This is just the beginning of the oil crisis
Why The Price Of Oil Is More Likely To Fall To 20 Rather Than Rise To 80Image Credits: Beatnik Photos / Flickr

by Michael Snyder | Economic Collapse | February 16, 2015

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This is just the beginning of the oil crisis.  Over the past couple of weeks, the price of U.S. oil has rallied back above 50 dollars a barrel.  In fact, as I write this, it is sitting at $52.93.  But this rally will not last.  In fact, analysts at the big banks are warning that we could soon see U.S. oil hit the $20 mark.  The reason for this is that the production of oil globally is still way above the current level of demand.  Things have gotten so bad thatmillions of barrels of oil are being stored at sea as companies wait for the price of oil to go back up.  But the price is not going to go back up any time soon.  Even though rigs are being shut down in the United States at the fastest pace since the last financial crisis, oil production continues to go up.  In fact, last week more oil was produced in the U.S. than at any time since the 1970s.  This is really bad news for the economy, because the price of oil is already at a catastrophically low level for the global financial system.  If the price of oil stays at this level for the rest of the year, we are going to see a whole bunch of energy companies fail, billions of dollars of debt issued by energy companies could go bad, and trillions of dollars of derivativesrelated to the energy industry could implode.  In other words, this is a recipe for a financial meltdown, and the longer the price of oil stays at this level (or lower), the more damage it is going to do.

The way things stand, there is simply just way too much oil sitting out there.  And anyone that has taken Economics 101 knows that when supply far exceeds demand, prices go down

Oil prices have gotten crushed for the last six months. The extent to which that was caused by an excess of supply or by a slowdown in demand has big implications for where prices will head next. People wishing for a big rebound may not want to read farther.

Goldman Sachs released an intriguing analysis on Wednesday that shows what many already suspected: The big culprit in the oil crash has been an abundance of oil flooding the market. A massive supply shock in the second half of last year accounted for most of the decline. In December and January, slowing demand contributed to the continued sell-off.

At this point so much oil has already been stored up that companies are running out of places to put in all.  Just consider the words of Goldman Sachs executive Gary Cohn

“I think the oil market is trying to figure out an equilibrium price. The danger here, as we try and find an equilibrium price, at some point we may end up in a situation where storage capacity gets very, very limited. We may have too much physical oil for the available storage in certain locations. And it may be a locational issue.”

“And you may just see lots of oil in certain locations around the world where oil will have to price to such a cheap discount vis-a-vis the forward price that you make second tier, and third tier and fourth tier storage available.”

[…] “You could see the price fall relatively quickly to make that storage work in the market.”

The market for oil has fundamentally changed, and that means that the price of oil is not going to go back to where it used to be.  In fact, Goldman Sachs economist Sven Jari Stehn says that we are probably heading for permanently lower prices

The big take-away: “[T]he decline in oil has been driven by an oversupplied global oil market,” wrote Goldman economist Sven Jari Stehn. As a result, “the new equilibrium price of oil will likely be much lower than over the past decade.”

So how low could prices ultimately go?

As I mentioned above, some analysts are throwing around $20 as a target number

The recent surge in oil prices is just a “head-fake,” and oil as cheap as $20 a barrel may soon be on the way, Citigroup said in a report on Monday as it lowered its forecast for crude.

Despite global declines in spending that have driven up oil prices in recent weeks, oil production in the U.S. is still rising, wrote Edward Morse, Citigroup’s global head of commodity research. Brazil and Russia are pumping oil at record levels, and Saudi Arabia, Iraq and Iran have been fighting to maintain their market share by cutting prices to Asia. The market is oversupplied, and storage tanks are topping out.

A pullback in production isn’t likely until the third quarter, Morse said. In the meantime, West Texas Intermediate Crude, which currently trades at around $52 a barrel, could fall to the $20 range “for a while,” according to the report.

Keep in mind that the price of oil is already low enough to be a total nightmare for the global financial system if it stays here for the rest of 2015.

If we go down to $20 and stay there, a global financial meltdown is virtually guaranteed.

Meanwhile, the “fracking boom” in the United States that generated so many jobs, so much investment and so much economic activity is now turning into a “fracking bust”

The fracking-for-oil boom started in 2005, collapsed by 60% during the Financial Crisis when money ran out, but got going in earnest after the Fed had begun spreading its newly created money around the land. From the trough in May 2009 to its peak in October 2014, rigs drilling for oil soared from 180 to 1,609: multiplied by a factor of 9 in five years! And oil production soared, to reach 9.2 million barrels a day in January.

