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Heavy-Handed Politics

"€œGod willing, with the force of God behind it, we shall soon experience a world
without the United States and Zionism."€ -- Iran President Ahmadi-Nejad

Saturday, November 22, 2008


"Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi has called for emergency assistance for the auto industry. She said it was an absolute emergency. But since it was Nancy Pelosi, no one could tell from her facial expression that it was an emergency."

--Jay Leno


"Actually this works out great for the Clintons. While Hillary is concentrating on foreign affairs, Bill can get back to concentrating on domestic affairs."

--Jay Leno


"Barack Obama said that since he won the election he has slept in his own bed every night. After hearing this, Bill Clinton said, 'Man, this guy has a lot to learn'."

--comedian Conan O'Brien


"If you're a good enough organizer, panderer, and BS artist, you can get elected against a truth teller. No one wants to believe reality when they can look forward to 'hope' and 'change' especially 'change' that will energize 'hope' and 'hope' that'll bring about 'change.' Wow! I feel like dancing amongst the daffodils, don't you?"

--comedian Dave Weinbaum


"The United Auto Workers said Saturday they won't make any concessions on wages or benefits to help the Big Three. First things first. Investors are just starting to realize that General Motors is a health care provider that makes cars on the side."

--comedian Argus Hamilton


"The original $700 billion bailout is TARP, for Troubled Asset Recovery Program. We should call the handout frenzy the Capital Assets Recovery Program. CRAP, for short."

--Wesley Pruden

"Statesmen ... may plan and speculate for Liberty, but it is Religion and Morality alone, which can establish the Principles upon which Freedom can securely stand... The only foundation of a free Constitution, is pure Virtue, and if this cannot be inspired into our People, in a great Measure, than they have it now, They may change their Rulers, and the forms of Government, but they will not obtain a lasting Liberty. ... Religion and virtue are the only foundations, not of republicanism and of all free government, but of social felicity under all government and in all the combinations of human society."

--John Adams--


"Part of the problem is that we have enjoyed such unparalleled freedoms and prosperity that we have been lulled into the false notion that they will continue in perpetuity, even as we betray, to ever-greater extremes, our founding principles. But traditionalists understand that there is a tipping point beyond which this incessant socialist piggybacking on our capitalistic economic system and these ever-deepening encroachments on our scheme of government (for example, through judicial activism) will finally bring us to our knees."

--columnist David Limbaugh


"As usual, government's stumbling, bureaucratic 'solutions' exacerbate problems that free people, allowed to pursue their own self-interest, would address on their own. We'd still suffer some tough times -- it's painful when bubbles pop -- but recovery comes sooner when businesses must quickly fix their own mistakes -- or die."

--John Stossel


"What we are watching is Carter-esque interference with the economy. President Bush's handling of this economic debacle will go down as the biggest black mark on his legacy. While supposedly touting the importance of capitalism, Bush has embraced the same Keynesian solutions that trashed the economy during the 1930s and 1970s. And both Republicans and Democrats go right along with him, psychotically citing the Great Depression while ignoring the basic fact that Presidents Herbert Hoover and Franklin Delano Roosevelt's tinkering made a depression into the Great Depression. The bailout is a disaster."

--columnist Ben Shapiro

"Now that distrust of markets is high, Americans are supposed to believe that the institution they trust least -- Congress -- will pony up $1 trillion and then passively recede, never putting its 10 thumbs, like a manic Jack Horner, into the pie? Surely Congress will direct the executive branch to show compassion for this, that and the other industry. And it will mandate 'socially responsible' spending -- an infinitely elastic term -- by the favored companies."

--columnist George Will--

"He is a man of sense who does not grieve for what he has not, but rejoices in what he has."


"If a nation values anything more than freedom, it will lose its freedom; and the irony of it is that if it is comfort or money that it values more, it will lose that, too."

--W. Somerset Maugham--

"If an American is to amount to anything he must rely upon himself, and not upon the State; he must take pride in his own work, instead of sitting idle to envy the luck of others. He must face life with resolute courage, win victory if he can, and accept defeat if he must, without seeking to place on his fellow man a responsibility which is not theirs."

--Theodore Roosevelt--

Alleged NATO Spy for Russia Unmasked

(CNSNews.com) A senior Estonian government official is under arrest and being investigated for allegedly passing NATO and European Union secrets to Russia. A spokesman for Estonia’s Defense Ministry confirmed to CNSNews.com on Wednesday that the man had been “caught for having revealed classified information” and said Estonia had given a “firm commitment to cooperate” with a NATO investigation. [Read more]

Obama's AG Choice was Key Figure in Clinton Terrorist Clemency Controversy

(CNSNews.com) – Eric Holder, the long-time Washington lawyer chosen by President-elect Barack Obama to be the next attorney general, was a central figure in the controversy surrounding the clemency petitions of 16 convicted terrorists during the Clinton administration. Holder, who was deputy attorney general from 1997 until 2001, oversaw all of the requests for clemency filed during those years, including requests from former 16 members of a Puerto Rican Marxist group, drug traffickers and a number of disgraced politicians. [Read on]

Amnesty Bill for Illegals Unlikely to Pass Senate, Group Says

(CNSNews.com) - A comprehensive “amnesty” bill to provide illegal aliens a path to citizenship is unlikely to pass the U.S. Senate next year because Republicans will be more united in opposition and Democrats will be reticent to burn political capital on the issue, according to a public policy group that tracks population growth in the U.S. [Read more]

House Dems Enjoy Secret Ballot Rights; Workers Should Too, Republicans Say

(CNSNews.com) - House Democrats on Wednesday used a secret ballot to indicate their choice for the next chairman of the Energy & Commerce Committee.

If the secret ballot is good for lawmakers, why would those same Democrats deny it to employees taking part in union elections, House Republican Leader John Boehner (Ohio) wondered.

“The secret ballot election is a cornerstone of our American democracy. If it is good enough for House Democrats to rely on during....

Thoughtful Warriors

Commenting on the Democrats success at the election box on November 4th, columnist Mona Charen asks, "But did liberal ideas win?" and then writes this observation:

Identification with the Republican Party is down. But the number of voters who identify themselves as liberal (22 percent) is nearly identical to the results four years ago (21 percent). Thirty-four percent, the same as in 2004, still identify as conservatives. And while slightly more voters expressed a desire for more government activism in 2008 than in 2004, the panting eagerness in the press for a reprise of the New Deal (note the cover of Time magazine) is not widely shared by the electorate.

