Cause and Effect

Some could label this post as, “An example of unintended consequences.” I chose the one above because it’s shorter and I really don’t believe the ‘Effect’ is unintended. What am I talking about? Baltimore…and by extension, all the large, liberal controlled cities.

There is a story out today about Baltimore. One headline laments the rising murder rate in Baltimore after the riots. The other headline for the same story reports the reluctness of the police to enter the riot areas.

Alarming Surge In Murders And Shootings In Baltimore

BALTIMORE (WJZ) — City crime spike. A dramatic increase in violence in Baltimore. Dozens of shooting and murders in the last few weeks following the riots last month.

Christie Ileto reports some are concerned police are hesitant to crack down after six officers were charged in the death of Freddie Gray.

“People have said its because morale is down, or it’s because the officers were charged. We don’t know that,” said Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake.

While city leaders are working to curb the rash of bloodshed.

A Baltimore police officer who chose to remain anonymous says the Freddie Gray case impacted policing.

“If you want them to be proactive in patrolling and trying to catch people, I could see them not being interested in doing that,” the officer said.

William Scipio heads Sandtown’s Resident Action Committee–an area once at the heart of April’s unrest.

Ileto: “When was the last time you’ve personally seen an officer in Sandtown?”

Scipio: “Since the riots.”

Is anyone really surprised? Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake has tied the hands of the police. The residents know they can prevent arrest and charges by filing a complaint. Why should the street cops risk jobs and their lives when they know the city administration will not back them and will, instead, file criminal charges against them doing their jobs?

Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake should not be surprised. Cause. Effect.

***

Have you heard the term, “Wookie suiter.” The term started as a joke a number of years ago. It was intended to ridicule some self-serving, fringe “patriots” who saw conspiracies at every term.

It was a joke a decade ago. It isn’t today. Now, there are so-called conservative websites whose sole purpose is to promote conspiracy theories—and a growing number of people are buying their claims hook-line-and-sinker.

The current conspiracy du jour is the Army’s Jade Helm training exercise. Every year the Army conducts training in various states among the citizenry. The Army has done so for decades, at least since the 1970s.

On occasion, the Army has asked veterans and military retirees to help with the training; in some cases acting as the OpFor, or the Opposing Force. I remember one occasion when I was a member of Air Force MARS, some MARS members were asked to use their amateur radio HF mobile stations to simulate insurgent radio stations.

Idiots, like Alex Jones and his InfoWars website, has been stoking the coals since the Army announced Jade Helm. I see photos claiming to find Army vehicles hidden in the woods along with train-loads of trucks, MRAPs and Humvees on railroad sidings. Strangely, most of these photos are a decade or more old, some since the build-up for the first Gulf War. But, the conspiracy websites aren’t interested in the truth. It’s all about web hits and revenue from advertisers created by those web hits.

The conspiracy theorists overlook one thing. Jade Helm doesn’t start until August 15. the Army doesn’t have the resources to hide all those vehicles now. Their budget has been cut. Leaving the vehicles exposed for a couple of months is a guarantee they won’t start come August.

Another item these conspiracy theorists overlook is their belief the Army would obey orders to start rounding up American citizens without cause. Even today, with the politicized Army command structure, few officers would obey such orders.

Obama, Distrust, and the Armed Forces

By Russ Vaughn, May 19, 2015

I recently wrote a piece here about the Jade Helm military operations scheduled to be conducted across large areas of the U.S. this summer. A few irresponsible conservative web sites are using these routine military training activities to frighten citizens in the selected areas into believing the federal government is planning an armed takeover of their locales. I warned in that previous article that neither the training operations nor the alarmed citizenry are anything new; the U.S. Army has conducted such training for decades and there has always been some civil protest. I made jumps into civilian areas and ran ops back in the 1960’s. But this time, through the wide reach of the Internet, the fear factor among the citizenry has been driven through the roof.

I’m a conservative, registered Republican who has been a contributor of conservative themed articles here at American Thinker for a decade. I’m also a ground combat veteran of Vietnam who spent much of his post-college career marketing to the military, a job that took me to Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine installations all across the country and overseas. I have shared many meals and happy hours with enlisted personnel and officers, during which many frank, forthright discussions were held regarding politics and the political leadership of the times.