It was a great run, but now it is over.

In the months ahead, the trickle of good paying oil industry jobs that are being lost right now is going to turn into a flood.

And this boom was funded with lots and lots of really cheap money from Wall Street.  I like how Wolf Richter described this in a recent article

That’s what real booms look like. They’re fed by limitless low-cost money – exuberant investors that buy the riskiest IPOs, junk bonds, leveraged loans, and CLOs usually indirectly without knowing it via their bond funds, stock funds, leveraged-loan funds, by being part of a public pension system that invests in private equity firms that invest in the boom…. You get the idea.

As all of this bad paper unwinds, a lot of people are going to lose an extraordinary amount of money.

Don’t get caught with your pants down.  You will want your money to be well away from the energy industry long before this thing collapses.

And of course in so many ways what we are facing right now if very reminiscent of 2008.  So many of the same patterns that have played out just prior to previous financial crashesare happening once again.  Right now, oil rigs are shutting down at a pace that is almost unprecedented.  The only time in recent memory that we have seen anything like this was just before the financial crisis in the fall of 2008.  Here is more from Wolf Richter

In the latest reporting week, drillers idled another 84 rigs, the second biggest weekly cut ever, after idling 83 and 94 rigs in the two prior weeks. Only 1056 rigs are still drilling for oil, down 443 for the seven reporting weeks so far this year and down 553 – or 34%! – from the peak in October.

Never before has the rig count plunged this fast this far:

Fracking Bust

What if the fracking bust, on a percentage basis, does what it did during the Financial Crisis when the oil rig count collapsed by 60% from peak to trough? It would take the rig count down to 642!

But even though rigs are shutting down like crazy, U.S. production of oil has continued to rise

Rig counts have long been used to help predict future oil and gas production. In the past week drillers idled 98 rigs, marking the 10th consecutive decline. The total U.S. rig count is down 30 percent since October, an unprecedented retreat. The theory goes that when oil rigs decline, fewer wells are drilled, less new oil is discovered, and oil production slows.

But production isn’t slowing yet. In fact, last week the U.S. pumped more crude than at any time since the 1970s. “The headline U.S. oil rig count offers little insight into the outlook for U.S. oil production growth,” Goldman Sachs analyst Damien Courvalin wrote in a Feb. 10 report.

Look, it should be obvious to anyone with even a basic knowledge of economics that the stage is being set for a massive financial meltdown.

This is just the kind of thing that can plunge us into a deflationary depression.  And when you combine this with the ongoing problems in Europe and in Asia, it is easy to see that a “perfect storm” is brewing on the horizon.

Sadly, a lot of people out there will choose not to believe until the day the crisis arrives.

By then, it will be too late to do anything about it.

GOP lawmaker files “Prevention of Executive Amnesty Act of 2015”
House Republican files first plan to defund Obama immigration actionImage Credits: CBP.gov

by Byron York | Washington Examiner | January 7, 2015


There’s been a lot of talk in Republican circles about Congress’s authority to stop President Obama’s unilateral executive action on immigration. Now, a GOP lawmaker has actually filed a bill to do it.

The lawmaker is Alabama Rep. Martha Roby, who on Tuesday, the first day of the new session of Congress, introduced a bill called the “Prevention of Executive Amnesty Act of 2015.”

It’s a short, simple measure — just three pages. It is intended to apply to the coming appropriation for the Department of Homeland Security, which Congress funded only until the end of February in anticipation of a move to stop the Obama immigration edict.

Roby’s bill is essentially a “none of the funds” clause, that is, it forbids the executive branch from spending money for a particular purpose. Instead of defunding the Department of Homeland Security as a whole, or any office within the department, the bill specifies that none of the funds available to DHS may be used to enforce two recent directives. The first is a November 20, 2014 memo from DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson outlining new policies for the “apprehension, detention, and removal of undocumented immigrants.” The second is a pair of presidential memos issued November 21, 2014, “Creating Welcoming Communities and Fully Integrating Immigrants and Refugees” and “Modernizing and Streamlining the U.S. Immigrant Visa System for the 21st Century.”

