Archive for the ‘United States’ Category

Rick Monday American Flag

The Greatest Play in Baseball, made by Rick Monday at Dodgers Stadium, when he saved an American flag from being burned by two protesters.

H/T Jawa Report:

AMERICA.  FUCK YEAH.

cute girl huge eagle

Two Americas

Posted: February 4, 2013 by ShortTimer in Culture, Leftists, Progressives and Left, United States, US Military
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Jeep put out a very patriotic ad last night during the Superbowl:

We’ll ignore the issue of them being owned by an Italian car company, the bailouts, and moving production to China for now.

What’s worth comparing is the message above with the messages here, from Twitchy, concerning the murder of Navy SEAL sniper Chris Kyle (by a guy whose family had tried to institutionalize him, but couldn’t because of leftist laws – so Kyle did what he could to help the kid as the system had already failed).

There really are two Americas.

At video on HotAir, Geithner is asked if we should get rid of the debt ceiling.

Interviewer: Do you agree with Alan Greenspan that we ought to just eliminate the debt ceiling?

Geithner: Oh absolutely.

Tim Geithner can’t pay his own taxes, so there’s zero reason he should’ve been Treasury Secretary to begin with, but that’s just another in the long string of Obama appointments that are glossed over entirely by the media.  Just a reminder, though.

ZeroHedge asks what Geithner will do now, as it seems he’s leaving the Obama administration, and briefly recaps his past, which also ties in with his statement above:

Tim Geithner’s public “servant” tenure has not been without its blemishes: from his deplorable run as the (figure)head of the New York Fed (from 2003 until 2009), when the entire financial system literally imploded under his watch, to his epic failing up as Hank Paulson’s replacement as treasury Secretary of the United States, despite his legendary inability to navigate the Minotaurian labyrinth that is the TurboTax income tax flowchart, the Dartmouth alum has had his share of run ins with adversity (and adversity won). Of course, Geithner’s tenure in charge of the Treasury in the past 4 years has been somewhat mollified by the fact that here too here was merely a figurehead, and the true entity that runs the US printing presses is none other than the JPM and Goldman Sachs co-chaired Treasury Borrowing Advisory Committee (for more on the TBAC read here and especially here as pertains to the former LTCM trader and current head of JPM’s CIO group), meaning that the US Treasury, just like the Fed, are merely branches of the one true power in US governance: Wall Street. Geithnerian figureheadedness aside, the one undeniable fact is that Tim Geithner’s days as head of the Treasury are now numbered: he has made it quite clear that he will not accompany Obama (should the incumbent be reelected) into his second term. So what is a career “public servant” to do once the public no longer has any interest in retaining his services? Bloomberg’s Deborah Solomon has some suggestions…

First, it may come as a surprise to some, that just like virtually every other central planner currently in charge of deciding the fate of billions of people in US and around the world, Geithner has never really had much interaction with real life:

Despite the fact that much of the public — not to mention some lawmakers on Capitol Hill — assume Geithner worked on Wall Street, he never has. Instead, he has spent most of his career in public service. Before taking the Treasury post in 2009, Geithner headed the Federal Reserve Bank of New York for six years and worked at the International Monetary Fund. His main private-sector job was at Kissinger Associates Inc.

 The years in public service — particularly engaging in diplomacy with domestic and foreign partners — left a deep impression on Geithner, infusing him with a sense of purpose that he might find lacking on Wall Street (see: “Why I Left Goldman Sachs” by Greg Smith).

This by itself isn’t to much of a surprise, but consider what the debt ceiling is.  It’s an artificial limit set by congress that says “we’re not spending money we don’t have past this mark”.  It’s a way (though not a great way) to somewhat reign in spending by government.

Tim Geithner, who can’t figure out how to pay his own taxes, has been a Treasury Secretary who’s functionally done nothing but print more money.  His plan to deal with the economy and government debt has been Quantitative Easing 1, 2, and now Ad Infinitum.  Of course he’d want to eliminate the debt ceiling.  Then the government can just spend spend spend into oblivion without even a hint of restraint.  Besides, Geithner is part of the powerful elite ruling class, and he won’t be living a life impacted by his own decisions, whether he leaves as Treasury Secretary or stays on.

Remember this condemnation from the Chicoms, from last year?

SHANGHAI — China, the largest foreign holder of United States debt, said Saturday that Washington needed to “cure its addiction to debts” and “live within its means,” just hours after the rating agency Standard & Poor’s downgraded America’s long-term debt.

