The above Youtube is an excerpt of Obama’s commencement address at Ohio State on May 5, just days before the IRS and AP scandals broke. The cynicism and hypocrisy of his words are truly epic. Obama is all about tyranny and all about a sinister big government that is hell-bent on using our tax dollars to take away our freedoms. If you can’t stand the sound of Dear Leader’s voice, here is the transcript of what he said.
Unfortunately, you’ve grown up hearing voices that incessantly warn of government as nothing more than some separate, sinister entity that’s at the root of all our problems. Some of these same voices also do their best to gum up the works. They’ll warn that tyranny always lurking just around the corner. You should reject these voices. Because what they suggest is that our brave, and creative, and unique experiment in self-rule is somehow just a sham with which we can’t be trusted.
Now this is straight from the White House. “The Law Is Irrelevant”
For anyone who took the time to watch the Eric Holder and/or IRS hearings this week, the corruption, incompetence and arrogance of the ruling parasite elite class was on full display. Eric Holder and Steven Miller, chief executives of the Department of Injustice and the IRS respectively, testified before Congress as to their utter cluelessness and unaccountability of the nefarious goings on in the powerful agencies that they run. Steven Miller’s testimony was by far the most interesting. He testified to Congress that IRS persecution of groups of people of a particular political view is not illegal. He further testified that questioning individuals as to the subject matter of their prayers was not improper. When asked “what would make a difference in ending the unlawful practices of the IRS?”, Miller stated that he simply needed a bigger budget. Unbelievable stuff. Holder’s testimony was not nearly as entertaining. He simply testified that he either didn’t know or couldn’t remember anything about anything that was asked of him. Both of these bureaucrats made it perfectly clear that they are above the law and are not accountable to you commoners. In fact, Steven Miller wants you to know that he views us taxpaying bumpkins as his “customers”. EXCUSE ME, ASSHOLE! I AM NOT YOUR CUSTOMER! YOU WORK FOR ME AND I’M THE ONE WHO PAYS YOUR SALARY!
We need to have every cabinet secretary testify before Congress and explain their relevance and reason for existence. The former EPA Secretary needs to explain how she used bogus emails to circumvent Freedom of Information inquiries. The Department of Energy does not produce or create energy yet its 2013 budget is $27 Billion. The Department of Education does not produce or create education yet its 2013 budget is $68.9 Billion. Those 2 departments do nothing but create onerous regulations and indoctrinate socialist dogma into our youth. They should both be abolished. BTW, whatever happened to Hot Tub Bub of the GSA?
Farmer Eddie Slaughter spoke at CPAC in Washington DC on Feb 10, and explained how as a black farmer, the USDA discriminated against him and other farmers, and how the Pigford settlement that was originally supposed to restore his lost land has ended up perpetuating his persecution while defraud the US taxpayers to the tune of more than $1 billion so far.
Andrew Breitbart visited the bloggers lounge after his 9:00a.m. CPAC speech, Saturday, Feb 12, 2011. He had meant to touch on the Pigford fraud a lot more in his speech, but instead, had gone off on another tangent. He made up for it in the bloggers lounge, spending about a half an hour just talking about the fraudulent Pigford settlement.
In the spirit of citizen journalism overriding mainstream media filters, Wednesday, May 1 will be “Everybody Blog About #Pigford” Day. All journalists, bloggers, and inspired writers are invited to contribute their thoughts about the Pigford scandal–one of Andrew Breitbart’s most important and passionate journalistic causes.
Whether through an official platform, or social media, you can make your voice heard–and now is the time to do it. After years of media denial, the Pigford story was featured on the front page of the New York Times last Friday. But many mainstream media outlets, and politicians of both parties, still refuse to acknowledge it.
Now you can help make a difference and make sure they can’t ignore it by joining other bloggers, writers and artists in making sure the story gets out there.
Whatever you may think of the Times, Sharon LaFraniere’s story is a huge breakthrough because it vindicates all the work of Andrew and the Breitbart News team, confirming the major conclusions we reached and adding new details.