Not once in almost five decades of my association with the military have I heard any serving member or veteran agree that he would take up arms against fellow Americans to impose the political will of a sitting president. Conversely, I’ve heard many times that an order to do so would be considered unlawful and refusable. When the Jade Helm article was cross-posted at my favorite soldiers’ blog, This Ain’t Hell, I was gratified to see that the majority of comments there, almost all from still-serving service members or veterans, validated that belief.

That was in stark contrast to the reaction here at American Thinker. Comments here were almost universally negative with my denial that the operation was a federal takeover of Texas and Utah by Obama being heavily ridiculed. Even readers who normally post supportive comments on my writings, sometimes even thanking me for stating their views, called me a naïve fool and a dupe of the Obama administration. It was a bit of a downer until those military comments began coming in later at the soldier’s blog, reaffirming my faith in my fellow warriors. Clearly, distrust of Obama is very strong on both sites; the difference being the troops trust our troops. 

One of the evidentiary cudgels that was used on me here at AT was the militarization of local and state level police departments in recent years and how those forces, using military weapons would join with the military forces of Jade Helm to suppress, oppress, even imprison dissenters in Texas and Utah. I found that ironic in that I have written articles here in the past critical of this heavy arming of civilian law enforcement. On that topic, the primarily civilian readership here at AT and the military followers of TAH were in agreement that this practice needs to be curtailed. It was only some law enforcement officers at both sites who accused me of ignorance or treachery and even among that cohort, some LEO’s agreed with my premise.

Today the Obama administration, in a move no doubt attributable to the increasing level of conflict between law enforcement and the black community, announced it will cease supplying certain surplus military weaponry, such as tracked armored vehicles, weaponized aircraft and grenade launchers among numerous other items including, for suspect reasons, bayonets. Some surplus weaponry already distributed may be recalled and future use of military weaponry may be restricted by federal guidelines. Of course, the administration is hiding behind the skirts of a federal commission that recommended these changes in federal policy after a lengthy study that was initiated after the Ferguson incident.

The column continues on the American Thinker website. It thoroughly debunks the conspiracy theorists. But there will always be that segment who would rather believe in myths than realities. I call them the Tin-Foil Hat Brigade.

Accuracy

One of the most important factors of writing an opinion blog—or posting news items and rants on social media for that matter, is accuracy in reporting.  It was brought to light in an exchange last night concerning a post ranting about surveillance drones.

The writer had an agenda against surveillance drones. I don’t have a problem with that. Everyone has agendas in one form or another. I have mine as well. The problem, in this case, was that the writer used a news item to support his views that had nothing to do with his agenda. He used the crash of an Air Force QF-4 target drone from Tyndall AFB, FL to support his agenda. The issue is that the QF-4 is a modified F-4 Phantom fighter-bomber that is frequently used as a target for fighter pilots under training.

A QF-4 drone crashed on takeoff near a highway in Florida. The writer used that crash to bash surveillance drones…a large stretch. Target drones have been used since WW II. The Air Force live-fire target range over the Gulf of Mexico has existed since that time as well. The Air Force has been shooting down drones in that range since WW II and this QF-4 isn’t the first one to crash or wander off course on the mainland. A QF-4 is not a Predator nor a Global Hawk surveillance UAV. Neither is it a small camera-equipped surveillance drone such as the one that crashed near Orlando last month.

No, the writer attempted to use the QF-4 crash to support a rant against drones, citing the capture of a drone by the Iranians, domestic drone surveillance, and drones being used to kill Taliban and Al Queda terrorists around the world. Yes, the QF-4 is a drone but it is as unlike a Predator or Global Hawk as a White Freightliner is to a MGB sportscar.

Using such broad rationalizations in a post, whether in a blog or in a social media post, erodes the credibility of the writer. It takes only a few such posts until the writer acquires a reputation for carelessness or worse, being thought as a member of the Tin-foil Hat Brigade. The former condition can be corrected after a long period of careful work writing accurate information with multiple sources—all which support the theme of the post.

The latter, however, once acquired is ruinous. Thereafter, every word, every sentence, no matter how accurate and appropriate, will be tainted by the reputation as a agenda-driven scandal and fearmonger. Ron Paul is an excellent example of this. He acquired a reputation of being a loose cannon, a conspiracy theorist, a whackjob during the Bush years. It doesn’t matter if the reputation was deserved or not. It followed Ron Paul throughout his political life. He attempted to return to the political mainstream during the 2012 election but it was too late. He’d acquired a reputation, deservedly or not, and voters discounted him—and his followers by extension.

