"But a Constitution of Government once changed from Freedom, can never be restored. Liberty, once lost, is lost forever." - John Adams

Monday, March 28, 2011

Interesting Algorithms

Facebook. Interesting to watch what happens while posting on FaceBook. The algorithm that drives the machine seems to have been given the Leftist, Liberal, Progressive Blue Pill. When you consistently publish posts that are not in favor of what the president has to say; you may, or may not, notice your sphere of friends and associates shrinks. But conversely, if you spend a day posting about Mr. Rogers and American Idol you will have hundreds of postings in the "most recent" blog feed. It's not because your "friends" are "ignoring" you or "blocking" you, but it seems that FaceBook is picking and choosing your conversations. Am I paranoid or observant?

Saturday, March 26, 2011

So much for the Rule of Law.

After the U.S. and other nations attacked Libya this past weekend, I posted a portion of one of Laurence Vance's recent blog posts as my Facebook status:
But to American soldiers I would say this: Is there any country you won’t attack? Is there any order you won’t obey? Without a declaration of war or even a congressional authorization, you are just acting as the president’s personal army.
Having broken the first rule of American politics – never criticize the military – I expected a swift and vitriolic reaction to those words. Much to my surprise, none ever materialized. However, I did have to further explain that the purpose of those words, as I understood them, was not necessarily to criticize the military. While the question/statement does call into question the military oaths of enlistment/office, it was intended primarily to draw attention to the President's having sent troops to war without congressional authorization.
This, to me, was a clear violation of Article 1, Section 8 of the U.S Constitution which grants the Congress the power to declare war. It turns out that I wasn't alone in thinking that. Presidential hopeful Barack Obama, in 2007, when asked about the President's authority to send troops into action without congressional authorization said the following:
The President does not have power under the Constitution to unilaterally authorize a military attack in a situation that does not involve stopping an actual or imminent threat to the nation.
Since U.S. military involvement in Libya began, the President, via his staff, has gone to great lengths to assure lawmakers and the public that the U.S. is not at war. No less than Defense Secretary Robert Gates seems to disagree, and while he stopped short of using the phrase "act of war," others have not been so reserved in their descriptions of the actions. In fact, the President himself, who now believes he does not need congressional authorization, still took the step of notifying the Congress of military action, "consistent with the War Powers Resolution," anyway. (Wikipedia explains that the use of "consistent" instead of "pursuant" is because Presidents are loathe to recognize limits on their ability to wage war. The word "pursuant" implies that the President recognizes Congress's limit on his office. "Consistent" implies only that the President is following the law, not that he recognizes its legitimacy.)
It's curious, to say the least, that the President felt compelled to notify the Congress while, at the same time, arguing the U.S. isn't at war. Nevertheless, it would seem that the President has placed himself (back) within the law... such as it is. The question of whether or not the President has the power to send the military into action without congressional authorization is still ambiguous, at best, though. When exactly can the President wage war? According to James Madison's notes taken during the Constitutional Convention, the framers intended the President to have the authority to use the military without congressional authorization only in one specific case. During the convention, the legislative branch's power to "make" war was changed to "declare" war for the purpose of "leaving to the Executive the power to repel sudden attacks." However, since Libya did not attack the U.S., nor was it even threatening to do so, it would seem that the President's action is illegal, even considering his notification to Congress.
So, what about the U.N. Charter to which the U.S. is a signatory? On March 17th, 2011, the Security Council adopted Resolution 1973 authorizing a no-fly zone over Libya, and Chapter 7 of the charter allows the Security Council to act with force to enforce its resolutions. Thus, the President claims he is "acting under a mandate issued by the United Nations Security Council" which is binding on the U.S. presumably under Article 6, Paragraph 2 of the U.S. Constitution which gives treaties made by the federal government the force of law. There are two problems with this claim. First, Chapter 1, Article 2, Paragraph 7, the U.N. Charter specifically prohibits U.N. involvement in "matters which are essentially within the domestic jurisdiction of any state," i.e. civil wars. (Some might argue that the text that follows, "this principle shall not prejudice the application of enforcement measures under Chapter VII" allows for the actions now taking place. I disagree for two reasons: 1) not prejudicing the application of enforcement measures is not the same as allowing enforcement measures in violation of the preceding "principle," and 2) if my first reason is incorrect, then the second half of the paragraph contradicts, essentially nullifying, the first which makes no sense since the section would basically then read "the U.N. has no jurisdiction in domestic affairs unless it does.") The second problem with the President's claim is that Article 6, Paragraph 2 of the U.S. Constitution declares that the Constitution is the supreme authority when it and a treaty made pursuant to it are in conflict. That is, the President's authority to use the U.S. military cannot be increased by any treaty beyond what the Constitution allows.
