sunset from behind the wire

sunset from behind the wire

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Tough Christmas for the Cartels

The Sinaloa Federation has had a rough Christmas Season so far, and their 'luck' seems to have deserted them. The Mexican drug cartels take December off and usually go back to their wicked ways after the first week of January. This year has been no different. But while crime has taken a holiday, and while you've been enjoying your Christmas Season, oblivious to the 'war next door', they have been punched again and again thanks to a partnership between the Mexican Government and their allies in the United States.

Cartel Security Chief - Filipe Cabrera Sarabia (El Inge/The Engineer) was arrested in Sinaloa on Friday (almost a week ago). (link)

Cartel European Operations Chief - Luis Rodriguez Olivera was arrested in Mexico yesterday as he tried to board a commercial flight to Paris. (link)

Cartel Weapons Chief - Nicolas Balcazar Lopez (El Bronco) was arrested in Guadalajara a little over a week ago, but strangely, he was subsequently released.

Christmas in Mexico this year has a different spin on it.

Merry Christmas, Drug Cartels...

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Christmas Greetings

Peace on Earth


The season conjures up memories of holidays past, of the present, and hopes of future joy with family and friends. Irrespective of your faith or system of religion (or lack thereof), the concept of a time when peace is celebrated and family values are practiced is something to be sought after. 

It has nothing to do with spending money in packed shopping malls and everything to do with what is important. Not everything that counts can be counted - not everything that can be counted, counts. There is a higher standard of living and it has to do with sharing love and fellowship.  At Christmas, we seem to put aside some of the pettyness of routine life (I said some, not all) as people and to think about those who matter to us in our lives. At least that is the ideal. I hope that you all have an ideal Christmas.



Good will to everyone, everywhere.


However, for those of you who are not Christians...and on the lighter side...

Sunday, December 18, 2011

It's all about choice

In a difficult world where situations can call for an aggressive defense, you need to find something that works for you.

This is my official endorsement for the Heckler and Kock MP7A1. I carried the H & K G-36 Commando and my unit was the first in the United States to be so equipped. I thought that it was an exceptionally fine weapon until the MP7A1 was introduced. There are still situations where the G-36 has advantages, but for a personal defense weapon, it's going to be a long time before somebody tops the MP7. It's clearly superior to the much-loved MP5-K.


The MP7 essentially operates like a scaled-down rifle with the same short stroke piston style action as the G-36. It fires a specially designed, armor-piercing round with a muzzle velocity nearly as high as that of the 5.56x45 mm NATO cartridge used by many modern rifles. This ammunition is unique among submachine guns in that the bullet is made almost entirely of a hardened steel penetrator instead of softer copper or lead designed to defeat body armor. The ammunition is virtually exclusive to the gun. VBR of Belgium produces a 4.6x30mm 2-part controlled fragmenting projectile that is claimed to increase the content of the permanent wound cavity and double the chance to hit a vital organ.

The weapon allows a conventional 20-round, 30-round, or 40-round box magazine to be fit within the pistol grip (the 20-round magazine being comparable in size to a 15-round 9mm magazine, while the 40-round magazine compares to a 30-round 9 mm magazine). The weapon features an ambidextrous fire-select lever and rear cocking grip. It has an extendable stock and a folding front grip; it can be fired either one-handed or two-handed.

It can also be fitted with a silencer for situations where you don't want to announce your presence.



PEACE  THROUGH  SUPERIOR  FIREPOWER


Thursday, December 15, 2011

Mexican Politics Today

In China, politics has been described as two chameleons having sexual intercourse.

Mexico is a little different. Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador had thrown his hat into the ring to represent the Democratic Revolution Party (Mexican Communist Party) for the presidential contest once again. Six years ago he almost won.

However, the smart money is with Enrique Pena Nieto, undeclared winner of the sifting contest held by the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI). The Last two presidents [Fox and the presently seated Calderon are from the National Action Party (PAN)], which is not expected to do well since their last two winners are not  particularly popular, having lead the nation into a bloodbath-style narco-war. 

Can I share snarky short hand on the two leading candidates?

Andres Lopez Obrador wants to take from the rich and give to the poor. Not a bad way to earn votes (see USA - Barack H. Obama). But he won't win any friends among the business, and middle classes, who he wants to loot to pay the peyones. 

Enrique Pena Nieto wants to stop the war with the narcos. Cynics will say that he wants to go back to the old days when the Army decided who moved drugs when and where and they franchised out the business. With the Army (SEDENA) picking winners and losers, the narco-war might end. So say the Pena Nieto supporters. There is only one flaw with that way of thinking. SEDENA already picks winners and losers and the war drags on with more and more casualties. Informed insiders put the death toll of President Calderon's administration at somewhere in the neighborhood of 150,000 organized crime murders. Mexico cheats on the statistics to try and keep those tourism dollars flowing south and to keep their supporters voting for the PAN party...

The narcos seem to be lining up behind Enrique Pena Nieto, and in a nation where well over a third of all business loans are financed by drug cartels*, voters may consider their pocket books.

Meanwhile, in the United States, nobody seems to take the narco-war over the fence on the other side of the border very seriously. However, we are still spending trillions on war and foreign aid in the Middle East and the Asian Subcontinent. If anyone can tell me why, and you can make sense, please respond below.

LAST YEAR - The US sold firearms to drug cartels without making an effort to track them.

LAST WEEK - The United States proposed an unmanned border crossing between the US and Mexico four days ago. (Fox News Link). I only have one question - Why? It makes no sense to me, however, the US National Park Service wants this. Read for yourself.

And if my postulate above comes to pass and the organized crime/drug mafia approved candidate comes to office in Mexico, what does that say to people living in the US about the people on the other side of the border. Or, in the end, does it even matter? 

