Lying through statistics.. Mexican gun trade

USA today: “Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives records show 90% of the weapons recovered and traced originate from a growing number of sources spanning from the Northwest to New England.” and this “2,000 weapons a day”

California Sen. Dianne Feinstein: “It is unacceptable to have 90 percent of the guns that are picked up in Mexico…come from the United States”

Diane Sawyer: “95 percent of the guns used were out of the United States. What is the U.S. going to do to stop the guns from getting there”

William Hoover, ATF: “there is more than enough evidence to indicate that over 90 percent of the firearms that have either been recovered in, or interdicted in transport to Mexico, originated from various sources within the United States.”

Lies Lies and more Lies…

The source of this is supposed to be…
The (ATF) reports that more than 90 percent of guns recovered in Mexico are traced back to the US.

Here is the full text from the report. You will also see the “2,000 a month” statistic in context.
From FY2005 through FY2007, ATF traced just over
11,700 firearms recovered by Mexican authorities, and approximately 90% of those
firearms were traced back to the United States. In January 2008, ATF announced
that e-Trace technology would be deployed to an additional nine U.S. consulates in
Mexico (Mérida, Juarez, Monterrey, Nogales, Hermosillo, Guadalajara, Tijuana,
Matamoros, and Nueva Laredo). The number of traces performed by ATF for
Mexican authorities this fiscal year, FY2008, has increased markedly. For example,
from March 10 to April 9, 2008, ATF has traced nearly 2,000 firearms recovered by
Mexican authorities, as compared with the 11,700 firearms traced over a three-year
period, FY2005-FY2007.

This is what it should have said.
The (ATF) reports that more than 90 percent of the traceable guns returned to the US have been verified as originating from the US. Due to new offices and advancements in technology, we were able to trace 2,000 guns last month.

See the difference? “of the traceable guns returned” You see not all of the guns recovered in Mexico are returned to the US. Why would they be, if you see Russian, Korean or Chinese markings on them? And not all guns returned are traceable, many would have been sold on the black market or without serial numbers.

Special note: Notice that the 90% reference does not overlap 2008 and therefore does not include the new volume. It is pure supposition to assume that the new offices and new technology will result in the same statistic. An interesting exclusion from the report?

So all this statistic tells us is that the Mexican authorities are right 90% of the time when we can trace it back. So what percentage of the guns recovered in Mexico are sent to the US for tracing? Based on overall numbers complied by FoxNews : 32%. And what percentage of guns sent to the US for tracing can actually be traced to legitimate sources? Less than 50%.

So the real number of guns recovered in Mexico that can be traced to US sources is 5,114 of 28,000 or … 17%. But it gets better. Some of those sources identified were the US government. We supply weapons to the Mexican government, some of which were illegally resold in Mexico. We also supplied Central American countries with arms during the 1980s. How many times have you heard than mentioned?

The actual percentage of guns making it into Drug lords hands from US suppliers is actually unknown, but seems to be less then 17%. Nowhere near the 90% being pushed by the Administration. The RPGs, grenades, AK-47s and other weapons are not coming from US gun shops either. So why blame the US for the problem? Well, “blame America first” is the normal stance of the American Left. Especially, when they are so much smarter than and disagree with those right-wing radicals that wrote that damn second amendment.

Pure and simple this is a convenient excuse to tighten the gun laws in the United States and the media is simply parroting a misleading statistic to push the President’s agenda. They are either biased or stupid… you decide.

Political correctness gone amuck

Chia Pet Creator ‘Shocked’ After Walgreens Pulls Obama Model From Shelves

Come on. I would expect this to be a hot seller to his supporters. Is an Obama bobble head racist? What about the new Pepsi can? Should those be banned? I know this is “decisions made by a public company” not the government. But the decision was made because “it might offend people.” Sucking up to liberls offends me, so lose-lose. I like Walgreens but I think I will take my business elsewhere.

Government’s reponse to job losses… give me more!

The economy continues to contract and people continue to lose their jobs. It is also important to remember that companies are reporting losses and people that work on commission, though employed are suffering huge losses in income. All of this means less taxable income to all levels of government. So that would mean less revenue and deep cuts in government programs.

Well not so fast. That is unless you raise sales taxes on everything! You see government is not allowed to do with less. They just have to find another place to take it. So if you aren’t making any money, you still have to buy food. I am sure they will also raise taxes on those that have the fortune to be employed and on any company that dares have any success during the recession.