The New York Times sets the agenda for much of the mainstream media, and it’s already had an effect, but we need your help to keep the momentum going.
Here’s What You Can Do
May 1st is a crucial date because corrupt farmers’ settlements for women and Hispanic farmers are STILL open –the claims form is at FarmerClaims.gov–but the deadline for these schemes is May 1st.
Right now: start to get educated on Pigford. There’s a ton of material on Breitbart.com and other places. Google and you’ll see.
If you have a blog, pick any topic related to the farmers’ settlements and write about it. It doesn’t need to be a long post, and pictures or video are great.
If you don’t have a blog, it’s a great time to start at a free service like Blogger, WordPress.com or Tumblr but you can also use social media like Facebook or Twitter. Be sure to use the #Pigford hashtag.
This is a big topic. A huge amount of new research can be done. Here are a few ideas:
■ Very little has been written about the Native American farmers’ settlement, called Keepseagle.
■ If you speak Spanish, write about how the Spanish language press has been covering the USDA settlement known as Garcia for Hispanic/Latino farmers.
■ Do you know someone who may have actually received a $50,000 check fraudulently who will talk about it?
■ Are you a farmer or know about agriculture and have some specialized knowledge to contribute?
■ Do you have a local angle on the story?
■ It’s also a great time for action–contact your Representative or Senator. Send encouragement to Pigford- exposing politicians like Rep. Steve King (R-IA) or Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN). Consider contacting members of Congress on the Agriculture committees (House and Senate) and the Judiciary committees (House and Senate).
■ Some of the people most damaged by this were the legitimate black farmers who suffered discrimination in the 1980s; reach out and tell their story.
Again, a quick search here on Breitbart News will also give you a world of information to get started.
Your contribution matters, big or small. Add your voice and help create a flood of information that the world can’t ignore.
Let’s make May 1st a memorable May Day for everyone who hates fraud, waste and corruption in government.
The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection has finally determined (after a 16 month review) that the process of hydraulically fracturing (fracking) gas wells in the Marcellus Shale have not caused contamination of water wells in the small town of Franklin Forks, PA. Well, gee; I’m glad they finally figured that out. The process of fracking has only been around for over 60 years and has been used to great economic benefit in over 150,000 wells with essentially no known detriments to the environment or human health. The illustration above shows why hydrocarbons from the productive zone (which has been fracked) cannot contaminate the water table.
After a 16-month investigation, state regulators Monday said that natural gas fracking, contrary to highly publicized claims, isn’t to blame for high methane levels in three families’ drinking water in a northern Pennsylvania town.
For fracking proponents, it was another piece of good news. The oil and gas industry still was unwrapping the federal government’s acknowledgment that fracking isn’t nearly as harmful to the environment as it previously claimed. By dramatically lowering its methane emissions estimates from natural gas drilling sites, the Environmental Protection Agency has made it much more difficult to argue that the fracking boom is accelerating climate change.
The developments Monday in Franklin Forks, Pa., also will make it much more difficult to argue that the wildly successful drilling method is harmful to drinking water.
The state’s Department of Environmental Protection now says there is no evidence to connect natural gas drilling with high levels of methane in private water wells in the small town, which sits within the Marcellus Shale region, one of the largest known natural gas deposits in the world and exhibit A of how fracking is transforming the American energy landscape.
The agency specifically says the gas is coming from elsewhere.
“The testing determined that the water samples taken from the private water wells contained gas of similar isotopic makeup to the gas in water samples taken from Salt Springs State Park,” which contains high levels of naturally occurring methane, the DEP said in a statement.
The Franklin Forks case attracted national attention and was held up by some environmentalists as another example of the dangers of fracking. It was also the subject of numerous media reports, including a Rolling Stone magazine photo essay that labeled one Franklin Forks family “Fracking’s Real-Life Victims.”
The family believed that nearby natural gas drilling was ruining their property and had rendered their water unusable and undrinkable. Similar claims have been made elsewhere in Pennsylvania and in other spots across the nation.
