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California Proposition 8: Incompetent Attorney General Jerry Brown costs California millions of dollars -- wants to become the next governor ...

Chief law officer of California …

Jerry Brown, as the California Attorney General, is duty bound by the California Constitution to uphold the laws of California.

CALIFORNIA CONSTITUTION (ARTICLE 5 EXECUTIVE SEC. 13.)

“Subject to the powers and duties of the Governor, the Attorney General shall be the chief law officer of the State. It shall be the duty of the Attorney General to see that the laws of the State are uniformly and adequately enforced. <Source>

California Proposition 8

PROPOSITION 8
This initiative measure is submitted to the people in accordance with the provisions of Article II, Section 8, of the California Constitution.

This initiative measure expressly amends the California Constitution by adding a section thereto; therefore, new provisions proposed to be added are printed in italic type to  indicate that they are new.
SECTION 1. Title
This measure shall be known and may be cited as the “California Marriage Protection Act.”
SECTION 2. Section 7.5 is added to Article I of the California Constitution, to read:
SEC. 7.5. Only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California. <Source>

The people have spoken …

The people of California, in an election which overwhelmingly saw liberal politicians and causes winning, declared that the term “marriage” should indicate a union between a man and a woman. Nothing concerning the revocation of previous marriage licenses or touching on the rights of those engaged in a civil union were proposed. 

Eliminates Right of Same-Sex Couples to Marry
Yes - 6,838,107 (52.3%)
No -   6,246,463 (47.7%)

<Source>

Jerry Brown cannot plead ignorance of the fundamental issues …

Jerry Brown and the California State Attorney General’s office had ample time to study all of the ballot provisions and to eliminate any non-conforming propositions from the upcoming ballot. The Office was involved in re-wording the title and description of Proposition 8

“In late 2008-JUL, the office of Attorney General Jerry Brown issued the final wording for the title and the wording of Prop. 8 that will appear on the November ballot:

  • The title was changed from ‘Limit on Marriage Constitutional Amendment’ to ‘Eliminates Right of Same-sex Couples to Marry.’

  • The summary now reads: ‘Changes California Constitution to eliminate right of same-sex couples to marry. Provides that only a marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California.’"  <Source>

Again, at this point in time, Jerry Brown had an adequate opportunity to review Proposition 8 and the difference between  an amendment and a revision:

  • Amendments are minor changes that only require 50% or more support by the voting public to pass.
  • Revisions are major changes that would significantly change the constitution. They require approvals from both the voters and the legislature.

Had Jerry Brown done his job properly and determined that Proposition 8 actually represented a revision and not an amendment, millions of dollars in campaign expenses would have been saved and California would not be facing a wave of gay activist outrage leading to unruly and unacceptable behavior of gay protesters.

According to the Attorney General’s Office …

“Attorney General Brown Urges California Supreme Court to Invalidate Proposition 8”

“Sacramento – Attorney General Edmund G. Brown Jr. today called upon the California Supreme Court to invalidate Proposition 8 because it deprives people of the right to marry—an aspect of liberty that the Supreme Court has concluded is guaranteed by the California Constitution.”

“ ‘Proposition 8 must be invalidated because the amendment process cannot be used to extinguish fundamental constitutional rights without compelling justification,’ Attorney General Brown said.”

“In this case, Attorney General Brown concludes that existing case-law precedents of the Court do not invalidate Proposition 8 either as a revision or as a violation of the separation-of-powers doctrine. But this does not resolve the matter.”

“In the In re Marriages Cases, the Court held that article I, section 1 of the California Constitution provides a right to marry that cannot be denied to same-sex couples. Attorney General Brown argues that in order to invalidate such a fundamental right, the Court must determine that there is a compelling justification to do so. But in the In re Marriage Cases, the court found that no such compelling justification exists. Accordingly, Proposition 8 must be stricken.
Attorney General Brown believes that same-sex marriages entered into between June 16 and November 4, 2008 are valid and recognized in California regardless of whether Proposition 8 is upheld.”

