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Thursday, August 29, 2013

Would Obama’s Grandfather Look Like Delbert Belton

"A universal peace, it is to be feared, is in the catalogue of events, which will never exist but in the imaginations of visionary philosophers, or in the breasts of benevolent enthusiasts." — James Madison

I have been extremely upset at the abject cowardice and hypocrisy of Barack Obama for ignoring the senseless thrill killing of Australian exchange student Christopher Lane after suffering multiple rhetorical compound fractures in attempting to create racial animus over the justified killing of thuglet Trayvon Martin. (When questioned about this, the White House spokesjuvenile, Josh Earnest, gave his trademarked stunned mullet stare and said he wasn’t familiar with the case.)

This was even a more disturbing response considering this senseless killing had been all over the news for several days and even the Prime Minister of Australia had commented on Lane’s brutal murder by three black tugs in Oklahoma. If nothing else Obama owes Australia a few words of condolence. But, you see he can’t because the killers look like his would-be sons.

Obama had another chance to redeem himself — but again he has remained silent. While it is understandable that he would be unable to empathize with a young white man gunned down while minding his own business, another case has emerged that he could have commented on.

Last Wednesday night 88 year old Battle of Okinawa veteran, Delbert Belton, was sitting in front of the Fraternal Order of Eagles lodge in Spokane, WA. Around 8pm he was approached by two black teenagers, now identified as 16 year old Demetrius Glenn and 16 year old Kenan Adams Kinard, who proceeded to beat him to death.

As we have been told so many times, Barack Obama’s maternal grandfather, Stanley Dunham, was also an elderly white guy and World War II veteran. And he alleges in his multi-volume serial memoir that he has fond memories of Dunham. Obama could not find a microphone someplace to talk about how similar Belton was to his grandfather since he can’t find it in him to be “familiar” with the Lane murder after inciting mob violence towards a man who defended himself from a beating much like that Belton received.

"Ayeee I knocked out 5 woods since Zimmerman court!" young James Edwards tweeteddemetrius-glenn-delbert-belton-kenan-adams-kinard on July 15 in the wake of George Zimmerman's acquittal for the shooting death of Trayvon Martin. Edwards's tweets surfaced after he and two of his homies were charged with killing Australian baseball player Chris Lane in Duncan, Oklahoma, last Friday.

For the record, "woods" is short for peckerwoods, a derogatory term for white people. If Edwards, who is black, knocked out five woods as claimed, he would hardly be unique. As Colin Flaherty chillingly documents in his frequently updated book, White Girl Bleed A Lot, the "knock-out game" has become something of a recreational outlet for bored black youths.

This "game" is just one form of black-on-nonblack assaults. Although hard to quantify, they seem to have intensified after the media put a racial spin on the Martin shooting eighteen months ago. Occasionally, the attackers have made the link explicit, claiming they were "doing it for Trayvon," revenge being a more honorable motive than boredom.

Two weeks after the Martin story surfaced, President Obama had the chance to defuse tensions. "Obviously this is a tragedy," said Obama solemnly in response to a planted question. After some empty bromides about everyone pulling together and the like, the president cut to the chase: "But my main message is to the parents of Trayvon — If I had a son, he would look like Trayvon."

By this time, the White House had access to all the information the Sanford Police Department did. The courageous step for Obama would have been to defend the Sanford Police Department and to demand an end to the media lynching of George Zimmerman. As an African American, he had more latitude to do this than a white politician would have. Instead, he chose to identify fully with the black "victim."

If Obama's son would have looked like Trayvon, he would have also looked like James Edwards and Chancey Luna, both charged with first-degree murder in Lane's death. Although south central Oklahoma would seem to be a long way from south central LA, the national media have created a dysfunctional culture accessible to all disaffected youths everywhere, even the occasional white kid like getaway driver Michael Jones.

Was it a thrill kill or part of a gang initiation? That would be the bushwhacking of Chris Lane, an Aussie college kid and baseball star. Lane was gunned down running along a country road near Duncan, Oklahoma.

Does it matter what motivated Allen Luna and James Francis Edwards, Jr., Chris Lane's accused killers, and Michael Dewayne Jones, an accessory, to off a young man with a promising future who was just going about the routine of his life on a summer's day?

In one sense it doesn't matter. Whether those three gangsta-infatuated creeps were thrill killing or murdering an innocent to be "made" (as the mob is fond of saying) as Crips just points to the rot — the nihilism — that has debauched subsets of American society. Terming this nihilism a cancer is cliché. Cancer isn't communicable, as best I know.

What the nation suffers is leprosy — a scary cultural and societal decay that is only more advanced in many black and Hispanic urban communities. It's present, too, in a growing number of white underclass communities (here and in Europe). For too long, that leprosy has been spreading to the broader culture with all its attendant sickness.

We have the progressives to thank for the contagion. In fact, let's thank the left forAustralian Player Random Slaying Luna, Edwards, and Jones right now. Over the decades, the left's compassionate government policies have done to the black underclass what earlier Americans did to the Indians: made them dependents on Uncle Sam. Indians were welfareized and quarantined on reservations.

The nation's hoods and increasingly, barrios are modern-day reservations, where independence, initiative, self-worth, and self-respect have been stripped from residents. Where family, community, and church have been debased in favor of the government handout machine and minority leaders who pimp their own people for gain. And a white liberal political establishment that profits handsomely from subjugated minorities.

But human nature being what it is — possessing deep needs for independence, self-sufficiency, and self-value — means underclass blacks and Hispanics seek out perverse ways of expressing those needs. Gangs are replacements for families; they lend identity, security, and worth. They're enterprises where the ambitious, with talent and moxy, seek to better themselves — albeit through violence and crime.

There's also the anti-traditionalism, anti-establishmentism, and permissiveness that grew out of the left and the left's spawn, the 60s youth movement. This ethos of break the rules and do as you feel hasn't liberated the nation's underclasses; it's robbed them of anchoring principles and certitudes. In smashing compasses, progressives have served only to cut adrift millions of Americans, launching them on a sea where everything's made up as one goes and right and wrong are matters of perception and opinion.

The 60s ethos hasn't done much for the middle and upper classes, either — at least, among those segments that subscribe to it. Relativism and juvenile self-obsession and indulgence only hasten the rot.

Gangs and violence in underclass communities have been around long before Ellis Island, you say? True, indeed. But the Irish, Italians, and Jews, for example, didn't stay in the shanties and tenements. There was something called "upward mobility," which these ethnic groups aspired to. Poor immigrants and their families cycled through the nation's Hell's Kitchens and into the mainstream, adapting happily to the norms, values, and virtues that comprised traditional America.

Today, blacks and other underclass Americans are victims of generational poverty and welfare dependency. They're trapped not by lack of potential, but lack of social structures that instill virtues and channel their energies into constructive pursuits. Even government schools are nearly useless. The important social structures are family, neighborhood, and church; all were once the sinews binding poor communities together and giving poor kids the chance for better lives.

Does any sensible American really like rap or gangsta rap? Music full of anger, hate for authority — the police, in particular — and denigration of women. Full of talk of law breaking and killing. Full of idiotic preening and braggadocio about being unschooled and unmotivated toward conventional success. Does anyone think that wearing pants down around one's buttocks, tattooing one's body, and piercing one's nose, ears, tongue, nipples, and whatever else is indicative of anything other than the atavistic? Affectations that have seeped into the middle and upper classes.

Other than being a name on street signs and a day off in January, does Martin Luther King, Jr., matter much to urban black kids anymore? King who dressed in suits and spoke impeccable English? Who led a nonviolent civil rights movement and preached integration and unity among the races, not hate and division? Who wanted mainstreaming and conventional success for blacks?

Or Jackie Robinson, the subject of a recent movie, 42. One might dare say that Jackie Robinson is a stronger role model for nonblack kids than he is for poor black kids nowadays (if they even know who Robinson was and what he achieved).

The murder of Chris Lane makes apparent the advance of violent black urban culture into the hinterlands. Apparent — not recent, and it's been further facilitated by the internet and social media.

The accused murderers and their accomplice were "wannabe" Crips, according to James Johnson, a black man, who reported that the three teens were hiding out in a car at -- of all places — Duncan's Immanuel Baptist Church. Johnson says that the trio had threatened his teenage son on Facebook and feared his boy was next to be shot. Johnson says that Luna, Edwards, and Lane had attempted to recruit his son, but Johnson had shielded him from the teens. The trio, if Johnson is correct, had a "join or die" ultimatum for his son.

