Monday, April 30, 2012

The Empire of Poverty

Sunday, April 29, 2012
By Daniel Greenfield

Controlling a large number of people isn't easy. The United States alone consists of 312 million people spread out across nearly 4 million square miles. Add on nearly 500 million for the population of the European Union and another nearly 4 million square miles of territory. Then pile on Canada with 34 million people and another 4 million square miles, Australia with 22 million and 3 million square miles and a few other stragglers here and there, and the postmodern rulers of the progressive empire have to cope with nearly a billion people spread out across 15 million square miles.

Large territories and large numbers of people are very difficult to govern. Structures tend to break down and people further away from the centers of power don't listen to the boys at the top. The only way to make a going proposition of it is to consolidate as much power as possible at the center and the very act of centralizing power leads to tyranny.

The most direct chokehold possible is physical. China's rulers, faced with vast territory and population, turned to the water empire. The modern West is quickly rediscovering a more sophisticated form of hydraulic despotism, cloaked in talk of saving the planet and providing for everyone's needs.

Western resources are not innately centralized, which makes seizing control of them and routing them through a central point more difficult. This has to be done legislatively and has to be justified by a universal benefit or a crisis. One example of this is FDR's Agricultural Adjustment Act which allowed the government to control wheat grown on a farm for private consumption. Another is nationalizing health care by routing the commercial activity of medicine through government organs. Both services and commodities can be controlled in this manner.

But the larger challenge is that the West is rich and a water empire depends on scarcity. Central control is much less potent if there is plenty of the commodity or service available. It's only when shortages are created in bread or health care that the system really wields power by rationing a scarce commodity or service.

If a resource is scarce, then the water empire has to distribute it efficiently. But if a resource is widely available, then the water empire has to find ways of making it scarce, until the demand vastly outstrips the supply.

The modern water empire is dependent for its power on manufactured shortages. The rise of the progressive state was closely tied to its exploitation of shortages. Its challenge has been to win the race with industrial productivity by manufacturing shortages and destroying wealth faster than it could be created. While the machine of industry created wealth, the machine of government destroyed it. Today the machine of government is very close to winning the race, creating a state of permanent shortages.

Manufactured shortages are the great project of modern governments. This manufacture is done by prohibitively increasing the cost of creating and distributing products and services, by controlling the means of production in the name of wealth redistribution and by prohibiting the production on the grounds that it is immoral or dangerous. Over the 20th century the transition was made from the first to the second and finally to the third.

The third means of manufacturing shortages is the final trump card in the race between human ingenuity and government power. It began with pollution regulation and has reached the stage where all human activity, from a bike ride to the corner to a puff of exhaled air, is a form of pollution. The carbon footprint is to the human being what the Agricultural Adjustment Act was to wheat, a mandate for total central regulation of all human activity.

While the second means of manufacturing shortages only justified redistributing wealth, the third prevents its creation. It is the final lock of the water empire. When it slides into places, shortages become permanent and the Empire of Poverty rules over all.

The Empire of Poverty is the modern incarnation of the water empire, its feigned concern for social equality disguising its hunger for total power. With the third stage, the empire of poverty is mostly putting aside its pretense of controlling production in order to maximize human benefits from the products or services and is shifting over to controlling production in order to deny use of the products and services to those who need them.

Global Warming rhetoric is still couched in the usual social justice rhetoric, aimed at the poorer kleptocracies who are eager to join the line for a handout, but its logic is poverty driven. It is not out to create wealth, but to eliminate it, on the grounds that cheaply available food or electricity is an immoral activity that damages the planet.

The Empire of Poverty is chiefly concerned with the impoverishing of the West, to maintain the manufactured scarcities of its water empire it has gone beyond taxation to entirely shutting down or crippling entire branches of human activity. This could not be justified by appeals to class or race alone. Social justice could not shut down power plants or decrease food production. Its impact was not sufficient to maintain a state of permanent poverty.

For the water empire to succeed, it is necessary to destroy any form of social mobility not dependent on the centralized system. The only way to do this is to make it nearly impossible for the working class to transition to the middle class and the middle class to the upper class through commercial activity. The only possible form of social mobility is to be through government service.

Stability is the fundamental mandate of the water empire. Free enterprise with its disruptive activity and its constantly shifting social order is a tsunami that overwhelms the water empire, flooding its canals and swamping its bureaucracies. The water empire only works when everyone knows his place and knows that this place is fundamentally unchangeable. While this attitude seems alien to most Americans, it has been cultivated assiduously in racial politics. The urban blight is a symptom.

The ideological goal of the Empire of Poverty is to convince the subjects under its rule that social mobility is either impossible or undesirable. That they need to accept their place and their dole, and bend their shoulder to the task of making a better world under its enlightened guidance. The more that this mindset is cultivated among its subjects, the less they are able to envision another world where they might be free to do what they please.

Corporate monopolies are not the enemies of the Empire of Poverty, though its functionaries and propagandists spend a great deal of time insisting that this is the case. But that is because the Empire needs enemies and scapegoats. Yet the Empire has drawn the bulk of its support from the ranks of the very organizations that it condemns. The growth of unsustainable corporations and governments have come side by side, both engaging in unworkable practices, as its officers move back and forth from boardrooms to cabinet meetings.

The Empire's goal is not to control corporations, it is to control everything. The corporation is a more efficient tool for controlling customers and employees. It is an embryo government and often an ally. The Empire does not fear dinosaurs like that, it fears change and innovation. It is not worried about GE, it is far more worried about small businesses. It is afraid of the man in the garage who might invent something that will make its latest batch of environment regulations suddenly seem foolish.

