Archive for January 7th, 2013
Dear Mr. Security Agent
FedUpUSA received a request to circulate this essay by Matthew Bracken, and it is worth every second of the time it takes to read.
Federal, state, or local. You, the man or woman with the badge, the sworn LEO or FLEA and those who inhabit the many law enforcement niches in between and on all sides. This essay is directed to you, because in the end, how this turmoil about gun control turns out will depend largely upon your decisions and actions over the coming months and years.
The unintended consequences of this misguided utopian fool’s crusade to ban guns would include a second civil war as agonizingly painful as the first one, if not more so, since there would be no front lines and no safe areas for anybody, anywhere. Every sane American wants to prevent such a calamitous outcome as a “dirty civil war” on United States soil.
But know this: those tens of millions will never be quietly disarmed and then later forced at government gunpoint onto history’s next boxcars. If boxcars and detention camps are to be in America’s future, then you, Mr. Security Agent, will have to disarm them the hard way first. Not Piers Morgan, not Michael Moore, not Rosie O’Donnell, not Dianne Feinstein, not Chuck Schumer.
Dear Senator Feinstein
As if to prove Bracken’s point, Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) recently proposed some very strict gun control legislation. In response, former Marine Cpl. Joshua Boston wrote her a now-viral letter, which partly reads:
“I am not your subject,” Boston wrote.
“I am the man who keeps you free. I am not your servant. I am the person whom you serve. I am not your peasant. I am the flesh and blood of America. I am the man who fought for my country. I am the man who learned. I am an American. You will not tell me that I must register my semi-automatic AR-15 because of the actions of some evil man.”
Fox and Friends interviewed Mr. Boston about his letter to Sen. Feinstein. Click the link below for their article, a link to Mr. Boston’s complete letter, and a video of the interview.
Governments never truly have “your own good” or “your protection” in mind when they begin to strip rights away from a populace, and ours is no exception. Mr. Bracken and Mr. Boston are both correct: We, in America, are starting down the path to tyranny, and unless we change course soon, we will become the country our Founding Fathers most feared. Once stripped of the natural right to bear arms, there will be nothing to prevent the utter subjugation of America, and the mass imprisonments and murders that usually follow. While there has historically been some “lead time” between gun registration and gun confiscation, it is never very long, and invariably leads to very ugly things.
Randy – FedUpUSA
What we have experienced is that our web site orders have jumped 500 % causing our web site E commerce processing larger Deposits to BANK OF AMERICA ..Well, this through up a huge RED Flag with Bank of America . So they decided to hold the deposits for further review , meaning that the orders/payments that were coming in through the web ,( being paid by the customer and that were shipped out by American Spirit Arms ),the BANK was keeping (UNDER REVIEW )..as you could imagine this made me furious…
After countless hours on the phone with BANK OF AMERICA I finally got a Manager in the right department that told me the reason that the deposits were on hold for FURTHER REVIEW …
HER EXACT WORDS WERE … ..” WE BELIEVE YOU SHOULD NOT BE SELLING GUNS and PARTS ON THE INTERNET “
Fuck you Bank of America.
MOVE YOUR DAMN MONEY FOLKS AND TELL THEM WHY.
It’s not enough to sell hinky deals in the housing market, to play “head in sand” with Countrywide, to improperly foreclose (even on houses they don’t actually have a loan on!) and more. Now we have them deciding to effectively steal by conversion, even if only temporarily a lawful business’ funds that supports Constitutionally-guaranteed Rights.
Fuck that and fuck you Bank of America.
Oh, and if you happen to walk into a business that you can determine BANKS with BOA? Walk out and tell them why too. I’ve already done this locally several times after seeing a “Bank of America” sticker on their credit-card machine.
I will not give these jackasses any of my funds, even momentarily, if I can reasonably avoid doing so.
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Large U.S. cities that the rest of the world used to look at in envy are now being transformed into gang-infested hellholes with skyrocketing crime rates. Cities such as Chicago, Detroit, Camden, East St. Louis, New Orleans and Oakland were once bustling with economic activity, but as industry has fled those communities poverty has exploded and so has criminal activity. Meanwhile, financial problems have caused all of those cities to significantly reduce their police forces. Sadly, this same pattern is being repeated in hundreds of communities all over the nation. The mainstream media loves to focus on mass shooters such as Adam Lanza, but the reality is that gang violence is a far greater problem in the United States than mass shooters ever will be. There are approximately 1.4 million gang members living in America today according to the FBI. That number has shot up by a whopping 40 percent just since 2009. There are several factors fueling this trend. Unemployment among our young people is at an epidemic level, aboutone out of every three U.S. children lives in a home without a father, and there are millions of young men who have come into this country illegally and have no way to legally support themselves once they arrive in our cities. Gangs provide a support system, a feeling of “community”, and a sense of purpose for many young people. Unfortunately, most of these gangs use violence and crime to achieve their goals, and they are taking over communities all over America. If your community is not a gang-infested war zone yet, you should consider yourself to be very fortunate. If nothing is done about this, the violence and the crime that is fueled by these gangs will continue to spread, and eventually nearly every single community in the United States will be affected by it.
