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TRICK OR TREAT -- BERNANKE: DAMNED IF HE DOES, DAMNED IF HE DOESN'T...

The scariest man on the planet until 2:30 p.m. (EDT)...

Bernanke_ben

Ben Bernanke, Chairman of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve

On this Halloween day, Ben Bernanke will be roundly condemned by a number of people who felt that the FOMC decision is wrong. Especially if they did not anticipate the results and take the appropriate action for their institutions or personal accounts.

So this Halloween, we present the scariest man on the planet... at least until the announcement of the FOMC's decision is issued at approximately 2:30 p.m. (EDT).

By way of background...

Who:  The FOMC...

"The Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) consists of twelve members--the seven members of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System; the president of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York; and four of the remaining eleven Reserve Bank presidents, who serve one-year terms on a rotating basis. The rotating seats are filled from the following four groups of Banks, one Bank president from each group: Boston, Philadelphia, and Richmond; Cleveland and Chicago; Atlanta, St. Louis, and Dallas; and Minneapolis, Kansas City, and San Francisco. Nonvoting Reserve Bank presidents attend the meetings of the Committee, participate in the discussions, and contribute to the Committee's assessment of the economy and policy options."

What they do: Monetary Policy...

The Federal Reserve is our nation's "Central Bank" and is charged with "influencing  the availability and cost of money and credit to help promote national economic goals."

More specifically, they are the watchdogs that keep our economy growing, promote full employment and control conditions that reduce a consumer's purchasing power by minimizing inflation.

How they do it:

Contrary to popular opinion, it is not magic and its not done in complete secrecy.

"The Federal Reserve controls the three tools of monetary policy--open market operations, the discount rate, and reserve requirements. The Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System is responsible for the discount rate and reserve requirements, and the Federal Open Market Committee is responsible for open market operations. Using the three tools, the Federal Reserve influences the demand for, and supply of, balances that depository institutions hold at Federal Reserve Banks and in this way alters the federal funds rate. The federal funds rate is the interest rate at which depository institutions lend balances at the Federal Reserve to other depository institutions overnight."

Why it matters...

"Changes in the federal funds rate trigger a chain of events that affect other short-term interest rates, foreign exchange rates, long-term interest rates, the amount of money and credit, and, ultimately, a range of economic variables, including employment, output, and prices of goods and services."

Why it matters to YOU...

If your credit card interest rate is pegged to the PRIME interest rate, the rate charged by banks to their most creditworthy customers, your credit card interest rate may be affected when the FOMC changes the federal funds rate. The same with the rates on your car loan, business loans and mortgage if they are pegged to interest rates affected by the FOMC decision.

Will it help those with re-setting ARM loans?

If a person's adjustable rate loan (ARM) is resetting, the change in the interest rate may be overshadowed by another more significant event. For the fixed portion of the ARM loan period, especially for those who took advantage of so-called "teaser rates," the monthly loan payments were manageable. However, when a loan resets, the new monthly payment is calculated to fully pay off the loan in the remaining period of the loan. Monthly payments can rise dramatically and overtax the borrower's ability to pay. Should a borrower fail to pay their mortgage obligation -- the result is foreclosure.

So what's the big deal?

Normally the stock, bond and commodities markets will arrive at the same conclusion as the FOMC prior to the FOMC meeting -- based on the same commonly available data about the money supply and markets that is used by the FOMC in setting policy.

However, when the FOMC decision is unexpected, the market may experience an almost immediate and sometimes extreme reaction: moving sharply up or down on the FOMC news. If the news is perceived as being "good" for the market, stocks will rise after the announcement. Betting on this rise is gambling, not investing.

Will a rate change solve the country's economic problems?

The short answer: NO!  However, other Fed actions involving depository institutions may help ease the fear, uncertainty and doubt that prevents financial institutions from making new loans and restores a degree of liquidity into the marketplace. Especially when Fed rule-making curtails many of the abuses that sparked this latest systemic problem. In and of itself, the rate cut will do more to restore confidence in the U.S. economic outlook than directly affect what investors will actually do.

What can YOU do?

If possible, seek professional assistance in preserving and growing your assets.

Ladder your investments with staggered maturities so that you can take advantage of rising rates and reduce the impact of declining rates.

Balance your investments among many asset classes so you profit from significant upward moves and shelter against sharp downward moves.

Invest in your own financial education so you are no longer at the mercy of a fancy-titled "salesman" whose only goal is to increase their earnings by "churning and burning" your account.

Need we mention... purchase that which you can comfortably afford and build a contingency fund to allow you to ride through hard times.

Believe in the Better Business Bureau slogan, "Investigate Before You Invest."

Drive carefully and watch for kids popping up in unexpected places. Do not overindulge. Have a happy and safe Halloween.

-- steve

A reminder from OneCitizenSpeaking.com: a large improvement can result from a small change…

The object in life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane. -- Marcus Aurelius


“Nullius in verba.”-- take nobody's word for it!

“Beware of false knowledge; it is more dangerous than ignorance.”-- George Bernard Shaw

“Progressive, liberal, Socialist, Marxist, Democratic Socialist -- they are all COMMUNISTS.”

“The key to fighting the craziness of the progressives is to hold them responsible for their actions, not their intentions.” – OCS

"The object in life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane." -- Marcus Aurelius

“A people that elect corrupt politicians, imposters, thieves, and traitors are not victims... but accomplices” -- George Orwell

“Fere libenter homines id quod volunt credunt." (The people gladly believe what they wish to.) ~Julius Caesar

“Describing the problem is quite different from knowing the solution. Except in politics." ~ OCS



ILLEGAL ALIEN DRIVER'S LICENSES: MIGHT BE A GOOD THING IF IMPLEMENTED PROPERLY

Many states have refused to issue driver's licenses which meet the requirements of the REAL ID act. Civil libertarians note that these cards, issued by the individual state's department of motor vehicles, would amount to a national identity card and a means for the in-depth tracking of citizens in ways that may be unconstitutional.