Lacking political strength for the battles to come, conservatives will have to rely on the strength of their ideas. The most important battle, Yuval Levin of the Ethics and Public Policy Center argued, will be health care. If health care is successfully nationalized in America, the case for a smaller and less bureaucratic state becomes immeasurably more difficult. Throughout the developed world, in countries that have adopted socialized medicine, every call to limit the size and scope of government is instantly caricatured as an attempt to take medicine away from the weak and sick. People become awfully attached to "free" medical care even though it is emphatically not free (it is supported through higher taxes), even though it requires waiting periods for care (even in cases of cancer and other serious illnesses), and even though it deprives people of the latest technology (the city of Pittsburgh has more MRI scanners than the entire nation of Canada).

4 more punished over 'Joe the Plumber' searches

Europe Anti-Missile Defense System: Standing Up to Russia's Threats
By Ariel Cohen, Ph.D.

The day after Barack Obama won the 2008 U.S. presidential election, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev announced the first real test for the U.S. President-elect. In his State of the Federation speech, Medvedev threatened to station Iskander short-range nuclear-capable missiles in the Kaliningrad exclave if the U.S. proceeds with deploying anti-missile defense systems in Poland and the Czech Republic.

Medvedev softened his rhetoric following discussions with French President Nicolas Sarkozy, instead offering to hold off on....

U.S., Afghan and Pakistani Forces Squeezing Terror Groups on Border

By Jim Kouri
Family Security Matters
With U.S., Afghan and Pakistani forces applying pressure on both sides of the Afghanistan-Pakistan border, the enemy "is running out of options for places to go," a senior US officer in the region said this week.

Army Col. John M. Spiszer, commander of Task Force Duke, which is centered on the 1st Infantry Division's 3rd Brigade Combat Team, said the addition of units from the 10th Mountain Division's 3rd Brigade Combat Team in January will.....

The eHarmony Shakedown
By Michelle Malkin
Congratulations, tolerance mau-mauers: Your shakedown of a Christian-targeted dating website worked. Homosexuals will no longer be denied the inalienable "right" to hook up with same-sex partners on eHarmony. What a landmark triumph for social progress, eh?

New Jersey plaintiff Eric McKinley can now crown himself the new Rosa Parks --


The Only Way for Republicans to Win
By Lorie Byrd
During the recent election season pundits talked constantly about how the deck was stacked against Republicans. They suffered the misfortune of having as their party head an extremely unpopular President, they were defending more Senate seats than the Democrats, and the top issue in the election ended up being the economy rather than national security which traditionally benefits Republicans. Conventional wisdom was that even with outstanding candidates and unlimited money this would be a hard year for Republicans to win.

I guess I have never been big on conventional wisdom. Instead of the glass half empty view of the election, I saw.....

Emperor Obama

Emperor Obama's Clothes are Visible and Scary
By Janice Shaw Crouse
Not surprisingly, many voters who cast their ballots for Barack Obama for president had no idea what he believed, what his voting record was or what his priorities would be as president. The YouTube videos showing voters’ ignorance during the just-completed election would be hilarious if they were not so sad. The “Emperor” leading the presidential polls had no clothes, but who would speak out? The nation’s opinion leaders threw up smoke screens that protected the public from the reality. The media certainly was not going to expose the nakedness of its crown prince. His opposition kept looking the other way. The cheering crowds clothed him to suit their individual preferences.

I watched the third and final debate in dismay. We tuned.....


The Limits of Success -- and Failure
By Michael Barone
We Americans are blessed with a history that teaches that things work out right. Our first president set the precedent of relinquishing power he could have had for life and returning to his farm. Two of our greatest presidents were struck down, Abraham Lincoln by an assassin and Franklin Roosevelt by grave illness, at a moment of transcendent victory. Such a history of exceptional leaders is a blessing but also a weakness when things go wrong. Americans were drenched with disillusion for decades after a young president was struck down in 1963, well before his great promise could be fulfilled.

So, we take our good fortune too much for granted and.....

The Next Crisis?

The Next Crisis: Africa

By Richard W. Rahn, senior fellow at the Cato Institute and chairman of the Institute for Global Economic Growth.
The recent drop in oil and other commodity prices makes it almost a certainty that some unstable commodity-exporting nations will reach a crisis stage in the next few months. The only question is, which countries are likely to erupt first?

The Middle East is always a safe bet for an explosion, but there is a very good chance the next eruption will be in Africa, with the most likely location being Congo, followed by Sudan. In Latin America, Argentina is headed for another debt default and financial meltdown, and Venezuela continues to rapidly deteriorate. And there is Russia, which is likely to react poorly as its once booming economy goes into to a sharp recession. Pressures will mount on the United States to become involved, particularly in Africa, as mass killings begin again.

Friday, November 21, 2008

"The propitious smiles of Heaven can never be expected on a nation that disregards the eternal rules of order and right, which Heaven itself has ordained."

—George Washington, First Inaugural Address, April 30, 1789

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Modern Day Paul Revere Warns of the Radical Islamic Takeover of America


“We’ve become our own worst enemy. We in fact as much as anyone else have become the party of big government. We lost our principles our credibility, we dishonored our nation. Frankly, we behaved like Democrats.

The cause of the conservative movement in this country is alive and well. It is strong only if we let it be strong, only if we acknowledge its principles only if we prepare to go into the town squares and the halls of America and speak truth to power. If we are to regain the trust of the American people and restore the credibility of our ideas, we must break with that which went wrong and once again stand for what is right.”

--Michael Steele--
Read Steele on Rebuilding the GOP.

Obama's New Fairness Doctrine

Get ready for an unprecedented government assault upon the First Amendment. President Obama will be at the heart of it. using his version of the “Fairness Doctrine”.

Read more @ HUMAN EVENTS

Bush's Legacy: European Socialism

By Dick Morris and Eileen McGann
The results of the G-20 economic summit amount to nothing less than the seamless integration of the United States into the European economy. In one month of legislation and one diplomatic meeting, the United States has unilaterally abdicated all the gains for the concept of free markets won by the Reagan administration and surrendered, in toto, to the Western European model of socialism, stagnation and excessive government regulation. Sovereignty is out the window. Without a vote, we are suddenly members of the European Union. Given the dismal record of those nations at creating jobs and sustaining growth, merger with the Europeans is like a partnership with death.
Read more.

