25 April 2011

Williams Case (MD) Petition for Cert: Bearing

A little known case is now thrust into the spotlight by this simple question:
 Whether peacably carrying or transporting a registered handgun outside the home, without a carry permit that is unobtainable by ordinary, law-abiding citizens, is outside of the cope of "the right of the people to ... bear arms" protected by the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution.
The petition can be found here along with the major credit to the Maryland Shooters board found on these threads for the details and background. 

As far as I can see, the only detraction from the question is this: loaded and either openly or concealed.  Does this question mean that the states that do not respect our rights (like Maryland) can require that the arms be cased and locked, or does this truly mean "bear."  This new civil right's movement is beating on a lot of doors, and yes, patience is the preferred method, but for those of us who have tasted freedom in freer states, we want our rights NOW!  Hell, at some point, we want our rights restored to pre-1934. 

Happy Monday!  

19 April 2011

QOTD: Judical Check & Balance

The dignity and stability of government in all its branches, the morals of the people, and every blessing of society depend so much upon an upright and skillful administration of justice, that the judicial power ought to be distinct from both the legislative and executive, and independent upon both, that so it may be a check upon both, and both should be checks upon that.  -John Adams

18 April 2011

Black & Decker: Crony Capitalism Comes to Maryland

What's that you say?  We have a budget deficit here in the State of Maryland?  Oh, we just raised the alcohol tax?  Other fees and taxes were raised?  You say that we are probably destined to getting hit with tax increases during the special session for gerrymandering this fall?  However, Stanley, Black & Decker of Towson is getting a favorable loan from Maryland and Baltimore County to "spruce up their campus?" 

It's so nice to see crony capitalism at work here in Maryland.  If the company can afford to make the payments on the note, plus the interest, why can't it afford to make the improvements without the aid of the state.  Surly the Fortune 500 company could tap the open market for debt, but perhaps the interest rate from the state and the county is more favorable?

Nothing like some good old vote buying huh? 

Mason-Dixon Line History

Interesting.  As a MDer all my life, I have always been taught that the Mason-Dixon line was contentious.  What I never knew was that main cause of contention has been in dispute until only recently.

Of course, with this being the 150th anniversary of the Civil War, that's all we need is to spark a new debate between MD and PA.


That's what I'll be doing (within the limits of the law of course!).  

Last Monday, was the last day of the 90 day Maryland Legislative session.  Of course, the session could not be complete without the Dem dominated make up passing some kind of tax scheme and scheme they did!  In passing a bill that will shoot the alcohol tax up from 6% to 9% effective July 1, 2011.  Of course, any good scheme wouldn't be complete without claiming to help the needy, and then divert the raised revenues to politically expedient, vote buying jurisdictions in the form of "education" funds.
Of $47.5 million of first-year revenue to be doled out for school construction, $43 million goes to the larger, more Democratic counties in the state. Baltimore, Montgomery and Prince George’s counties would each receive $9 million if signed into law by O’Malley. 
The above continues to prove that Maryland, like it's FedGov cousin, continually has a spending problem and not a revenue problem! 

So, yes dear reader (and the state of Maryland, since I'm sure you're watching) I can assure you I will be participating in this tax as little as legally possible.  I will not be transporting any alcohol from our neighboring states for financial gain, but only for personal consumption.  Meaning, I intend to drink anything bought out of state and returned to Maryland.  No gifts will be provided to friends and family, and no distributions (except to my liver and kidneys) will be made for compensation or non-compensation.  Further, I will be making all my beer and wine purchases before this regressive tax is imposed on July 1. 

I guess it's time to figure out a good home brewing setup; suggestions are welcome. 

17 April 2011

Union Pay in One Chart

Full back story here.

Yes, it is from Ohio, but as we've seen with some of the very powerful teachers unions (and it is not state specific) the same story seems to be generating a recurring theme.  That theme being those on the left, have been taking advantage of the extra productivity of the private sector for quite some time now, and thus have spent their cost of living adjustments for years to come.  Meaning, no raise for you in the private sector (for the foreseeable future), as we need higher taxes to foot the bill for OUR raises.

So, the next time some teacher complains about the fact that they aren't making enough, just point them in this direction. 