Illegal aliens know that the driver's license serves as a "breeder document" and is the key to the photo documentation chain. With a driver's license one can open up a bank account, gain access to Federal buildings, obtain utility services and pretty much do anything that doesn't actually require a United States passport. And, since most states have reciprocity arrangements to allow out-of state non-resident drivers the same privileges as those accorded to local drivers, it is possible to obtain a driver's license in one state and then surrender that license in another state for an "unrestricted" legal citizen's version of the license -- and thus appear to be a legitimate American citizen of foreign ancestry.

In defiance of the federal government, New York Governor, Eliot Spitzer, claimed that he would ignore federal requirements and issue driver's licenses to illegal aliens.

Which led to a government showdown. Or knowing the Bush Administration's viewpoint on "regularizing" legal aliens, a faux fight.

Associated Press reports...

"Homeland Security strikes deal with New York on driver's licenses"

"The Bush administration and New York cut a deal Saturday to create a new generation of super-secure driver's licenses for U.S. citizens, but also allow illegal immigrants to get a version."

"The deal comes about one month after New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer announced a plan whereby illegal immigrants with a valid foreign passport could obtain a license.
Saturday's agreement with the Homeland Security Department will create a three-tier license system in New York."

    • "Under the compromise, New York will produce an 'enhanced driver's license' that will be as secure as a passport. It is intended for people who soon will need to meet such ID requirements, even for a short drive to Canada."
    • "A second version of the license will meet new federal standards of the Real ID Act. That law is designed to make it much harder for illegal immigrants or would-be terrorists to obtain licenses."
    • "A third type of license will be available to undocumented immigrants. Spitzer has said this ID will make the state more secure by bringing those people 'out of the shadows' and into American society, and will lower auto insurance rates." Those licenses will be clearly marked to show they are not valid federal ID.

Most illegal immigrants do not have valid passports which immediately decreases the number of eligible drivers. It is anticipated that the standard will be relaxed to simply require some form of matricula consular cards which are issued by a the foreign national's consulate offices.

According to security experts, the cards are "inherently unreliable and unverifiable as an identification card and is highly vulnerable to fraud, regardless of its security features."

Illegal immigrants have no compunction about breaking or ignoring a nation's laws. Therefore, should illegal aliens be required to obtain insurance, it is projected that rates for others would surely increase to offset the increase risks of drivers who normally drive older cars and who may have substantially poorer driving skills.

"Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff said he was not happy that New York intended to issue IDs to illegal immigrants. But he said there was nothing he could do to stop it. 'I don't endorse giving licenses to people who are not here legally, but federal law does allow states to make that choice,' Chertoff said. 'It's going to be a big deal up in Buffalo, it's going to be a big deal on the Canadian side of the border,' Chertoff said."

"Officials, however, would not say whether that meant local law enforcement could use such a license as probable cause to detain someone they suspected of being in the U.S. illegally."

Sanctuary cities would probably implement legislation prohibiting local police and others from using these licenses for enforcement or denying any type of social welfare benefits.

With everything considered, the benefits of providing driver's licenses to illegal aliens seem to outweigh the negatives. Consider the following points...

Continue reading "ILLEGAL ALIEN DRIVER'S LICENSES: MIGHT BE A GOOD THING IF IMPLEMENTED PROPERLY" »


“Nullius in verba.”-- take nobody's word for it!

“Beware of false knowledge; it is more dangerous than ignorance.”-- George Bernard Shaw

“Progressive, liberal, Socialist, Marxist, Democratic Socialist -- they are all COMMUNISTS.”

“The key to fighting the craziness of the progressives is to hold them responsible for their actions, not their intentions.” – OCS

"The object in life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane." -- Marcus Aurelius

“A people that elect corrupt politicians, imposters, thieves, and traitors are not victims... but accomplices” -- George Orwell

“Fere libenter homines id quod volunt credunt." (The people gladly believe what they wish to.) ~Julius Caesar

“Describing the problem is quite different from knowing the solution. Except in politics." ~ OCS



60 MINUTES: UNFAIR & UNBALANCED -- PROPAGANDA FOR A FAR-LEFT AGENDA?

A silhouetted bomber dropping 20 or so bombs is superimposed on a picture of a young innocent boy. The title reads, "Bombing Afghanistan."

60 Minutes correspondent Scott Pelley intones...

"It's been six years since the liberation of Afghanistan. But the fighting there now is the greatest its been since the start of the war.  And more civilians are dying. The enemy has killed hundreds of civilians this year. But, surprisingly, almost the same number of civilians have been killed by American and Allied forces. With relatively few troops on the ground, the U.S. and NATO rely on air power. And civilian deaths from air strikes have doubled. Now there's concern that those deaths are  undermining Afghan support for the war."

And Pelley goes on to say, "We took a closer look at one American air strike from last spring. At the time the Army said that there were unconfirmed reports that nine people died in a battle with the enemy. But when we asked for more information, the ARMY wouldn't tell us anything else. So we went to see for ourselves.

Perhaps we should ask ourselves a few questions at this point.

  • Does the piece appear to be suggesting that the current situation is out-of-control with the fighting being the "greatest" since the start of the war.      
  • Does the piece appear to be suggesting that there is a moral equivalency between the deaths caused by the enemy and those caused by coalition operations?                                                                                                                                                                              
  • Since the piece clearly states that the coalition forces rely predominately on air power and the number of deaths from air strikes have doubled, does this imply "wrongdoing" on the part of coalition forces?
  • Does the piece imply that the casualties of air strikes are undermining Afghan support for the war?
  • And, decide for yourself whether or not the piece implies that there was some type of "coverup" that would have succeeded had not 60 Minutes brought you this investigation?