Read more

Tom Tillison
bizpacreview.com
Sept 2, 2013

Even though President Obama delayed his golf outing Saturday to announce that he will solicit authorization from Congress before launching a military attack on Syria, there are reports out of Washington that this is but a formality.

In a move that only adds to the utter confusion that defines the president’s foreign policy, a senior State Department official tells Fox News that Obama’s decision to take military action in Syria still stands, and will indeed be carried out, regardless of whether Congress votes next week to approve the use of such force.

Chief Washington correspondent James Rosen reported that this official said Obama’s decision to seek a congressional vote was a surprise to members of the National Security Council, but insisted the request for Congress to vote did not supplant the president’s earlier decision to use force in Syria, only delayed its implementation.

“That’s going to happen, anyway,” the source told Rosen, adding that that was why the president, in his Rose Garden remarks, was careful to establish that he believes he has the authority to launch such strikes without congressional authorization.

Why would “a senior State Department official be so forthcoming?

There were suggestions that Secretary of State Kerry “lost” to the chairman of the Joint chiefs of Staff in the interagency process and this was a way to refute this claim, according to Fox News.

“Absolutely untrue,” the Kerry aide said, adding that everything Kerry said in his dramatic remarks on Friday was after “fully consulting with the White House.”

Sounds like business as usual in the Obama administration.

This article was posted: Monday, September 2, 2013 at 6:17 am

Tags: , ,

PAUL SZOLDRA
Business Insider
Sept 2, 2013

After President Obama said the United States “should” strike Syria during a Saturday speech in the Rose Garden, Republican Justin Amash (R-Mich.) took to Twitter to dispute that claim with comments from those who would likely carry out that order.

“I’ve been hearing a lot from members of our Armed Forces,” Amash tweeted. “The message I consistently hear: Please vote no on military action against Syria.”

Amash has been retweeting those thoughts for more than a day. But as a possible attack on Syria looms, there is much more to share than just what can be said in 140 characters.

I’ve reached out to my own sources who are either veterans or currently on active duty in the military, and asked them to share their thoughts on whether we should, or should not, intervene in the two-year-old Syrian civil war. Most have responded with a resounding no.

The general theme of most emails bring up personal experiences in Iraq or Afghanistan, the lack of a clear objective or end state in striking Syria, and the very muddled line between anti-government rebels and al Qaeda-affiliated terrorists.

While President Obama has repeatedly said there would be no “boots on the ground,” many remain fearful that limited strikes could have consequences that lead to further action.

Here are two emails I received, and I am reprinting them here in full, only lightly edited for clarity.

From an active-duty soldier, rank of Sergeant First Class:

I have to say I am fairly conflicted about Syria. My logic is generally fighting itself and my personal feelings towards taking action.

Part of me says that we need to take a stand against chemical weapons. President Obama announced that using chemicals weapons was the line, and Assad crossed it. The fact that even the French President has called for “proportional and firm action” says something. I’m not sure how the UN can stand by while Syria kills 1300 citizens, including women and children. The line was drawn, and Assad crossed it.

But does the U.S. always have to be the one to deliver consequences? We are stretched thin, tired, and broke. My personal feeling is no.

I’m more inclined to be ok with our involvement if we’re talking about actions by the Air Force and the Navy. We are too tired to put boots on the ground. But as an Explosive Ordnance Disposal tech, I know what would go into disarmament of chemical weapons.

And that’s just not a job I want anything to do with. And I don’t want my Soldiers doing it.

Not only is the process long and exhausting, it’s dangerous in different ways than we have been dealing with.

My gut is telling me that we don’t need to be World Police. And if we don’t have the UN for back up, it’s just too much for us to take on. We still haven’t finished Afghanistan; I just don’t see how we can take on another war, or even military actions that don’t affect us.

I can’t stand to sit by and watch innocent lives be taken in such a horrible manner, but we can’t really do this alone.

But if we don’t do something, who will? How many more innocent people have to die before anyone else will take action?

From former Cpl. Jack Mandaville, a Marine Corps infantry veteran with 3 deployments to Iraq:

In mid-March of 2003, I was a 19-year-old Private First Class waiting to cross the border into Iraq. I was aware that there was a significant portion of veterans (mostly Vietnam-era) back home who were fundamentally opposed to the invasion of Iraq. Like the majority of my peers and superiors, I didn’t really care nor did I give it much thought. We just wanted our war.