Let’s take a closer look at some of the large cities all over America that are degenerating into gang-infested war zones…
East St. Louis
East St. Louis has a national reputation for being a city that you want to avoid. The following is from a recent Bloomberg article about the growing crime in that community…
Dodging open manholes where thieves had swiped cast-iron covers, Stephen Wigginton drives the crumbling streets of his hometown, East St. Louis, Illinois, pointing out new landmarks in America’s most violent city.
There’s the shopping mall where a police officer was shot in the face, a youth center that saw a triple homicide in September, and scattered about the city of 27,000 are brightly lit gas stations that serve as magnets for carjackers, hit-and-run robbers and killers.
“It’s the Wild West,” said Wigginton, the U.S. attorney for the Southern District of Illinois.
Today, the murder rate in East St. Louis is 17 times higher than the national average, but financial problems have forced huge cuts to the police budget. The number of police patrolling the streets of East St. Louis was reduced by 33 percent between 2008 and 2011. Police in the city admit that they are outgunned and outmanned, but there is not much that can be done about it.
Camden, New Jersey is another city that has experienced huge cuts to the police budget. Their police force shrank by about a third between 2008 and 2011. Today, Camden is considered to be one of the most dangerous cities in America and it has a murder rate that is about ten times higherthan New York City.
The gangs have a very strong hold over Camden, and kids kill kids on a regular basis in the city. The following is a brief excerpt from a recent article about the horrible violence that is plaguing Camden…
At the vigil last week, residents prayed that Camden would simply find peace and that the masked gunman who killed Jewel Manire and Khalil Gibson would be caught.
As it grew darker, Michael Benjamin stood toward the back of the crowd, his son huddled even closer now, and shook his head.
“I’ve known at least 45 kids who’ve been killed in my lifetime,” he said, the boy holding his finger. “I stopped counting in 2004, though.”
In recent years there have been massive cuts to the police budget in Chicago due to financial difficulties. At the same time, gang activity has dramatically increased in the city.
As a result, Chicago has become known for murders and violence. The murder rate in Chicago was about 17 percent higher in 2012 than it was in 2011, and Chicago is now considered to be “the deadliest global city“.
If you can believe it, the number of murders in Chicago during 2012 wasroughly equivalent to the number of murders in the entire country of Japan during 2012.
And the primary reason for all of this violence in Chicago is the gangs. As I have written about previously, there are only about 200 police officers assigned to Chicago’s Gang Enforcement Unit. It is their job to handle the estimated 100,000 gang members living in the city.
Approximately 80 percent of all murders and shootings in the city of Chicago are gang-related, and as the gangs continue to grow in size the violence in the city is going to get even worse. If Barack Obama wants to do something about violence in America, perhaps he should start with his home city.
I write a lot about Detroit, but that is because they are a perfect example of where the rest of America is headed if something dramatic is not done.
Detroit used to be one of the greatest manufacturing cities the world has ever seen, but over the past several decades the economic infrastructure of Detroit has been gutted and now there is very little industry left in the city.
Over half the children in the city live in poverty and a sense of hopelessness hangs in the air. At the same time, financial problems have forced the city to lay off huge numbers of cops. Back in 2005, there were about 4,000 police officers in Detroit. Today there are only about 2,500and another 100 are scheduled to be eliminated from the force soon.
Things have gotten so bad that even even the Detroit police are telling people to “enter Detroit at your own risk“.
New Orleans was a crime-infested city even before Hurricane Katrina hit it in 2005, but life has never quite been the same since that time.
The gangs have a very strong presence in the city, and there simply are not enough financial resources to keep crime in check.
If New Orleans was considered to be a separate nation, it would have the2nd highest murder rate on the entire planet. There are some areas of New Orleans that you simply do not ever want to venture into at night.
Meanwhile, the police force has been such a mess in recent years that the federal government finally decided to step in. It is hoped that the “reforms” will mean less crime in New Orleans in future years, but I wouldn’t count on it.
Predictably, criminals have stepped in and have taken advantage of the situation. At one point in 2012, burglaries in the city of Oakland were up43 percent over the previous year.
If you can believe it, more than 11,000 homes, cars and businesses were burglarized in Oakland during 2012. That breaks down to approximately33 burglaries a day.