All that within the first 49 seconds of the program.

The program continues...

The father of the boy, who has apparently lost his entire family to the air strike, has been accused of being a local Taliban leader wanted by the coalition and was not present at the time of the bombing.

The incident started when enemy forces fired a rocket at a U.S. base above the village that was targeted first by mortar fire and then an air strike. Pilots saw two armed men with AK-47s leaving the site of the attack and entering the village. Pelley points out that the rocket missed the base altogether as if that somehow brings into question the degree of subsequent retaliation.

Since the bombs hit their intended target, what we have here is a case of collateral damage. No more and no less. Regrettable -- but not an excuse for anti-American or anti-military propaganda designed to push a far left agenda.

So why is an American television program highlighting this situation -- especially when it is likely that this program will be shown abroad as a clear demonstration of our wanton disregard of civilian life?  As they say, you decide.

The program continues with a comparison to the Russians and noting that it was the Americans who killed ten members of one family. It doesn't matter who says it, the words stick in the minds of the viewers.

Continue reading "60 MINUTES: UNFAIR & UNBALANCED -- PROPAGANDA FOR A FAR-LEFT AGENDA?" »


“Nullius in verba.”-- take nobody's word for it!

“Beware of false knowledge; it is more dangerous than ignorance.”-- George Bernard Shaw

“Progressive, liberal, Socialist, Marxist, Democratic Socialist -- they are all COMMUNISTS.”

“The key to fighting the craziness of the progressives is to hold them responsible for their actions, not their intentions.” – OCS

"The object in life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane." -- Marcus Aurelius

“A people that elect corrupt politicians, imposters, thieves, and traitors are not victims... but accomplices” -- George Orwell

“Fere libenter homines id quod volunt credunt." (The people gladly believe what they wish to.) ~Julius Caesar

“Describing the problem is quite different from knowing the solution. Except in politics." ~ OCS



Condoleezza Rice has apparently lost her way: consults Carter, Clinton, Albright and Kissinger on Mid-East Peace Initiative

What can a bright, articulate  and learned Secretary of State glean from the two politicians who may have been the root cause of the rise of Islamo-Fascism or ex-officials with dodgy diplomatic records?

Carter, who failed to support the Shah of Iran and enabled the rise of Khomeini  and Clinton who failed to provide an appropriate response to their attacks on America and her assets abroad. 

Reuters is reporting...

"Anxious not to repeat mistakes of past Middle East peace-making, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice has turned to former presidents Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter for tips ahead of her own conference this year."

"Rice invited Carter, a vocal critic of Bush administration policies, to the State Department on Wednesday where the two discussed his Arab-Israeli peacemaking efforts in the 1970s, State Department spokesman Sean McCormack said on Friday."

"A Soviet specialist, Rice also telephoned another former Democratic president, Bill Clinton, who tried, and ultimately failed, in his eight years in office to bring the Israelis and Palestinians together."

"'She's trying to draw on the historical record and the experiences of others to see -- see what she can glean and how that may be applicable to the current day,' McCormack said."

"'She is a student of history and has a keen appreciation for how we can apply the lessons of history, what we can learn from those who have gone before us,' he said."

"Other sources of advice have been former U.S. negotiator Dennis Ross and ex-secretaries of state James Baker, Henry Kissinger and Madeleine Albright. Rice meets frequently for lunch with Albright, whose father taught Rice at Denver University."

"Rice has made clear she will devote all her energy in the Bush administration's final 14 months to get what others have failed to attain in the past -- a viable, independent Palestinian state living side by side with a secure Israel."

A few questions...

What could these failed politicians offer in the way of advice? Arafat is gone -- much of the money provided as "humanitarian aid" siphoned off before it reached the people who so desperately need it.

Will the United States sacrifice Israel's relative peace and tranquility for a Presidential Legacy?

What pressure will the United States attempt to exert on Israel to give up a portion of its land or control over disputed areas?

What makes Secretary Rice or any other politician believe that the Palestinian Authority, Hamas, Hezbollah or any of the other  terrorist and anti-American groups will control their own people after tens of years of indoctrination of hatred against the Jewish state?

The one man who can provide honest and effective advice...

Continue reading "Condoleezza Rice has apparently lost her way: consults Carter, Clinton, Albright and Kissinger on Mid-East Peace Initiative" »


“Nullius in verba.”-- take nobody's word for it!

“Beware of false knowledge; it is more dangerous than ignorance.”-- George Bernard Shaw

“Progressive, liberal, Socialist, Marxist, Democratic Socialist -- they are all COMMUNISTS.”

“The key to fighting the craziness of the progressives is to hold them responsible for their actions, not their intentions.” – OCS

"The object in life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane." -- Marcus Aurelius

“A people that elect corrupt politicians, imposters, thieves, and traitors are not victims... but accomplices” -- George Orwell

“Fere libenter homines id quod volunt credunt." (The people gladly believe what they wish to.) ~Julius Caesar

“Describing the problem is quite different from knowing the solution. Except in politics." ~ OCS



EDITED CDC REPORT MAY BOOMERANG: THE TRUTH CUTS BOTH WAYS AND CARES NOT A WHIT FOR WHO IT HURTS

Barbara Boxer and her democrat cohorts are incensed and demanding to know about the information that was apparently not presented to Boxer's Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works. The ditzy Senator is on the democrat war path to prove the Administration deliberately deleted important information that her committee and, by the extension, the public should know.

Senator Barbara Boxer's Talking Points...

PRESS CONFERENCE ON WHITE HOUSE EDITS TO CDC TESTIMONY

On Tuesday October 23, 2007,  Dr. Julie Gerberding, Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) testified before the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works regarding the public health implications of global warming.

It was brought to my attention that Dr. Gerberding's written testimony was heavily edited during the review process coordinated by the White House's Office of Management and Budget, to remove most of the specific information about the health impacts of global warming.

