The power of III

Summum ius summa iniuria--More law, less justice

14 May 2011

Hey! You just shot Osama Bin Laden! Whaddya gonna do next? "We're goin' to Disneyworld!!"

"In a perfect example of a big media company looking to capitalize on current events, The Walt Disney Company has trademarked “Seal Team 6,” which also happens to be the name of the elite special forces team that killed Osama Bin Laden.
The trademark applications came on May 3rd, two days after the operation that killed Bin Laden… and two days after “Seal Team 6″  was included in thousands of news articles and TV programs focusing on the operation.
Disney’s trademark applications for “Seal Team 6″ cover clothing, footwear, headwear, toys, games and “entertainment and education services,” among other things."


Mom, Mom! Can I get a silenced M110 too, Mom?

13 May 2011

"Right" to healthcare = slavery

Rand Paul, MD, on what it means if the government passes a law that gives citizens the ability to demand a service provided by another individual.

Involuntary servitude:

Follow-up: The Moral necessity of medical marijuana

I previously posted on this issue here.

If you are a parent, this video will emotionally kick your ass.


11 May 2011

The age of Ron Paul

The Judge, and Juan Williams on Freedom Watch:

The best Muslim neighbor any Christian or Jew could ever hope for.

I had the pleasure and privilege to hear a talk and question and answer session with Dr. M. Zuhdi Jasser not long ago.  His organization, the American Islamic Forum for Democracy, formed to fight "political Islam" i.e. theocracies like current Iranian government, or those Muslims that hope to gain a demographic majority and then impose sharia law in Western countries.  

He was born in the US to Syrian emigre parents who fled oppression in the 1960's. He is a nuclear cardiologist living in Phoenix. He served in the US Navy as a physician aboard USS El Paso deployed to Somalia, and went to med school on a Navy scholarship.

He teaches (this is an oversimplification) that the radical stuff in the Koran and Hadith is not to be taken literally, but should be understood and was meant metaphorically.  Separation of mosque and state is essential, because the mixture is "toxic".

From his website, the American Islamic Forum for Democracy:

M. Zuhdi Jasser, M.D. is the President and Founder of the American Islamic Forum for Democracy (AIFD). A devout Muslim, Dr. Jasser founded AIFD in the wake of the 9/11 attacks on the United States as an effort to provide an American Muslim voice advocating for the preservation of the founding principles of the United States Constitution, liberty and freedom, and the separation of mosque and state...

He is a libertarian, with a few neocon leanings. Nice guy in person.

If ever in your life you would consider donating money to a Muslim organization, and I doubt anyone reading this is likely to, this is the one, as far as I can tell...

Dr. Jasser is the real deal, the missing moderate for whom the MSM, pundits, and bloggers seem to yearn. 

And if it impresses you, he is a friend of Glenn Beck:

Quote of the Day, 5/11

The people are Sovereign. ... at the Revolution, the sovereignty devolved on the people; and they are truly the sovereigns of the country, but they are sovereigns without subjects... with none to govern but themselves; the citizens of America are equal as fellow citizens, and as joint tenants in the sovereignty.

--John Jay

How far have we fallen?

10 May 2011

Wall Street Journal publishes and later blatantly scrubs a Euroskeptic article by True Finns leader

First, zerohedge reports a post by Karl Denninger of

Yesterday, when we posted the full original letter submitted by True Finns leader Timo Soini titled "Why I Won't Support More Bailouts" as presented by the Wall Street Journal in verbatim, we were surprised that the WSJ, traditionally the bastion of various Fed interests (a topic previously dissected in "On The New York Fed's Editorial Influence Over The WSJ"), would allow such a truthy letter to appear on its pages. Today, courtesy of Karl Denninger who pointed out something glaringly disgusting, we were forced to look again at the letter as it now  appears on the website of the WSJ. Shockingly, as the redline below indicates, the entire letter was scrubbed with blatant deletions from the original text which can still be found on the pages of Zero Hedge. It is high time that the WSJ readers demand to know whether this unprecedented scrubbing was due to an editorial intervention, or if Soini himself was responsible for this blatant revisionism. If the latter is indeed the case, perhaps supporters of the True Finn party in Finland should inquire who it was that forced their leader to adjusted his letter in such a way. And here we are making fun of Jean Claude Junker for openly lying to the media...

deleted/edited portions of Timo Soini's WSJ article is worth reading here

Here is another Euroskeptic, member of European Parliament Dan Hannan of England, writing in The Telegraph on the same article:

Hannan’s First Law, long-standing readers will recall, holds that no party is Eurosceptic while in office. No one has yet broken it: not Ian Paisley nor Václav Klaus nor even Margaret Thatcher. Will Timo Soini, the brave, devout, amiable, Millwall-obsessed leader of the True Finns, be the exception?
Timo – whom I am proud to count among my friends – stormed to victory at the recent Finnish election: every other party lost support to his centrist but Eurosceptic True Finns who, by the latter stages of the election, were fighting a virtually single issue anti-bailout campaign. It would be pretty awkward for him to join a government that immediately authorised new loans to Portugal or Greece. So will he back down?