Graphic courtesy WoFat

*Statistic courtesy - Mexico Operations Group (MOG)

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?


The Obama Administration, frustrated by the lack of any substantial evidence that legitimate American firearms dealers were selling guns to drug cartels came up with an ingenious plan. They'd do it themselves through the gun dealers, and then use the statistics to deprive Americans of their Constitutional right to own firearms (Second Amendment guarantee). However, trusting a law enforcement agency to engage in a clandestine political activity and not botch the job completely has never been a very good idea.

"But ultimately the Obama administration still faces a bigger problem. Can they ever come up with any remotely plausible explanation for why anyone would have started a program to push untraceable guns into Mexico? The longer it takes to provide an explanation, the more plausible the conspiracy theorists sound that this was all done for politics."
Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2011/12/09/fast-and-furious-scandal-cries-out-for-answers/#ixzz1g7diPlG8

Law Enforcement is not able to toss the cloak of "national security" over an operation like Gunrunner/Fast and Furious. Particularly when they don't even attempt to track the weapons that they sold to Mexican drug cartels.
The "Fast & Furious" scandal is getting messier and messier. New e-mails finally released late this past Friday reveal that the Department of Justice personal viewed the then-secret operation as a way to push for more gun control laws. Read more at American Perspective.
And I can't help but think that this gross attempt to deprive Americans of their Constitutional Rights is one of those things that the US Justice Department was designed to prosecute. The problem is that it's that very Justice Department who promoted this practice. What then is the remedy. Who prosecutes the US Justice Department? Congress is not really set up to do that. They can Impeach but they're not prosecutors. We could call for a removal from office, but it would be that very same Obama Administration who replaced the wrong doers with other operatives from its ranks of Democratic Party Faithful.

Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?
(Who watches the guards?)

It's useful at this point to review the Mexican Organized Crime Groups that are operating in Mexico today because you can't tell the players without a program.
  • 



Sinaloa Federation 
Cartel

  • 






Los
 Zetas

  • Arellano
 Felix Organization (Tijuana 
Cartel
)
  • Carrillo 
Fuentes Organization 
(Ciudad 
Juarez Cartel
)
  • 






La
 Familia
 Michoacana
, officially destroyed this summer, because they changed their name to Los Cabelleros Templario (The Knights Templar). So were they destroyed by the Mexican Government or did they just call themselves something different in order for MEXGOV to claim a victory in their war against drug cartels? 
  • 






La
 Mano
con
 Ojos
 (The
 Hand 
with 
Eyes)
 
  • 






South
 Pacific
 Cartel (Beltran Leyva Cartel)
  • Milenio Cartel (also known as the Valencia Cartel or the New Colima Cartel
  • 






La 
Nueva
 Administracion 
(The 
New 
Administration Cartel, operating principally in Mexico City)
 
  • 






El 
Cartel
 Independiente
de 
Acapulco
 (CIDA)
 (The 
Independent
 Cartel 
from
 Acapulco)
  • 






El
 Cartel
 de
 Jalisco 
Nueva 
Generacion

  • El Cartel de Colima Nueva Generacion
  • La 
Resistencia 
  • Gulf Cartel
  • Norte del Valle de Colombia (Yes it's a Colombian Cartel, but they have a presence in Mexico
  • Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia – Ejército del Pueblo (FARC) - Colombian Marxist revolutionaries who are not strictly operating in Mexico and across the US Border, but they have a close working relationship with Mexican Organized Crime so I added them gratuitously to the list.
If I missed your favorite cartel, please forgive me. They do tend to pop up regularly under new organization.

Now, this is my question to you, dear readers. Which of these drug cartels should the US Justice Department sell firearms to without tracking them and call it a "secret law enforcement operation"? Should we be a respecter of cartels, or should we sell to them all out of a sense of fairness? AND if the shoe was on the other foot and Mexican Drug Cartels sold automatic weapons, purchased from China and the Middle East to American drug gangs, should we protest (because they do)?


This mess is brought to you by the US Department of Justice, Eric Holder, Attorney General  - and his boss, President Barack Hussein Obama.

Welcome to the ObamaNation...


Tuesday, December 6, 2011

An Encounter in Iraq

A Marine squad was marching north of Fallujah when they came upon an Iraqi terrorist who was badly injured and unconscious. On the opposite side of the road  an American Marine lay on the ground in a similar but less serious state. 

The Marine was conscious and alert and as first aid was given to both men, the squad leader asked the injured Marine what had happened. 

The Marine reported:
"I was heavily armed and moving north along the highway here, and coming south was a heavily armed insurgent. We saw each other and both took cover in the ditches along the road.    
"I yelled to him that Saddam Hussein was a miserable, lowlife scum bag who got what he deserved.  
"And he yelled back that Barack Obama is a lying, good-for-nothing, left wing Commie who isn't even an American.  
"So I said that Osama Bin Laden dresses and acts like a frigid, mean-spirited lesbian!  
"He retaliated by yelling, 'Oh yeah? Well, so does Nancy Pelosi!' 
"And, there we were, in the middle of the road, shaking hands, when a truck hit us."



###

Sunday, December 4, 2011

The War Next Door

It's an interesting war really. And somewhat unique since there are occasions when prisoners are released from a prison, go forth, commit massacres and then they go back into custody that night. Check out this link from PBS

As the reporter in the PBS piece reports, it's not unusual for one political hopeful who is doing badly in the polls to hire a narco-assassin to murder his more successful opponent.  Welcome to modern Mexico. I haven't read the book being touted by PBS - El Narco: Inside Mexico's Criminal Insurgency. However, I sort of live that every day so I'm sure that I'd end up finding fault here and there. Part of the problem with the whole examination of Mexican drug cartels is a general ignorance on the part of Americans (even most in law enforcement circles) as to how they really work.