Why is Jerry Brown apparently pandering to the gay lobby?

Politics. Pure and Simple. He is pandering to a far-left, liberal democrat base that is centered in and around San Francisco (coincidently, the home base of another potential candidate now Senator Diane Feinstein)

“(03-29) 13:26 PDT SAN JOSE  -- Former Gov. Jerry Brown dropped a broad hint Saturday to more than 1,000 Democratic activists that he's looking at a run for governor in 2010.”

" ‘I don't do much today but sue people,’ the attorney general told the delegates at the state Democratic convention in San Jose. ‘But hopefully someday I'll get around to doing a little more than that and maybe you'll help me.’"

“Brown downplayed the statement in an interview after his speech, but didn't deny he's interested in an unprecedented third term.”

" ‘You can't read too much into the tea leaves,’ he said. ‘But I can say I'm not not looking at it.’"

“Brown isn't the only Democrat taking an early look at the governor's race.”  <Source>

By courting prominent gays, including gay billionaires, Brown may be hoping to jumpstart his 2010 governor’s campaign.

What can YOU do?

The State of California is fond of reminding you that anything which requires a license, e.g. driver’s license, represents a “privilege” not a right. In fact, there does not seem to be any specific constitutional right, either state or federal, regarding marriage. The concept of “civil union” serves to protect the rights of gays as it confers exactly the same rights and privileges that are conferred under the concept of marriage. And I see nothing wrong with issuing “civil union” permits and holding “civil union” ceremonies. And letting attorneys get their pound of flesh in “civil union” divorces. Therefore, it is hard to press a constitutional challenge where none exists.

As far as I can tell, the issue is not really one of rights – but one of legitimizing gay marriage as being the equivalent of straight marriage. Or a re-definition of the word “marriage.”

And the whole issue is being manipulated and demagogued by politicians and others as the perfect issue to encourage fund raising and political activism.

As for Jerry Brown, had he done his job properly in the first place, the election costs, and now court costs, involving Proposition 8 would not be further impacting our already astronomical budget deficit. Brown appears to be a committed ideologue who is a political pragmatist.

I had much more respect for his dad who ushered in an era of infrastructure projects which helped make California Golden. The son, already nick-named “Governor Moonbeam” for his past service is one of those political opportunists who should be retired ASAP.

-- steve

Quote of the day: “Americans detest all lies except lies spoken in public or printed lies.” -- Edgar Watson Howe

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

Reference Links:

News & Alerts - California Dept. of Justice - Office of the Attorney General


“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


AUTO BAILOUT: "FACILITY" IS OFTEN A POLITE REFERENCE TO THE TOILET!

The President of the United States has made an executive decision: have the United States Treasury provide $17.4 billion dollars to select automakers – to allow them to avoid declaring bankruptcy.

Unlike a Chapter 7 bankruptcy which is primarily a liquidation of a debtor’s assets in satisfaction of the creditor’s claims, a Chapter 11 bankruptcy is a court-supervised opportunity for a company reorganization and restructuring. Under Chapter 11, the bankruptcy trustee and the courts have the power to set aside any existing contracts such as the onerous United Auto Workers’ (UAW) union agreements which have hobbled the automakers for years.

In fact, this bailout is, in reality, a joint bailout of the automakers and their unions. Unions which are, coincidently I am sure, are owed billions of dollars in scheduled payments.

Why not Chapter 11?

First, the time frame to prepare for a pre-packaged Chapter 11 bankruptcy may result in the automaker’s running out of money prior to the bankruptcy filing – which means any sufficiently large creditor could petition the court for an involuntary bankruptcy finding.

Second, a bankruptcy would force the automakers and the politicians to openly confront the problems with the politically potent union.

And third, the bankruptcy would expose the practice of manipulating the numbers by shipping product to dealers and booking the sales, dealing with the major contingent liability of warranty service and other manufacturer-dealer relationships that may remain buried in the details too numerous to mention.