That Explains It! Libs vs. Conservatives = Brain Differences

Not like you really need a fully funded scientific study to tell us what we already know, but...here it is.  

Differences in the brain are something we've assumed of the other side for YEARS!  Now, if a funded (or even free) study comes out that shows liberals are really aliens, we might be on to something.

16 April 2011

Hard Head Jarhead or Hard Hat?

Can someone get me one of these kevlar helmets!  I might need it when I'm skiing next season!

The best part is that when the guy gets hit, he was still in the fight (more or less). 

Bamboozling Some Bimbos

 What happens when a former CIA man takes on two CNN Bimbos?  Hilarity!  Of course, duh!?!

Of course it's more Zero Hedge goodness.

Navy F18 Hornet Firey Engine Landing

I can across this from Danger Room and figured it too good not to share. 

Just goes to show that our military (especially pilots) are damned good at what they do.

E*Trade Baby's OOPS! Moment

Unfortunately, E*Trade doesn't come with its own "Oops is brought to you by erasers, don't make a mistake without one," tool for recourse.  (Of course, there is a language warning associated with this post if you happen to be at work for Initech).  

I've been waiting for this parody for a while, so I'm glad someone has finally pulled off the E*Trade baby clicking his purchases to, well, completely failure.  I wonder why it took so long to finally see? 

H/t of course to Zero Hedge. 

15 April 2011

Idiot Monetarists

Usually I can't find a whole lot of fault with the authors over at National Review Online, but this one takes the cake.  

Anyone who is stupid enough to advocate actually making the Federal Reserve's mandate to literally, make nominal inflation, doesn't have a brain or an understanding of the words free and market.  Go read the article (and if you are like me, it'll make you practically go mad).  But once you're done, enjoy yourself and give my unfiltered and raw feed back a read from my comment the other day. 

Pull this lever, turn this knob, and prime that pump! Credit, credit, and more credit! Yes, more liquor in the punch bowl is what we need! After all, the party isn't wild enough with the strippers, Cuban cigars, LSD, and cocaine, we must have more punch!

Monetarists are all the same Keynesian, yet just by another name. Neither understand John Maynard's true economic principles of government should save money in the good years, to be able to inject the savings in a downturn to take up the slack of spending by the private sector in a non-money fueled inflation like the one that Mr. Beckworth advocates for.

The mere fact that Mr. Beckworth would consider making the Fed's mandate to litterally manipulate the already manipulated GDP number, goes beyond anything that is liberty minded, and down and outright imposing of tyrannical control of the money supply. Carte blanche to actually cajole the money supply into a permanent "mark to fantasy" of the entire economy would enslave the entire country into a debt prostitute lifestyle. Strong words, I am aware, but nessecary when combating idiot wonks who think the right people and right policy will fix our problem.

Errrrnt, wrong! Sorry, no policy will work until the actual free market wins out, debt defaults happen, credit write-offs and write-downs occur, and we can actual figure out the non-manipulated price of goods, services, and commodities. Besides, with every expansion in the monetary base by the Federal Reserve, we have ALWAYS seen a dramatic rise in the price of oil, accompanied shortly thereafter by a prolonged recession / stagnation. Meaning, even the Fed can't fight the Austro-Hungarian economic cycle.

Meddlers work in Washington, because they only know how to meddle. Wonks work for meddlers because the wonks have the brains the meddlers wish they could have to provide the logistics to implement their ends. Of course, the means are one in the same, the people.

Precious Metals Trend

I've been seeing a lot of mainstream/dino-media saying that precious metals are over bought (of course yours truly doesn't even have any horded, so I do welcome a sell off).  However, as the investing saying goes, the trend is your friend (provided it isn't a bubble). 

So, reading something like this from the Daily Reckoning, backed up with this from the Telegraph, it seems like gold is not yet reaching consumer saturation, at least from a sound money perspective.  

Thieves will obviously steal anything of value, and insurance companies must limit their liability to settle their customers losses (else it doesn't fit their business models).  It is ironic that the institutional investors of insurance companies (at least in England) think the trend is still up, when they consider the remote possibility of telling their customers to check their policies and update their coverage limits.  The more coverage, the more risk, and thus the more you pay which makes sense.  That said, you have to think that if the InsCos want more money in policy form to cover your gold jewelry and coins, what does that say about the actual trade itself? 