Hannan's blog here.

Quote of the Day, 5/10

"Blessed are the young for they shall inherit the national debt." 

--Herbert Hoover, former U.S. President,

Seems them government folks knew 'bout that debt problem for some time...

Personal and post tornado update, including "Asheville to the rescue"

Slacking off on blogging update:

I started a new job last week, so I'm trying to get used to a new routine.  It seems like the intensity of work is much more early in a new job.  At any rate, my time for sneaking a few minutes here or there to write, research, or post has been temporarily curtailed.  

That, plus Mother's Day = 4 days without posting.

Car accident recovery update:

I've also got post concussion syndrome from my March car accident, the main issue being a decrease in the speed that my brain can process information (as I understand it, multiple neurons were disrupted in their connections on a microscopic level, so thought memory A routed to thought center B has to go via C and D, instead of direct A to B).  It sucks, because I am very aware of the slowness, even though if you met me on the street, you couldn't tell. Everything takes just a little longer, and it makes work and doing paperwork at the house less efficient.  My memory is off, too.  From doctors and what I read, this could last weeks, months, or years.  It depends on my body and the love and mercy of the Lord.

Broken ribs are easier to deal with, for me, because its just pain that will (and has) passed.  

I finally get what its like for some guys after they were hit with an IED, or after someone has head trauma.  An invisible injury like post concussion syndrome is hard to understand and sympathize with until you live it.

Post-tornado update:

The property in Greeneville, TN is undergoing repairs;  the Red Cross and the people of Greene County have been amazing.  

Asheville to the rescue!!!:  

My dad was out in the yard despairing of workers who had cancelled on us at the last minute, when a woman drove up and asked if he needed any help with yard work.  He said "Oh, all I can get."  So this kind stranger makes a call, and tells my dad that "help is on the way."

A little while later, 14 men from an Asheville church came, all volunteers.  In very short order, literally prayers answered, our yard was cleaned up.  That saved us hours and hours, not to mention the monetary savings.  Amazing!  I am sending a big donation to the church.  We are so grateful.

After the main repairs are done, I am looking into taking the house off the grid;  the creek on the property is appropriate for microhydro power.  Really cool stuff. I will post on that as it develops.

09 May 2011

Yankee historian: Re-enactors are fools

It is an interesting, if depressing, intellectual exercise to read any article by Professor Glenn LaFantasie of Western Kentucky University, and then to peruse the comments section afterward.  Don't ask me why I keep doing it.

This article was published on Saturday, and as I write this, there are 102 comments.

The article bashes reenactors, especially the Confederate reenactors. LaFantasie ridicules their title "living historians," and the efforts that reenactors make in trying to physically recall the life of the soldier of 1861-65.  Because the actual war was so much more harsh, reenacting cannot be the appropriate way to commemorate the War.

Reenacting may lack the pain of an amputated limb without anesthesia.  It may just be a few thousand bucks in specialty custom clothing and gear, blisters from stiff hobnailed boots, smelling of the eating and sleeping rough, and wondering why the heck you're wearing wool in 97 degree heat.  

It is without the equivalent sacrifice, surely, but an honest attempt at commemoration nonetheless.  Silly and unfortunate of LaFantasie to scorn the passion of late generations of Americans because it falls short of the actual reality.  

Do we need to see and smell the results of double canister on thirty men to commemorate properly?  

Do we need to fire the Fort Sumter mortar at 4:30 am on April 12th 2011 for historical accuracy, and wake up blissfully unaware residents of Charleston with the sound of gunfire at a time that this "nation" is engaged in multiple wars?  

Do we need to make sure that every explosion is just as loud as the original, even though the increased powder might represent a danger to spectators?  These are some of the issues that the author of the article decided to deride.

I think the reenactors, especially the hard-core reenactors, are acutely aware of the inadequacy of their effort to recreate the true experience.

After dissuading the reader from reenacting, the author then guides the reader to the more proper ways to commemorate the War.  Generously, LaFantasie acts the professor and guides the reader to many worthy books on the "Civil War" written by court historians towing the Union line.