An earlier version of her testimony was 12 pages long. The version she submitted to the Committee was just 6 pages long, and most of the specific information on global warming and public health was gone. A CDC source described it as "eviscerated."

At a White House press briefing the following morning , White House Press Secretary Dana Perino was asked why this material was cut. She claimed that the reason for the edits was that the CDC testimony was inconsistent with the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report on the same topic. [CHART: Perino Quote]

All you have to do is look at the scientific reports to find support for the material that was cut from Dr. Gerberding's testimony is supported by the findings of the IPCC. [CHART: Side by Side comparison]

I agree with Ms. Perino that the IPCC is the place to look for authoritative information on climate change. The IPCC shared the Nobel Peace Prize this year with former Vice President Al Gore.

Nevertheless, they chose to cloak their edits to her testimony in the mantle of science.

The IPCC encompasses the work of more than 2,000 of the world's leading climate scientists. In four groundbreaking reports over the past few months, the IPCC has galvanized the world's attention on the overwhelming scientific consensus on this issue.

I have sent a letter to the President to ensure that the public receives a full accounting of what occurred during that review process, and who was involved. I have asked for copies of all versions of the CDC testimony, and all related records.

This is yet another example of this Administration interfering with the public's right to know all the scientific facts about issues that affect the environment, their health and the health of their families and communities. The Administration has time and again changed scientific reports when the science did not align with the Administration's policy positions.

This pattern has to stop now, and that is the message we are sending to White House today.

One highlighted section that was alleged to be missing reads as follows...

Air Pollution-Related Health Effects

"Climate change can affect air quality by modifying local weather patterns and pollutant concentrations, affecting natural sources of air pollution, and promoting the formation of secondary pollutants. Of particular concern is the impact of increased temperature and UV radiation on ozone formation. Some studies have shown that higher surface temperatures, especially in urban areas, encourage the formation of ground-level ozone. As a primary ingredient of smog, ground-level ozone is a public health concern. Ozone can irritate the respiratory system, reduce lung function, aggravate asthma, and inflame and damage cells that line the lungs. In addition, it may cause permanent lung damage and aggravate chronic lung
diseases.

Now, what would the CDC say about a gross polluter that was allowed to continue polluting and placing the immediate population as well as the planet at further risk?

The purpose of trading emissions credits is to allow gross polluters to mitigate their current pollution levels by simply purchasing emission credits and passing along the cost to their rate-payers. The local population suffers while the government benefits from the higher taxes on the elevated rates, the creators and packagers of the credits profit ... and somewhere that great global bookkeeper regards the environmental books as being balanced while he laughingly pockets his money.

Continue reading "EDITED CDC REPORT MAY BOOMERANG: THE TRUTH CUTS BOTH WAYS AND CARES NOT A WHIT FOR WHO IT HURTS" »


“Nullius in verba.”-- take nobody's word for it!

“Beware of false knowledge; it is more dangerous than ignorance.”-- George Bernard Shaw

“Progressive, liberal, Socialist, Marxist, Democratic Socialist -- they are all COMMUNISTS.”

“The key to fighting the craziness of the progressives is to hold them responsible for their actions, not their intentions.” – OCS

"The object in life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane." -- Marcus Aurelius

“A people that elect corrupt politicians, imposters, thieves, and traitors are not victims... but accomplices” -- George Orwell

“Fere libenter homines id quod volunt credunt." (The people gladly believe what they wish to.) ~Julius Caesar

“Describing the problem is quite different from knowing the solution. Except in politics." ~ OCS



POLITICS and HYPER-PARTISAN PROPAGANDA IS DESTROYING SCIENCE & PUBLIC INQUIRY

As one who disbelieves the media-hyped consequences of a global climate warming trend because it appears to be based on faulty mathematical models and overblown estimates, projects and assumptions, it is disheartening to hear that the current Administration is actively engaged in turning scientific inquiry into advertisements for the Administration.

WE WANT THE TRUTH...

I want to see the peer-reviewed scientific studies of climatological phenomenon. I want to see the assumptions that are used in mathematical models. I want to see the data and draw my own reasoned conclusions. If global warming is a real problem, I want to know about it just as much as if it is some media-hyped partisan scheme to redistribute wealth from the poor to the rich and increase governmental intrusion into the lives of its citizens.

What I don't want is a bozo like Al Gore telling me what I need to know. His information is neither scientific nor accurate and pushes a not-so-hidden agenda.

What I don't want is our Administration running a political shell game on testimony and reporting from its agencies tasked with discovering and disseminating the truth.

That's why the following article from the Associated Press is so disturbing.

"Heavy Editing Is Alleged In Climate Testimony"

"Testimony that the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention planned to give yesterday to a Senate committee about the impact of climate change on health was significantly edited by the White House, according to two sources familiar with the documents."

"Specific scientific references to potential health risks were removed after Julie L. Gerberding submitted a draft of her prepared remarks to the White House Office of Management and Budget for review."

"A CDC official familiar with both versions said Gerberding's draft 'was eviscerated,' cut from 14 pages to four. The version presented to the Senate committee consisted of six pages."

"The official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the sensitive nature of the review process, said that while it is customary for testimony to be changed in a White House review, these changes were particularly 'heavy-handed.'"

"The deletions directed by the White House included details on how many people might be adversely affected because of increased warming and the scientific basis for some of the CDC's analysis on what kinds of diseases might be spread in a warmer climate and rising sea levels, according to one official who had seen the original version."

All of which makes we want to read the report. The public is paying for the research, the government works for the people, so barring any national defense considerations like highlighting a disease vector to be exploited with biological weapons, we should be reading the full and complete report -- not some redacted piece of fluff designed as an advertisement for the Administration and its sometime wayward policies.

