By: Chad Kent
Chad Kent Speaks

Over the weekend I had an e-mail exchange with someone about my post on concealed carry. He agreed with me that self-defense is a right recognized by the Constitution so the government has no authority to prohibit someone from carrying a weapon. It’s not something like scuba diving – he continued – since that activity isn’t in the Constitution the government can absolutely ban it.

And that’s where he has a fundamental misunderstanding about the nature of our government.

Our Constitution was written from the perspective that the government did not have the authority to do anything unless that power was specifically granted by the people. That’s why you’ll notice that – with few exceptions like bills of attainder and ex post facto laws, etc – the Constitution focuses only on what the government can do instead of what it cannot do.

It wouldn’t make any sense for the Founders to write a Constitution forbidding the government from taking actions they didn’t believe it had power to do in the first place. That was one of the arguments against the Bill of Rights – why do we need an amendment to prohibit the government from banning religion when it wasn’t granted power to ban religion in the first place?

So no. The federal government doesn’t have the authority to ban scuba diving either – unless there’s some obscure scuba diving clause I’m not aware of.

This is a really critical point – we have to get out of the mindset that the government can do anything it wants unless it has been prohibited somehow by the Constitution. If this country is going to survive long into the future, we have to see the Constitution from the perspective it was written from: the government has absolutely no power until that power is granted by the people.


China, Japan Minuet Around the Issue of Rare Earths

By: John C.K. Daly of Oil Price

It’s official – China’s de facto monopoly on current rare earths production is a threat to the global economy.

As least, that was the gist of hearings on 21 September by the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Asia and the Pacific.

Center for a New American Security fellow Christine Parthemore ominously intoned, “Reliable access to critical minerals is a matter of both economic and geostrategic importance to the United States. Today, no minerals are more troubling to U.S. security and foreign policy than rare earth elements. Supplies are concentrated mostly in the hands of one supplier with its own rising demand, and the United States today has no good options for recycling rare earth minerals or substituting more easily obtained minerals. Even more important to the current circumstances, the United States possess rare earth reserves that will be economical to produce, which will be an important means of mitigating the foreign policy challenge surrounding rare earths while creating domestic jobs.”

Not that the West should have been blindsided, as in 1992 China’s former Premier, Deng Xiaoping commented, “The Middle East has oil. China has rare earths.”

In 2010 the Chinese government cut its rare earth export ceiling by 40 percent from their 2009 levels, causing prices to skyrocket, earlier this year reaching the dizzying level of over $100,000 a ton.

Japan has taken the most interesting approach to resolving the supply dilemma. While a number of Japanese companies have relocated some of their production facilities to China to avail themselves of guaranteed access and lower rare earth prices, the Japanese government just announced that it will supply about $3.9 million in a subsidy to major motor manufacturer Nidec Corp. and three other firms that are working to reduce the use of rare earths.

The obvious solution?

Dig baby dig, to paraphrase Sarah Palin.

As for the rest of the industrialized world, Molycorp, Inc. President and Chief Executive Officer Mark A. Smith told the subcommittee that his company, the Western Hemisphere’s only producer of rare earth oxides and the largest rare earth oxide producer outside of China, is ramping up production at its Mountain Pass, California facility and hopes to be able to cover the bulk of U.S. rare earth usage, currently running at 15,000-18,000 tons per year, by the end of 2012.

According to a new report from Illinois-based Technology Materials Research LLC, sufficient rare earth sources exist outside China to compensate for its recent export cuts as early as 2013 for some elements. Rare earth mining is now proceeding at sites as far afield as Estonia, Mongolia, Australia and Malaysia.

Accordingly, the sudden spasms of fear in Western capitals about Chinese rare earth export policies remain largely a tempest in a teacup. The Western response in the short term should be a judicious mix of conservation and expanded production. After all, there are a number of former rare earth mine sites in the U.S. alone that were abandoned years ago as unprofitable due to low prices – at $100,000 a ton, such is obviously no longer the case.