It should be clear now why the President is working so hard to portray the U.S. involvement in Libya as anything but a war. Based on notes taken during the Constitutional Convention, it is plain that the framers never intended for the executive branch of the U.S. government to have unilateral authority to send the military into action except when timely consultation with Congress was infeasible due to a sudden, unforeseen attack. Since many (but not President Obama as evidenced by his own words in 2007) have forgotten this intent of the framers, President Obama is focusing on this (not) being a war in order to deflect any accusations of usurpation of Congress's authority. Much like the use of "consistent" vs. "pursuant," the meaning of "torture" vs. "enhanced interrogation," and the meaning of "is," the debate will revolve around what exactly constitutes "war." Ultimately government lawyers (the Supreme Court, if the debate ever reaches that level) will decide what "war" is. No longer is the U.S. government subject to the rule of law.
The rule of law is, in part, the idea that no person is above the law. This is in contrast to "ancient" times when the king or ruler of a nation or people was him or herself the law and, in many cases, above or not subject to it. When this nation was founded, Thomas Jefferson wrote in the Declaration of Independence that "all men are created equal," and it is this idea that gives rise to the notion that all people, therefore, should be subject to the same laws. Other writers at the time also argued for this idea. Thomas Paine, in Common Sense, wrote that "in America, the law is king" in reference/contrast to earlier ideas that the king was the law. The Massachusetts Constitution also contains this ideal, using the phrase "government of laws and not of men."
In order for the law to be king, however, it must "possess the characteristics of [...] certainty." And this is where the problem lies. The law is (no longer) certain. Can the government listen to your phone calls without a warrant? Can it see you naked when you try to board an airplane? Can it abridge your right to free association as it is attempting in Wisconsin, among other places? Can it force you to buy healthcare? Can it imprison you indefinitely without trial? Not only are existing laws not certain, but new ones are constantly being added. It has been estimated that "the average busy professional commits three felonies every day," and the government, via its police forces, decides, on its own, which crimes to prosecute and which to ignore. And in cases where the law is unclear, a government lawyer will twist the words of the law to suit his or her purposes, or the case will ultimately end up in front of a judge, employed by the government.
In this way, we are no longer a nation of laws, but of men. The government decides what the law is and when to enforce it. In the case of the federal government, it has become the arbiter of its own power, in contrast to the tenth amendment to the U.S. Constitution. There used to be a fairly well organized and loud opposition to this violation of the rule of law. During the (George W.) Bush administration, the political left was up in arms about the President's usurpation of power. It was constantly demonstrating against his "illegal" war in Iraq. It wanted him to pull troops out of Afghanistan. Now that a Democrat is in the White House, though, opposition to those wars, as well as the current one in Libya, has all but disappeared.
While small government types and libertarians (note the little 'L') continue oppose war no matter who is in office, it would seem that they constitute a rather small portion of the population. Eric Posner, writing for the Volokh Conspiracy, agrees arguing that "[t]here is no constituency for reforming the executive." There do exist constituencies for limiting executive power when the "other team" is in power, but since the team occupying the White House changes rather frequently, each team ultimately gets to exercise the very powers that they railed against when they were out of power. Thus, no one is really interested in reforming the executive branch, itself.
Posner continues:
arguing that we should return to the original Madisonian design is tilting at windmills [...] these arguments are on the fringes – not because they violate the rules of logic but because they have no constituency – and that is where the Madisonian argument belongs as well.
[...] Arguing that our current system of government is unconstitutional is like arguing that the original Constitution was unconstitutional because it violated the amendment procedures of the Articles of Confederation. It is a logical argument that makes no difference in the real world because ultimately what matters is popular sentiment [...].
I can't tell you how dismaying it was for me to hear, correct as it may be, that arguments for a return or adherence to Madisonian design, that the people should be ruled by laws and not men, are on the fringe, but there you have it. The rule of law is dead.