There was a time when 220 lbs (100 kg) of cocaine sounded like a lot to me. Today, a ton of cocaine (standard or metric ton, doesn't matter) doesn't even cause me to raise an eyebrow. Am I becoming a cynic?

I hear people asking, "what is the United States doing" about the war across the border. The official death toll is 45,000 - and the real numbers according to people who live the war are likely exceeding 150,000. To get an official answer, you'd have to go to somebody like Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano. However, she doesn't have a clue. And US Attorney General Eric Holder would lie to you in much the same way as he lies to Congress regarding his roll in Operation Gunrunner (Democratic Party effort to impose gun control on the innocent firearms owners in the US by manufacturing false statistics through facilitating the transfer of thousands of firearms to the Sinaloa Federation in the hope that they'd use them in the US against citizens, therefore creating a hue and cry against US gun stores).

It's the War Next Door.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Cool Cars

I happen to like cars. 

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Bloody Blogging in Mexico

As some of you know who follow the rantings on this blog know, I try to keep touch with what's going on in Latin America. It's a hobby with me.

Yesterday while I was slumming in Northern Mexico, I learned that apparently Cartel Jalisco Nueva Generacion is targeting bloggers who bad-mouth drug cartels. I immediately felt somewhat slighted because I've been bad-mouthing the bastards for a long time with no repercussions. That leads me to believe that I haven't been bad-mouthing them enough. (check this out) And the subliminal message is that I'm a looser. 

CBS News carried this story (LINK) where 26 men were shot in the head and dismembered a day or two ago in Guadalajara. I know, it's not real news because another 26 or 260 people dismembered, beheaded or hanging from an over pass with piano wire is sort of 'life in the fast lane' in Bloody Mexico these days.

The CBS News piece (cited above) suggests that this is the result of a gang war between Los Zetas and the Sinaloa Federation, or perhaps La Resistencia (a joint cartel effort dedicated to resisting Los Zetas that has some interesting dynamics attached to it). I suspect that it's a turf war within the Sinaloa Federation and that the 26 dismembered bodies (I could show photos here, but good taste forbids it) simply sent a message. So I differ from the locals in Guadalajara who harbor an opinion other than mine.

But one thing that I know (not for sure) is that the 26 dismembered corpses were not bloggers, because some of them had their hands remaining on their arms. And when the cartel murders a blogger, they always cut off his or her hands -- to send a message.

If you want a nice vacation, go to Mexico, it's the antidote for civilization. (LINK) You can do everything on your Mexican vacation or you could end up doing absolutely nothing...

Thursday, November 24, 2011

The Sin of Ingratitude

I have a lot of faults, but I hope that ingratitude is not among the list.

On this Thanksgiving Day, I feel more profoundly moved toward being grateful for the bounty that I have enjoyed in my life. Reflecting back to my youth on the things that I had hoped to do both professionally and personally, I managed to do them all. It's not small thing when you consider both my ego and ambitious nature. Less that be considered boastful, let me assure you that it's a matter of thankfulness that I have had the circumstances presented to me where I could do those things. 

One of the nice things about being in middle age is the presence of grandchildren in my life. It's a reward for raising children with the sort of values that they themselves would want to bring their own children into the world and raise them up to honorable adulthood.

I don't want to leave you with the impression that what I have had as an American, and as a man has come easily. The shouters and marchers who crowd some urban centers even today on Thanksgiving are demanding a free ride through life. Freedom isn't free, and neither is bread. 

In order to keep from drowning, the US Navy taught me techniques called "drown-proofing". Going through this ordeal wasn't easy, but I learned how NOT to drown. And I'm thankful for those hard times that helped to make me hard. The movement for 'free everything' doesn't understand that whatever you do to earn freedom involves some sort of pain. And while I didn't want the pain at the time, I'm even thankful for that. (though endless flutter kicks in training conjure up a really painful memory)

I'm thankful for my country and for what it usually stands for, though there have been times in my life where I looked at the flat - or at some of the people voted into positions of great responsibility, and felt ashamed.  For the most part, my nation has stood for the right things, and has encouraged people to work and earn so that they could have the dignity of earning what they ate. There is a dignity that is imparted by work. I'm thankful that I was healthy enough to work and to earn compensation for my labor.

I'm grateful for love, having loved and having been loved. Some people don't know that they are loved. A lot of those people are well compensated actors and reality show participants, who can be seen wallowing in their sorrows on television every single day. I don't fit into that category, and I'm thankful for it.

I'm fortunate enough to have friends. Not a lot, but enough, and people that I care about and who in turn care about me. A couple of days ago an acquaintance asked me about a friend of mine, who was part of the Somalia disaster that inspired the feature film Blackhawk Down. He was shot three times on the streets of Mogadishu while he served his country, and survived to fight another day. I explained, "He's my friend because he'd take my back. And if somebody hit me in the back, I'd know that he was laying dead behind me." That is my definition of friendship. The friendship I give and that which I demand. It's a litmus test for commitment demanded of true friends. A man with friends like that can't help but be humbled by the honor they do by offering that sort of friendship.

Happy Thanksgiving - It's our right as Americans to eat too much, watch football on TV and spend some time with family and friends.

###


Thursday, November 17, 2011

Bloody Mexico - and Central America


I've heard a lot of buzz about the Mexican drug cartels moving into Central America. It's not news because they've been there for a long time. What is newer (though not exactly new) is the trend for Mexican narcos to buy estates/ranches/estancias in Central American countries to avoid the narco-politics and hassles in Mexico.