Evil Concealed By Money

By Walter E. Williams
Evil acts can be given an aura of moral legitimacy by noble-sounding socialistic expressions such as spreading the wealth, income redistribution or caring for the less fortunate. Let's think about socialism.
Read more of Evil Concealed By Money.

The Right To Win

By Thomas Sowell
Among the many new "rights" being conjured out of thin air, a new one seems to be a "right" to win.

Americans have long had the right to put their candidates and their ideas to a vote. Now there seems to be a sense that your rights have been trampled on if you don't win.

Hillary Clinton's supporters were not merely disappointed, but outraged, when she lost the Democrats' nomination to Barack Obama. Some took it as a sign that, while racial barriers had come down, the "glass ceiling" holding down women was still in place.

Apparently, if you don't win, somebody has put up a barrier or a ceiling.

Read more of The Right To Win.

The Barrio Azteca Trial and the Prison Gang-Cartel Interface

By Fred Burton and Ben West
Global Security and Intelligence Report

On Nov. 3, a U.S. District Court in El Paso, Texas, began hearing a case concerning members of a criminal enterprise that calls itself Barrio Azteca (BA). The group members face charges including drug trafficking and distribution, extortion, money laundering and murder. The six defendants include the organization’s three bosses, Benjamin Alvarez, Manuel Cardoza and Carlos Perea; a sergeant in the group, Said Francisco Herrera; a lieutenant, Eugene Mona; and an associate, Arturo Enriquez.

The proceedings represent the first major trial involving BA, which operates in El Paso and West Texas, New Mexico and Arizona. The testimony is revealing much about how this El Paso-based prison gang operates, and how it interfaces with Mexican drug cartel allies that supply its drugs.

Mexico’s cartels are in the business of selling drugs like marijuana, cocaine and heroin in the United States. Large amounts of narcotics flow north while large amounts of cash and weapons flow south. Managing these transactions requires that the cartels have a physical presence in the United States, something a cartel alliance with a U.S. gang can provide.

Of course, BA is not the only prison gang operating in the United States with ties to Mexico. Prison gangs can also be called street gangs — they recruit both in prisons and on the street. Within the United States, there are at least nine well-established prison gangs with connections to Mexican drug cartels; Hermanos de Pistoleros Latinos, the Mexican Mafia and the Texas Syndicate are just a few such groups. Prison gangs like BA are very territorial and usually cover only a specific region, so one Mexican cartel might work with three to four prison or street gangs in the United States. Like BA, most of the U.S. gangs allied with Mexican cartels largely are composed of Mexican immigrants or Mexican-Americans. Nevertheless, white supremacist groups, mixed-race motorcycle gangs and African-American street gangs also have formed extensive alliances with Mexican cartels.

Certainly, not all U.S. gangs the Mexican cartels have allied with are the same. But examining how BA operates offers insights into how other gangs — like the Latin Kings, the Texas Syndicate, the Sureños, outlaw motorcycle gangs, and transnational street gangs like MS-13 — operate in alliance with the cartels.

Barrio Azteca Up Close

Spanish for “Aztec Neighborhood,” BA originated in a Texas state penitentiary in 1986, when five inmates from El Paso organized the group as a means of protection in the face of the often-brutal ethnic tensions within prisons. By the 1990s, BA had spread to other prisons and had established a strong presence on the streets of El Paso as its founding members served their terms and were released. Reports indicate that in the late 1990s, BA had begun working with Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman’s Sinaloa Federation drug trafficking organization, which at the time controlled drug shipments to Ciudad Juarez, El Paso’s sister city across the Rio Grande.

According to testimony from several different witnesses on both sides of the current trial, BA now works only with the Juarez cartel of Vicente Carrillo-Fuentes, which has long controlled much of Mexico’s Chihuahua state and Ciudad Juarez, and broke with the Sinaloa Federation earlier in 2008. BA took sides with the Juarez cartel, with which it is jointly running drugs across the border at the Juarez plaza.

BA provides the foot soldiers to carry out hits at the behest of Juarez cartel leaders. On Nov. 3, 10 alleged BA members in Ciudad Juarez were arrested in connection with 12 murders. The suspects were armed with four AK-47s, pistols and radio communication equipment — all hallmarks of a team of hit men ready to carry out a mission.

According to testimony from the ongoing federal case, which is being brought under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act, drugs are taken at discount from the supplier on the Mexico side and then distributed to dealers on the street. These distributors must then pay “taxes” to BA collectors to continue plying their trade. According to testimony from Josue Aguirre, a former BA member turned FBI informant, BA collects taxes from 47 different street-level narcotics operations in El Paso alone. Failure to pay these taxes results in death. One of the murder charges in the current RICO case involves the death of an El Paso dealer who failed to pay up when the collectors arrived to collect on a debt.

Once collected, the money goes in several different directions. First, BA lieutenants and captains, the midlevel members, receive $50 and $200 per month respectively for compensation. The bulk of BA’s profit is then transferred using money orders to accounts belonging to the head bosses (like Alvarez, Cardoza and Perea) in prison. Cash is also brought back to Ciudad Juarez to pay the Juarez cartel, which provided the drugs in the first place.

BA receives discounts on drugs from the Juarez cartel by providing tactical help to its associates south of the border. Leaders of Carrillo Fuentes’ organization in Juarez can go into hiding in El Paso under BA protection if their lives are in danger in Juarez. They can also order BA to track down cartel enemies hiding in El Paso. Former BA member Gustavo Gallardo testified in 2005 that he was sent to pick up a man in downtown El Paso who had cheated the Juarez cartel of money. Once Gallardo dropped him off at a safe house in El Paso, another team took the man — who was bound with rope and duct tape — to Ciudad Juarez, where Gallardo assumes he was killed.

BA and the World of Prison Gangs

Prison gangs are endemic to prison systems, where safety for inmates comes in numbers. Tensions (usually along racial lines) among dangerous individuals regularly erupt into deadly conflict. Prison gang membership affords a certain amount of protection against rival groups and offers fertile recruiting ground.