by John TynerReprinted with permission from Johnnyedge.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Athens Clark County Police Officer KIlled

I am about to piss a lot of people off.

I'm sorry, but I'm going to do it.

Let me start off by offering my condolences to the family of Officer Elmer "Buddy" Christian. I cannot even begin to express how I feel for your loss. I am truely sorry that Buddy lost his life in the line of duty, so please harbor no ill will towards me for my observations that follow.

What outrages me is the excessive focus, manpower and resources that go into finding the killer, shooter, or even possibly self defender (since everyone is presumed innocent under the law, until proven guilty) of a Police Officer.

In the last 24 hours, there have been hundreds of extra Police Officers, GBI, FBI, US Marshalls,
Helicopters, and Dogs, and news services searching private property (possibly in violation of rights gauranteed by the 4th Amendment) at gun point, to find Jamie Hood, Officer Christian's accused killer.

Here is where you are going to get mad.

Why is Officer Christian's murder any more important that that of any of the unsolved murders that you can find HERE

If I were murdered tomorrow, how many ACC Police, GSP, GBI, FBI or whatever do you think would give a rat's ass about it?
These guys are looking to find the killer of "one of their own". But, who are "they"? The Police State and the elevation of the law enforcement officer to a place higher than citizen is just wrong and must not continue.
I am a soveriegn man. So are they, but they are just the same as me, no better, no worse, just equal under the law.

Barrack Obama should be impeached.

Impeached, is that too strong? I dunno. Probably not. We impeached former President Bill Clinton for perjury. Do you think violating the Constitution and the War Powers Resolution of 1974 is stronger reason than perjury?
Article 1, section 8 is pretty clear:

The Congress shall have Power ...To declare War, grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal, and make Rules concerning Captures on Land and Water;
(that did not say The President, it said The Congress)

And beyond that, he clearly violated The War Powers Resolution of 1974 which didn't necessarily require Congressional approval, but only that the president consult congress.

What The Fuck?

Monday, March 21, 2011

Fed Looses Case in Supreme Court - Must Release Loan Data

The Federal Reserve will disclose details of emergency loans it made to banks in 2008, after the U.S. Supreme Court rejected an industry appeal that aimed to shield the records from public view.
The justices today left intact a court order that gives the Fed five days to release the records, sought by Bloomberg News’s parent company, Bloomberg LP. The Clearing House Association LLC, a group of the nation’s largest commercial banks, had asked the Supreme Court to intervene.
“The board will fully comply with the court’s decision and is preparing to make the information available,” said David Skidmore, a spokesman for the Fed.
The order marks the first time a court has forced the Fed to reveal the names of banks that borrowed from its oldest lending program, the 98-year-old discount window. The disclosures, together with details of six bailout programs released by the central bank in December under a congressional mandate, would give taxpayers insight into the Fed’s unprecedented $3.5 trillion effort to stem the 2008 financial panic.
“I can’t recall that the Fed was ever sued and forced to release information” in its 98-year history, said Allan H. Meltzer, the author of three books on the U.S central bank and a professor at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh.
Unprecedented Disclosure
Under the trial judge’s order, the Fed must reveal 231 pages of documents related to borrowers in April and May 2008, along with loan amounts. News Corp. (NWSA)’s Fox News is pressing a bid for 6,186 pages of similar information on loans made from August 2007 to November 2008.
The records were originally requested under the Freedom of Information Act, which allows citizens access to government papers, by the late Bloomberg News reporter Mark Pittman.
As a financial crisis developed in 2007, “The Federal Reserve forgot that it is the central bank for the people of the United States and not a private academy where decisions of great importance may be withheld from public scrutiny,” said Matthew Winkler, editor in chief of Bloomberg News. “The Fed must be accountable to Congress, especially in disclosing what it does with the people’s money.”
The Clearing House Association contended that Bloomberg is seeking an unprecedented disclosure that might dissuade banks from accepting emergency loans in the future.
Obama Administration
“We are disappointed that the court has declined our petitions, which deal with the protection of highly confidential bank information provided to the Federal Reserve,” the group said in a statement after the high court acted.
A federal trial judge ruled in 2009 that the Fed had to disclose the records in the Bloomberg case, and a New York-based appeals court upheld that ruling.
The Clearing House Association’s chances at getting a Supreme Court hearing suffered a setback when the Obama administration urged the justices not to hear the appeal. The government said the underlying issues had limited practical significance because Congress last year laid out new rules for disclosing Fed loans in the Dodd-Frank law.
“Congress has resolved the question of whether and when the type of information at issue in this case must be disclosed” in the future, the administration said in a brief filed by acting Solicitor General Neal Katyal, President Barack Obama’s top Supreme Court lawyer.
Discount Window
The Fed had previously fought alongside the banks in opposing disclosure. It also sought to join the industry group in seeking high court review, only to be overruled by Katyal, according to court documents.
Justice Elena Kagan, formerly Obama's top Supreme Court lawyer, didn’t take part in the court’s consideration of the appeal. Since joining the court last year, she has disqualified herself from cases in which she took part as a government lawyer.
Bloomberg initially requested similar information for aid recipients under three other Fed emergency programs. The central bank released details for those facilities and others in December, after Congress required disclosure through the Dodd- Frank law.
The legislation didn’t apply retroactively to the discount window lending program, which provides short-term funding to financial institutions. Discount window loans made after July 21, 2010, must be released following a two-year lag.
Clearing House Association
“Fortunately, Congress was well aware of the sensitivity of disclosing this information,” the Clearing House Association said in its statement. “As part of the Dodd-Frank Act, Congress adopted a specific rule to ensure that in the future this confidential information will not be disclosed prematurely to the detriment of our financial system.”
The New York-based Clearing House Association, which has processed payments among banks since 1853, includes Bank of America NA, Bank of New York Mellon, Citibank NA, Deutsche Bank Trust Co. Americas, HSBC Bank USA NA, JPMorgan Chase Bank NA, U.S. Bank NA and Wells Fargo Bank NA.
In trying to shield the documents from disclosure, the Clearing House invoked a FOIA exemption that covers “trade secrets and commercial or financial information obtained from a person and privileged or confidential.”
The cases are Clearing House Association v. Bloomberg, 10- 543, and Clearing House Association v. Fox News Network, 10-660.
From Bloomberg