Said Johnson in a Melbourne (Australia) Herald Sun report:

"I've been living here all my life and we never had this, but in the past few years gangs from Lawton have been coming here," Johnson said of the Crips.”

Again per the Herald Sun, Johnson furnished this background about the accused killers:

Johnson's son also attends Duncan High School, where suspect Luna and Edwards Jr. were students. He said he knew both boys, and described them as "troublemakers" and "bullies" who had "no parental supervision."

Given the social media depicting the trio making gang-like gestures and one handling a rifle, these teens were infatuated by gang culture and gang violence. But Luna, Edwards, and Jones could have been more than taken with the Crips; they might have been initiating themselves into the gang.

The Crips and other street gangs often require an act of violence -- up to and including murder — to initiate as a gangsta, or as the Crips say, become a "cuzz."

Robert Walker, a retired state and federal law enforcement officer and gang expert, runs the website "Gangs or Us," a gang identification resource.

Of the Crips and Bloods, Walker writes:

“In the early 1980's, members of both gangs surfaced outside Los Angeles and the rest of California, primarily to sell cocaine. Investigative reports in 1991 placed Crips or Bloods in 32 States and 113 cities. However, these migrations are not orchestrated by any sort of national leadership. Instead, criminal acts often are committed or directed by individual leaders (who change frequently), rather than as the result of some hierarchical or collective decision making process.

The Crips is a loose association of some 200 gangs, many of which are at war with one another, and none of whom recognizes or exerts any kind of central authority. Individual gangs are equally marginal in their organization. Most are loosely knit coalitions of small, autonomous cliques.”

The Crips seem like Al Qaida precursors, with an emphasis on autonomy and independent action. The Crips, Bloods, and other gangs are opportunists, whose members have sought out communities (markets, if you will) where they can startup or dominate the drug trade.

That the Crips and gang culture enticed three Duncan juveniles and inspired them to commit a random act of murder is notable only because of the place and the victim. For Duncan citizens, Chris Lane's murder was novel and shocking. In inner-cities — hoods — across the land, senseless gang murders and mayhem are sorry ways of life.

What passes for “leadership” in the modern “civil-rights” community has frequently compared the shooting of Trayvon Martin to the brutal murder of black teenager Emmett Till in the 1950s. One of the people who did this is billionaire Oprah Winfrey, fresh from nearly destroying the life of an innocent Swiss shop clerk by falsely accusing her of racism. Asked about Winfrey’s comparison on MSNBC Friday morning, Emmett Till’s cousin Simeon Wright replied:

“The comparison to me is similar; there are a lot of parallels between Emmett Till and Trayvon Martin. Number one: Trayvon was killed by a white boy that got out of his truck armed to the teeth — chased him down, did kill him. And then the jury did the same thing they did in 1955 with Emmett Till: they came back with a non-guilty vote. That broke my heart. That tells me that things have not changed as much as people would like to say they have changed. I asked my wife this morning if she had ever been consulted on one of these polls. I’ve never been asked about one of these polls.”

Every single thing Simeon Wright said about George Zimmerman is a lie. He’s not white, he’s not a “boy,” he wasn’t “armed to the teeth,” and he didn’t chase Trayvon Martin down. Zimmerman killed Martin in self-defense, quite unlike the heartless murderers of Emmett Till. Of course, the MSNBC anchor, Craig Melvin, challenged not a word of this ludicrous slander.

This is about more than the production of Trayvon mythology, which proceeds at a furious pace, moving the manufactured false narrative further and further away from the facts introduced during Zimmerman’s trial. Oprah Winfrey’s cooked-up anecdote about racist Swiss clerks refusing to show her an expensive handbag, because they assumed a black woman could not afford such luxuries, was not about Winfrey deciding to annihilate a random store employee for kicks. I doubt Winfrey gave the clerk a second thought. She clearly never imagined that her version of events would be challenged. She was just trying to throw out a quick talk-show-ready anecdote about how racism persists around the world, even in nations renowned for their peaceful tolerance, never mind squalid, hateful America.

The point of all this is to manufacture despair. The polls Simeon Wright disparaged, by claiming he and his wife have never been consulted for one, are polls about the improving state of race relations in the United States. He’s saying those polls are full of baloney, because there’s still racism everywhere. And he doesn’t mean the kind of racism that led a couple of teenage black gang-banger wanabes to shoot Australian college student Chris Lane in the back while he was out jogging. Wright means institutionalized white racism, a fog of hatred and disdain that hasn’t cleared much since 1965.

The most obvious difference between the Left/media response to the Lane murder, and the Trayvon Martin shooting, is that mighty efforts were made to portray George Zimmerman as the agent of a cruel and racist system, not merely a trigger-happy racist himself. He became a piñata for gun-control activists. Loud and repeated warnings were issued that a legion of heavily armed, bloodthirsty homeowners and neighborhood-watch volunteers lurked from coast to coast, waiting to prey upon any young black man who wandered into their suburban kill zones.

The aftermath of the Zimmerman trial has been a concerted nationwide effort to attack Stand Your Ground laws, which had nothing to do with the shooting of Trayvon Martin but they’re supposedly a totem of the evil system that keeps minorities down. The group that camped out in Florida’s capitol for a month, demanding a special legislative session to erase the state’s Stand Your Ground law, called itself the “Dream Defenders.” The implication is that the dreams of innocent young people are under attack because of SYG laws, which is absolute rubbish but quite consistent with the sustained atmosphere of despair hanging over America.

The racial grievance industry isn’t the only smokestack pumping into that atmosphere. Despair suffuses every aspect of our political culture. Those who would rule us as our permanent protectors want us to believe ourselves surrounded by unbeatable villains. Take one step onto the frozen tundra of the free market, and you’ll be torn apart by corporate wolves. You’ll need tax-raising politicians to help you get even with the rich bastards who stole your rightful prosperity. (Excepting millionaire politicians, entertainers, and athletes, of course. They earn their fortunes!)

ObamaCare is a broken-down wreck, and if any private corporation had been responsible for it, you’d be told to view it as a swindle whose perpetrators belong in jail but instead, the people who want to shut it down are depicted as callous brutes who enjoy watching poor people get sick. You’ll die without government insurance subsidies, you’ll starve without food stamps, you’ll go broke without a government-managed financial system, the Earth will be destroyed without government-enforced environmental orthodoxy, and if politicians weren’t insisting on higher pay plus mandated benefits, you’d be enslaved by evil corporate overlords.

The most powerful President since FDR, a man whose assumed powers would be labeled despotic by the Founding Fathers, excuses his failures by claiming he’s just a victim of these shadowy racist villains, too. He’s not responsible for anything that’s happened since 2009, no matter how many times he seizes new executive powers. The dead-parrot economy and moribund job market he’s delivered are the best you have a right to expect; it would be even worse, if President Obama hadn’t done whatever he did with all those trillions you’re supposed to forget he spent. If the government borrows or spends a dollar less, America will collapse into a pile of dust. If the dull, selfish people of the United States reclaim an inch of the ground they have lost to the State, mere anarchy will be loosed upon the world. Despair, helplessness, doom.

We are actively encouraged to see ourselves as children. Grown men are frequently referred to as “boys,” and officially treated as such by ObamaCare. Teenagers sigh that they have nothing meaningful to do, and nothing is expected of them. They’re treated the way earlier generations would regard children half their age. Prolonged adolescence is another form of despair. People who are held responsible for nothing see little reason to make extraordinary effort. Responsibility is a core component of dignity, liberty, and achievement. If people are not accountable for their failures, who cares about their successes?

All of this is alien to human nature. It is enforced upon us by a vast political system armed with gigantic resources. In our hearts, we know we’re not supposed to rely on other people’s money for food and shelter. We know we’re meant to compete and cooperate with our fellows, not regard ourselves as hapless victims of their perpetual disdain. Economist Walter Williams, who is a person of color, recently observed that competitive sports teams don’t accept the low standards and excuses for failure found throughout the educational system, and black people do just fine on those teams. When much is expected, much is accomplished and the soul of every young person, black or white, boy or girl, yearns to hear the call to excellence.

Perhaps one reason kids love sports is that big games are played on lofty peaks that ride high above the fog of despair. After years of trudging through dumbed-down courses, lowered standards, and assurances that the deck is forever stacked against them, they long to step onto a brightly-lit field of honor and show what they can really do, win some victories, earn some applause. It’s not just about earning big bucks as a star athlete or entertainer, although the money is nice too. It’s the dream of commanding respect, standing tall, exceeding expectations, and taking your well-deserved seat in a great brotherhood of equals.