Thus far, however, there have been no confirmed cases of fracking contaminating water supplies — an acknowledgment that Lisa P. Jackson, as EPA administrator, made twice to Congress.
Fracking, formally known as hydraulic fracturing, uses massive amounts of water combined with sand and chemicals to crack underground rock and release trapped gas. It is being used extensively in states across the nation and is credited with putting the U.S. on a path toward North American energy independence within the next 10 to 15 years.
While environmental groups likely will dispute the Franklin Forks findings, Pennsylvania officials are making perfectly clear that nearby fracking simply could not be responsible for the elevated methane levels.
“The water samples taken from the private water wells was not of the same origin as the natural gas in the nearby gas wells,” the DEP said.
Assembly approved a two- year ban on the natural-gas drilling method known as fracking, after two previous attempts to block the practice failed and with the state Senate taking a different approach.
The state has been studying the safety of hydraulic fracturing since 2008, and blocked its use in the meantime. The Assembly’s ban would lift in May 2015. Governor Andrew Cuomo, a Democrat, has said he’s waiting until the Health Department concludes a separate analysis to make a decision.
“We will not sit idly by and endanger the health and safety of our communities by rushing necessary health and safety reviews,” said Sheldon Silver, the Manhattan Democrat who leads the chamber. “We need to better understand the broad impacts to our environment, our economy and the health and safety of all who work and live in New York.”
When others are greedy, it’s time to be fearful. When others are fearful, it’s time to be greedy. -
The above quote while stated so eloquently by Warren Buffett, speaks of an investment philosophy which has been around as long as the capital markets themselves. It is nothing more than the contrarian approach, stated so as to make it sound like some well thought out philosophy. There have been other great Value Managers, Warren Spitz, David Dreeman, David Williams, to name a few. All of them have told us for years that emotion is the enemy the successful investor.
Look at what the current national sentiment is, then do the opposite thing, is more often than not better advice than jumping on the latest bandwagon and listening to all of the well thought out reasons why this time is different than every other moment in our world’s history. As our nation’s most famous and least useful stock index flirts with setting new record highs, bear in mind that we’ve all seen this movie before. This time is a little different than most however. The magic rocket flight experienced in our nation’s capital markets is due in large part to the single largest currency manipulation in world history. Those debt monetizing activities so euphemistically labeled Quantitative Easing I, II, and III, have created an environment where two simultaneous bad conditions have led to an entire nation dawning rose colored glasses. (I about fell off my chair when, during the latest Presidential version of a beauty contest, Mitt Romney stated that China was guilty of manipulating their currency. I forgave him during the campaign for this disingenuous moronic position, but now that things are over, China’s manipulation of her currency is only their amateurish reaction to what we’ve been up to. Seeing as how they stand as our largest single creditor, and we their largest single credit customer, what choice did China have?)
Those two conditions are as follows. One, our dollar has become devalued, and while inflation of about 3.1% per year is considered a normal condition, our devaluation of currency has been far greater than that in recent years, and it has been spurred on purposefully. By robbing us of the value of the property already in our hands, our government has been able to fund their ill conceived adventures, for instance teaching Chinese Hookers how to hold their liquor. to lend a little perspective, it takes one dollar to purchase the commodities that 56 cents could buy only four years ago. While it is true that products not directly connected to commodities have not yet caught up to that sad state of affairs, they will at some point in the future, follow suit. Presidents you see, do not have the authority to repeal the laws of simple economics. Those wonderful stock prices are not so much an increase in the value of America’s businesses, so much as they are the devaluation of the currency being traded for those shares.