The point of all this is that once a reputation is damaged, however inadvertently, it is extremely difficult to recover and heal that reputation. It is best to never place yourself in that situation.

I’ve been writing a blog since the Fall of 2008. I’ve made mistakes, misquotes, typos and a few errors of fact. Whenever I find these errors, I’ve correct them—usually within minutes of the posting. Sometimes that correction has come a day or so later. In a couple of instances, it was months later. I realize in that last instance, my readers probably weren’t aware of the correction, the update.

But, I knew. And it was important for me to maintain my personal standards just as I would point out errors of omission and commission I see in others.

I would urge my readers, whether here or within social media, to review the accuracy of your information before you press the POST button. If you make an error, acknowledge it, make the correction and move on. If you fail to followup or acknowledge the error, you will lose readers.

Before you make that post, validate the news item. Make sure it supports your thesis or your agenda. Is it appropriate to the subject at hand? Do a little work. I can’t count how many blog entries I’ve written to find them falling apart when one of my sources failed to support my theme or my initial premise was found faulty. More than once, that has caused me to post a “No Post Today,” message and hope to find a better, supportable topic the next day.

Reputation is important. It can be easily damaged or lost. Maintain your reputation or be ignored. It’s your choice.

The 5th of July Follies

Yesterday was the 150th Anniversary of the last day of the Battle of Gettysburg. The battle started on July 2nd when elements of the Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia met The Army of the Potomac, under newly appointed commander, George Mead, at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. The movie, “Gettysburg” released a decade ago, based on Michael Shaara‘s, “The Killer Angels,” provides an accurate accounting of the battle.

Michael and Jeff Shaara‘s historical novels, history written in the form of a novel, provides insight into historical characters and give life to history. One of the purposes of the books, in a statement attributed to Jeff Shaara, was to educate citizens and patriots in history as it really happened, giving life to the thoughts, living conditions of the soldiers and to the philosophies of the times.

Leading up to patriotism, the Gallup Poll conducted a survey earlier last month, June 1-4, 2013, a poll on a subject not often covered: Who is more patriotic, Conservatives, Liberals, Republicans, or Democrats? The poll confirmed long held opinions by Conservatives and Republicans.

Gallup: Republicans more proud to be American than Democrats

By CHARLIE SPIERING | JULY 4, 2013 AT 8:50 AM

The Patriot Poll

The Patriot Poll

In recognition of Independence Day, Gallup has released a poll on whether American citizens are still proud to be American.

Ninety-three percent of Republicans indicate that they are “extremely/very proud” to be American while only 85 percent of Democrats feel the same way.

Eighty-one percent of political Independents indicate they are “extremely/very proud.”

Likewise, 89 percent of poll respondents who identified themselves as conservative are “extremely/very proud,” to be American compared to 76 percent of liberals.

Come on, now, you always knew this, didn’t you?

***

It seems that just about all political pundits have opined, in one form or another, on the George Zimmerman trial. Some pundits attempt to report the facts of the case as they are presented in court. Others, like Al Sharpton, are stirring up controversy to gain more face time on TV.

I’ve not weighed in on this subject other than to note it appears that the Judge and Prosecutor in the case seem to be more interested in convicting Zimmerman than in serving justice. In general, conservatives seem to side with Zimmerman’s version of the events, while liberals side with Al Sharpton and the Prosecutor.

One “conservative” (I’ve put that in quotes because I’m not convinced he is a conservative,) who sides with the prosecution is Michael Savage. On Tuesday of this week, speaking on his radio program, Savage said Zimmerman was guilty of the charges levied against him. Now Savage, like everyone, is free to espouse their opinions on everything or anything. Savage did that and exposed himself as being an ignorant fool.

 

Michael Savage on George Zimmerman: ‘You have to find this man guilty’

Jeff Poor, Media Reporter

On his show on Tuesday night, talk show host Michael Savage said that George Zimmerman, who is currently on trial for the murder of Trayvon Martin, should be found guilty of second-degree manslaughter based on two things: 1) The state of his firearm and 2) The language he allegedly used on a 911 call when he was first reporting his suspicions about Martin.