But who respects hapless children who believe they can never win? If you accept the right of the State to use compulsive force to correct inequality of outcome, you believe the targets of that force are your enemies, they deserve to suffer, and you could never beat them on your own. You can’t beat any of the Left’s boogeymen on your own. Your perpetual fear and despair are the source of their power.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Have the Inmates Finally Taken Over the Asylum?

"Children should be educated and instructed in the principles of freedom." —John Adams

When the President Obama’s Pentagon declared the mass shootings at Fort Hood by Army Major Nidal Hasan as “workplace violence” I thought that political correctness by the left had gone too far. Even when he shouted “Allāhu Akbar” as he emptied his 9mm magazines on unarmed soldiers and civilians. This refusal by the Pentagon to recognize this as an act of terrorism caused the survivors of this attack to lose all benefits owed them by the military. It was and still is a gross miscarriage of justice for the victims.

If you thought that was bad we now have Air Force claiming in their training manuals that our Founding Fathers were extremists. According to the Air Force George Washington would not be welcome in the modern U.S. military. Neither would Thomas Jefferson or Benjamin Franklin, according to Department of Defense training documents that depict the Founding Fathers as extremists and conservative organizations as “hate groups.”

“This document deserves a careful examination by military leadership,” Judicial Watch president Tom Fitton told Fox News. “Congress needs to conduct better oversight and figure out what the heck is going on in our military.”

Included in the 133-pages of lesson plans is a student guide entitled “Extremism.”

The DOD warns students to be aware “that many extremists will talk of individual liberties, states’ rights and how to make the world a better place.”

Under a section titled “Extremist Ideologies,” the document states, “In U.S. history, there are many examples of extremist ideologies and movements. The colonists who sought to free themselves from British rule and the Confederate states who sought to secede from the Northern states are just two examples.

According to a report in the Daily Caller:

“Besides a brief reference to 9/11 and another to the Sudanese civil war, the guide makes no mention of Islamic extremism.

The guide also repeatedly tells readers to use the Southern Poverty Law Center as a resource in identifying hate groups. The SPLC has previously come under fire for its leftist bias and tendency to identify conservative organizations such as the American Family Association as hate groups.

In August 2012, an attempted terrorist attack occurred at the Family Research Council, another conservative organization the SPLC has branded a hate group. FRC president Tony Perkins said the SPLC’s designation prompted the attack, stating the gunman “was given a license to shoot by organizations like the Southern Poverty Law Center.”

In a statement, Judicial Watch president Tom Fitton slammed the Department of Defense documents for what he described as their bias against conservatives.

“The Obama administration has a nasty habit of equating basic conservative values with terrorism. And now, in a document full of claptrap, its Defense Department suggests that the Founding Fathers, and many conservative Americans, would not be welcome in today’s military,” said Fitton. ”And it is striking that some the language in this new document echoes the IRS targeting language of conservative and Tea Party investigations. After reviewing this document, one can’t help but worry for the future and morale of our nation’s armed forces.”

The training guide warned that participation in groups that are regarded as extremist organizations is “incompatible with military service and is, therefore prohibited.”

“It’s craziness,” Fitton said. “It’s political correctness run amok.”

The training documents also focus on those who cherish individual liberty.

“Nowadays, instead of dressing in sheets or publically espousing hate messages, many extremists will talk of individual liberties, states’ rights and how to make the world a better place.”

The document relied heavily on information obtained from the Southern Poverty Law Center, a leftwing organization that has a history of labeling conservative Christian organizations like the Family Research Council as “hate groups.”

This policy is beyond political correctness it is an obscene attack on our Founders, the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution.

Our Founders were not extremists they were classical liberals in the sense of John Locke and Montesquieu. The believed in liberty, private property, and individual rights. They authored a document that became a road map for the greatest form of self-governance that was known to man and still is.

Was Thomas Jefferson an extremist when he authored the Declaration of Independence? Were James Madison and George Mason extremists when they authored the Bill of Rights? Were James Madison, Alexander Hamilton, and John Jay extremists when they wrote the Federalist Papers in support of the ratification of the Constitution? Was George Washington an extremist when he acted as the president of the Constitutional Convention? These were men of honor, vision and a dedication to a republican form of self-government something we are drifting away from every day the progressive masterminds hold power. I doubt that the authors of this inane teaching document have ever read even one of the Federalist Papers.

When a cadet is enrolled in one of the military academies they take an oath to protect and defend the Constitution — not to worship Barack Obama. This is just one more example of the inmates taking control of the Washington asylum.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

The Transformation of the American Republic

“Combination of agriculture with manufacturing industries; gradual abolition of the distinction between town and country, by a more equitable distribution of the population over the country.” — Article II, Section 9 of the Communist Manifesto

In 1831, Alexis de Tocqueville and Gustave de Beaumont were sent by the French government to study the American prison system. In his later letters Tocqueville indicates that he and Beaumont used their official business as a pretext to study American society instead. They arrived in New York City in May of that year and spent nine months traveling the United States, studying the prisons, and collecting information on American society, including its religious, political, and economic character. These studies became the basis of his 1840 book “Democracy in America.” In that book he wrote about the growing power of a central government :

“Above this race of men stands an immense and tutelary power, which takes upon itself alone to secure their gratifications and to watch over their fate. That power is absolute, minute, regular, provident, and mild. It would be like the authority of a parent if, like that authority, its object was to prepare men for manhood; but it seeks, on the contrary, to keep them in perpetual childhood: it is well content that the people should rejoice, provided they think of nothing but rejoicing. For their happiness such a government willingly labors, but it chooses to be the sole agent and the only arbiter of that happiness; it provides for their security, foresees and supplies their necessities, facilitates their pleasures, manages their principal concerns, directs their industry, regulates the descent of property, and subdivides their inheritances: what remains, but to spare them all the care of thinking and all the trouble of living?

Thus it every day renders the exercise of the free agency of man less useful and less frequent; it circumscribes the will within a narrower range and gradually robs a man of all the uses of himself. The principle of equality has prepared men for these things; it has predisposed men to endure them and often to look on them as benefits.

After having thus successively taken each member of the community in its powerful grasp and fashioned him at will, the supreme power then extends its arm over the whole community. It covers the surface of society with a network of small complicated rules, minute and uniform, through which the most original minds and the most energetic characters cannot penetrate, to rise above the crowd. The will of man is not shattered, but softened, bent, and guided; men are seldom forced by it to act, but they are constantly restrained from acting. Such a power does not destroy, but it prevents existence; it does not tyrannize, but it compresses, enervates, extinguishes, and stupefies a people, till each nation is reduced to nothing better than a flock of timid and industrious animals, of which the government is the shepherd.” ― Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America.

How prophetic Mr. de Tocqueville was.

Tocqueville believed that the Puritans established the principle of sovereignty of the people in the Fundamental Orders of Connecticut. The American Revolution then popularized this principle, followed by the Constitutional Convention of 1787, which developed institutions to manage popular will. While Tocqueville speaks highly of the America's Constitution, he believes that the mores or "habits of mind" of the American people play a more prominent role in the protection of freedom. Those mores being:

  • Township democracy
  • Mores, Laws, and Circumstances
  • Tyranny of the Majority (Federalist No. 10)
  • Religion and beliefs
  • The Family
  • Individualism
  • Associations
  • Self-Interest Rightly Understood
  • Materialism

This is a far cry from the writings of Karl Marx in his Communist Manifesto, published a mere 8 years after Democracy in America.

Mark Levine writes if his latest book The Liberty Amendments:

What was to be a relatively innocuous federal government, operating from a defined enumeration of specific grants of power, has become an ever-present and unaccountable force. It is the nation’s largest creditor, debtor, lender, employer, consumer, contractor, grantor, property owner, tenant, insurer, health-care provider, and pension guarantor. Moreover, with aggrandized police powers, what it does not control directly it bans or mandates by regulation. For example, the federal government regulates most things in your bathroom, laundry room, and kitchen, as well as the mortgage you hold on your house. It designs your automobile and dictates the kind of fuel it uses. It regulates your baby’s toys, crib, and stroller; plans your children’s school curriculum and lunch menu; and administers their student loans in college. At your place of employment, the federal government oversees everything from the racial, gender, and age diversity of the workforce to the hours, wages, and benefits paid. Indeed, the question is not what the federal government, the question is not what the federal government regulates, but what it does not. And it makes you wonder—how can a people incapable of selecting their own light bulbs and toilets possess enough competence to vote for their own rulers and fill out complicated tax returns?”

