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Today, April 19, a pivotal day

Although not the 19th, the Columbine massacre was carried out the next morning (April 20th)

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Britain loses all pretense of “Your home is your Castle”

For years, Second Amendment advocates have told us that the Second Amendment guarantees that we will keep the others, that a loss of the ability of the citizens to guard their property would mean the beginning of a dictatorship.

Great Britain proves this. It seems that collection agents (called private bailiffs) can now force their way into your home and use force to collect debts. Since it is illegal to be armed in Britain, and it is illegal to use force to defend yourself or your home, British subjects appear to be at the mercy of these collection agents.

The government has been accused of trampling on individual liberties by proposing wide-ranging new powers for bailiffs to break into homes and to use “reasonable force” against householders who try to protect their valuables.

Under the regulations, bailiffs for private firms would for the first time be given permission to restrain or pin down householders. They would also be able to force their way into homes to seize property to pay off debts, such as unpaid credit card bills and loans.

Of course, the powers are already being abused:

In one case, an 89-year-old grandmother returned home to find a bailiff sitting in her chair having drawn up a list of her possessions. He was pursuing a parking fine owed by her son, who did not even live at the address.

An unarmed populace is otherwise known as “peasants,” or perhaps “subjects,” or even as “slaves.”

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I didn’t realize I was a potential terrorist

I am against murder, I think it is wrong, just as I am against bank robbery. I am also against ILLEGAL immigration. I am a veteran of the Persian Gulf War. Apparently, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano thinks that the last two statements make me a potential terrorist.

By that logic, Ms Napolitano, the fact that you have a vagina makes you a potential whore.

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The improvement is an illusion

The news from the stock market is good. The Dow closed over 8,000. Stocks are up, even Citibank is reporting profits. Sounds great, except it is all an illusion.

Citibank’s profits? The only reason for the profit is that the Federal Government poured $45 Billion in bailout funds into the company.

Meanwhile, unemployment is 8.5%– the worst since 1983, one in ten Americans are receiving food stamps at a cost of $3.6 Billion a month, and even the Fed says that they are worried about the large amounts of money being printed. Meanwhile, the Obama administration is busy answering questions from obviously planted questioners– tough questions like why he has not gotten a dog, whether he regrets being President, and asked if he knows that his name means peach in Hungarian.

The Obama administration hit an improtant milestone this week- the government increased the National Debt by a half a trillion dollars since inauguration day. It took 70 days to hit the $500 billion mark. It took George Bush 20 months to borrow that much.

The danger here is that the spending spree initiated by the Republicans and continued by the Democrats has injected trillions of dollars into the economy. This has had the effect of more money chasing a dwindling supply of goods and services. (They are dwindling as the economy cools, after all people are saving their money right now instead of spending it.)

Once spending begins again, prices will climb. they will skyrocket. That will cause wave two of this crisis. I think we are looking at another year before demand picks up, and then depending on how bad the inflation is when the economy does start to move again, a period of double digit inflation.

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Government Bailout for the big three

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Computer Geekery

I just finished my biannual computer upgrade. My old system was two years old, so I felt it time to replace it. I bought my new stuff from Newegg.com, and went to building:

EVGA NForce 790i Motherboard
Intel Quad Core Q8300 CPU
A pair of 23″ LCD monitors
8 GB of Ram
3- 750gb hard drives, configured in a RAID 5, giving me 1.4 TB of redundant storage space
Two GeForce 9800 GTX 512mb 128 bit SLI video cards

It sure is nice to have a new, clean system. This thing sure is fast!

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Clinton did not balance the budget

The Democrats keep pointing to Clinton and claiming that he balanced the budget, and even ran a surplus, but it seems like no one has bothered to check the figures. Read the figures below, obtained from the US Treasury, and see for yourself:

National Debt on September 30 of each year (the last day of the Fiscal year); followed by the deficit that increased it
Year  //  Public Debt ……….   increase from previous year
1993 // 4,406,339,573,433    The start of Clinton’s first budget
1994 // 4,692,749,910,013…..286,410,336,580
1995 // 4,973,982,900,709…..281,232,990,696
1996 // 5,224,810,939,135…..250,828,038,426
1997 // 5,413,146,011,397…..188,335,072,262
1998 // 5,526,193,008,897…..113,046,997,500
1999 // 5,656,270,901,633…..130,077,892,736
2000 // 5,674,178,209,886….. 17,909,308,253
2001 // 5,807,463,412,200…..133,285,202,914 (Bush assumed the helm Jan 1, 2001)

Sure, he came close with an $18 billion deficit in FY 2000, but that is certainly not a surplus. Clinton ran a deficit every year he was in office.

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Priorities

Congress has a lot on its plate. In fact, today the Senate Judiciary’s subcommittee on antitrust, competition policy and consumer rights is having hearings on whether the current system of deciding the National College football championship is fair.

Behind the push for the hearings is the subcommittee’s top Republican, Sen. Orrin Hatch of Utah. People there were furious that Utah was bypassed for the national championship despite going undefeated in the regular season. In the House, Rep. Joe Barton of Texas, the top Republican on the Energy and Commerce Committee, has sponsored legislation that would prevent the NCAA from calling a football game a “national championship” unless the game culminates from a playoff system.

and the Republicans wonder why they are being considered irrelevant. Can we please have a viable third party, or am I going to be forced to continually be forced to choose between a douche and a turd? Where in the Constitution is Congress even granted the power to interfere in this?

Meanwhile, we have a Treasury Secretary who is announcing that he is just fine with the Chinese and Russian plan to stop using the dollar as the international trading currency, and is also seeking to expand his control over the private sector, as he seeks to get the power to regulate how much risk you can take as a private investor.

I am starting to think that we are seeing the end of the American Superpower status, and the beginning of the end of our nation. China will be the next leader of the world, probably within the next decade. We will be bankrupt by then, as our national debt will be around US$30 trillion.

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Credit scores and spending

One of the factors in your FICO score is your credit utilization. That is, how much money you have borrowed. Well, today the Treasury had a bond auction, and the lenders were not biting.

Investors gave an unexpectedly cool response to a $24 billion auction of 5-year Treasury notes Wednesday, which also sent prices for Treasurys lower…Bond prices fell after the auction. The yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury note, which moves opposite its price, jumped to 2.78 percent from 2.71 percent late Tuesday. The yield on the three-month T-bill rose to 0.19 percent from 0.17 percent Tuesday.

I guess this means that the Nation’s FICO score just took a hit. Investors are starting to shy away from loaning money to Uncle Sam. The government has to respond in the only way available: raise yields. We are on a rapid accelerating slide towards becoming a sub-prime borrower. As the yields climb, interest will take a larger cut of the budget, meaning that the deficit will climb. This will increase the debt, causeing the deficit to climb further. I wonder what the breaking point is…

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One in a million

Recently, someone made it to my blog by searching for the term, “percentage of ammunition used in crimes”

Let me help you on that:

First let me say that there is no way to know, since many crimes involving ammunition are unreported, like shooting in prohibited areas, poaching, and the like. If you are talking about violent crimes, like robbery, this is again problematic since the police do not report how many shots are fired unless they strike someone.

Each year, there are approximately 10 billion rounds of ammunition sold in the United States.

In the year 2007 (the latest year for which data is available), according to the FBI, there were 15,972 murders in the United States,and 68% of these murders were committed with firearms. Therefore, have a total of 10,860 homicides in which a shot was fired.

This relates to 1 bullet in 920,810 being used in a homicide. Your odds of being killed by any particular bullet are less than the odds of you dying by being bitten by a rabid squirrel in New York’s Central Park.