“The U.S. government has to come to terms with the painful fact that the good old days when it could just borrow its way out of messes of its own making are finally gone,” read the commentary, which was published in Chinese newspapers.

When the govt. is printing bonds and TIPS and everything else to sell to the Federal Reserve and all the mess that is Quantitative Easing, and especially if the debt ceiling is removed, at best, all this becomes is a longer game of kicking the can down the road, assuming someone wants to solve the problem.

The downright scary part is what FerFal wrote about in Argentina:

As for the rest of the population, nothing has ever worked as well for the peronist party as keeping those families poor and numerous, and the Ks repeat that same recipe. The handouts for one reason or another make sure those votes keep coming. Handouts per child, for political support, its all there if you show up to the rallies or protest against the companies that aren’t “team players” with the government.  If you are a company owner, in the legal or illegal pharmaceutical business, a good amount of donations will go a long way in ensuring the health of your business. We’re (sic) does the money come from? Stealing the retirement funds helped, so does sucking the blood out of what’s left of the middle class through taxes…

What if they really don’t want to solve the problem?  What if they just want to destroy everything?  Fundamental transformation?  The super-rich Democrats have for the last few decades managed to paint themselves as a party that cares about the poor through giving handouts, and they’ve done well politically with it.  There are entire regions in cities that vote exclusively for Democrats, and mostly because they’re areas that are clearly politically defined as handout-recipients and usually along ethnic lines.  Thomas Sowell has written extensively on how the Democrat party has abused the urban black community into poverty and squalor and convinced them that the Democrats will save them, a disturbing mass Munchausen by proxy.  Democrats by their Alinsky playbook mean to go out, create a crisis, and “solve” it; they never let a good crisis go to waste, and instituting a crisis in order to further their own political goals is something that has been done many times before.

And while there are some in the party who do want that, there are others, like Geithner, who are probably just ignoramuses, or insulated “geniuses” convinced of their own superior intellect who don’t understand that spending money you don’t have doesn’t work forever.  Isolating purely the economic side of it and ignoring the political power grabs that are coming from it, you simply cannot kick the can down the road forever.

Apparently there’s a nice term for when this ends, now.  A Keynesian Endpoint.

Keynesian endpoint is a phrase coined by PIMCO’s Anthony Crescenzi in an email note to clients in June 2010 to describe the point where governments can no longer stimulate and rescue their economies through increased government spending due to endemic levels of pre-existing government debt.

“Time, devaluations, and debt restructurings might be the only way out for many nations,” Crescenzi wrote in an e-mailed note titled “Keynesian Endpoint” that referenced the Great Depression era economist John Maynard Keynes. Debt-fueled spending programs aimed at combating the global financial crisis of 2008 are among policy tools now “being seen as a magic elixir that has morphed into poison.”

Margaret Thatcher summed it up well years ago:

Of course, while the financial system may fail on this, there are a lot of scapegoats to go kill and enemies to destroy, and a lot more people to blame.  The Democrats are already gearing up to blame the Republicans for the fiscal cliff – it benefits them to go over the cliff and hurt the country so they can blame Republicans.

That’s the prediction the folks over at Astute Bloggers are making.  The full post only takes a minute to read, mostly citing the Hostess strike and the soon-to-happen Black Friday Walmart strike, and sums up with this:

NICO (WHO LIVES IN ARGENTINA) LEFT A VERY IMPORTANT COMMENT. I THINK IT IS LIKELY WE WILL SEE THIS HAPPEN WITHIN THE NEXT YEAR:

Starting to sound a lot like Argentina. Here though the government can force you to keep your company running since shutting it down could land you in prison.

People here say the government doesn’t understand how business works. I am sure they do. But they also understand how to REDISTRIBUTE wealth. Unions are the best way to do that. Unions have the power to bankrupt a company (and they do), but here the government has the power to force the company to remain open to every last dime that the evil rich guy had gets distributed!

For those who missed what happened in Argentina, here’s the short version.  In the 90s and into the 2000s, Argentina was hurting.  The socialists in power decided to mess with the currency.  Inflation and loss of value of the Argentine dollar followed, and pretty soon those who had money had lost it.  Those who had lots of money never felt it, and gave handouts to the newly poor, making them dependent on government.

Years ago there was a poster on The High Road (which used to be Oleg Volk’s forum, but that’s another story) named FerFal, an architecture student from Argentina.  He wrote a long series of Q&As on how to be a modern survivalist.  Really good, really interesting stuff.  The original posts can still be found and are full of good info, but he also went on to write his own blog, and a book – “Surviving the Economic Collapse” (under his name, Fernando Aguirre).