The illimitable regulatory activity, with which the federal government torments, harasses, and coerces the individual’s private and economic behavior, is the progeny of a colossal federal edifice with inexhaustible energy for societal manipulation and change. In order to satisfy its gluttonous appetite for programmatic schemes, the federal government not only hurriedly digests the Treasury’s annual revenue, funded with confiscatory taxes on a diminishing number of productive citizens, but desserts on the wealth not yet created by generations not yet born with unconstrained indebtedness. And what havoc has this wrought.

The federal government consumes nearly 25 percent of all goods and services produced each year by the American people. Yearly deficits routinely exceed $1 trillion dollars. The federal government has incurred a fiscal operating debt of more than $17 trillion, far exceeding the total value of the annual economic wealth created by the American people, which is expected to reach about $26 trillion in a decade. It has accumulated unfunded liabilities for entitlement programs exceeding $90 trillion, which is growing at $4.6–6.9 trillion a year. There is not enough money on the planet to make good on the federal government’s financial obligations. Hence, the Federal Reserve Board has swung into action with multiple versions of “quantitative easing,” which is nothing more than the federal government monetizing its own debt — or buying its own debt—with a combination of borrowing, issuing itself credit, and printing money amounting to trillions of dollars. Of course, this has the eventual effect of devaluing the currency, fueling significant inflation or deflation, and destabilizing the economy at some future point.

But like the laws of physics, there is no escaping the laws of economics. As these fiscal and monetary malpractices escalate, for there is no end in sight, the federal government will turn increasingly reckless and demanding, taking an even harder line against the individual’s accumulation of wealth and retention of private property. For example, when the federal income tax was instituted one hundred years ago, the top individual income tax rate was 7 percent. Today the top rate is about 40 percent with proposals to push it to nearly 50 percent. There is also serious talk from the governing elite about instituting a national value-added tax (VAT) on top of existing federal taxes, which is a form of sales tax, and divesting citizens of their 401(k) private pension plans. Even the rapaciousness of these policies will not be enough to fend off the severe and widespread misery unleashed from years of profligacy. Smaller nations such as Cyprus, Spain, and Greece provide a window into the future, as their borrowing has reached its limit. Moreover, unable to print money, their day of reckoning is either looming or arrived. Therefore, bank accounts, other investments, and wealth generally are subject to governmental impoundment, sequester, and theft. The individual’s liberty, inextricably linked to his private property, is submerged in the quicksand of a government that is aggregating authority and imploding simultaneously.

What, then, is the answer? Again, Tocqueville offers guidance. Looking back at the Constitutional Convention some fifty years afterward, he observed that

“It is new in history of society to see a great people turn a calm and scrutinizing eye upon itself when apprised by the legislature that the wheels of its government are stopped, to see it carefully examine the extent of the evil, and patiently wait two whole years until a remedy is discovered, to which it voluntarily submitted without its costing a tear or a drop of blood from mankind.”

It is asking too much of today’s governing masterminds and their fanatical adherents to reform the product of their own fatuity — that is, the continuing disassembly of the American Republic.

“During the ratification period, the Federalists repeatedly assured the Anti-Federalists and other skeptics of the proposed federal government’s limits. For example, Madison argued in Federalist 14,

“In the first place it is to be remembered, that the general government is not to be charged with the whole power of making and administering laws: its jurisdiction is limited to certain enumerated objects, which concern all the members of the republic, but which are not to be attained by the separate provisions of any.”

In Federalist 45 he insisted:

“The powers delegated by the proposed Constitution to the federal government are few and defined. Those which are to remain in the State governments are numerous and indefinite.”

In Federalist 46, Madison asserted that:

“The powers proposed to be lodged in the federal government are as little formidable to those reserved to the individual States, as they are indispensably necessary to accomplish the purposes of the Union; and that all those alarms which have been sounded, of a meditated and consequential annihilation of the State governments, must, on the most favorable interpretation, be ascribed to the chimerical fears of the authors of them.”

Madison’s declarations were not unique among the Constitution’s proponents but rather were commonplace. And without these assurances — and the additional pledge that the First Congress would offer amendments to the Constitution further ensuring that individual and state sovereignty would be safeguarded against the new federal government (what became the Bill of Rights, including the Ninth and Tenth Amendments) — the Constitution would not have been ratified. Thus, the Constitution, drafted by delegates who were sent by the states to Philadelphia in 1787 and ratified subsequently by delegates in the state conventions, preserved the decisive role of the states in the American Republic.”

It requires emphasis that the states established the American Republic and, through the Constitution, retained for themselves significant authority to ensure the republic’s durability. This is not to say that the states are perfect governing institutions. Many are no more respectful of unalienable rights than is the federal government. But the issue is how best to preserve the civil society in a world of imperfect people and institutions. The answer, the Framers concluded, is to diversify authority with a combination of governing checks, balances, and divisions, intended to prevent the concentration of unbridled power in the hands of a relative few imperfect people.”

Jimmy Carter, the 39th president of the U.S., was, until Dear Leader Barack Hussein Obama came along, considered as the worst president in U.S. history. But Jimmy Carter, to his credit, in 1976, did say, "I am not going to use the federal government's authority deliberately to circumvent the natural inclination of people to live in ethnic homogeneous neighborhoods. I think it is good to maintain the homogeneity of neighborhoods if they've been established that way." So chalk one up for Carter.

Too bad (for us) that Obama can't (or won't) say the same. Obama, through Housing and Urban Development (HUD), is pushing "Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing," (AFFH) a program to "allow the feds to track diversity in America's neighborhoods and then push policies to change those it deems discriminatory."

Guess who gets to decide if discrimination is present. Why, HUD, naturally. This is the definition of a self-fulfilling prophecy. The AFFH  (FR-5173) states:

“Through this rule, HUD proposes to provide HUD program participants with more effective means to affirmatively further the purposes and policies of the Fair Housing Act, which is Title VIII of the Civil Rights Act of 1968. The Fair Housing Act not only prohibits discrimination but, in conjunction with other statutes, directs HUD's program participants to take steps proactively to overcome historic patterns of segregation, promote fair housing choice, and foster inclusive communities for all. As acknowledged by the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) and many stakeholders, advocates, and program participants, the current practice of affirmatively furthering fair housing carried out by HUD grantees, which involves an analysis of impediments to fair housing choice and a certification that the grantee will affirmatively further fair housing, has not been as effective as had been envisioned.

This rule accordingly proposes to refine existing requirements with a fair housing assessment and planning process that will better aid HUD program participants fulfill this statutory obligation and address specific comments the GAO raised. To facilitate this new approach, HUD will provide states, local governments, insular areas, and public housing agencies (PHAs), as well as the communities they serve, with data on patterns of integration and segregation; racially and ethnically concentrated areas of poverty; access to education, employment, low-poverty, transportation, and environmental health, among other critical assets; disproportionate housing needs based on the classes protected under the Fair Housing Act; data on individuals with disabilities and families with children; and discrimination. From these data, program participants will evaluate their present environment to assess fair housing issues, identify the primary determinants that account for those issues, and set forth fair housing priorities and goals.

The benefit of this approach is that these priorities and goals will then better inform program participant's strategies and actions by improving the integration of the assessment of fair housing through enhanced coordination with current planning exercises. This proposed rule further commits HUD to greater engagement and better guidance for program participants in fulfilling their obligation to affirmatively further fair housing. With this new clarity through guidance, a template for the assessment, and a HUD-review process, program participants should achieve more meaningful outcomes that affirmatively further fair housing.”

This is will be the final act of Obama’s desire to transform the American Republic into the Communist dream of his father. As stated in Article II, Section 9 of the Communist Manifesto:

“The combination of agriculture with manufacturing industries; gradual abolition of the distinction between town and country, by a more equitable distribution of the population over the country.”

This would blend all neighborhoods into the communal society Barack Obama and his henchmen on the left desire. Of course certain neighborhoods would get a pass. They would be the neighborhoods where the elite reside. After all socialism is for the people not for the socialist — the elite are made of finer clay.