The second condition, which is the most dangerous and the least advertised is this. Quantitative Easing does not refer solely to the printing of currency, which is bad enough, but also how that currency is integrated into our national economy. What makes this so pernicious is how that integration is accomplished. It is done in a way so as to fool us all into believing that there’s nothing to be angry with. Let’s not forget that during the days of the Confederacy, (this refers to a time before our Constitution and not to the attempted secession of our Southern States,) three states used tobacco as their official currency. Since anyone with half a brain began growing tobacco, the currency did not take long to devalue. People began soon enough burning their neighbors fields, and it became a capitol offense to harm somebody else’s tobacco crop. That’s right, killing tobacco was dealt with by hanging those who got caught. (My, how times have changed.) Not wanting to face the inevitable pitch forks, and wishing for that eventuality to be held off until they are long out of office, our current group of geniuses have devised a plan where bye they sneak their ill created shares of our wealth into the economy by purchasing items offered in our capital markets.
Since this is a little sneaky, and a little complicated, it will require some explanation. When the government prints out a new bill that was not created for the limited purpose of replacing an old one, they are not simply spending it as was once the practice. The lessons of the 70′s told them that much. They are taking that currency and using it to purchase the bonds that they issue, buying up or paying the interest on their own debt. Then, they are taking those instruments, and selling them at the weekly bond auctions. This has the effect of driving up the prices of bonds, since now the people who are prone to buy those instruments have competition for the bonds that they did not used to have, ie the very same government who created them in the first place.
Investors, not being idiots, are far less likely to pay good money for crap instruments, like worthless government bonds which have severely inflated prices, so they must find other places to invest. Every rung on the ladder will eventually be inflated by this process, until even the Dow Jones 30 gets its share of the bubble. the problem of course is that bubbles burst, and when they do, we’ll see the same talking heads on our televisions stating that the world is once again ending and this time is different, unprecedented, and there will be no way out from the wilderness.
That leaves us with a where do we go now scenario. Equities, even with the huge bubble being created once again thanks to government malfeasance, remain the single best hedge against the looming inflationary symptom that will one day soon be felt, which is rampant increases in the prices for goods and services. Commodities funds within your 401k’s and annuity sub accounts are also a good play for small portions of your holdings. The same can be said for real estate funds, REITS and other Direct Participation Programs. Don’t fall for the allure the gold and silver only crowd offers, but recognize this for what it is, which is making a commodity play where only one commodity is used, rather than diversifying. That one commodity by the way, unlike every other commodity traded in the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, has zero other uses beyond being a pretty, shiny, metal.
Don’t panic, but our neighbors will be reaching for pitch forks and torches soon. when they do, bear in mind that we’ve done this before in our country, and we’ve come through it O.K. I’ve never been a fan of gold only investing. While I’ll admit that taking up to 5% or even 10% of a portfolio with a commodities play may be beneficial in light of what’s about to happen next, shotguns, ammunition, and canned goods will at least be useful. Gold will just be too damned heavy to lug around.
Earlier this week, the Colorado House passed a bill banning ammunition magazines holding more than 15 rounds. The bill is on its way to the Democrat-controlled Senate, which will most likely pass it next week. Given Governor Hickenlooper’s anti-gun activities, it’s a good bet that he’ll sign it when it reaches his desk.
Well-known magazine manufacturer Magpul Industries is based in Colorado, and most of its products would be banned under the bill. Prior to the House vote, the company warned Democrats that it would likely pull up stakes and leave the state if the ban passed, taking several hundred jobs with it. In an attempt to avoid that outcome, the House Democrats cynically inserted a provision into the bill exempting manufacturers from its provisions, provided their products were only sold out of state.
Hopefully, Magpul will call their bluff and leave Colorado. According to the bill, its products pose a “serious danger to public safety.” If that’s the case, why allow them to continue manufacturing them for sale elsewhere?
But where would they go? One possibility is Texas:
Texas governor and former GOP presidential candidate Rick Perry is rolling out a Texas-sized red carpet for Magpul Industries, the Colorado gun-parts manufacturer that has vowed to find greener pastures if a bill banning high capacity ammunition magazines, like those that Magpul makes, becomes law.
In a letter to Magpul founder and CEO Richard Fitzpatrick, Perry touts Texas’s business climate, citing such things as “low taxes, a fair legal system, reasonable regulations, a well-trained and skilled workforce and unmatched transportation and communications infrastructures.”