Police cuts in the city of Stockton, California have been so severe that the Stockton Police Officers’ Association ran a billboard advertisement with the following message at one point: “Welcome to the 2nd most dangerous city in California: Stop laying off cops!”
At the same time, crime in Stockton continues to get even worse. there have been more than 250 gold chain robberies in Stockton since the month of April, and there is no indication that crime in the city is going to slow down any time soon.
So what is the solution?
Should we have everyone turn in their guns?
No, that would just make the problem even worse. The gangs aren’t going to turn in their guns. The only people who would turn in their guns would be law-abiding citizens. That would just make them even more vulnerable to the violence and crime that are starting to spread like wildfire all over the nation.
We don’t have a gun problem in America. What we have is a gang problem.
Many of these gang members run up long criminal records, but our overcrowded prison systems just keep releasing them back into the streets. The results of this philosophy have been predictable. The following is from a recent article by Daniel Greenfield…
A breakdown of the Chicago killing fields shows that 83% of those murdered in Chicago last year had criminal records. In Philly, it’s 75%. In Milwaukee it’s 77% percent. In New Orleans, it’s 64%. In Baltimore, it’s 91%. Many were felons who had served time. And as many as 80% of the homicides were gang related.
Chicago’s problem isn’t guns; it’s gangs. Gun control efforts in Chicago or any other major city are doomed because gangs represent organized crime networks which stretch down to Mexico, and trying to cut off their gun supply will be as effective as trying to cut off their drug supply.
This is not a time to take away the ability of law-abiding American families to defend themselves. Instead, people need to put even more emphasis on self-defense as police forces all over the country are cut back.
Just recently, the city attorney of San Bernardino, California told citizens living there to “lock their doors and load their guns” because the police force in that city is being cut back again.
What would you do if a desperate criminal broke into your house and started searching through your home room by room? That is the horrifying situation that one young mother down in Georgia was recently faced with…
She quickly retreated to an attic crawlspace with the children, but not before she also picked up her handgun.
The burglar, whom police identified as Paul Ali Slater, did a room-by-room search of the home, and when he reached the attic, she was ready.
Walton County Sheriff Joe Chapman told WSBTV: ‘The perpetrator opens that door. Of course, at that time he’s staring at her, her two children and a .38 revolver.’
She reportedly fired all six rounds, missing only once. The other shots hit Slater about the face and neck.
Sheriff Chapman told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution: ‘The guy’s face down, crying. The woman told him to stay down or she’d shoot again.’
What would have happened if she had not had any way to defend herself and her children?
That is something that we all need to think about.
For the last couple of decades, we have been fortunate to live in an era of falling crime rates. Unfortunately, that era is now over. Large cities all over the country are degenerating into gang-infested war zones, and what we are seeing right now is just the tip of the iceberg.
After the economy collapses, millions of people are going to become incredibly desperate and things are going to get much, much worse than this.
So what are you seeing in your area of the country? Please feel free to leave a comment with your thoughts below…
We have created an economy with an extremely high cost-basis, and as a result it is brittle, fragile and vulnerable to cuts as modest as 4%.
In economies dependent on ever-rising consumption, austerity had a negative connotation even before its politically charged meaning commandeered the public debate. When the entire Status Quo depends on discretionary consumption not just for “growth” but for its survival, austerity is welcomed with approximately the same enthusiasm Superman reserves for Kryptonite.
This is of course a contradiction: an economy based not just on consumption of all net income but debt-based consumption is an economy devoid of savings, i.e. capital to invest in productive assets.
An economy without capital is lacking a key component of classic capitalism.
“Austerity” also suggests a preference for simplicity and productive work, another contradiction sociologist Daniel Bell explored in his 1988 book, The Cultural Contradictions of Capitalism: the narcissistic consumption promoted by Neoliberal Capitalism erodes not just the work ethic that powers productive capitalism but also the ethic to save and invest that is the foundation (along with credit and transparent markets) of capitalism.
(I have explored narcissism and the cultural contradictions of capitalism in Narcissism, Consumerism and the End of Growth (October 19, 2012) which also mentions Christopher Lasch’s 1979 book The Culture of Narcissism: American Life in an Age of Diminishing Expectations.)
No wonder austerity is the equivalent of Kryptonite to the global consumption-dependent Status Quo. But there is another dynamic behind the panic and fear austerity has provoked, a dynamic I have characterized as The Rising Wedge Model of Breakdown, which builds on the well-known Ratchet Effect:
The Ratchet Effect is visible in organizations of all scales, from households to sprawling bureaucracies. The core of the Ratchet Effect is the ease with which the cost basis of an organization rises and the extreme resistance to any reduction in funding.