But reports have a way of getting lost or silenced. Take the multi-million dollar Barrett Report which allegedly linked the Clinton White House to politically and illegally influencing both the Department of Justice and the Internal Revenue Service to quash an investigation into a philandering HUD Secretary Henry Cisneros and his mistress.

According to the Office of the Independent Counsel, David Barrett...

"The office of the independent counsel issued a press release along with the final report stating: An accurate title for the Report could be, 'What We Were Prevented from  Investigating'. After a thorough reading of the Report it would not be unreasonable to conclude as I have that there was a coverup at high levels of our government and, it appears to have been substantial and coordinated. The question is why? And that question regrettably will go unanswered. Unlike some other coverups, this one succeeded."

While we can understand why the Clinton Administration tried to limit the Cisneros fallout -- as just one of the many scandals of the day -- there is no reason, other than national security, why a report containing scientific information be withheld from the public.

What can YOU do?

Demand your elected officials and appointees refrain from coloring any report containing scientific information unless it is a matter of national defense.

Demand that the Administration as well as Congress refrain from hyper-partisan interpretation of scientific phenomena, research and findings.

Do not vote for any candidate or current politician who is willing to subvert the safety, security and sovereignty of the United States or limit an individual's right of self-defense for personal power, prestige or profits.

-- steve

A reminder from OneCitizenSpeaking.com: a large improvement can result from a small change…

The object in life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane. -- Marcus Aurelius

Heavy Editing Is Alleged In Climate Testimony|Associated Press


“Nullius in verba.”-- take nobody's word for it!

“Beware of false knowledge; it is more dangerous than ignorance.”-- George Bernard Shaw

“Progressive, liberal, Socialist, Marxist, Democratic Socialist -- they are all COMMUNISTS.”

“The key to fighting the craziness of the progressives is to hold them responsible for their actions, not their intentions.” – OCS

"The object in life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane." -- Marcus Aurelius

“A people that elect corrupt politicians, imposters, thieves, and traitors are not victims... but accomplices” -- George Orwell

“Fere libenter homines id quod volunt credunt." (The people gladly believe what they wish to.) ~Julius Caesar

“Describing the problem is quite different from knowing the solution. Except in politics." ~ OCS



THE GRAND SCHEME: CONGRESS IS ABOUT TO POISON THE AMERICAN PUBLIC AND CHARGE THEM FOR THE PRIVILEGE

Using the media-driven hysteria over the possibility that there is a phenomenon such as global warming, Congress, at the urging of its special interest supporters, mainly the energy companies and the "financial engineers" of Wall Street are about to perpetrate a fraud upon the American People. If it succeeds, it will be the greatest fraud in the history of mankind: it will fundamentally hand the control over each and every American life to the government, permit unlimited and confiscatory taxation, and any provable results will never be known in ten lifetimes or more.

The scam will result in the continued poisoning of the American public by allowing gross polluters of the environment to continue their polluting activities in return for requiring their rate-payers to fund an enormous new government bureaucracy funded by unconstitutional taxes remitted to the government. In addition, the government will permit the largest socialistic experiment in wealth re-distribution in history to proceed without hindrance.

Scheme participants will reap billions of dollars in profits without doing much more than engaging in Enron-type "paper trading" activities designed to maximize the extraction of "profits" from an unaware citizenry.

About now, you may be thinking that I am either crazy or wildly speculating about the subject matter. Well, proof is now at hand.

Truth:  No one, the scientists or the politicians , can prove that the Earth is experiencing a global warming cycle or a global cooling cycle other than to say that temperature fluctuations are a normal part of nature.

Truth: No one can prove that man can grossly affect the powers of nature any more than they can stop the shifting of the tectonic plates to reduce earthquakes, grossly change ocean currents or counteract the ferocious winds caused by variances in solar heating.

Truth:  Those that cite outlandish scenarios based on computer models with flawed or inadequate assumptions are not telling the truth. One, about the limitations of the models themselves. Two, the inadequacy of the input data. Three, why the satellite temperature observations show a major variance with the terrestrial observations. And four, the earthly benefits to be derived from a period of increased temperature change.

Truth:  That carbon-based emissions (e.g. CO2), as a so-called greenhouse gas, have little no effect on climate change as CO2 is less than 1/10 a major factor as is plain water vapor and that the dissolved CO2 in the oceans and that found in the atmosphere is somewhat constant and form a self-regulating feedback loop. The CO2-climate change graph tends to indicate that CO2 levels lag the temperature rise by 600-1,000 years depending on which study you consider.

Truth: Anti-pollution controls should address heavy-metal contamination and the emission of oxides of nitrogen and sulphur (components in smog and returned to earth as acid rain) first before even considering carbon dioxide which is the key factor in producing life-sustaining oxygen in conjunction with plant life.'

Truth: Global climate change is a product of the politicians who are seeking bigger government, more tax revenue and more control over their individual and collective populations and a complicit and lazy media.

Truth: Any proposed emissions control and trading system will never do much for the climate and will be more about governmental control and making big money while producing nothing of value to society.

Truth:  Those who poison the local environment will be allowed to continue their pattern of pollution by simply purchasing mitigation credits. Of course, the local citizens living near the polluting facility will still continue to experience pollution-related health problems -- but, of course, healthcare is a separate government project.

Proof can be found in such bills as Senate Bill S.280...

Enter Senate Bill S.280, known by its benign name the "Climate Stewardship and Innovation Act of 2007," and sponsored by the democrats who would subvert the safety, security, sovereignty, and prosperity of the United States. Perhaps you recognize some of the names:

Summary Excerpts...

"A bill to provide for a program to accelerate the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions in the United States by establishing a market-driven system of greenhouse gas tradeable allowances, to support the deployment of new climate change-related technologies, and to ensure benefits to consumers from the trading in such allowances, and for other purposes." 