I appreciate the catch 22, they have services they have guaranteed to people and projects that they “need” to do. And we are just not giving them as much money. How dare we! But just like I have done, projects need to be put on hold, spending needs to be taken way back. So just like the rest of us 8.5% of all government spending should be dropped immediately.

The government cannot grow when the economy is shrinking, it is simple unsustainable. And the economy will adjust to compensate for the higher burden by shrinking once more. Lessons on how to turn a recession into a depression. The only way out is to shrink government spending until the economy recovers and to stimulate the economy to recover faster.

That does not mean giving money to failing companies or paying workers to do nothing or to make up new projects to fund just to keep people busy. To me stimulus means accelerating the natural recovery and failures in the current economy. The only way to do that is to take less money from the people and corporations so that they can help themselves and their corporations effect change. It is basic economics and more and more of us are working through it each day.

We will get there, I am sure; maybe not until after the new depression. It may take that much to get people to remember; government does not create, its abilities to distribute are governed by us, doing works in our best interests to move this country forward. There will be many dark days ahead but the American people, the individual, will once again have our day in the sun.

Just when you thought it couldn’t get worse…

I think we were all coming to grips with the “Socialist” Obama. Washington is now running the banks, running the auto companies, dictating salaries and planning to move into other sectors should the need arise. Some were convinced that these actions were necessary to stabilize the economy. Others believe that the economy is a convenience to enact these policies planned from the outset. Whichever, the cause and whichever the effect, we have adjusted to the current realities and Republicans and much of the public are gearing up for a fight.

Well, it just got worse. A whole lot worse at the G20 summit. I am digging for the expect text … which of source the media can’t seem to find time to publish. But I have found this from Bloomberg.

The leaders agreed on principles for financial market regulation, including expanded controls on hedge funds and derivatives trading, and tax havens, as well as rules on compensation and bonuses. They also pledged additional financing for the International Monetary Fund and other institutions.

Didi that just say we agreed to take our draconian actions, our socializing of the US economy and blend it with the G20 and the world. Are those “on world currency” folks actually not wackos? We now have the G20; of which we were 50%+ of the GDP and 1/20 of the votes; in charge of our economic policies and executive compensation?

So the big question is what does “on principles” mean? Is it that generally we agree to work together (as we have been) to solve these issues? Well, if it said that then why say anything? We have been doing that! So saying something would seem to indicate a shift. No? A shift to a more Socialist agreement on principals (dare I say controls), is most likely the case.

It could be far worse with a G20 panel appointed to set forth controls, restrictions and fines for non-compliance to the new world order. A board consisting of predominately or completely non-US members, that combined control less then half the world’s money supply, now given the reigns to manipulate our markets to their advantage.

So what does “on principles” mean? Does anyone in the media do any investigation anymore or just regurgitate talking points? YO MEDIA…A LITTLE HELP! The text would be of huge value here. I will find it an update accordingly.

Left almost gets it on CFLs

Well the tide is sort of changing. The New York times has started to question CFLs (Compact Florescent Bulbs).

They cover the basics and the facts are pretty valid. A HUGE step for the New York Times. The speed at which they gloss over things is amazing. A few interesting pacts from the article and the video that parallels.

1. CFLS are not for all locations. They take 15-20 minutes to reach full light and if shut off before then it will drastically shorten their life span. Locations such as stairwells, hallways and outdoor sensored areas are not recommended. They are also not recommended for enclosed locations [because they do not tolerate heat well]. They are also not good for dimming (editor edition…though there are some rated for that use, at a higher price) OK good information. Never hear that much from the advocates and does not appear on the labels.

2. They cover the mercury risk and clean up of these bulbs. You can read more detail on this at the EPA web site. Also rarely mentioned by the advocates. They right is off as only 3-5 mg of mercury. If you check the numbers for fish you will find that 4 parts per million in food leads to the recommendation “Do not eat Shark, Swordfish, King Mackerel, or Tilefish because they contain high levels of mercury.” Seems a bit incongruent that 4 parts per million in fish leads to “DO NOT EAT IT” and 5 milligrams in dozens of bulbs through the house comes with no warning what so ever from the same advocates.

3. Let’s continue to the last line of the video. Consumers may have to adjust to these limitations because the government has moved to outlaw incandescent lights by 2012. Huh? So they should not be used in certain locations yet you will have to. So though you may not be saving money you will be using less energy. And that is all that matters. Again proof that liberals will seek activism by law when they cannot create a better product that people would actually want.

