Saturday, June 29, 2013

Psy/op war emerges in stark relief at Hasan trial

The Arab Quarter of the Old City in Jerusalem. Step back in time 2000 years - and listen very carefully.

Ft. Hood – A visit to the courtroom where Major Abu Nidal Malik Hasan will answer for the ultraviolent deaths of 13 unarmed soldiers and the wounding of 32 others means discomfort, cramped seating, and very poor audio quality.

In this game of psychological warfare, carried out on a world-wide electronic stage, exactly what is said is much more important than what you see, the images being so easy to manipulate, distort, defocus, obscure. Besides, no cameras or electronic devices of any kind are allowed inside – even cell phones. Stand-up television reports are made from a remote location nearly a half-mile distant.

The big screen televisions in the “digital courtroom” where overflow spectators are seated carry an image in the darkest mahogany tones of the courtroom furniture. They are images that remind one of a Rembrandt portrait, out of which swim the illuminated faces of the military judge and the court reporter seated at a bench one row below her. A small corner of the rail around the witness stand is visible, upon which someone placed a box of Kleenex tissues.

The voices of the defendant, his standby counsel, and a trio of high-ranking Army prosecutors come through crisp and clear over closed circuit video in a darkened room in building remote from the courthouse, the blinds drawn against the vicious onslaught of the heat of the summer sun, and the message they carry is laden with legal jargon, abstruse and obscure to one without legal training or a lot of courtroom experience – except for vivid, isolated moments of extreme clarity.

As the Article 39, pre-trial hearing came to a close on Thursday, June 27, just such a moment passed in the blink of an eye.

Col. Tara Osborn declared that she expected to hear a plea from Maj. Hasan the following Tuesday, June 2 – guilty or not guilty.

“If you choose not to enter a plea, I will enter a plea of not guilty for you.”

And then, the moment was gone.
A Palestinian arrested by Israeli police on the national
holiday, Jerusalem Day, June 6, 2013

In less than the blink of an eye, that unblinking eye of the video camera passed over the moment as just a sliver in time - something the judge had earlier in the proceeding described as “an endless series of still images.”

These images she instructed prosecutors to somehow “redact” when it comes to the blood and carnage of the crime scene video they plan to show prospective jurors who will be seated and questioned in groups of 12 during the process of selection, and in their opening statements in this long-awaited trial, which is expected to begin as a case in chief on August 6.

That moment flashed fire, an intense, diamond-hard, brilliant light that bored into the mind's eye like the rotating beam of a massive lighthouse. It blazed for a millisecond, then revolved into the endless spiral of time, but it left a very, very clear impression of the Islamic holy war of terror and one of the chief tactics its commanders practice.

Hasan has steadily refused to enter a plea of not guilty, knowing that if he does nothing, We The People, represented by The Army of The United States of America, will oblige both he and the cause of jihad and tell the world, in no uncertain terms, that he is not guilty. Certainly, for in American, secular jurisprudence, one is considered not guilty until it is so proven to a jury of one's peers.

The doctor, a psychiatrist by profession, and by extension a licensed practitioner of the art of healing through the study of human behavior and the skillful application of therapeutic prescription and treatment, is performing on a global stage, prompting his enemy, “the Great Satan,” as the Imams and Mullahs of theocratic nations of Islam term our republic, to assert his innocence at every twist and turn of the legal process.

It is a process of reaching the ultimate goal – his execution for the cold-blooded, premeditated murder and attempted premeditated murder of unarmed soldiers standing in line, all hurried up and waiting for the Army to ship them overseas to fight in what the former Commander-in-Chief, President George W. Bush, once referred to as a “Crusade.”

The prize, the target, the key to the struggle – is aa clear and present control over the clear and present danger of loss of control over an entire region rich in petroleum reserves, and the security of the trade routes by which this precious commodity is shipped to markets in the west.

And there you have it. Thus, the reason for all crusades in that area of the world, century by century, is and has always been control over certain commodities and the security of the trade routes by which they are brought to markets in the west.

Cultural anthropologists and certain ecclesiastic authorities seem to agree that Herod the Great was actually an Arab, a monarch of a nation that is today fighting for recognition. It is called Palestine. Jesus was a claimant to the throne of Israel, a direct heir of David, whose son Solomon erected the Temple of Jerusalem, the Holy of Holies. Destroyed not once, but twice – once by the Persians, secondly by the Romans, the last remnant of that temple remains at the Wailing Wall, which is surmounted by the Dome of the Rock, an Islamic mosque.