Furthermore, some analysts believe that if the Chinese economy continues to boom, within the next several years China could itself become an importer of some of the more exotic rare earths.

As for the possibility of a nation becoming totally self-sufficient in rare earths production, we’ll leave the final word to Molycorp’s Smith, who told his congressional audience, “It is important to note that there may always be some rare earths that the U.S. will need to import from other nations.”

Source: http://oilprice.com/Metals/Commodities/China-Japan-Minuet-Around-the-Issue-of-Rare-Earths.html

By: John C.K. Daly of Oil Price


Russian Propaganda Station Supports US Protestors

By: Trevor Loudon
New Zeal

Kremlin propaganda station Russia Today is openly supporting the tiny, but growing wave of anarchist/socialist/communist led protests currently building across America.

In true Soviet style, the Russians are trying to spin the actions of a few leftist malcontents as the beginnings of a mass movement against the existing American social order.

From the Russia Today website:

Cops might be cracking down on Occupy Wall Street protesters in New York City, but activists are now bringing their big-bank bashing across the country with demonstrations springing up from coast-to-coast.

More than a week after protests began in Lower Manhattan, the Occupy Wall Street movement is moving, well, off of Wall Street. Both Los Angeles, California and Chicago, Illinois have both hosted demonstrators in the days since the first protest kicked off in New York, and now dozens of more locales across America are expected to be swarmed upon by citizens sick and tired of corrupt corporations and financial institutions run amuck by mismanagement and greed.

Within the next few days, occupation-style protests like the one happening in Liberty Plaza Park, Manhattan are expected to occur in Washington DC, Lexington, Kentucky and San Francisco, California. Elsewhere organizers are laying down the groundwork to soon wage demonstrations in cities like Omaha, Birmingham and Philadelphia, as well. Occupytogether.org has started up as an online hub so that like-minded individuals that have had enough of the corrupt ties between K Street and Wall Street can launch protests across America.

We will only grow stronger in our solidarity and we will be heard, not just in New York, but in echoes across this nation,” writes a post on the homepage of Occupy Together.

This past weekend, Occupy Los Angeles demonstrators led a march through the streets of LA to show their solidarity for their East Coast brethren. On Saturday, Californians will come together again and march to City Hall, hoping to pull in the support of thousands. Occupations in New York are expected to continue as well.

Even if the number of protesters in Los Angeles pale in comparison to the thousands that have gathered in New York for the same cause, that isn’t to say that the message is any different.

“Corporate interests seem to be controlling both parties,” one protester out west says to laactivist.com. “The ‘little man,’ the ‘American every man,’ just isn’t getting their voice heard. When you need $35,000 to donate to a campaign to get your voice heard, to have a meeting, that’s not democracy.”

In Chicago, what began as a small group of only four demonstrators grew to 20 over the weekend. Some of them have stayed camped out in front of Willis Tower. On Friday, they marched to the Federal Reserve Bank to rally there. Occupy Together shows that demonstrations are expected to continue in conjunction with the NYC rallies throughout the Windy City.

Dozens have been arrested for participating in peaceful protests since the Occupy Wall Street demonstrations began earlier this month.

Who says the Cold war is over? Moscow wants to bring America down as much as it ever did. The weaker America gets economically and militarily, the more aggressive the Russians will become.

It’s a propaganda war now, but that is not how it will end if the Kremlin has its way.

Americans need to wake up to these facts. Fast!


Elections? Nah!

By: Trevor Loudon
New Zeal

From Big Government

Speaking to a Cary rotary club today, N.C. Democratic Gov. Bev Perdue suggested suspending Congressional elections for two years so that Congress can focus on economic recovery and not the next election.

“I think we ought to suspend, perhaps, elections for Congress for two years and just tell them we won’t hold it against them, whatever decisions they make, to just let them help this country recover. I really hope that someone can agree with me on that,” Perdue said. “You want people who don’t worry about the next election.”

The comment — which came during a discussion of the economy — perked more than a few ears. It’s unclear whether Perdue, a Democrat, is serious — but her tone was level and she asked others to support her on the idea.