In order to set the proper mindset to commemorate the War, Professor LaFantasie insists the reader review both the Gettysburg address and the Declaration of Independence.  

I will spare you the effort to find the text of the Gettysburg address:

"Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent a new nation, conceived in liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal."

["...all men are created equal":  Meaning all free men are equal under the law, nothing more;  it has been extrapolated and then later assumed to refer to the equality of white and black men.  

Is it doubted that whites of the North and the South, in great majorities, would have considered racial equality an alien concept? 

Whites of the North and the South believed blacks inferior, even those who advocated abolition.  But in the context of the Gettysburg address, it is a moot point.  "Our forefathers" referenced by Mr. Lincoln, in stating "all men are created equal", referred specifically to free Americans and free Englishmen being equal to royals and nobles--equal in Natural Rights, and equal before blind Justice.  This is nothing new, just a reiteration of a Judeo-Christian biblical precept.]

Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation, so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battle-field of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.

But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate, we can not consecrate, we can not hallow this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us—that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion—that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain—that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom—and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.

[As for the famous..."of the people, by the people, for the people..." I will let H.L. Mencken reply for me: 

"The Gettysburg speech was at once the shortest and the most famous oration in American history...the highest emotion reduced to a few poetical phrases. Lincoln himself never even remotely approached it. It is genuinely stupendous. But let us not forget that it is poetry, not logic; beauty, not sense. Think of the argument in it. Put it into the cold words of everyday. The doctrine is simply this: that the Union soldiers who died at Gettysburg sacrificed their lives to the cause of self-determination – that government of the people, by the people, for the people, should not perish from the earth. It is difficult to imagine anything more untrue. The Union soldiers in the battle actually fought against self-determination; it was the Confederates who fought for the right of their people to govern themselves."

The true history of the War Between the States is complex, and even a scholar will never personally read more than a small fraction of original sources.  Some of these sources will be tainted with the spin or perspective of the person who lived at the time;  therefore how much can even a scholar understand with certainty about the War, let alone a mere mundane who takes the scholar's conclusions on faith?

If you read the comments section, you'd be surprised at how many of LaFantasie's readers are certain they know the "Truth" with a capital "T" about the causes of the War.  For example, I was shocked when I read in someone's comment that the South formed an army to invade the North. (Yikes! What books have you been smoking?)  

In the comments section, as seen following many other typical court historian articles, including other articles by LaFantasie, again and again I discover that the Confederates were wrong, they were traitors, they lost but they dont seem to get that they lost, and that a myth, the Myth of the Lost Cause, grew up after the Civil War, popularized by Jefferson Davis' Rise and Fall of the Confederate Government.  (Yawn.  If y'all are so sure of yourselves, why even bother to comment--y'all doth protest too much, methinks... )

For me, the key question to understand the motivation of the Confederate soldiers always boiled down to this: If 90% of Lee's Army were not slave owners, why did they fight so long and so tenaciously, against amazing odds, if the sole reason they fought was for "slavery"?  

Because they were racist? White supremacists? Stupid, ignorant, and inbred? Evil? Traitors, rebels, and bushwackers?

Uhh, let me see, 

Try this:  They were moral honorable men who left wives and children at home and risked everything they had to fight against what they rightfully believed to be a tyrannical power intent on stamping out their culture.  Their worst fears came true.

Of my 6 great great great grandfathers who served in the Confederate States' Army, none were slave owners.  I know (as I know anything that seems "true" in life) they didn't fight to keep slaves, or so that rich men that lived far away from their Western Appalachia could keep slaves.  These men thought locally.  

Why did they fight? Only a few explanations ring true to me, "Lost Cause" myth or not:  

They fought because the North invaded the South to force fellow Southern states back into a "nation." (The war was fought to prevent secession)

They fought because the Yankees were "down here." (to defend hearth and home)

They fought because they believed the original country was a voluntary gathering of independent States, and some of these States again wanted to be sovereign and independent, not subject to the whim of a remote executive operating outside the bounds of the Constitution.  (fought for the idea of self determination, same as their great-grandparents in the Revolution)

Flag of the free mind

For each of the six men, there might be six or more reasons;  I can never know because they left no explanation of their motivation at the time.  I can only tell you what I believe to be true.

To Professor LaFantasie:  There were many reasons why Northerners and Southerners fought,  but you seem to think that only one holds any legitimacy, the other, none at all.  As a historian, do you not do injustice to history by delegitimizing and marginalizing the motivation of the Southern patriot?  

In my view of history, what is important is to recreate for the reader the context of the times, and understand why different perspectives existed, and to then make it more difficult for the reader to know what they would have done if they lived at the time.  

To write polemics is fine and dandy in academia, when one wants to make himself taller by rhetorically cutting off the head of the adjacent scholar. However, polemical writing is illegitimate in writing pure history, that is, history intended to teach rather than indoctrinate

Here is the rest of the article.

08 May 2011

They're relaxing restrictions now they got Bin Laden, right? Wrong!

NEW YORK | Sun May 8, 2011 3:56pm EDT
(Reuters) - A senator on Sunday called for a "no-ride list" for Amtrak trains after intelligence gleaned from the raid on Osama bin Laden's compound pointed to potential attacks on the nation's train system.
Sen. Charles Schumer said he would push as well for added funding for rail security and commuter and passenger train track inspections and more monitoring of stations nationwide.
"Circumstances demand we make adjustments by increasing funding to enhance rail safety and monitoring on commuter rail transit and screening who gets on Amtrak passenger trains, so that we can provide a greater level of security to the public," the New York Democrat said at a news conference.
U.S. officials last week said evidence found after the raid on bin Laden's compound in Pakistan indicated the al Qaeda leader or his associates had engaged in discussions or planning for a possible attack on a train inside the United States on September 11, 2011.
Schumer, citing U.S. intelligence analysts, said attacks were also considered on Christmas and New Year's Day and following the president's State of the Union address.
He called on the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to expand the Secure Flight monitoring program, which cross-checks air travelers with the terror watch list in an attempt to prevent anyone on the "no-fly list" from boarding, for use on Amtrak.
Such a procedure would create an Amtrak "no-ride list" to keep suspected terrorists off the U.S. rail system, he said.
The September 11 Commission recommended in 2004 that the government check travelers' names against terror watch lists before they board passenger trains or cruise ships, but such a program was not adopted.
Schumer noted that rail and port security grant funding was cut by $50 million under last month's federal budget compromise, but he said developments warrant reconsideration and increased rail safety funding.

Reuters article verbatim, link here.


The NYPD, I'm told by a reliable source, is also stepping up random bag checks on the NY City subways.  More random invasions of citizen privacy.  

Feel more secure yet?

Luckily, they can just print the extra money they need for the extra security measures.  That money won't come from your pocket, y'see.

Government only ever increases its size and power.  They got their foot in the door with these al Qaida emergencies, and now we have anti liberty laws passed.  Laws that permit executive orders for extrajudicial killings of American citizens, and soviet style borders and internal security.  Now that the main bad guy is killed, the government jacks up the security, doesn't decrease it, because now they acknowledge the idea of blowback.  

When will we have our country back?  The fedgov aint gonna give it back to us, apparently. 

What Hyperinflation looks like

  What Hyperinflation Looks Like

File:Inflació utan 1946.jpg
Sweeping up pengő banknotes. Hungary, 1946

100 Billion Dollars buys eggs in Zimbabwe.

500 Billion Dinar note from Yugoslavia.
Burning marks as fuel to keep warm. Germany, 1913.

As I've previously noted, hyperinflationists are too focused on Weimar Germany:

You've heard how bad things were in the Weimar Republic, when people would rush straight to stores to buy food after receiving a pay check because their money would buy much less the next day.
But it turns out that Germany's hyperinflation in 1923 was nothing compared to that experienced by Hungary, Zimbabwe and Yugoslavia.
In a new paper published by the Cato Institute, economics professor Steve Hanke lists the all-time worst episodes of hyperinflation:
Note that Hungary's daily inflation rate was ten times greater than that in Weimar Germany, and prices doubled almost six times faster in Hungary than in the Weimar Republic.
Life in Weimar Germany was extremely difficult. But Hungary in 1946 was a lot worse.
Note: While the commonly accepted explanation for hyperinflation is government printing too much money, Ellen Brown argues that the real explanation is a concerted attack on a country's currency by foreign speculators and/or foreign governments.
Postscript: This post is not implying that I think we'll necessarily get hyperinflation. It is only trying to put historical cases of hyperinflation in context.

Verbatim from Washington's blog, via

What will you do with your federal reserve notes when people lose faith in them? 

After the War Between the States, Confederate currency was taken in bulk to NY, and used as insulation in new houses going up.  It is still found on occasion, brittle and weathered, lining the walls.  

That's the fate of paper money backed only by promises.

Federal reserve notes are backed only by promises to print more paper.