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Monthly Archives: March 2013

My friend: I believe we were talking about the some….   This is not baloney (Bullshit) right?

An expanded list of defensive gun use cases can be found at:

http://www.cato.org/guns-and-self-defense

I like “TOUGH TARGETS” by Clayton E. Cramer and David  Burnett

You can download from:

http://store.cato.org/reports/tough-targets-when-criminals-face-armed-resistance-citizens

I think “The PEOPLE” should preserve our right to bear arms! …. But I do not like Hebe de Bonafini, DeLia, The KKK, Nazis, Firmenich, the Schoeklender brothers, El Petiso Orejudo, neither John Wilkes …  do

T  H A T     I S     M Y    D I L E M M A !

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“… I have never had a feeling politically that did not spring from the Declaration of Independence … that which gave promise that in due time the weights should be lifted from the shoulders of all men, and that all should have an equal chance….  Now my friends, can this country be saved upon that basis? … If it can’t be saved upon that principle … if this country cannot be saved without giving up on that principle … I would rather be assassinated on this spot than to surrender it… “

-PRESIDENT ELECT – ABRAHAM LINCOLN

DURING A SPEECH ON FEBRUARY 22, 1861,

TEN DAYS BEFORE TAKEN THE OATH OF OFFICE

AS THE SIXTEENTH PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES   

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Abraham Lincoln

Abraham Lincoln (Photo credit: casually_cruel)

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“… this man’s appearance, his pedigree, his coarse jokes and anecdotes, his vulgar smiles, and his policy are a disgrace to the seat he holds … he is the tool of the North, to crush out, or try to crush out slavery, by robbery, rapine, slaughter and bought armies … a false president yearning for a kingly succession …”

-JOHN WILKES BOOTH (Lincoln’s assassin)  TO HIS SISTER-

SHORTLY BEFORE PRESIDENT LINCOLN’S REELECTION

IN NOVEMBER 1864

John Wilkes Booth

John Wilkes Booth (Photo credit: Marion Doss)

 

English: Broadside advertising reward for capt...

English: Broadside advertising reward for capture of Lincoln assassination conspirators, illustrated with photographic prints of John H. Surratt, John Wilkes Booth, and David E. Herold. Français : Avis de recherche avec prime de 100.000 $ pour la capture de John Wilkes Booth, le meurtrier du président Abraham Lincoln, et deux de ses complices, David Edgar Herold et John Harrison Surratt. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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March 5, 2013
Dear Gaston:

Today, we’ve written to top U.S. law enforcement officials warning them of the growing threat of domestic terrorism from far-right antigovernment extremist groups. These organizations are growing more militant by the day as Congress debates gun control.Our annual count of extremist groups, also released today, shows that armed militias and other antigovernment groups surged to 1,360 in 2012 – an all-time high and an 813 percent rise since President Obama took office.

Letter from the SPLC (PDF)U.S. map of hate groupsIntelligence Report magazine Stand Strong Against Hate

At the same time, hate groups – neo-Nazis, white nationalists, racist skinheads, and others – remained at near-record levels.

Our letter to U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder and Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano urges them to create a new task force to ensure the government is devoting the resources needed to address domestic terrorism.

We’re seeing ominous threats from extremists who believe the government is poised to take their guns. It’s the same type of atmosphere we saw in the mid-1990s when we warned then-Attorney General Janet Reno of the danger. Six months later, militia sympathizer Timothy McVeigh bombed the federal building in Oklahoma City, killing 168 men, women, and children.

The potential for another deadly attack is real – and clearly rising. It’s critically important that federal officials take this threat seriously.

With your support, we will continue to press for action and to expose the activities of the radical right. And, we’ll provide key intelligence and resources to law enforcement officials to help them fight violent extremists.

Thank you for standing with us in this crucial effort.