A little over 10 years later, the majority of individuals in my generation have recognised the Iraq folly for what it was. I’m still proud of my service, as are my buds, but we understand that Iraq was completely unnecessary and cost way too much money and, more importantly, American lives.

We witnessed our politicians and countrymen send us to war on a surge of emotion and quickly forget about us for nearly a decade. We had the training and capabilities to deal with Iraq, but were set up for failure by timid members of Congress and the Executive branch who futilely attempted to conduct a PC war.

The worst part about this Syria debacle, among many things, is how closely it resembles Iraq. Those Vietnam veterans who warned us about disastrous results in Iraq were doing so based off their experience in a war that, contrary to popular belief, was vastly different from our war and was separated by at least two decades.

Many veterans of Iraq are still in their twenties and have a firsthand understanding of Arab political issues. The complicated things we faced with Syria’s next door neighbours is freshly ingrained in our memories. How quickly the American people and our political leaders forget.

Our involvement in Syria is so dangerous on so many levels, and the 21st century American vet is more keen to this than anybody. It boggles my mind that we are being ignored.

My anger over this issue has actually made me seriously comment on our foreign policy for the first time since 2006 when I was honorably discharged after three stints in Iraq and subsequently watched it continue for nearly another six years.

I’m sickened that we’re putting ourselves in a position for another prolonged war where the American people will quickly forget about the people fighting it.

Are you a military veteran? Send me an email with your thoughts on possible military action in Syria (anonymity protected if preferred) — pszoldra@businessinsider.com

White House signals next week’s vote has no relevance whatsoever

Paul Joseph Watson
Infowars.com
September 2, 2013
the DICK TATER
The Obama administration has made it clear that it will ignore Congress even if lawmakers vote no to military intervention in Syria and launch the attack anyway.

Image: Wikimedia Commons

While Obama’s surprise decision to seek Congressional authorization for the attack has prompted speculation that he is creating a clever exit strategy after painting himself into a corner with a year of unsustainable “red line” rhetoric, administration officials have signaled that next week’s scheduled vote will make little difference to a decision that has already been made.

Fox News’ James Rosen was told by a senior State Department official that, “the president’s decision to take military action in Syria still stands, and will indeed be carried out, regardless of whether Congress votes next week to approve the use of such force.”

Although Obama’s announcement that he would put the issue to Congress came as a surprise, the official said it had no impact on the fact that Obama has already decided to green light the attack no matter which way lawmakers vote.

“That’s going to happen, anyway,” the aide told Rosen.

In addition, Secretary of State John Kerry asserted that Obama has the right to strike Syria regardless of how Congress votes.

“We don’t contemplate that the Congress is going to vote no,” said Kerry, adding that Obama has the right to order attacks “no matter what Congress does”.

Indeed, Obama himself alluded to the notion that the outcome of a Congressional vote had little significance during his speech on Saturday when he stated, “Our capacity to execute this mission is not time-sensitive,” adding, “It will be effective tomorrow or next week or one month from now, and I am prepared to give that order.”

The Congressional vote seems less about getting the nod for a “limited” military strike and more about expanding the scope of the intervention and possibly greasing the skids for open ended war and regime change, with the White House’s draft proposal giving Obama “the authority to do way more” than surgical strikes, reports MSNBC.

According to Rand Paul, it’s 50/50 on whether Congress will give Obama the green light to launch an attack which is being opposed by an increasing number of both top brass and regular servicemembers within the US military.

However, with the administration already acknowledging that the vote will merely be ceremonial, and with more US warships moving towards Syria, it seems that the attempt to secure congressional approval is merely window dressing in anticipation of an attack that has already been decided upon.

Facebook @ https://www.facebook.com/paul.j.watson.71
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Paul Joseph Watson is the editor and writer for Infowars.com and Prison Planet.com. He is the author of Order Out Of Chaos. Watson is also a host for Infowars Nightly News.

This article was posted: Monday, September 2, 2013 at 8:42 am

Tags: constitution, war

In what should be front page news blasted out nationwide as a breaking news alert, the DHS has openly established extensive ‘Constitution free zones’ in which your Fourth Amendment does not exist.

