'drone caucus'


Cuellar also said the purpose of the House caucus is to educate other members on the need for and uses of drones for public safety, border enforcement, search-and-rescue and commercial uses. The global market for drones is expected to double in the next decade, from $6.6 billion to $11.4 billion, and could top $2.4 billion in the United States alone, said Philip Finnegan, director of corporate analysis with the Teal Group, an independent research group that studies the industry.

More @ SF Gate

Quad-copter toy could be the future of air combat

Quad-copter toy could be the future of air combat

It will soon be time for a quad-copter to be ready to lift both humans and payload, he said. In Germany, a team built a human-powered 16-blade-copter that was a quad of quads with 2-foot blades. “They got it up in the air about six feet.”

The fun part is the quad-copter dog fighting using infra-red sensors, Pedersen said.

“They’ll have an IR trigger on them and you’re in the air doing IR dogfights,” he said

“The first hit, you’ll wobble a little bit, the second hit, you lose a little power, and the third hit, it forces you to the ground for a time out,” he said.

Pedersen said he met a senior official in the military’s Predator drone program, who told him that his quad-copters would be a welcome supplement to the Predator.

“He said what he’d really love it if a Predator sees something from, say 10,000 feet, such as an improvised explosive device, and if he could then launch a tube of these mini-quad-copters that he could fire out of the rear of the Predator, then fall down to about 1,000 feet and guide down to take a particular look and if it really was an IED, they could sit on it and with a small charge detonate the thing,” the QFO Labs CEO said.

Ten years ago, it was just a nifty idea, he said.

More @ Human Events

Black Friday: Treasury Borrowed $211.69 Per U.S. Household on Day After Thanksgiving


The U.S. Treasury increased the net debt of the United States $24,327,048,384.38 on the day after Thanksgiving, which equals approximately $211.69 for each of the nation’s 114,916,000 households.

At the close of business last Wednesday, according to the Treasury, the national debt was $16,283,161,895,179.85. On Thanksgiving, the Treasury took the day off and did no borrowing. But on Friday, the Treasury increased the debt of the United States to $16,307,488,943,564.23. That was a one-day increase of $24,327,048,384.38.

More @ CNS

Small Business Owner Gives Obama a Piece of His Mind

Some U.S. business owners got a chance Monday to meet with White House advisors and give their own take on the fiscal cliff, tax hikes and more.

Among the entrepreneurs invited to the discussion was Drew Greenblatt, president of Marlin Steel (www.MarlinWire.com ) -- a small business in Baltimore, Md.It was unclear at press time if President Obama attended the meeting.

Ahead of the meeting, Greenblatt said he has one thing on his mind.
“We’ve got to increase job creation, fast,” he told FOX Business. “This recession has gone on too long, and now is the time for us to turn it around by creating certainty.”

As for those looming tax increases for those making above $250,000 annually, Greenblatt said he was going to deliver a message that the move would stunt economic growth and hiring. American factories, he said, are one example of a small business that pays taxes on a personal level of income. Increasing their tax rate will deter potential for economic gains.

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Philip Stanley, Johns Hopkins, the Navy, and Me A Question of Medical Malpractiee

Such a shame.  After the VA took out my voice box, I awoke a few days later and almost coughed to death.  Fortunately the gauze, that the 8 people in the operating room had missed seeing when they sewed me back up, popped out of the hole in my neck.  A little bit longer, I would have died and it would have been covered up, guaranteed.


Fred Reed

This column may bore most readers. Bear with me. I offer it as a warning to the public.

On April 26, 2010, I went to see Dr. Philip Stanley, an eye surgeon at the Eye Clinic of Bethesda Naval Hospital of Bethesda, Maryland, for what he described as a routine removal of sutures following a corneal transplant at Johns Hopkins. In less than a half hour he ripped my eye wide open, inducing a massive choroidal hemorrhage and total detachment of the retina, leaving the eye blind. My attorney filed a malpractice suit under the Federal Tort Claims Act to Robert Thomas, of the Office of the Judge Advocate General in Norfolk, Va. The following are documents submitted under the FTCA. Stanley has since been at the Wilmer Eye Clinic of Johns Hopkins, which is aware of the malpractice suit. This sugests that despite good reputation--both Johns Hopkins and Bethesda Naval are thought to be of high quality--it is wise to research very, very carefully the physician who will attned you.