The State of Israel had no sooner declared its independence in 1948 following a favorable resolution of the United Nations Security Council than the Arab world attacked. Since then, Israel has never waited around for an enemy to attack. Its chief defensive strategy is the practice of pre-emptive, surgical strikes at key offensive targets – always. It's the national defensive posture.

When the Jordanian Army began lobbing artillery rounds into the West Bank in 1967, the Israelis attacked on June 6. On the June 7, they declared a victorious return to the holiest of holy sites in their world, Jerusalem. And thus, the Arab Quarter of the “Old City” became a part of the new capital of Israel.

As a Palestinian-American, Dr. Hasan is clearly sending the message each time the military police roll his wheelchair into the courtroom that he considers himself not guilty of murder, that he is a soldier, performing a holy duty. Jurors will hear ample evidence of his convictions when extensive e-mail correspondence with the Mullah Anwar Awlaki, an Islamic Imam whose hyphenated American citizenship was of the Yemeni lineage.

A native American citizen, he defected to the homeland of his parents, where American forces targeted him last year in an unmanned aerial vehicle rocket strike as he rode through a desert in that nation. He previously served as a mentor and teacher of Islam to Maj. Hasan at an Arlington mosque during Hasan's psychiatric residency at Walter Reed Army Hospital.

Maj. Hasan relies on the highest commanders of his enemy, his own nation, in which Army he still holds the rank of a commissioned officer, to declare his innocence. It is a classic psychological warfare operation – one for the books.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Hasan tried to block testimony about shooting, killing pregnant woman who begged him to spare her child's life

Victim, 21, begged, “My baby, my baby!”

Ft. Hood - Prosecutors and Major Abu Nidal Malik Hasan, who is defending himself in a general court martial for capital murder and attempted capital murder of multiple victims, agreed on most items of evidence to be presented during examination of prospective jurors and opening statements - except one.

Private First Class Francheska Velez, a 21-year-old member of the 15th Combat Support Battalion from Chicago, pleaded that he spare her life because she was pregnant.

As the former Army psychiatrist took aim at her with a 5.7 x 27 mm FN Herstal semiautomatic pistol during a shooting rampage that left 13 persons dead and 32 wounded on Nov. 5, 2009, Private Velez screamed, “My baby, my baby!”

The Major shot her anyway, ending her life and the life of her unborn child. She had reported to the Soldier Readiness Center that day to make ready for deployment overseas.

Private Velez is one of the few - or perhaps the only - American soldier ever to be cut down by a combatant while pregnant.

Major Hasan had entered a motion in limine to block prosecutors from mentioning that fact to prospective jurors during their questioning of fellow Army officers during voir dire proceedings, and during their opening statements.

“The prejudice outweighs the probative value,” he told Col. Tara Osborn, the military judge who is detailed to hear his case.

After a long pause, she spoke firmly and with a high degree of resolution.

“I believe it is probative. It is part of the res gestae,” the judge replied. “The motion in limine is denied.”

Res gestae is a Latin legal phrase originated during the 17th century. It is defined as “The acts, circumstances, and statements that are incidental to the principal fact of a lititgated matter and are admissible in evidence in view of their relevant association with that fact.”

Judge Osborn ruled that prosecutors may not refer to the Mullah Anwar Awlaki as an addressee of e-mails Major Hasan sent on his laptop, though they may present evidence gleaned from the instrument.

The Mullah and he discussed the need for religious jihad in retaliation for acts of the American military in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The Major offered no objection to the admissibility of the e-mails or of other evidence contained on his laptop.

He did object to the possibility that van drivers transporting the prospective jurors to the courthouse might discuss the case with them.

Col. Osborn assured him that all drivers and other servants of the Court will be admonished not to discuss the case with prospective jurors, and that if anyone attempts to do so, she will have previously instructed them to report that fact to her immediately.

She also asked Army prosecutors to look into the possiblity of redacting redundant images of the bodies of the deceased victims in video they intend to present to prospective jurors and in their opening statements.

Major Hasan indicated he had no objection to the video images.