It’s not ‘conspiracy’ and it’s not fraud, the DHS has literally created an imaginary ‘border’ within the United States that engulfs 100 miles from every single end of the nation. Within this fabricated ‘border’, the DHS can search your electronic belongings for no reason. We’re talking about no suspicion, no reasonable cause, nothing. No reason whatsoever is required under their own regulations. The DHS is now above the Constitution under their own rules, and even Wired magazine authors were amazed at the level of pure tyranny going on here.

This ‘border’ even includes where the US land meets oceans in addition to legitimate borders with Mexico and Canada. As a result, you have over 197 million citizens suffocated in these 100 mile ‘border zones’ that include major cities like New York City, Houston, Los Angeles, and Philadelphia. Checkout the graphic below for a visual representation, with the orange area representing the Constitution free zone as designated by the DHS:
Constitution free zone
An ACLU image showing ‘Constitution free border zones’.
100 mile zone
What’s even more amazing, is that this has been going on since 2008. That’s about 5 years of absolute unconstitutional abuse of power by the Department of Homeland Security that the media fails to even document. That’s 197 million citizens living without a Constitution as far as the DHS is concerned, and apparently the Department of Justice (DOJ) must be pretty content too. Amazingly, no one has challenged this besides the ACLU, which was contacted following the case of a man who was actually detained within the 100 mile ‘border’ area.

Not only was this man’s laptop searched for no reason, as is ‘allowed’ under DHS code now, but they ended up finding pictures designated to be linked up with ‘terrorist’ groups. In response, the man was thrown in a cell while DHS agents went through every piece of data on his entire laptop. The ACLU is now suing over this event, but there’s no telling how the case will go with such limited media exposure. The DHS is literally gutting the Constitution and declaring itself higher than the law of the land by doing this, and it spells out major trouble for the entire Bill of Rights at large.

DHS DISMISSES CONSTITUTION, BILL OF RIGHTS

Because if the DHS can simply ‘overrule’ the Fourth Amendment for 197 million citizens, it can also ‘overrule’ the First and Second Amendments as well. What’s stopping them? It’s highly illegal under the Constitution, but it appears they truly don’t care. And to demonstrate just how little they truly care, they have even gone and ‘reviewed’ themselves for their own actions following outcry from some legal experts.

To break it down: back in 2008 there was outrage from those who actually value the Constitution and understand how the bloated DHS entity works, so the DHS promised to prove within 120 days that what they were doing was constitutional and legal. Years later, the report came out to reveal that the DHS actually reviewed itself and determined that it was acting 100% properly. It also founds that everything it was doing was ‘constitutional’ because it was not actually removing the Constitution from United States soil, only the ‘border’.

The ‘border’ that expands 100 miles and includes 197 million people.

This news should be on the front page of every single news organization in the world, but the sad reality is that it’s not. It’s up to the alternative news, the real news, to report on this. It’s up to me to make videos about this, it’s up to the alternative news to syndicate it out, and it’s up to you to share this. It’s time to reclaim our Constitution and tell the DHS we won’t live in Constitution free zones any longer.

Anthony Gucciardi
Economic Collapse
July 23, 2013

Now you can keep your shoes on when travelling through the Orwellian TSA ‘security’ checkpoints thanks to a new program that only requires one thing — the complete and utter erosion of your personal privacy.

Instead of cutting the various ‘anti-terrorist’ security functions employed by the TSA that have not caught a single terrorist despite expansive funding and highly invasive techniques that violate our fundamental rights, the TSA is now offering a new ‘quick pass’ system that allows enrolled US citizens through the first few security measures once they are approved by the agency for membership status within the program.

And in order to participate in the ‘PreCheck’ TSA program, you will need to allow them to reach down into the proverbial pants of your personal life as well. Under PreCheck, you are required to not only present your fingerprints to the TSA in person and pay a fee of $85, but the agency is also looking to gather all forms of your data as well — which reports state includes your web history and online data. With the help of a third party organization, the TSA seeks to ‘pre-screen’ (think pre-crime) individuals based on their activity in order to determine if they are worthy of bypassing the most minimal of security checkpoints.

We can find this in a posting made by the TSA on FedBizOpps in relation to the new PreCheck program, which discusses the tactics used to ‘pre-screen’ fliers for the PreCheck program through the use of third party contractors. And according to a report by NextGov, PreCheck members will even be offering up their web history as a part of the qualifications, writing:

“TSA is weighing a contract that would hire private screeners to parse an applicant’s consumer data, such web browsing histories, for signs of danger before admission into express inspection programs.”