“You have to have more ability from Congress, I think, to work together and to get over the partisan bickering and focus on fixing things. I think we ought to suspend, perhaps, elections for Congress for two years and just tell them we won’t hold it against them, whatever decisions they make, to just let them help this country recover. I really hope that someone can agree with me on that. The one good thing about Raleigh is that for so many years we worked across party lines. It’s a little bit more contentious now but it’s not impossible to try to do what’s right in this state. You want people who don’t worry about the next election.”

Great logic Bev. Josef Stalin, Mao Tse Tung, Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini didn’t have to worry about elections either. Look at the great things they achieved for their countries!


Communists Back Obama’s “Jobs Bill”

By: Trevor Loudon
New Zeal

Sam Webb, national chair of the Communist Party USA, held a national teleconference with Party members, September 27, “on the fight for jobs.”

The purpose of the call was to boost support across the nation for party “friend” president Barack Obama’s proposed Jobs Bill.

The communists understand that while not as far reaching as other proposals, the president’s plan would still bring a bonanza of money and influence to the party and its allies.

Just as the Communist Party took over and shamelessly milked FDR’s Works Progress Administration in the 1930s, Sam Webb’s crew plan to exploit the various make work and “Green Jobs” boondoggles proposed by Obama.

The following is Webb’s recent article in PeoplesWorld.org on the fight for jobs and role of the left.

The American Jobs Act is the leading edge of the jobs struggle. It is the ground on which millions can be drawn into the fight to create jobs and rebuild the nation’s infrastructure.

The AFL-CIO is embracing and promoting it. Others will come on board too as the jobs campaign gathers momentum.

The Jobs Act, introduced by President Obama in a well-crafted and passionate address to a joint session of Congress, is not as far reaching as some other jobs proposals. The plans put forward by the Congressional Black Caucus, Progressive Caucus, AFL-CIO and Rep. Jan Schakowsky, D-Ill., are more ambitious, and we recognize that they contain more in-depth solutions. But the hard fact is that none of these stand a chance of congressional approval given the current balance of forces in Congress, and in the House in particular.

The president’s proposal does. The various provisions in the act appeal to a broad constituency, including political moderates in both parties.

Even for this plan the going will be tough. The Republicans, while initially making conciliatory noises, are determined not to give the president a positive record to run on. They figure a president with no accomplishments, especially in a period of crisis, will not be returned to office.

Both Sam Webb and Barack Obama are being good Leninists here. The communist influenced Congressional Progressive Caucus, Congressional Black Caucus and Democratic Socialists of America supporter Jan Schakowsky have all put forward “better” but essentially unwinnable proposals.

The communists and the president both understand that it is better to make “moderate” demands and win, than to make more openly socialist demands and lose.

Just like the health care battle, the President and the communists got much of what they wanted, but not all. They were both willing to compromise rather than risk losing everything.

The strategy is simple. Pass what you can. Open the door. Consolidate your gains. Come back for the rest later.


Media Kill Truth in Death Penalty Coverage

By: Cliff Kincaid
Accuracy in Media

Charles Lane must be one of the loneliest people in the newsroom of The Washington Post. A member of the editorial page staff of the Post and occasional guest on the Fox News Channel, he dared to put his name on a column in the paper that carried the headline, “Troy Davis was guilty,” a reference to the convicted cop killer executed by the state of Georgia but who was declared innocent by the “progressive” community.

Davis, who had been convicted of the murder back in 1991, acknowledged he was at the scene of the crime but claimed that he didn’t pull the trigger.

But wait. Didn’t we read in the Post that “all but two eyewitnesses recanted” their testimony against him? That’s what Post reporter Sandhya Somashekhar put in her September 22 story about how the case was expected to shape a debate over the use of capital punishment.

We should hope that the case helps shape a debate about the need for our media to report facts and not the lies and myths of those trying to abolish the death penalty. Charles Lane has begun that debate.