It is my personal opinion that this White House ploy is simply another political attempt at expediency – providing support on terms which, in effect, simply kick the can down the road – right into the Obama Administration. A democrat Administration which is more beholden to the unions than they are to the companies which are being saddled with onerous union payments and inflexible operating procedures.

 From the Wall Street Journal …

“The White House announced a $17.4 billion rescue package for the troubled Detroit auto makers that allows them to avoid bankruptcy and leaves many of the big decisions for the incoming Obama administration.”

While this is characterized as a “rescue package,” it is only an interim step which will lead to further problems in the near future.

“Speaking from the White House, President George W. Bush said the administration decided against forcing a bankruptcy to compel cost-cutting, in order to avoid the risk that consumers would desert one or more of the companies and touch off an industry collapse, deepening the current economic downturn.”

There is no doubt that the current business model of the automakers is broken. Going beyond the obvious inefficiencies and union payment problems, one must also consider the individual state’s franchise agreements that protect auto dealers – many of whom are politically powerful, especially the large multi-store dealerships.

Nobody doubts the potential threat posed by Internet shopping which would significantly reduce the consumer’s cost of an automobile. By selecting and purchasing a vehicle over the Internet, automakers are able to eliminate a great deal of the cost and trouble of dealing with “dealerships.” What might happen to the large dealerships is easy to project: they would significantly contract into a relatively few showcase operations where the profits may come more from repairs than car sales and deliveries.

“The deal would extend $13.4 billion in loans to General Motors Corp. and Chrysler LLC in December and January, with another $4 billion likely available in February. It also would provide the government with non-voting warrants, although the exact amount was unclear immediately. Ford Motor Co. has said it doesn't need short-term assistance.”

Stupid is as stupid does …

One of the greatest differences between the Congressional effort to legislate a rescue package and the White House attempt is the Treasury’s requirement that the automakers need not show viability up front and will simply provide the funds and then call the loans after March, 2009 if they cannot prove financial viable. By then the money will have been spent and simply added to the amount of money owed to creditors under a future bankruptcy.

“The deal is contingent on the companies' showing that they are financially viable by March 31. If they aren't, the loans will be called and all funds must be returned, officials said.”

The automakers have not been viable for the past few years, so why should anyone think they can turn on a dime and become viable within a mere three or four months. I do not believe that these funds will be repaid and will simply become part of a larger bailout or the American public will become just another creditor in a long line of creditors.

“The deal generally tracks key provisions of the bailout legislation that nearly passed Congress earlier this month. But it is relatively lenient in allowing the companies to show their viability, which it defines as having a positive net present value -- a way of gauging the companies' worth, taking into account all their future obligations.”

“It sets targets for the companies to hit in determining their financial health, such as reducing debt and current cash payments for future health care obligations. But according to a White House fact sheet, the targets ‘would be non-binding in the sense that negotiations can deviate from the quantitative targets...providing that the [company] reports the reasons for these deviations and makes the business case to achieve long-term viability in spite of the deviations.’"

Nowhere does the bailout provisions treat divisions of the automaker which may be engaged in other activities involving financing loans, real estate and other non-manufacturing activities. There is likewise no consideration of the proftable overseas operations of the automakers which may be vehicles (pun intended) for currency manipulation and bookkeeping stunts.

Congressional intent?

When Congress provided the original $700 bailout bill (even loaded with democrat pork) it was with the proviso that most of the provided funds provided under TARP (Troubled Assets Relief Program). Already the intent of Congress has been breached by Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson who has decided how the funds are to be used. There is little or no program oversight or reporting as mandated by Congress.

The use of TARP funds to provide funds to the automakers is a clear violation of Congressional intent and merely highlights the willingness of the White House to sacrifice sound economic policy for the political expediency of moving the problem to the Obama Administration.

Watch my left hand ...

