Friday, June 19, 2009

Minnesota Congresswoman Refuses to Complete 2010 Census

This is what I'm talking about. At least someone in "the system" understands what the census is supposed to be and is making a stand.

I know for my family the only question we will be answering is how many people are in our home," she said. "We won't be answering any information beyond that, because the Constitution doesn't require any information beyond that.
Of course, a census bureau spokesperson says Mrs. Bachmann is "misreading" the law.

I don't believe that Mrs. Bachman said anything about "the law." I believe she mentioned "the Constitution." Shall we see what the Constitution has to say about the matter? Let's start with Article I Section 2.

Representatives and direct Taxes shall be apportioned among the several States which may be included within this Union, according to their respective Numbers, which shall be determined by adding to the whole Number of free Persons, including those bound to Service for a Term of Years, and excluding Indians not taxed, three fifths of all other Persons.
I'm not seeing anything about race, creed, religion, income, political affiliation or anything along those lines.

Of course, feel free to answer all the other questions and see what happens.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Senator Durbin Cashes Out After Meeting with Bernanke and Paulson

From Bloomberg News:

As U.S. stock markets plummeted last September, the Senate's No. 2 Democrat, Dick Durbin, sold more than $115,000 worth of stocks and mutual-fund shares and used much of the money to invest in Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway Inc.

The Illinois senator's 2008 financial disclosure statement shows he sold mutual-fund shares worth $42,696 on Sept. 19, the day after then-Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson and Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke urged congressional leaders in a closed meeting to craft legislation to help financially troubled banks. The same day, he bought $43,562 worth of Berkshire Hathaway's Class B stock, the disclosure shows.

Altogether, Durbin sold investments worth $116,000 in September. By Oct. 2, he had invested $98,046 in Omaha, Neb.-based Berkshire Hathaway, the form shows.

I have nothing to add. As Moe Szyslak once said: "Choking on my own rage here."


Tennessee Firearms Freedom Act

Tennessee has followed Montana's lead and passed HB 1796/SB 1610. The new law states:

[F]ederal laws and regulations do not apply to personal firearms, firearm accessories, or ammunition that is manufactured in Tennessee and remains in Tennessee. The limitation on federal law and regulation stated in this bill applies to a firearm, a firearm accessory, or ammunition that is manufactured using basic materials and that can be manufactured without the inclusion of any significant parts imported into this state. This bill states that firearms accessories imported into Tennessee that are subject to federal regulation do not subject a firearm to federal regulation under interstate commerce simply because they are attached to or used in conjunction with a firearm in Tennessee.
Unfortunately for Tennessee, their Governor does not back the bill. Governor Bresden -- who it turns out is a carpetbagger from New Jersey with a Harvard ecucation -- believes that the law is unconstitutional:

This bill is not about firearms. It is about a fringe constitutional theory that I believe will be quickly dispensed with by the federal courts.

The Tennessee General Assembly lacks the Constitutional authority to limit the power and authority of federal government in this way…

Now, I don't disagree with him that the fed will try to -- and probably succeed in -- squashing this law. But that's not the point. The point is that Tennessee's law, like Montana's, is absolutely constitutional and is, technically, unnecessary given the Tenth Amendment and the Commerce Clause.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Jim Wiseman: 'Suburban Survivalist'

Alright. This guy's been popping up all over the web and MSM lately (like here and here).

He's getting some praise and catching a lot of flak. I've left some comments around about how I feel, but I figured I'd clarify here instead of jacking someone else's blog.

First off, I'm not claiming to be an expert on survivalism or preparedness. I've had the mindset ever since I was in Boy Scouts and especially after the Loma Prieta Quake back in '89. I've always had a small stash of food and ammo, but I've only started actively increasing my stashes in the past year or so. I started off with the Rambo mentality and stocked up on magazines and ammo before considering food. I'm not entirely sure that was a mistake, though. Ammo prices have gone up considerably faster than food prices, so I may still come out on top for that one.

