sunset from behind the wire

sunset from behind the wire

Friday, June 29, 2012

Coping with the Nanny State

Political tags - such as royalist, communist, democrat, populist, fascist, liberal, conservative, and so forth - are never basic criteria. The human race divides politically into those who want people to be controlled and those who have no such desire. - Heinlein

I have liberal friends who feel comfortable handing all of their decisions a government bureaucracy and allowing 'somebody else' to handle it. They'd be very comfortable living in Denmark, but they don't. They live in the USA. They proudly voted for Barack H. Obama to be POTUS. Their motivation for voting for him was largely because he was of mixed race and they felt good about themselves for being socially enlightened enough to vote for a 'black' even though they really didn't know what he stood for, whether he was a Muslim or not, etc.

I have conservative friends who consider themselves to be sovereign individuals and would like the national government to stick to Constitutionally enumerated duties such as providing for the common defense, coining money and resolving disputes between (generally independent) states. None of them wanted to vote for John McCain for POTUS because he was far too liberal for any of them to stomach.

My liberal friends feel that all commerce should be regulated closely by government bureaucracies and prices should be 'fair'. If you ask for whom they should be fair, the liberals feel that all profits earned by people who risk capital should be closely monitored and should those riskers earn more than is 'fair', they should be taxed out of those profits, the money poured back into the bureaucratic machine.

I have conservative friends who feel that you should be able to keep what you earn (Little Red Hen scenario), with taxes paid to provide for necessary functions of government. ('necessary' wouldn't include ObamaCare, as an example. They likely wouldn't include billions in foreign aid paid to nations that overtly hate us.) These friends would say:
  • An armed society is a polite society. Manners are good when one may have to back up his acts with his life.
  • I am free because I know that I alone am morally responsible for everything I do. I am free, no matter what rules surround me. If I find them tolerable, I tolerate them; if I find them too obnoxious, I break them. I am free because I know that I alone am morally responsible for everything I do.
  • Never insult anyone by accident, and never underestimate the power of human stupidity.
  • When any government, or any church for that matter, undertakes to say to its subjects, This you may not read, this you must not see, this you are forbidden to know, the end result is tyranny and oppression no matter how holy the motives.
  • You can have peace. Or you can have freedom. Don't ever count on having both at once.
  • A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly.
I don't pay much attention to my liberal friends when they begin to spout their unenlightened opinions as you may imagine. But I am forced to deal with the results of their concepts of government because I'm living in the Land of the Nanny State. There is no worse tyranny than to force a man to pay for what he does not want merely because you think it would be good for him.

Your comments (below) are welcome, but if you're a liberal or a progressive, I won't pay any attention to them.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Obama Admin vs Bush Admin "Gunwalking"

In 2006, the Bush Administration initiated Operation WIDE RECEIVER. In this project, managed by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, the ATF agents remained in constant contact with the firearms involved. The few that "walked" had been fitted with tracking devices.

Operation WIDE RECEIVER had essentially nothing in common with Operation FAST AND FURIOUS, where both the gun shop owners and ATF agents/whistle blowers were uncomfortable with the direction that the Obama Administration took in letting literally thousands of firearms transfer, unmonitored, into the hands of drug cartels.

Read details on both operations from CBS News HERE on the following:
  • Project GUNRUNNER
  • Operation FAST AND FURIOUS
  • Operation WIDE RECEIGER
  • Operation CASTAWAY
  • Operation TOO HOT TO HANDLE
  • The "Grenadewalker" Scandal
Sharyl Attkisson is one of the few reporters in the mainstream media who has done a responsible job reporting on this whole mess.

Perhaps the most convincing piece of evidence indicating that FAST AND FURIOUS and WIDE RECEIVER are separate from each other is the fact (ignored by most of the mainstream media) that Wide Receiver was shut down in 2007 shortly after it was clear the program had failed. This was before Obama was even in office and nearly two years before Fast and Furious began.

Unlike Fast and Furious, officials involved in Wide Receiver were reportedly in close contact with Mexican authorities during the operation, though how involved Mexican officials were is not entirely known.