Innovation undermines the Empire's ability to tighten its grip over the distribution and manufacture of all products and services. The "crisis" of Global Warming has given it an open ended mandate, but its population is clever and able to innovate faster than it can regulate. Its educational systems controlled from the top down are aimed at indoctrinating conformity and suppressing independent thought, but like most empires it is still too slow. It controls most media channels, but innovation and individualism still keeps outpacing it.

The Empire of Poverty is already partially in control of food supplies, medicine, electricity and all commercial activity in general. It can determine in many cases and with variations across different countries, how much of a thing can be produced, at what price it can be sold and under what authority. Its task at the present is the growing consolidation and centralization of these powers in the hands of increasingly more powerful bodies until the Empire is fully formed.

The consolidation of numerous national, local, regional and international bodies into the Empire is a slow chaotic and inefficient process as nations shed the pretense of democratic elections and horse trading continues between various parts of the Empire. But the Empire of Poverty is very nearly here.

Global Warming has given the Empire a global crisis and an unlimited mandate to resolve the crisis. What the threat of war was to a united Europe and the threat of poverty was to a federalized United States, the threat of a melting planet is to the Empire of Poverty. It is an open question whether the economic collapse of any of the smaller entities will inhibit the rise of the Empire or prevent it from coming to being. Every resource crisis gives the Empire another reason to consolidate control of resources in the name of the public good, and then eliminate access to those resources in the name of the planetary good.

The Empire of Poverty is rising on the skeleton of the West, it is eating out its abundance and preparing to lock down power, food, transportation, medical services and countless other elements of the commercial life of the formerly free world. Its water empire will impose its own vision of power by controlling resources and doling them out as a means of power. By controlling access to the things we take for granted, it intends to rule over us all.

Sultan Knish

Romney must capitalize

April 30, 2012
Kerry Patton

Last night, Lesley Stahl unveiled President Obama's worst nightmare.  When CBS News veteran interviewed Jose Rodriguez, former chief of the CIA's Clandestine Service, a cache of knowledge was delivered. If Mitt Romney studies the interview about "enhanced interrogations," Romney can arm himself with enough wit to defeat President Obama on the subject.  In fact, Romney can likely crush President Obama's entire foreign policy strategy based off this interview alone.

Mr. Rodriguez was critical about President Obama's destruction of the CIA's enhanced interrogation program.  He feared the current administration would actually dismantle the CIA's Clandestine Service calling it "the Abu Ghraib effect." He had every right to fear the destruction of the Clandestine Service considering the Carter administration virtually destroyed America's Human Intelligence (HUMINT) capabilities.

The stark and alarming truths about the CIA's enhanced interrogation program were revealed by Mr. Rodriguez.  Every  technique was specifically outlined step-by-step and approved by the Department of Justice each and every time they were conducted on a terrorist.  The program itself was only utilized to gain time sensitive intelligence and provide a "roadmap to capture key Al Qaeda leaders."

The controversial program was not about hurting anyone, but  rather to "instill a sense of hopelessness." In fact, when Palestinian terrorist Abu Zubaydah was captured, he was on the brink of dying due to sustained gunshot wounds.  The CIA brought in one of America's most highly trained surgeons from Johns Hopkins to save his life. That is what the CIA's enhanced interrogation program was about -- saving lives.

But saving lives is not exactly what the current administration believes in. The United States appears to no longer value taking prisoners . Under President Obama's command, the United States increased its drone strikes killing terrorists that include American citizens such as Anwar Al-Awlaki and Samir Khan. He killed these American's without any due process.

To this day, the CIA's enhanced interrogation program remains a topic of debate. As Mr. Rodriguez asked, "how can it be more ethical to kill people rather than to capture them?"  It's incredibly difficult collecting intelligence on the deceased. This is an intelligence dominant war and the capture of high valued targets is paramount. "Take no prisoners" is not the correct doctrine for success.

Many professionals believe we are no safer today then we were a few years ago. Some intelligence and counter-terrorism officials have actually separated from the federal government due to President Obama's constant threat of investigating and criminally charging those who serve on the front lines. As Mr. Rodriguez pointed out, President Obama has "broken the covenant that exists between the intelligence officers on the pointy end of the spear and the government that authorized and directed them to go there."

War is hell. Sometimes unique measures are needed to defeat the enemy. When it comes to enhanced interrogations, Mr. Rodriguez said it best. "We did the right thing for the right reasons and those right reasons were to protect the homeland and protect the American people."

Governor Romney needs to study this interview. Internally, our intelligence agencies have been crippled by years of torment and ridicule under the current administration. An opportunity has been opened and if Governor Romney capitalizes on that opportunity, he can easily defeat President Obama in a national security debate.

Kerry Patton, a combat service disabled veteran, is a senior analyst for WIKISTRAT  and author of Sociocultural Intelligence: The New Discipline of Intelligence Studies and the children's book American Patriotism. You can follow him on Facebook or at

American Thinker

Obama's Epic Green Fail

April 30, 2012
By Warren Beatty

As we get into the campaign season (has Obama ever left it?), some recollections of what President Barack Hussein Obama said and has done (courtesy of Peter Schweizer and Ashe Schow) are both humorous and instructive.  Humorous because you have to laugh at what Obama has said and done to keep from crying.  Instructive because this is what we can expect from Obama (and more) if he gets re-elected.

Peter Schweizer, in his book Throw Them All Out, told us that Obama said that taxpayer money would not be doled out to political friends.  "Decisions about how Recovery Act dollars are spent will be based on the merit," Obama said, referring to the 2009 stimulus.  "Let me repeat that: decisions about how recovery money will be spent will be based on the merits.  They will not be made as a way of doing favors for lobbyists." 