Once a prison gang grows its membership (along with its prestige) and establishes a clear hierarchy, its leader can wield an impressive amount of power. Some even wind up taking over prisons, like the antecedents of Russian organized crime did.

It might seem strange that members on the outside send money and answer to bosses in prison, since the bosses are locked up. But these bosses wield a great deal of influence over gang members in and out of prison. Disobedience is punishable by death, and regardless of whether a boss is in prison, he can order a hit on a member who has crossed him. Prison gang members also know that if they end up in prison again — a likely outcome — they will once again be dependent on the help of the boss to stay alive, and can perhaps even earn some money while doing time.

BA’s illegal activities mean its members constantly cycle in and out of prison. Many BA members were involved in smaller, local El Paso street gangs before they were imprisoned. Once in prison, they joined BA with the sponsorship of a “godfather” who walks the recruit through the process. BA then performs a kind of background check on new recruits by circulating their name throughout the organization. BA is particularly interested in any evidence that prospective members have cooperated with the police.

Prison authorities are certainly aware of the spread of BA, and they try to keep Mexican nationals separated from known BA members, who are mostly Mexican-American, to prevent the spread of the gang’s influence. BA has organizations in virtually every penitentiary in Texas, meaning that no matter where a BA member is imprisoned, he will have a protection network in place. BA members with truly extensive prison records might personally know the leader of every prison chapter, thus increasing the member’s prestige. Thus, the constant cycling of members from the outside world into prison does not inhibit BA, but makes its members more cohesive, as it allows the prison system to increase bonds among gang members.

Communication challenges certainly arise, as exchanges between prisoners and those on the outside are closely monitored. But BA seems to have overcome this challenge. Former BA member Edward Ruiz testified during the trial that from 2003 to 2007, he acted as a clearinghouse for jailed members’ letters and packages, which he then distributed to members on the outside. This tactic ensured that all prison communications would be traceable to just one address, thus not revealing the location of other members.

BA also allegedly used Sandy Valles New, who worked in the investigations section of the Office of the Federal Public Defender in El Paso from 1996 to 2002, to pass communications between gang members inside and outside prison. She exploited the access to — and the ability to engage in confidential communications with — inmates that attorneys enjoy, transmitting information back and forth between BA members inside and outside prison. Taped conversations reveal New talking to one of the bosses and lead defendants, Carlos Perea, about her fear of losing her job and thus not being able to continue transmitting information in this way. She also talked of crossing over to Ciudad Juarez to communicate with BA members in Mexico.

While BA had inside sources like New assisting it, the FBI was able to infiltrate BA in return. Josue Aguirre and Johnny Michelleti have informed on BA activities to the FBI since 2003 and 2005, respectively. Edward Ruiz, the mailman, also handed over stacks of letters to the FBI.

BA and the Mexican Cartels

As indicated, BA is only one of dozens of prison gangs operating along the U.S.-Mexican border that help Mexican drug trafficking organizations smuggle narcotics across the border and then distribute them for the cartels. Mexican drug trafficking organizations need groups that will do their bidding on the U.S. side of the border, as the border is the tightest choke point in the narcotics supply chain.

Getting large amounts of drugs across the border on a daily basis requires local connections to bribe border guards or border town policemen. Gangs on the U.S. side of the border also have contacts who sell drugs on the retail level, where markups bring in large profits. The current trial has revealed that the partnership goes beyond narcotics to include violence as well. In light of the high levels of violence raging in Mexico related to narcotics trafficking, there is a genuine worry that this violence (and corruption) could spread inside the United States.

One of the roles that BA and other border gangs fill for Mexican drug-trafficking organizations is that of enforcer. Prison gangs wield tight control over illegal activity in a specific territory. They keep tabs on people to make sure they are paying their taxes to the gang and not affiliating with rival gangs. To draw an analogy, they are like the local police who know the situation on the ground and can enforce specific rules handed down by a governmental body — or a Mexican cartel.

Details emerging from the ongoing trial indicate that BA works closely with the Juarez cartel and has contributed to drug-related violence inside the United States. While the killing of a street dealer by a gang for failure to pay up on time is common enough nationwide and hardly unique to Mexican drug traffickers, apprehending offenders in El Paso and driving them to Ciudad Juarez to be held or killed does represent a very clear link between violence in Mexico and the United States.

BA’s ability to strike within the United States has been proven. According to a Stratfor source, BA is connected to Los Zetas — the U.S.-trained Mexican military members who deserted to traffic drugs — through a mutual alliance with the Juarez cartel. The Zetas possess a high level of tactical skill that could be passed along to BA, thus increasing its effectiveness.

The Potential for Cross-Border Violence

The prospect for enhanced cross-border violence is frightening, but the violence itself is not new. So far, Mexican cartels and their U.S. allies have focused on those directly involved in the drug trade. Whether this restraint will continue is unclear. Either way, collateral damage is always a possibility.

Previous incidents, like one that targeted a drug dealer in arrears in Phoenix and others that involved kidnappings and attacks against U.S. Border Patrol agents, indicate that violence has already begun creeping over from Mexico. So far, violence related to drug trafficking has not caused the deaths of U.S. law enforcement officials and/or civilians, though it has come close to doing so.

Another potential incubator of cross-border violence exists in BA’s obligation to offer refuge to Juarez cartel members seeking safety in the United States. Such members most likely would have bounties on their heads. The more violent Mexico (and particularly Ciudad Juarez) becomes, the greater the risk Juarez cartel leaders face — and the more pressure they will feel to seek refuge in the United States. As more Juarez cartel leaders cross over and hide with BA help, the cartel’s enemies will become increasingly tempted to follow them and kill them in the United States. Other border gangs in California, Arizona and New Mexico probably are following this same trajectory.

Two primary reasons explain why Mexican cartel violence for the most part has stopped short of crossing the U.S. border. First, the prospect of provoking U.S. law enforcement does not appeal to Mexican drug-trafficking organizations operating along the border. They do not want to provoke a coordinated response from a highly capable federal U.S. police force like the Drug Enforcement Administration, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, or FBI. By keeping violence at relatively low levels and primarily aimed at other gang members and drug dealers, the Mexican drug-trafficking organizations can lessen their profile in the eyes of these U.S. agencies. Conversely, any increase in violence and/or the killing of U.S. police or civilians would dramatically increase federal scrutiny and retaliation.