“There is no other state that fits the definition of business-friendly like Texas,” Perry wrote.
Perry mentioned gun rights only briefly, in a business context.
“While I support the efforts of law enforcement to identify, apprehend, prosecute and punish criminals who use firearms in the commission of their crimes,” he wrote, “I do not believe that imposing additional requirements or restrictions on businesses is the correct approach.”
The final deal-sweetener Perry mentioned was a lack of union influence in Texas.
“As you consider the best path for the future of your company, you might want to consider the savings in real dollars that would accrue to your bottom line were you to take advantage of the lower labor costs in Texas,” Perry wrote.
In a Facebook post on Tuesday, Magpul said it’s still weighing its options and focusing on defeating legislation in Colorado.
“It appears that someone has posted or sent out some sort of notice that we are moving to a specific location,” the company wrote. “We can assure you that no decision has been made about location, and that we are still fighting this battle. We are, however, assembling our requirements and looking at various areas that would be suitable for our new home, should it come to that. We appreciate all the offers, and we will begin talking to various entities about those shortly.”
State Farm has recently leased up about 2.5 million square feet of commercial work space in Richardson, Texas (North Dallas) in what appears to be the largest office lease in Dallas County history. State Farm continues to put out the line that they are not leaving Bloomington, IL, but all signs point to a probable move. In 2010 Illinois increased the corporate tax rate by 67% and they now have the worst credit rating of any state in the U.S. Welcome to Texas, State Farm. You’re going to like it here. No corporate or personal income tax.
Insurance chain State Farm is reportedly buying up substantial workspace in Texas, which may signal a coming exodus from the company’s home state of Illinois.
State Farm is keeping the move quiet so as not to alarm employees. But the Dallas Morning News reports that it is a “major business relocation” already underway and that this is “one of the biggest stories in the Dallas-area real estate market and will ultimately involve thousands of workers.”
Texas-based real estate expert Bob Gibbons notes in a blog post that State Farm’s Dallas office space lease–about 2.5 million square feet of workspace in a few different places–is the Dallas area’s largest-ever office space lease by a single company.
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported this week, too, that State Farm leased several hundred thousand more square feet of office space in Atlanta.
The company has 3.6 million square feet of office space in central Illinois and the spaces in Atlanta and Dallas easily total that amount.
At the end of 2010, in a special session, the Illinois Legislature passed a 67% hike in its corporate and personal income tax. The state is struggling with a structural deficit and its credit rating was recently lowered. The state now has the worst credit rating in the country. A number of businesses have floated the idea of leaving the state. A move by State Farm, however, would devastate the downstate economy.
State Farm says publicly it is not moving its headquarters from Bloomington, Illinois, but reporters in Atlanta and in Dallas do not seem persuaded. They have tried to figure out where all the workers would be coming from to occupy the new office spaces.
Illinois Democratic Sen. Dick Durbin does not seem to be buying it either. While he told Breitbart News’ Kerry Picket he needs “to learn a little bit more about” the specifics of the State Farm moves, he expressed some concern over the potential Illinois may lose a huge workforce. “It’s a very respected important business in Illinois,” Durbin said of State Farm. “It’s a very large workforce in Bloomington.”
Keep taxes low, regulations fair and predictable, and stand back and watch the jobs created. If you have ambition, confidence, and “know-how” – go to Texas!
by Wendell Cox
The American economy has had little to cheer about since the 2008 financial meltdown and the resulting recession. Recovery has been feeble, and many states continue to struggle. One bright spot in the general gloom, however, is Texas, which began shining long before 2008. Not only has Texas created jobs at a stunning rate; it has also—pace critics like the New York Times’s Paul Krugman—created lots of good jobs. Indeed, the rest of the nation could turn to the Lone Star State as a model for dynamic growth, as a close look at employment data shows.