I guess the word "lobbyists" provides Obama with an "out" since none of the CEOs of the green energy companies he backed are registered as lobbyists.  Just like with the last Democrat president this country had, every word uttered must carefully be parsed.  But then, I don't know the meaning of the word "is."

Anyway, Obama was emphatic about how recovery money was to be spent. Schweizer says, the 1705 Loan Guarantee Program and the 1603 Grant Program funneled billions of dollars to alternative-fuel and green-power companies.  The loan guarantees and grants were earmarked for green energy projects, so it is not surprising to learn that these companies were run by liberals.  And guess what!  Eighty percent of the Department of Energy (DOE)'s green loans, loan guarantees, and grants went to Obama backers.  As Gomer Pyle used to say, "Surprise, surprise, surprise."

Schweizer wrote, "... a large proportion of the winners [companies receiving loans, loan guarantees, and grants] were companies with Obama-campaign connections.  At least 10 members of Obama's finance committee and more than a dozen of his campaign bundlers were big winners in getting your money.  At the same time, several politicians who supported Obama managed to strike gold by launching alternative-energy companies and obtaining grants."  How much?  Schweizer continues, "In the 1705 government-backed-loan program, $16.4 billion of the $20.5 billion in loans granted as of September 15 [2011] went to companies either run by or primarily owned by Obama financial backers."

Schweizer further wrote, "The Government Accountability Office (GAO) has been highly critical of the way guaranteed loans and grants were doled out by the DOE, complaining that the process appears 'arbitrary' and lacks transparency.  In March 2011, for example, the GAO examined the first 18 loans that were approved and found that none were properly documented.  It also noted that officials 'did not always record the results of analysis' of these applications.  A loan program for electric cars, for example, 'lacks performance measures.'  No notes were kept during the review process, so it is difficult to determine how loan decisions were made."  (Author's note: based on evidence, we know how loan decisions were made!)

Schweizer concludes, "DOE Inspector General Gregory Friedman chastised the alternative-energy loan and grant programs for their absence of 'sufficient transparency and accountability.'  He testified that contracts have been steered to 'friends and family.'"

So with all that in mind, let's turn our attention to what has actually happened since Obama took office.
  • SunPower, after receiving $1.5 billion from DOE, is reorganizing, cutting jobs.
  • First Solar, after receiving $1.46 billion from DOE, is reorganizing, cutting jobs.
  • Solyndra, after receiving $535 million from DOE, filed for bankruptcy protection.
  • Ener1, after receiving $118.5 million from DOE, filed for bankruptcy protection.
  • Evergreen Solar, after receiving millions of dollars from the state of Massachusetts, filed for bankruptcy protection.
  • SpectraWatt, backed by Intel and Goldman Sachs, filed for bankruptcy protection.
  • Beacon Power, after receiving $43 million from DOE, filed for bankruptcy protection.
  • Abound Solar, after receiving $400 million from DOE, filed for bankruptcy protection.
  • Amonix, after receiving $5.9 million from DOE, filed for bankruptcy protection.
  • Babcock & Brown (an Australian company), after receiving $178 million from DOE, filed for bankruptcy protection.
  • A123 Systems, after receiving $279 million from DOE, shipped some bad batteries and is barely operating. It cut jobs.
  • Solar Trust for America, after receiving a $2.1-billion loan guarantee from DOE, filed for bankruptcy protection.
  • Nevada Geothermal, after receiving $98.5 million from DOE, warns of potential defaults in new SEC filings.
And that's a partial list.  Can Obama and the DOE pick 'em, or what?  And all those bankruptcies have an effect on green jobs that Obama promised.

Adam Jentleson, a spokesman for Senator Harry Reid (D-NV), said, "If projects like this [speaking about Nevada Geothermal] did not contain a certain level of risk, alongside their enormous potential for creating jobs and generating clean energy, there would be no need for the bipartisan loan guarantee program."

Creating jobs?  Generating clean energy?  How are these projects creating and generating in light of all the bankruptcies and reorganizations?  Obama promised in 2008 that a $150-billion investment would generate 5 million jobs over 10 years.  The White House said in November 2010 that its clean-energy efforts had generated work for 225,000 people.  Let's see.  Obama promised 5 million jobs, and as of 2010, 225,000 had been created.  He has some work to do if he wants to keep that jobs promise.

For comparison, "Big Oil" has added 75,000 jobs since Obama took office in 2009, while the wind industry has lost 10,000 jobs since 2009.

Obama supporters say that he over-promised on the jobs front and worry that a backlash could undermine support for his clean-energy policies.  Duh!  You think?

And let's not forget Spain, the model for Obama's clean-energy policies.  Spain announced on April 7, 2012 that they would halt all new renewable energy and co-generation projects.

Because green energy companies can no longer or could not ever attract enough willing investors, Obama and like-minded politicians force the rest of us to "invest" (via subsidies) in them, so we can "Win The Future."  Will Obama's next green energy initiative be named his "Five Year Plan"?

Dr. Beatty earned a Ph.D. in quantitative management and statistics from Florida State University.  He was a (very conservative) professor of quantitative management specializing in using statistics to assist/support decision-making.  He has been a consultant to many small businesses and is now retired.  Dr. Beatty is a veteran who served in the U.S. Army for 22 years.  He blogs at

American Thinker

Obama's Nakba

April 30, 2012
By James Lewis

The Arab word "nakba" means catastrophe.  Because the Palestinians live in an endless self-inflicted catastrophe, they have now been ordered to make "nakba" their word for Israel's Declaration of Independence.