Saturday, March 19, 2011

More calls for currency backed by gold and silver.

This from the same state that just found a man guilty of minting the Liberty Dollar.

RALEIGH -- Cautioning that the federal dollars in your wallet could soon be little more than green paper backed by broken promises, state Rep. Glen Bradley wants North Carolina to issue its own legal tender backed by silver and gold.
The Republican from Youngsville has introduced a bill that would establish a legislative commission to study his plan for a state currency. He is also drafting a second bill that would require state government to accept gold and silver coins as payment for taxes and fees.
If the state treasurer starts accepting precious metals as payment, Bradley said that could prod the private sector to follow suit - potentially allowing residents to trade gold for groceries.

"I think we're in the process of inflating a dollar bubble that could be very devastating," said Bradley, a freshman legislator elected in November's GOP tide. "The idea is once the study commission finishes its work, then we could build on top of the hard-money currency with an actual State Tender Act that will basically [issue currency] in correspondence to precious metals stored in the state treasury."
Bradley's bill has yet to attract any co-sponsors among his fellow Republicans.
Mike Walden, an economics professor at N.C. State University, said the notion of North Carolina reverting to having its own currency is outlandish.
"We dealt with this issue about 100 years ago when the Federal Reserve was established," Walden said. "If North Carolina were to have its own currency, that would put us at an extreme competitive disadvantage vis-a-vis other parts of the country and other parts of the world."
State Treasurer Janet Cowell joked that Bradley's precious metals proposal could increase efficiency in state government by providing a good use for her department's old basement vault, which is currently used for storage.
"I look forward to engaging in an important public policy debate about whose face should be on the gold coin," quipped Cowell, a Democrat.
But Bradley predicts that world events could soon prove him prescient.
"I don't necessarily believe [the Federal Reserve] is about to collapse right now," said Bradley, 37. "There are still a few things they can do with qualitative easing to sort of extend their survival. It's just a question of how long. Right know we have a lot of sovereign debt going to China and Japan. When that debt stops being purchased by foreign countries, that currency is going to flood back onto American shores, potentially creating hyperinflation and bursting the currency bubble we have coming in Federal Reserve notes today."
The Austrian School
Bradley, a self-employed computer technician and former Marine, attended Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary in Wake Forest until he could no longer afford tuition, he said. While he has not taken any in-depth classes in economics, Bradley described himself as a devotee of the Austrian School, a branch of economic thought that originated in Vienna and was influential before World War I.
Back then the value of most of the world's currencies were tied to the amount of the gold amassed in their national treasuries. The United States abandoned the gold standard in 1933, after it was blamed for worsening the Great Depression.
Though the ideas of the Austrian School have been rejected by mainstream economists for much of the last century, they are in vogue with Libertarians and some supporters of the tea party movement.
The language of Bradley's House Bill 301 predicts a dire future for the U.S. economy.
"Many widely recognized experts predict the inevitable destruction of the Federal Reserve System's currency through hyperinflation in the foreseeable future," the bill declares. "In the event of hyperinflation, depression, or other economic calamity related to the breakdown of the Federal Reserve System, for which the State is not prepared, the State's governmental finances and private economy will be thrown into chaos. ..."
Asked who are the "widely recognized experts" to which his bill refers, Bradley cited U.S. Rep. Ron Paul of Texas and Peter Schiff, a precious-metals dealer and investor who regularly appears as a commentator on Fox News.
Walden, the economics professor, said the views espoused by adherents of the Austrian School are well outside the mainstream of modern economic thought.
Bradley's ideas for taking the state back to the Gilded Age don't end at economics.
About Commerce Clause
A strict Constitutionalist, he has also introduced bills to exempt North Carolina agricultural products and firearms manufactured in the state from federal regulation as long as they are not sold or exported across state lines, measures that fly in the face of more than a century of U.S. Supreme Court rulings interpreting the Commerce Clause of the U.S. Constitution.
"They're wrong," Bradley said confidently of generations of justices. "The 10th Amendment is quite clear that those powers not reserved in the Constitution for the federal government are reserved to the states. It's doesn't take a high-priced lawyer to interpret the Constitution."
Rep. Becky Carney, a Charlotte Democrat, said she found Bradley's currency bill "perplexing."
"There has absolutely been no indication of the collapse of the Federal Reserve system," said Carney, who serves on the House banking committee. "It sounds like the Chicken Little story about 'the sky is falling.'"
The office of House Speaker Thom Tillis declined to say whether the GOP leadership supports Bradley's proposal to create a state currency. His bill has been referred to the House rules committee, where legislation is sometimes sent to die.
"There are a lot of diverse opinions and diverse views in our caucus," said Jordan Shaw, Tillis' spokesman. "I don't think we're going to forecast what will happen." Read more: http://www.newsobserver.com/2011/03/17/1059132/legislator-says-the-state-needs.html#ixzz1H5iDxEYY