The Court will reconvene next Tuesday, Julty 2, to review witness lists and other materials prior to the beginning of jury selection on July 9 and the case in chief of the trial on August 6.

At the July 2 court appearance, Major Hasan will enter a plea, unless he chooses to forego the choice between guilty or not guilty.

"If you choose to not enter a plea, I will enter a plea of not guilty for you," Judge Osborn told him as she adjourned the court session for the day.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Neocon knives out for Senator who led filibuster

Bosque County Chairman Janet Jackson
Bosque County – A top GOP organizer and State Republican Executive Committeewoman is targeting Democratic Senator Wendy Davis of Ft. Worth in retaliation for her epic filibuster that broke the abortion bill Tuesday night.

Sen. Wendy Davis, D-Ft. Worth
Janet Jackson is also Bosque County Republican Chairman, and is known for a militant stance in unseating more traditional Republicans in the ranks of her own party.

A community organizer, she has led efforts to fill Precinct Chairmanships in counties throughout Senate Republican Executive Committee 22.

She teaches neoconservative activists how to register people to vote, conduct poll watching on election days, hold precinct conventions, and become elected Republican Party delegates.

She has also been in open combat with other GOP county chairmen, most notably Joe B. Hinton, a retired Mobil/Exxon Vice President who headed McLennan County's GOP organization.

In an e-mail distributed Wednesday afternoon, she told a select list of addressees, "This is the Senator (Ms. Davis) that we need to unseat in 2014. She represents Senate District10, just to the north of our Senate District 22. Remember this action when we ask you to join us for block walks and phone duty to unseat her in the upcoming election."

The Democratic senator held out in a filibuster for 11 hours before Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst suspended the floor action, calling for a vote on an anti-abortion bill that would have severely curtailed abortions for women of low and moderate income. At that point, an angry mob of people roared their disapproval, delaying the vote until past midnight, when the Special Session ended.

One may read a previous report here:

500th executed since Texas death penalty reinstated

Huntsville – Just as the sun set, Texas executed a woman who borrowed a cup of sugar from her next door neighbor in 1997, then beat her to death with a hammer and sliced off her finger with a buthcer knife to get her diamond wedding ring.

Kimberly McCarthy's execution for the murder of retired Dallas psychology professor Dorothy Booth at her home in Lancaster had been delayed for years. She is the 500th person executed since Texas began the practice anew in 1982 after legislators re-wrote the penal code to conform to an appeals decision regarding its constitutionality.
Dorothy Booth

The latest delay came on April 3 when her lawyers requested more time to prove jury selection in the case was flawed because of racism. There was only one black juror on the panel that sentenced her to die for the brutal murder.

Ms. McCarthy always said a couple of other crack addicts did the killing, but there was never any evidence they even existed.

Police caught her at a crack house where she had driven in the victim's automobile after pawning her diamond wedding ring. At the time, she was smoking the drug that led her to her deeds, which included two other brutal murders in which she allegedly beat one victim to death with a meat tenderizer, the other with a claw hammer.

In all three cases, evidence showed that the victims died after being attacked with kitchen implements obtained at the scene.

Similarly, prosecutors proved Ms. Booth lost her life after an attack with a hammer and a butcher knife that the killer carried out in the kitchen after the elderly victim invited the visitor inside.

The mother of a Aaron Michaels' child, Ms. McCarthy lived on death row for years, awaiting her date with the needle. He is the founder of the New Black Panthers.

One may read a previous report by clicking here:

'What are we attempting to achieve here?'

Little Elm cop pays a courtesy call on open carry advocate
Murdoch Pizgatti
Little Elm, Texas - Murdoch Pizgatti is a founding member of Don't Comply, an open carry advocacy group that is demonstrating to other Texans that it is not illegal to carry a long gun openly in this state.

He is also a principal organizer of Come and Take it Temple, a June 1 permitted march through the streets of Temple with assault rifles that was held in support of Sgt. C.J. Grisham, an Army Master Sergeant who is facing a legal battle for carrying an assault weapon in a manner intending to alarm.

He planned to take a stroll through his neighborhood near Lake Lewisville, north of Dallas, his AR-15 unloaded, a chamber flag showing, when two officers paid a visit to his door recently.
Chamber flag inserted in an assault weapon

He caught  a full acount of their visit on a chest-mounted GoPro video camera. 