But Jews living in their land is not a disaster for Arabs.  On the contrary, it could be a bonanza if Muslims could ever tolerate Jews, Christians, Hindus, Buddhists, Bahá'ís, atheists, or each other.  Muslim tolerance is on display today in Syria, where Sunnis and Shi'ites are killing each other.  No Arab regime in history has been peaceful for long, because Islam means holy war.

Obama has been working with Samantha Power and Code Pink to undermine Israel.  In that process, at least 20,000 Arabs have died in what the media call the "Arab Spring."  It has turned into an Arab Nightmare.  Twenty thousand dead is a lowball estimate from

This is Obama's Nakba.

It ain't pretty, and it gives the lie to Obama's election-year sucker-play to American supporters of Israel.  Obama adores Muslim radicals, because he believes Lenin's dictum that things have to get worse before they can get better.  Lenin made things worse in Russia in 1917, and they never, ever got better.  Obama is making things worse in the United States by organizing the Occupy mobs.  Occupy is Obama's re-election campaign.  It used to be Hope.  Today, Occupy is Obama-speak for "we'll make you do it."

The principle is the same as Obama's actions in the Middle East.

So Israel and the Arabs won't kowtow to The One?  Well, take this Arab Spring!  And take this demand for Israel to go back to 1949!

Psychiatrists will recognize this behavior as narcissistic rage, parading as foreign policy.  Today the United States is conducting a war of targeted assassinations in Libya, Iraq, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Kenya, Yemen, and probably in Egypt and Syria, but probably not in Iran, the obvious source of all the trouble.

The phony Arab Spring started with the overthrow of Hosni Mubarak of Egypt, our only Arab ally to keep the peace in the Middle East for 30 years.  Obama publicly told 80-year-old Mubarak to get out, and now the Muslim Brotherhood is taking over the biggest Arab country.  But the Moos killed Anwar Sadat, Mubarak's predecessor, for daring to make the only peace treaty with Israel.  The Moos are Muslim fanatics, just like the ones who attacked the United States on September 11, 2001.  The day after 9/11, they were dancing in the streets and passing out candy to celebrate.

Obama has surrendered the Middle East to our enemies.  That follows his religion of third-world socialism, which grew out of Lenin's war ideology.  Obama's bio-dad in Kenya was a third-world socialist, which is why El Presidente wrote Dreams from My Father.  Obama Senior lost a political battle with Jyomo Kenyatta, but Obama still clings bitterly to that old post-colonial socialism.  For Obama, an "organic revolution" is better than moderation.  ("Organic revolution" is what he called it in an argument with Hillary in the White House.)  Just make things worse, and by some miracle they will get better.

Obama is historic -- not because he is our first black president, but because he is the first president who believes in a war ideology.  Abraham Lincoln did not believe in war, and neither did George Washington or FDR.  Normal Americans don't, but Obama believes in class warfare, racial warfare, ideological warfare, religious warfare.  This is Jerry Wright and Louis Farrakhan thinking.  How could it not be?  When you spend 20 years learning at the feet of Jerry Wright, you can't think outside of that box.

Egypt is now in the hands of throwbacks to the 7th century.  Iran and the rest are rushing to get nukes -- it's all organic to Barry.

For sixty years the United States has been the good cop in the Middle East.  We have mediated between Arabs and Israel, and we have accomplished much.

Obama had a huge window of opportunity to knock down Iranian nuclear facilities in the last four years, when Iran had no bomb and no long-range missiles.  The U.S. had the power to do that.  We did it four times in the last twenty years.

But Obama refused.

That window of opportunity has now slammed shut.  If we end up fighting Iran, they will be armed to the teeth, because we lost the chance to pre-empt them.

We are now "negotiating" with Persian rug-sellers in Iran, when they have us at a huge disadvantage.  This is nuts.  It's a formula for surrender.

This is nakba for real.

The liberal PR machine is now working overtime to cover up the truth.  But don't be taken in, please.  The libs are going to announce a phony peace with Iran, just like Bill Clinton announced a phony peace with North Korea.  Bill Clinton won his second term with smoke and mirrors, but the Norks went ahead and made nukes and ICBMs anyway.  Surprise!  Clinton didn't care that they violated promises made to him.  He figured they would anyway, and he could sucker the voters.  And he did.

So expect an "Obama Made Peace in the Middle East!" headline any day.

It'll be Peace in Our Time, which means War -- When I'm Outta Here, Baby!

Bill Clinton had four chances to get bin Laden, and he waved 'em all by.  They were too risky for his political career.  The result was 3,000 dead people in New York City on 9/11/01.  Clearly and obviously Bill Clinton's direct responsibility.  Historians will say it, but our media are too corrupt to see the obvious.

Obama had endless chances to stop Iranian nukes.  He voted "present" on all of them.  They were too risky for his political career.

We don't know what will happen now.  Maybe a miracle.

But the current president of the United States has failed to "protect and defend the Constitution of the United States."  Because the U.S. relies on its friends and allies, we cannot betray them.