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Budget Disaster

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D, Nev.) blamed “tea party extremists” on Tuesday for blocking a compromise that would allow Congress to keep the government running through September, the latest move by Senate Democrats to deflect responsibility for a partial government shutdown.

“Some Tea Party extremists seem to think ‘compromise’ is a dirty word, and have said that they would rather shut down the government than work with Democrats to find a common-sense, bipartisan solution,” Mr. Reid said in a statement Tuesday...
2010 Libertarian Candidate for US Senate, Chuck Donovan explained the situation thusly: "Democrats and Republicans are having drinks in the bar on the Titanic while Libertarians are trying to break into the wheelhouse to turn the ship around"- Don't you think it's time for a new direction in government?

As von Mises put it, The Crack Up Boom!

By Greg Hunter’s USAWatchdog.com (revised)
The situation in Japan is getting worse, not better. There are shortages in food, fuel and warm dry shelter. To make matters exponentially worse, nuclear power plants there continue to burn out of control and emit high levels of radiation. Japan is a stark reminder of how fast a modern technologically advanced society can be brought to its knees by an unforeseen calamity.
On the other side of the Pacific, the devastating pictures from that island nation are taking the attention away from our own, much more predictable, calamity coming from a tsunami of debt. As the U.S. and other world governments continue to print money to keep the banks and system solvent, a ball of debt is growing. It is on course to swamp the system. In his latest report, Martin Armstrong, former Chairman of Princeton Economics and an expert in the study of economic cycles, said events happening in places like Japan or the Middle East are not the main issue the world is facing. Armstrong was just released from prison after an 11 year stay. He pled guilty to a conspiracy in 2000, but spent most of his time in jail for contempt of court. Armstrong’s tale is a highly unusual criminal and civil case involving a very brilliant econimic scholar. (Click here to read more on this story from Bloomberg.) Armstrong has written many articles from prison. His latest comments were the last from his incarceration. Armstrong said, “This is coming at a time when governments are broke. We have state and local governments in a debt crisis and that meltdown is very real!!!!!!! Government is collapsing. That is the issue.” Armstrong says because of all the money created to bail out failing banks, gold is gaining in price. “This is not just inflation. We are on the verge of a currency meltdown this time,” said Armstrong. (Click here to read the latest report from Martin Armstrong.)
The latest analysis from economist John Williams of Shadowstats.com agrees with Armstrong. In a special report released yesterday, Williams warns a “great collapse nears.” Williams said the collapse will take the form of “a hyperinflationary great depression. Such will encompass a complete collapse in the purchasing power of the U.S. dollar; a collapse in the normal stream of U.S. commercial and economic activity; a collapse in the U.S. financial system as we know it. . .” The hyperinflation will come from bank bailouts and ongoing Quantitative Easing (QE or money printing) used to keep the financial system from collapse. Calamities in places like Japan will likely accelerate QE. The Fed will have to make up for the loss of Japan as a buyer of our debt. Williams said,“. . . the economic and systemic-solvency crises appear to be worsening, not improving, suggesting more, not less, quantitative easing.” This, in turn, will quicken the loss of buying power for the buck. So, we have a vicious cycle of QE coupled with declining tax revenue that is accelerating the “great collapse” scenario.
The big question is when? Williams says, “Outside timing on the hyperinflation remains 2014, but there is strong risk of the currency catastrophe beginning to unfold in the months ahead. It may be starting to unfold as we go to press. . .” Meaning, the process of hyperinflation may have already started. Recent inflation numbers and spiking gas prices talked about on this site and many others seem to confirm Williams’ analysis.
If the financial system and government are headed for a shutdown, what should the average person do? Here is what John Williams said, “With no viable or politically-practical way of balancing U.S. fiscal conditions and avoiding this financial economic Armageddon, the best that individuals can do at this point is to protect themselves, both as to meeting short-range survival needs as well as to preserving current wealth and assets over the longer term. Efforts there, respectively, would encompass building a store of key consumables, such as food and water, and moving assets into physical precious metals and outside of the U.S. dollar.”
There is no way of telling how this financial crisis will unfold, or what extremes will be reached. It can be anything from an ongoing deep recession to a complete “Mad Max” style breakdown. If Williams and Armstrong are only half right, then we will experience something in between. At the very least, tough times are coming and they are going to be with us for a while.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Playing around with EMP

So, how safe do you think we are?
Nuclear electromagnetic pulse weapons (NEMPs): In a single explosive EMP flash, detonated 400-500 km above the surface and thus impervious to most of our ballistic missile defenses (BMDs), we could lose nearly the entire communications network — including broadcast television and radio, cable and satellite channels, shortwave and microwave broadcast, and cell phones (which are simply UHF radio phones); all modern unshielded electronic devices — including computer microprocessors, the internet, hard drives, video- and audiotape, televisions, radio receivers, radar installations, missiles that use sophisticated guidance systems, and microprocessor implants in cars, microwave ovens, thermostats, and the like (some vacuum-tube technology would be spared); and even the nationwide power grid.
All it takes is an enemy ruthless enough, and little-enough concerned about retaliation, to get his hands on such a device, mount it on a missile, and “pull the trigger.”
And according to ABC News, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea is just this close to developing an NEMP; and North Korea has already used non-nuclear electromagnetic pulse weapons (NNEMPs) against American and South Korean forces in the Korean peninsula… and shows interest in exporting such weapons to radical Islamist countries and organizations:
The North is believed to be nearing completion of an electromagnetic pulse bomb that, if exploded 25 miles above ground would cause irreversible damage to electrical and electronic devices such as mobile phones, computers, radio and radar, experts say.
“We assume they are at a considerably substantial level of development,” Park Chang-kyu of the Agency for Defense Development said at a briefing to the parliament Monday.
Park confirmed that South Korea has also developed an advanced electronic device that can be deployed in times of war.
The current attempts to interfere with GPS transmissions are coming from atop a modified truck-mounted Russian device. Pyongyang reportedly imported the GPS jamming system from Russia in early 2000 and has since developed two kinds of a modified version. It has also in recent years handed out sales catalogs of them to nations in the Middle East, according to South Korea’s Chosun Ilbo.
(This post is dedicated to all those on the Left — and the “Realists” on the Right — who mocked George W. Bush for including North Korea with Iran and Iraq in his original “Axis of Evil” speech.)
Detonating an NEMP high above North America would devastate not only power and communications but the economy (obliterating internet-based financial transactions and electronically stored financial data), transportation (disrupting electronic monitoring and control of everything from traffic signals to freight-train switching to commercial air traffic control), and even our military, much of which relies heavily on GPS navigation and site determination — though United States forces do still train extensively in low-tech navitation and warfare. The electromagnetic pulse would wash across the entire continental United States, plus the southern part of Canada and northern Mexico, like a tidal wave of voltage-lava, melting all the circuits in its path unless specially shielded.
Such a strike would be utterly devastating, resulting in trillions of dollars in damages… and tens or hundreds of thousands of deaths, both direct (from crashes) and indirect, from loss of medical records, the inability of emergency services to respond to life-or-death situations, utility and power shutdowns, and economic dislocation. Recovery would likely take decades. And there is absolutely nothing we can do at this time to prevent or even mitigate it; shielding every electrical circuit in the U.S. heavily enough to resist an NEMP would dwarf the cost of all natural disasters and terrorist attacks of the last century combined.
A nuclear electromagnetic pulse attack starts by detonating a nuclear warhead in the high atmosphere; this produces a burst of gamma radiation — that is, high-energy electrons moving at more than 90% the speed of light — between 20 and 40 km altitude. The gamma radiation is deflected at right angles by the Earth’s magnetic field to create an oscillating electric current in the atmosphere. And this oscillation in turn generates a pulse or burst of electromagnetic energy.
When this EM firestorm strikes the surface, it will have a peak power density of 50,000 volts and millions of megawatts, easily enough to fry most modern transistors and microcircuits. Since the pulse from detonation to peak value takes only 5 nanoseconds (five billionths of a second), and the entire first component (E1) of the EMP effect is over at about 1 microsecond (one millionth of a second), protection technology — designed for much slower lightning strikes — generally cannot react quickly enough to save the delicate printed circuitry that run our electronic devices these days. Any modern device without thick passive shielding will likely be destroyed or severely damaged.
There are additional secondary effects of an NEMP, dubbed E2 and E3, that are respectively similar to lightning strikes (E2) and electromagnetic storms caused by very severe solar flares (E3); surge-protectors can ordinarily handle those — unless they are compromised, damaged, or destroyed first… which is exactly what phase E1 of a Nuclear Electromagnetic Pulse attack accomplishes. Thus the E2 and E3 phases are often much more devastating than are natural lightning strikes and EM storms.
So far, the North Koreans have not detonated any NEMP device; the EM pulses they have used to jam or damage our GPS and other electronic devices are non-nuclear, and their range is much more limited; but the principle is the same. NNEMP weapons (non-nuclear) use a non-nuclear method to generate the initial burst of energy, generally chemical explosives; the energy front is sent through wave-shaping circuits or microwave generators, thence through an antenna:
This is the second time North Korea has sought to interfere with military communications. Pyongyang is thought to have been behind a failure of GPS receivers on some naval and civilian aircraft during another joint military exercise in August.
South Korea’s minister of defense at that time had reported to the Congress, warning that the North poses “a fresh security threat” capable of disrupting guided bombs and missiles by sending signals over a distance of up to 60 miles.
However Russia, which sold North Korea the non-nuclear devices that it has used against South Korea and its allies (including the United States), also has an arsenal of the nuclear version; the only force we have to rely on to safeguard against North Korea getting its hands on an NEMP is the basic “decency” and “good sense” of Putin’s post-Soviet paradise. Color me unreassured.
The effect of an NEMP detonated over the United States would be catastrophic; but what would be our response? More appropriately, what are we doing to prevent it from happening in the first place?
I’m sure nuclear scientists have tackled the technological aspect of the threat; but we could also begin shielding vital systems, switches, and lines; infiltrating our own Korean-speaking and -looking agents into the DPRK to find out how far they’ve gotten, rather than overrelying upon intelligence-sharing from the Republic of Korea (South Korea); and even using backchannel communications to warn North Korea’s sponsors (mainly Russia and China) that if Kim Jong-il actually utilizes one, we will consider it to be a nuclear attack on the United States — and we will respond appropriately, both against North Korea and anyone we believe helped them. Or might have helped them.
Obviously, much of the anti-EMP research is heavily classified, and I have no idea how far we’ve gotten. Is there a wide-area techie defense against an electromagnetic pulse? But I’m far more worried about the political aspect: Simply put, I do not trust the Obama administration to do anything effective on either front. I don’t believe they are taking the threat seriously; President Barack H. Obama surely believes that his peerless “smart diplomacy” with the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, coupled with his slavish kow-towing to Red China and Russia, will induce the DPRK dictator to back away from his threats to wipe America out via a nuclear EMP.
And even if Kim — or his looming successor, Kim Jong-un, a.k.a. “Lil’ Kim” — committed the unthinkable against us, what would the Obamunist do about it? He has shown himself incapable of responding to a military threat, incompetent at running a war, and averse to the point of revulsion to defending the United States or retaliating upon our attackers. More than likely the president would issue a very stern diplomatic communique through the proper channels (once radio communications, television broadcasts, word processors, and teleprompters were brought back online); file a criminal and civil complaint in the International Court of Justice at the Hague; and furiously tingle his bell.
And even more likely, that is what Kim believes Obama would do (and not do); which makes it ever so much more probable that North Korea will go right ahead and use the first NEMP they acquire against us… or at least threaten to use it unless Obama capitulates and gives Kim — well, whatever he demands, again and again. Nothing works better than nuclear blackmail, when you have an anti-American coward and weakling in the White House.
If there is a God, and if He believes we’re on His side, then let’s hope He ensures that the DPRK does not get a nuclear electromagnetic pulse weapon; at least not until we have a president who takes seriously the primary duty of the office: to protect American territory, the American people, and America itself from violent attack by foreign princes and terrorists.
Otherwise, “American exceptionalism” will take on a new and very tragic meaning.
Cross-posted on Big Lizards…and Hot Air

Friday, March 4, 2011

Commodities on the rise - still.

Silver Price on 3/4/2011

Silver Price One Year Ago
Does this mean that silver has doubled in price? Yes.
Does this mean that silver has doubled in value? No.
This is a direct result of The Benbernanke doubling the amount of money in circulation. Effectively cutting your purchasing power in half.
Thanks Printing Press Benny!

Brilliant Economic Plan!

This was originally Gov. Jerry Brown's plan for California, but with this kind of brilliance, we should enact this everywhere!!!!

Loss of 4th Amendment Rights, Updated.

Even USA Today has caught on to the issue.

Here's the original article YOU No Longer Have Any Right To Privacy

Is it just me? Or, does this make no sense?

Mosque Makeovers With Your Tax Dollars - Video - WSB Atlanta

Not just our tax dollars, but also borrowed dollars are going to refurbish mosques in foreign countries. Is there something wrong with this picture?

Thursday, March 3, 2011

ATF allowed guns into Mexico. All a ploy in taking guns from US Citizens.

In light of many news stories that have been swirling around over the last several months, concerning the illegal traffic of guns into Mexico, guns bought in the USA, well, it's true. The only problem is that it's been happening with the blessing of the ATFE.
There is a multinational gun grab going on and the OBAMA administration wants more than anything to disarm the populace. What do you do? Drum up as much false gun running stories as possible.
These people should all fry in Hell for their participation in this ploy to deny citizens of every nation their ability to defend themselves.
CBS News spells it out in the article below, published today.

(CBS News) WASHINGTON - Federal agent John Dodson says what he was asked to do was beyond belief.

He was intentionally letting guns go to Mexico?

"Yes ma'am," Dodson told CBS News. "The agency was."

An Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms senior agent assigned to the Phoenix office in 2010, Dodson's job is to stop gun trafficking across the border. Instead, he says he was ordered to sit by and watch it happen.

Investigators call the tactic letting guns "walk." In this case, walking into the hands of criminals who would use them in Mexico and the United States.

Dodson's bosses say that never happened. Now, he's risking his job to go public.

"I'm boots on the ground in Phoenix, telling you we've been doing it every day since I've been here," he said. "Here I am. Tell me I didn't do the things that I did. Tell me you didn't order me to do the things I did. Tell me it didn't happen. Now you have a name on it. You have a face to put with it. Here I am. Someone now, tell me it didn't happen."

Agent Dodson and other sources say the gun walking strategy was approved all the way up to the Justice Department. The idea was to see where the guns ended up, build a big case and take down a cartel. And it was all kept secret from Mexico.

ATF named the case "Fast and Furious."

Surveillance video obtained by CBS News shows suspected drug cartel suppliers carrying boxes of weapons to their cars at a Phoenix gun shop. The long boxes shown in the video being loaded in were AK-47-type assault rifles.

So it turns out ATF not only allowed it - they videotaped it.

Documents show the inevitable result: The guns that ATF let go began showing up at crime scenes in Mexico. And as ATF stood by watching thousands of weapons hit the streets... the Fast and Furious group supervisor noted the escalating Mexican violence.

One e-mail noted, "958 killed in March 2010 ... most violent month since 2005." The same e-mail notes: "Our subjects purchased 359 firearms during March alone," including "numerous Barrett .50 caliber rifles."

Dodson feels that ATF was partly to blame for the escalating violence in Mexico and on the border. "I even asked them if they could see the correlation between the two," he said. "The more our guys buy, the more violence we're having down there."

Senior agents including Dodson told CBS News they confronted their supervisors over and over.
Their answer, according to Dodson, was, "If you're going to make an omelette, you've got to break some eggs."

There was so much opposition to the gun walking, that an ATF supervisor issued an e-mail noting a "schism" among the agents. "Whether you care or not people of rank and authority at HQ are paying close attention to this case...we are doing what they envisioned.... If you don't think this is fun you're in the wrong line of work... Maybe the Maricopa County jail is hiring detention officers and you can get $30,000 ... to serve lunch to inmates..."

"We just knew it wasn't going to end well. There's just no way it could," Dodson said.

On Dec. 14, 2010, Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry was gunned down. Dodson got the bad news from a colleague.

According to Dodson, "They said, 'Did you hear about the border patrol agent?' And I said, 'Yeah.' And they said 'Well it was one of the Fast and Furious guns.' There's not really much you can say after that."

Two assault rifles ATF had let go nearly a year before were found at Terry's murder.

Dodson said, "I felt guilty. I mean it's crushing. I don't know how to explain it."

Sen. Grassley began investigating after his office spoke to Dodson and a dozen other ATF sources -- all telling the same story.

The response was "practically zilch," Grassley said. "From the standpoint that documents we want - we have not gotten them. I think it's a case of stonewalling."

Dodson said he hopes that speaking out helps Terry's family. They haven't been told much of anything about his murder - or where the bullet came from.

"First of all, I'd tell them that I'm sorry. Second of all, I'd tell them I've done everything that I can for them to get the truth," Dodson said. "After this, I don't know what else I can do. But I hope they get it."

Dodson said they never did take down a drug cartels. However, he said thousands of Fast and Furious weapons are still out there and will be claiming victims on both sides of the border for years to come.

Late tonight, the ATF said it will convene a panel to look into its national firearms trafficking strategy. But it refused to comment specifically on Sharyl's report.

Statement from Kenneth E. Melson, Acting Director, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives:

"The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) will ask a multi-disciplinary panel of law enforcement professionals to review the bureau's current firearms trafficking strategies employed by field division managers and special agents. This review will enable ATF to maximize its effectiveness when undertaking complex firearms trafficking investigations and prosecutions. It will support the goals of ATF to stem the illegal flow of firearms to Mexico and combat firearms trafficking in the United States."