A sergeant of the Little Elm Police Department said there is no way you can carry a weapon openly without alarming someone. He guaranteed Mr. Pizgatti he would arrest him if he did so.

He also said he would arrest him for jaywalking or running a stop sign - anything that is illegal

He said, Little Elm is one of the safest cities with a population of more than 25,000 in the state. 

"We didn't do that with everyone walking around showing their guns."

Mr. Pizgatti took his stroll later, unmolested by the Little Elm Police, who did not arrest him.

GOP anti-abortion bill fails in final 10 minutes

Sen. Davis wore pink tennis shoes throughout the ordeal
'Peoples' filibuster' halts final vote

Austin – Changing the rules to suit the desires of conservative legislators failed utterly as a legislative tactic in an 11th hour showdown just minutes before a special session was scheduled to end debate of all legislation called for by Governor Rick Perry.

Pandemonium erupted in the Senate chamber and in the rotunda of the capital building as Republican leadership tried to take a final vote on an abortion bill that would have effectively ended the free choice of low and moderate income women to terminate their pregnancies in Texas.

Had the law passed, many women would have faced long journeys to clinics outside state boundaries or across the border in Mexico.

Roe v. Wade, a U.S. Supreme Court decision handed down 40 years ago, allows women the right to choose in privacy, with the help of their doctors, to make such a decision without interference from legal authorities or opposition from religious or moral “counselors.”

Following nearly 11 hours of filibuster, Senate President David Dewhurst, the Lieutenant Governor, ruled that Sen. Wendy Davis, D-Ft. Worth, had erred in three times straying off topic in trifling ways he and the GOP leadership deemed sufficient to halt the filibuster.

When he tried to call for the final vote, an angry mob of protesters raised so much hell, shouting "Shame, shame," it was impossible to proceed to the legislative business of making women travel very long distances to arrange surgical procedures that would end their pregnancies past a newly imposed limit of 20 weeks.

The resulting chaos left Republican stalwarts huddled around the President's rostrum in the east, attempting to hear each other talk, while the clock ran out at midnight.
DPS troopers strong arm an elderly woman out of the gallery

Though a vote was taken, it did not occur prior to the expiration time of the special session. Mr. Dewhurst said that would preclude enrollment of the bill. "It's over," he said. "It's been fun." He and others predicted the Governor will call another special session.

Senate rules call for a filibustering member to remain on the topic of the legislation on the floor and to remain standing, without leaning or sitting, with no food or water, and without visiting a lavatory for the duration of the filibuster.

All these things the Senator did, but on two occasions she mentioned topics that the Lt. Governor deemed unsuitable, including the budget of Planned Parenthood and a sonogram bill the legislature passed in 2011. Both of those topics are considered integral to the matter of a woman's right to choose, in the minds of opponents of the Republican legislation.

In a third case, she accepted help from another member in trying to adjust a back brace she was wearing.

Mr. Dewhurst decried “Occupy Wall Street” tactics that foiled his attempt to bend the rules in the favor of the Republican agenda.

Supporters of the abortion bill vowed they would prevail upon Governor Rick Perry to call another special session that includes passage of the same bill, or a similar bill.

If passed, it will limit abortions to the first 20 weeks of a pregnancy, require abortion providers to maintain the same kind of equipment a surgical theater uses in a hospital, and require doctors to have admitting privileges at an accredited hospital located within 30 miles of the location of the abortion clinic.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Analysis - How Michael Hastings died in a fiery car crash

Abortion bill: The Senator wore pink tennis shoes

Filibuster of 13 hours to end at 12 am

Bulletin: After slightly more than 9 hours of filibuster, Senate President Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst suspended the filibuster when he decided Sen. Davis had strayed off the topic. Democrats immediately moved to vote on the abortion bill and are at this hour - 10:45 p.m. - debating the matter. - The Legendary

Austin – As State Senator Wendy Davis, D - Ft. Worth, stood in pink tennis shoes making opening remarks in filibuster to stall passage of a Republican effort to severely limit abortions in Texas, a man stood in the gallery and shouted, “Abortion is genocide!”