What makes this particular situation somewhat unsavory is that this is not the extent of the government's involvement with the automakers. The government has already guaranteed the availability of $25 billion in funding from the Department of Energy for assistance in developing more energy efficient vehicles. This effort does not consider the ongoing puchases of vehicles for the United States government or Department of Defense R&D contracts. In the case of GM, not much is being made of GMAC (General Motors Acceptance Corporation) which is involved in home and auto loan financing -- with 49% of the firm being owned by GM. GMAC is trying deperately trying to qualify as a bank for the sole purposes of further participating in government bailout funds. So to think that this effort is the sum of all of the government's involvement in the affairs of automakers is naive.

And what makes this entire matter odious, especially to my way of thinking, is that the private equity company Cerberus Capital Management owns the other 51 percent of Detroit-based GMAC as well as owning at least 80% of Chrysler. While Cerberus has reportedly said that they wouldn't take undue advantage of the situation to profit from the bailout, it should be taken with a grain of salt. Cerberus is a politically-connected firm headed by such people as former Treasury Secretary John Snow and former Vice President Dan Quayle.

According to OpenSecrets.org, the firm has engaged in serious lobbying activities.

Total Lobbying Expenditures: $5,701,193
   Subtotal for Subsidiary Chrysler LLC: $4,671,193
   Subtotal for Parent Cerberus Capital Management: $1,030,000

While we appreciate any organization's right to freely lobby public officials, due to the nature of the bailout, I would certainly be interested in knowing which officials were approached and the nature of the support provided to these individuals. Cerberus is one of the most secretive companies in the nation and they do not welcome transparency when it comes to their operations. Considering that the United States taxpayer is going to potentially salvage the investment of Cerberus in Chrysler and GMAC, more transparency, instead of less, should be required.

More information on the “facility” than you may want …

For those who are interested in seeing the outline of this bailout attempt, the Treasury Department is providing a fact sheet on their website which may be accessed here.

image

Looking Presidential … for now …

Capture12-19-2008-10.21.02 AM

“This is a difficult situation that involves fundamental questions about the proper role of government. On the one hand, government has a responsibility not to undermine the private enterprise system. On the other hand, government has a responsibility to safeguard the broader health and stability of our economy.”

“Addressing the challenges in the auto industry requires us to balance these two responsibilities. If we were to allow the free market to take its course now, it would almost certainly lead to disorderly bankruptcy and liquidation for the automakers. Under ordinary economic circumstances, I would say this is the price that failed companies must pay -- and I would not favor intervening to prevent the automakers from going out of business.”

“But these are not ordinary circumstances. In the midst of a financial crisis and a recession, allowing the U.S. auto industry to collapse is not a responsible course of action. The question is how we can best give it a chance to succeed. Some argue the wisest path is to allow the auto companies to reorganize through Chapter 11 provisions of our bankruptcy laws -- and provide federal loans to keep them operating while they try to restructure under the supervision of a bankruptcy court. But given the current state of the auto industry and the economy, Chapter 11 is unlikely to work for American automakers at this time.”

“American consumers understand why: If you hear that a car company is suddenly going into bankruptcy, you worry that parts and servicing will not be available, and you question the value of your warranty. And with consumers hesitant to buy new cars from struggling automakers, it would be more difficult for auto companies to recover.”

“Additionally, the financial crisis brought the auto companies to the brink of bankruptcy much faster than they could have anticipated -- and they have not made the legal and financial preparations necessary to carry out an orderly bankruptcy proceeding that could lead to a successful restructuring.”

“The convergence of these factors means there's too great a risk that bankruptcy now would lead to a disorderly liquidation of American auto companies. My economic advisors believe that such a collapse would deal an unacceptably painful blow to hardworking Americans far beyond the auto industry. It would worsen a weak job market and exacerbate the financial crisis. It could send our suffering economy into a deeper and longer recession. And it would leave the next President to confront the demise of a major American industry in his first days of office. “ <More of the President’s statement>

Translation …

The automakers will not declare bankruptcy on my watch. I can continue to claim that I was part of the solution. And I have effectively made it the Obama Administration’s problem. It’s now a democrat issue. Blame them for any adverse outcome and credit me with initiating the recovery if things turn out well.

The triumph of style over substances, or should we say, the triumph of politics over good economic policy.

What can YOU do?