The second reason violence has not crossed the border wholesale is that gangs like BA are in place to enforce the drug-trafficking organizations’ rules. The need to send cartel members into the United States to kill a disobedient drug dealer is reduced by having a tight alliance with a border gang that keeps drugs and money moving smoothly and carries out the occasional killing to maintain order.

But the continued integrity of BA and its ability to carry out the writ of larger drug-trafficking organizations in Mexico might not be so certain. The Nov. 3 trial will undermine BA activity in the crucial trafficking corridor of El Paso/Ciudad Juarez.

The indictment and possible incarceration of the six alleged BA members would not damage the gang so badly — after all, BA is accustomed to operating out of prison, and there must certainly be members on the outside ready to fill in for their incarcerated comrades. But making BA’s activities and modus operandi public should increase scrutiny on the gang and could very well lead to many more arrests.

In light of the presence of at least two FBI informants in the gang, BA leaders have probably moved into damage control mode, isolating members jeopardized by the informants. This will disrupt BA’s day-to-day operations, making it at least temporarily less effective. Stratfor sources say BA members on both sides of the border have been ordered to lie low until the trial is over and the damage can be fully assessed. This is a dangerous period for gangs like BA, as their influence over their territory and ability to operate is being reduced.

Weakening BA by extension weakens the Juarez cartel’s hand in El Paso. While BA no doubt will survive the investigations the trial probably will spawn, given the high stakes across the border in Mexico, the Juarez cartel might be forced to reduce its reliance on BA. This could prompt the Juarez cartel to rely on its own members in Ciudad Juarez to carry out hits in the United States and to provide its own security to leaders seeking refuge in the United States. It could also prompt it to turn to a new gang facing less police scrutiny. Under either scenario, BA’s territory would be encroached upon. And considering the importance of controlling territory to prison gangs — and the fact that BA probably still will be largely intact — this could lead to increased rivalries and violence.

The Juarez cartel-BA dynamic could well apply to alliances between U.S. gangs and Mexican drug-trafficking organizations, such as Hermanos de Pistoleros Latinos in Houston, the Texas Syndicate and Tango Blast operating in the Rio Grande Valley and their allies in the Gulf cartel; the Mexican Mafia in California and Texas and its allies in the Tijuana and Sinaloa cartels; and other gangs operating in the United States with ties to Mexican cartels like Mexikanemi, Norteños and the Sureños.

Ultimately, just because BA or any other street gang working with Mexican cartels is weakened does not mean that the need to enforce cartel rules and supply chains disappears. This could put Mexican drug-trafficking organizations on a collision course with U.S. law enforcement if they feel they must step in themselves to take up the slack. As their enforcers stateside face more legal pressure, the cartels’ response therefore bears watching.

Iran and Anti-Semitism

By David Aikman

Jewish communities everywhere in the world has often been known as "the canary in the coalmine." How a government behaves towards Jews is the first sign of how it intends to treat all the people under its control.

We've long known about Iran's stated desire to wipe Israel off the map and to deny the World War II Holocaust.

Now that country has raised its campaign against the world's Jews to a new pitch of hatred by quoting from a notorious forgery, the Protocols of the Elders of Zion, to claim that the Jews are planning to take over the whole world.

Hitler was the first to use this outrageous calumny in his book Mein Kampf. Now the Iranians are following in his footsteps.

The Justification for Lying, Part III: Economic Meltdown

By Robert Ringer

There are a number of reasons why I don't believe Barack Obama will use the boil-the-frog-slowly approach when it comes to moving his Marxist agenda forward in the midst of this economic meltdown.

First, he will have the Pelosi-Reid gang pushing him to take action.

Second, he will have millions of welfare addicts — pitchforks in hand — looking to him to deliver on his promises. (Perhaps you've seen the video of the gal who said she's excited now that Obama has been elected, because she will no longer have to worry about paying her mortgage or filling her gas tank.)

Third......  [Read more of Part III]

The Justification for Lying, Part II

The Justification for Lying, Part I: Obama Is Chosen

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

The Problem With a ‘Cap-and-Trade’ System

Auto Bailout Ignores Excessive Labor Costs

The Oil Price Bubble Bursts: And prices are falling a dollar a day

It's Not an Auto Bailout, It's a Union Payoff

Democratic leaders, media push for more cash to help liberal voting bloc.

Networks Back Big Three Bailout

Network journalists are rushing to promote a taxpayer bailout for American automakers without exploring one of the main causes of their financial turmoil: union contracts.



What is happening behind the scenes in the pas de deux between Obama and Hillary on her possible appointment as Secretary of State? It's hard to tell, but the smoke signals suggest a pattern.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

"Never argue with an idiot; They'll drag you down to their level, and beat you with experience."


The Obama Cult--Continued

By David Aikman
Even before Election Day, the cult of personality surrounding Senator Barack Obama was, well, weird. Cute little kids sang songs in praise of Obama and a group of black teenagers in pseudo-military uniforms performed a sort of parade dance on video. Supposedly seasoned journalists started talking about experiencing a special thrill when hearing Obama speak.

But since the presidential election, this cult has gotten even worse. In Topeka, Kansas, there is a group trying to gather petitions for an Obama Day national holiday. On inauguration day the local McDonalds will be serving Obama cake.

On National Public Radio a Newsweek editor called such a personality cult "creepy" and "manipulative." It is. We elected a president, not a messiah--and not a fascist dictator.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Obama nixes new New Deal

Washington Times:
Pledges to do 'whatever it takes' to fix economy

Obama faces pressure on immigration reform

Boston Globe:
Amid urgent priorities, Latinos push overhaul


Turning Boom into Bust
By Alan Caruba

If Congress imposes a windfall profits tax on the American oil industry, it will quite simply wreck the economy. Imposing a windfall profits tax will give oil companies cause to consider moving their corporate headquarters to other more congenial nations. The city of Dubai in the United Arab Emirates has been engaged in a vast office building effort, perhaps anticipating the movement of corporate headquarters. [more]

Mistake to Give the Treasury Secretary A ‘Blank Check,’ Republican Says

(CNSNews.com) – Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.) wants to block the remaining $350 billion that Congress authorized Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson to spend as part of an emergency plan to ease the nation’s credit crunch. In a letter to his Senate colleagues, Inhofe said he’ll push for legislation that will require Congress to ratify Paulson’s plan for the remaining $350 billion. [more]

Senator in Tight Race Has Kept A Close Eye on the U.N.