The first thing to point out is that Texan job creation has far outpaced the national average. The number of jobs in Texas has grown by a truly impressive 31.5 percent since 1995, compared with just 12 percent nationwide, according to Bureau of Labor Statistics data (see Figure One). Texas has also lapped California, an important economic rival and the only state with a larger population. The Texas employment situation after the financial crisis was far less spectacular, of course, with the number of jobs growing just 2.4 percent from 2009 through 2011. But that was still six times the anemic 0.4 percent growth rate of the overall American economy.
The National Establishment Time-Series (NETS) Database, which provides detailed information on job creation and loss for firms headquartered in each state, can tell us more about Texas’s employment growth. NETS data are divided into two periods—the first from 1995 to 2002, the second from 2002 to 2009. During the 2002–09 period, small businesses of fewer than ten employees were the Texas employment engine, adding nearly 800,000 new jobs; of those, about three-quarters were in firms with two to nine employees, as Figure Two indicates. Larger Texas companies—those with 500 or more employees—lost a significant number of jobs over this span, and medium-size firms likewise shrank, trends that also showed up on the national level.
Figure Three, shifting back to Bureau of Labor Statistics data, shows that many of the new Texas jobs paid well. Indeed, Texas did comparatively better than the rest of the United States from 2002 through 2011. For industries paying over 150 percent of the average American wage, Texas could claim 216,000 extra jobs; the rest of the country added 495,000. In other words, the Lone Star State, with 8 percent of the U.S. population, created nearly a third of the country’s highest-paying positions. Texas also added 49,000 positions paying 125 percent to 150 percent of the U.S. average; the rest of the country lost 174,000 jobs in that category. As Figure Four shows, two sectors in which Texas employment did particularly well during the same period were natural-resource extraction (in fact, the state gained 80 percent of all new jobs in the country in that field) and professional, scientific, and technical positions. [........]Texas did lose 10,000 construction jobs, but that was a modest downturn, in light of the massive national slowdown in building caused by the crisis of 2008.
Vital to the economic health of Texas is that people are moving to its cities in droves. In 2011, Houston surpassed Philadelphia in population and became the country’s fifth-biggest metropolitan region, with 6.1 million people. Dallas–Fort Worth, with 6.5 million, was already the country’s fourth-biggest. [.........]
Though the national downturn has slowed job creation in Texas’s cities, they’re still adding jobs, sometimes briskly, unlike many other American metropolitan regions (see Figure Five). Austin’s strong information-technology sector and government-related work (the city is Texas’s state capital) helped propel 4.3 percent job growth from 2009 through 2011 (and 15.3 percent growth from 2002 through 2009). The number of jobs in McAllen, which benefits from increased trade with Mexico under the North American Free Trade Agreement, grew 3.7 percent. [.......]
What accounts for the resilience of the Texas economy, which has outperformed the rest of the country not only over the long term but during the Great Recession as well? A pro-business climate has unquestionably been a substantial advantage. In its annual ranking of business environments, Chief Executive has named Texas the most growth-friendly state for eight years in a row. (California has been last for the same eight years.) The reasons included low taxes and sensible regulations; a high-quality workforce (Texas ranked second only to Utah in that category in 2012); and a pleasant living environment (an eighth-place finish, slightly below sixth-place Florida but, perhaps surprisingly, far better than 28th-place California).
Part of the explanation for the high living-environment score is doubtless Texas’s low cost of living. In 2011, the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis put Texas’s “regional price parity,” a measurement of the price level of goods in an area, at 97.1, a bit lower than the national level of 100 and far lower than the California level of 114.8. Adjusted for cost of living, Texas’s per-capita income is higher than California’s and nearly as high as New York’s. Factor in state and local taxes, and Texas pulls ahead of New York.
More than three-quarters of the cost-of-living difference between Texas and California can be explained by housing costs. As Figure Six shows, Texas mostly dodged the real-estate bubble of the 2000s: the affordability of houses in large metro areas spiked in America as a whole but rose only modestly in Texas. A major reason that Texas real estate is so affordable is that the state lacks the draconian land-use restrictions that drive California housing prices into the stratosphere. [......]