DPS Capital Troopers quickly ejected him from the chamber as the liberal Cow Town political personality termed “consistently badass” by the bright lights, big city tabloid, the Dallas “Observer,” began to read into the record testimony of abortion providers, doctors and patients who sought to terminate their pregnancies.

Democrats chose Senator Davis to perform the marathon session, which requires a Senator to stand without leaning or sitting, until midnight because she gave birth the first time while she was still a teenager.

Her mission is to delay a vote on the Senate floor until after midnight today, Tuesday, June 24, when a special session called by Governor Rick Perry ends.

It's an issue that has seen a successful bloc of liberal Democrats in both houses coalesce against a Republican desire to limit the opportunity to end unwanted pregnancy, a strategy carried out in open defiance of a GOP majority that seems ill-prepared to resist in this special session.

Governor Rick Perry added the abortion bill to the call at nearly the last minute; according to knowledgeable observers, that put a severe crimp in prospects for Republicans to pass what Sen. Davis has termed “a raw abuse of power.”

Lawmakers waved coat hangers on the floor of the House of Representatives throughout debate on Sunday, June 23, before voting the bill out at 4 a.m. in a tense session of purposeful foot-dragging delay.

They argued that women who seek abortions would be forced to visit such violence-prone Mexican border communities as Nuevo Laredo, Matamoros, Reynosa, and Juarez.

The bill did not reach the Senate floor until 11 a.m. the following day, on Monday, June 24.

If it passes, the bill would ban abortion after 20 weeks of pregnancy and force many clinics that perform the procedure to upgrade their facilities and be classified as ambulatory surgical centers. Doctors who perform the controversial procedures would be required to have admitting privileges at a hospital within 30 miles. That has been called “a tall order in rural communities.” The borders of Texas are nearly 800 miles apart, east to west, and north south at their lengthiest distances.

Some isolated, rural Texas counties have no hospital.

The filibuster if successful will probably take a heavy toll on the GOP agenday by blocking other bills regarding transportation funding for toll roads and changing criminal sentencing guidelines to allow judges to sentence children younger than 17 to life terms in the penitentiary.

At present, judges have only the option to sentence those 17 or older to a life term if convicted of capital murder.

Family suspects murder of Clifton woman - DA refuses to release autopsy report to Legendary

Staff member objects to 'angry' readers

Meridian – The family of a Clifton woman who died mysteriously in a county jail cell here on May 4 suspect she was murdered.

Interviewed over the weekend, she said, “We're waiting on the autopsy report.”

When District Attorney B.J. Shepherd released an autopsy report on what he has termed a jail house suicide by hanging, he only gave the information to certain media outlets, all of them located in Waco.

The Tarrant County Medical Examiner's Office released the information on Monday, June 24, that April Troyn died in a manner consistent with hanging and ruled her death a suicide.

She was found “unresponsive” in a cell where she had been alone on May 4 following an arrest for child endangerment – apparently.

The information as to what offense authorities booked her for, or exactly when she was processed into the jail, has been ruled confidential under the orders of Texas Ranger Jim Hatfield, according to Justice of the Peace Ray Ballman.

The judge also declined to release any of the findings of the autopsy he ordered, saying he is acting on the advice of the Bosque County Attorney, who gave the Ranger's pending investigation as a reason.

He referred further inquiries to Ranger Hatfield. Ranger Hatfield is unresponsive to phone calls.

A staff member of the DA's office who would identify herself only as “Dena” said she would not accept an open records request for information about the autopsy because the readership of this blog appears to be “an angry crowd.”

In fact, she said, she can tell from reading the things I have written that, “You appear to be an angry person.”

She declined to state her name, saying only that, “You'll not report any quotes from me in your report.”

Questions remain in the matter, such as the condition of the decedent's neck. Was it chafed or bruised? Forensic medical examiners make a thorough examination of the neck in a case of hanging. If no clear evidence is found, they continue to look for another cause of death.

In cases of hanging, the hyoid bone, a small u-shaped formation that is not connected to the skeleton but only to certain muscles in the neck which are located under the tongue, is usually not broken.

In cases of stangulation, it is often broken, according to standard texts on forensic post mortem examinations. There is usually evidence of broken blood vessels in the eyes in cases of strangulation. The autopsy revealed only that the manner of her death is consistent with asphyxiation, according to published reports attributed to Mr. Shepherd.

No official report is available to other media outlets.