The entire civilized world, which depends on us for its safety and security, is watching this drama and coming to its own conclusions.  Japan and Europe will surrender if we do.
The greatest tragedy in history could have been prevented had the civilized world spoken up[.] Each time, in Berlin, Goebbels and the others always wanted to see what would be the reaction in Washington and London and Rome, and there was no reaction so they felt they could continue. So in this place we may ask: Have we learned anything from it? If so, how is it that Assad is still in power? How is it that the No. 1 Holocaust denier Ahmadinejad is still a president? He who threatens to use nuclear weapons to destroy the Jewish state."
Have we not learned? We must know that evil has power. It is almost too late.
-Elie Wiesel to President Obama, April 2012.
American Thinker

Sunday, April 29, 2012

The Flying Car Culture

By Daniel Greenfield

Every now and then a hobbyist inspired by splashy magazine covers featuring art deco cities and soaring vehicles full of the cheerful people of the future puts together a flying car. The result is noted chiefly for its novelty and then everyone moves along because we aren't a flying car culture. From the bottom up we might long to soar above the highways, but from the top down we are a light rail culture, a biodegradable house culture and a guard rail culture.

For the people at the top the flying car should be able to fit in a closet, have a minimal carbon footprint, run on the tears of Third World children and not fly. It should be the sort of thing that you can leave outside a vegan tofu restaurant in Portland in order to shame working class truck drivers. That is if you have to have a car at all, rather than a bike and a light rail pass.

The flying car belonged to an America at a crossroads. A nation tiptoeing between the adventure of innovation and the progressive order of the nanny state. Since then the car has drive to this future that we have now. A world in which we have an expanding poorly managed government that oversees everything and an innovation culture chiefly confined to building a complex social environment within a data infrastructure built on Cold War communications technology. Or as some still call it, the internet.

Flying cars don't have much of a place in a society with emissions standards, mandatory child seats, heavily taxed gasoline and government motor companies. They have even less of a place in one that banned the lawn dart, requires photo ID's to purchase cough syrup and treats toothpaste as a weapon. America has gone from a nation that idealized freedom and treated the car as a vehicle of autonomy to one overrun by central planners still dreaming of the perfect national rail system that no one will use, because unlike its graceful forebears, but like everything overseen by the humanitarian bureaucracy it will be designed to crush the human spirit.

We don't have flying cars for the same reason that we don't any skyscrapers built in the last few decades worth mentioning or moon colonies, monuments, frontiers or anything that a latter day civilization could dig up and admire. There are skyscrapers still going up in American cities, if you haven't heard of them that's because they're self-effacing LEED compliant glass angular shapes that you forget even while you're looking at them. Even their ugliness is not stark enough to commit them to memory.

And of course they aren't very tall. Tallness like flying cars and the ambition to do anything but put out press releases is unsustainable. They do have a sense of the future to them, but an undramatic one, a future in which everything has been done and everyone sits around in glass boxes, pondering the state of their ennui and admiring the architect for putting an unnecessary asymmetrical triangle at the top of the glass box to remind us that the world dies every time we buy non-locally grown produce.

There is still an ambition to make large things. If the Chrysler and Empire State buildings don't make it to the next era, the stone age dwellers of the future can still marvel over the edifices of our countless government offices, temples of stone and steel filling the land, rope lines through which men trudged, in the opinion of future archeologists to participate in arcane rites or perhaps lining up to be human sacrifices. And they won't be entirely wrong.

We still build things, like affordable housing, government offices and memorials to multicultural heroes, we just don't build anything that matters or that lasts. There is no room in the massive fragmented tower of babel for anything but personal ambition and collective ideology. Nothing is made for the ages, we're lucky if most of what we make lasts till tomorrow. 

The vision of bigness that we have is confined to mapping and running a large society. There is no room for individualism within that vision, no towers built to mean something, no vehicles of personal autonomy. It is all about integrating, the endless search for a solution to the puzzle of making all the individual pieces work as perfect cogs in the machine. And that's done by smoothing out the rough human edges so that they all fit together.

There are few personal statements anymore, only approved expressions of social values, even if they come in a grotesque incomprehensible form. Beauty is out, social criticism is in. Making people feel bad with an expression of personal ambition is selfish, making them feel bad with social criticism is good. And since the only people who get it feel good about it, it's all for the greater good of selfishly root out selfishness in others.

We have become a culture run by committees and if nothing ever really gets done, if trillions of dollars are spent and vanish without a trace, that is only to be expected. The innovation that we still have is personal, individual. Apple failed as a company until it brought back the eccentric monomaniacal vision of Steve Jobs, whose neurotic impulses turned it into the biggest company in the world. Its mobile success was driven by the individualistic tinkering of app developers, much like the internet's explosion was made possibly not by Al Gore, but by individual obsessive innovations.

Those obsessions can create a programming language like Ruby or a flying car, but it's much harder to get a society to adopt the latter than the former. Innovation succeeds by outpacing committees who blink in bafflement at it or run to catch up. Had the committees understood what the internet would become, they would have killed it back when that was still possible. But flying cars are easy to kill. In the society that the committees have created, the flying car is a non-starter. The conference attendees sitting around tables aren't plotting to kill the flying car, they're plotting to kill the car.

Flying cars are dangerous. Imagine the accidents, imagine the lawsuits. An elite which panics at a child's drawing of a gun or a new Army recruit illegally drinking a beer is in no shape to cope with a crazy world of flying cars. At least not without a prolonged debate on whether the flying car is a phallic or yonic symbol and how it will impact minority representation in congress, not to mention the obesity epidemic, the self-esteem of gay teenagers and the plight of Guatemalan farmers.

A flying car disrupts the larger scheme of things which requires us to make do with less, to take the carpool lane, not to take to the sky. It distracts us from constantly repeating to ourselves that we are the problem, that the automobile is a pestilent plague and that we are destroying the planet by not listening to our jet setting better's green tips.

Is there any place for a flying car in a low flow toilet culture? Yes there is, as a reminder of what we can't have so long as the latter isn't being flushed along with the entire corrupt lunatic establishment and its single-minded grip on power.