All these considerations suggest that Texas is poised for further growth. And a final reason for Texans to be optimistic is that a major expansion of the Panama Canal will be completed in 2014. That could bolster the Lone Star State’s success by rerouting Asian commerce from West Coast ports to Texas alternatives, which are closer to the nation’s major markets.
The link to this story was just emailed to me by my local VFW Post and it indicates that the American arms industry is running at full speed in order to supply the heavy demand for arms and ammunition fueled by the gun grabbing efforts of Obama and the democrats.
RUGER: Plans to increase from 75% to 100% in the next 90 days.
FNH: Moving from 50% production to 75% by Feb 1st and 100% by March 1.
Armalite: Maxed out.
DPMS: Can’t get enough parts to produce any more product.
COLT: Production runs increasing weekly…bottle necked by Bolt carrier’s.
LWRC:Making only black guns, running at full capacity…can’t get enough gun quality steel to make barrels.
Springfield Armory: Only company who can meet demand but are running 30-45 days behind.
AMMO: Every caliber is now Allocated! We are looking at a nation wide shortage of all calibers over the next 9 months. All plants are producing as much ammo as possible w/ of 1 BILLION rounds produced weekly. Most is military followed by L.E. and civilians are third in line.
MAGPUL is behind 1 MILLION mags, do not expect any large quantities of magpul anytime soon.
RELOADERS… ALL Remington, Winchester, CCI & Federal primers are going to ammo FIRST. There are no extra’s for reloading purposes… it could be 6-9 months before things get caught up. Sorry for the bleak news, but now we know what to expect in the coming months. Stay tuned, we’ll keep you posted…
Related commentary from Bob Owens :
They didn’t know when they’d be getting anything back in stock, from magazines to rifles to pistols. Manufacturers were running full-bore, but couldn’t come close to keeping up with market demand. It wasn’t just the AR-15s, the AK-pattern rifles, the M1As, and the FALs that were sold out. It really hit me when I realized that the World War-era M1 Garands, M1 carbines, and Enfield .303s were gone, along with every last shell. Ubiquitous Mosin-Nagants—of which every gun store always seems to have 10-20—were gone. So was their ammo. Only a dust free space marked their passing. I’ve never seen anything like it.
Every weapon of military utility designed within the past 100+ years was gone. This isn’t a society stocking up on certain guns because they fear they may be banned. This is a society preparing for war.
There is a price to pay for our litigious system of serving up huge jackpots in lieu of actual innovation or productive behavior. That price, in the case of Miami, Oklahoma, was 350 jobs, the loss of health insurance for 350 families, and all of the ancillary multiplicative effects of a small community losing its only manufacturing and tax base. What it cost the country is this, you will no longer have the option of walking to the nearest gas station in order to purchase a sufficient quantity of gasoline to get your whole car to the gas station should you run out of gas. Now, thanks to law suit abuse, you will have to pay for the tow, and wait God knows how long for that tow truck to arrive.
At what point exactly did we as a society, just throw our arms collectively, (pun intended,) into the air and declare ourselves just too damned stupid to function without being forced to wear protective head gear? Blitz USA inc. manufactured about 75% of the small gasoline containers used in the world by people who wished to put small amounts of gasoline into lawn mowers, stalled cars, motor cycles, snow blowers, or anyone of another dozen legitimate uses. But since this is America, and we all have the God given right to be just as stupid as is humanly possible, you can bet your bottom dollar that more than a few people saw fit to take the good Lord up on that very concept. They used Blitz’s otherwise useful product to pour gasoline on open flames, rather than utilizing the fire safety lessons taught in Third Grade Classrooms to every child across the country, (for example, do not pour gasoline on open flames.) Having eschewed perhaps the only useful thing taught in our public school system, as you might have guessed, some folks got hurt. And since in America, nothing is ever the fault of the person who actually committed the act of idiocy in the first place, who ever has the deepest pockets gets volunteered automatically to take fiscal responsibility.