Amnesty International used a variation of the claim, insisting that “all but two of the state’s non-police witnesses from the trial have recanted or contradicted their testimony.” So the Post distorted the matter even beyond what Davis’s apologists were saying.

Lane pointed out that Chief Judge William T. Moore of the U.S. District Court in Savannah, an appointee of President Bill Clinton, convened a hearing in June 2010 to look into the matter and that Davis’ case “crumbled” under scrutiny. He explained, “Davis’ lawyers declined to put two of Davis’ purported recanting witnesses on the stand, though they were available—one even waited outside the courtroom. Judge Moore quite logically found these omissions ‘suspicious.’ Davis’ lawyers did not call the ‘real’ shooter; nor did Davis, with his life on the line, testify. Perhaps this reflected his experience at trial, where he told his story to the jury, and the jury did not believe it.”

Lou Arcangeli, a retired deputy chief of police for the Atlanta Police Department, has offered his own view on media coverage, saying, “This case demonstrates that when a lie is unchallenged and repeated often enough it comes to be taken as fact, and truth is lost in the fog of time. The facts of Officer Mark MacPhail’s murder, and the trial that convicted Davis with its legally admissible facts, have been lost in the blitz of social media and news media misinformation.”

Going beyond this general criticism, he singled out “the lies of CNN and other television companies.” He explained, “It is an inflammatory lie when Anderson Cooper on CNN states that there is no physical evidence against Davis. The court record states that after killing Officer MacPhail, Davis fled to Atlanta, blood was found on his clothes and numerous eyewitnesses repeatedly testified to his actions that night.”

The false claim about “no physical evidence” linking him to the crime was picked up by scores of media reports.

Arcangeli noted that Savannah police officers and the Fraternal Order of Police posted the facts about the case online. The claim that “Seven of the nine non-police witnesses against Davis have recanted their testimony or contradicted the story they told in court” is listed as myth number one. But this was just one of several myths or lies about the case perpetrated by groups that used the Davis case in their campaign against the death penalty.

Another myth was the one cited by Arcangeli that “There was never any physical evidence tying Davis to the murder for which he was convicted and sentenced to death.”

The truth:

“A bullet that was removed from the jaw of a man who was shot by Troy Davis earlier in the day was compared to a bullet removed from Officer MacPhail. The ballistics matched!

“During the latest Pardons and Parole Board hearing a Georgia Bureau of Investigation ballistics expert was present to testify about this evidence.

“Bloody ‘spotted’ clothing was removed from Davis’ house after he was named as a suspect. Because of the way Troy was standing above Officer MacPhail when he executed the officer he would have received a faint splatter of blood (because Officer MacPhail was on the ground most of the splatter would have been dispersed out along the ground and not upward).”

Amnesty International had listed several political and religious leaders and groups in support of clemency for Davis.

Incredibly, in the case of the Pope, it was reported that his U.S. envoy, Monsignor Martin Krebs, had sent a letter in 2007 claiming that the Davis conviction “was not based on any physical evidence”—the same falsehood that has been circulating for years.

On CNN, the prosecutor in the Davis case attacked the claim that witnesses had seriously “recanted” and also questioned Pope Benedict’s intervention. He said, “This is not something I had previously thought the Holy See had expertise in, that is to say, Georgia’s evidentiary rules.”

Spencer Lawton, the former Chatham County prosecutor, said, “There is the legal case, the case in court, and the public relations case. We have consistently won the case as it has been presented in court. We have consistently lost the case as it has been presented in the public realm, on TV and elsewhere.”

He said he had a policy of not commenting on “pending cases” but decided to speak out after the parole board denied clemency and Davis’s execution was set for September 21.

Davis’s lawyers couldn’t even find one member of the U.S. Supreme Court to vote that day to stay the execution. The application for a stay of execution “is denied,” the court said.

The point bears repeating: not even one liberal or “progressive” justice on the court would go along with the ploy.

Troy Davis and his media groupies lost. But their campaign is not over. We now have to be on the look-out for their next manufactured and orchestrated case.