We can't have flying cars and constant media panics. We can't have flying cars and a man in the White House who is determined to reengineer our society by raising the price of energy. We can't have flying cars and regulations on everything. We can't have flying cars and Lawsuits R' Us. We can't have flying cars and the idea that every time we take a breath we are destroying the planet.

There's a basic choice to be made of the kind of society we want. The FDR to Ike to JFK road we have traveled has foreclosed a great many of those options. They turned the fantastic visions of the future into a limited one where we can innovate so long as we do it on our computer and before the legislative window finally closes on the internet.

The science fiction vision that dominates our culture isn't that of the flying car or the spaceship, it's of the apocalypse, a secular armageddon created by our own irresponsible use of technology. The Warmists are nothing more than villagers with PhD's still chasing Frankenstein, except that we are now all Frankie, living in a world where it takes a village to raise a transgender multiracial child and torch the reactionary monsters who still haven't had their criminal brains swapped out for progressive craniums with lower sustainable capacity and an automatic dimmer switch for Earth Day.

A country of flying cars is as terrifying to such people as a plague of zombies or the end of the mainstream media. It's outside the box that is being built around us with every law, every new behavior manual and government mandate. Flying is too much like escaping, taking to the air, out of reach of EPA SWAT teams, hectoring anchormen, bickering congressmen and the entire last days of Rome anthill underfoot.

Escape is a dangerous thing. Even the prospect of it gives people hope that there is a future outside the box. And so we may briefly be allowed to look at a flying car, before we head out with our 3-1-1 toothpaste to the TSA, our health insurance bought, our earphones turned to NPR where there is a discussion on how Republican budget cuts are undermining the traditional Native American art of woodcarving. So long as we don't get any ideas about flying away.

Sultan Knish

Trayvon: 46 Days; Fast and Furious: 527 Days and Counting

April 29, 2012
By M. Catharine Evans

The Attorney General of the State of Arizona should charge the Attorney General of the United States with negligent homicide in the deaths of Agents Terry, Zapata and Mexican nationals.
Sound extreme?

Not really. The government sanctioned program of allowing convicted felons to sell guns to drug cartels without interdiction resulted in cold-blooded murder, yet no one has been charged. Contrast that with the frenzied rush to judgment in the Trayvon Martin case.

The 16-month Fast and Furious investigation has been virtually drip, drip, drip. In addition, the Mexican government has been eerily quiet about gun walking weapons used to kill its own citizens. Congressman Darrell Issa, Chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, keeps threatening to get to the bottom of it and the mainstream media folks won't touch anything not approved by the regime.

But fortunately for us, the Obama administration decided to exploit the Trayvon Martin tragedy.

The barrage of protests, press conferences, high level official confabs and media headlines demanding George Zimmerman's arrest for the shooting of 17-year old Martin provide a sharp contrast to the last year and a half of perjured testimony, media blackouts and stonewalling by the DOJ in the gunwalking fiasco.

AG Eric Holder's minions made the laughable assertion on numerous occasions that Fast and Furious was a "political sideshow and witch hunt." But Rep. Issa and Sen. Grassley's efforts to 'hunt' higher-ups through the rule of law can't even compare to New Black Panther Mikhail Muhammad inciting others to go after Zimmerman and kill him.

Side by side timelines of the two situations bring to mind a recent comment by an ousted Venezuelan supreme court justice now seeking asylum in the United States in exchange for inside info on Hugo Chavez.  Eladio Aponte described what it's like trying to dole out due process in his former country.
"Justice is nothing. Justice is a ball of putty because it can be molded for or against," said Mr. Aponte on the broadcast. "I don't think the [separation of powers] exists."

Sounds like Holder and Hugo Chavez look at justice the same way.

 I. Trayvon Martin: 46 days

(Note: The timeline below from 2/26/12 to 3/21/12 is from Orlando Sentinel)

Feb. 26
Police are called to 1231 Twin Trees Lane, Sanford, after a report of shots fired. They arrive to find Trayvon Martin, 17, shot dead. A press release that night says that "there was an altercation between the two males and shots were fired." George Zimmerman, though not named, is referred to as a "suspect."

Feb. 27
A police spokesman publicly identifies Trayvon and Zimmerman, who is referred to as "the man who fired the gun."

Feb. 29
Police confirm that Zimmerman was "serving in the role of neighborhood watch" when the shooting occurred. Trayvon, police say, "was here visiting friends of the family for the week."

March 8
Tracy Martin, Trayvon's father, holds a news conference in Orlando, calling on Sanford police to arrest Zimmerman for murder. "We feel justice hasn't been served," he tells reporters.

March 10
Members of the New Black Panther Party gather outside Sanford police headquarters to increase pressure on authorities. The party's southern regional minister calls the case a "miscarriage of justice."

March 13
Police complete their investigation, turning the case over to the State Attorney's Office for the 18th Circuit. A spokeswoman promises "a through, deliberate and just review."

March 14
Nearly 400 people, including many influential local civil-rights leaders and pastors, pack the Allen Chapel AME Church in Sanford to call for Zimmerman's arrest. Meanwhile, witness Mary Cutcher tells local a television station that police took only a short statement from her after the shooting and had ignored her calls. "I know this was not self-defense," she says.

March 15
Cutcher appears on CNN. Sanford police issue a statement calling her remarks in the media "inconsistent"with her sworn testimony. Zimmerman's father delivers a statement to the Orlando Sentinel, insisting that his son is not a racist and did not "follow or confront" Trayvon Martin.

March 16
Lawyers for Trayvon's family hold a news conference, once again demanding an arrest. They accuse police of siding with Zimmerman and trying to intimidate witnesses by discrediting Cutcher's remarks publicly.

That night, Sanford police release 911 calls from the night of the shooting. In one call, Zimmerman acknowledges following Trayvon and is told by the dispatcher not to continue doing so. One of the calls received that night also included the sound of screams for help, followed by at least one gunshot. Whether it's the voice of Trayvon or Zimmerman calling for help is in dispute.

March 18
Several hundred gather in Titusville for a rally at St. James AME Church, aiming to prod State Attorney Norm Wolfinger, whose office covers Seminole and Brevard counties, to file charges.

March 19
The Seminole County Sheriff's Office releases additional 911 calls made by Zimmerman in prior incidents. In four, he reports "suspicious" persons in or near the Retreat at Twin Lakes neighborhood.

Meanwhile, a source close to the investigation confirms to the Orlando Sentinel that the gun that killed Martin was fired only once on the night of the shooting, contradicting family attorneys' claims that Zimmerman fired a "warning shot."

The U.S. Department of Justice's Civil Rights Division and the FBI decide to investigate the killing of the Miami Gardens teenager.

Florida Gov. Rick Scott asks the Florida Department of Law Enforcement to offer "appropriate resources" in the case.

March 20
 A girl identified as Trayvon Martin's girlfriend speaks to ABC News. She says she was talking to the teen in the lead up to the shooting. Trayvon, she says, told her "some man was watching him." Later, she said she heard what sounded like Zimmerman pushing Trayvon.

At a rally in Sanford, the NAACP calls for the firing of Sanford Police Chief Bill Lee Jr. The rally was followed by a march to the Sanford Police Department.

State Attorney Norm Wolfinger's office announced a Seminole County grand jury will investigate the shooting, about 12 hours after the U.S. Department of Justice announced that it will review the case for any possible civil rights violations.

Rep. Corrine Brown and Sanford city leaders meet with U.S. Department of Justice representatives.

March 21
A Sentinel investigation reveals new details about Zimmerman's past, including money problems and issues involving domestic violence in a previous relationship.

That night Sanford City Commission votes "no confidence" in embattled police Chief Lee.
Martin's parents attend a 'million hoodie march' in New York City.  Trayvon's father TraceyMartin states "we will not stop until we get justice for Trayon." 

March 23
Angela Corey appointed as special prosecutor by Florida Governor Rick Scott.
Barack Obama addresses Martin shooting in the White House Rose Garden. Relays a message to the parents. "If I had a son he would look like Trayvon." Then says, "I'm glad that not only the Justice Department is looking into it, I understand now that the governor of the State of Florida has formed a task force to investigate what is taking place.

March 24
New Black Panther Party (NBPP) offers a $10,000 reward for the capture of George Zimmerman. Group hands out 'Wanted: Dead or Alive' posters on steps of Sanford City Hall. Also calls for 5,000 black men to organize and search for the Neighborhood Watch volunteer.

March 26
NBPP southern regional director Mikhail Muhammad appears on CNN with Anderson Cooper.  Says when "the people find him [Zimmerman] he may not be alive."

April 11
George Zimmerman arrested on 2nd degree murder charges. Corey holds live press conference. She promises "those sweet parents" she will get justice for Trayvon.  Confirms Zimmerman is in custody.

II. Brian Terry, Jaime Zapata, Mexican citizens: 527 days and counting

November 2009
ATF leadership in Mexico started noticing an "abnormal" number of weapons flowing from Phoenix into Mexico as early as the end of 2009. The guns were being "beelined" straight to drug cartels. Mexican authorities began to seize Fast and Furious guns at violent crime scenes.

Spring 2010
Acting ATF Director Kenneth Melson goes to Mexico; tells Mexican ATF personnel the Phoenix operation is essentially going well. ATF agents in Mexico tell Melson about the high number of weapons found at crime scenes being traced back to Phoenix.

The Department of Justice's Office of Enforcement Operations (OEO) approved wiretap applications in this case signed on behalf of Assistant Attorney General for the Criminal Division DOJ Lanny Breuer.

Summer 2010
Michael Walther, the director of the National Drug Intelligence Center (NDIC), wrote three memos to Holder in which he mentions Operation Fast and Furious.

Lanny Breuer, the Assistant Attorney General for the Criminal Division DOJ met with ATF personnel in Mexico. The agent recalled Breuer said they had "a good case" out of Phoenix. According to the agent's statements Breuer clearly was referring to Fast and Furious.

Concerned ATF agents are told the case would be shut down in August, 2010. 

Nov-Dec. 2010
Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) is contacted by whistleblowers within ATF about the tactics used in Operation Fast and Furious.

December 14, 2010
Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry along with three other agents in Peck Canyon, near Rio Rico, Arizona, encountered a group of five suspected drug smugglers carrying weapons. The lawmen identified themselves as federal agents. The suspects did not drop their guns; at least one of them fired at the agents and fatally wounded Terry.

December 15, 2010
Emails exchanged between ATF agents at 7:45PM confirm two of the weapons found at the scene of Terry's murder were purchased by straw buyer Jaime Avila as part of Operation Fast and Furious.

December 22, 2010
Head of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano attends Brian Terry's funeral in Detroit Michigan. Promises "swift justice for those responsible for his death."

Jan. 2011
Grassley meets with Holder and DOJ officials to discuss the whistleblower allegations. 
U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords is shot while meeting with constituents in Tucson. ATF agents were worried she might have been shot by a gun sold through Operation Fast and Furious. This turned out not to be the case. 

A group supervisor with the ATF Phoenix Field Division told congressional investigators that after the Terry murder agents were nervous. "And then there was a sense like every other time, even with Ms. Giffords' shooting, there was a state of panic, like, oh, God, let's hope this is not a weapon from that case." 
Sen. Charles Grassley (R-Iowa), the ranking member of the Judiciary Committee, writes a letter to ATF Acting Director Kenneth Melson requesting a briefing due to allegations that ATF greenlighted the sale of hundreds of assault weapons through straw purchasers. Two of the guns were allegedly involved in Brian Terry's death according to the ATF whistleblowers

Four days later Grassley writes another letter saying whistleblowers are being targeted by agency.

February 4, 2011
DOJ sends a letter to Grassley; denies that the ATF would knowingly sell assault weapons to straw purchasers and that the agency makes every effort to prevent weapons from going to Mexico. Information in the letter, later found to be false, leads to the resignation of U.S. Attorney Dennis Burke and chief of Arizona's criminal division Patrick Cunningham.

February 15, 2011
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agent Jaime Zapata shot to death while driving on a highway near the northern city of San Luis Potosi. Guns retrieved at the crime scene were later traced to an ATF gun walking operation out of Texas similar to Fast and Furious.

February 23 2011
More than 1,000 Mourners attend Zapata's funeral including Janet Napolitano, Eric Holder and ICE Director John Morton.

CBS Evening News airs its first piece on Operation Fast and Furious that includes interviews with ATF whistleblowers who say they warned supervisors of potential problems
Holder asks the DOJ's Inspector General to investigate Operation Fast and Furious.

March 2011
Holder questioned about the gun walking program by Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison at a Committee hearing.

Rep Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) sends first letter to ATF's acting-director Kenneth Melson requesting documents pertaining to the origin of Fast and Furious and who authorized it. Issues first subpoena on Fast and Furious to DOJ for documents he requested earlier.

President Obama is asked about Fast and Furious on Univision. Says "there may be a situation here in which a serious mistake was made. If that's the case, then we'll find -- find out and we'll hold somebody accountable." 

May 3, 2011
Holder testifies before the House Judiciary Committee saying, "I'm not sure of the exact date, but I probably heard about Fast and Furious for the first time over the last few weeks."

June 15, 2011
The House Oversight Committee questioned ATF agents about the tactics used under the operation and their efforts to stop them. Assistant Attorney General Ronald Weich testified that the DOJ was doing everything in its power to assist Issa with his investigation.

June 29, 2011
Asked about the gun walking investigation, President Obama says he will not comment because the matter is still pending.

July 2011
Melson meets with Issa and Grassley and his personal attorney. The next day Issa and Grassley send a letter to Eric Holder. Recapping Melson's testimony they asserted Melson told them the DOJ was muzzling ATF leadership.  ATF agents had witnessed the transfer of weapons to straw purchasers to third parties without interdiction and ATF agents were operating Fast and Furious under the direction of the Arizona U.S. Attorney's office.

Issa and Grassley release a joint staff report on The Department of Justice's Operation Fast and Furious Fueling Cartel Violence.

August 2011
Holder transfers Melson out of his position as acting director and Arizona U.S. Attorney Dennis Burke resigns.

September 2011
A Friday night document dump reveals communications between ATF Special Agent in Charge of the Phoenix Office Bill Newell who led Fast and Furious and former White House National Security Staffer Kevin O'Reilly. O'Reilly recently assigned to Iraq was not available for comment.

October, 2011
President Obama says he has full confidence in Attorney General Eric Holder on Fast and Furious.

November 8, 2011
Holder testifies before the Senate Judiciary Committee. Blames the lack of adequate gun control laws for the operation. Lawmakers should strengthen "statutory tools" to stop guns going into Mexico. Regrets Agent Terry's death, does not offer outright apology.

December 2011
 Holder testifies at a House Judiciary Committee on December 8. Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner threatens impeachment.

CBS releases report suggesting Fast and Furious linked to gun control. Cites a July 14, 2010 email from ATF Field Ops Assistant Director (later reassigned) to ATF Special Agent in Charge Bill Newell (later reassigned) looking for "anecdotal cases to support a demand letter on long gun multiple sales."
FBI Director denies a third gun was recovered at the scene of Brian Terry's murder.

January 2012
Chief of the Arizona U.S. Attorney's Office criminal division Patrick Cunningham becomes the first Fast and Furious official to plead the fifth. Late in the month he resigns.
Congressman Issa sends 4-page letter to Eric Holder threatening contempt charges if he does not hand over tens of thousands of documents by February 9.

February 1, 2012
Parents of Agent Brian file a lawsuit against the U.S. Department of Justice and its Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms seeking $25 million in compensation for their son's death.

February 2, 2012
Holder testifies before Issa's Committee on Oversight. Denies cover-up, states investigation has become "political." 

March 2012
Los Angeles Times reports federal agents including Phoenix Special Agent Hope MacAllister stopped Manuel Celis-Acosta, the operation's main target seven months after Fast and Furious began and then let him go.
Issa and Grassley send a letter to White House Counsel Kathryn Ruemmler asking to speak directly to O'Reilly.

April 2012
Ruemmler sends letter to Issa and Grassley refusing their request to speak with O'Reilly. Some reports suggest Fast and Furious connection to White House getting stronger after rejection letter.
Congressman Issa and Senator Grassley address an NRA convention promising the investigation will not end until the "full truth" is known and those responsible including Eric Holder are held accountable.


George Zimmerman released on bond, awaiting trial.

No charges and no arrests to date for the killings resulting from gun walking program.

Read more M. Catharine Evans at Potter Williams Report

American Thinker