(CNSNews.com) – Minnesota’s too-close-to-call U.S. Senate contest could have implications far beyond the North Star State – and even the United States. Sen. Norm Coleman, the incumbent whose seat is on the line, has built a reputation as a leading watchdog of the United Nations. [more]

"There are a great many God-fearing, dedicated, noble men and women in public life, present company included. And yes, we need your help to keep us ever-mindful of the ideas and the principles that brought us into the public arena in the first place. The basis of those ideals and principles is a commitment to freedom and personal liberty that, itself is grounded in the much deeper realization that freedom prospers only where the blessings of God are avidly sought and humbly accepted. The American experiment in democracy rests on this insight. Its discovery was the great triumph of our Founding Fathers, voiced by William Penn when he said: 'If we will not be governed by God, we must be governed by tyrants'."

--Ronald Reagan

Discrimination, Deception, and Guilt

"The fact that the nation elected a black president hopefully might turn our attention away from the false notion that discrimination explains the problems of a large segment of the black community to the real problems that have absolutely nothing to do with discrimination. The illegitimacy rate among blacks stands at about 70 percent. Less than 40 percent of black children are raised in two-parent households. Those are major problems but they have nothing to do with racial discrimination. During the early 1900s, illegitimacy was a tiny fraction of today's rate and black families were just as stable as white families. Fraudulent education is another problem, where the average black high school senior can read, write and compute no better than a white seventh-grader. It can hardly be blamed on discrimination. Black schools receive the same funding as white schools and most of the teachers and staffs are black and the schools are often in cities where the mayor and the city council are mostly black. Crime is a major problem. Blacks commit about 50 percent of all homicides and 95 percent of their victims are blacks. Tragically, many black politicians and a civil rights industry have a vested interest in portraying the poor socioeconomic outcomes for many blacks as problems rooted in racial discrimination. One of the reasons they are able to get away with such deception is because there are so many guilt-ridden white people."

--columnist Walter Williams

On G-20 and GM: Economics, Politics and Social Stability

By George Friedman
Geopolitical Intelligence Report

The G-20 met last Saturday. Afterward, the group issued a meaningless statement and decided to meet again in March 2009, or perhaps later. Clearly, the urgency of October is gone. First, the perception of imminent collapse is past. Politicians are superb seismographs for detecting impending disaster, and these politicians did not act as if they were running out of time. Second, the United States will have a new president in March, and nothing can be done until he defines his policy.

Given the sense in Europe that this financial crisis marked the end of U.S. economic supremacy, it is ironic that the Europeans are waiting on the Americans. One would think they would be using their newfound ascendancy to define the new international system. But the fact is that for all the shouting, little has changed in the international order. The crisis has receded sufficiently that nothing more needs to be done immediately beyond “cooperation,” and nothing can be done until the United States defines what will be done. We feel that our view that the international system received fatal blows Aug. 8, when Russia and Georgia went to war, and Oct. 11, when the G-7 meeting ended without a single integrated solution, remains unchallenged. Now, it is every country for itself.

From Financial Crisis to Cyclical Recession

The financial crisis has been mitigated, if not solved. The problem now is that we are in a cyclical recession, and that every country is trying to figure out how to cope with the recession. Unlike the past two recessions, this one is more global than local. But unlike the 1970s, when recession was global, this one is not accompanied by soaring inflation and interest rates.

All recessions have different dynamics, but all have one thing in common: They impose punishment and discipline on economies run wild. This is happening around the world.

China, for example, faces a serious problem. China is an export-oriented economy whose primary market is the United States. As the United States goes into recession, demand for Chinese goods declines. Chinese businesses have always operated on very tight — sometimes invisible — profit margins designed to emphasize cash flow and to pay off debts to banks. As U.S. demand contracts, many Chinese firms find themselves in untenable positions, without room to decrease prices, lacking operating reserves and insufficiently capitalized. Recessions are designed to cull the weak from the herd, and a huge swath of the Chinese economy is ripe for the culling.

If the world were all about economics, culling is what the Chinese would do. But the world is more complex than that. A culling would lead to massive unemployment. Many Chinese employees live on Third World wages; indeed, the vast majority of Chinese have incomes of less than $1,000 a year. To them, unemployment doesn’t mean problems with their 401k. It means malnutrition and desperation — neither of which is unknown in 20th century Chinese history, including the Communist period. The Chinese government is rightly worried about the social and political consequences of rational economic policies: They might work in the long run, but only if you live that long.

Economic Restructuring vs. Stability

The Chinese have therefore prepared a massive stimulus package that is more of a development program to make up for declining U.S. demand. It aims to keep businesses from failing and spilling millions of angry and hungry workers into the street. For the Chinese, the economic problem creates a much larger and more serious issue. It is also an issue that must be solved quickly, and the amount of time needed outstrips the amount of time available.

This is not only a Chinese problem. Wherever there is an economic downturn, politicians must decide whether society — and their own political futures — can withstand the rigors recessions impose. Recessions occur when, as is inevitable, inefficiencies and irrationalities build up in the financial and economic system. The resulting economic downturn imposes a harsh discipline that destroys the inefficient, encourages everyone to become more efficient, and opens the doors to new businesses using new technologies and business models. The year 2001 smashed the technology sector in the United States, opening the door for Google Inc.

The business cycle works well, but the human costs can be daunting. The collapse of inefficient businesses leaves workers without jobs, investors without money and society less stable than before. The pain needed to rectify China’s economy would be enormous, with devastating consequences for hundreds of millions of Chinese, and probably would lead to social chaos. Beijing is prepared to accept a high degree of economic inefficiency to avoid, or at least postpone, the reckoning. The reckoning always comes, but for most of us, later is better than sooner. Economic rationality takes a back seat to social necessity and political common sense.

Every country in the world is looking inward at the impact of the recession on its economy and measuring its resources. Countries are deciding whether they have the ability to prop up business that should fail, what the social consequences of business failure would be, and whether they should try to use their resources to avoid the immediate pain of recession. This is why the G-20 ended in meaningless platitudes.