And while a vacation in Bloody Mexico is clearly 'the antidote for civilization', you can rub shoulders with a lot of famous and not-so-famous drug kingpins when you visit Central America. But usually they're on vacation too posing as 'industrialists'. That means that 'you' may not get your first choice in seating at the best restaurants, but you can dine with confidence because the bodyguards will shoot first and ask questions later if some 'suspicious outsider' tries to worm their way into the restaurant where you are seated.  You see a lot of age disparity both with vacationers and narcos when you visit hotspots in Central America. 
"Guatemalan President-elect Otto Perez Molina told Mexican newspaper El Universal on Nov. 9 that he plans to engage drug cartels in a “full frontal assault” when he takes office in 2012. The former general said he will use Guatemala’s elite military forces, known as Los Kaibiles, to take on the drug cartels in a strategy similar to that of the Mexican government; he has asked for U.S. assistance in this struggle." 
Even the Central American governments are trying to cash in on the chase to apprehend narcos now. It makes sense when you think about it. The USGOV doles out cash and helicopters (used for joy rides mainly) and when groups like Los Kaibiles apprehend a narco, they expect a bribe to let him go. So it's really a win/win for nations such as Guatemala. 

Do I sound like a cynic?


Read more: The Mexican Drug Cartel Threat in Central America | STRATFOR 

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Why Mitt Romney will be the Republican candidate in 2012

There's a lot of political buzzzz in media circles as the mainstream media struggles to remove Herman Cain from the Republican gene pool. It simply wouldn't do for a half-black man to run against a black man for president. What would that do to affirmative action? What would that say about America? It is a liberal's worst nightmare. The mainstream media will keep pounding on Herman Cain - like an unwanted stepchild. (Palin scenario all over again) Herman is not ready to be president anyway, but the mainstream media isn't concerned with that - just as they weren't concerned about Obama's dismal lack of qualifications.

But this blog post is about Mitt Romney, not Herman Cain. And it's not about Rick Perry, who is trying to learn to debate and figure out what to say while he's running. Because there is a steep learning curve in the race to be president. You have to nail those talking points down. Rick didn't know that before he started out on this and he's ended up looking less than qualified. Newt Gingrich has surged in the polls because people have jumped ship on Perry and they saw Herman failing and didn't like Mitt enough to want to vote for him. But Newt won't be nominated for president by the Republican Party. You heard it here first... (maybe not first)

It comes down to the comparison between Romney and Obama, because that's who will be left standing next year when all of the shouting dies off and the race begins in earnest.

Romney (unlike Perry) has been running for president for the past several years and has a smooth machine in place. He's thought through the issues with his brain trust and they have a line to promote that doesn't take a firm stand anywhere. It makes political sense while infuriating groups like the Tea Party who want to see a conservative scrapper take on Obama and the establishment left. Unlike Cain, he's not black (not a threat to the establishment media's ability to define one candidate as opposed to another) and he's a genuine RINO. He's every bit as liberal as John McCain and looks more presidential than McCain. If that makes the American voting public seem shallow - recall that they put Barack Hussein Obama in the White House.

The average American mistrusts Obama at just about every possible level and Romney will appear to be that firm, steady, just slightly right of center candidate who gives them a comfortable alternative to the seated president.

There's not a lot to hate about Mitt Romney because he hasn't given America anything to hate about him, unless you simply hate Mormons in a generic way. And most people don't. Not anymore than they hate Black Liberation Theologists like Barack Obama. 

Romney will appeal to voters by promising to bring a palatability to government and by removing the radical change-and-rearrange Obama socialist movement that flopped so badly. He will also offer home for an improved economy while Obama is running with double digit unemployment in place. In short, Romney will be the Republican Candidate because he's not making mistakes. He's been running for a long time and he knows what to do and what not to do in order to win. And Romney quite simply intends to win.

Meanwhile, Obama is trying to reinvent himself (yet again).





Monday, November 14, 2011

Where's there is a FARC, there's fire.

I know that nobody in the lower 48 really cares that Alfonso Cano (true name: Guillermo Leon Saenz Vargas), the leader of FARC (Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia) went to the hot place last week. Yes, Cano (pictured - left) died in a shoot-out on November 5th, after he was tracked down and killed. Really, he's not much more than another drug kingpin and he ended badly as they tend to do. Some in Colombia will assert that he was a freedom fighter. And that FARC, funded almost entirely by cocaine profits, is 'pure in its Marxism'. But personally, I fear that people who feel that way are 'using their own product' far too much. Cano had a lot of blood on his hands while living and now his clay rests in a government freezer in Bogota, waiting for final internment. 

Today, FARC supplies selected Mexican drug cartels with cocaine product, which they move across the US Border to American consumers. When it becomes tough to move dope, they kidnap people. Trying to put a happy revolutionary face on FARC is impossible, but I'm shocked at the number of liberal Americans (mostly college professors) who try to.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Just FARCing around

In my work in Mexico, I've recently become aware of how deeply the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia-Ejército del Pueblo) is  in bed with many of the Mexican Cartels. I don't know how involved they are with Los Zetas, but they seem to be joined at the hip with the Sinaloa Federation and The Caballeros Templario (formerly La Familia Michoacan, for those of you keeping track).

FARC is a Marxis-Lenninist guerrilla army, that was formed from the Colombian Communist Party. It is based in Colombia and it opposes US involvement in Colombia. FARC fields about 10,000 soldiers and roughly the same number of non-combatants who provide logistical support, intelligence and work as plainclothes militia in the barrios. 

