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05 March 2013



I watched the Krugman/Scarborough debate on Charlie Rose last night. It was gratifying to see someone tell the omnipotent Krugman that yes, debt does matter. It's an argument that my progressive friends can't seem to grasp.

Ryan Mount

It was an interesting discussion, however Joe vs. the NYT wooly bearded potato seemed ill-matched.

But here's what I got out of it:

- The year of long-term debt reckoning is 2025. That's 12 years from now. *12*

- Progressives only care about budget deficits insofar as they are useful in defeating tax cuts.

- When it comes time to unleash government spending, Progressive deficits can be largely ignored.

- Conservatives often take the opposite stance


George, I have a request.  I read your posts, but often I feel like saying, "Lets cut to the chase; if you were elected President and 80% of Congress were Rebane Conservatarians, what would you do in your: a) first 100 days, and b) first 4 years.  (I'm assuming our court system would comply.)  This is your chance to "fix it before it's too late."  Some considerations that come to mind are:

Government - (Bureaucracy, departments, Cabinet positions, etc.)
Commerce - (including type and scope of regulation)
Money - (fiscal and monetary policy, etc.)
Education - (government involvement)
Natural Resources - (Parks, BLM, USFS, management and ownership)
Health Care - (Medicare, Medicaid, Medical, etc.)
Social Security - (the program as well as government involvement in support for the poor, homeless, uninsured, unemployed, etc.)
National infrastructure
Civil Rights
Gun control
.....and anything else you want to address

Russ Steele

Last time the Dow was over 14,000 was July 2007, and George Bush was President. That was then, here is some insight into what has changed:

Dow Jones Industrial Average: Then 14164.5; Now 14164.5
Regular Gas Price: Then $2.75; Now $3.73
GDP Growth: Then +2.5%; Now +1.6%
Americans Unemployed (in Labor Force): Then 6.7 million; Now 13.2 million
Americans On Food Stamps: Then 26.9 million; Now 47.69 million
Size of Fed's Balance Sheet: Then $0.89 trillion; Now $3.01 trillion
US Debt as a Percentage of GDP: Then ~38%; Now 74.2%
US Deficit (LTM): Then $97 billion; Now $975.6 billion
Total US Debt Outstanding: Then $9.008 trillion; Now $16.43 trillion
US Household Debt: Then $13.5 trillion; Now 12.87 trillion
Labor Force Participation Rate: Then 65.8%; Now 63.6%
Consumer Confidence: Then 99.5; Now 69.6
S&P Rating of the US: Then AAA; Now AA+
VIX: Then 17.5%; Now 14%
10 Year Treasury Yield: Then 4.64%; Now 1.89%
EURUSD: Then 1.4145; Now 1.3050
Gold: Then $748; Now $1583
NYSE Average LTM Volume (per day): Then 1.3 billion shares; Now 545 million shares

Just thought you should know. Could it be that many of these change are the result of increased regulations?

More here: http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2013-03-05/last-time-dow-was-here

Ryan Mount

Zero Hedge or: How I learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Fiscal Collapse. Apologies to Stanley Kubrick.

Man I love that site. Anyhow Russ, you left out the best and snarkiest part:

"...that 'we all know it's going to end badly, but in the meantime we can make some money' - ZH translation: 'just make sure to sell ahead of everyone else.'"

Ah, the Casino continues to lure it's victims in. Everyone has been warned. If your (that's the collective 'your') mutual fund takes a crap, we (the collective 'we') can't afford, nor do we have the stomach, for more bailouts.

I would think Mr. McDaniel should agree with that sentiment. Watch 'dem bonds for action.

Joe Koyote

If regulation is such an evil culprit, how is it that the Dow is at record highs? How can the stock market be at record levels when the economy is in the tank for the 86% of Americans who own no stock? This makes no sense unless trickle down economics is a complete farce. The makers have the money but they won't invest in the American people "claiming" regulation is the culprit when the culprit is really greed or some ulterior motive like destroying the government for personal gain. I call that treason. The constant drumbeat of false blame is getting old. The republican party in general and the tea baggers in particular are so out of step with the rest of America as to be laughable. Counting Bill Clinton, the republicans/corporatists were in the White House from 1980 through 2008 non-stop. We are now seeing the results, record corporate earnings while the rest of the country founders. Without new gerrymandered House districts purchased through pouring tons of money into state assembly campaigns that gave the right wing 73 additional seats after the 2010 census, the repubs would be a footnote in history like the Whigs. The only problem is that they have all the money and no new ideas to get us out of this mess of their own creation. Solution.. just blame the other guys and grab all you can on the way out the door. I am surprised no silverware turned up missing when GWB left the Whitehouse.

George Rebane

Fuzz 842am - Thank you for your interest. I've never been bashful in giving readers my 'solutions' in the years that RR has been on the air. Just last January I included this list which launched a very long comment stream.
And here's more
And see also the posts in the 'Great Divide' category for my take on advancing to a more ideal form of our Republic, for example
And from way back when,

re JoeK 1002 - As RR has observed since the bubble burst, everyone in the market thinks that they can get out before the music stops playing. However, that will be a black swan event that will see millions of investors with their tits tightly caught in the wringer. Watashi wa is still keeping and eye on the price of gold and interest rates. I have provided readers a simple formula for calculating the probability of default during an upcoming time interval.


In the past, a few Leftys said that the business exodus from CA. had not much to with laws and regs. passed by the state overlords.
It seems some other LIB states will find how that really works out.
Beretta will pack up and leave for better pastures if the gun laws pass in the state they call home.
The same will happen with Magpul ( maker of those evil high capacity magazines) and take 600 jobs with them. With any luck every employee will move with them.

This is government gone wild. They think they can pass any law they like without consequence. Well,, the are finding out differently.