"Climate Stewardship and Innovation Act of 2007 - Directs the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to establish and maintain the National Greenhouse Gas Database to collect, verify, and analyze information on greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions."

Establishes a program for market-driven reduction of GHGs through the use of tradeable allowances. Requires certain covered entities that own or control a source of GHG emissions in the electric power, industrial, and commercial sectors of the U.S. economy to submit to the Administrator, beginning in 2012, one tradeable allowance for every metric ton of GHGs emitted. Requires the Administrator to establish a declining cap on tradeable allowances to reduce GHG emissions over time. Allows tradeable allowances to be sold, exchanged, purchased, retired, borrowed, offset, or otherwise used as permitted by this Act.

Requires the Administrator to establish a program to allow covered entities to earn tradable allowances from developing countries' activities that result in certified emission reductions.

Establishes the Climate Change Credit Corporation to manage tradeable allowances.

And much, much more.

Continue reading "THE GRAND SCHEME: CONGRESS IS ABOUT TO POISON THE AMERICAN PUBLIC AND CHARGE THEM FOR THE PRIVILEGE" »


“Nullius in verba.”-- take nobody's word for it!

“Beware of false knowledge; it is more dangerous than ignorance.”-- George Bernard Shaw

“Progressive, liberal, Socialist, Marxist, Democratic Socialist -- they are all COMMUNISTS.”

“The key to fighting the craziness of the progressives is to hold them responsible for their actions, not their intentions.” – OCS

"The object in life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane." -- Marcus Aurelius

“A people that elect corrupt politicians, imposters, thieves, and traitors are not victims... but accomplices” -- George Orwell

“Fere libenter homines id quod volunt credunt." (The people gladly believe what they wish to.) ~Julius Caesar

“Describing the problem is quite different from knowing the solution. Except in politics." ~ OCS



PLAYING "GOTCHA" POLITICS WITH NATIONAL DEFENSE: RETROACTIVE IMMUNITY FOR TELCOs TRADED FOR WHITE HOUSE DOCUMENTS?

According to the Washington Post...

"Senators Say White House Cut Deal With Panel on FISA: Documents Said to Be Traded for Telecom Immunity"

"Senate Judiciary Committee members yesterday angrily accused the White House of allowing the Senate Intelligence Committee to review documents on its warrantless surveillance program in return for agreeing that telecommunications companies should get immunity from lawsuits."

"Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick J. Leahy (D-Vt.) and Sen. Arlen Specter (R-Pa.), the ranking Republican, said any such agreement would be "unacceptable," signaling that legislation granting immunity to certain telecom carriers could run into trouble. Leahy and Specter demanded that the documents, which were provided only to the Intelligence Committee, be turned over to the Judiciary Committee as well."

"At issue is a White House-endorsed measure that would give immunity to telecom carriers being sued for allegedly helping the National Security Agency spy on Americans after September 11, 2001. It is part of a larger bill to rework the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA). The Intelligence Committee has approved the bill and sent it to the Judiciary Committee for deliberation."

"Tony Fratto, a White House spokesman, said yesterday that what the White House did was 'not exactly' a quid pro quo but that the intelligence panel 'expected to legislate on the liability' and so "we've been accommodative on sharing information."

"Fratto said that the White House could not make documents containing presidential authorizations and the Justice Department's legal opinions underpinning the surveillance program available to members not already briefed on the NSA program, as members of the Intelligence Committee were. He said talks are ongoing on that point."

"On Friday, White House press secretary Dana Perino said that Intelligence Committee Chairman John D. Rockefeller IV (D-W.Va.) and ranking member Christopher S. Bond (R-Mo.)'s staff  'showed a willingness' to include immunity in their legislation. "Because they were willing to do that, we were willing to show them some of the documents that they asked to see."

What is going on...

The interception of telephone and other communications to protect the United States should be a national priority. In certain circumstances, such as developing  "data mining" programs and protocols, you need to sift through enormous amounts of data which may be perfectly innocent while looking for the patterns and exceptions that indicate either "hostile" communications or a "chatter" trend.

The programs themselves should be overseen by judicial monitors who can be trusted to point out wrongdoing and demand corrective actions.

Unless commercial information is being compromised for the purposes of industrial espionage, leaked to the media, used for political purposes or used for blackmail and extortion, there should be no reason why the Administration needs the cumbersome process of detailing the need for each and every communications intercept. That is, unless the intercepts are going to be used for criminal investigations or pressuring co-conspirators and potential witnesses into testifying in criminal prosecutions.  According to reports in the media, there have been a number of cases in which communications techniques designed for intelligence gathering under the patriot act have allegedly been utilized for criminal investigations.  And we have all seen the abuse of the RICO (Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations) Act being applied outside of its original intent; to apply pressure on corporate prosecutions having nothing to do with the statute's original intent of fighting "organized crime."

It seems to me that the democrats are attempting to secure a political advantage in the upcoming election cycle by embarrassing the Administration with tales of individual transgressions which may have been accidental or the result of overzealous intelligence gathering. Although one wonders why an overzealous information program in the cause of national defense would be a bad thing.

I think that the ground rules should be simple:

The information gathered should not be viewable or accessible to the communications carrier. It should be encrypted using NSA-approved ciphers and made available only to the intelligence community. Those that prosecute civil and criminal acts not involving espionage should be denied access to any gathered or processed information.

The information gathered for national defense purposes should not be allowed in a criminal or civil prosecution unless a warrant showing probable cause has been obtained and that the information intercept did not, in any way, contribute to an attempt to obtain the warrant.

That anyone who misuses, abuses or leaks information contained in a national defense intercept be appropriately punished with a mandatory prison term. While this may be codified in existing law, it does not appear to be applied publicly and consistently.

That anyone who uses information contained in a national defense intercept for political purposes -- no matter which side of the aisle or if affiliated with the administration -- is prosecuted to the full extent of the law.