So essentially, the largest amount of compliance is rewarded with a bonus given to those who go along with the TSA’s police state tactics with a smile. Rewards are given to those who offer the TSA their fingerprints, their web data (likely using a download from the TSA website that scans your usage and reports everything back to DHS), and of course 85 dollars of their finances. It’s essentially like openly allowing the NSA to come in and mine your data, but this time you’re also handing it over to the DHS.

And you still have to go through the naked body scanners.

In time we will tell how many Americans have surrendered to the TSA and criminal elements of government at large when we see just how many citizens actually give away their privacy to save time in the TSA fondling lines. Coming around fall of this year, it will truly be a sad sight to see Americans flaunting their TSA-approved PreCheck cards in a rush to the naked body scanners.

Instead of sacrificing your privacy on the altar of the TSA and convenience, how about we kick them out instead. The TSA is literally a worthless sector of government that can easily be fooled by any amateur who studies the basic functions of the naked body scanner machines, as we’ve seen in the past with videos explaining how to take anything past the TSA scanners. There’s a reason they never catch all of the test weapons brought through airports.

This post originally appeared at Story Leak

Posted on January 2, 2013 by Robert Farago

gun

gun

UPDATE: Two firearms-related bills are now headed for committee. Click here to read the texts.

The NRA’s Illinois rep confirms Illinois Senate President John Cullerton’s gun ban bill. Posting at illinoiscarry.com, Todd Vandermyde says “Not only are they going after semi-autos and magazines, but they are going after ranges . . . Sources say the new bills would require any range open to the public to be run by an FFL. That they would be licensed under unlimited rules and regulations by the State Police. If you see what the Governor did under his AV of SB-681, you can imagine what kind of rules/standards he would put in place to run a range.” The new bill would also prevent non-FOID card holders from getting firearm safety training with a live fire component. “At this time we have no bill numbers,” Todd says. “But we anticipate them using house bills passed over for floor amendments which would only take a matter of hours to clear committee and be ready for a final vote. Legislative offices are open today.” Any gun owner can call Senator Cullerton at 773-883-0770 to lodge their protest.
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Erik Loomis wants gun group declared “terrorist organization”

Paul Joseph Watson
Infowars.com
December 18, 2012

A professor at the University of Rhode Island has found himself embroiled in controversy after tweeting what many assumed to be a death threat against National Rifle Association President Wayne LaPierre.

Professor Erik Loomis got into hot water with second amendment activists when he tweeted, “I was heartbroken in the first 20 mass murders. Now I want Wayne LaPierre’s head on a stick,” in response to last week’s Connecticut school massacre.

Loomis followed up the tweet with a string of subsequent missives, including his most recent tweet in which he called on the Obama administration to “repeal the second amendment.”

Loomis’ desire to see NRA head LaPierre’s “head on a stick,” which in a historical context was used as a brutal way of using an executed dissident’s severed head to warn others against misbehaving, was taken by many as a direct threat but Loomis himself denied he was calling for LaPierre to be assassinated.

“Dear rightwingers, to be clear, I don’t want to see Wayne LaPierre dead. I want to see him in prison for the rest of his life,” tweeted Loomis, labeling the NRA a “terrorist organization” and complaining of there being a “rightwing campaign” against him.

The fact that the University of Rhode Island is a taxpayer funded state university only increased the vitriol directed against Loomis, leading him to complain that he was forced to “block 20 gun nuts from my twitter feed.”

“You are goddamn right we should politicize this tragedy,” Loomis remarked in another tweet. “Fuck the NRA.”

Given that Loomis is a professor of history, one finds it alarming that he fails to grasp the very reason the founding fathers included the second amendment as part of the US Constitution in the first place – to defend against the kind of tyranny imposed by the ruling British empire, which Americans once fought off with guns – and lots of them.

His obsession with portraying his political adversaries as violent extremists who cause school shootings is also ironic given Loomis’ history of violent rhetoric.

“In March of this year, he called for a “decades-long fight to the death [against conservatives]. That’s the nation’s only hope.” The questionable rhetoric appeared in an essay ironically titled, “Are Conservatives Any Crazier Today Than 50 Years Ago?” Clearly the professor, who has violent impulses is projecting his own character flaws onto conservatives,” writes Thomas Lifson.