They (among others) are part of the coterie of actors who supply cocaine to the Mexican Narcotics Cartels. Some downplay FARC's involvement in the cocaine trade, but those doubters would be wrong. I'm not contending that the traditional Colombian Drug Cartels (not to be confused with their Mexican cousins) are out of the picture. I merely suggest to you that FARC and possibly Ejercito de Liberacion Nacional (ELN), the other and smaller communist revolutionary army in Colombia, have more to do with supplying cocaine than I (and anyone I know) thought that they did.

However, Presidente Hugo Chavez (Venezuela) supports FARC, and we all know that Hugo and President Barack Hussein Obama are friends. So I don't know where it puts the USA in all of this intrigue. I don't have any information that the US Government is facilitating smuggling firearms to FARC in the way that they did to the Sinaloa Federation through Operation Fast and Furious (with ATF as the front man).

In Operation Castaway (LINK HERE), the US Government sold firearms to criminal gangs in Honduras through the ATF Tampa Field Division according to the Fox News Report. But they didn't sell to Colombians as far as anyone knows. Right?

President Obama and Presidente-for-Life Hugo Chavez (Venezuela)

Presidente-for-Life Chavez and Linda Panetta, daughter of Defense Secretary Leon Panetta

Presidente-for-Life Chavez will hug anyone, but it seems almost sexual
when he's with Iranian strong man President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

I don't know for sure how close Chavez is to FARC. But HE provides them with weapons and ammo. (LINK TO CNN). It makes you wonder if Hugo buys his arms and ammo in the US these days, doesn't it?


Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Silk?

What's up with Silk (besides being a self-assembling protein)?



I guess that it's not just for men's ties and women's scarves anymore.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Thanksgiving Day 2024

This is not original with me, however, it's food for thought in the land of the ObamaNation.

  "Winston, come into the dining room, it's time to eat," Julia yelled to her husband. 
  "In a minute, honey, it's a tied score," he answered.
  Actually Winston wasn't very interested in the traditional holiday football game between Detroit and Washington.
  Ever since the government passed the Civility in Sports Statute of 2017, outlawing tackle football for its "unseemly violence" and the "bad example it sets for the rest of the world", Winston was far less of a football fan than he used to be.
  Two-hand touch wasn't nearly as exciting. Yet it wasn't the game that Winston was uninterested in. It was more the thought of eating another Tofu Turkey. Even though it was the best type of Veggie Meat available after the government revised the American Anti-Obesity Act of 2018, adding fowl to the list of federally-forbidden foods, (which already included potatoes, cranberry sauce, and mincemeat pie), it wasn't anything like real turkey.
  And ever since the government officially changed the name of "Thanksgiving Day" to "A National Day of Atonement" in 2020, to officially acknowledge the Pilgrims' historically brutal treatment of Native Americans, the holiday had lost a lot of its luster.
  Eating in the dining room was also a bit daunting. The unearthly gleam of government-mandated CFL light bulbs made the Tofu Turkey look even weirder than it actually was, and the room was always cold.
  Ever since Congress passed the Power Conservation Act of 2016, mandating all thermostats - which were monitored and controlled by the electric company - be kept at 68 degrees, every room on the north side of the house was barely tolerable throughout the entire winter.
  Still, it was good getting together with family. Or at least most of the family.
  Winston missed his mother, who passed on in October, when she had used up her legal allotment of life-saving medical treatment.
  He had had many heated conversations with the Regional Health Consortium, spawned when the private insurance market finally went bankrupt, and everyone was forced into the government health care program. And though he demanded she be kept on her treatment, it was a futile effort.
  "The RHC's resources are limited", explained the government bureaucrat Winston spoke with on the phone. "Your mother received all the benefits to which she was entitled. I'm sorry for your loss"
  Ed couldn't make it either. He had forgotten to plug in his electric car last night, the only kind available after the Anti-Fossil Fuel Bill of 2016 outlawed the use of the combustion engines - for everyone but government officials.
  The fifty mile round trip was about ten miles too far, and Ed didn't want to spend a frosty night on the road somewhere between here and there.
  Thankfully, Winston's brother, John, and his wife were flying in.
  Winston made sure that the dining room chairs had extra cushions for the occasion. No one complained more than John about the pain of sitting down so soon after the government-mandated cavity searches at airports, which severely aggravated his hemorrhoids. Ever since a terrorist successfully smuggled a cavity bomb onto a jetliner, the TSA told Americans the added "inconvenience" was an "absolute necessity" in order to stay "one step ahead of the terrorists."
  Winston's own body had grown accustomed to such probing ever since the government expanded their scope to just about anywhere a crowd gathered, via Anti-Profiling Act of 2020. That law made it a crime to single out any group or individual for "unequal scrutiny," even when probable cause was involved. Thus, cavity searches at malls, train stations, bus depots, etc., etc., had become almost routine.  Almost.
  The Supreme Court is reviewing the statute, but most Americans expect a Court composed of six progressives and three conservatives to leave the law intact. "A living Constitution is extremely flexible", said the Court's eldest member, Elena Kagan. "Europe has had laws like this one for years. We should learn from their example", she added.
  Winston's thoughts turned to his own children. He got along fairly well with his 12-year-old daughter, Brittany, mostly because she ignored him. Winston had long ago surrendered to the idea that she could text anyone at any time, even during Atonement Dinner. Their only real confrontation had occurred when he limited her to 50,000 texts a month, explaining that was all he could afford. She whined for a week, but finally got over it.
  His 16-year-old son, Jason, was another matter altogether. Perhaps it was the constant bombarding he got in public school that global warming, the bird flu, terrorism, or any of a number of other calamities were "just around the corner", but Jason had developed a kind of nihilistic attitude that ranged between simmering surliness and outright hostility.
  It didn't help that Jason had reported his father to the police for smoking a cigarette in the house, an act made criminal by the Smoking Control Statute of 2018, which outlawed smoking anywhere within 500 feet of another human being.
  Winston paid the $5,000 fine, which might have been considered excessive before the American dollar became virtually worthless as a result of QE13. The latest round of "quantitative easing" the federal government initiated was, once again, to "spur economic growth." This time, they promised to push unemployment below its years-long rate of 18%, but Winston was not particularly hopeful.
  Yet the family had a lot for which to be thankful, Winston thought, before remembering it was a Day of Atonement.
  At least, he had his memories.
  He felt a twinge of sadness when he realized his children would never know what life was like in the Good Old Days, long before government promises to make life "fair for everyone" realized their full potential.
  "Maybe we wouldn't be where we are today if we'd just said 'enough is enough' when we had the chance," he thought.
Maybe so, Winston. Maybe so.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Do we live in the City of Brass?