4. This leads to my final point. The prices on these have come down from the $30 each range to a more acceptable $1-$2 range. This helps mitigate one of the concerns above. But let’s find this little nugget nestled in the article…Some experts who study the issue blame the government for the quality problems, saying an intensive federal push to lower the price essentially backfired by encouraging manufacturers to use cheap components. and followed by this…Much of the credit for that sharp cost decline goes to the Energy Department. The agency asked manufacturers in 1998 to create cheaper models and then helped find large-volume buyers, like universities and utilities, to buy them.

Yep and there the truth shines through. Government jumped on board with a potentially better product, picked a winner and drove quality standards down to make it affordable. Thus ruining the potential of a more efficient bulb actually being a better product and a better financial decision as well. So wehn do not all run out an buy it, they require that we use it. So now we await their “help” in new cars and health care. History would teach us to expect the same result. A higher priced , less appealing model being forced upon the American public by legal fiat.

Appetite for our debt is waning.

The small stock market rally was stopped cold today due to a upward movement in the sale of five year notes. For those that have been warning us about these days, this article is the beginning of the proof points on deficit spending. The market saw this news and dropped almost 250 points from 1:00pm until 3:00pm.

Here are the basics as I understand them. The increase in the interest rate on the 5-year notes sold by the US means that we had to raise the rate of return to attract buyers to our debt. Nested in this article is the fact that the UK has had issues that did not even sell out. So we raised the rate and sold the notes, why did the market react to this? Having to increase the rates means that there are less buyers for our debt. The rates can continue to climb to attract buyers but that interest expands the cost of all of the deficit spending programs. Should we hit the point as the UK has that sometimes there just are not enough buyers, what then?

Then we have three options.

Don’t spend (ha ha ha ha … sorry that was President Obama butting in) as much money. Which would limit the government’s ability to fulfill all of the promises to the banks and in the stimulus package. Many will say this is good, but for those dependant on every word and action from Washington this is not good news.

So another option is to tax and tax heavily to get the money from the US economy instead of elsewhere. This is not good and will likely lengthen and deepen the recession. This would counter all of the good news this week that the economy may be stabilizing.

Or we can simply print money that does not exist and pretend. But that devalues all of the outstanding notes and is likely to make the current problem worse, causing us to raise the rates anyway to attract buyers.

So this action in the 5-years notes is bad news… very bad news. The end of our deficit spending may be at hand or at least far more limited. And we have not even approached the 2009 budget and the 10Trillion in debt it demands.

Death on the slopes! But something is missed.

I have heard all the tragic stories surrounding Natasha Richardson’s death but one thing is missing from every story I found.

As would be expected, the left is all about taking away freedom, demanding helmet laws and ignoring personal responsibility and risk. They will compare this freak accident to other head traumas and add it to the statistics of 50,000 deaths. But most of those are car accidents or blunt trauma to the head. If you look at skiing accidents and death, you drop to 50 or 60 a year (out of 8million+ skiers). Of those most are risk takers on black diamond runs or collisions [and they will equate this to those]. Most [I dare say no others] are a simple fall on a beginner slope. It is like comparing jumping off a swingset to jumping out of an airplane. Where are the calls for helmets and parachutes on playgrounds? Helmets and five point harnesses for all passengers in cars? There are degrees of risk and adults accept those risks when the undertake actions. It is called personal responsibility [dare I use the word Freedom or Liberty] and this country was founded on it. I hope the her family can come to grips with this freak accident and find peace in their lives without joining the media in trying to take freedom from others.

But what part of the story is missing? Let’s take a look at the timeline. Richardson had a skiing accident at a resort 80 miles outside of Montreal, Canada. Thinking nothing was wrong she was accompanied to her hotel by the instructor and a member of the ski patrol. An hour later she said she didn’t feel well. She had a headache, so we sent her to the hospital. An ambulance was called and Richardson eventually was transferred to Sacre-Coeur hospital in Montreal. Richardson was then flown to New York.

This is what I noticed. She was in Canada where heath care is the envy of the American left and she flew to New York. She did not stay in Montreal where her husband was filming. She did not fly to England, the country of her birth. She flew to New York. The capitalist home of expensive health care [Not to mention the best heath care with the best facilities and most researched doctors in the world].

This accident is truly a time to reflect and learn. Not about helmet laws but about the quality of health care in the world and the choices people make in a time of need.

What could you do with $9,000 dollars a year for three years?

+$1.15T being injected into the Financial market. Washington has now put in $9T to “fix” the economy. This is 89,000+ per household in the US. I am trying to find the statistics but I would think we could have just paid up the mortgages on everyone at risk for far less. But like many of these plans that too would have been rewarding failure by taking from the shrinking majority that pay taxes. So what to do.

I would expect that most people do not have a mortgage over $1500 a month. I looked it up. Based on all homes the number is $927. Yeah… always forget when you live in a big city or suburb. This number is also lowered by folks that have $0 cost for housing (paid off home mortgage). There is a number for homes less than four years old ($1,371). If you remove the 112,000 of these folks that have no mortgage the average rises to $1,392. These numbers are from 2007. So a gut check of $1500 a month works.

So for a cost of 9,000 a household the US government could have covered 6 months of payments on the average house for every person in the country. For nearly 44% of homeowners this would cover 100% of their housing costs. [Because of this cost discrepancy this would actually cost less than the price tag]. Allow this exemption for 5 years at a total of 45,000 per family. That would be about $4.5T.

Wouldn’t this have stopped the rash of foreclosures? That would have stabilized the securities market at created a floor on the price of securities. This would have, in turn, stabilized the banks. It would have also [not sure I like this] allowed people to buy houses off of the open market knowing that the first 5 years of mortgage was covered. This would have stabalized housing prices. With a bit of diligence to manage the out years, this could be constrained so that it does not simply defer the problems. For those without a “mortgage crisis” [93% of all homeowners] this would have created spendable income that would likely be used to pay off debt and/or buy things [stimulus].

In summary, for half of the current cost this could have been solved. I would have been content with 3 years (or 1/3 the cost). If some are worried about non-homeowners being left out, don’t fret. I set you up. These numbers include housing costs by households, which includes renters. I checked and there are actually less households (105mill) then homeowners (123mill – owners of multiple homes). Since we don’t want to reward on both homes, we can assume it will cost even less. So for three years every household would get $9,000…. Question..wouldn’t this in effect be an “across-the-board tax cut” [ewwww… I know those are evil]. And this one would be far bigger then the Bush tax cuts. It is important to note that some suggested this (and for only 2009) and were lambasted for not having a Government-centric solution.
..and so we spend.

The economy continues to worsen and the costs to taxpayers keeps rising. Once again proof that “government experts” spend more time reading books and talking to each other about how much smarter they are then the rest of us; no time living life like the rest of us. They look at macro-economic issues and forget that those numbers are driven by the hard work of every American, every day. They all need a new line of work. One that actually produces something for the country. I believe that will help the economy. We have a chance in 2010 to help that along.

Madoff for Senate

I know that Bernie Madoff is a thief. He is a scammer, a schemer and deserves to go to jail. He has stolen 38+ billion dollars in a ponzi-scheme. But you have to look at the big picture. In the end this is pocket change to a Senator in Washington.

They just passed a pork filled Omni-bus bill costing us 400 billion with 10+ billion in pork barrel spending. Before this, they spent 700 billion + interest to “stimulate” the economy. Before this 700 billion to bail out the banks. In this spending was 20+ billion for foreign banks and billions more to buy toxic assets at prices over their planned maturity (expected cost 78 billion). A large quantity of wasted cash to be sure.

Maybe Madoff is too clean. Madoff took money from adults that consented to put their money at risk. Again, he is a criminal and gets what he deserves. The government takes this money by force; from us, our children and their children and then throws it away. This too should be criminal.

But that is not even close to the real cost of the ponzi-scheme. A scheme where money is invested in fake funds and trusts and then they produce false holding statements and fallacious returns. We have all seen this kind of documentation firsthand. We get them in our mailboxes directly from the Social Security Office. An account statement with “your balance”; when the money was spent years ago. Ten Trillion+ dollars, money taken from us and every employer we every worked for, has been wasted. All the while, money was spent on Congressional pay raises, pet projects, State dinners, working vacations. Sound familiar? These pages are worth the same as those accounts from Bernie Madoff.

The “outrage” that these professionals throw at a rookie like Madoff is laughable. He is getting exactly what he deserves for defrauding clients and working his schemes to his own benefit. I only wish we had the same outrage and legal outcomes when it comes to elected officials as we do with private citizens. Since Bernie’s career in the private sector is over, I nominate him as the Junior senator from New York where he can learn from the best crooks in the country.

So as you listen to the members of our illustrious congress fain outrage at Madoff and corporate excess, remember this. We have a way to prosecute these crimes in the private sector. The people will go to prison for their crimes and restitution, in whatever form possible, will be granted to their victims. In public office we, at best, can remove them from office. Only to see them resurface in cabinet appointments or as lobbyists; making millions. I think it best to keep these crimes in the private sector were we have some recourse. Then we can all sit back and watch them rot in jail.