Each country is also trying to answer the question of how much pain it — and its regime — can endure. The more pain imposed, the healthier countries will emerge economically — unless of course the pain kills them. Ultimately, the rationality of economics and the reality of society frequently diverge.

Recession and the U.S. Auto Industry

For the United States, this choice has been posed in stark terms with regard to the dilemma of whether the U.S. government should use its resources to rescue the American auto industry. The American auto industry was once the centerpiece of the U.S. economy. That hasn’t been true for a generation, as other industries and services have supplanted it and other countries’ auto industries have surpassed it. Nevertheless, the U.S. auto industry remains important. It might drain the U.S. economy by losing vast amounts of money and destroying the equity held by its investors, but it employs large numbers of people. Perhaps more important, it purchases supplies from literally thousands of U.S. companies.

There can be endless discussions of why the U.S. auto industry is in such trouble. The answer lies not in one place but in many, from the decisions and makeup of management to the unions that control much of the workforce, and from the cost structure inherent in producing cars in the American economy to a simple systemic inability to produce outstanding vehicles. There might be varying degrees of truth to all or some of this, but the fact remains that each of the U.S. carmakers is on the verge of financial collapse.

This is what recessions are supposed to do. As in China and everywhere else, recessions reveal weak businesses and destroy them, freeing up resources for new enterprises. This recession has hit the auto industry hard, and it is unlikely that it is going to survive. The ultimate reason is the same one that destroyed the U.S. steel industry a generation ago: Given U.S. cost structures, producing commodity products is best left to countries with lower wage rates, while more expensive U.S. labor is deployed in more specialized products requiring greater expertise. Thus, there is still steel production in the United States, but it is specialty steel production, not commodity steel. Similarly, there will be specialty auto production in the United States, but commodity auto production will come from other countries.

That sounds easy, but the transition actually will be a bloodletting. Current employees of both the automakers and suppliers will be devastated. Institutions that have lent money to the automakers will suffer massive or total losses. Pensioners might lose pensions and health care benefits, and an entire region of the United States — the industrial Midwest — will be devastated. Something stronger will grow eventually, but not in time for many of the current employees, shareholders and creditors.

Here the economic answer, cull, meets the social answer, stabilize. Policymakers have a decision to make. If the automakers fail now, their drain on the economy will end; the pain will be shorter, if more intense; and new industries would emerge more quickly. But though their drain on the economy would end, the impact of the automakers’ failure on the economy would be seismic. Unemployment would surge, as would bankruptcies of many auto suppliers. Defaults on loans would hit the credit markets. In the Midwest, home prices would plummet and foreclosures would skyrocket. And heaven only knows what the impact on equity markets would be.

In the U.S. case, the healthful purgative of a recession could potentially put the patient in a coma. Few if any believe the U.S. auto industry can survive in its current form. But there is an emerging consensus in Washington that the auto industry must not be allowed to fail now. The argument for spending money on the auto industry is not to save it, but to postpone its failure until a less devastating and inconvenient time. In other words, fearing the social and political consequences of a recession working itself through to its logical conclusion, Washington — like Beijing — wants to spend money it probably won’t recover to postpone the failure. Indeed, governments around the world are considering what failures to tolerate, what failures to postpone, and how much to spend on the latter. General Motors is merely the American case in point.

The Recession in Context

The people arguing for postponement aren’t foolish. The financial system is still working its way through a massive crisis that had little to do with the auto industry. Some traction appears to be occurring; certainly there was no crisis atmosphere at the G-20 meeting. The economy is in recession, but in spite of the inevitable claims that we have never seen anything like this one before, we have. There is always some variable that swings to an extreme — this time, it is consumer spending — but we are still well within the framework of recent recessions.

Consider the equity markets, which we regard as a long-term measure of the market’s evaluation of the state of the economy. In January 2000, the S&P 500 peaked at 1,455. This was the top of the market. In July 2002, 18 months later, the S&P bottomed out at 935. Over the next five years it rose to 1,519 in July 2007, the height for this cycle. It fell from this point until Nov. 12, 2008, when it closed at 852.30. This past Friday, it was at 873.29.

We do not know what the market will do in the future. There are people much smarter than we are who claim to know that. What we do know is what it has done. And what it has done this time — so far — is almost exactly what it did last time, except that in 2000-2002 it took 18 months to do it, while this time it was done in about 16 and a half months (assuming it bottomed out Nov. 12). But even if the market didn’t bottom out then, and it falls to 775, for example, it will have lost 50 percent of its value from the peak. This would be more than in 2000-2002, but not unprecedented.

The point we are making here is that if we regard the equity markets as a long-term seismograph of the economy, then so far, despite all the storm and stress, the markets — and therefore the economy — remain within the general pattern of the 2000-2002 market at the 2001 recession. That recession certainly was unpleasant, what with the devastation of the tech sector, but the economy survived. At the same time, however, it is clear that things are balanced on a knife’s edge. Another hundred points’ fall on the S&P, and the markets will be telling us that the world is in a very different place indeed.

A massive bankruptcy in the automotive sector could certainly set the stage for an economic renaissance in the next generation. But at this particular moment in time (it’s no coincidence that the crisis in the U.S. automotive industry comes as we enter a recession), a wave of bankruptcies would dramatically deepen the recession. This probably would be reflected by the destruction of trillions more in net worth in the equity markets.

There is a powerful counterargument to bailing out the U.S. auto industry. This argument holds that the auto industry is a drain on the U.S. economy, that it will never be globally competitive, and that if it is dragged back from the edge, no one will then say it is time to push it to the edge and over. The next time it will be on the brink will be during the next recession, and the same argument to save it will be used. In due course, the United States, like China, will be so terrified of the social and political consequences of business failure that it will maintain Chinese-like state owned enterprises, full of employees and generation-old plants and business models. Clearly, short-run solutions can easily become long-term albatrosses.

The only possible solution would be a bailout followed by a Washington-administered restructuring of the auto industry. This causes us to imagine a collaboration between the auto industry’s current management and Washington administrators that would finally put Detroit on a path to where it can compete with Toyota. Frankly, the mind boggles at this. But boggle though we might, hitting the economy with another massive financial default, a wave of bankruptcies, massive unemployment surges and another blow to housing prices boggles our mind even more.