The AFFH program will require HUD to try to remedy what it considers segregation and discrimination in neighborhoods through data collection and the use of a massive database.  Data from this so-called "discrimination database" will be used with transportation and infrastructure planning, housing financing policies, and zoning laws to alleviate what HUD deems as discrimination and segregation.  Just what America needs: another government database.  Can anyone say "NSA"?

According to HUD, AFFH will "provide HUD program participants with more effective means to affirmatively further the purposes and policies of the Fair Housing Act, which is Title VIII of the Civil Rights Act of 1968," which "directs HUD's program participants to take steps proactively to overcome historic patterns of segregation, promote fair housing choice, and foster inclusive communities for all." Just like Marx proposed.

HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan introduced this plan in July at the NAACP convention. Donovan said:

“Unfortunately, in too many of our hardest hit communities, no matter how hard a child or her parents work, the life chances of that child, even her lifespan, are determined by the zip code she grows up in. This is simply wrong.” (See my blog entitled Another Infringement From The Administrative State.)

HUD and Donovan are reverting to the old and well-worn Progressive/Democrat/Liberal playbook of comparing apples with oranges in an effort to get their way, to try to gather data that will support their position so HUD (and Obama) can act as it desires, to impose his will upon us.

HUD blames poverty on zip codes, something that studies have not supported, rather than other socio-economic factors that studies have shown to contribute to poverty. For example, Dr. David Hilfiker, in his book Poverty in Urban America: Its Causes and Cures, says: "Causes of poverty are always multiple, interrelated, and mutually reinforcing. It is the combined, intertwined effect of these various factors that is so intractable." Hilfiker lists several causes:

  • Racial Discrimination: "the history of discrimination helped to create the ghetto environment."
  • Segregation: "Continuing, imposed, severe segregation of African Americans from the rest of society is the single most important cause of urban black poverty"
  • Education: "Because elementary and secondary schools are primarily funded through local taxes, cities with large numbers of poor people have fewer resources per child and are therefore less able to fund decent education" (emphasis in the original).
  • Health Care: "Poor people, therefore, cannot afford to purchase insurance on their own, so they remain uncovered, spending significant percentages of their income on doctor or emergency room visits, especially if they have young children."
  • Criminal Justice System: "Since ex-cons find it much harder to get jobs, the impact of the criminal justice system on poverty is doubly harsh."

Whether you agree with Hilfiker or not is not at issue here. The fact is, Hilfiker's list does not include zip codes. For HUD, it's all about the acquisition of power and for Obama it’s the transformation of the Republic and the elimination of private property.

Hilfiker concludes by stating, "As long as ghettos exist, most of the people who live there will be poor." Gosh, I didn't realize that ghetto-creating segregation was imposed on anyone. Did I miss something here? I thought that imposing segregation was unlawful. I guess that AFFH, by imposing HUD's will, will be able to eliminate ghettos one zip code at a time. Imposing segregation: bad; imposing AFFH: good. Or so HUD thinks. Consistency is not one of HUD's strengths.

Of the AFFH program, Edward Pinto, of the American Enterprise Institute, said:

“This is just the latest of a series of attempts by HUD to social engineer the American people. It started with public housing and urban renewal, which failed spectacularly back in the 50's and 60's. They tried it again in the 90's when they wanted to transform house finance, do away with down payments, and the result was millions of foreclosures and financial collapse.”

For HUD, history and past performance doesn't count. As Thomas Sowell stated:

“It is hard to imagine a more stupid or more dangerous way of making decisions than by putting those decisions in the hands of people who pay no price for being wrong.”

And from Rob Astorino, of the Westchester County Executive (the head of the executive branch of the Westchester County NY government), we get this perspective:

“What they [Donovan and HUD] are trying to do is to say discrimination and zoning is the same thing. They are not. Discrimination won't be tolerated. I won't tolerate it. Zoning though, protects what can and can't be built in a neighborhood.”

As Marilyn Assenheim writing in the Patriot Update states:

“The Imperial President has seized another chunk of our freedom…again. Loss of freedom begins with baby steps. Perhaps when one’s high-water usage toilet is confiscated in favor of “water saving” models that must be flushed three times to do the same job as one flush from the original. Then, suddenly, we find that government mandated healthcare is now the law of the land. Involvement is mandatory and is being governed through the yet-to-be-fettered IRS. Failure to participate results in escalating fines which become usurious, rapidly. Now, here comes the regime’s Department of Housing and Urban Development. If you think where and how you live is exclusively up to you, think again.

The Lyin’ King (Barack Obama) will not be satisfied until every man, woman and child in the nation has had their freedom squashed under his rapacious thumb. HUD has taken community organizing nationwide and no one is immune. Call AFFH what it is; it is: The Lyin’ King’s recreation of America. The steps aren’t tiny anymore.”

We are losing our freedoms one step at a time. AFFH is just the latest manifestation of that loss.

On a tangential note, where do Carter and Obama rank as presidents? Interestingly, in a poll conducted by Siena College (2010), and published by US News and World Report, two hundred thirty eight presidential scholars ranked Barack Obama as 15th. But the poll's validity can be questioned, as the scholars ranked Obama as 6th in imagination, 7th in communication ability, 8th in intelligence, and 10th in ability to compromise. I guess that the "presidential scholars" were hand-picked by Siena College for their ability to ignore what Obama is currently doing and provide the rankings it sought. I certainly would recommend passing on Siena College for a college education. By the way, the poll ranked Carter 32nd.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Wildfire Terrorism

“A universal peace, it is to be feared, is in the catalogue of events, which will never exist but in the imaginations of visionary philosophers, or in the breasts of benevolent enthusiasts.” — James Madison, essay in the National Gazette — 1792

On May 5, 1945, Bly minister Archie Mitchell, his pregnant wife Elsie, and five children from Mitchell's Sunday school class were on a Saturday morning picnic. Thirteen miles northeast of Bly, Oregon or about sixty miles northeast of Klamath Falls, Mitchell parked the car, and Elsie and the children headed to Leonard Creek. Mitchell later remembered: "As I got out of the car to bring the lunch, the others were not far away and called to me they had found something that looked like a balloon. I heard of Japanese balloons so I shouted a warning not to touch it. But just then there was a big explosion. I ran up there — and they were all dead."

The explosion created a foot deep, 3-foot-wide hole. Bomb fragments were found 400 feet from the explosion site. Six people died: Elsie Mitchell, 26; Dick Patzke, 14; Jay Gifford, 13; Edward Engen, 13; Joan Patzke, 13; and Sherman Shoemaker, 11.

A front-page story in the May 7, 1945, Klamath Falls Herald and News provided no details and reported only that the six were killed "by an explosion of unannounced cause." The U.S. government did not warn of balloon bomb dangers until a week later. Officials released limited information about balloon bombs on May 22 and on June 1 lifted the blackout on the explosion's cause.

Between November 1944 and April 1945, Japan launched more than nine thousand balloon bombs — experimental weapons intended to kill and cause fires. The balloons, each carrying an anti-personnel bomb and two incendiary bombs, took about seventy hours to cross the Pacific Ocean. Three hundred sixty-one of the balloons have been found in twenty-six states, Canada and Mexico.


The balloon bombs were 70 feet tall with a 33-foot diameter paper canopyJapanese_fire_balloon_moffet connected to the main device by shroud lines. Balloons inflated with hydrogen followed the jet stream at an altitude of 30,000 feet. The high-explosive anti-personnel and incendiary devices were rigged to self-destruct and leave no evidence. The Japanese hoped the bombs would start forest fires and create panic, according to documents found after the war.

The first bomb was spotted southwest of San Pedro, California, on November 4, 1944. On January 4, 1945, two men working near Medford, Oregon, heard a blast, saw flames, and found a twelve-inch-deep hole in the ground where the bomb had exploded. The U.S. Office of Censorship asked the news media not to publish reports for fear it might cause panic.

The bombs caused little damage, but their potential for destruction and fires was large. The bombs also had a potential psychological effect on the American people. The U.S. strategy was to keep the Japanese from knowing of the balloon bombs' effectiveness.

In 1945 Newsweek ran an article titled "Balloon Mystery" in their January 1 issue, and a similar story appeared in a newspaper the next day.

The Office of Censorship then sent a message to newspapers and radio stations to ask them to make no mention of balloons and balloon-bomb incidents; lest the enemy get the idea that the balloons might be effective weapons. Cooperating with the desires of the government, the press did not publish any balloon bomb incidents. Perhaps as a result, the Japanese only learned of one bomb's reaching Wyoming, landing and failing to explode, so they stopped the launches after less than six months.