Kind of reminiscent of IMM. We had the opportunity to bring good, high paying jobs here, but LIBS were happier just to run them off.So now G.V. is crying hunger.
Sorry G.V.,,, you did this to yourself. And now that Ca. has Brown and a majority in both state houses, things will only get worse for us.

YUP,, touchy freely laws have their drawbacks. But you never figure that out till the damage is done.( even when warned of the impending damage that will come.)

Bill Tozer

Mr. Koyote: The Dow and the entire stock market is emotion based forward looking and usually not rooted in reality. Basically, its betting on a horse race and more often than not has little correlation to Main St. at the moment. The nearly unsolvable problems in Europe, the crushing debt, the deficits, the looming costs of Obamacare and its effect on unemployment, the global economic slow down are simply overlooked. These problems did not go away. They did no go slowly into the still deep night. My personal opinion is the investors just got impatient with sitting on the sidelines and figure its time to catch a rally. Read this, if you will, to answer your question about the rally.


Now, the other day on the radio I heard the Republicans might play ball with the White House (raise more taxes) and forget about any more immediate cuts in expenditures solely based on Obama hinting that he will deal with the long term problems facing our debt. That long term solution that needs to be addressed is entitlement reform. STOP THE PRESSES!!!!!!!

I shouted at the radio "Stop, don't fall for it" in a boisterous manner. How dumb does he think we are?? He will gladly pay you Tuesday for a hamburger today. How many times will he promise one thing out of the right side of his mouth and do the opposite out of the left side. If you think for one second that Obama is seriously contemplating long term entitlement reform in exchange for raising the debt ceiling now, then you are dumber than a bucket of rocks and stupider than a fence post. He will just kick the can down the road to get more of the people's money now and spend more now until we are all running to the Great White Father in Washington with our beggar's tin cup in hand.

No pain, no gain. Even the smartest people in the room have been fooled by charm and a bouncy buxom blonde passing by.

Russ Steele

Sequester has got to hurt as we said it would, according to Obama. Details in the Washington Times:

The Obama administration denied an appeal for flexibility in lessening the sequester’s effects, with an email this week appearing to show officials in Washington that because they already had promised the cuts would be devastating, they now have to follow through on that.

In the email sent Monday by Charles Brown, an official with the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service office in Raleigh, N.C., Mr. Brown asked “if there was any latitude” in how to spread the sequester cuts across the region to lessen the impacts on fish inspections.

He said he was discouraged by officials in Washington, who gave him this reply: “We have gone on record with a notification to Congress and whoever else that ‘APHIS would eliminate assistance to producers in 24 states in managing wildlife damage to the aquaculture industry, unless they provide funding to cover the costs.’ So it is our opinion that however you manage that reduction, you need to make sure you are not contradicting what we said the impact would be.”

“This email confirms what many Americans have suspected: The Obama administration is doing everything they can to make sure their worst predictions come true and to maximize the pain of the Sequester cuts for political gain,” said Rep. Tim Griffin, Arkansas Republican.

Read more: http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2013/mar/5/email-tells-feds-make-sequester-painful-promised/#ixzz2Mhfffa6Y


Time to declare a national holiday!!!!! Chavez is DEAD!!!!!
"O" will need to find a new mentor. ( That little twerp from N.Korea?)

Paul Emery

RE Update

No doubt the Dems will pull this off due to the pathetic opposition offered by the Pubbers. Anyone who votes for either "Party" should have their drivers license seized for delusional thinking. These people are dangerous on the highway because of declining mental capacity.

Gerry Fedor

Walt, maybe Dennis Rodman can give our President some pointers on Basketball as he seemed to have played a game and got drunk with "that little twerp from North Korea".....

It just amazes me that we give credence to the worlds little twerps!

Personally I would have liked it if Mr. Rodman would have pulled his underpants over his head, and paddled him!


I didn't even want to "go there" Gerry,, What a crock of.... well you know...
So we had " Hanoi Jane",, so how does "DMZ Dennis" sound? But feel free to find a more
appropriate handle.
I wonder if Dennis loaned that teenage dictator one of his signature wedding dress drag outfits.
Any word on the fate of the losing team after the game they watched? ( back to the rice patties under armed guards?)

Ben Emery

Barack Obama administration is NOT, let me repeat IS NOT progressive in any sense. I am embarrassed and apologize for voting for him despite Obama being my 9th choice in 2008 for President of the United States of America. I knew better but the other candidates didn't give much of a choice. Between Obama vs McCain he was better and McKinney was a former Democrat running in Green clothing. Nader was taking Republican money and Bob Barr was a complete hypocrite of his career as a Republican and the witch hunt after Bill Clinton.

For all that read Rebane's blog please ignore the reasons why he proposes the Obama administration is bad for America. The reasons are pointless and are perpetuating a corporate controlled America. There are plenty of reasons the Obama administration is bad for America.

The Obama administration outright war on whistleblowers, talking on both sides of his mouth on every issue, pro-banking, pro-big business, pro war, pro authoritarianism, pro violating civil liberties, and giving hope for a change in the establishment when all he does is perpetuate the continuation of powers that be.

Ryan Mount

> Barack Obama administration is NOT, let me repeat IS NOT progressive in any sense.

You got that right, brother. And I'm not being snarky, for once. But it's a popular trope to put him in that camp. I suppose it makes it easier to demonize him. I have no idea what the motivation is.

Let's put it another way, if he is a Progressive or Socialist or whatever, he's a very bad one. Like horrible.

Paul Emery

Yes indeed Ben. Obama represents the ruling class very well. There has to be some reason the Republicans are so pathetic when it comes to national elections and the only thing I can think of is that the powers that be do not not want a bunch of foamers running things thinking they can actually change the power structure that runs this country. Seeing Jeb Bush jump off a cliff so early in the game is evidence enough that they have no real desire to win and that the real players are behind the Dems

George Rebane

re BenE's 807pm - It seems that this comment starts out with another typical red herring. There is no proposal here that Obama actually is the progressive he professes to be. And we all know that there are legions (millions?) of progressives out there who definitely see him as one of their own.