Tax the rich, feed the poor? 'till there are no rich no more?


..They said: “Who has hate in his soul? Who has envied his neighbour? 
Let him arise and control both that man and his labour.” 
They said: “Who is eaten by sloth? Whose unthrift has destroyed him? 
He shall levy a tribute from all because none have employed him.” 
They said: “Who hath toiled, who hath striven, and gathered possession? 
Let him be spoiled. He hath given full proof of transgression.” 
They said: “Who is irked by the Law? Though we may not remove it. 
If he lend us his aid in this raid, we will set him above it!
So the robber did judgment again upon such as displeased him, 
The slayer, too, boasted his slain, and the judges released him. 
----Kipling, The City of Brass, written in 1909. Read the whole work at the link cited.



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Thursday, October 20, 2011

The Secret Plans

It may be that I'm the only one who notices that every single presidential candidate running for office is "working on his plan for America's financial health"... except Herman Cain. The secret plans are getting a little old. When you announce that you want to be the leader of the free world, shouldn't you already have a plan? 

Call me old fashioned if you will. (h/t Dale for the graphic, right)

The odious, coercive politics of 'pass the bill so you can see what's in it' is at the same time what we're seeing with the presidential field - none of whom want to come out with anything out of fear that it won't be popular.

America has seen Obama's plan and we know that it didn't work. By extension, we know that his new plans (more stimulus, more debt, more spending) won't work any better than his last one has. The hope and change fizzled and nobody in Europe is planning on pushing for another Nobel Prize or any other reward for Obama. He was acclaimed  for the color of his (father's) skin. That's about as far as it's gone. Even though a black man can be president, we still have affirmative action and all of the welfare vestiges of Johnson's Great Society.

Secret Plan Example: We know that Obama and friends had a plan to institute tough gun control in America. They would sell guns from America secretly to narcotics mafia members in Mexico and then have the Mexican Army seize them and demonstrate that there was a NEED for gun control. However, the secret plan didn't work. 

What I don't want to see is a field of Republican presidential candidates who all have 'secret plans' for America's economic recovery. There is no need for a secret. TELL US and we'll make up our minds for ourselves.

Explaining to me that you are working on a plan that I'm sure to like is not enough! Suggesting that once you're in the White House, you're going to unveil your new plan -- is a secret plan. 

One parting shot: I hate the idea of a national VAT (Cain's 9-9-9) and would rather see a flat income tax of somewhere around 18% for EVERYONE who earns money in America. No deductions for anything. However,  I'm sure that a lot of you will take exception with my suggestion.


Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Breaking Bad (TV Series)

I'm not a big TV series guy. However, I need to confess that lately, I've become a fan of Breaking Bad. The AMC television series recently completed its fourth season and I'm told by one of the law enforcement advisors who works with the show that there will be a fifth season with 16 episodes that may show over two years.

The law enforcement types who I'm friendly with have been urging me to watch this show and I resisted (see paragraph one). Until lately. I didn't want to watch at television show about people who cooked meth. However, friends prevailed on me. Utilizing my daughter's Netflix account, I went back to the beginning and when there was 'nothing on' in the evening, retreated to the den and watched past episodes on the computer. Now I'm hooked.

For those of you who didn't see the show, this is the plot (no big spoiler): Breaking Bad is set and produced in Albuquerque, New Mexico. It's the story of Walter White (Bryan Cranston), a struggling high school chemistry teacher who is diagnosed with advanced lung cancer at the beginning of the series. He turns to a life of crime, producing and selling methamphetamine with a former student, Jesse Pinkman (Aaron Paul), with the aim of securing his family's financial future before he dies. However, he doesn't die. His cancer went into remission. 

I don't know whether it's a dark comedy or a television drama. However there is a vast amount of 'reality' in the series. Watch a recap of the first two seasons below:


>>WARNING: SPOILER<<

As of the end of Season Four, "Walt" and "Jessie" are still not money ahead.


Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Four More Years?


He could be a contender.

Really it's the Republican's ball to fumble, and they haven't been all that impressive so far. Yes, I know that people will vote against Obama. But, is that all  that the conservatives have to say for themselves?

Saturday, October 15, 2011

53% Movement

47% of Americans pay no income taxes at all.

For the most part, those are the people that you see protesting that they want more free stuff from the government (which means, from the 53% who do pay income tax) fall into that 47% category. Should I be proud to be one of the people subsidizing the lives of those shiftless protesters who are camping out on Wall Street?
"The result is a tax system that exempts almost half the country from paying for programs that benefit everyone, including national defense, public safety, infrastructure and education. It is a system in which the top 10 percent of earners -- households making an average of $366,400 in 2006 -- paid about 73 percent of the income taxes collected by the federal government. "(LINK)

I'm thrilled to be in the category who paid 73% of the taxes. However the Obama plan to levy another 5% tax on me and my high-living crowd doesn't seem to be quite fair when roughly half of all Americans pay no income tax at all. The Democratic Administration feels that the 'rich' don't pay their fair share. 73% isn't a large enough percentage... 