By Fabián Bosoer and Federico Finchelstein
March 1, 2013
ON July 18, 1994, a van filled with explosives blew up outside the Jewish community center in Buenos Aires, killing 85 people and injuring hundreds. It was the worst terrorist attack ever in Argentina, which has Latin America’s largest Jewish population, and one of the deadliest anti-Semitic attacks since the Holocaust.
In 2007, after more than a decade of investigations, Argentine prosecutors obtained Interpol arrest warrants for six suspects and formally blamed Hezbollah for staging the attack and Iran for financing it. But bizarrely, Argentina’s president, Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, abruptly switched course last month and reached an agreement with the Iranian government that would set up a “truth commission” of international legal experts to analyze evidence from the bombings. The agreement, which the Congress approved early Thursday, would allow Argentine officials to travel to Tehran and interview Iranians suspected of involvement in the attack.
The problem is that any recommendations by the commission would be nonbinding; moreover, some of the suspects in the attack are now high-ranking Iranian officials — including the sitting defense minister, Gen. Ahmad Vahidi — and therefore untouchable. Indeed, Iran has repeatedly refused to cooperate with Argentine investigators and ignored international warrants for the arrest of senior Iranian officials believed to have taken part in planning the bombing.
Mrs. Kirchner’s decision to abandon Argentina’s longstanding grievances against Iran is particularly galling because it comes just weeks after Bulgaria, another country victimized by Iranian-sponsored terrorism, accused Hezbollah of staging a suicide attack on Israeli tourists in the Bulgarian town of Burgas last year. That attack, like the 1994 bombing in Buenos Aires, was part of a shadow war against Jewish civilians across the world. Bulgaria’s government, unlike Argentina’s current administration, decided to stand up to Hezbollah and forthrightly accuse it of the crime.
Argentina’s president is undermining her own country’s prosecutors, who have for several years tried to pursue the suspected perpetrators. Many observers have denounced Mrs. Kirchner for giving Iran a free pass. As Laura Ginsberg, whose husband was killed in the 1994 attack, has put it, the Argentine government has terminated the possibility of justice.
Mrs. Kirchner’s decision could open the gates to a major foreign policy realignment in the near future. Her populist government is moving toward the pro-Iranian positions of Venezuela’s ailing president, Hugo Chávez, and further away from those of Brazil, the United States and Europe. According to the Argentine newspaper La Nación, Argentina has started to collaborate on arms deals, including the development of missile technology, with Venezuela and indirectly with Iran.
Mrs. Kirchner’s move is also at odds with Argentina’s own history of holding human rights violators accountable. Argentina was plagued by political violence in the 1970s. It was one of the first countries in the world to create a truth commission to investigate the crimes of the military dictatorship that ruled between 1976 and 1983, including the killings and “disappearances” of more than 10,000 citizens deemed to be enemies of the state. That commission was formed after democracy was re-established in 1983 and eventually led to trial and punishment of the generals who led the junta, as well as other human rights violators.
To now create a so-called truth commission to investigate Iran’s and Hezbollah’s role in the 1994 attack and review the well-established findings of Argentina’s own courts is an insult to the memory of those murdered in 1994 and to all of those killed by Argentina’s dictatorship.
Argentina has made grave foreign policy errors before. It is still coping with the fallout from its short 1982 war with Britain over the islands that Britain calls the Falklands and that Argentines call Las Malvinas. That conflict was an ill-advised move by a nationalist dictatorship. In contrast, the current treaty with Iran is being backed by a democratically elected president.
While the 1982 war initially had widespread support, the agreement with Iran, which passed with a narrow congressional majority, has been rejected by all of Argentina’s opposition parties, which vehemently denounced it in congressional debates this week. Moreover, all major Argentine Jewish organizations have opposed the treaty, and there is no indication that Mrs. Kirchner’s conciliatory gesture to Iran is supported by a majority of citizens.
Mrs. Kirchner has vigorously defended the treaty. It is possible that she believes taking a controversial step toward resolving a longstanding dispute will raise Argentina’s international profile. She may also think that the treaty will increase her party’s popularity in an election year.
But it will do neither. Like the 1982 war with Britain, Mrs. Kirchner’s misguided rapprochement with Iran will only compromise Argentina’s long-term national interests while doing nothing to satisfy the survivors’ yearning for justice.
Fabián Bosoer is an opinion editor at the newspaper Clarín. Federico Finchelstein, an associate professor of history at the New School, worked as a researcher at the Jewish community center in Buenos Aires before the 1994 bombing.