The press blackout in the U.S. was lifted after the first deaths to ensure that the public was warned, though public knowledge of the threat could have possibly prevented it.

The Japanese government withdrew funding for the program around the same time that Allied forces blew up Japanese hydrogen plants, making the commodity needed to fill the balloons scarcer than ever. Plus it was unclear whether the weapons were working; security was so good on the U.S. side that news of the balloon bombs' arrival never got back to Japan.

One of the things the U.S. Government did to counter the effects of the balloon Bombs was to deploy the newly created, all black, 555th Parachute Infantry Battalion to the Northwest for the purpose of fighting forest fires. The 555t (Triple Nickels)

The battalion did not serve overseas during World War II. One of the reasons1024px-20111110-OC-AMW-0004_-_Flickr_-_USDAgov for this decision was segregation. European theater commanders "simply had no use" for the Black jumpers. The Asian theater was a different matter. Members of the 555 hoped to get into the war against the Japanese. According to Sgt. Walter Morris "It was a secret mission called Operation Firefly. We thought we were going overseas to Gen. Douglas MacArthur's theater". It wasn't until they arrived in Oregon in May 1945 that they learned they'd be fighting the Japanese on the fire line in the Western United States. They would become America’s first smoke jumpers.

In order to conceal the efficacy of these balloon bomb attacks, the missions of the 555th was kept clandestine in nature. In addition to fires started by the enemy incendiary devices, the 555th fought numerous other forest fires. Stationed at Pendleton Field (site of initial training for the Doolittle's raid on Japan) Oregon, with a detachment in Chico, California, unit members courageously participated in dangerous fire-fighting missions throughout the Pacific Northwest during the summer and fall of 1945. The group engaged in over 1200 missions, earning the nickname "Smoke Jumpers" in addition to "Triple Nickels."

Several states have had to cope with pyro-terrorism aimed at their forest systems. This method of attack — the ignition of forest fires—harms a valuable natural resource and threatens human population and infrastructure.

Terrorists who want to strike fear in the hearts of Americans would do well to set wildfires in Montana, al-Qaida advises in the most recent issue of its English-language magazine, Inspire.

“It is difficult to choose a better place other than in the valleys of Montana where the population increases rapidly,” Inspire’s “AQ Chef” columnist writes.

The magazine disappeared for a while after its founders, Anwar al-Awlaki and Samir Khan, were killed last year in a U.S. missile strike.

By Gwen Florio of the Missoulian wrote in her article “Al-Qaida magazine urges terrorists to set wildfires in Montana:”

“News of the Inspire article spread among federal agencies Thursday.

“The U.S. Department of Agriculture, including the U.S Forest Service, works closely with its partners within the intelligence community, including both the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Justice on any terrorist threats, including threats of this nature,” said Forest Service spokesman Brandan Schulze.

“We are asking Forest Service employees, law enforcement and the general public to continue to be vigilant for any signs of wildfires, and to report unusual circumstances or situations that seem out of the ordinary for outdoor recreation on all public lands,” he said.

The Inspire article states that America has more houses in the “country sides” than cities, and tells readers that on Aug. 6, 2000, “wildfires extended on the sides of a valley, south of Darby town. Six separated fires started and then met to form a massive fire that burnt down tens of houses.”

The 2000 wildfires were the Northern Rockies’ worst in 50 years. In Montana alone, nearly 1 million acres burned, more than one-third of that in the Bitterroot National Forest

The article also mentions destructive wildfires in Australia in 2002 and in 1983, and asks, “Is it possible for us to cause a similar destructive impact using a similar weapon?”

That’s where the ember bomb comes in. The instructions include using a clock, washing machine timer or acid to set the bomb afire.

After the list of complicated instructions, Inspire also suggests simply using a lit cigarette or a magnifying glass placed atop tinder in the sunlight.

The magazine says wildfires can cause “significant losses to the factories and companies of wooden products and everything that is linked to this trade.” Its research apparently did not uncover the disastrous effects of the recession upon the wood products industry.”

July 5, 2013 Daniel Greenfield wrote in Front Page Magazine that Al Qaeda linked Gaza terrorist group claims credit for Arizona wildfires:

“A Palestinian jihadist group, Masada al Mujahideen, recently claimed credit for ongoing wildfires in Arizona in a statement posted to jihadist forums today. The statement, titled “Masada al-Mujahideen Fulfilled its Promise and Attacked America Again After the Expiration of the Period with Fires that Achieved Historic Results,” was obtained and translated by the SITE Intelligence Group.

“We had previously announced an unconventional war against the occupation state of Israel, and then we escalated this war to reach its main supporter, America, so that it receives a major share of it, which will destroy their flora and fauna, with permission from Allah and then with our hands,” the group said.

The statement further said that the group targeted the United States “in order to make it clear and to make it know we can reach it when we warn it, and to make it certain that our hands don’t just reach it but also strike it.”

The group warned that the attacks “will not be the last if America does not respond to our demands.” The statement boasted that 19 firefighters had been killed in the fires.

Contrary to the claims of Masada al Mujahideen, authorities have said that they believe the fires were started as a result of lighting.

The authorities do have every reason to cover up Al Qaeda attacks in the United States considering Obama’s current policies, but I would still say that the lightning is more likely. And that Masada al Mujahideen are clowns who take responsibility for any fire that appears in the news.”

An expert on Islamic terrorism believes the wildfire that ravaged the outskirts of Colorado Springs, killing two people and destroying more than 500 homes, should be examined by terror investigators.

That’s because of the history of threats from al-Qaida and others to burn America’s forests.

Bob Unruh writes in his June 23rd column in World Net Daily that the striking rise in Western U.S. wildfires may be caused by elements other than nature:

“Authorities in El Paso County said they are focusing on a very tiny spot in their hunt for the reason the flames erupted in the mature stand of Ponderosa pines. The fire moved quickly out of control and incinerated homes and people alike with temperatures up to 2,500 degrees.

“One thing that my investigators have given me the authority to state is that they have all but ruled out natural causes as the cause of this fire,” said Sheriff Terry Maketa. “I can’t really go any further on that, but I can say we are pretty confident it was not, for instance, a lightning strike.”

The causes for most forest fires are limited to electrical problems, campfires or grills that get out of control, accidents such as a car fire and sparks from chain saws or other back-country tools.

Those causes, to an expert investigator, are readily identifiable.

But authorities said they were focusing on a 28-foot square patch where they believe the fire started, examining some portions with a magnifying glass.

At the American Center for Democracy, noted terror funding expert Rachel Ehrenfeld suggested circumstances are a little suspicious.”

The Federal Bureau of Investigation, Department of Homeland Security and fusion centers around the country are warning that terrorists are interested in using fire as a weapon, particularly in the form of large-scale wildfires nearDHS densely populated areas. A newly released DHS report states that for more than a decade “international terrorist groups and associated individuals have expressed interest in using fire as a tactic against the Homeland to cause economic loss, fear, resource depletion, and humanitarian hardship.” The report notes that the tactical use of fire as a weapon is “inexpensive and requires limited technical expertise” and “materials needed to use fire as a weapon are common and easily obtainable, making preoperational activities difficult to detect and plot disruption and apprehension challenging for law enforcement.”

Though law enforcement has been warning of the use of fire as a weapon for years, the recent fervor over wildfires as a potential terrorist tactic is largely due to Inspire Magazine. The most recent issue of Inspire featured multiple articles on the use of wildfire as a weapon in jihad, including a complete guide on creating an “ember bomb” that would likely have a “high failure rate when manufactured and utilized by untrained or inexperienced personnel” according to the DHS report. The FBI has also separately warned about the latest issue of Inspire, which “instructs the audience to look for two necessary factors for a successful wildfire, which are dryness and high winds to help spread the fire. Specific fire conditions that are likely to spread fire quickly are Pinewood, crownfires (where the trees and branches are close together), and steep slope fires (fire spreads faster going up a slope).” California and Montana are specifically listed in Inspire as potential targets.