Continue reading "PLAYING "GOTCHA" POLITICS WITH NATIONAL DEFENSE: RETROACTIVE IMMUNITY FOR TELCOs TRADED FOR WHITE HOUSE DOCUMENTS?" »


“Nullius in verba.”-- take nobody's word for it!

“Beware of false knowledge; it is more dangerous than ignorance.”-- George Bernard Shaw

“Progressive, liberal, Socialist, Marxist, Democratic Socialist -- they are all COMMUNISTS.”

“The key to fighting the craziness of the progressives is to hold them responsible for their actions, not their intentions.” – OCS

"The object in life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane." -- Marcus Aurelius

“A people that elect corrupt politicians, imposters, thieves, and traitors are not victims... but accomplices” -- George Orwell

“Fere libenter homines id quod volunt credunt." (The people gladly believe what they wish to.) ~Julius Caesar

“Describing the problem is quite different from knowing the solution. Except in politics." ~ OCS



HILLARY CLINTON: CHAOS & CORRUPTION --EVEN THE FRIENDLY MEDIA IS BEGINNING TO NOTICE

A few recent items...

Chinese Fundraising Scandal 1: 

Big Source of Clinton's Cash Is an Unlikely Address -- Wall Street Journal

"DALY CITY, Calif. -- One of the biggest sources of political donations to Hillary Rodham Clinton is a tiny, lime-green bungalow that lies under the flight path from San Francisco International Airport."

"Six members of the Paw family, each listing the house at 41 Shelbourne Ave. as their residence, have donated a combined $45,000 to the Democratic senator from New York since 2005, for her presidential campaign, her Senate re-election last year and her political action committee. In all, the six Paws have donated a total of $200,000 to Democratic candidates since 2005, election records show."

"It isn't obvious how the Paw family is able to afford such political largess. Records show they own a gift shop and live in a 1,280-square-foot house that they recently refinanced for $270,000. William Paw, the 64-year-old head of the household, is a mail carrier with the U.S. Postal Service who earns about $49,000 a year, according to a union representative. Alice Paw, also 64, is a homemaker. The couple's grown children have jobs ranging from account manager at a software company to "attendance liaison" at a local public high school. One is listed on campaign records as an executive at a mutual fund."

"The Paws' political donations closely track donations made by Norman Hsu, a wealthy New York businessman in the apparel industry who once listed the Paw home as his address, according to public records. Mr. Hsu is one of the top fund-raisers for Mrs. Clinton's presidential campaign. He has hosted or co-hosted some of her most prominent money-raising events."

Chinese Fundraising Scandal 2: 

An unlikely treasure-trove of donors for Clinton -- latimes.com

NEW YORK -- Something remarkable happened at 44 Henry St., a grimy Chinatown tenement with peeling walls. It also happened nearby at a dimly lighted apartment building with trash bins clustered by the front door.
And again not too far away, at 88 E. Broadway beneath the Manhattan bridge, where vendors chatter in Mandarin and Fujianese as they hawk rubber sandals and bargain-basement clothes.

All three locations, along with scores of others scattered throughout some of the poorest Chinese neighborhoods in Queens, Brooklyn and the Bronx, have been swept by an extraordinary impulse to shower money on one particular presidential candidate -- Democratic front-runner Hillary Rodham Clinton.

"Dishwashers, waiters and others whose jobs and dilapidated home addresses seem to make them unpromising targets for political fundraisers are pouring $1,000 and $2,000 contributions into Clinton's campaign treasury. In April, a single fundraiser in an area long known for its gritty urban poverty yielded a whopping $380,000. When Sen. John F. Kerry (D-Mass.) ran for president in 2004, he received $24,000 from Chinatown."

"At this point in the presidential campaign cycle, Clinton has raised more money than any candidate in history. Those dishwashers, waiters and street stall hawkers are part of the reason. And Clinton's success in gathering money from Chinatown's least-affluent residents stems from a two-pronged strategy: mutually beneficial alliances with powerful groups, and appeals to the hopes and dreams of people now consigned to the margins."

"Clinton has enlisted the aid of Chinese neighborhood associations, especially those representing recent immigrants from Fujian province. The organizations, at least one of which is a descendant of Chinatown criminal enterprises that engaged in gambling and human trafficking, exert enormous influence over immigrants. The associations help them with everything from protection against crime to obtaining green cards."

"Many of Clinton's Chinatown donors said they had contributed because leaders in neighborhood associations told them to. In some cases, donors said they felt pressure to give."

Potential Conflict of Interest

Conflict of Interest: Burson-Marsteller and Hillary Clinton's Alliance  -- DickMorris.com

“Running a presidential campaign is good for business.”

"Mark Penn, Hillary Clinton’s chief strategist and the Worldwide CEO of international public relations/ lobbying firm Burson-Marsteller, wrote those telling words in his confidential internal corporate blog."

"Given the breadth of his company’s representation of special interests, Penn’s assertion may be the understatement of the year. The number of Burson-Marsteller clients — both corporations and foreign governments — that will likely try to influence the next administration is staggering. "

"And so is the potential for a serious conflict of interest. As a campaign strategist, Penn meets and speaks constantly with both Clintons and with other key policy advisors. He is in a unique position to influence what the candidate supports or opposes — not only during the campaign but also later on in a future Clinton administration. And he has ample opportunity to weigh in on issues that are vital to Burson-Marsteller’s clients."

"But neither Penn nor Hillary Clinton seems to see any problem there — even though Penn has already showed poor judgment in this area."