Secondly, I'd like to say that I'm very happy that this man has his shit together and believes he is "pretty well set." He and his family are better set than I and mine. I'd like to be at his level of preps, but I'm not. There's one thing I read that really sets Mr. Wiseman apart from me and most of the people I know:

In the last six month he's spent about $20,000 on food, a 250-gallon water storage tank, a water filter, medical supplies, a grain mill (which can be operated by hand if there's no power), a generator for his RV, and guns and ammunition. "I believe I'm pretty well set." Wiseman says he spent $6,900 alone on food...
After my mortgage, utilities, car payment, insurance premiums, gasoline, regular food, diapers, and day to day food, I'm lucky to have that much discretionary income over the course of two or three years.

Whether he intended it or not, Mr. Wiseman has become a poster child of sorts for the survival/preparedness movement. The MSM has latched on to him -- for better or for worse -- and thrust him, and the movement, into the spotlight.

The better: Finally, a story in the MSM that doesn't portray all survivalists as armed, anti-government, xenophobic, racist extremists with itchy trigger fingers. A well written story like this could help more people get the idea that they should be prepared to take care of themselves; that Uncle Sugar may not be around or willing or able to help out.

The worse: Someone reading these stories may see the price tag associated with Mr. Wiseman's purchases and immediately balk at the idea of becoming prepared. If someone is actually watching MSNBC (or most of the other MSM outlets), he's probably not "woken up" yet. If he's interested in the stories about Mr. Wiseman, the viewer is probably starting to wake up. Unfortunately, I worry that many people will see the pricetag of Mr. Wiseman's purchases and walk away.

It's absolutely lovely that Mr. Wiseman could drop 20G's over six months and get himself squared away. If I had the resources, I'd have already bought acerage, built a bunker and a castle and stuffed it full of beans, bullets and band-aids. That's just not an option for most of us.

Being on a budget means doing things slowly and having patience. I'm doing a lot of sale shopping. I normally go grocery shopping twice a week. I'm spending about $10-$15 extra each trip on buying canned goods (mostly fruits and vegetables). About twice a month, I'll throw in a few pounds of dried beans or rice. When flour, sugar, salt and other baking needs are on sale, I'll pick some up. I grab a case of bottled water -- needed or not -- every time I go grocery shopping. We only go through a case a week, so we're stockpilking one to two cases per week.

Over the course of about 2 months, I've managed to accumulate nearly four months of food for two adults and a toddler. It may not be delicious Mountain House lasagne and chili mac, but it's a good variety of things we normally eat. If the shit doesn't hit the fan, I'm not out as much money since we'll probably eat and rotate 90% of our supplies before they expire. When they do get close to expiration, we'll take them to a canned food drive and claim a tax deduction on it.

I also bought a pressure canner recently. When we make a big batch of beans or lentils or just about anything else, we now can what we won't eat for leftovers. We're also starting a small garden plot in our backyard. It's basically going to be a 10'x15' plot of containers, but it will end up cutting down -- albiet marginally -- on our regular grocery bill as well as on the money we spend on preps since we'll be able to can our own vegetables. Also, in the event of SHTF, the garden will provide a welcome morale boost in the form of fresh food. That assumes we will have enough water to keep the garden going, though.

Over at Boniface's Treatise, Wyn mentions fishing is probably the best way to supplement one's stores. I am inclined to agree with him, but, unfortunately, it's a lot easier for me to bag squirrels or rabbits than fish. If I lived 20 or 30 miles south or west, it would be the opposite. Either way, fresh meat and fish should be simply looked upon as a way to supplement one's food stores. Unless you're some kind of super wilderness man and a professional hunter/trapper, you will definitely starve if you plan on living off the land. Even if you are an expert, one bad season will still kill you.

I don't want to come across as a jerk -- any more than I already have already -- but I do have some concerns about the way Mr. Wiseman has chosen to spend his money. I'm going to try to be critical, but constructive.

None of the article's I've come across have mentioned anything about Mr. Wiseman's personal history with firearms. I'm curious if any of the $20,000 he spent involved any training or range time for him or his family.

Mr. Wiseman has a generator, but does he know how much noise those things make? If there is a complete economic meltdown and he and his family are living off of the food in his garage, that generator is going to be screaming "come loot us!"