How do you stop a person that wants to carry out a wildfire attack? The DHS report includes a list of potentially suspicious activities associated with the terrorist wildfire threat. Are you conducting “unusual research” related to weather, dry seasons, winds, or types of forests and vegetation? Have you done online research related to historical cases of arson? Or maybe you “conduct reconnaissance” in “remote, wooded areas, especially at night”? According to DHS, you might be a part of a terrorist plot to start wildfires all around the country. Of course, you could just be interested in nature, studying for a criminology exam or lost in a rural area at night. The report makes it clear that many of the suspicious activities listed are “constitutionally protected” and should not be considered alone as sufficient cause for investigation. However, the list ends with an ominous warning: “Preoperational activities of violent extremists in the Homeland might be difficult to detect. Agencies with local or state oversight should monitor events that might be linked to a larger terrorist operation. Suspicious activities should be reported and shared immediately.”

This threat of pyro-terrorism has gone pretty much ignored by the main stream media. This form of terrorism could be devastating to the nation. It is not only easy to carry out but it is very cost-effective for the terrorist. Allwildfire-jihad that is needed is a match or cheap fireplace butane lighter and a can of gasoline to cause millions of dollars in property damage and human misery. It would also cause long-term negative effects to our natural resources. Not only would the damage come from the fires but also from the mud slides that would be caused when the rains come and here is nothing to hold the soil in place. It you doubt this just watch the news reporting on the numerous wildfires each year. Right now near my home there are two wildfires burning in Riverside and San Bernardino counties — one at Lake Elsinore and the other in Banning. While the cause of these fires is yet to be determined pyro-terrorism cannot be ruled out.

While Mr. Greenfield considers the claims of Masada al Mujahideen dubious and refers to them as “clowns” I doubt that many would have considered the act of Arab terrorists hijacking large commercial airliners and crashing them into buildings 13 years ago. It seems as though every time a new terrorist tactic arises the media seems surprised.

By adopting specific risk management practices authorities will be better prepared to address this asymmetric, yet rational, threat should it materialize. Prevention and deterrence based on vulnerability assessments would assist officials mitigate risks associated with forest-targeted pyro-terrorism. Given the unique nature and rarity of the threat, responses should be based on separate policies rather than drawn from a modern counterterrorism strategy and may call for engagement at a local level.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

The Morality of the Bomb

“There is a rank due to the United States, among nations, which will be withheld, if not absolutely lost, by the reputation of weakness. If we desire to avoid insult, we must be able to repel it; if we desire to secure peace, one of the most powerful instruments of our rising prosperity, it must be known that we are at all times ready for war.” — George Washington, Fifth Annual Message, 1793.

On August 6, 1945 I was a 9-year old boy studying the clarinet. On that day my father, who at the time was working nights at a defense plant, took me to a matinee performance of the Benny Goodman band at the Palace Theater in downtown Cleveland, Ohio. We sat in the darkened theater listening to the great band leader and clarinetist play both pop and classical selections with his band. It was a great experience for me as I was with my dad in one of the best theaters in town listening to one of the best band in the United States.

As we walked out to the theater we saw crowds of people milling about the newspaper racks looking at the banner headline that read “A-BOMB.” The headline completely filled the width of the paper and its height covered the entire portion of the paper above the fold. In other words it was big.

Not only was the headline big, the news was big. At the time I did not know if the “A” was an indefinite article or an abbreviation for the word “Atomic.” I also recall sitting at the dining room table a few days later listening to my father and my uncles discussing the ramification of the use of the atomic bombs and how the world would change. I would soon learn what all of this meant.

Thousands of miles away on the island of Saipan in the Pacific Ocean was a young 18-year old Marine. At the time I did not know this Marine and it was many years later I heard his story. Bill was a client of mine and one day at lunch he was relating a few of his experiences as a young Marine and how the war affected him. When the subject of the A-Bomb came up he told me he had no reservations about of use of it against the Japanese. Bill had experienced some of the most brutal fighting in the Second World War and his division was preparing for the eventual invasion of the Japanese homeland where he was sure he would die. To Bill the news of the dropping of the atomic bomb was his Easter Sunday. He knew he would now go home rather than die on Japanese soil.

On this day in 1945, at 8:16 a.m. Japanese time, an American B-29 bomber,2hiroshima-b-foto the Enola Gay, dropped the world's first atom bomb, over the city of Hiroshima. Approximately 80,000 people are killed as a direct result of the blast, and another 35,000 are injured. At least another 60,000 would be dead by the end of the year from the effects of the fallout.

U.S. President Harry S. Truman, discouraged by the Japanese response to the Potsdam Conference's demand for unconditional surrender, made the decision to use the atom bomb to end the war in order to prevent what he predicted would be a much greater loss of life were the United States to invade the Japanese mainland. And so on August 5, while a "conventional" bombing of Japan was underway, "Little Boy," (the nickname for one of two atom bombs available for use against Japan), was loaded onto Lt. Col. Paul W. Tibbets' plane on Tinian Island in the Marianas. Tibbets' B-29, named the Enola Gay after his mother, left the island at 2:45 a.m. on August 6. Five and a half hours later, "Little Boy" was dropped, exploding 1,900 feet over a “T” bridge intersection unleashing the equivalent of 12,500 tons of TNT. The bomb had several inscriptions scribbled on its shell, one of which read "Greetings to the Emperor from the men of the Indianapolis" (the ship that transported the bomb to the Marianas).


There were 90,000 buildings in Hiroshima before the bomb was dropped; only 28,000 remained after the bombing. Of the city's 200 doctors before the explosion; only 20 were left alive or capable of working. There were 1,780 nurses before-only 150 remained who were able to tend to the sick and dying.

According to John Hersey's classic work Hiroshima, the Hiroshima city government had put hundreds of schoolgirls to work clearing fire lanes in the event of incendiary bomb attacks. They were out in the open when the Enola Gay dropped its load.

"War is hell," summarized Civil War Union General William Tecumseh Sherman, whose scorched earth policy during his march through Georgia is credited with further weakening the Confederate army, ultimately shortening the war and saving lives.

Eighty years later, during World War ll, the sentiments, tactics and strategy were still valid as President Harry S. Truman (D) authorized the first use of the atomic bomb on Hiroshima, Japan, 68 years ago today and another one on Nagasaki three days later. The Japanese surrendered a week later.

For those who still argue that this action wasn't necessary, mentioning the horrible deaths of the Japanese, (make no mistake, they were horrible) or the number of American troops saved (and they were) doesn't justify killing so many Japanese civilians, (the responsibility of a commander is to protect those under him as much as possible) or the Japanese were so weakened they were ready to surrender, (they weren't; they were the jihadis, suicide bombers, of their day) or other objections, Duncan Anderson of the British Royal Military Academy Sandhurst, which trains all British Army officers, offers another strong opposing opinion..

Utilizing "discoveries made upon the opening of hitherto restricted archives, and the work of British- and American-educated Japanese historians" and newly available information after the collapse of the Soviet Union, Anderson writes:

“Also thanks to the work of Japanese historians, we now know much more about Japanese plans in the summer of 1945. Japan had no intention of surrendering. It had husbanded over 8,000 aircraft, many of them Kamikazes, hundreds of explosive-packed suicide boats, and over two million well equipped regular soldiers, backed by a huge citizen's militia. When the Americans landed, the Japanese intended to hit them with everything they had, to impose on them casualties that might break their will. If this did not do it, then the remnants of the army and the militias would fight on as guerrillas, protected by the mountains and by the civilian population.”

But what about the passive, helpless Emperor Hirohito? According to Anderson, he was not passive or helpless but the core of the Japanese military system:

“Japanese and American historians have also shown that at the centre of the military system was the Emperor Hirohito, not the hapless prisoner of militarist generals, the version promulgated by MacArthur in 1945 to save him from a war crimes trial, but an all-powerful warlord, who had guided Japan’s aggressive expansion at every turn. Hirohito’s will had not been broken by defeats at land or sea, it had not been broken by the firestorms or by the effects of the blockade, and it would certainly not have been broken by the Soviet invasion of Manchuria, something the Japanese had anticipated for months.

What broke Hirohito’s will was the terrible new weapon, a single Replica of the Hiroshima Atomic Bomb (Little Boy) at the USAAF Wendover Field<br /><br />,-114.03779667&spn=0.001,0.001&t=k&hl=enbomb which could kill a hundred thousand at a time. Suddenly Japan was no longer fighting other men, but the very forces of the universe. The most important target the bombs hit was Hirohito’s mind - it shocked him into acknowledging that he could not win the final, climatic battle.”