The psychology of this resistance is easy to understand: everyone hired in the expansion will fight to keep their job, regardless of the needs of the organization or the larger society. Every individual, department and division will fight with the fierceness of a cornered animal to retain their share of the budget, for their self-interest trumps the interests of the larger organization or society.
Since each “ratchet” will fight with desperate energy to resist being cut while those attempting to do the cutting are simply following directives, the group that has pulled out all the stops to resist cuts will typically win bureaucratic battles.
Broad-based cuts trigger Internecine Warfare Between Protected Fiefdoms as entrenched vested interests battle to shift the cuts to some politically less favored fiefdom. Bureaucracies facing cuts quickly shift resources to protecting their budget, leaving their mission on auto-control. (The Lifecycle of Bureaucracy December 2, 2010)
These dynamics create a rising wedge in which “minimum” costs continue to rise over time even if modest cuts are imposed from time to time. The eventual consequence is a cost basis that is so high that even a modest reduction collapses the organization.
In other words, incremental reductions and reforms have become impossible.The organization has become so brittle that any structural reform triggers a breakdown.
I have characterized this mechanism as The Seductive Illusion of Incremental Change(May 13, 2008)
We can use a household example to illustrate The Rising Wedge Model of Breakdown. Like many households, the Wedge Household responded to rising income and home equity in the bubble years by moving up to a larger home. Now the monthly payment on the Wedge McMansion is $4,000, as property taxes have soared. Healthcare costs have also skyrocketed, consuming over $1,000 a month of the family budget.
In response to declining real wages, the Wedge Household cut travel and dining out and cancelled cable/satellite TV channels. Unfortunately, these represent a relatively tiny percentage of the annual household budget, and the family’s savings have been drained maintaining their high cost-basis lifestyle.
When the primary wage earner takes a 10% pay cut, the household’s minimum cost basis is so high that the family has no choice but to cut one or another essential of middle class life: either the Wedges lose their health insurance or they default on their mortgage.
Their financial health has lost all resiliency; it is now fragile and brittle. (BrittlenessJanuary 29, 2007)
This is a direct analogy for the nation’s budget; a 10% reduction will trigger breakdown in the nation’s brittle systems. Indeed, as I suggested in Can 4% of Homeowners Sink the Entire Market? (February 21, 2007), even a 4% reduction could have an outsized impact on 64% of the economy. This is the Pareto Distribution in action: just as the vital 20% wields outsized influence over the 80%, the 20% of the 20% (4%) exerts outsized influence over 80% of the 80% (64%).
The loss of resilience and cost sensitivity has consequences. We have created an economy with an extremely high cost-basis, and as a result it is brittle, fragile and vulnerable to even modest “austerity.”
Charles Hugh Smith – Of Two Minds
Oh do come on.
I just flipped it on and heard the following (paraphrased):
“Nobody wants to leave this bill (in the form of a lower standard of living) to our children and grandchildren.”
Utter and complete crap.
My own parents told me more than a decade ago, when I bought this very point up as their grand-daughter was crawling around on their carpet at their feet, that they were entitled to all of those benefits they were “promised” even though my father, as a CPA, knew damn well that the money had already been spent.
Those who say that “nobody wants to screw our kids, grandkids and those not yet born” is simply lying. The fact of the matter is that the majority of so-called “boomers” and the so-called “greatest generation” not only do want to do exactly that they know good and damn well that they voted for policies through their entire life that already spent every single nickel taken in for those entitlement programs! They know they money is gone, it’s gone because they demanded it be gone, and now they want to spend it again having already done so!
We will never solve what’s wrong with this country’s finances until we hold people’s feet to the fire. When my own family,which contains a CPA and thus is fully aware of exactly how arithmetic works, tells me that they’re entitled to these programs despite being able to pay on their own for their retirement needs (due to being reasonably fiscally astute during their working lives) I do not want to hear crap like I did this morning on CNBS.
We must honestly face the fact that our Seniors do want to bend our youth over the table and will screw them blind. They have done so thus far with their votes and lobbying organizations (AARP anyone?) and will continue to do so if permitted to continue precisely because those youth are too young to effectively resist.
Further, these very same people are in our schools as teachers and administrators and they intentionally omit any sort of practical instruction in mathematics classes when it comes to exponents and how they work in the real world.
This is not an accident, it’s intentional; were they to explain how this will impact those kids in the classroom there would be an all-on revolt by our youth right here and now.
Those who are adults and who do not agree that our children and grandchildren should cover the puerile and outrageous fiscal behavior by our Seniors and those who are not yet there in age should both teach our young exactly what’s going on and urge them to say out loud: I WILL NOT PAY.
Cut the crap CNBC and tell the truth.
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