But first Savage explained why his insight should be valued over others in the media covering the trial.

“I’m about to break an analysis that no one yet in the media has done, as you would expect from me — being the senior member of the American media and possibly the most insightful,” Savage said. “And I have to blow my own horn because everyone else tries to break my horn.”

Savage laid out his case, saying that the murder could have been avoided, but based on Zimmerman’s gun having a round in the chamber with the safety off, Zimmerman intended “to find some he could shoot or intimidate.”

“Zimmerman was carrying a Kel Tec semi-automatic 9mm handgun,” Savage said. “So? Big deal. It is a big deal because he had a bullet chambered in the gun and he had the safety off… Had he not chambered a round prior to meeting Trayvon, and had he not taken the safety off, even if Trayvon, during the altercation even if Trayvon had tried to grab the gun away from Zimmerman — had that gun not been chambered with a round and safety off, Trayvon Martin would have had to use two hands. You can’t do it with one hand.”

Anyone with a Concealed Carry permit or one who is familiar with firearms will immediately notice the errors in that statement. The comments below the article point out the fallacy of Savage’s position.

fltactical

As an owner of the Kel-Tec PF9, I can say that Savage (whom I normally generally like) is a fool. There is no safety on this weapon. It has a 2 stage trigger with a long and heavy trigger pull. This acts as a “safety” and is the most common trigger on concealed carry firearms. Also, I don’t know anyone who carries that doesn’t keep a round in the chamber. If you are attacked, you have no time to rack your slide and chamber the round. I am shocked at Dr. Savage’s lack of knowledge on this subject.

Fltactical is more polite than the next commenter in the queue.

seattle61-> fltactical

Agreed.. I was getting ready to post the same thing. Savage is an idiot

Savage has a history of jealousy with Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity and Mark Levin. Those three usually ignore Savage as a whiner. That is until this week. Mark Levin let loose on Savage.

Mark Levin blasts ‘transgendering’ ‘snaggletooth’ ‘troll’ Michael Savage

5:44 PM 05/24/2013

On his radio show Thursday night, conservative talker Mark Levin scorched his former radio competitor Michael Savage for attacking fellow conservative talkers.

Levin took on Savage for attacking two of his colleagues, Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity.“I’m thinking of doing a one-hour special on the life and times of Michael Weiner,” Levin said. “Little Weiner, Weiner Nation calls himself ‘Savage,’ changes his name but you can’t blame him. He’s named after male genitalia. He is a real cancer on this business. He is a phony, fake conservative. All you have to do is Google his name and Google ‘Allen Ginsburg’ and Google ‘Fiji’ and all kinds of stuff pops up.”“Now he goes on the airwaves and he trashes a couple of my friends — Rush [Limbaugh], Sean [Hannity] claiming they’re not conservative enough, you know, like him,” Levin continued. “I don’t know, I’ve never seen Weiner Nation at a tea party rally. I’ve never seen Weiner Nation helping the conservative movement.”

“Let me tell you something, you little troll, you little nobody,” Levin said. “I kicked your butt in the ratings head-to-head from one end of the nation to the other. That’s why you’re late night, got it? I’d like you to come back at 6 p.m. against, Eastern of course, so I can do it again, snaggletooth. I know all about you. All your little secrets — how you trash other hosts, how you try to position them to the left of you. You’re a puke. I’m going to tell you something else — I’m not finished on this subject. I am not finished.”

“Ladies and gentlemen, I apologize to you,” he continued. “But this thigh rash — this thigh rash is a hideous person. Yes, I remember what he said about parent’s with autistic children. I remember all of that. Yeah, I think I might do one-hour special: ‘The Weiner we didn’t know.’ You like that Mr. Producer? No, ‘The little Weiner we didn’t know.’ Actually, ‘The transgendering Weiner,’ or something like that. I’ll figure it out. Head’s up there pal.”

Ah, Levin, he certainly has a way with words. I have listened to Savage from time to time when I was out driving and there wasn’t anything else on. Anyone listening to Savage will quickly note one personal characteristic—he’s a hate-filled man.

Convergence, Part II

I wrote yesterday about the three major scandals in Washington. I overlooked the 4th—HHS Secretary Sebelius extorting money from insurance carriers to fund Obamacare when Congress didn’t.