Robert Thomas of the Office of the Judge Advocate General's office simply didn't respond to the suit despite repeated requests.

What Happened: Statement of Fred Reed

The CFR and Marxist Worldviews—is there any difference?

Via Billy


Some have inquired as to whether the worldviews of the One World groups like the Council on Foreign Relations, the Trilateral Commission, and the Bilderberg Group are identical to those of various Marxist and socialist groups.

While I realize there may be some subtle differences, I feel that the worldviews of all these groups are pretty much in the same ballpark, although expressed differently. It’s somewhat like the rhetorical differences between the Republican and Democratic Parties. They both want to drive us off the same cliff but one is willing to do it a little slower than the other. However the ultimate drop after you go over the cliff is the same, whether you got there faster or slower.

Most know that Karl Marx was the author of The Communist Manifesto  which outlined Marx’s view of how to take a country over. Interestingly enough, he had ten points listed in the Manifesto on how to do this. His reinterpretation of the Ten Commandments?

Marx was a boring writer and his work could be described, as one man said years ago, as “reams and reams of toilet paper.” What most folks don’t realize, though, is that although Marx was the author, the ideas he presented in the Manifesto were not totally his. In fact, Marx was a hack writer who was hired by an organization called “The League of the Just” to write the Manifesto. The first edition of that work did not even list him as the author. In later editions he was allowed to put his name on it and take credit for it—but not for the premier edition, which I have seen pictures of, and his name does not appear on it

Premiere Firearms Auction

Government Crushes Innovative Online Prediction Market Intrade.com

Via Oleg Volk


Today, Americans were told that they must close their Intrade.com accounts. That happened because the federal government agency known as the "Commodity Futures Trading Commission" (CFTC) today sued the prediction market, where people from all over the world bet about things like who will win elections.

Intrade decided all its U.S. customers must now close their accounts and withdraw their money from the site.

That's terrible news for all of us who want more input into what's going to happen in the future. Bettors on Intrade.com have made incredibly accurate predictions about elections - because they, unlike TV pundits, have real money on the line. This year, I watched on election night as TV pundits said "too close to call... too close to call..." while the bettors on Intrade knew that it was not a close call.

Intrade has also successfully predicted events like Saddam Hussein's capture and the winner of the Oscars. People with the best information trade about those events, and drive up the odds on Intrade.
Why did the American government sue Intrade? It was not for operating an online gambling operation, but for allegedly violating America's incomprehensible financial regulations -- specifically, these ones:

"Section 4c(b) and 9(a)(3) of the [Commodity Exchange] Act, §§6c(b) and 13(a)(3) (2006); Section 2(e) of the Act, as amended by the Dodd-Frank Act, to be codified at 7 U.S.C. § 2(e); and Regulation 32, as amended, to be codified at 17 C.F.R. § 32 (2011);" 

In English: the government says that many of the things Intrade allows people to predict - everything from what the price of gold will be in the future to whether the U.S. will go to war soon - are legally considered "commodity options," and that Intrade broke the law because it isn't licensed to trade those. The penalty is $140,000 per violation.

In a press release, the CFTC's chief enforcer went out of his way to target "prediction markets":

"It is against the law to solicit U.S. persons to buy and sell commodity options, even if they are called ‘prediction' contracts, unless they are... traded on a CFTC-registered exchange... Today's action should make it clear that we will intervene in the ‘prediction' markets, wherever they may be based."
Why doesn't Intrade just obey the complicated law and become a licensed exchange? They tried, but the CFTC won't give them a license. When an established, licensed U.S. commodity exchange applied for permission to do what Intrade does, the CFTC turned them down, too.

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