I also wonder how Mr. Wiseman plans on filling -- or how he filled -- his 250 gallon water storage tank. Did he just run the tap? Is he counting on rain water? Collecting 250 gallons of rain is going to be quite a task given that California is going to be pretty dry until winter comes back around.

Has Mr. Wiseman come done any contingency planning? Unless he's managed to fortify his home to the point where it's fireproof and impenetrable, he may have to bug out. Does he have any routes mapped? A bug out location just as well stocked as his home? Pre-positioned supplies? I don't either, but that's one reason why I'm not completely confident in my preparations.

Being private orgainizations (assumedly), the MSM outlets are not -- nor should they be -- required to convey my point of view. It would be nice, though, if someone who wasn't fabulously well-to-do were to be the focus of one of these stories so that the average Joe can see that it is possible to build preps without selling a kidney.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Wrote a Song for Everyone

Saw the people standin', thousand years in chains.
Somebody said it's different now, look, it's just the same.
Pharaohs spin the message, round and round the truth.
They could have saved a million people, how can I tell you?
"Wrote a Song for Everyone" by Creedence Clearwater Revival (written by John Fogerty).

I was listening to some CCR on the drive in to work this morning and the lyric above stuck with me.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

So, This is What a Failed State Looks Like

Surprisingly, all of the budget related ballot measures in last night's special election did not pass. The only measure that passed was the "stick it to the man" measure that denies raises to the state legislature if the budget is not balanced. I'm sure the legislature will find ways around that: cost of living increases, stipend/per diem increases, all that good stuff.

Maybe people are finally waking up in California. Or maybe they're just tired of being taxed to death. Or maybe they just blame our Republican-in-name Governator for the mistakes of his liberal predecessor, the liberal voters of the past, and the current liberal legislature.

While I'd normally be quite please about this, Arnie is now threatening to take "drastic" measures to make up for the lost monies. He's talking about laying off 5,000 state employees, including 3,000 corrections officers. He's also talking about releasing 38,000 inmates from the state prison system.

I'm sure there are going to be tax increases as well. Property tax revenues are down since the real estate bubble burst. State property taxes are 1.1% of the property's purchase price or last appraisal. We have some built in protection that caps how fast the taxes can go up, but no protection on how fast they can decline. My own property taxes dropped over $1,000 from 2007 to 2008. I'm expecting 2009's property taxes to be even lower, but in 2010 they will probably be double what they were in 2007. Not that I think my home's value is going to rebound, but I think that the state is going to triple or quadruple the property tax in order to pay for its youth indoctrination public school program.

Our sales tax went up as a "temporary" measure on 01 April of this year. I'm sure that there will be an "emergency" extension of it in the coming weeks, if not another "emergency" increase.

Our vehicle registration fees also doubled on 01 April of this year.

Our unemployment rate is 11.5%. If I remember correctly (and I'm too lazy to research it) back when times were "good" it was projected that at 7% unemployment the unemployment program would pay out more money than it took in by 2013. If this high rate holds up, it will probably be in the red by 2010 or 2011. I'm expecting the unemployment withholding to either skyrocket or for the unemployment checks to stop getting mailed.

We already stopped mailing welfare checks once this year. That will probably happen again.

All of this makes me want to re-check my pantry and re-count my ammo.

I guess I'll be re-reading a lot of FerFAL's old posts.

The hell of it is that I'm pretty much stuck here. It seemed like a good idea to buy a house in 2005. I could probably sell it now for less than a third of what I owe on it, which I'm not willing to do.

I wonder if Texas would accept me and my family if we claimed political asylum.

It's not that I don't support the state layoffs (other than law enforcement), unemployment cuts, and welfare cuts. I'm worried about what the people who feel they are entitled to their jobs and my money might do when they no longer have them.

Texas Constructs U.S. Border Wall To Keep Out Unwanted Americans

This was too good not to pass along.

WICHITA FALLS, TX—Calling it an essential step toward securing the Texas border and protecting his people's way of life, Gov. Rick Perry announced Tuesday the completion of a 1,953-mile wall designed to keep out millions of unwanted Americans.