In an interview, Ms. Troyn's sister Christina Morgan said she and Ms. Troyn's other sisters examined her body prior to her burial and found no bruises or markings on her neck.

They found only markings on the left side of her back.

“It looked like she had been beaten,” she said. “I feel that my sister was probably murdered.”

For further information on what is known about Ms. Troyn's death, one need only click the links located below:

Sunday, June 23, 2013

The 'national conversation' on domestic arms buildup

Members of Open Carry Temple on an evening stroll through Belton

Taking 'weapons of war' from civilians?

Most people had never seen or heard of an MRAP (Mine Resistant – Ambush Protected) vehicle until the cops on April 19 fanned out through the Boston suburb of Watertown following the bombing of the Marathon race on April 15.

If the revelation on Feb. 15 that the Department of Homeland Security had placed an open purchase order for 1.6 billion rounds of small arms ammo didn't get America's attention, the spectacle of Ninja-suited SWAT troopers storming peoples' homes, making them get out of their houses at gunpoint while looking for guns and a fugitive suspect bomber who killed a cop, woke up a sleeping nation – wide awake.

The massive ammo purchases and the deployment of heavily armored cars for the use of police agencies under the command of DHS has become a hot topic in the nation's business press.(click)

Of 13,000 such vehicles manufactured for the Marine Corps for service in Iraq and Afghanistan by SAIC on an International Harvesters chassis at a cost of $600,000 apiece, 2,717 are available to domestic police and state cops as well as FBI and other alphabet soup agencies. The transfer is overseen from a Marine command based at Quantico, Virginia.

Or is it? One wonders. Consider the fact that in IED blasts, underbody mine attacks, and small arms fire, troopers usually survive what they would not survive in a Hum-Vee – or the ubiquitous Toyota pickup truck.

The ninjas are snapping them up for their concealed gun ports, turret topped machine gun tubs, v-shaped hulls that deflect shrapnel, and heavily armored bodies and undercarriages – all of which is proven to at least mitigate IED, mine and ambush tactics.

The Pentagon claims the massive armored cars have saved 40,000 lives since they were deployed in 2007.

They are suddenly a very visible presence in the inner cities and suburbs of America at standoffs from Oakland, where the FBI deployed them in pursuit of illegal arms at known redoubts of the Black Panthers, to West, Texas, where federal investigators treated the site of a massive chemical blast and fire at a fertilizer company as a crime scene.

In terms of civil war or massive insurrection, the MRAP's will offer the homeland security forces a way to counterattack, mop up pockets of resistance, and support air-directed assaults by planes, choppers and Unmanned Aerial Vehicles.

C'est la guerre.

  • The Legendary

Friday, June 21, 2013

An ugly, but persistent idea, long past its prime

National Guard-Militia schism scary says the rumor that the Justice Department has served 14 state governors with National Security Letters is just that – a rumor.

How would anyone really know? I guess we'll all have to ask Rick Perry, see what he says.

If you get one of these National Security Letters, it's as serious a federal offense to reveal the very fact you received it as whatever you've been accused of doing.

Says so right there in the “Patriot Act.”

The rift?

The 14 states, and they include the old Confederacy as well as Minnesota and a few others, have formed State Defense Forces, citizen militias that report to the Governor only, unlike the National Guard, which must mobilize under the Army when the President so orders.

What makes it such an ugly idea is that not only is it not illegal for Governors and legislatures to form these outfits, it's a hangover conflict from a particularly stupid and obtuse period of American history, the events that led up to the Civil War, otherwise known as The War of Northern Aggression, or The War Between the States.

It was America's bloodiest war.

Under the provision of 32 U.S. Code 109, it's totally legal for a state to keep troops other than National Guard.

One need only click here to read the federal law:

In the dark days that led to secession and total war, National Guard units from the Confederacy paid no mind to the federal bugle call. Their top commander, Gen. Robt. E. Lee, was Chief of Staff of the U.S. Army. He resigned his commission when federal troops crossed the Potomac to invade Virginia. So did most of the lesser ranks from the Confederate States. They stayed true to the Old South, fought against all odds, usually without pay or sufficient grub and clothing.

That act made General Lee a war criminal when it was all over. Unlike the troopers he commanded, he was not released, pardoned or paroled in the treaty of surrender he signed with General U.S. Grant.