I have long held him to have a special agenda for America that puts him into a league of his own. For that I labeled his ideology as Obamunism (see Glossary) and described it in my 15sep12 Union column -

Ben Emery

I will state this again on a key point of your post, regulations. It is big business that pushes regulations more than any other to stomp out medium and small business competition. Only the bigs can afford to comply with the regulations being put forward by the corporate owned big two political parties.

As for the progressive comment.

"The Washington Post reported a WH leak about Obama's 2013-14 operating strategy, and it does not involve making progress on any of the fiscal or regulatory issues.

"The goal is to flip the Republican-held House back to Democratic control, allowing Obama to push forward with a progressive agenda on gun control, immigration, climate change and the economy during his final two years in office, according to congressional Democrats, strategists and others familiar with Obama's thinking,"

George Rebane

BenE 907pm - Ben, sometimes I think you are hopeless, other times I'm certain of it - this one is of the latter case. Your quote is from the Washington Post, a liberal (progressive) newspaper whose editors very definitely think Obama is a progressive.

Yes, if you would ever read RR carefully, you'd know that I have for years promoted the idea that big corporations and big government are in cahoots - recall Rebane's Rule of Capitalism. And regulations to inhibit competition (cost of entry) are their main work product. Big corporations cannot survive without government guns, bet on it. Here's just one sample of the rule.

(And try not to read each post as if it were the sum and substance of my thinking. This is a growing body of commentary over the years containing thousands of articles appended with tens of thousands of expanding comments. The posted commentaries are topical, and no single one captures all aspects of a notion discussed nor my beliefs on the subject. Capice? That's why God invented the TypePad and Google search functions.)

Paul Emery

"Your quote is from the Washington Post"

So George you are going after the messenger not the message. Hmm I thought we've been down that road already.

George Rebane

PaulE 941pm - Help me out here Paul, where am I going after anyone? I'm trying to disabuse BenE of misattributing me as the one labeling Obama a progressive. Do all you Brethren of the Left have problems reading?

bill tozer

All this is getting downright depressing. So, here is a sweet little upbeat tune from our own KVMR's Marc the Money dude

I cannot stress enough you must prepare for what will be the result of severely flawed economic policies coming from central banks everywhere. They have all lost their sense and now print paper to solve non-paper problems. Colored pieces of paper don’t solve anything. If they did, our problems would be long gone but they are almost as bad as they have ever been. Couple that with a new found realization by people everywhere that hard work will be punished through higher taxes, that wealth is bad and is to be redistributed to those “unfortunates”, that to achieve success is to be scorned, and that anything bad that happens to you is somebody’s else’s fault, and you have the recipe for an unmitigated disaster of epic proportions. Society loses its incentive to work, governments grow so large as to consume everything the economy produces, and the people of that economy now sit and wait for government checks. Those remaining producers, those still working, are taxed to death until they themselves go on the public dole.

The only ones getting wealthy are the ones at the money spigots: Washington and its cronies, big lobbying corporations, the military industries which gobble trillions and the banking industry who make money on all of it.

America is falling as foretold by many. Democracy destroys itself because world improvers start improving, the rich are vilified, the middle class is taxed, the lazy get paid to sit home, more labor unions (which exist now just to feed themselves), more perks and pensions, ever-bigger government and criminal-like lobbyist demand continues until the rock is finally bled dry.

No more blood is to be squeezed. As it was once said, the trouble with Socialism is you eventually run out of other people’s money.

Protect yourself, they are coming after your privacy, your wealth, your guns, your gold, even your decency. It is happening America. You are witnessing the fall of Rome. No, we won’t burn to the ground, but America will end up like Britain, a shadow of greatness, once the nation that was the envy of all, now reduced to a blip on world map.

The emerging behemoths like China will be the next in line to inherit the mantle.

In the mean time, look for more government intrusion, higher taxes to “redistribute” your wealth to others in the name of “fairness” and more of you “pay your fair share’ of which that “share” is determined by someone else.

Ben Emery

Here is the problem you and I face. You think your opinion is something we all should take in and remember where I think it is just an opinion of an ideologue. Sometimes you make good points but most times the core opinion could have been lifted from Townhall website.

My comment was based on a product inserted into your opinion piece. I personally don't think it was something that needed to be addressed. I think there are plenty of legitimate reasons to oppose the Obama administration but you continue to make very weak and ideological arguments. Obama has increased military spending, made cuts to spending, put medicare and SS on the table, abandoned labor, expanded fossil fuel exploration within US borders, bombs muslim nations, deported and imprisoned more immigrants than any other president, expanded Patriot and FISA Acts, aggressively going after Bradley Manning, and most likely will approve the Keystone Pipeline. My guess if a Republican president was doing these things you would support it.

Ben Emery

A follow up comment.

Despite my disagreement with your opinions in many case I really do appreciate that you make them in the way you do. Your opinions are shaped by decades of experience and study. I think if we really get into the core values we want for our nation we probably would agree on much more than we disagree. The problem lies is how we achieve the core values and this is where you and I will continue to disagree.

George Rebane

BenE 739am - Fair enough Ben. But as long as you are on RR and debating me, you must needs take in the body of my opinion, as you would debating anyone else with a 'published corpus'. Ideologically I'm pretty much an open book, but you must read it in order for us to make what progress we can.

Ben Emery

Your opinions are all over the map and you can point to one comment or another to match your opinion de jour. I take your opinions in totality because they definitely shape a specific ideology. You'll claim you believe in individual liberty on one comment and then another comment claim you support might makes right because it is based in reality. Individual liberty only exists in reality because those of us who refuse to except might makes right. Do you really think those who control power and wealth would ever willingly recognize individual liberty? Not in a million years and I don't care what side of the political spectrum we are coming. As you correctly point out some of the most brutal modern governments/ nations of individual liberties have been Communist in name. I would argue that in practice they are not following the theory but when giving a small number of people the controls of power it will eventually turn into tyrannical. That is why I am a proponent of democracy despite all of its warts. It is ugly and slow but allows the most people to be in on the decision making, which is the closest form of government to self determination we have come up with to date.