Sprawl of the Slums

Author's Note:  This is months old, but just now getting around to releasing it.  Hope it was worth the wait.

If you have ever visited FerFAL's blog (old or new), he has many times talked about the plight that is a socioeconomic collapse of society due to government mismanagement and rampant inflation.  With this, comes things like urban slums, shanty towns, squatting and other forms of communal ownership of property that may or may not be through purchase or legal transfer. 

From Business Insider comes an article that highlights slums from around the world via sat photos.  (A USA version of this article can be found here). 

At any rate, FerFal is always talking about slums and the disease, filth, and crime that comes with them.  These sat photos certainly put the towns into perspective from a geographical stand point.  Any person with common sense an a basic understanding of demographics would quickly assume that crime is a problem, but so too there would be an environmental impact as well.  When population densities hit multi-thousands of people in put a few square miles (or kilometers), no wonder FerFAL often writes about trash, poor drinking water, and waste water and sewage problems.

These pictures have to call into question the claims of environmental-wackos that economic growth is what contributes to pollution and green house gases.  Just looking at the population densities and to know what countries these slums are in, it isn't hard to see that there is a negative environmental impact associated with recessions or depressions.  Which, if we extrapolate our common sense thinking, means that economic growth and sound private sector business profits fund the tax coffers which help governments to pay for environmental "mitigation" projects as a way to find balance between business and planet.

I'd say that these type of slum cities are worse from an ecological health stand point.  I can only imagine that when you have population densities this high in cities that are marginally 1st world countries, the lack of  running water and the waste water control are probably BIG problem.  Not to mention the amount of physical refuse that is generated and probably just piled around without collection and safe disposal.  I would also venture to guess that since these kind of places don't have much in the way of central planning and zoning, meaning that none of these cities manages their storm water runoff to account for erosion and sediment (thus impacting downstream health).

While environmentalism push groups like to clamor that the USA and it's consumption is the problem, in reality, first world countries that have economic might, can do some good for the environment through conservation projects.  Obviously, we can sit here and debate about tax revenues and proper use thereof, but the point being, economic growth allows a population to take into account some projects of nobility to preserve open space and the environment.  That is something of a contradiction to my limited government stance, but there is no reason that the government and business can't co-op to be able to achieve a mutually beneficial society.  The problem is, as is exampled here, unchecked growth is a negative to eco-health, but unchecked government intervention (and crony capitalism) can cause an economic decline that allows for a degradation of society into the cheapest means of living, often resulting in the most egregious, negative environmental impact. 

As an avid hunter and sport fishermen, no one understands more the balance that is necessary to the survival of the human populace and the planet as we know it.  The problem that is generated by those on the left is there outright assault on economic and human progress in the "name" of the planet.  After all, the unintended consequences of protectionist environmental practices and ineffective monetary policy can be and are, quite catastrophic. 

Dump the Mac's (Freddie & Fannie)

What is the biggest centrally planned US market?  Housing of course.  Fannie and Freddie are New Deal era companies born out of "necessity" only to become behemoth bureaucracies.

So, what is the solution to fixing the ever evolving housing problem?  Simple, let the market work and get the bureaucracies out of the way.

Declining Standard of Living

If you followed the news here in the states, instead of across the pond, you would think everything is hunky dory.  Of course, we know that our dollar buys a lot less these days. 

Unfortunately for the Brits, their Pound buys a lot less every day as well.  To the tune of about 1 Pound a day.  Yikes!  As the blog article states, it gives a whole new meaning to the term "bank robbery."  Watching negative interest rates eat at your bank savings is depressing.  I'm in that boat myself. 

Of course, life isn't without risks, since the precious metal trade also has downside risk as well

Zero Hedge Week in Review

Some interesting things from Zero Hedge that I think are worth reading. 

The Con of the Decade:  A guest post with a logical explanation for why inflation will not turn hyper-inflationary, based upon the "other side" of the trade.  Meaning, debt is an asset to those who hold it to earn the interest.