I read a lot of his posts a long time ago, and now I’m probably going to get the book.  It’s not the kind of thing I want to think about as actively happening.  I’d like to engage in the normalcy bias and just assume the USA will go on being the USA, but with all the changes in the last few years, it’s something that can’t really be denied as a possibility.  From the criminal actions of the current government in Fast and Furious to the coverup of Benghazi to Quantitative Easing 1, 2, and ad infinitum, things are changing.

I suggest reading some of FerFal’s posts at his blog.  A couple of fairly recent excerpts, just to give you an idea:

And So It Ends For Argentina:

Some of the events I’ve written about have been hard to digest. Even though I’m firmly against the doom and gloom fascination so common in the survival and preparedness world, there’s times when you just have to tell it as it is. You can’t disguise the death of a person you know, or relate incidents of crime and violence looking through pink-shaded glasses because one extreme is just as bad as the other. The nature of the topics discussed here are serious, sometimes matters of life and death, so that’s why to a certain nouvel readership it might seem dark to read. Even with a pragmatic eye and objective point of view none of this reads like a walk in the park.

As I write this, I can’t avoid feeling two very clear sensations. The first one I can only explain by saying that it’s like stepping out of a boat just as it finishes its slow, decadent sinking and finally goes under the surface. The second one is genuine sadness. Of all the posts I’ve written, this is without a doubt the saddest one I’ve written. I’m not talking about the loss of culture, standards of living or the death of a friend. Its not about the starvation of children of violence towards people close to me. It’s about all that and more. It’s about the death of a country itself.

As the press all over the world talks about the political success of the current administration, and mentions the “flourishing”, prosperous Argentina, a clear minority which I’m part of sees things differently. It makes you wonder and ask yourself a few other things as well. Who writes all these praises? What kind of data do they use to make such positive statements? How can a country be booming economically, yet keeps having shantytowns grow at an accelerating rate, poverty, misery and decadence never backing down one inch, and the 3rd greatest inflation in the planet as the icing on the cake? After reading some of the emails people sent me on the “success” of Argentina, I wonder if its just innocent stupidity, lack of professionalism or if there’s more to it than meets the eye and there are other intentions behind it.

Argentina was fatally wounded almost ten years ago and Argentina as I knew it died yesterday, October 23, 2011, when Ms. Kirchner was re-elected  with over 50% of the votes, gaining complete control of the country. She now controls the executive of course, but also the congress, unions and even the media through the Kirchner Media Law.  The headlines of the world consider this something of a surprise, a small number of Argentines such as myself consider this the culmination of a decade long process that started with the destruction of opposing parties by any means, legal or not, the indoctrination of the generations to come through several channels including the mandatory “Citizen Formation Studies” in schools and even an officially approved version of history. It seems insane, but the “History” I was taught twenty years ago is different from the one my son is taught, much worse, its different from the recent history I SAW with my own eyes.

One can only wonder how can such an authoritarian leader earn so much public support? Wasn’t it bad enough when they controlled the media through an unconstitutional law, or what about our retirement funds begin stolen (nationalized) right in our faces?

Consider the Democrat threat to tax IRAs which surfaced a few years back, and to nationalize 401k plans.

Update: Obama begins push for new national retirement system.  Just to back those other two assertions up about retirement funds getting stolen by the government.

A recent hearing sponsored by the Treasury and Labor Departments marked the beginning of the Obama Administration’s effort to nationalize the nation’s pension system and to eliminate private retirement accounts including IRA’s and 401k plans, NSC is warning.

More from Ferfal – 8N Mega Protest in Argentina:

… The name 8N is in reference to 7D, next December 7th, the day the government is supposed to take over the Clarín Media group which is the last bastion of free speech in Argentina. This is possible thanks to a recent media law called “Ley de Medios K” which the government swiftly approved so as to take over printed press, TV and radio.
Tonights 8N is a popular outcry against that, but also against the government not recognizing both the financial problems and most important, the crime problems that the K government refuses to admit. Most of my readers are well aware of this huge issue, and were often surprised not to see more reference to it from other sources.  Tonights protest is an outcry to such censorship and denial of such an obvious problem that rips through the lives of Argentines each day.