What is known is that Mexican authorities were kept completely in the dark during Fast and Furious, according to the Mexican ambassador to the U.S. He announced on June 1, 2012, that Mexico would be launching its own probe into Fast and Furious. If they indict and request extradition, will the US comply? A presidential pardon won't shield Eric Holder from a Mexican arrest warrant. Perhaps Holder will decide never again to leave the USA - because Interpol 'Red Status' would mean that anywhere he may travel where an extradition treaty with Mexico exists would make arrest and transportation to Mexico forthwith a real possibility.

And WHY has President Obama asserted executive privilege over documents related to this matter of who knew what when? Unless he knew and needed to keep that quiet until after the upcoming election?

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Will Eric Holder go to Prison?

There is a House of Representatives vote coming to determine whether or not Attorney General Eric Holder is in contempt of Congress. The vote will likely run along straight party lines, which means that he'll be convicted because of a Republican majority in the lower house of Congress. 

Attorney General Eric Holder likely faces a prison sentence. Soap-on-a-rope can be sent to ease the soon-to-be former attorney general's time in prison. Have a little compassion on him and send him soap today:
Attorney General Eric Holder
c/o US Department of Justice
950 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20530-0001

Please send me soap-on-a-rope! I don't want to have to bend
over in the prison shower if I drop my soap.
Irrespective of the efforts of the mainstream media to deceive you as to the partisan nature of this action, you should keep the following FACTS in mind. You also need to understand that the architects of this lie to the American people which resulted in roughly 200 deaths to date include Attorney General Eric Holder and President Barack Obama.
  • There is simply no evidence that the guns of Fast and Furious were ever meant to be "TRACKED" to the upper levels of cartel organizations. 
  • There is no evidence that the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms knew that the bulk of the weapons were destined for the Sinaloa Federation (cartel) and that the end purchaser was the Sinaloa Federation's Guadalajara based arms merchant, Nicolas Balcazar Lopez (aka Bronco). This lack of understanding as to the true nature of organization that underpins the Sinaloa Federation's weapons acquisition program makes BATF look incompetent, careless or simply stupid.
  • The bottom line is that the Obama Administration didn't care which cartel organizations received the firearms because that wasn't the purpose for this expenditure of taxpayer dollars.

Operation Fast and Furious' sole purpose was to have guns "traced" from crime scenes in Mexico to American dealers, who were essentially ordered by BAFT to make what they knew were "straw sales". Thus BATF, under the direction of the Department of Justice and the White House engaged in manufacturing "evidence" to support the lie that "90% of the guns in the hands of cartels come from the US".  This would support the Obama Administration's push for more gun control over American citizens. 

The Obama Administration continually asserts that it complied with the subpoenas issued by Congress. If that's true, why did President Barack Obama stonewall Congress by asserting executive privilege over documents that would show that he was aware of Operation Fast and Furious?

You can't have it both ways, President Obama!

Meanwhile, Senator Marco Rubio calls for Holder to resign.

Fast and Furious - SA Jamie Zapata

The Congressional investigators who viewed the Department of Homeland Security documents related to the Fast and Furious operation have located a Immigration & Customs Enforcement (ICE) Report of Investigation (ROI) from August 2010 describing 80 weapons seized in an arms smuggling interdiction between Phoenix, Arizona and San Antonio, Texas. Of these weapons, the majority (approximately 50) were noted to have come from Operation Fast & Furious in Arizona, purchased by Uriel Patino and Jacob Chambers. The ROI was written and signed by Homeland Security Investigations Special Agent Jaime Zapata, who was shot dead in an ambush at a fake roadblock in San Luis Potosí, Mexico on 15 February 2011. At the time of the report, Agent Zapata was assigned to the Laredo office.
The Huffington Post suggests (LINK) along with others, that it was a random attack on two random law enforcement agents

Two of the weapons found at the murder scene were later traced back to Texas -- One was purchased in August 2010 near Houston on behalf of accused drug dealer Manuel Gomez Barba, and the other in October 2010 by a Dallas trafficking ring that included Otilio Osorio and his brother Ranferi. Much like Fast and Furious, both groups had been under ATF surveillance for many months, although ATF officials in Texas later denied that any gunwalking happened in their state. 

