Why haven’t we seen spent cartridges from the Sandy Hook scene?

I got to wondering why the police haven’t shown any of the spent cartridges from the weapons used at the Sandy Hook crime scene. There has been a huge dispute regarding exactly which weapons were used. New companies have reported that .223 caliber rifle, a 10mm Glock pistol and a 9mm Sig Sauer pistol were found. CNN also reported that a shotgun was found in the trunk of the killer’s vehicle.

Little would change for use of the pistols. It would be interesting to know exactly which of these weapons were actually fired. One way to know is from the spent cartridges left behind. However, images of these have not been shown and the subject has not been discussed. It is easy to identify the spent cartridges because the ammunition for these three weapons are very different from each other. Check out the images that follow to see for yourself.

.223 caliber rifle

10 mm Glock pistol

9mm SIG Sauer pistol

Stratfor: China’s Dynastic Cycle

An interesting, thought admittedly simplistic, analysis of political change in China.

Global Macro Monitor

Excellent video from Stratfor.  Huge return on the investment of three minutes of your time.

Stratfor’s Vice President of East Asia Analysis Rodger Baker discusses the historical cycle of China’s dynastic territorial expansion and contraction and explains how this pattern affects today’s Communist Party.
For more analysis, visit: http://www.Stratfor.com

(click here if video is not observable)

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One New York State Senator Sets Cuomo Straight

One brave, articulate senator up in New York State sets Governor Cuomo straight on gun control and the failure of that state’s mental health system. Check out this video.

NY state gun control debate

Obama thinks this will help???

It’s a little scary to think the the president thinks his gun control proposals will significantly reduce crimes committed with guns. Criminals don’t respect laws even if they are signed by the president. The Newtown shooter, for example, didn’t buy any of the weapons he used. They were all stolen, as are many if not most of the guns used in crimes. And, he had already killed his mother. The law didn’t keep him from committing either the murder of his mother or the theft of the guns.

The president focuses on “assault” rifles; he wants to ban all sales of “assault” rifle and large capacity magazines. The problem is that most people killed by gun shots are killed with hand guns. This proposal will do little or nothing if implemented. In fact, it will make the situation worse because scarce resources will be used that could be better used for example to provide better mental health care to people who have violent tendencies.

He also wants to require doctors to report to police potentially violent patients. I wonder how that will affect mentally ill, perhaps paranoid, patients’ perceptions of their doctors.

Then, back to the scary part, if the president thinks this will actually work, he’s seriously out of touch. What is this effort then? It seems that it is mostly more politics as usual, another waste for scarce resources and time.

Competitiveness of Chinese factories declines

Chinese manufacturing is apparently becoming less competitive compared to lower cost alternatives in other parts of Asia.

The shift—illustrated in weakened foreign investment in China—has pluses and minuses for an economy key to global growth. Beijing wants to shift to higher-value production and to see incomes rise. But a de-emphasis on manufacturing puts pressure on leaders to make sure jobs are created in other sectors to keep the world’s No. 2 economy humming.

Total foreign direct investment flowing into China fell 3.7% in 2012 to $111.72 billion, the Ministry of Commerce said Wednesday, in the first annual decline since the fallout from the global financial crisis in 2009.

Part of the problem is that wages have been increasing.

But it also is the result of a long-term trend of rising wages and other costs that have made China less attractive, especially for basic manufacturing. By contrast, foreign direct investment into Thailand surged by about 63% in 2012, and Indonesia’s was up 27% in the first nine months of last year.

Foreign capital helped build China into a low-cost manufacturing powerhouse and global growth engine. But wages are rising and its increasingly urban population has higher expectations in terms of jobs, working conditions and the pollution that often comes with low-level manufacturing—expectations that have eroded China’s cost advantage.

A shift to other countries doesn’t mean companies are abandoning China. In a survey of about 300 members of the American Chamber of Commerce in China, 58% said the country remains in the top three investment priorities. But only 20% said China was their No. 1 investment priority last year, compared with 31% in 2011.

Source: WSJ.com

Have You Entered A Lot on Your Plate’s Online Bake-off Yet?!

I’m not entering. But, perhaps you have some baking skills!

Germany to move 700 tons of its gold back to Germany

The BBC is says that Germany’s central bank will move 700 tons of gold from New York and Paris back to Germany.

The bars were originally taken out of Germany as a precaution against an invasion from the Soviet Union.

Central banks keep gold abroad so that it can be used to quickly buy foreign currency in times of crisis.

The Bundesbank will no longer keep any of its reserves in Paris, as both countries use the euro.

It will reduce the amount it holds in New York from 45% to 37% by the end of the decade.

No gold will be moved out of the Bank of England’s vaults, however. It will still keep 13% of its total reserves in London, the German central bank said.

Grand Canyon Civil War: North vs. South

Great shot! Like nowhere else in the world.

Everywhere Once

We heard a lot about the North Rim of the Grand Canyon before arriving. Mostly we heard that it was better than the more popular South Rim. Remote, authentic, undeveloped, peaceful were all adjectives used as platitudes in describing the north. And they’re mostly true.

The North Rim is nearly a two hour drive from the nearest town, Fredonia, Arizona. Half of that drive is on a road only open several months per year. The nearest airport is 275 miles away by car in Flagstaff, AZ. It is not easy to get to the North Rim of the Grand Canyon, which is why fewer people do. And yet the one reason we heard repeatedly mentioned to favor the North, smaller crowds, didn’t exactly pan out.

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The Predatory State and Unconstrained Democracy

I am astounded each time I hear or read of politicians, big and small, and self-proclaimed and authentic intellectuals alike, issuing opinions on how outdated and unrealistic, how inappropriate, how unworkable, our Constitution has become. To them, what is needed is a stronger state, more government control, more “democracy.”

I was looking through some websites this morning and came across the following image of wolves, two apparently relaxed, not so threatening, waiting for their opportunity, and two with menacing looks on their faces, ready to attack, to devour, to serve themselves at the expense of their prey.

Why is the Constitution still relevant? Why do we need the Constitution?

We need the Constitution to protect us from the wolves of the predatory state and the predations of unrestrained democracy. Without it, you and I, the individuals, the unpopular minorities, are just prey to be exploited to further the grand plans of venal tin-pot politicians and their avaricious followers.

The Wolves of the Predatory State and Unrestrained Democracy

The Wolves of the Predatory State and Unrestrained Democracy

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