Anyone who works a regular job, 40 hours a week, will end up in the 53% category of people who pay at least some income taxes.

This means that the patrons of the Obama Administration are the chronically lazy.


The so-called 99% group that now are protesting aren't quite 99%.




Thoughts on the Grenade Walker Scandal

How many thousand hand grenades?


Read more about the M-67 hand grenade HERE - and at FAS.


(CBS News - Sharyl Attkisson) Police say Jean Baptiste Kingery, a U.S. citizen, was a veritable grenade machine. He's accused of smuggling parts for as many as 2,000 grenades into Mexico for killer drug cartels -- sometimes under the direct watch of U.S. law enforcement.
This story continues to develop in all its permutations. And when you consider the implications of the United States of America's conduct in this ongoing scandal, it boggles the mind. The US Attorney's Inspector General's Office is investigating this. However since Cynthia Schnedar (photo right) is a close personal friend and political patron of Attorney General Eric Holder (READ MORE HERE), nobody believes that this is going anywhere except to the shredder.

It's interesting to see that DOJ's take on hand grenades 'walking' across the US/Mexico Border is that they are 'novelty items'. The BATFE and the DOJ took a wholly different view of these “novelty items” when they were in the possession of the Branch Davidians. When the Davidians had them, they were evidence of a conspiracy to build an unlawful arsenal of automatic weapons and explosive devices. (The Davidians had sold the inert grenades mounted on a wooden base with a numbered tag that said "Complaint Department – Please Take A Number" attached to the pin at gun shows for years.)

As an aside -- Let me get this straight. It's 'legal' to walk over 2,000 hand grenades from the US to Mexico, but it's illegal for the average citizen to carry a loaded handgun in California... (I'm simply asking for a reality check)

In addition to the hand grenades (MORE HERE), stand by for 'machine gun walker' and more breaking news as the scandal continues to unfold. 

(NY Times) Meanwhile, Attorney General holder is prosecuting Mansor Atbabsiar (photo left) for plotting with the Los Zetas Drug cartel to kill the Saudi Ambassador, His Excellency Dr. Adel A. al-Jubeir. Based on the news reports, the Iranian Qods Force (a branch of the Republican Guard) wanted Atbabsiar to use a bomb to kill the ambassador while he ate lunch in a crowded restaurant, but WHAT IF, they'd have settled for the Los Zetas Cartel to have used hand grenades instead? Novelty items...





(on a lighter note) Could things get this crazy ->
The Mexican government had a high level cabinet meeting. The country was about to go bankrupt and couldn't seem to find its way out of the crisis. Actually this is the scenario with every Mexican Cabinet meeting - but hang with me on this. 
After much arguing, Patricia Espinosa said:  "I know how to save our country. We will declare war on the United States!" 
Everyone was struck dumb for a moment and then started questioning the Secretary of State's sanity.
Jose Francisco Blake Mora, the Secretary of Gobernacion thought about it for a moment and nodded his head vigorously. "Patricia is correct! The Americans have traditionally helped their former foes after war. Despite long-drawn out war with Germany and Japan, the U.S. did so much, they were returned to world leader status in a few short years. So I propose we declare war, have a few skirmishes, then surrender and negotiate our way to greatness."  
Everyone of the cabinet ministers liked the idea. Tequila shots were poured and everyone drank a toast to Patricia Espinosa for coming up with the best idea during the meeting. Everyone except General Guillermo Galvan, who had one of those depressed looks spread across his face that he's famous for. 
"General, what is wrong, my friend?” President Calderon asked. “We will declare war on the United States, lose, and then have my good friend Barack Hussein Obama stimulate OUR economy and pay our way to greatness. How could you be so sad?" 
The general lifted his big head from his hands and slowly, painfully asked, "But what happens if we win?"

### 

Thursday, October 13, 2011

When the Zombies Rise!

My children have been asking me for quite some time, "What are you preparing for?"

My stock response is, "When the Zombies attack, I don't want to be caught with my pants down."

I don't know if my children simply trust what I say so much that they never questioned me, but apparently they ACTUALLY believed that I feared that the dead would rise (hungry for living flesh to consume) and would attack. This came up last weekend and I informed them that Zombies were a (politically correct) metaphor.

Living in California, one simply can't be too careful when it comes to preparation. There is a massive unprepared population that will panic if things start circling the drain and there's essentially nowhere to run.

There are two kinds of people trained/untrained. Best to be trained. You can be prepared or unprepared. Best to be prepared. 

I'm not touting prudent measures to protect yourself and feed yourself. You need to do that yourself and if you're satisfied, maybe you're prepared and trained.

One thing is certain. If you live in a large city and order breaks down, you need food, water, shelter and a means of defense. If you live in a small city, people from a large city will be there soon (they may be Zombies). 

My Advice: Walk softly, carry a big stick. 

And if the undead rise from their graves, I'll say, "I told you so...I just joked about the metaphor."


The little dog is unprepared to deal with the inevitable. 

###

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

How Cool is THIS?


Yes, I have been referred to at times as a 'techno nerd' because I love cool gadgets. Mia Culpa...



Nothing is immune from technical improvement, not even a stove top. (LINK)

When I was a kid, my grandparents had a coal stove at home. That's right, you had to put newspaper, then kindling, then small pieces of coal to get it hot enough to burn larger pieces of coal. So breakfast was an hour from when you started heating the stove. And once hot, the stove was hot for the day, making the warmer days...memorable. That explains why antebellum homes had the kitchen in a separate building. To take a bath, you put pans of water on the stove and then moved them to the tub. Not exactly space age technology.