By

Steve H. Hanke

This article first appeared in Forbes Magazine on March 4, 2002.

The mess in Buenos Aires is nothing short of criminal. Citizens are rioting. The government is blocking depositors from tapping their bank accounts. Commercial banks have been forced to turn over dollars to the central bank. People are trying to sneak greenbacks out of the country.

When President Eduardo Duhalde ended the decade-old currency system, in which the peso and dollar both legally circulated at a 1-to-1 exchange rate, the peso was devalued. Okay, devaluations are one of life’s risks. But this one was far more than a typical devaluation. It was legalized theft.

French economist Frédéric Bastiat (1801-50) defined “legal plunder” as the passing of a law that takes someone’s belongings and gives them to another. Before Duhalde, the central bank’s foreign reserves guaranteed a peso holder’s legal right to freely convert a peso into a dollar. This strong convertibility feature distinguished Argentina’s setup from the typical fiat money system. Its demise also is distinctive, perversely so.

As part of Duhalde’s Jan. 6 repeal of convertibility, he confiscated $17.8 billion of foreign reserves. Until his action, that was the property of peso holders.

Convertibility’s detractors have a way of blaming Argentina’s problems not on the breakdown of the rule of law but on the strong dollar, which supposedly led to an overvalued peso. This is said to have rendered Argentina uncompetitive, causing the economy to slump and forcing Argentina to default on its debt.

Argentina uncompetitive? Nonsense. If an overvalued currency causes uncompetitiveness, you see declining exports. But Argentina’s exports rose every year in the past decade except 1999, when Brazil, its largest trading partner and a nation without dollar convertibility, suffered its own currency crisis. (Note: The crisis was not that the Brazilian real was too strong.)

Argentinean exports during the first 11 months of 2001 were 3.2% ahead of the same period in 2000. Considering that the real growth in world trade was only an estimated 0.9% last year, Argentina’s export performance was rather strong. Indeed, the export sector has been one of the few bright spots in the Argentinean economy. If the rest of the economy had been growing as fast as the exports during the last two years, Argentina would not be in a recession and the government would not be bankrupt.

Hell-bent on proving that the peso has been overvalued, convertibility’s critics also point to purportedly high prices in Buenos Aires. More nonsense. A recent Union Bank of Switzerland survey of prices in 58 of the world’s largest cities found that, for a basket of 111 goods and services, Buenos Aires ranked 22nd. That’s about midway between the most expensive city, Tokyo, and the least, Bombay.

The biggest lie of all is that the peso devaluation will get the economy going again. Let’s go through the arithmetic. To stimulate Argentina’s exports by 1%, the real value of the peso (adjusted for inflation) would have to depreciate by 10%. Argentinean exports only accounted for one-tenth of gross domestic product last year. This implies that if the current devaluation of 50% doesn’t pass through to any domestic inflation—in short, if the nominal devaluation is a real devaluation—exports will increase by around 5%. Even under these unrealistic assumptions, a 50% devaluation would only add a paltry 0.5% to a collapsed post-devaluation GDP.

Any way you cut this, there was no moral or factual justification for Argentina’s devaluation and nullification of contracts. The Bush Administration should refuse to offer any direct aid and should veto any proposal for the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank or the Inter-American Development Bank to lend money to Argentina. There is a legal basis for refusing a bailout. Title 22, Section 2370 of the U.S. Code provides for suspending U.S. assistance to any country that seizes property owned by U.S. citizens or corporations or nullifies contracts with them. Americans with property in Argentina have been victimized just as much as Argentineans.

If that isn’t enough, listen to President George Bush’s first State of the Union address. “We have no intention of imposing our culture,” Bush said. “But America will always stand firm for the nonnegotiable demands of human dignity: the rule of law; limits on the power of the state; respect for women; private property; free speech; equal justice; and religious tolerance.”

The U.S. should not tolerate the plundering. It should pressure Argentina’s rulers to restore people’s property and the rule of law.

Steve H. Hanke is a professor of applied economics at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland; chairman of the Friedberg Mercantile Group of New York; and a senior fellow at the Cato Institute.