According to Perry, the 75-foot-high barricade running along the northern boundary is the culmination of more than 160 years of escalating tensions between Texas and the United States.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Judging a Book by its Cover II

The previous post got me to thinking...

We have a relatively new sales woman at work. She's quite good looking, smart, and a flaming liberal. Or so I thought.

The day after the election, she was doing a little dance in the office of a democrat co-worker. Coronation day, she was as happy as could be.

From those two incidences, I decided that it would be best to not discuss politics since we need to maintain a working relationship and we already get on quite well.

The other day a group of us were discussing Swine Flu and how likely it is that the 5 confirmed cases in our county is probably incorrect due to under reporting. She piped up with "I don't trust anything the government tells me."

Now maybe she is still a flaming liberal, but anyone with an inherent distrust of government isn't entirely bad in my book.

Judging a Book by its Cover

I had an interesting conversation with a co-worker a while back. Another co-worker's step-son had been arrested the previous day for being in possession of firearms and narcotics and some gang related offenses. His mugshot was plastered on the evening news and local news websites.

My co-worker remarked that the kid looked like a gangbanger scumbag. I agreed and we started talking about the release of mugshot photos and how they can convince people -- and potential jurors -- of a suspect's guilt. He went on to say that -- if he did not know me -- if he saw a headline reading "Local man arrested with several firearms and thousands of rounds of ammunition" accompanied by my picture that we would just comment "fucking separatist" and presume my guilt.

That exchange made me think about my appearance. At the time -- mid-winter -- I was wearing a hooded sweatshirt with a Culpepper Minutemen flag on it, khaki BDU pants (they just look like cargo pants), and tanker boots. Due to my receding hairline (thanks, Dad!) I keep my hair closely cropped. Due to my lack of chin, I wear a goatee (not a Van Dyke...look it up). Due to my Scotish and Irish ancestry, I do not tan well.

I'm not displeased with my appearance (except maybe my spare tire) and have no desire to change it, but I realize that --depending on the charges -- I'm probably seriously screwed if I have to face the media or a jury of my peers. No matter how eloquently I speak; even if I shave and grow my hair out, all the prosecutor would have to do is show my mugshot and photos of my "armory" to the jury.

Reason Magazine ran an interesting article on mugshots and their public release in April.

I'll admit to looking at mugshots and laughing. I'll even admit to presuming someone's guilt from his mugshot. When a guy is arrested for public intoxication and posession of methamphetamine and he's wild-eyed with Nick Nolte-esque hair and he has dozens of scabs on his face, it's a valid assumption. But is it fair?

Friday, May 8, 2009

The Ghost of Tom Joad

(I'd have the videos embedded, but YouTube isn't playing nice today)

I'm not a big fan of Bruce Springsteen. Sure, I have Born in the USA (on vinyl, no less) and I'll sing along when "Dancing in the Dark" comes on the radio, but I'm still not a fan. It's a combination of (most) of his music not being my style and his politics.

I'm also no fan of John Steinbeck. He's second to Ernest Hemingway on my list of least favorite writers. Arthur Miller rounds out the top three. It's not that I have a problem with Steinbeck's writing; it's poignant and easy to read. I think having Steinbeck force-fed to me throughout middle and high school really ruined his works for me. Growing up in the Salinas Valley, California, Steinbeck was our golden boy. There's even a multimillion dollar Steinbeck Center in Salinas.

There's been a lot of discussion around the blogs -- and maybe even the mainstream media -- about The Grapes of Wrath in the past year. I haven't read the book in about fifteen years, but I do see how it relates to current times.

Bruce Springsteen wrote a really good song inspired by the book called "The Ghost of Tom Joad." Rage Against the Machine also did a really good, really angry cover of the song.

I probably like the song so much because I am misinterpreting it. I'm pretty sure Springsteen was likening the Great Depression and the fallout from the Dust Bowl to the recession of the 80's and early 90's which was undoubtedly a result of the vast right wing conspiracy.

Well, fuck all that. The great thing about music is that the listener can interpreted the way he wants to. Being as stubborn and single-minded as I am, I can completely forget that the song was written in the mid-90's and pretend that it was written during the current political and economical charlie foxtrot we're going though right now.

Election night, a line from the song popped into my head and it really hasn't left since:

The highway is alive tonight
But nobody's fooling nobody as to where it goes
I'm sitting down here in the camp fire light
With the ghost of old Tom Joad

In all honesty, a lot of people are fooled as to where the road is going. Every day this week Bernanke and the mainstream media have been talking about the light at the end of the tunnel. Those of us who are "woken up" are not fooled. We know where the road is going. It may have some beautiful scenery just past the shoulders, but we know there's a cliff around one of those curves.

Inspiration Found?

I've been over at Hermit's this morning. The posts he's put up may have helped me find the inspiration to start posting again.

Now, let's just see if I can get my thoughts out of my head and onto the screen in a cohesive manner.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Of Militia Men and Domestic Terrorists

The State of Missouri issued a study detailing Militias.

It's laughable and scary at the same time.

You can view it on scribd.

Friday, February 27, 2009

This Doesn't Bode Well

California Unemployment Rate Reaches 10.1%

Get Some

H.R. 45
Attorney General Holder's remarks.

Party Like it's 1773

From The American Spectator.

Call it what it is

Of course the main stream media isn't labeling what the Obama administration is doing correctly. No surprise there.

The GOP and all their radio shills are calling it socialism. That's close, but it's still not what it is.

I still haven't caught any libertarians calling it what it is.

It's national socialism, plain and clear.

From Wikipedia:
The term "National Socialism" derives from this citizen-nation relationship, whereby the term socialism is invoked and is meant to be realized through the common duty of the individuals to the German people; all actions are to be in service of the Reich. The Nazis stated that their goal was to bring forth a nation-state as the locus and embodiment of the people’s collective will, bound by the Volksgemeinschaft, as both an ideal and an operating instrument. In comparison, traditional socialist ideologies oppose the idea of nations.
Doesn't this sound like Obama's whole "national service" platform?

Also, under Nazism the State controls the capital. Under Hitler, the State owned some companies and industries (Volkswagen, for example) but simply directed others. The State is taking control (or at least controlling shares) of several banks and directing other companies (GM, Chrysler and Ford) with the whole carrot and stick scheme of bailout money attached to strings.

If you haven't already watched "Overview of America" by the John Birch Society, it's embedded below. There's a very good description of various forms of government.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Chicago Tea Party

I never thought I'd say this about anyone on any NBC affiliate, but this is fucking beautiful...

California's Budget

So the republicans in the state senate caved and voted for the tax hikes. Another reason I'm not sad to have left the party last year. At least it wasn't my senator that cast the final "aye."

$12 billion dollars in tax increases from a 1% increase in state sales tax (going to be 8.25% for me, now), increase in vehicle registration fees and a surcharge on state income tax. How the fuck can the state impose a surcharge on income tax?

To top it all off, I still haven't received my state tax refund or my I.O.U. I did get my federal refund, though. A chunk of that is going for a Mossberg 500/590 to supplement the old 28" Savage Shotgun and/or a Glock 30 SF. The immediacy of the Glock 30 purchase depends on whether or not the state is going to resume sending welfare checks.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Bullshit in America


A big storm (or series thereof) has been lingering since Friday. Power was knocked out intermittently all weekend. It's much worse today. I had a little bout with hydroplaning on my way to work. I'm going to try to leave early and get home before the country roads get totally impassable. I could always take the freeway since traffic is holiday light today.

If the power goes out during bad weather, I'm pretty much fucked when it comes to cooking. We have an electric stove. It's on the list of things to take care of. It should be easy enough to run a gas line into the kitchen since the gas water heater is directly on the other side of the wall from the stove.

I have do have two grills, one propane and one charcoal. I really don't feel like hunkering over either of them trying too cook in high winds and rain, though.

Power outages also suck because they cause our gates lock open for safety purposes. That tends to make for a restless night.

Friday, February 13, 2009


I've decided to start a new, "anonymous" blog to keep some stuff separate from my personal site and blog.

Also, it's nice to have an account not linked to all my private crap so I can actually leave (good) comments (no trolling for me) on other sites I frequent without having a direct link back to stuff that I may not want hateful people to easily find.