General Grant refused to accept his proffered sword when he offered it, and he allowed General Lee's men to keep their mounts and carry their rifles home because he knew of the extreme privation they and their families would face in the times to come.

The Old Dominion made Gen. Lee a sinecure to keep him for the rest of his life, as President of the University of Virginia. His home place at Arlington was confiscated and turned into a burial ground for federal troopers who lost their lives fighting the Confederacy.

The graves come all the way up to the front porch of the Custis-Lee mansion.

The honest truth is, you can see that on a clear day if you look hard enough through the French doors of the Oval Office, just look across the river and maybe put some glass on it. You will see that, clear as a bell.

The confiscation of the Arlington place was only a more genteel, refined form of turning a town and its homes into a “Chimneyville,” as federal troopers did throughout the Old South.

The sad truth is that Gen. Lee lost his civil rights in his valiant struggle to sell the U.S. its victory at the highest possible price.

But the ugly story about the state militias and the National Security Letters for governors has been around the blogosphere since 2010, according to the folks who track these things.

It just keeps on repeating itself, like a chant in the minds of sons and daughters of a once-defeated nation.

They're mighty nervous about the fact that the President and Vice President have said time after time that they will seek to take “weapons of war” out of the hands of Americans through executive order, if not by federal legislation, or constitutional amendment.

I ran across this alarming story about state governments resisting an imminent federal invasion and resulting martial law again, big as Dallas, just the other day in a posting right near a new Facebook page dedicated to a group that insists on open carry of long guns - simply because there is no law in Texas against such a practice.

In fact, they stroll through the streets of Temple and Belton every evening around dark thirty, “unmolested” by police, and their presence is starting to have some effect, according to their accounts. The bad folks seem to melt away like snow in June when the militia shows up carrying AR-15 assault rifles on their evening stroll.

That's why a lot of sober-sided people who man inside-the-beltway think tanks advocate the formation of more such citizen militias, organized under the provisions of the U.S. Code and the laws of state governments, to operate as force multipliers.

Please, don't stop the carnival!

Simultaneously, there is some forward motion in the area of the sacrosanct security of National Security Letters, though it resembles the start-stop-three steps forward, two steps Conga-line back progress of the typical Mardi Gras parade.

A San Francisco U.S. District Judge has managed to just haul off and outdo herself; she's ruled both ways on the same subject.

It's unconstitutional, she said in one case back in April. Should not be done that way.

Just recently, she reversed her opinion, holding that it's okay to issue such letters.

Both Google and and outfit called the Electronic Freedom Foundation are challenging the NSA, FBI, and other federal alphabet soup combinations on their use of the letters to spy on peoples' preferences, phone calls, text messages, bills, and e-mail.

Other information services and phone companies, server farms and internet service providers seem to have no particular problem snitching on their customers. Patriots, one and all, no doubt.

Here is a run-down on the rising use of National Security Letters, published this week by “The National Journal.” (click)
Keep your powder dry, y'all, and save your wheel weights and auto batteries.

Never know when you'll get a shot at a squirrel – or a wild hog, for that matter - and there's a need for biscuits and gravy each and every morning, as you all well know.

  • The Legendary, a real finger-popping daddy'o from The Bayou City

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Whatever happened to the $700 billion bailout?

Good Question...

Bailout Recipients (Detailed View)
We're tracking where taxpayer money has gone in the ongoing bailout of the financial system. Our database accounts for both the broader $700 billion bill and the separate bailout of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.
For each entity, we provide a “Net Outstanding” amount, which shows how deep taxpayers are in the hole after accounting for any revenue the government has received (usually through interest or dividends).
Companies that failed to repay the government and resulted in a loss are shaded red. You can see a list of those investments here. All other investments either returned a profit to the government or might still be repaid. Recipients of aid through TARP’s housing programs (such as mortgage servicers and state housing orgs) received subsidies that were never intended to be repaid, so we don’t mark those as losses..
Note: Subsidies are listed separately from the investment programs. So, for instance, Bank of America is listed twice – both as a mortgage servicer and as a bank.
Total disbursement
Total returned
Total revenues from dividends, interest, and other fees
Total net to date

Look up your favorite bank, if  you're in the mood.

- Reprinted from
For the full database, click here: