Saturday, March 23, 2013

Is it Time to Panic?

Whether or not you own guns, this one should give you chills.  A father posted a picture on Facebook of his son proudly holding a .22 rifle.  The kid's got a happy smile (the gun looks like dad's AR15) and it's obvious that he's been taught gun safety (he's holding it properly, with his finger outside the trigger guard).  The problem?  This family lives in New Jersey,  a state well known for it's strict gun regulations and anti-gun sentiment.

New Jersey also, apparently, has a number of busybodies.  One of whom called the New Jersey Department of Youth and Family Services to make a report of a juvenile with a gun (anonymously, of course).  This resulted in a DYFS agent, accompanied by 4 armed NJ State Police Officers (wearing bullet proof vests) showing up at his home demanding entry and demanding that he open his safe so that they could "inspect" his guns and insure they were properly registered.  (NJ doesn't require registration of firearms.)  All of this, without a warrant!  The DYFS agent threatened to "take his kids" if he didn't comply with her illegal demands for access.  When he & his lawyer (he had him on speaker phone) asked that she identify herself and show her credentials, she refused.  When the father tried to take her picture for identification, she "quickly turned and ran away".  Read the full story here.

Whether you own guns or not.  Even if you think no one "needs" a gun (see the next story).  This blatant violation of Constitutional protections by a government agency is a threat.  Even if it was just the over-reaction of a certain DYFS official who has a personal dislike for guns and gun owners, the fact that she felt justified in demanding the right to search a private citizen's home and to issue threats against his family when refused, indicates a culture of arrogant dismissal of private rights that should be impossible.  Today it's guns.  Tomorrow, maybe it'll be something you enjoy.  Action movies, perhaps?  So-called "violent" video games?  I'm sure I could find someone to verify that children shouldn't be exposed to such influences and that they should all be banned "for the protection of children and the public".  Progressives and Statists never stop.  Everyone will eventually find themselves on the wrong side of at least one issue.

I know it seems like I'm pounding away on the gun rights argument an awful lot, but think for a minute.  In the absence of the 2nd Amendment's protection of the right to keep and bear arms, what secures the other Amendments in the Bill of Rights, ultimately?  The 2nd Amendment, along with it's potential threat to would-be dictators, is the keystone supporting America's free society.  If it goes, eventually it all goes.


A man in Ponca City, Oklahoma shot an intruder who broke into his home at 4:30 in the morning.  The man did what Bloomburg and all of the other anti-gun rights activists say we should do.  He called 911.  He was on the phone with the operator for roughly 5 minutes waiting for the police to arrive.  He told them they'd better hurry, because he was prepared to defend himself if they succeeded in gaining entrance. [Note to Joe Biden: He didn't just take a shotgun and "shoot through the door".]

It was only after the perpetrator succeeded in breaking in his front door, and the police still hadn't arrived on the scene, that the homeowner defended himself, shooting the criminal several times. "I just put three rounds in his ass."  He told the dispatcher.  The perp was taken by ambulance to a hospital, then airlifted to Tulsa for treatment.  This is an example of "When seconds count, the police are just minutes away".

Here's the most disturbing part of the story:  The police are investigating the incident and say that after their investigation they will turn over their results to the DA.  WTF?!  This is a clear-cut case of self-defense, as the recording of the 911 call makes clear.  There should be no question of potentially charging the homeowner with anything.  Perhaps this is simply the mandated procedure following a shooting and the homeowner has nothing to worry about.  Given the current climate in government, I wouldn't take anything for granted.  Even in a western state with a rich tradition of gun ownership.


How much do you trust your institutions?  Your government? Your banks?  If you've been paying attention this past week you've heard about the events in the island nation of Cyprus. 

As part of a bailout deal, the IMF and other European partners required the nation's leaders to confiscate part of it's citizens' deposits held in the banks.  The Cyprian government agreed.  The news was quietly leaked late last week in a massive document dump.  The details got little or no reporting from the regular media until some regular citizens--after reading through the information and finding out what was going to happen to them--took to Twitter and social media to sound the alarm.  The reported agreement is to seize 6.75% of depositors' assets up to 100,000 Euros and 10% of amounts over that.  This isn't a tax.  This isn't a new government fee that was debated and voted on by the representatives of the people.  It's outright confiscation of private property.  In essence, the entities providing the bailout are demanding that the government confiscate the people's wealth be used to bailout the banks that mismanaged, and then lost, the people's money in the first place!