Blitz USA inc., not being a fortune 500 company with an unlimited asset base, eventually found her breaking point. That breaking point by the way, was reached without a single one of the claims made by her plaintiff’s having been proven in court. Not a single explosion of the variety claimed to be a potential was ever duplicated, created, or actually shown to have happened. Blitz simply ran through the entirety of her capital defending 43 law suits, all without merit.
You may never have heard of Blitz USA, but if you have a red portable gasoline can in your garage, chances are you own their product.
At its peak, Blitz USA, the 50-year-old producer of three out of every four portable gas cans nationwide, employed 350 people in the small town of Miami, Oklahoma. But over the last decade, a wave of costly litigation took its toll, and lawsuits finally drove the company out of business.
Around the turn of the century, Blitz came into the crosshairs of the product liability lawyers who saw opportunity in the handful of injuries that came almost exclusively from misuse or miss-storage of the gas can. What started as one lawsuit against Blitz quickly ballooned to more than 40.
The plaintiffs’ cases hinged upon the theory that Blitz cans were liable to combust in the course of use around an open flame.
“The lawyers that are suing us have a theory that the gas vapor, when somebody pours it on a fire, goes up inside the can and the can explodes,” says Blitz CEO Rocky Flick. While Blitz’ experts were never able to replicate the “exploding gas can,” it was clear that misusing a gasoline can by pouring fuel on an open flame could cause serious injuries. “There’s no way to protect somebody pouring gas on a fire,” says Flick.
As the cases mounted and Blitz was forced to empty more than $30 million from its coffers in defense and damage fees, the writing was on the wall. Blitz had to declare bankruptcy, forcing 117 of its remaining employees out of work.
“It was a case where we couldn’t fight them all,” explains Flick. Blitz USA finally closed its doors in August 2012.
All of this happened despite the fact that Blitz molded instruction on the proper use of their product right into the plastic, and placed warnings imploring people not to pour gasoline on to open flames, ever, let alone with their product. My goodness people, we used to laugh at morons who acted this foolishly, and deservedly so.
Of course, the usual lobby groups for plaintiff’s attorneys have all gotten together in order to frame the story in their nuanced language of moral relativism. It just so happens that some extensive studies were done concerning those vaunted flame arrestors, and guess what, turns out that they would have actually made the gas cans more dangerous if misused in the manner described. Knowing that the gas cans did not explode, but that the gas that splashed about actually ignited, a mesh screen would have resulted in greater amounts of gasoline being splashed about. As long as the plaintiff’s attorneys get their pay day I suppose, we should call that a big win for our lottery style judicial system.
My goodness, this brings back memories: Space Invaders, Asteroids, Centipede, Missile Command, etc., and so on and so forth, ad nauseum. Perhaps this action can restart this company, but considering the economic environment these days, one has to wonder. From the LA Times:
There is evidence that the U.S. operation, which after the sale of other assets now makes up the bulk of Atari S.A.’s business, has been improving. The corporate parent has been profitable for the last two fiscal years, save for the effect of a money-losing French subsidiary, Eden Games, that has been up for sale. Before that, neither Atari S.A. nor Infogrames had been profitable for about a decade.
Still, its profits have been small ($11 million and $4 million, respectively, for the last two fiscal years) and revenue plummeted 34% in fiscal 2012 and 43% in fiscal 2011.
But the company’s growth potential has been hampered by its near total reliance on London financial company BlueBay Asset Management for cash. A $28-million credit facility with BlueBay lapsed Dec. 31, leaving Atari without the resources to release games currently in the works, including a real-money gambling title titled “Atari Casino.”
Efforts to recapitalize the corporation have been unsuccessful, in part because of its complex structure as essentially an American business with a French public stock listing.
Shares in Atari S.A. have dropped in value from more than 11 Euros in 2008 to less than 1 Euro recently.
Of course it remains to be seen whether Atari itself can survive on its own, shorn from its French parental unit.