FBI Raids Chuck E. Cheese:  I thought I had blogged about this before, but perhaps not.  I suggest you read the back story from the Daily Reckoning first, before reading the satire of von NotHaus' conviction.  I mean, if someone wanted to giving a silver coin that is meant to represent a US Quarter Dollar (but is .999 pure silver and a metal content value of say, oh, like $15), wouldn't you accept that as payment on goods and services?  Read the satire, it is funny, in a somewhat scary way.

Misery Index All Time High:  This one is from 3/29.  Oops.  I told you dear reader I had a back log of posts.

$1,800 Gold By October: Ben?  Is that you!?!

TEOTWAWKI preps inflation, 47% in 6 months:  Enough said.

And...last one for the week, which is more survival / prep minded here: Keeping Capital in a Depression

Of course, you don't need me to read www.zerohedge.com.

One Year Later: BP Oil Spill

A look back through pictures from the Telegraph from one year ago regarding the Deep Horizon accident.

While the above link isn't really a "Finance Friday" topic by itself, the industry, the fall out, the continued lack of drilling permits as a result of the ever moving "rule" target by the Interior Department, has certainly been one cause for oil to head back above $100 a barrel.  Not the sole reason, but one of the reasons and certainly one that can find blame with the Obama appointee Ken Salazar.

Have the processes and safety protocols really improved?  It is hard to say.  I plead ignorance as to the current impact upon the Gulf of Mexico and its ecosystem because both the enviro-wackos and the right have their respective spins on the issue.  The one thing I do know is that we are witnessing government central planning stall the plans of private business to the point that it has wreaked havoc upon the market.  While the cash that finances the industry is fungible to where geo-political and environmental concerns aren't as big of a concern, US based companies continue to loose the capital necessary to explore, extract, and mitigate the environmental costs associated with oil production.  Not to mention the roughnecks who are unemployed or forced to travel to foreign lands to make an honest living, or the rig builders who have now lost productivity to await the new regulations.

As usual, what the government doesn't know, it attempts to regulate and thus, snuffs it out of existence. 

Finance Friday Blitz, Coming Today

Well, actually, a ton of posts period coming.  Like Uncle, sometimes we need a break.  My problem is, I need a break, plus I go through info overload. 

Google reader feeds stack up, get skimmed, sped read, and the interesting ones usually end up here to be blogged, discussed, or opined upon.  That doesn't always happen at the first part of the month because of the accounting cycle.  It's one of the reasons that when Foxtrot Uniform asked to write his "OpEd," I just offered him the chance to be a regular contributor (hopefully plugging in some gaps here and there when he has interest and time).

At any rate, as things come to a slower rate in the final 1/2 or 1/3 of the month, I tend to put out more work.  So now you understand if things get a bit backed up and not written as much as they should. 

13 April 2011

Tax Freedom Day

Tax Freedom day was yesterday (Tuesday) for this year.  Translated, all of your income through April 12, 2011 for this year, was effectively paid to the federal government to satisfy your tax obligations (how nice of you comrade!). 

The question is, do you feel free from the federal government and their uncontrolled spending?  No?  Me either!  Nor this author either.

Meanwhile, as I type this I have cruised over to www.usdebtclock.org where I see that my share of the Federal Debt as a taxpayer (per taxpayer) is approximately $128,548 of the total $14,292,975,600,000 debt.  (Of course, give or take a few clicks of the printing press mouse).  Have you paid your fair share?  Have you gotten a good return on your investment?  I didn't think so.

Here's to hoping that the Repubs get their act together and stonewall an attempt to raise the debt limit.  Perhaps they can make some push with all 47 Repub senators signed onto a Balance Budget Amendment, but I'm not holding my breath. 

QOTD: Happy Birthday Jefferson Edition: Government Restraint

The two enemies of the people are criminals and government, so let us tie the second down with the chains of the Constitution so the second will not become the legalized version of the first.
How true is that statement given today's current political and economic climate!  Oh so accurate words to live by, that is for certain.  Happy birthday great founder, perhaps we'll reform our republic back to your (and fellow founders) original intents before it is too late and we need another one of these...

09 April 2011

Everyone has a budget, why doesn't the Government?

So, the main reason I asked Fightin' to let me pen a piece for this blog is the following: I'm unhappy with the Government, and their inability to do the little things required to keep things moving. In shorter terms, why can't the men and women in D.C. representing us, the citizens; remove their heads from their respective anuses(anii?) and pass a budget?

This is the email I sent to Fightin' that brought what you're reading now:

This is spurred by the fact that these assholes in DC can't pass a budget to save their life. They've been kicking the goddamn can down the road for over a fucking year now, and because of this, and Big O's (and not the beloved and FIRST PLACE ORIOLES!)
determination that he won't grant an extension again on the budget
(mainly because of the republican controlled House), I'll be out of work
starting, well, now.

Yes, that's right, as of 12:01am, April 9, 2011, I as well as many
other government and contract workers, along with the currently
deployed military, and more than likely millions of other federal
funded workers, will be out of work/not getting paid for the first
time since 1995. Funny, who was in office in '95 when the government
shut down? Oh yeah, Clinton. Further proof to me(as if I needed
anymore) that democrats really are not democratic. They want it their
way or the highway. Now, don't get me wrong, I'm pissed off at the
republicans too, because they're taking their political partner to the
woodshed for a whooping over the atrocities that have happened over
the past few years of the Bush/Obama presidencies, and that's fine.
But, there comes a point where you stop playing politics and get YOUR
FUCKING JOB DONE. If I/we played this kind of game at work, how long
'till we'd be fired?

Ugh. This is a tragedy on so many levels. Maybe travesty is more
appropriate, I'm not sure. I know one thing is for sure. Come 2012, if
the world doesn't end, I'm printing out a list of names of every
senator and every house member and voting the exact opposite of who's
in there now.

Now, obviously things have sort of changed in the past 24 hours. But the fact still remains. They didn't pass a real budget. Instead they again kicked the can down the road(for lack of a better term) and decided that April 15, 2011 makes things better than April 8, 2011. Really, what's going to get accomplished in a few more days, that hasn't been able to be accomplished in about a years worth of time?

Sure, republicans got what they wanted, sort of. And the democrats got what they wanted, sort of. But in the end, who are the real losers? Us. You and Me. The American people. The hard working, average citizen. Why? How? You ask. Simple: Without a federal budget programs can't be funded, workers get furloughed, all kinds of things come to a grinding, screeching halt. Active military was slated not to get paid. It's a huge stress on everyone outside of Capital Hill. This is why I'm upset, as it is now 100% painfully obvious to me that the politicians really don't give a crap about us. If they did, they'd put their "differences" aside and come up with a plausible solution.

Cut backs are needed, reform is needed across the board, and anyone who doesn't see that, realize that, or notice that; may be deaf/dumb/blind/on the government teet. Personally, I have my own views of what is needed to be done to achieve reform, but that's neither here nor there, my biggest beef is getting the job done. Get the job you were voted to do, done. Pass a budget, do the work of the people, be what you're supposed to be. A line for the people to express their displeasure/happiness with the government. Protect the hard working, prosecute the criminals, and leave everything else alone.

It's not your job to delve into gun control. That's a right. It's not your job to regulate life choices. It's not your job to tell me what to eat, where to go, etc. It IS your job to be my vein to the government. Do the work of the people, or get the hell out.

That's all, folks.

Hello, Hello!

So, as you may or may not have figured out by now, I'm the new "author". Fightin' is an old friend as indicated; from way back in the day, and I came to him recently with frustration over our federal government and their inability to pass a budget(more on that later), and my general disdain for their lack of progress towards resolving something that is pretty important as far as our country goes. I asked him if I could pen(really, type) an editorial piece for his blog; he kindly invited me to join as a contributor, so, here I am!

As for a little background about myself. I'm in my late 20's. I like guns, good beer, good friends, and the outdoors. Baseball is America's national pastime, and to that I say, LET'S GO O's! I build computers in my spare time, and in the "old days" Fightin' and I wrenched on/played with cars together. I'm fired up about Washington, and their frequent inability to do the job that was granted to them by the people, regardless of political feelings.

Ok, so, enough about me, onto the good stuff, in a little while....

08 April 2011

New Author Coming...

There is a new sheriff in town!  Errr, well, at least a new author around these parts.  Well, not a sheriff.  A deputy maybe?  Barny Fife?  No, not quite.  Not in the least.  No dear reader, I would not unleash a Barny Fife on you, lest I see my readership plummet even further than the mere crickets that read now.  *cricket cricket*  (As always to those who do read, a thanks, as I am only one man, and I do this for free and sometimes other priorities get in the way).

At any rate, since I have been sinking up to my eye balls in posts yet to be written (and thankfully not debt), when this author approached me about coming on, I figure what could it hurt.  Considering that we go way back, I may come to regret this decision, but considering he is fired up about Washington politics, hello world, here ya go! 

I promise you, FoxtrotUniform1911 will be VERY entertaining.  So when you see his post(s) as its (their) 1s and 0s traverse the vast space that is the internet, please be kind as this is his first attempt at blogging (for free, not for pay considering owning this space doesn't pay very well either). 

FoxtrotUniform1911, the floor is yours! 

02 April 2011

StratFor Assement of Declaration of War

A pure no nonsense, no BS analysis of our actions in Libya, and all the "conflicts" since the end of WWII can be found here from StratFor.

Want the Constitutional clarity as to why we have things like the "War Powers Act" and why we have not had a "declared war" since WWII?  Then you want to read this.  Nothing like a good intel-estimate for the average man, so click, read, and educate.

No Fanfare: US Soldiers Casualties Continue to Mount

I am posting this only as a redirect.

The more I read and learn about history, current events, and monetary policy, I have to question why we are still in Afghanistan (and thus why we went into Libya).  Further, I have to ask, why isn't the media covering the fallen whom are supposedly fighting for our freedom?

Perhaps it is time for a dramatic shift in US geo-political-economic policy? 

01 April 2011

KC Fed Hoening Hawks

Wondering why you are paying more at the pump?  Ohhhhh, it might have something to do with that "accommodating monetary policy" program that the Fed has been running.  In laypeople terms, printing money.  

Finally, a Fed board governor agrees and see the downsides of what is coming our ways.  

Gresham's Law: Take the Dollar Back to "Good as Gold"

Gold bugs have been called a little bit nuts at times and often discredited by the "real" market makers since gold doesn't really "produce anything."  (Referencing to Buffet and others saying that gold is only a hedge and that it has no productivity value).

No, the shiny yellow metal may not have a lot of productivity appeal (more than that of making a lot of coins, bricks or jewelry).  Though, recently, even mainstream publications have been running editorials calling for a return to the gold standard.  The mere fact that a blogger for Forbes is saying we need a return to some form of gold standard is telling in and of itself. 

I've made no bones about being a fan of the DailyReckoning.com who has made a simple case for years on how "gold takes away the meddlers' ability to meddle."  In one of their posts today, they discuss how a man has been convicted of coining his own silver "Liberty Dollars" in an effort to circulate them and have them compete with the Federal Reserve Notes.  Obviously, this landed the man in jail but oddly enough the charged levied against him by using "The Constitution – Article 1, Section 8, Clause 5 – gives Congress the power to issue money," disappeared at the trial.  As Bill Bonner of the DR notes, "Apparently, it makes it a federal offense to compete."

So, that leads me to the big hitter of this post.  While several states have been contemplating coining their own money (too which we are sure the FedGov will backlash), Utah has become the first state to buck Gresham's Law by removing the tax implicating penalties associated with the float of gold's price.  (After all, the dollar floats too but only in the devalued form of cotton against the rising cost of goods). 

While I am not a personal gold bug (as finances and commerce still have to be conducted in the worthless cotton/linen mix), I would feel far more secure and happier if I had some shiny "dollar" hedge of my own.  After all, Warren Buffet is correct, gold is just another store of value that has no productive attributes, it just means that the big .gov and its crony / zombie capitalistic brothers can't stealthily steal from me as much.  I think I speak for most of America by saying that we just want the ability to be able to pay our bills and not have to chose between food, heating oil, or mortgage payments, as our wealth is wiped out on the efforts to default the debt. 

Dogs Rule!

That is all...

What Happens in a Recession?

Foreigners steal our jobs!  Wi-wi!  Viva la slopes!  Le' Britons steal our plush and cushy jobs as ski instructors!  END FRENCH ACCENT

Good old Europe.  No matter how much they attempt to prevent economic disparity (as a way to prevent wars), the countries will always be arguing and bickering about something that gets their feathers up in a ruffle.

And yes dear reader, sorry that this is a bit old.