Of course, when people found out what was being planned they rushed to the banks to withdraw at least some of their money.  The government responded by ordering the banks closed, saying they "feared a run on banks" as a result of their decision.  ATM's wouldn't work.  If they didn't have money on hand, the people were screwed, unless they had a credit card (debit cards wouldn't work) or could convince someone to accept a cheque.  The government and the banks promised that this was just a temporary measure and that the banks would re-open in a few days.  They were supposed to open Thursday.  Now they are saying it may be sometime next week before the banks re-open.  How long do you think you would last if you woke up tomorrow morning to find that your ATM card didn't work and that your bank was closed and that electronic transfers were frozen? 

Think there's no way it could happen here?  The amounts we're talking about in the Cyprus deal are relatively small, about $20 Billion US.  The Federal Reserve Chairman, (Batshit) Ben Bernanke has just announced an expansion of the Fed's bond buying program.  Now, instead of promising to buy $40B of bonds, mortgage assets, and other securities, he says they are going to be purchasing $85B.  That's more than 4 times the amount that's causing the crisis in Cyprus.  Per month!  More than $1 TRILLION in additional printing and spending per year, effectively doubling down on the deficit.

We're now nearly $17 Trillion in debt.  Where is this money going to come from?  Literally all the money in the world isn't enough to pay that off.  But there IS a potential "solution" that has been talked about very quietly in the halls of Congress for years: the partial nationalization of privately held retirement accounts.  The Ghilarducci plan is for the Federal government, in the name of "protecting the consumer from the vagaries and risks of the stock marked" to assume at least partial management of private investment accounts by requiring that a certain percentage of deposits be held in government bonds.  In return, the government would guarantee a rate of return as a hedge against possible future losses. In effect, creating a second mandatory Social Security program (we've seen how well they've managed the first one).

Americans have, collectively, several trillion dollars sitting in personal retirement accounts such as IRA's, ROTH's, 401k plans, pensions, federal and state government employee retirement accounts, etc.  Imagine a certain cash-strapped administration looking at all that money.  It's just sitting there!  It's not being put to good use.  In light of what just happened without warning in Cyprus, do you really think that our government hasn't considered a similar proposal?  It's entirely likely that governments around the world are looking at the events in Cyprus as a test case.  The proverbial "canary in the coal mine".  If the government is able to make this go down without widespread violence and revolt, look for it to spread.  After all, what easier way to make sure that "the rich" pay their "fair share" than to just go into their bank accounts and take it?

I'm not telling you to run to the bank, take out all your money and stuff it in the mattress or bury it in the back yard but maybe, just maybe, it might be a good idea to take out a little bit?  Maybe stash away enough to carry you over for a few weeks or a month or so?  Couldn't hurt, could it?  I mean, are you really going to lose that much in interest?  Not at less than 0.5% you aren't.  If you are relying on FDIC insurance to protect you, just remember, the FDIC is ultimately run by the same people who may have designs on your money.

Is it time for "gold & guns"?  I can't say.  But a word to the wise.............


  1. There's an update to the situation in Cyprus. Apparently, even the Cypriot government isn't deaf to public opinion and potential threat to their political fortunes. They just recently voted (unanimously) against the proposal to confiscate it's citizen's deposits.

    They're hoping that either the EU/IMF/Germany will relent, or that Russia will swoop in to the rescue (this could lead to a different sort of predicament, depending on the terms dictated by Russia).

    In short, the good news is that depositor's accounts are safe, for now; the bad news is that they now know they will need to be more circumspect in any future money grab. It'll be fait accompli before anyone has a chance to protest.

  2. Oops. Not so fast. As it turns out, the elite's, in 11th hr bargaining on Sunday with the rest of their EU partners and the IMF (the Russians turned them down) the Cypriot government and banks reached a deal to avoid national bankruptcy. They agreed to spare the small depositors, BUT "the rich"? [sad cynical laugh] Those who had deposits over 100,000Euro (including many small businesses who hold their operating expenses & payroll in short-term accounts) will receive a "hair cut" of between 25% and 40%.

    Turns out, the joke may be on the Russians after all. Several Russian billionaires have accounts in Cyprus banks. I don't think they are the type to accept the confiscation of millions of euros philosophically.

    If the public doesn't run on the banks and businesses don't begin to pull out their assets, as well, I'll be amazed. Look for the dominoes to begin falling, as other struggling EU members look to Cyprus as a model for the solutions to their own financial straits.