United State Senator John Cornyn pressed Eric Holder and DOJ for details on any gunwalking in Texas. Holder was found in contempt of Congress yesterday. The President of the United States asserted executive privilege in regard these documents contemporaneously with Holder's contempt finding, which means that the President has guilty knowledge of some sort that he doesn't want to disclose.

The Department of Homeland Security, ICE and the Department of Justice denied that the case of Jaime Zapata had anything to do with Fast and Furious. The discovery of this ROI by Zapata, indicates that Holder and Secretary Napolitano knew and the assertion of executive privilege by President Obama would tend to indicate that he knew too. So it's not only a DOJ cover-up but a DHS cover-up as well and, as of yesterday, a Presidential cover-up.
At the time of Agent Zapata's death, President Obama declared "The United States will work with Mexico to bring the assailants to justice." For her part, Janet Napolitano avowed: "Let me be clear: Any act of violence against our ICE personnel — or any DHS personnel — is an attack against all those who serve our nation and put their lives at risk for our safety."

Why is Sec. Napolitano wearing
that goofy shit-eating grin?
At the risk of sounding incredibly naive, I find it amazing that neither DHS nor the FBI have come under more intense Congressional scrutiny for what they know about gunwalking operations and the murders of Agent Zapata and Border Patrol BORTAC Team member Brian Terry. The revelation of the existence of Agent Zapata's August 2010 ROI should serve to bring more attention to Janet Napolitano and her knowledge of gunwalking and the murders of Zapata and Terry, despite her previous denials under oath.

Maybe it's time to revisit that and to explore whether or not Secretary Janet Napolitano lied under oath to Congress - Perjury is an ugly word, Madame Secretary. Oh, wait, those documents have been effectively sealed by President Obama. 

Lucky break for you, Secretary Napolitano!

h/t Sipsey Street Irregulars

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Holder in Contempt of Congress

The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee voted 23-17 along party lines to hold Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt of Congress today, pushing forward with the action even after the White House slapped an 11th-hour executive privilege on subpoenaed documents still sought in the Operation Fast and Furious investigation.

Chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) said an official communication from President Obama had not been received by Congress at the time of this morning’s meeting, but the committee had received a multi-page letter from Deputy Attorney General James M. Cole informing them of the action just minutes before the hearing, which was scheduled earlier this month.

Essentially, President Obama is using his position to stonewall further inquiries by the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee. I understand that he's trying to shield Attorney General Holder from prosecution and perhaps himself from unwanted disclosures in the run up to the November 2012 election. But everyone seems to see it for what it is.

Admit nothing, deny everything, demand proof - make counter-allegations
“We regret that we have arrived at this point, after the many steps we have taken to address the Committee’s concerns and to accommodate the Committee’s legitimate oversight interests regarding Operation Fast and Furious,” Cole wrote. “Although we are deeply disappointed that the Committee appears intent on proceeding with a contempt vote, the Department remains willing to work with the Committee to reach a mutually satisfactory resolution of the outstanding issues.”