GOP probing Sebelius’s fundraising push: “Clear appearance of a conflict of interest”

posted at 2:01 pm on May 14, 2013 by Erika Johnsen

Lest we forget amidst the several other scandals currently blowing up in the Obama administration’s face (it is rather difficult to keep up), last Friday we learned that Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius has been hitting up health-care industry executives and groups, directly asking them to make donations to the non-profits that are working to enroll uninsured Americans and increase public awareness of ObamaCare’s benefits.

It is no secret that ObamaCare’s implementation is on the strugglebus, and Democrats see a lack of public awareness about the law as a pretty serious threat to their 2014 midterm prospects; hence why President Obama is putting more focus on the issue and Sebelius is trying to secure more — er — voluntary funding. The Washington Post described it as Sebelius approaching these execs “hat in hand,” but I would describe it more like approaching them with a gigantically threatening regulatory cudgel in hand. She is currently in charge of remaking the entire American health-care industry, remember? As Peter Suderman put it at Reason:

An “industry official who had knowledge of the calls but did not participate directly in them said there was a clear insinuation by the administration that the insurers should give financially to the nonprofits,” according to the Post. Something like this, perhaps? Hey, we’re short on money here. It would be nice if you could help with whatever you can, hint-hint, nudge-nudge.

Or maybe just: Hey, insurers. We just passed a law mandating that everyone in the country buy your product. So how about a million bucks? Or even a couple million? Over the weekend The New York Times reported that, according to an insurance industry executive, “some insurers had been asked for $1 million donations, and that ‘bigger companies have been asked for a lot more.’” That sounds rather like there was a direct solicitation.

The HHS Department maintains that they are not doing anything improper, but whether it is flat-out illegal or merely deeply unethical, it is definitely sketchy, and House Republicans got their probe on the matter going on Monday, via The Hill:

Republicans on the Ways and Means Committee, however, said the solicitations give a “clear appearance of a conflict of interest.” The committee questioned whether Sebelius is violating a federal law that says government employees may not raise money from entities they regulate.

“As the Secretary of HHS, ObamaCare gives you unprecedented power to regulate a significant share of the U.S. economy, from health plans to hospitals,” the lawmakers wrote in a letter to Sebelius.

Republicans on the Energy and Commerce Committee sent a separate letter to Sebelius, asking similar questions about her outreach to healthcare stakeholders on behalf of Enroll America.

“Currently, health insurers are seeking HHS approval to qualify for the health exchanges established by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act so that they may attempt to sell their services to the public when enrollment begins in a few months,” lawmakers wrote. “Your agency also has the power to review the insurance rates that providers wish to charge.”

Senator Lamar Alexander (R-TN), has asked the GAO to investigate Sebelius’ fundraising activities. “It could be bigger than Iran-Contra,” he’s said. In an interview with Sarah Kliff of the Washington Post, Lamar and Kliff had this interchange.

Sarah Kliff: You’ve been one of the first Republican senators to raise concerns about the secretary’s fundraising for Obamacare. What would you like to see happen next?

Lamar Alexander: I’d like for her to stop. One issue is if she’s raising money from the people she regulates. But I’m more concerned about her using private funding and private organizations to do what Congress has refused to do. I and other members of congress are going to ask GAO to look into the extent she’s coordinating with Enroll America or other organizations.

The reason I used the analogy to Iran-Contra scandal is this administration’s persistent thumbing of its nose at Article 1 of the Constitution because that made it very clear that the purpose of creating Congress is to curb executive power.

SK: I wanted to follow up on the Iran-Contra analogy. That seems like an awfully strong historical example to pick in this situation.

LA: This is arguably an even bigger issue because, in Iran-Contra, you had $30 million that was spent by Oliver North through private organizations for a purpose congress refused to authorize, in support of the rebels. Here, you’re wanting to spend millions more in support of private organizations to do something that Congress has refused.

As more and more information on the activities of the Obama administration is exposed, the “I” word has appeared.

GOP Rep. ‘Not Willing’ to Take Obama Impeachment Off The Table

By  Andrew Johnson, May 15, 2013 10:10 AM

“I would say yes — I’m not willing to take it off to take it off the table,” representative Jason Chaffetz (R., Utah) said about the possibility of seeking the president’s impeachment in the Benghazi scandal. 

“Look, it’s not something I’m seeking, it’s not the endgame, it’s not what we’re playing for,” Chaffetz explained in an interview with CNN. “I was simply asked if that’s within the realm of possibilities.”