The geopolitical problem confronting the world at the moment is that it has been forced to offer massive support to the global financial system with sovereign wealth — e.g., via taxes and currency printing presses. The world might just have squeaked through that crisis. Now, the world is in an inevitable recession and businesses are on the brink of failure. A wave of massive business failures on top of the financial crisis might well move the global system to a very different place. Therefore, each nation, by itself and indifferent to others, is in the process of figuring out how to postpone these failures to a more opportune time — or to never. This will build in long-term inefficiencies to the global economy, but right now everyone will be quite content with that.

Thus the financial crisis became a recession, and the recession triggered bankruptcies. And because no one wants bankruptcies right now, everyone who can is using taxpayer dollars to protect the taxpayer from the consequences of mismanagement. And the last thing any one cared about was the G-20 concept for the future of the economic system.


"Conservative Americans in particular need to understand that in this new era, the rules have changed. And to understand this change, conservatives need to begin by reading 'Rules For Radicals,' a book published in 1971 by noted 'community organizer' (and a man who is said to have influenced Mr. Obama) Saul Alinsky. Column space is limited here, so you'll have to get a copy of the book for yourself. But consider this notion from Alinksy's rule #5: 'Ridicule is man's most potent weapon. It's hard to counterattack ridicule, and it infuriates the opposition, which then reacts to your advantage.' And consider this language from rule #11, wherein Alinsky suggests that the main job of a 'community organizer' is to bait his opponent into reacting in a certain way: 'The enemy properly goaded and guided in his reaction will be your major strength.' Welcome to the new era."

--columnist Austin Hill


"As one liberal academic administrator said in justifying his Draconian action in suppressing a Christian viewpoint, 'We cannot tolerate the intolerable.' This self-blinding, superior mindset explains how liberals can accuse conservatives of racism for their legitimate political differences with Barack Obama while demeaning, with racist epithets, Condoleezza Rice or Clarence Thomas. It's how they can mock conservatives for being close-minded while unilaterally declaring the end to the debate on global warming because of a mythical consensus they have decreed. It's how they can demand every vote count and exclude military ballots. It's how they can glamorize Jimmy Carter for gallivanting to foreign countries to supervise 'fair elections' and pooh-pooh ACORN's serial voter fraud in their own country. It's how they can threaten the tax-exempt status of evangelical churches for preaching on values, even when the churches don't endorse candidates, but fully support a liberal church's direct electioneering for specific candidates. ... It's how they can oppose the death penalty for the guilty but protect the death penalty for the innocent unborn. ... If you believe the left is tolerant, open-minded and democratic, you're in for a rude awakening."

--columnist David Limbaugh


"Consider that in 1980, when Ronald Reagan won his first presidential election, the public was self-identified as 46 percent moderate, 28 percent conservative and 17 percent liberal. But by the 1984 Reagan re-election, the public had shifted to 42 percent moderate, 33 percent conservative and 16 percent liberal -- a statistically significant shift to the right. In those four years, Reagan had persuaded 5 percent of the electorate to move largely from moderate to conservative. And that 5 percent has stayed conservative for 24 years, right through the 2008 election. It is that 5 percent that has made America a center-right country rather than a centrist country -- allowing a fairly conservative Republican Party to win congressional and presidential elections most of the time. That is why it is so vital for both the Republican Party and a newly aroused conservative movement to work feverishly to make the case to the broadest possible public for our right-of-center views during the next four years."

--columnist Tony Blankley


"Democrats are suggesting, however, an even more ambitious reason to nationalize [the auto industry]. Once the government owns Detroit, it can remake it. The euphemism here is 'retool' Detroit to make cars for the coming green economy. Liberals have always wanted the auto companies to produce the kind of cars they insist everyone should drive: small, light, green and cute. Now they will have the power to do it. In World War II, government had the auto companies turning out tanks. Now they would be made to turn out hybrids. The difference is that, in the middle of a world war, tanks have a buyer. Will hybrids? One of the reasons Detroit is in such difficulty is that consumers have been resisting the smaller, less powerful, less safe cars forced on the industry by fuel-efficiency mandates. Now Detroit would be forced to make even more of them. If you think we have economic troubles today, consider the effects of nationalizing an industry of this size, but now run by bureaucrats issuing production quotas to fit five-year plans to meet politically mandated fuel-efficiency standards -- to lift us to the sunny uplands of the coming green utopia."

--columnist Charles Krauthammer

"I think all the world would gain by setting commerce at perfect liberty."

--Thomas Jefferson--

The Justifcation of Lying

By Robert Ringer
Part 1
Throughout Barack Obama’s campaign for the presidency, as I watched him backtrack on the nature of his many questionable relationships, on issues such as gun control, abortion rights, and taxation, and on his feelings about the United States, the words of another famous revolutionary, Vladimir Lenin, kept coming to mind. Said Lenin, “To tell the truth is a petty bourgeois habit, whereas for us to lie is justified by our objectives.”

Lenin, along with Leon Trotsky and his other comrades in arms, was a character right out of the book Eric Hoffer published years later (in 1951): The True Believer. Whether it’s global warming or cooling, gay marriage, animal rights, or any other “cause,” a genuine true believer has no problem telling blatant lies in order to further that cause. [Read all of part 1]
Part 2
As I said in Part I of this article, I can think of at least three ways that the Obama presidency might play out. Let’s examine them one at a time.
[Read all of part 2]

Will Obama Bring Guantanamo Bay to the U.S.?

By Hugh Hewitt

President-elect Obama's legal team is exploring quick steps to shut down the terrorist detention facility at Guantanamo Bay and bring the prisoners to the U.S. where they will be integrated into the U.S. prison system and possibly into our criminal justice system as well. In fact, Congress has not acted in response to the Supreme Court decision of last year that extended habeas corpus rights to the Gitmo detainees, and the legal status of the military tribunals and the prisoners remains hotly contested in the federal courts.

We don't know where the courts will end their reviews of the unlawful combatants legal status, but we are certain that bringing these suspected killers to the U.S. is a very bad idea. We urge the president-elect to abandon his electioneering sloganeering and instead focus on the perils of importing even prisoners who are terrorists into the United States.