Paul Emery

George when you wrote " Your quote is from the Washington Post, a liberal (progressive) newspaper whose editors very definitely think Obama is a progressive" you did so with the intent of countering B Emery's argument by negating his source.

Ben Emery

Billy T,
Do you realize that the private sector unionize work for is at 6%. So what part of the blame do you give the other 94% of private sector?

Ben Emery

My source to that WP article was RR post Government Iatrogenics. As usual I had to look up the definition of Iatrogenics to figure out George's point. It means unintended consequences or problems caused by the prescribed treatment.

I believe what George is saying that Obama and the D's are creating political theatre to make the R's look bad so they then could implement their socialist progressive agenda. Is that correct George?

Here is the thing both parties live in the theatric mode and governing is a byproduct of the manufactured drama. The problem actual lies in the fact that our society and culture is shaped by the legislation that is passed. Legislation that is a byproduct or iatrogenic of political theatre is the worst form of government because it just stacks more and more onto bad policies. We have decades of band aids solutions on core issues that cause much our ailments. This is how we have tax code that is over 70,000 pages long.

George Rebane

BenE 919am &ff - Ben, you are again treading on thin ice by accusing me of some pretty sleazy conduct in these discussions with "Your opinions are all over the map and you can point to one comment or another to match your opinion de jour." You should either point out my inconsistencies or take your leave from RR.

My free use of 'iatrogenics' was predicated on the notion that readers would all be familiar with that term from my very recent post on Taleb's 'Antifragility'. I think regular readers are used to my lifelong apprenticeship to Buckley's and Churchill's use of and love affair with the English language. A trapping of age perhaps.

Ben Emery

I gave you a perfect example. One cannot be a proponent of individual liberty and agree with the philosophy of "might makes right" because it is based in reality as stated when we were talking about Mexico dropping bombs on US homes from drones in the name of the war on drugs. So which side are you on? Do you believe in individual liberty or do you believe in "might makes right"? You can't have it both ways. I accept the realities of the world but fight back against those I disagree with like the bullsh!# concept of "Might Makes Right". My saying goes "Might Makes Tyranny and Despotism".

I don't have time to go through your shifting ideas but even this post you shifted. You constantly use terms interchangeably such as collectivists, progressives, liberals, and socialists. In this post you insert a WP piece that is there to seemingly prove your point in which the article points out the progressive agenda of the Obama administration. I take offense to the label of progressive being attached to Obama and say so. You then shift and say you aren't calling Obama a progressive. Lets revisit your closing paragraph. I will paste in its entirety so taking out of context isn't an excuse. Just because you refer to Obamunism in your opening sentence doesn't mean you separate it from progressives or socialist. Your final statement once again brings Obama to a socialist agenda with progressive ideals.

So I repeat from my 05 March 2013 at 08:07 PM comment that started our back and forth.

"Barack Obama administration is NOT, let me repeat IS NOT progressive in any sense."

"The current MO of Obamunism (q.v.) is to ropadope the electorate into believing that Obama is sincere about solutions to things like deficits, debt limits, immigration reform, etc. Instead the leak reveals that the administration's strategy is to propose and counter with 'solutions' known to be unacceptable to Republicans from the gitgo, and instead spend their main energy demogauging about Republicans as the gridlock party. The idea is to have the voters be so disgusted with the Republicans by 2014 as to bring both houses of Congress back into the Democrat fold. With the then Pelosi2 regime in the House, Obama will use the remaining two years of his administration to push through a socialist agenda that promises to be the progressives' dream on everything from the environment to gun control. Stand by for ram."

George Rebane

BenE 1108am - Please cite my "might makes right".

Also, you are confused by the taxonomy of ideologies and the fact that Obama's administration can project a progressive agenda (an agenda embraced by progressives) while not having to be a progressive himself (that's why I have defined and given him the label of Obamunist to make that distinction). Were you wider read, you would know that I use the labels - collectivists, progressives, liberals, socialists, communist, marxist, bolshevik, ... - appropriately and follow fairly closely the conventions of right leaning political scientists, economists, and commentators.

Finally, I do maintain that Obama has hidden his ideology as much as he has hidden his past. One plausible reason for this is that neither can stand the light of day in today's America (but then there's always tomorrow). If all this is too confusing, then leave it alone.


Speaking of hidden motives...

""I don't believe people should be able to own guns," Obama told Lott one day at the University of Chicago Law School.

Lott explains that he first met Obama shortly after completing his research on concealed handgun laws and crime.

"He did not come across as a moderate who wanted to bring people together," Lott writes.

After he introduced himself to Obama, Lott suggested that they have lunch one day to discuss their views on guns. According to Lott, Obama "grimaced and turned away." That was the way many conversations with Obama ended, Lott says."

Ben, while often wrong, George is remarkably consistent, not "all over the map". He only seems that way to you because you're not understanding what he writes, in much the same was as the apocryphal three blind men didn't understand the elephant. Your first paragraph at 11:08 is pure straw man, and I doubt you even knew that when you wrote it.

Paul Emery


"I don't believe people should be able to own guns," Obama told Lott one day at the University of Chicago Law School."

Link please

Ryan Mount

The 5th Amendment is being discussed defended on the US Senate floor right now.

This is extraordinary.



Ryan, I have been glued to this (@RandPaul filibuster) all day.

Anyone else think it is crazy that any senator on either side of aisle is fighting Rand Paul on this?! Why won't Obama simply say "we won't allow for the killing of non-combative Americans without due process." Harry Reid hit a new low today (for him that is saying something).