Earlier this week, Chaffetz told the Salt Lake Tribune that impeachment is “certainly a possibility,” which drew attention but added, “that’s not the goal.”

Boehner, finally getting his butt out of dead slow, asked,Who’s going to jail over this scandal?”

I would hazard an answer of, “No one, at this point.” Clearly, some should—Sebelius, Lerner, the management of the Cincinnati IRS office that processed the Tax Exempt applications, Acting Commissioner of Internal Revenue Steven T. Miller and others. Hilliary Clinton, too, should be charged with Criminal Neglect for her actions and inactions during and after the Benghazi attack.

My cynical side believes Hilliary and Sebelius will be defended to the end by Congressional democrats. After all, Hilliary is their favorite, at the moment, for Prez in 2016.

What’s really going on?

I am not a conspiracy theorist. I believe many, who exhibit those symptoms, have their tin-foil beanies on too tight. On occasion, however, when multiple sources cite multiple instances of similar events, you really have to wonder what’s going on.

What am I talking about? The militarization of the Department of Homeland Security.

Their are credible reports, reports that present irrefutable facts that the DHS, and other federal agencies, too, is militarizing. They are buying obscene amount of ammunition, 1.6 billion rounds, small-arms, and IED resistant, armored vehicles—MRAPs.

Beginning several years ago, the DHS began stockpiling ammunition, most, but not all, in .40S&W, a favored pistol caliber of law enforcement and federal agencies. They also bought large amounts of 5.56mm rifle cartridges, and 12ga 00 shotgun shells. 

Add to that the 2,700 armored MRAPs transferred from the Army to DHS, and a newly announced purchase of 360,000 more rounds of ammunition, and any rational person begins to get suspicious.

Add one more item to all of the above. DHS is freeing illegal aliens, criminal illegal aliens because of “sequester.” What a farce! Let’s estimate the cost of all that ammunition. Conservatively, let’s say each round costs $1.00. (Current prices for .40S&W hollow-point ammunition is in excess of $25 for a box of 20.) DHS could have spend that $1.6 billion on prosecuting the illegals DHS has in custody. Instead, Janet Reno turned them loose.

Think what could happen when all those criminals hit the streets—another manufactured crises? Some of those conspiracy theorists claim the FedGov is preparing for a coup. I can’t subscribe to that. Not quite, but it certainly is suspicious.

I’ll leave you with Michael Ramirez’s latest cartoon…

ramiriz_03252013

No, I didn’t watch the SOTU

Unlike many of my political friends, I did not watch Obama’s State of the Union speech. Why? Because I don’t care to be lied to, again. Obama said nothing that would really prevent or even slow our nation’s slide towards a dictatorship. It is one, to a great extent, already. My fears of civil war have not been lessened. In fact when you read articles like this, it supports that fear and supports conspiracy theories that the FedGov is itself preparing for that war. Those fears are not relieved when reputable news organizations like Investor’s Business Daily agree.

Why are the feds loading up on so much ammo?

By Posted 02/08/2013 09:02 AM ET

In a puzzling, unexplained development, the Obama administration has been buying and storing vast amounts of ammunition in recent months, with the Department of Homeland Security just placing another order for an additional 21.6 million rounds.

Several other agencies of the federal government also began buying large quantities of bullets last year. The Social Security Administration, for instance, not normally considered on the frontlines of anything but dealing with seniors, explained that its purchase of millions of rounds was for special agents’ required quarterly weapons qualifications. They must be pretty poor shots.

But DHS has been silent about its need for numerous orders of bullets in the multiple millions. Indeed, Examiner writer Ryan Keller points out Janet Napolitano’s agency illegally redacted information from some ammunition solicitation forms following media inquiries.

According to one estimate, just since last spring DHS has stockpiled more than 1.6 billion bullets, mainly .40 caliber and 9mm. That’s sufficient firepower to shoot every American about five times. Including illegal immigrants.

To provide some perspective, experts estimate that at the peak of the Iraq war American troops were firing around 5.5 million rounds per month. At that rate, DHS is armed now for a 24-year Iraq war.

The perceived need for so much ammunition in federal custody is especially strange given Obama’s double-barreled emphasis in his inaugural address on the approaching end in Afghanistan “of a decade of war.” And he also noted, “We, the people, still believe that enduring security and lasting peace do not require perpetual war.”

The lack of a credible official explanation for such awesome ammunition acquisitions is feeding all sorts of conspiracy theories, mainly centered on federal anticipation of some kind of domestic insurrection. Napolitano has at times alluded to threats from the extreme right-wing.

My concerns become worse when Obama’s rubber-stamp of an Attorney General, Eric Holder, has no problem killing Americans using armed drones. Police departments in liberal cities and states are already using drones to spy on their citizens. There were reports that some California agencies had requested the use armed drones to hunt for Ccp-killer Chris Dorner.

There are others of a like mind, others writing for well-known news and opinion outlets that are more outspoken than me. Here’s a recent column that appeared in The American Thinker. None of us subscribe to the most prevalent conspiracy theories. But…when does coincidence shift to something more than just coincidence? Here’s one opinion.

Just Shoot Me

By William L. Gensert, February 13, 2013

These days, it feels as if a drone has been hovering over my house, and now that it is “legal,” as well as “ethical” and “wise” to kill American citizens from afar, I fear for my life.

Since our president has given new meaning to the phrase drone on and on and on, principled opposition to a president is no longer patriotic, and patriotism is no longer defined as fidelity to the constitution and the nation.

Patriotism, like truth, is now whatever Barack Obama says it is — and if he says it is patriotic to vaporize me and any other human being standing in my vicinity — citizen or not — then, who am I to object?

In any case, I have for years exercised my First Amendment rights of unprincipled opposition to a man I consider — hands down — America’s worst president. I suppose, taking that into account, my inevitability as a target became a foregone conclusion the day the EPA declared CO2 a pollutant. After all, I’ve been known to exhale. In fact, some have labeled me a windbag.

Considering all this, and the recognition that I can only hold my breath for so long, I should have realized that the administration’s implementation of a plan to speed my imminent demise was not only unavoidable, but desirable — for the collective good at least.

…and in the immortal words of Cristina Kirchner — at least, I think it was her — maybe it was another failure whose husband used to be a president:

“What difference, at this point, does it make?”

There has always been a risk in speaking truth to power. I’ve always known this. But to hear the progressives tell it, as a white, former businessman, I am the power.

Funny, it doesn’t feel that way.

When I turn on the television, people like me are always the villain. When I open a newspaper, all I read is that I am the problem, having so bitterly clung to my guns and religion, while practicing unrestrained antipathy to the “other.”

You know, people not like me.

Every presidential address blames me and mine for the lack of success and outright misery his ascendancy has bequeathed upon the nation and its inhabitants, legal and illegal — if there is anyone actually ‘illegal’ any longer — well… except for those who oppose, obstruct and dissent.

You know, people like me.

It’s my own fault. My recent writing has been in support of letting the sequester go forward (an ironic word choice), in the hope (more irony) of helping to prevent the Obama juggernaut from proceeding unabated, and I have been very vocal in opposition to the man for almost his entire presidency.

My postman — previously a wonderful African-American woman named Paula, who coincidentally, lives across the street — has been replaced by a middle-aged, angry looking white man, remarkably, resembling John Brennan.

I have noticed that whenever I see Brennan on CNN, or any of the other Obama networks, he is nowhere to be found on my block.

Coincidence? I think not.

I have tried to avoid Mr. Brennan — he is, after all, the father of the president’s “leading from behind” drone policy — but, he simply will not let me do so.

The other day, he insisted on stopping by to inform me he would no longer be delivering mail on Saturdays. I thought that strange. Did he inform all of the other people on his route or just save personal notification for those who were marked by the president for assassination?

After all, there has to be others. Many people don’t like Obama. He’s Hugo Chavez, without the smarts, charm and poise, but seemingly, also without the expiration date as well. I would really like to see his fifth inaugural address, but by then, I will certainly be dust in the wind.

In any event, I now know that the unprecedented fire and brimstone of hope and change will, unexpectedly, come on a Saturday. The drone operator, undoubtedly a unionized government employee, will get overtime — it’s only fair.

I had better shut my mouth; this is the kind of talk that got me on the “kill list” in the first place. But then, they can’t really kill you twice.

The column is long and continues for a dozen or more paragraphs. Is Mr. Gensert’s opinions extreme? A couple of years ago, I would have thought so. Today, I’m not so sure. Regardless, we have been affirmed to be living under that old Chinese curse—to be living in interesting times.

Friday Follies for May 11, 2012

This morning’s news is filled with good reports for conservatives and…a disturbing one.  One good one is a new poll taken just after Obama declared he favored homosexual marriage. He said he wouldn’t push the issue but he favored it.

This morning, Rasmussen released his latest Presidential Daily Tracking Poll:  Obama trails Romney by 7 points—Romney: 50%, Obama 43% and 7% undecided. If the spread were only a few points, that would be within the expected 3-4% variance for a close choice. Severn percent, however is significant. Especially because those new folks siding with Romney are not more hard-core conservatives. No, they are the independents, the fence-sitters coming over to join the ‘Pubs and Conservatives.

And from the reports filtering in this morning, Obama’s minions are in deep denial.

Good!

***

There is also more good news for Tea Partiers and Conservatives. The grassroots organizations are collecting more and more contributions.

Tea Party Patriots: A $12.2 Million Haul

May 9, 2012, 12:18 PM

Sen. Richard Lugar, who lost his primary fight in Indiana Tuesday, doesn’t need any reminders of the tea party movement’s ongoing appeal. But for those who do, another one surfaced recently in the tax return of the tea party movement’s biggest umbrella organization.

The Woodstock, Ga.-based Tea Party Patriots reported raising  $12.2 million for the year ended May 31, 2011. That vaults them into the ranks of some of the most successful conservative activist groups, including FreedomWorks, the Club for Growth and Americans for Tax Reform.

Nonprofit organizations’ annual tax returns are lagging indicators, of course, and the political-fundraising landscape has been evolving rapidly. But the Tea Party Patriots’ success underscores the continuing – perhaps even growing – power of the tea party.

“The tea party movement continues to be the most influential force this election year,” Patriots co-founder Jenny Beth Martin said in a statement on Tuesday after Indiana’s result. “Sen. Lugar betrayed the principles of fiscal responsibility, constitutionally limited government and free markets that must be addressed this year or the American people will choose new leaders as happened today and in 2010.”

The ‘Pub establishment needs to take this lesson to heart. The Tea Party movement hasn’t faded away. They’ve just become more organized…and more powerful.

***

Now some of that disturbing news.  I’ve kept out of the “birther” issue. Obama’s in office and will be booted out in January after he loses in November. I believe there are a number of acts he’s committed that are worthy of impeachment.  But there isn’t time in Obama’s remaining term and it would just be a distraction before the election.

On the other hand, when I see this article, it makes me wonder what Obama is hiding now.

New rules authorize government to destroy Obama’s draft records

Washington Times, by: Alan Jones, Monday, May 7, 2012

New rules authorize government to destroy Obama's draft recordsRecent changes to the wording of Selective Service System record-keeping requirements came soon after an investigation into the alleged forgery of President Obama’s documents was begun by Sheriff Joe Arpaio of Maricopa County, Ariz. Photo Credit:AP

Changes in the wording of Selective Service System record-keeping requirements, made days after the opening of an investigation into the alleged forgery of President Barack Obama’s Selective Service registration form, raise serious questions about U.S. government intentions. …

The Selective Service System’s new privacy rules were published in the Federal Register on Tuesday, September 20, 2011, four days after the September 16 announcement by World Net Daily that the Maricopa County, Ariz., Sheriff’s Office “Cold Case Posse” was opening an inquiry with full subpoena power into alleged forgery of several documents concerning Obama’s birth and draft registration. …

Changing the wording of the privacy rules alters the status of federal records, like the requested draft registration records, from “record copies” to “nonrecord copies.” Nonrecord copies are subject to disposal.
Read more: http://times247.com/articles/federal-document-dump-policy-changes-after-obama-probe-begins#ixzz1uZixiyQG

It’s so easy to fall into conspiracy theories. But questions do arise.  Why now?  Why this change just when there are FOI (Freedom Of Information) requests pending for this information.  Why should Obama’s Selective Service records not be released?  When I see smoke, as in blocking the FOI requests and changes to regulations that would allow those records records to “disappear,” it does make one a wee bit suspicious.

***

As a last item for your end-of-week enjoyment, here’s this cartoon from Michael Ramirez on…Evolution in Action.

Cartoon