*********************

Paul Joseph Watson is the editor and writer for Infowars.com and Prison Planet.com. He is the author of Order Out Of Chaos. Watson is also a host for Infowars Nightly News.

12.19.2012

Attacks individual right to keep and bear arms

Steve Watson
Infowars.com
Dec 18, 2012


Barack Obama’s former head of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, Cass Sunstein, a long time advocate of eviscerating the Second Amendment, has penned a piece that essentially labels anyone who defends long standing gun rights in the US as “crazy”.

In the editorial titled Gun Debate Must Avoid Crazy Second Amendment Claims, Sunstein argues that the individual right to bear arms, supported and reaffirmed consistently by courts across the nation, constitutes “wild and unsupportable claims about the meaning of the Constitution.”

“Sure, it could fairly be read to support an individual right to have guns.” writes Sunstein of the Second, “But in light of the preamble, with its reference to a well-regulated militia, it could also be read not to confer an individual right, but to protect federalism, by ensuring that the new national government wouldn’t interfere with citizen militias at the state level.”

He then goes on to claim that for decades it was never recognized that the Second Amendment protected the individual’s right to keep and bear arms, and that it was only with the Supreme Court decision in 2008 that individual rights were established.

“We should respect the fact that the individual right to have guns has been established, but a lot of gun-control legislation, imaginable or proposed, would be perfectly consistent with the court’s rulings.” Sunstein writes.

“It is past time to stop using the Second Amendment itself as a loaded weapon, threatening elected representatives who ought to be doing their jobs.” Sunstein concludes.

This constitutes an old argument that is used by big government gun grabbers and those politically motivated to erode individual rights. The Supreme Court decision in 2008 UPHELD the individual right to keep and bear arms, as many other court decisions and Justice Department memoranda has before. It did not ESTABLISH that right, as Sunstein argues.

In 2004, the Justice Department noted, “A ‘right of the people’ is ordinarily and most naturally a right of individuals, not of a State and not merely of those serving the State as militiamen. The phrase ‘keep arms’ at the time of the Founding usually indicated the private ownership and retention of arms by individuals as individuals, not the stockpiling of arms by a government or its soldiers, and the phrase certainly had that meaning when used in connection with a ‘right of the people,’”

“Moreover, the Second Amendment appears in the Bill of Rights amid amendments securing numerous individual rights, a placement that makes it likely that the right of the people to keep and bear arms likewise belongs to individuals,” the DOJ’s report continued.

Sunstein’s argument against individual gun rights hinges on the notion that the Founders used the word “people” to mean “states”, a clearly ridiculous suggestion especially given that the Constitution and Bill of Rights were penned by the most meticulous wordsmiths in history.

Thomas Jefferson himself wrote in several drafts of the Virginia constitution, provisions that “no freeman shall be debarred the use of arms.”

In addition, state-level precursors to the Second Amendment made it clear that keeping arms was each person’s individual right “for the defence of themselves and the state.”

In his argument, Sunstein even wrongly cites the 1939 case of U.S. v. Miller, to argue that there is no individual right to keep and bear arms. In reality, however, the court in that case duly noted that the “militia” mentioned in the Second Amendment comprised all able-bodied males – ie individuals.

Sunstein, and those who have propelled the same argument about the Second Amendment are twisting its meaning. The founders explicitly crafted the Second Amendment as a bulwark against government tyranny. Armed militia — citizens of a country — were to defend against the possible rise of a tyrannical state, not only merely to organize for hunting expeditions or to defend against small scale criminal activity.

We have seen this kind of Rhetoric before from Sunstein. During a lecture at the University of Chicago Law School on October 27, 2007, he argued that “The Supreme Court has never suggested that the Second Amendment protects the individual right to have guns.”

Sunstein either misunderstands the original purpose of the Second Amendment or stands opposed to an armed citizenry guarding against tyranny.

Given that Sunstein has also argued that the First Amendment should be “reformulated”, and has called for taxing or banning outright, as in making illegal, opinions and ideas that the government doesn’t approve of, it is clearly only his views on the Constitution and Bill of Rights that are “crazy”, and not those of the Founders.
Cass Suunsteen

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