All Rand wants is a promise that non-combative Americans won't be killed by government without due process.

George Rebane

re Mikey 158pm - I think this debate/filibuster puts a finger on what Obama really wants to do with his FEMA Corps and 2,700 MRAPs etc to be deployed across the land. Let's see how the lamestream vs other media pick up on this.


Can't google, Paul?

Here's one, with links to audio of Lott being specific about it last year:

Ben Emery

No problem on the usage of left leaning descriptions. You can use the terms I can disagree.

Here is the exchange on the subject "Might Makes Right"

BenE 158pm - Among nations 'might makes right' is still an operative rule. Mexican UAVs would never make it across the border, they would be shot down over Mexico. Would that the Taliban or Pakistanis or Iranian ragheads could do the same, they would. Next question. 05 February 2013 at 02:37 PM

So lets get back to my example of Mexico. I understand your response as being the truth. What I am also reading is that if Mexico had the ability/ power to send in drones they would be justified in doing so because they have enough might to back it up, am I reading your position correctly?

Posted by: Ben Emery | 06 February 2013 at 08:01 AM

BenE 801pm - You are correctly reading my interpretation of what Mexico would most likely do. And our options then would be to file grievances with the UN,The Hague,..., or correct the situation, or pound sand. That is a reality that will remain as long as there exist sovereign nation states.

Two dicta dominate here: 1) All power grows out the barrel of a gun. (Mao) 2) The pen is mightier than a sword only to the extent that it can motivate the sword. (Rebane)

Ben Emery

So George, which is it individual liberty or might makes right?

George Rebane

BenE 247pm - How did you conclude from my description of how I believe the world operates (existential interpretation), and how I believe it should operate (prescriptive interpretation)? (BTW, thanks for digging this out.)

Paul Emery

Thanks Gregory

It's good protocol to provide links to statements.

So this is what I found


" Economist and author John Lott Jr. makes a shocking claim in his new book, “At the Brink.” According to Lott, President Barack Obama once told him that he doesn’t believe Americans should have the right to own guns. The stunning statement was purportedly uttered during a conversation the two had at the University of Chicago Law School in the 1990s."

So I take it that Rebane contributors can go back in time nearly 20 years or so to search for any quote that might uphold an opinion about a candidate or elected official. This was a candid verbal recollection that Lott brought up years later based on a private conversation. I remember being blasted on this blog when I used Romney quotes from the 90's in my expostulation about Romney being the "Flipper".

George, I believe you responded that it was OK to change your opinion. That we change through time. Are you willing to give Obama that same latitude?

George Rebane

PaulE 406pm - Of course Paul. But please don't take the aphorism in only its first part. The "latitude" that I give is based on the 'flipper' making a reasonable case for his flip. Recall that Keynes said, 'When the facts change, I change my mind. What do you do?' With regard to guns - crime and gun violence has been on a marked downtrend during the last two decades. That should make Obama be even more for widespread legal possession of guns than he was way back when. I await his use of the available latitude.

Paul Emery

Gregory, George

CAn you show me any recent quotes, especially campaign of policy statements from Obama that states Americans don't have the right to own guns ?

Paul Emery


What expanded "widespread legal possession of guns" do you advocate ?

George Rebane

PaulE 450pm &ff - I have never made that claim about Obama, nor do I have a handy reference to back such a claim. Nevertheless, I do firmly believe that the pursuit of Obamunism does require that the population be disarmed so that only the state and criminals remain in possession of ready means of deadly force which must be denied to the large population of law abiding citizens lest they effectively resist the fundamental change which certain elites have in mind for the country.

Re "widespread legal possession of guns" - I advocate the right of every adult American citizen, absent of any record of psychiatric or criminal debilitations, to be able to carry par force firearms with them at any time, concealed or unconcealed. That means into schools, police stations, hospitals, government facilities, churches, etc. Today's laws covering the use and misuse of firearms such as in brandishing, etc are sufficient to prescribe the proper conduct with weapons, and should be enforced to the letter of such laws.

Paul Emery

How do you determine the absence of "psychiatric or criminal debilitation's" without universal background checks?

Also would you include airplanes in the scope of legal places to carry guns concealed or unconcealed?

George Rebane

PaulE 649pm - Have no idea on how it could be accomplished without universal background checks. I believe our hopes for hiding our backgrounds is pretty much gone already - I know mine has been gone at least since I was battalion S-2 of a nuclear artillery battalion in Europe.

And very definitely I would include airplanes as a legal place for as many legal guns as possible.

You see, I believe we are civilized not through the number of constraints forced on our behavior, but by behaving freely in a civilized manner when we have other alternatives at our disposal. It is the proper execution of free will by a free person that makes him civilized, and therefore creates a civilized society in which the Bastiat Triangle of rights is foundational and maintained from the grass roots level. Tyranny has no chance in such an environment. But alas, it does not come risk free, only at the lowest risk of wholesale pain to a society that embodies liberty and opportunity to the largest numbers (technically Pareto optimal).


Good GOD Paul,, can you get any pickeyer? I can point out a few right here
that would fit into that "questionable" category. I will refrain from name dropping.
You do know there is at least one town that made it mandatory to own a weapon, and know how to use it? Now I hear another is going to do the same thing.

So. Riddle me this. If someone is good enough to be allowed to carry a gun on the streets (permit),, why is he magically less responsible in the air?

SO,,, Does "O" have the right to play DICTATOR?

Just dropping a bomb on someone is a great way to keep your personal enemies quiet. Nope,,, don't let them get in front of any camera to talk.
" He was droned for reasons of national security. That's all we can say."
I can actually see Jay the Carney telling that at a press briefing.


Paul, what do you think the chances are that Obama still thinks that the people shouldn't own guns, but just doesn't want to say it out loud?

Perhaps someone in the Washington press corps will ask him about it someday. Perhaps not.