To this day, Harry Truman is viewed by ardent critics and revisionist historians as a war criminal and the United States is deemed as being stained by a sin as indelible as slavery. In fact, last November, a "documentary" on Hiroshima and its aftermath produced by Oliver Stone was shown on television and, as might be expected, it presented the standard apologist's take on the history surrounding Truman's decision to use nuclear bombs. To quote Stone from an interview he gave to the Stanford Daily earlier this year, his production was intended to "cause Americans to rethink your history. because you're not the indispensable, benevolent nation that we pretend to be." He might have gotten his facts straight before making such an arrogant and ignorant comment, but as we know from his past works, facts seem to get in the way of his agenda.

To begin with, the Japanese military knew long before atomic bombs were used that the war was lost. Why else resort to kamikazes in a last-ditch effort to dissuade the Allies from invading and to force a resolution short of absolute surrender? They could have surrendered long before they did but that was never a serious consideration, if it was a consideration at all. Even at the end, after Hirohito broke the deadlock in his cabinet, some military officers attempted a coup, to place him under house arrest and prevent the nationwide broadcast of his prerecorded statement advising his subjects that the Japanese nation had no choice but to "endure the unendurable." One key reason Hirohito's cabinet had deadlocked in the first place was because some of its members from the military considered the effects of the two bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki as being no worse than that of conventional incendiary bombing on other Japanese cities, including Tokyo. And there was a genuine fear that, if the Japanese people found out that their government was negotiating the terms of surrender with the Allies, the government might face a popular uprising. One only has to consider the nation's history to understand why this was a real concern.

From its emergence as a powerful Asian state in the eighth century, Japan had never been successfully invaded or lost a war. The word "kamikaze" means "divine wind" and became part of the Japanese language after typhoons fortuitously prevented a Mongolian fleet from invading the mainland centuries ago. The Japanese people simply did not know the meaning of surrender, and in World War II and after the nation's surrender, not a few elected to commit suicide rather than face what they saw as humiliation. Then, of course, there were those soldiers stationed on remote islands who, for months and even decades after the surrender, refused to abandon their posts.

In the middle ages, a warrior class of strongmen, the samurai, took control of the country and the shogunate, a hereditary office of military dictatorship, was established in 1192. Although imperial rule was reestablished in 1867 in name, a militaristic mindset was entrenched in the thinking of the citizenry, and the people devoted themselves to the welfare of the nation as a whole, the Western concept of individuality being largely unknown. It took the postwar Allied occupation to put an end to that.

Before that, however, the world witnessed one of the most pernicious consequences of Japan's insularity and its historical embrace of a militaristic political posture, the brutality with which it suppressed foreign populations, including especially the Koreans and the Chinese. The "Rape of Nanking" is infamous, as is the Bataan Death March, but less well known is Japan's dispersion of mosquitos and fleas infected with bubonic plague and other diseases to spread terror and untold suffering among civilian populations the army intended to dominate. (Evidence exists that the Japanese Navy intended to use the same bioweapons against American West Coast targets late in 1945.) The Japanese military doctors of Unit 731 in Manchuria engaged in the very type of research and medical experimentation on live human "specimens" that made Josef Mengele a household name.

Japan also undertook its own program to develop an atomic bomb and, though as was learned after the war, it did not get very far, one can only imagine what might have transpired had it been successful. Nevertheless, that program continued up until near the bitter end, because, in the closing days of the European war, a U-boat transporting to Japan a cargo of raw uranium was intercepted by the American Navy.

After-the-fact armchair moralizers such as Stone tend to also overlook the "inconvenient truth" that Japanese scientists had figured out how to use upper air currents to direct hydrogen-filled balloons to the American West coast and that hundreds carrying incendiary charges and explosive devices actually made it here. The incendiary charges were for the purpose of starting forest and brush fires, and the bombs to spread terror by killing and maiming those unfortunate enough to be in the wrong place at the wrong times. One church group picnicking in Oregon came across one such a balloon lying on the ground near their picnic site and, in the course of trying to figure out what it was, were blown to bits. American authorities saw to it that a lid was placed on publicity about these balloons, but they obviously feared that soon enough, plague, anthrax, and other horrible inflictions would become the Japanese military's weapon of choice.

Japan's indifference to the laws of war and human suffering had become infamous. Indeed, they never took great pains to hide it. There was little doubt among the Allies that, if the military had its way, unimaginable numbers of their own people would have died in an effort to avoid the shame of surrender. Truman knew all this, of course, and first and foremost put the lives of American servicemen at the forefront of his deliberations.

It is telling that it was not for a full five days after Nagasaki was bombed, during which the Soviet Union invaded Manchuria and the American air forces continued their bombing of Japanese civilian populations, before the Emperor broke the tie and announced his country's defeat. Lest there any doubt about what the effect of the atomic bombings, the Japanese prime minister acknowledged after the war that they were a key consideration that motivated him to ask Hirohito to speak to the cabinet and decide which way Japan should go. In his broadcast to his people, Hirohito himself left no doubt that the atomic bombs had had their intended effect.

Returning to Stone and his ilk, how full of themselves they must feel for rendering a moral judgment, and about the entirety of the American people no less, after the fact and without any way of proving that, if Truman hadShigemitsu-signs-surrender done things their way, the war would have come to an end as quickly as it did and, in their eyes, more humanely. Needless to say, it's a fool's errand to imagine how things might have been different had the bombs been left undisturbed and undeployed. But it is a certainty that within five days of the bombing of Nagasaki, Japan did surrender and the war came to an end. As it turned out, the American occupation under Douglas MacArthur, who greatly respected the Japanese people, was relatively benign, and Japan took to democracy and became a close and respected ally. And since Nagasaki, no other atomic weapon has been used in combat.

Of course, since Nagasaki, millions of innocent people have been slaughtered and maimed in the old-fashioned ways we are all familiar with. Most of this death and suffering has been the result of the coming to power of political movements of the type for which Stone and the left have so often expressed admiration. But you never know. Maybe someday he and those who think the way he does will count themselves lucky that they never had to live where people like themselves were in control.

We now know that if the bomb had not been used, the invasion of Japan would have gone ahead. The best indication we have of the casualties that might have occurred are the actual figures for the eight-week campaign on Okinawa, in which 12,500 Americans died, and 39,000 were wounded. As Anderson states:

“Fighting at the same intensity (it could not have been less) on Kyushu and Honshu, campaigns which would have lasted some 50 weeks, would have produced 80 to 100,000 American dead, and some 300 to 320,000 wounded. Are these casualties enough to justify Hiroshima and Nagasaki?

If morality is based on numbers, and in this case it must be, then perhaps not. But what is usually overlooked in this numbers game, is the number of Japanese killed on Okinawa, which amounts to a staggering 250,000 military and civilian, about 20 Japanese killed for every dead American. If we conduct the same calculation for an invasion of the Japanese Home Islands, we arrive at a figure of at least two million Japanese dead.”

Another issue to consider when it came to dropping the atomic bomb is the war weariness at home. The people of the United States were growing weary of the war. Germany had surrender in May and the losses of U.S. troops on Iwo Jima and Okinawa had greatly disturbed the American public. The thought of an invasion of the Japanese home islands was unacceptable to many Americans.

Also there was the matter of money. Even after the highly successful War Bond sales after the promotional tour by the Iwo Jima flag raisers the U.S. was running out of money to conduct the war. Another year of war in the Pacific would have demanded greater tax increases, something the public and Congress was dubious about. We needed to end this war quickly with minimum causalities or they cry for a negotiated peace would have grown louder. Remember at this time we did not know of all of the horrible atrocities committed by the Japanese. If we had not used the atomic Bomb and the public and Congress had learned of its existence and power Truman would have been impeached.

Anderson concludes:

“The losses in Hiroshima and Nagasaki were terrible, but not as terrible as the number of Japanese who would have died as the result of an invasion. The revisionist historians of the 1960s - and their disciples - are quite wrong to depict the decision to use the bombs as immoral. It would have been immoral if they had not been used.”

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Over the years revisionist historians and left-wing peaceniks like Oliver Stone have changed the narrative of the use of the bomb. The latest example of this is the film “Emperor” staring Tommy Lee Jones in the role of General Douglas MacArthur. The film is a stodgy movie that mixes dubious history with a clichéd, Madame Butterfly romance story, set in the period immediately following Japan's surrender in 1945. In watching the film I was disturbed at some of the lines criticizing the use of the bomb by the Japanese that went unchallenged.

As time passes the historians have revised the history of the Second World War. There are countless documentaries about the evils of the Nazis while there are very few about the atrocities committed by the Japanese and their desire to carry on the war no matter how many of their people would die.