"During Bill Clinton’s second term, while Penn was the president’s chief political strategist — with unfettered access to the President and First Lady, his polling firm, Penn & Schoen, contracted to lobby the Clinton administration on behalf of a bank operated by several Central American countries — for a half million dollar fee. (The firm had never registered as either a lobbyist or foreign agent before.) "

Continue reading "HILLARY CLINTON: CHAOS & CORRUPTION --EVEN THE FRIENDLY MEDIA IS BEGINNING TO NOTICE" »


“Nullius in verba.”-- take nobody's word for it!

“Beware of false knowledge; it is more dangerous than ignorance.”-- George Bernard Shaw

“Progressive, liberal, Socialist, Marxist, Democratic Socialist -- they are all COMMUNISTS.”

“The key to fighting the craziness of the progressives is to hold them responsible for their actions, not their intentions.” – OCS

"The object in life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane." -- Marcus Aurelius

“A people that elect corrupt politicians, imposters, thieves, and traitors are not victims... but accomplices” -- George Orwell

“Fere libenter homines id quod volunt credunt." (The people gladly believe what they wish to.) ~Julius Caesar

“Describing the problem is quite different from knowing the solution. Except in politics." ~ OCS



MALIBU: TODAY THERE ARE NO DEMOCRATS, REPUBLICANS, LIBERALS OR CONSERVATIVES; ONLY NEIGHBORS WILLING TO LEND A HAND IN PROVIDING MUTUAL AID AND COMFORT -- the way politics should be!

malibufire

Update: 

According to Reuters...

"MALIBU, California (Reuters) - Some of Malibu's wealthy denizens may reign over Hollywood, but Mother Nature has once again shown who's really in charge of their picturesque seaside retreat."

"A-list actors like Tom Hanks, Mel Gibson and Sean Penn have property in the area, as do singers Sting and Olivia Newton-John. Media mogul David Geffen recently invested some of his considerable wealth in the Malibu Beach Inn, turning the landmark lodge into a luxury hotel."

"With the outbreak of fire, Geffen opened the inn to two dozen evacuees for free, as well as to 80 firefighters who slept there in shifts."

"'Why be empty? I'd rather it go to good use,' managing director Alan Goldschneider said. 'They try to throw down money and their credit cards, but we're not charging a soul. They're saving our houses.'"

"FREE GROCERIES FOR FIREFIGHTERS"

"In a similar vein, a local supermarket established a special no-charge checkout lane for firefighters and other emergency personnel."

End Update ...

In times of natural disaster, money, position and politics gives way to neighborly aid and comfort. Here in Malibu the famous and the unknown come together to provide whatever assistance or comfort they can. While the press is omnipresent and hunting for human interest stories, there is almost an unwritten rule: you ask permission before taking pictures that, under any other circumstances, wouldn't be given a second thought.

Although Malibu is home to some of the most  prominent celebrities, vocal democrat activists (often one in the same)as well as some of the most important conservative Republican businessmen, it is all put aside as the community comes together in response to the fires which periodically plague Malibu and the surrounding Santa Monica Mountain area. Once again demonstrating the prevalence of man and the often ephemeral nature of human-created structures.

As I write this, the winds are howling. My backyard is a mess: a jumble of patio furniture and smaller tree branches. The air is thick with the smell of burnt brush and the sky is a strange dirty yellow. The good news, if there is ever such a thing in times like these, is that the fire is moving to our south and natural containment; as opposed to the fire being north of our location which forced our mandatory evacuation during the last incident. We are taking "power hits," the alarm of my uninterruptible power supplies continuing to sound their shrill alarms.

I am especially reminded of my late friend, Nick, a Hollywood special effects guru, whose self-built upper canyon house was threatened by the 1993 Malibu blaze. He refused to leave the area -- preferring to position two 8000-gallon movie water trucks with high pressure hoses next to his house, fully prepared to defend his home as well as those belonging to his neighbors homes from the flames. Dressed in his fire-resistant suit, the county fire fighters were so concerned about what Nick might do that they made his house their on-scene headquarters; sitting on his cantilevered deck, hanging 40 feet above the ground, watching an air tanker lay down a protective strip of "PHOSCHECK" fire retardant less than 100 yards away as the fire crested the ridge. Nick who was fully experienced with fire, explosives and other tools of his trade remained respectful of the fire and yet unafraid of the future. As he said, he was prepared to defend his home until the position became untenable. 

From Malibu to Manhattan...

Perhaps this type of personal involvement could serve as a model for personal action at a time when we are facing a nationwide threat which could dwarf simultaneous natural disasters. To put aside rabid partisan politics in favor of selecting and vetting a candidate who will serve with ethical distinction and unite America rather than divide it.

Unfortunately, all I see is the chaos and corruption of hyper-partisan politics. No one candidate yet stands out as a beacon in the night. The closest, at this point in time, we can come to a "return to basics" lies with a third-tier candidate, Ron Paul, for the Republicans and a non-candidate, Joseph Lieberman, for the democrats. It is a sorry state of affairs in both Malibu and the rest of the United States.

Continue reading "MALIBU: TODAY THERE ARE NO DEMOCRATS, REPUBLICANS, LIBERALS OR CONSERVATIVES; ONLY NEIGHBORS WILLING TO LEND A HAND IN PROVIDING MUTUAL AID AND COMFORT -- the way politics should be!" »


“Nullius in verba.”-- take nobody's word for it!

“Beware of false knowledge; it is more dangerous than ignorance.”-- George Bernard Shaw

“Progressive, liberal, Socialist, Marxist, Democratic Socialist -- they are all COMMUNISTS.”

“The key to fighting the craziness of the progressives is to hold them responsible for their actions, not their intentions.” – OCS

"The object in life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane." -- Marcus Aurelius

“A people that elect corrupt politicians, imposters, thieves, and traitors are not victims... but accomplices” -- George Orwell

“Fere libenter homines id quod volunt credunt." (The people gladly believe what they wish to.) ~Julius Caesar

“Describing the problem is quite different from knowing the solution. Except in politics." ~ OCS