BTW, 1) I doubt I'm the one who razzed you about Romney quotes, and 2) it's apropos now because Guns are on the front burner.

Steve Frisch

Seriously, to think that a second hand quote from a right wing blogger with a book to sell with no corroboration and sourced from the Blaze is a 'fact' is like believing in the tooth fairy because your mama told you so.


The "right wing blogger with a book to sell" was a fellow staffer to Obama at the U of C law school, and if you listen to the audio, you have a first hand account of the conversation.

Really, Frisch, can't you do better than that? How's that campaign to pass DiFi's gun ban going? I remember when announced you were excited to go lobby for it.


"And very definitely I would include airplanes as a legal place for as many legal guns as possible."

George, even if the law permitted it, that would be still be up to the pilot and the owners of the airplane. I doubt they would agree with you.

George Rebane

Gregory 827am - That wasn't the question.

Ben Emery

Ryan and Mickey,

I am 100% support with Rand Paul on this filibuster.

I would support an impeachment investigation of the President on his abuse of power in a number of areas. This is the very scenario why I opposed the Bush administration assault on our civil liberties and overreaching use of force so much. It set the precedent to obliterate the US Constitution without any legal consequences. Now we have D president doing much of the same thing and loyal D voters stay quiet and loyal R voters can't speak to loudly because they would be hypocrites. It works both ways The Bush administration and R's used the Clinton administrations policies on Iraq against the D's during the lead up to the invasion in 2003. When our whole government representatives are complicit then we all suffer the consequences. The Clinton backed and even pushed sanctions on Iraq directly resulted in hundreds of thousands of children deaths in Iraq. The people of Iraq had little to do with Saddam rule. The Kurds tried at the urging of the HW Bush administration to rise up against the Saddam regime only to be abandoned and then suffered the consequences for such an act. HW Bush Ok'd the Iraq invasion of Kuwait. Reagan took Iraq off the terror nation list in the 80's and gave Saddam money, technology, wmd's, military equipment and weaponry to fight the Iranians at the same time illegally selling Iran arms and replacement parts for the military armament build up from US backed Shah that was put in place by a US coup in 53'.

The US military "Might Makes Right" philosophy has created great profit for private industry but did so with the blood and lives our military soldiers and the treasury of the USA.

I am positive the reason we didn't see any investigation into the Bush administration crimes from the Obama administration is due to the understanding his administration would guilty of the same crimes and the second whopper that many of those in the leadership of the D party would be found complicit in the lies leading up to the invasion.


Poking around, I found the following quote on the uchicago.edu web site, on a page interviewing Lott regarding an older UChicago Press book, "More Guns, Less Crime":

“This sophisticated analysis yields a well-established conclusion that supports the wisdom of the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution rather than of those who would limit the right of law-abiding citizens to own and carry guns.… Lott has done us all a service by his thorough, thoughtful scholarly approach to a highly controversial issue.”—Milton Friedman

Yes, just another right wing blogger with another book to sell. I'm sure Frisch expects the quote is accurate and muddying the water was the best he could do.

Ben Emery

What you essentially said in your Feb 5 responses was that if a country has the ability to be the aggressors it is a viable option. This is the reality but it is the antithesis of individual liberty, natural or legal rights. I understand it is the working paradigm but outside of when I was around 14 years old haven't accepted it as the moral or correct paradigm. It appears you seem to be fine with it as long as you are on the aggressor side of the action. When violence is answered with violence it is a genocide pact or perpetual violence. When violence is answered with due process and legal consequences violence can be stopped. We should have treated 9/11 as act of vicious criminals and brought those behind the action physically and in supporting roles to the justice system. Al Qaeda was around 300 strong in 2001 and today there are cells all over the planet due to our immoral and criminal overreaction of holding nations and their people responsible for the actions of a small group.

George Rebane

BenE 937am - Didn't mean to say anything "essentially". The ability to be an aggressor is a "viable option" for a country. It has been so forever, and will continue to be so. That is why countries develop weapons, field militaries, and sign hopeful treaties. Whether we believe in it or not, 'might is right' is the operating paradigm of nation-states. As one of countless examples which I could cite, notice that America is totally at ease with China's and North Korea's murdering of its own civilians by the millions. We neither complain nor prepare to invade, because it is not in our national interest and we don't have the might to prevail. The situation is completely different when we see that our might is up to the task, then we can even fabricate reasons to make its use 'right'. Nations never (seldom?) act on the basis of morals or higher principles, but only to further their interests. And even then they make mistakes. The rest is a charade for the mush-headed sheeple. (Please reread my 252pm.)

Ben Emery

It has to be sophisticated if it is going to prove a falsehood. I am not sure why you guys keep debating gun violence at the level of the weapon. It has everything to do with the environment of the person who is in control of the gun. I am not a proponent of sweeping gun control laws but am a proponent for way more paper trails associated with gun ownership with registration and insurance requirements.

I will play your game for one anecdotal example.

Two drunk cousins are at a party arguing. They both own guns. One cousin has it in his on him illegally and pulls it out and threatens the other cousin. Calm bystanders break up the argument but the unarmed cousin who is hosting the party has guns in a case locked in the house. He is boiling and intoxicated as he sits in his house thinking about the incident. He gets his hand gun with a I think a 15 round clip. He goes back out to the party pissed and ready to shoot. He spots the other cousin and starts shooting. The target cousin runs for cover but in the process the shooting cousin is hitting other people. Eventually after four people are dead and two other people injured someone tackles the shooting cousin from behind. 9/11 is called.

I remember this story when I was in High School of actually happening. I didn't know the people involved. The exact story is probably something different but the general idea is close.

If there are no guns in the house the shooting doesn't occur. If the one cousin doesn't threaten the other with a gun the shooting doesn't occur. Knives could have been used but I have been plenty of big fights where knives were used and never was someone accidentally stabbed or cut that wasn't in the direct confrontation. No I never used a knife in a fight, I mainly fought for fun to prove my testosterone and fighting skill levels were higher. I was young and dumb. The last two or three fights I got into knives and guns were pulled on me one on one. I think being unarmed saved lives or at least serious injuries for one if not both of us.

I took a non violence vow around 20 years ago and haven't touched another human being in anger since. I have defended myself a few times in bar situations and visiting my old stomping grounds in my 20's and have demobolized a couple confrontations in my 30's but nothing in at least 5 years or so. I am activist for non violence and anti war but am not a pacifist because I am not strong enough. Maybe if I keep working on my strength I could become a pacifist.

More guns doesn't make society any safer. What it does is makes the person in control of the gun feel safer.

Peace cannot be achieved through violence, it can only be attained through understanding.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

George Rebane

If that is your only objective, peace is a simple matter to achieve. Just understand that you must submit to whatever demands are made of you, and you will have peace. However, peace must now and then be sacrificed if you instead want to secure your freedom, safety in your person, and your property.


Golly, Ben, I've never taken a vow of non-violence and I've not been in a fight as an adult. Speak softly but carry a big stick.

A few times when a belligerent yelled at me and said he'd kick some part of my anatomy I've calmly said something like, "You've just committed an assault, if you want to follow that with battery, that's your choice" and they thought better of it. I can only guess they thought I might be a cop.

I'm going to guess the cousins in your story, along with many of their fellow guests, had criminal records to begin with, and were just the sort of people that gun laws don't effect in the first place.

Ben, you think all should be forced to buy insurance in order to exercise an individual right secured by the Bill of Rights? Should that just be for the right you don't want others to have?

Ben Emery

The way the US could not support the killing of the Chinese is by not doing business with them but we put profit over people. Maybe you can understand my opposition to our trade and manufacturing policies in oppressive nations if we keep it in this context. I believe in self determination not authoritarianism and we need to use all non violent tools to support the ideals of the US Constitution and the Declaration Of Independence. Forcing ideals at the end of a barrel of a gun isn't the way, by example is the way. Despite the history of the US being oppressive of peoples rights the nation has always moved towards more democracy and more equality and that is what made America great. Unfortunately we have moved to a military empire strategy that makes our country great and what that actually does is makes America just another military empire that will collapse onto itself.

Paul Emery

Recent George quotes
06 March 2013 at 07:13 PM
"And very definitely I would include airplanes as a legal place for as many legal guns as possible."
06 March 2013 at 06:29 PM
"I advocate the right of every adult American citizen, absent of any record of psychiatric or criminal debilitations, to be able to carry par force firearms with them at any time, concealed or unconcealed. "

Does that mean anybody who passes some kind of background check has the right to strap on a couple of six guns unconcealed and board any airplane?

Also how do you propose someone like Jeremy Goulet from possessing guns. He apparently had the right to do so under current law. In your view should this law be changed?

" There are new questions about how the gunman who killed two Santa Cruz police officers legally owned firearms.

Jeremy Goulet had been arrested multiple times for sex-related crimes, including an arrest for rape in Hawaii. He also served time for misdemeanors in Oregon.

But according to our media partner, the San Jose Mercury News, Goulet was still able to legally buy a gun. Federal law prohibits anyone from owning a gun who has been imprisoned for more than a year. Goulet served two one year sentences consecutively.

His name also did not appear in two criminal databases because he was charged only with misdemeanors.

Loran "Butch" Baker and Elizabeth Butler were gunned down Tuesday while they were interviewing Goulet as part of a sexual assault investigation...... "

George Rebane

BenE 1051am - Actually, it turns out that as we started doing more business with China, their murder rate dropped dramatically to where today it's a trickle to what it used to be. The same has happened with other countries with which the US has been able to start a commercial relationship. And, of course, it's gone the other way also. Hmmm, maybe we're on to something here.

Then there is Bastiat's observation that if goods don't cross borders, armies will.

George Rebane

PaulE 1059am - Now you seem to have backed off effective background checks and their enforcement to "some kind of background check", interesting. I stand by what I said - and how about upping it to three guns and large magazines if the airline's carry on baggage rules accept it. Of course, in such situations, I suspect the airline will have the final say. But if it prohibits guns on its planes, then it must provide for the safe storage and return of such guns when the passengers disembark. But we're getting a little far afield as you again search for your red herring.


"Federal law prohibits anyone from owning a gun who has been imprisoned for more than a year"

No, it forbids ownership by people who have been found guilty of a crime punishable by imprisonment of more than a year. Think felony.

Ben Emery

Man George you are really scrambling over the last couple of days trying to justify your hypocrisy. China is always in the top violators of human rights on the planet. I find it odd you would take the word/ data from a oppressive Communist government on murder records.

What a land of opportunity and prosperity

George Rebane

BenE 222pm - Hypocracy?! Your copy has reduced itself primarily to accusations and name calling Ben. Is there any hope of a return to substance?

Paul Emery

So Gregory can you think of any way to keep legal guns out of the hands of people like Jeremy Goulet?


Paul and Ben.. Hear the war drums from N. Korea? That's what happens when you show weakness, and not doing anything when one is attacked. We have yet to retaliate for the last 911 attack in Libya. "O" is nutless in that respect.

The ball is in your court. What should we do? Put that sawed off, snot nosed kid in his place? Or give him the spanking he needs?

Remember. We are technically still at war with N.K. after all these years.
If we invaded N.K. tomorrow, we would be well within the law. ( even international law and the rules of war)

So.... what would you guys do? ( This should be fun to read...)


So Paul.... Can you think of a way to keep MJ out of the hands of our children?
( or any other drugs for that matter)


Paul 4:19, if you can accept a police state there's all sorts of things one can do to make sure you restrain potential criminals before they can do something bad.