With a coal stove, you control the heat by moving the pan around. It's a long way from "The William".



Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Gunrunner: Sinister Lies and Dark Motives

Sinister lies and dark motives underpin the US Justice Department's OPERATION GUNRUNNER. 


Why did the US Government (in effect) sell at least 2,000 firearms to the Sinaloa Federation Narcotics Cartel in Mexico? Why did they do the same thing in Honduras?

To find the answer, we need to look at what the government claimed - "90% of the firearms seized in Mexico came from US gun dealers." The Ninety Percent Lie. The truth of the matter is that, "Of the 100,000 weapons recovered by Mexican authorities, only 18,000 were determined to have been manufactured, sold, or imported from the United States, and of those 18,000, just 7,900 came from sales by licensed gun dealers."

Because the statistics claimed by the Obama Administration in 2009 were unsupportable by any genuine data, somebody, and we don't know precisely who, floated the idea that DOJ needed to let a lot of firearms move from US Dealers to the drug cartel(s). The operation, fronted by ATF, supported heavily by DEA and FBI needed to be funded and the Obama Administration deftly slid the funding into HR1 - The Economic Recovery and Reinvestment Act (2009), also called "Stimulus 1". 
‘For an additional amount for ‘State and Local Law Enforcement Assistance’, $40,000,000, for competitive grants to provide assistance and equipment to local law enforcement along the Southern border and in High-Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas to combat criminal narcotics activity stemming from the Southern border, of which $10,000,000 shall be transferred to ‘Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, Salaries and Expenses’ for the ATF Project Gunrunner.’ (link above)
I do understand that few in Congress actually read the $800 billion bill before they signed it, but SOMEBODY in the Obama Administration understood what the money was for. They tried to obtain the funding for Operation Gunrunner before HR 1 in HR 495, but that never made it out committee. It must have seemed a lot easier to slip it into the "Stimulus". 

There was a widespread effort on the part of the US Government to facilitate the shipment of firearms to Latin American countries (Operation Castaway to Honduras - Operation Gunrunner to Mexico) (LINK). Why?
It would seem that members of the US Government conspired to create the statistics that they presented to the public but were unsupportable for the purpose of facilitating enhanced gun control in the US.

There is really no other possible conclusion.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Obama's Pet Reporter - Brian Williams (NBC)

Brian Williams - one of the LEAST credible reporters in Washington DC

Whenever the President of the United States wants to talk to the camera under the guise of an interview, he calls NBC and Brian Williams trots over to let Barack Obama spin it anyway he wants - and by so doing, show his absolute contempt for real reporters and for the press in general. 

Many people find the mainstream media's slavish devotion to the Obama Administration troubling, which is why FOX News leads in the polls. I personally gave up on such media icons as CBS Sixty Minutes because when it came to the Obama Administration, they have provided the Fourth Estate with a sheet of music and the media sang the song to the public.

One of the few exceptions to this absolute lack of credibility on the part of CBS has been the fair, forthright and courageous coverage that Investigative Reporter Sharyl Attkisson has given to the Administration's unconscionable lies to allegations raised by the Congressional Investigation into Operation Fast and Furious. The Baltimore Sun ran THIS STORY.
David Surawik (Baltimore Sun) put it this way: The blowback from the White House and DOJ has been petty, nasty and has failed to responsibly address the serious charges Attkisson's reporting raises. This is exactly the White House contempt for the press that I wrote about shortly after Obama's inauguration. It's the White House I came to know when I criticized it for its war against Fox News in 2009... But here's the larger point that needs to be made: Team Obama is in full campaign mode, and because of their fundamental contempt for the press, that means they reward those who come on bended knee and they punish those who dare to question them. (emphasis is mine)
Team Obama, under the direction of David Plouffe, will try and find a way to punish CBS News for Attkisson's work, make no mistake about it. As I said two years ago, I have not seen a White House as vindictive in its dealings with the press since the one inhabited by Richard Nixon and Spiro Agnew. But CBS News isn't backing down so far.
What a shocking change by CBS - and maybe it's a return to the old days when the took they hard stories and did genuine reporting.

Meanwhile, don't wait for a real story to come from Brian Williams and NBC. Obama will write their scripts and the news drones will read them.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

What About Obama's Transparency Standard?


Obama on transparency in government:



The Obama White House has taken a different approach to the scandal involving the Operation Gunrunner/Operation Fast and Furious/Operation Castaway Scandal. Congressman Darrell Issa (R-CA) has constantly explained to the American people that the Obama Administration is withholding information from the Congressional inquiry, and Attorney General Eric Holder's statements under oath to Congress are nothing short of outright lies.


A growing list of congressmen are calling for Attorney General Eric Holder's resignation (The Daily Caller). Congressman Paul Gosar (R-AZ) said, "In Main Street America, you’d never get away with this,” Gosar said. “The people who’ve been responsible would’ve already been in jail. There is something wrong and there is something right. This crossed the threshold of what was wrong.” 
“I think we need to find out all the facts because this is wrong,” Gosar said. “We’ve clearly gone astray. We broke into a hotel and burglarized in Watergate, and those people were held to criminal charges – and they went to jail. How do you define this to the [Border Patrol Agent Brian] Terry family?” 
“If those guns hadn’t walked, if those guns had surveillance, if those guns had had tracings, they would’ve known exactly where they were and this wouldn’t have happened – or at least the chance of it would not have happened.”
In addition to obscurity on the totality of the role that Attorney General Holder played in the scandalous and irresponsible conduct that led to Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry's death, we are also left wondering about the totality of what the FBI and DEA did in connection with this matter. These agencies are changing their story as weeks pass just the way that Holder is trying to 'remake' his perjured testimony before Congress.