This protest is a clear grass roots movement, organized by people that are simply fed up. Of course, politicians try to take advantage of the protest but due to popular request most politicians from opposing parties said that while they do support the claims of 8N, they will not go themselves or send people with flags so as to not pollute a legitimate popular claim. Unlike pro government “popular” rallies, these aren’t people that are paid to go protest and take the streets, these are mostly working class and middle class people that feel identified with what the protest stands for: Acceptance of the crime problem in Argentina, that the government acknowledges the true inflation instead of cooking the numbers, and that the government stops meddling with peoples business in terms of personal freedom and freedom of press. I’ll change channels if I don’t like watching one, you are not supposed to decide for me what I read, listen on the radio or watch on TV. Those that identify with these claims will have a chance to make themselves heard tonight. The protest is not only in Argentina, but also in other places where Argentines expats are living, most of us forced to live elsewhere because of the current situation in Argentina.

I don’t believe it will cause Cristina Kirchner to resign as president, even though she may want to after tonight. Most people are making it clear that they do NOT want her to resign, most just want her to listen and stop acting like a dictator (which she will not do, because that’s exactly what she is) but we learned the damage that kind of thing does to a democracy. I believe it might just stop her enough so as to not seek a change in the constitution for indefinite reelections. That alone will be enough. It may also give strength to other political sectors so that Argentina may have a true chance of finally rebuilding itself in the next elections. My American friends, take note. This could be you 1-4 years from now.

From MSNBC:

German police officers fired a total of 85 bullets in 2011, 49 of which were warning shots, the German publication Der Spiegel reported. Officers fired 36 times at people, killing six and injuring 15. This is a slight decline from 2010, when seven people were killed and 17 injured. Ninety-six shots were fired in 2010.

Meanwhile, in the United States, The Atlantic reported that in April, 84 shots were fired at one murder suspect in Harlem, and another 90 at an unarmed man in Los Angeles.

I love these kinds of stories because they’re so simple in what they’re trying to imply, yet how quickly they fall apart as a narrative.  The clear objective of them is to show how wonderfully marvelous Europe, European government control, and enlightened Europe is, and how backwards and gun-oriented we are in the US.

People are free to make bad decisions in the US.  And once deadly force is used it’s deadly force, whether it’s one round fired or one hundred.

“Our police officers are no thugs in uniform,” Lorenz Caffier, interior minister of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, said at a press conference Tuesday.

“It is gratifying that the use of firearms by police officers against people is declining,” Caffier added.

It’s gratifying only if there is a lack of crime that necessitates fewer violent encounters.  Otherwise the police could be running away or ignoring crime, especially in Gastarbeiter neighborhoods.

There’s a joke about the difference between heaven and hell.  They’re the same, except different nationalities have different professions.  In heaven, the English are the cops, the Germans are the engineers, the Italians are the cooks, the French are the lovers, and the Swiss run everything.  In hell, the Germans are the cops, the English are the cooks, the Italians are the engineers, the Swiss are the lovers, and the French run everything.

Thing is, there’s little comparison in those statistics.  The German police deal with a mostly homogenous, aging society that for the most part doesn’t have that much crime.  There’s also the argument that they lost a lot of alpha males and their genes in WWI and then WWII, so they don’t even have the risk-taking types who end up skirting the line and becoming criminals anyway.   The US has a naturally more volatile society, but we have a more free society.  We have multiple ethnic groups (and as posted recently, we even have illegal criminal invaders), we have a vast, free country that leaves people to their own ends to a greater degree than Germany.

Ultimately, a few criminals and the regrettable, tragic losses of life that come from conflicts with the law that aren’t resolved well are a small price to pay.  See, there’s a reason the “Germans are the cops” line applies to hell.

F.A. Hayek dedicated entire chapters in The Road To Serfdom explaining why the worst get on top in a socialist system (slightly less so in other systems) – because ultimately, such a system is totalitarian, and desires control.  A system which makes for a pacified society ultimately leads to the violence at the hands of government authorities and police as per in Germany’s not-too-distant past.  Otto von Bismarck’s socialist state that began offering government benefits set the stage for a government with more and more and more control.

Ultimately, many of the instruments of government control were already in place by the time things got far worse.

American law enforcement, where some 150+ officers were killed in 2011, and a greater number of criminals were killed, even when spread out over 300 million people, looks like a large number.  Assuming that American cops kill ten times the number of officers killed, we could guess there are some 1500 people killed by law enforcement each year (a few internet searches couldn’t pull up a real number, so I’m just making that up based on a 10:1 ratio).

Just because I’m making numbers up, let’s assume it’s more like 5,000 per year.  Totally made up number.  It will still take 1200 years of 5,000 per year to equal Germany just from their famous years, and that’s with Germany’s lowest estimate.  More than likely it’d take some 2400 years, and that’s not including East Germany’s actions for 40 years, the actions of the Kaiser or Bismarck before a decidedly anti-freedom Austrian made Germany’s police famous.

December 7th

Posted: December 7, 2011 by ShortTimer in Military, United States, US Military

“I fear all we have done is to awaken a sleeping giant and fill him with a terrible resolve.”

- Admiral Yamamoto

Alternately:

Now, it’s my problem.

John Wayne’s America

Posted: October 17, 2011 by ShortTimer in United States

Something to contrast with the last few weeks worth of posts.

>Bill Whittle’s final Part VII of the What We Believe series, explaining Tea Party/conservative beliefs:

Whittle wraps up the series, and hopefully those who’ve watched it have gotten a little more insight – possibly into their own views and how to express them.

Picking nits:
Folks used to statistics will note that his comparison of “science units” is not done per capita, as the other nations listed are smaller. Were it done per capita (rounding to nearest million in both cases) it would look like this:

UK:______.29 science units/person (18 million science units/61 million population)
Canada:___.27 (9sci/33pop)
USA:_____.24 (75/307pop)
Germany:__.18 (15sci/81pop)
France:___.16 (10sci/62pop)
Italy:_____.11 (7mil/60mil pop)
Japan:____.09 (12sci/127pop)

Considering the VAST size of the US population, that’s pretty darned decent. Couple it with the fact that the UK benefits from many very well established science centers, and that Canada has no small benefit from being a partner to both the US and UK, it’s not too much of a surprise that per capita, the UK and Canada are doing very well. And good for them – but by no means is their prosperity an indictment of the fact that the US is the shining beacon of science by volume, and a very strong third per capita. That the US, with a vast population to offset in per capita comparison, still eclipses other nations is perhaps a greater support of Whittle’s point of American exceptionalism in science endeavors.

Now, there are other reasons for this as well that Whittle hit on in earlier videos. One is the rule of law. Individuals who discover or invent something are probably going to have their patents, inventions, or ideas respected. Discovery and invention are generally rewarded through prosperity, and only rarely thwarted by intellectual theives or seizure by the state.

Consider Mikhael. He invented a product that’s used worldwide, was adopted by his own government, and is so famous and iconic as to be recognized immediately. You probably know his last name already, and undoubtedly the initials his invention is known by.

His invention is so famous it’s even on the flag of Mozambique.

Did he earn anything from it the way an engineer in the US would have? He received a lot of medals, promotions, and state handouts, but nothing along the lines of what a US inventor would receive for such a prolific creation – with about 100 million units worldwide. If he were selling records, it’d be a decuple diamond album, topped only by another Michael. Except a record cost about thirty to fifty times less.

>

In a recent article which can be found here, an editor of the Vanity Fair magazine tells the American electorate to “Man up” and stop acting like angry, hormonal teenagers. Here are a few points I would like to highlight about this piece of writing:

1. He believes the American electorate to be a bunch of self possessed teenagers who are acting out at their parents, i.e. the government. It has to be mentioned that this is a definite liberal sentiment, that “they” (statist, modern liberals, socialist etc.) know what is best for you, just like your parents did. They want “the best” for you but with that comes the erosion of your personal responsibility by the statist government. Some examples include New York state regulating your salt intake, and a general push in some states to not allow vending machines on school campuses for “the good of the children.” It also includes determining if you should receive healthcare if your 65 years old or a new born infant because some government bureaucrat has decided he knows better the a physician does.

2. He also is still clinging to racism alledgedlly perpetrated upon President Obama by the American people especially those that love their guns and are just angry white folks. Look at Lt. Colonel Allen West in Florida, look at all the African American voters that stood within and with out the tea party this last election. This has nothing to do with race. It has everything to do with the Obama Regime’s agenda and a congress that was owned lock, stock and barrel by statist and followed regime’s whims. Even then the regime couldn’t always do what it wanted. People forget about the statist super majority and the senate and healthcare almost failed anyhow.

The gentleman from Vanity Fair attempts to sound a moderate but it is evident he is not. He clings to the liberal argument that the majority of this country is racist and hates Obama when in reality its the Obama Agenda that is truly despised. He wants to get back to the days of “moderate” President Bill Clinton which he apparently forgets was forced to the center after the statist attempted to pass healtcare reform during his first term and was “shouted at” by us angry teenagers. He also points out that what makes this national “teenage backlash” worse is that us right wingers like our guns and that statement further implicates this gentleman as another statist that just doesn’t get it.

Statist will never understand conservative principles of freedom, liberty, nor personal responsibility. They want to take care of us…. The only problem is “We The People” grew up between 2008 and 2010 and we want our government back.

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