The Minority Report solution could do OK with the right people and the right mutants, but you need the right mutants to start:

Outside of science fiction, less of a reliance on plea bargaining down below the felony level to reduce judicial workloads would be a rational step.

George Rebane

Walt 439pm - Excellent and timely question. I'm also interested in their answer and sincerely hope that they don't send their cricket corps to respond to another tough one.


Where guns are concerned, the gun laws should be the same nation wide.
Just like our driving laws are. No special this or that.
The 2ND should not be allowed to be watered down at the state, county, or city level as it is today. That goes for the rest of the Bill of rights as well.

And yes, if someone wanted to own a fully functional tank, or any other common weapon of war, he should have that right.( and are legal in many states already) As long as it's used and fired in a safe manner. It's not any different than you having to drive your car in a safe manner every day.( If you don't,, you will KILL somebody)

A car can be just as dangerous as a gun in the wrong hands.
People plow head on into an oncoming cars all the time. But we don't say much about that. The victims are just as dead.

So add this to the list of "How will you" questions..

Ben Emery

First off the US never declared war on North Korea. As for the threat North Korea put out into public this week, I would say Congress should take it serious and debate whether or not to take military action with a declaration of war. The US has all the justification to defend itself against such a strike.

That being said North Korea has some valid grievances with the US and the last 60 years. Not that dropping a nuclear bomb on the US is justified but it is understandable for them to have such hatred towards the US and its foreign policies.

Bill Tozer

As long as we owe China our left nuts and our first born, we won't do anything about North Korea. China has us by the gonards and if China says don't mess with Little Jung, our State Department says "Yes masta, yes bossman."


Just what school of higher idiocy did you graduate from?
Did they teach you that it was an "illegal war" too?
You do realize we have troops on that DMZ? and they have been there for a VARY long time? You do know that U.S. BLOOD has been shed on that soil?

Just what are you smoking? "we can defend ourselves against an attack".. Really?
I do believe we did that in the Gulf, and your bitching about that today.

And judging by the rest of you looney tune comment, your an enemy sympathiser as well. There is NO justification for their "hatred" since we have been giving money and aid to them for YEARS. And if we stopped such aid, people like you would bitch about that as well.
How about all that aid we still give China? We barrow from them at a price, just to give it back for free. Lib Thinking at it's best.

Paul Emery

Neighborhood tanks, six guns on airplanes (unconcealed) How far do you go?

Ryan Mount

How long would I have to wait at the DMV for a tank permit? (Come to think of it, the driving test would be a literal blast.)

That's all I really care about as my spirit is easily defeated by bureaucracy.

Paul Emery

Good one Ryan

Paul Emery


Continuing our conversation.

In your view should a Jeremy Goulet be allowed to drive around with a machine gun mounted on the roof of his SUV?


Even in a state that allows automatic weapons, Jeremy Goulet wouldn't have passed the heavy duty background investigation, Paul, and all you're doing here is a ridiculous reduction to the absurd that has no relationship to reality.

Paul Emery

Jeremy Goulet passed all requirements to own the guns he used to kill two police officers. Walt has expressed that there should be virtually no limits on possession of virtually any "par force" firearms so my question concerning
Walts view is entirely appropriate.

Paul Emery

Oh yes

"Minutes after Tuesday's shootings, police broadcast to other officers that Goulet had three firearms legally registered to his name. That indicated that the guns were legally purchased in California, since Oregon has no firearms registration. Witnesses told Santa Cruz County sheriff's deputies that he had sold two of the three handguns at some point. He used the remaining gun, a Sig Sauer .45-caliber semi-automatic handgun, to kill the officers."


George Rebane

re Jeremy Goulet shootings - while you folks sort this one out, it pays to keep in mind that no set of gun regulations keeping them out of the hands of the bad guys or the mentally deficient will stop 100% of such shootings. Chasing down the Goulet shortcomings will lead to some pretty silly comments unless that reality is recognized. In your deliberations you may want to consider that Goulet was an outlier.


Step back and away from the bong,,,Paul,,,,... If a nut wants a gun, he will get one. Just go back down to your old stomping grounds of Berkeley and see for yourself. Every banger on those streets is probably packing, and dollars to donuts has a great rap sheet longer than your ponytail. Ask them where they got theirs.

The heavy artillery is actually licenced through the Feds, and the paperwork and fees are mind boggling. That why only people with big money has'm.
For 375 grad, a Walker Bulldog can be yours. ( Not legal in the state of Ca.) That's what one went for last year.

Big Sandy gun shoot is in a couple of weeks over in Az.
If I went, I would probably sign over my house just to
burn through it's value in ammo by noon of the first day.


Just for the record.
My Uncle was a cop, killed in the line of duty.
He was killed with his own gun.

But do you see me blaming the gun? I blame the
piece of human filth that did the killing.

Paul Emery


Do you think regulations restricting ownership of a Walker Bulldog should be lighted up to allow more people the ability to have one in their garage and use as a "par force" weapon if necessary?


What ever Paul, And to answer that loaded question, YES! And just for the sake of argument, lets say I have one out in the barn. As long as I do so in a safe manner, let the big dog bark once in a while. It sure would be a hit at the fair.
Just think of cars that would be volunteered for use as target practice. That would beat cash for clunkers any day.

We have loose cannons on the streets as we speak. Their called drunk or drugged drivers. We have laws for that too. Does that stop them?
They are worse than a loaded gun, and kill more often. And correct me if I'm wrong, but haven't we had a lot more deaths by drunks in cars than with guns here locally? This place is as good as any to use as an example.

And do you have any idea of how much one shell for that tank would be??
So you can bet it wouldn't be shooting vary often.

And my neighborhood would not be in anymore danger than they are with the pop guns I have today.

And name an incident in any of those states that allow possession. Any crimes committed with those heavy weapons in private hands? I haven't heard of any,, have you?
Or should those be outlawed under the reasoning of " someone might"?
That seems to be the usual line to pass another law.

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