The power of III

Summum ius summa iniuria--More law, less justice

30 April 2011

Tiny slice of the devastation in Greene County, TN

I don't know if you can make it out, but all of the little white things through those broken trees in the distance are people's clothes and debris from houses.  

This is the metal roof of a house or out-building:

Houses are gone, or mostly gone.

I understand 8 people were killed, including some kids.

29 April 2011

The bottom line will create the tipping point

Taken verbatim from


The 9 Places Where Inflation is Crushing Us

Jeff Reeves writes:

The Federal Reserve would have you believe that everything is fine, focusing on core inflation rates and ignoring broader measures of inflation as they affect food and energy. These commodity-driven prices, as our central banking overlords would have you believe, are naturally more volatile and shouldn’t be overstated.

You would think after Fed bureaucrat William Dudley was castigated for talking up the affordability of iPads while ignoring real family expenses, our Federal Reserve officials would have woken up to reality...

Here are nine crushing costs of inflation that are breaking many American households:

1. Beef
In a revised forecast Monday, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said consumers will see higher price tags on ground beef and steak, projecting 6% to 7% increases year over year. That’s up from a previous forecast of just 4.5% to 5.5% inflation for beef prices. Beef prices have surged in the last several months as supplies shrink, exports boom and grain costs soar.

2. Pork
Don’t think you can just switch from cow to pig to avoid this trend — pork could see retail price increases of as much as 7.5% over 2010 levels according to the USDA.

3. Grains
Even going vegetarian is more expensive than it was a year ago. Corn prices have doubled, from $3.49 a bushel in July to well over $7.70 currently. Wheat prices have rolled back a bit in recent weeks, but topped 2008 highs in February to set a new record and remain very high currently.

4. Gasoline
The average U.S. price of a gallon of gasoline has jumped about 12 cents over the last two weeks to $3.88, with the highest average price for gas tallying $4.27 in Tucson, Ariz. This is with oil at $112 a barrel — if crude prices reach 2008 peak levels of $145, four bucks for gas may seem cheap.

5. Copper
The price of copper at the end of 2008 was just $1.30 per pound. Currently, copper is trading around $4.30 after setting a record of $4.60 in February. Unlike gold and silver, which are largely used in luxury goods or as investments, copper is used in a wide range of household items — from electrical wiring to air conditioners to water pipes. Read about how gold could hit $5,000 soon on

6. Diapers
Consumer-products company Procter & Gamble /quotes/comstock/13*!pg/quotes/nls/pg PG -1.60% said this week that list prices for Pampers are up 7% on average over last year, with even Pampers wipes up 3%. To be clear, that’s not a retail price hike, just a cost increase to stores. Retailers will decide how much of those price increases to pass along to shoppers. Kimberly-Clark /quotes/comstock/13*!kmb/quotes/nls/kmb KMB -0.31% , maker of Huggies, said Monday it plans to raise prices for similar reasons — rising costs for the petroleum products and paper pulp that go into the diapers. It will be the third such announcement for Kimberly-Clark since the middle of March.

7. Paper towels and toilet paper
If you don’t have infants, you’re not off the hook. P&G also said that Charmin toilet paper and Bounty paper towels are both listing for 5% more now with retailers and distributors than they were a year ago. KMB’s diaper price update will also be accompanied by a boost for its flagship Kleenex tissues.

8. Shipping surcharges
Freight shipper United Parcel Service /quotes/comstock/13*!ups/quotes/nls/ups UPS +0.15% will be hiking its fuel surcharges from 7.5% to 8.5% as of May 2 for ground freight and from 13% to 15% for air freight. That really hurts small businesses. If you are a storekeeper simply trying to keep your shelves stocked, you have no choice but to pay more and endure smaller margins — or hike prices yourself and add to this inflationary mess.

9. Wages
Perhaps the most insidious factor of our current inflationary spiral is the fact that while all these other items are costing more, household purchasing power is shrinking because wages and salaries aren’t keeping up. While the consumer price index rose 2.7% in March to clock the fastest 12-month pace since December 2009, a staggering 18.3% of personal income is now made up of food stamps while wages account for just 50.5%. That’s the lowest since the government started keeping records in 1929


"I do not think it is an exaggeration to say history is largely a history of inflation, usually inflations engineered by governments for the gain of governments."

-- Friederich August von Hayek

"Perhaps the fact that we have seen millions voting themselves into complete dependence on a tyrant has made our generation understand that to choose one's government is not necessarily to secure freedom."

-- Friederich August von Hayek

To statist Democrats or statist Republicans and all the rest of us mundanes who still vote for statist Democrats and statist Republicans out there:

How's that central economic planning thing workin' out for ya? 

Operation Gunwalker finally hits Judge Napolitano

I sent him all I had on the story a couple of months ago, around the time that CBS was breaking it's first story.  I told him in the email about Mike Vanderboegh and David Codrea, and suggest that he interview the bloggers that broke the story.  I also sent the story to Lew Rockwell, and encouraged him to contact the Judge.

Instead Judge Napolitano has Sheriff Mack on to discuss the story, too little, too late, wrong source to interview.  

I love ya, Judge Nap, but give credit where it is due:, the ATF agents who became whistleblowers, and Mike Vanderboegh of Sipsey Street Irregulars and David Codrea of the National Gun Rights Examiner!!  Disappointed, Judge!!  Ya had your chance!

Even the lairds of Fairfax at the NRA had a big print story in the American Rifleman magazine before you put it on the show...

Depressed. Tornados suck.

So I get back from a great Easter break with the kids, and starting to get back into some normal routine since my March 10th accident, and guess what happens?

My dad is all excited about our new house in Greene County TN.  He's renovating, getting the yard in order, and making progress.  Yesterday afternoon he texted me about the first day using a new ride on mower, and how the property now looks like a park.  "You're gonna love it!" he tells me.

Then I get a call at midnight last night, and right away I knew something was wrong.  He was really stressed and tells me about the tornado.

A big tree fell across the truck, onto the house and garage, and a branch came through the ceiling into the living room, as he was backed up against the wall.  The noise was awful, and he felt the pressure suck the air right out of the house.  There was no power, of course.

With difficulty, our relatives from Telford made their way south to pick up my dad in the middle of the night.

Today we found out 7 people were killed just up the road.  Lots of injured and damage.  

Lots of trees that made our property so beautiful to us were knocked down by the tornado.  Several trusses of the roof are broken by the fall of the big tree.

As some of you may know, my father's family is North Carolinian since the 1730's.  I was raised in western New York.  When he put my name next to his on the deed to that little house on the creek just a couple of weeks ago, it was the first time that I ever owned a piece of land in the South.  And where my heart is is no mystery to anyone who reads my blog.

Really sad, but what happened to us is really nothing compared to some folks just up the road.

The insurance should pay for the repairs, eventually.  The trees will grow back in time.  I thank G-d he wasn't hurt physically. 

I hope my dad will try to see the glass half full:  the trees were beautiful and enhanced the privacy of the place, but at least we have a clear view of the Smokies, for a while.

26 April 2011

Another example of Yankee insanity

How are the mighty fallen,

and the weapons of war perished!--2 Samuel 1:27

How very very far have the residents of Concord fallen in intelligence since April of 1775!

Get a load of this:

The town of Concord has banned the sale of bottled drinking water in town beginning in 2011.

"We only have one planet and I just don't want to see it spoiled," said Jean Hill, who introduced the measure at Concord's Town Meeting.

Supporters say the production of plastic water bottles uses 17 million barrels of oil each year. The beverage industry opposes the measure.

Via Sipsey Street Irregulars.  Read the rest here.

24 April 2011

The South has become a "red-hot brand"

I found this article in Businessweek to be otherwise condescending toward Southerners, but I share it with you as an "FYI".  
Several phrases belie the author's underlying loathing of the Southern.
To me, these are the latest schemes to exploit the South.  Southern culture is put on a pedestal but Southerners are mocked as stupid and backward. 
I know this is a stretch, but the author's condescending tone vaguely reminded of the planned Nazi museum of "exotic extinct races" they intended to build in the Josefov section of Prague (after they won the war and succeeded in the Holocaust) -- i.e. something akin to: "We can now celebrate and view with curious interest the culture we have finally wiped out."
"While Brooklyn hipsters have long dressed like sharecroppers, lower- and middle-brow Southern culture is now rising across the globe. Music duo the Bellamy Brothers, marginally famous for their country hit Let Your Love Flow, are currently playing to sold-out crowds in South Africa and Sri Lanka, where, according to their booking agent Judy Seale, they're "treated like Elvis." In the U.K., sales of Kentucky bourbon have risen by 25 percent since 2005, according to London-based market research firm International Wine and Spirits Research. (IWSR also predicts sales will increase an additional 22 percent by 2014.) The independent movie Winter's Bone, which chronicles a teenage girl's travails chopping wood and killing squirrels, is on pace to eclipse its U.S. domestic gross with overseas revenue. Chris Benz isn't the only fashion guru going full Southern. According to agrarian-chic designer Billy Reid, the global customer is now attracted to products that have "Southern roots."
The rise of the Southern brand, though, seems linked to the fall of many other things. "Consumers have been increasingly interested in the South as a result of several trends," explains Savannah Haspel of market research firm IBIS World. (Yes, that's her real name.) Among them, she says, is that "post-Katrina funding and aid turned consumers' attention toward the region." 
Harvey Jackson, a professor of history at Alabama's Jacksonville State University and an editor of The New Encyclopedia of Southern Culture, believes that in uncertain times, "the South is a calmer, quieter place, and a lot of folks are craving that right now." 
Kim Holloway, creator of the popular blog Stuff Southern People Like, agrees. "If you're out of work, depressed, and stressed out, caviar and sushi aren't exactly going to stanch the flow of tears," she says. "But fried chicken might!" The export of Southern culture, Holloway emphasizes, is directly linked to its affordability and accessibility. Whether a region is grappling with austerity measures or decreased disposable income, less-pricey Southern diversions redevelop the sheen they've had, says Holloway, "since the Civil War ended and Confederate money was suddenly as useless as tits on a bull."
"...Throughout Lebanon, the Roadster chain of diners has introduced cheese fries and burgers doused in barbecue sauce to people bored by a healthier Mediterranean diet. By the end of last year, 3,200 KFC restaurants were operating across China. Says Yum! Brands public-relations manager Virginia Ferguson: "We expect the Yum! China Division to become our first $1 billion profit business in the near future." According to Deen's son, Bobby, himself the star of numerous Deen spin-offs, "You realize [now] how pervasive the South has become."

Don't you feel all warm and fuzzy inside now that these Yankees can feel good again about the South after 150 years of ethnic cleansing?

If you can stomach it, read the rest of the article.

The evil of the Federal Reserve: currency debasement

From -- The Moral Issues of Money:
The author recounts a sermon by his pastor:
His sermon came from the book of James, chapter 5, verses 1 to 6:
Now listen, you rich people, weep and wail because of the misery that is coming on you. Your wealth has rotted, and moths have eaten your clothes. Your gold and silver are corroded. Their corrosion will testify against you and eat your flesh like fire. You have hoarded wealth in the last days. Look! The wages you failed to pay the workers who mowed your fields are crying out against you. The cries of the harvesters have reached the ears of the Lord Almighty. You have lived on earth in luxury and self-indulgence. You have fattened yourselves in the day of slaughter. You have condemned and murdered the innocent one, who was not opposing you.
Now, if you're a "rich person," this passage seems quite grim. But it's not that simple of a read. With a little analysis and clear thinking, it is evident — and my pastor pointed this out — that James isn't speaking to "the rich" per se, but to the capitalists — that is, to business owners, wealthy industrialists, and those who employ the masses. James says to them, Do not exploit.
James warns against four types of exploitation: (1) money debasement, (2) defrauding employees, (3) gluttony, and (4) legal/civil aggression.
In regard to this verse, three things must explained: (1) Gold and silver were the money of that age. (2) Gold and silver have a variety of unique attributes which make them ideal for being money, and one of those attributes is that, so long as they are 99.9 percent pure, they never truly corrode. Last, (3) Gold and silver must be forged by fire; and when they melt, all impurities are exposed and divorced from the pure gold and silver.
Comparing James's statement to these facts, it is clear what James is addressing in verse 3: He is talking about money, and he is speaking out against the debasement of it.

The quote from James struck home;  it can just as easily be applied to today's ruling oligarchy of politicians, banks, and assorted connected Statists.
Read the rest here. You know where it goes from here:  The Federal Reserve prints money from thin air and debases the dollar.  This, of course, is legal plunder, and is immoral and evil. 

Here is a companion quote from the NY Sun, a (usually neocon) conservative newspaper in the NY socialist peoples republic:

Mr. Obama has never given us a major speech in which he talks about how he views money or what he thinks of what has become of the dollar during his presidency. The value of the greenback has, for the record, fallen more than 43% from the 853rd of an ounce of gold that it was worth at the end of the day on which Mr. Obama acceded to the presidency. That is less of a decline than the 68% slide in the value of the dollar under President George W. Bush. But Mr. Bush was in office eight years. The steepness of the plunge under Mr. Obama is breathtaking.(emphasis added)

Rand Paul paints the Senate Democrats into a corner

From The Humble Libertarian blog:

So far I've been extremely impressed with Senator Rand Paul, not only for his stalwart commitment to liberty and sanity in public policy, but for his hilarious trolling of Senate legislators in order to advance these principles and demonstrate that most legislators only pay lip service to them, like when Rand attached an amendment to a bill calling on Senators to adopt Barack Obama's own words as a presidential candidate to describe the "sense of the Senate" on his recent intervention into Libya:
"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."

Paul's office said:

"...the measure aims to put the Senate on record affirming Congress as the body with constitutional authority on matters of war."

This left Senate Democrats with the impolitic choice of opposing the President's illegal war in Libya, or standing with the President while angering antiwar Democrats and essentially implying that the President does have the power to unilaterally authorize military action-- something that sounds more like a Bush-era neocon doctrine than something honest "liberals" (in the modern sense of that word) would support.

Read the rest of the article, which recounts a similar episode from 1971 Texas, when a legislator got the whole legislature to unanimously pass a bill lauding the Boston Strangler...