“Our purpose has never been to hold the attorney general in contempt,” Issa said in the hearing’s opening, noting that Holder was offered an accommodation to produce the requested documents on the Fast and Furious gun-walking scandal. “As late as last night his offer was only to give us a briefing and then only if we ended the investigation.” (LINK)
As early as October 2009, officials in both the Central Intelligence Agency and the Drug Enforcement Administration objected through their respective chains of command about weapons smuggling and related confidential informant operations in the Republic of Mexico on the part of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the Federal Bureau of Investigation, including what the world has come to know as Operation Fast and Furious, according to previously reliable sources familiar with the intelligence operations of the United States. 
Because of the refusal of the ATF and FBI at lower levels to allow "deconfliction" with the CIA and DEA, these complaints, according to the sources, were eventually forwarded to the National Security Council of the White House, including Kevin O'Reilly, a State Department employee seconded to the NSC, O'Reilly's boss Dan Restrepo, then Director of Western Hemisphere Affairs at the NSC and Denis McDonough, then NSC's head of Strategic Communication and since then promoted to the Deputy Director of the National Security Council. McDonough, described in one biographical sketch as a "tough guy" and "Obama’s single most influential foreign policy adviser," is also a personal friend and "basketball buddy" of the President of the United States.
The result, said one source, "The word came back from NSC, 'butt out.'"
(Source: Sipsey Street Irregulars - the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms unofficial whistle blowers) 
The President of the United States would seem to have some guilty knowledge of this program and clearly is trying to distance himself from it. Which is precisely why he has asserted executive privilege. However, Holder is still in contempt of Congress.

What is President Obama's track record on Executive Privilege? Check this out (LINK).

Monday, June 18, 2012

Mexican Political Intrigue

In line with my efforts to update you, dear readers, to events going on south of the 2,000 mile contiguous border that we share with Mexico, there has been an interesting move by the likely winner of the July 1, 2012 presidential election, Enrique Pena Nieto. He has announced that if elected, he will appoint the former director General de la Policia Nacional de Colombia, Oscar Adolfo Naranjo Truhillo  (age 56) to be his 'external advisor for National Security'. 

In Mexico, 'external advisors' don't hold any national office and only serve to 'advise', but many are viewed to have considerable power in crafting national policy. The announcement of Naranjo's appointment, pending the outcome of the elections, is interesting. Naranjo is known (particularly to the US Government) as one of those people who were key in defeating organized crime in Colombia. Therefore, the PRI Party is sending the message that they're putting someone friendly to USGOV in a position to influence policy (if elected). 

At the same time, it is clear that they are going to reshuffle the federal police and military to bring much less manpower to bear against drug cartels (if elected). So will the new figurehead be anything more than a sop to US sensibilities?

It remains to be seen.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Mexico: Election 2012

Anticipated US Reaction to the Election of
July 1, 2012 in Mexico when they realize what
it truly means.
For the past six years the United States has taken the drug war to the Republic of Mexico to attempt to interdict narcotics shipments coming north from clandestine labs in Mexico and from Cocaine grown in Brazil and Peru and refined in Brazil, Venezuela and Colombia. Unofficial Mexican government records show that they've seized 108 tons of cocaine during that six year fight. And, more importantly that they've lost roughly 1,000 Mexicans for each ton seized.

108 tons is a drop in the bucket and is statistically insignificant, more so when you consider that 95% of all Mexican law enforcement assets are directed toward the fight against organized crime.

While the election of a new government remains two weeks away, all indications remain that the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) - (Socialist Party) will sweep 45 year old Enrique Pena Nieto into the Presidency of the Republic of United Mexican States (Republic of Mexico). It's also clear that PRI will end the policy, supported by the US funded Merida Initiative of "fighting the drug war to the last Mexican". 

In 1990, just over half the cocaine imported into the U.S. came through Mexico. By 2007, that had risen to more than 90 percent, according to U.S. State Department estimates. (Dept of State as quoted by Bernd Debusmann: In Mexico's drug wars, bullets and ballads
Today, the country is agonizing through an epidemic of cartel violence that has killed roughly 100,000 Mexicans (unofficial numbers) and seen major cities lost to thug rule.

"The only thing that is driving people to vote for the PRI is the perception that these things that are happening now did not happen in the days of the PRI," says Mexican author and historian Enrique Krauze. "Then, we had corruption, yes, but we had peace and order. I think that is something that is drawing many people towards the PRI."
Mexico has always been a challenge to govern. Unlike the homogenous population in the United States, Mexican society is clearly divided into broad bands of economic and ethnic groups. There are the super-wealthy with fortunes measured in billion of dollars all the way down to poor non-spanish-speaking indigenous farmers who live hand-to-mouth (without electricity or running water) and depend on government assistance for purchasing seed and fertilizer. America’s indigenous population is small percentage-wise and rather disorganized politically; Mexico’s indigenous number in the tens of millions, relatively few live on reservations; and many are very active politically. When you read about squabbles in Mexico they are usually associated with indigenous and the poor who have differences over land or water rights. It is interesting to note that Mexico’s most revered president is Benito Juarez, a zapoteco indigena from the state of Oaxaca.
Mexicans and the political environment they live in is such that all Mexicans fear and detest the very idea of anarchy. This point applies to all socio-economic classes and ethnic groups. It took more than seventy-years for the PRI political party to be voted out of power---much blame can be assessed on outright fraud, voter bribery and other political shenanigans, but a large measure of the power of the PRI was the reluctance of the Mexican voters to risk a different political system. 

By contrast, the US constitution was adopted in 1776. Mexico has had several constitutions including the one of 1857 and another in 1917. It was no small feat in the elections of 2000 and with much fanfare the PRI presidential candidate lost the election and the PAN political party took office.

Now it would appear that PAN's reign will an end with an attempt to stuff the narco genie back into the bottle and return to the 'good old days' before the drug war saw rampant slaughter on their formerly peaceful streets.

TODAY - The US Government is in denial, believing that there will be a temporary halt to the drug war before things go back to the way they were when PAN was in charge.

Don't count on it.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Stuck in the 80's & 90's

I know that the 1980's and 1990's have passed, but I like the music and the time-machine factor that listening brings.

Robert Palmer (died in 2003 of a heart attack at age 54) was the son of a British Naval Intelligence Officer, and was heavily influenced by listening to Armed Forces Radio as a young man. He lived in the Bahamas in the early 1990's and moved to Switzerland (next door to Tina Turner) later in the decade.

This song, "Simply Irresistible", was first released in 1988 in his album, "Heavy Nova" and also appeared in two subsequent albums. Along with "Addicted to Love" and "I Didn't Mean to Turn You On", it was one of those iconic songs that brings back the age, the vibe and the scene of the late 80's and early 90's.

Addicted to Love (lyrics)

Your lights are on, but you're not home
Your mind is not your own
Your heart sweats, your body shakes
Another kiss is what it takes

You can't sleep, you can't eat
There's no doubt, you're in deep
Your throat is tight, you can't breathe
Another kiss is all you need

Whoa, you like to think that you're immune to the stuff, oh yeah
It's closer to the truth to say you can't get enough
You know you're gonna have to face it, you're addicted to love

You see the signs, but you can't read
You're runnin' at, a different speed
You heart beats, in double time
Another kiss, and you'll be mine a one track mind

You can't be saved
Oblivion is all you crave
If there's some left for you
You don't mind if you do

Whoa, you like to think that you're immune to the stuff, oh yeah
It's closer to the truth to say you can't get enough
You know you're gonna have to face it, you're addicted to love

Might as well face it, you're addicted to love

Robert Palmer became famous because he identified the 'human condition' and locked in sync with everyone else.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Time is a cruel enemy

Tweety turns seventy.
The Little Mermaid
Belle - no more Beauty and the Beast Sequels
Rumor has it she's running for the House of Representatives
in San Francisco as "The Beast" to replace the current one...
Cinderella - Won't SOMEBODY buy a lady a drink?
Batman and Robin
Snow White
h/t John Coffey

I won't be checking the computer for a week or so - you all will have to make do with this until I return.

Monday, June 4, 2012

The Dog House


* Never tell your wife that her mother looks smoking hot in a swimsuit.

* Never tell your wife that staying at home with the kids is easier than working.

* Never give your wife a bust expanding exerciser or a tummy tightening exerciser.

* Never buy your wife extra RAM memory for her computer.

* Never buy your wife a vacuum cleaner as an anniversary gift.

* Never buy your wife a mustache waxer - even if she needs one.

* Do not suggest that your wife needs to take the fork out of her mouth and loose a few extra pounds. Even a gym membership is taking it too far.

Ignore these suggestions at your peril.