We are living in an era where the special interests have bought the government and they no longer seem to need the citizenry except as a source of contributions and votes during an election cycle. They are counting on the fact that America seems to be persuaded more by celebrity and media manipulation than an examination of the past performance of the politicos. They are relying on an America with a collective amnesia of being screwed by masking the event with a data rape drug. Yes, “data” not date … they bury us in so much distracting data that one cannot often see the forest for the trees.

You need to become a more informed voter. You need to become adept enough to convince your relatives, friends, co-workers and others to move beyond the superficial into considering the amount of damage being done to our nation by the current crop of politicians and their special interests sponsors.

But above all, protect yourself from the downturn. (We will be having more on this in later blog posts).

-- steve

Quote of the day: “Self-serving politicians are the norm, the trick is to convince them the wants and needs of the citizens are in their best interests.” -- 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

Reference Links:

Auto Makers to Get $17.4 Billion - WSJ.com


“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


Schwarzenegger and the Legislature: Tiptoeing thru the tulips while California plunges into a deeper recession ...

What Governor?

First, where is the leadership that the Governor promised years ago in his first term: I am so rich, I can’t be bought. I will cut legislative spending. I will balance the budget. I will sign a budget on schedule. I am for the people of California.

Turns out that Arnold Schwarzenegger is more of a narcissistic movie star than an able administrator. A liberal democrat posing as a Republican. A man who is wealthy and intends to stay that way by creating special entitites to fund his jet-set lifestyle while acting out the part of “a man of the people.” Well it is crunch time and the Governor has run out of answers, out of cute little tricks to paper over the budget.

What Legislature …

When confronted with their profligate spending, these democrat liberals simply claimed that it wasn’t a spending problem, but a revenue problem and we all needed to pay more.

This group of liberal aging hippies who are more interested in demonstrating their humanitarianism by attracting more illegal aliens to a state whose crumbling healthcare, educational, judicial, retirement, social and cultural infrastructure is almost beyond repair. A group of GLBT (Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgendered) activists who want to insert sexual politics in a state in sore need of leadership, prudence, discretion and budgetary. Leftists who want to cede a major portion of the state’s budget and rulemaking power to the unions who support them.

A corrupt group which continues to campaign 24/7 and more beholden to the special interests that funnel votes and campaign contributions to their special charities and various campaign funds than the people of the State of California.

And in some cases, a thoroughly rotten group who has the audacity to pontificate on social and economic issues while they are under current investigation for political corruption.

Did I miss something?

I was under the impression that our budgetary shortfall was somewhere in the range of 12 – 24 billion dollars depending on who was adding up the numbers.

Now I am being told that the budget deficit will balloon to $42 billion dollars in the next eighteen months.

Is someone lying? Or is this some form of “shock and awe” pronouncement to raise our already sky-high taxes while covering their tracks while they continue to spend-spend-spend?

More accounting games?

We are talking about a budget. Where one would think that a reduction in spending actually meant that you spend less money than you spent previously.

However, I am now learning that in California, a reduction in spending is often a reduction in the amount of money that you are proposing to spend in the upcoming fiscal period. That is: if you spent $1 billion actual dollars last year and budgeted the next year at $2 billion dollars; our woefully inept leaders slash 1/2 billion from the proposed two billion budget and call that a “spending cut.” When the truth is that they plan to spend $1-1/2 billion dollars – a spending increase of 50% over the actual dollars previously spent.

You can hardly trust anyone in California government to provide the real truth …

Only scant months ago, you could trust the non-partisan Legislative Analyst to provide some estimate of the real numbers. Unfortunately, our legislators have borrowed money from this fund and that fund and have replaced the actual money with the state version of a promissory note. A note which is totally worthless unless funded by additional money from the taxpayer.  In addition to this bait-and-switch scam, we also find that billions of dollars are squirreled away in special interest funds such as the $2 billion in a pre-school treasure chest funded by the tobacco industry. A fund that the teacher’s unions are desperately trying to tap to extend their influence and membership by operating pre-schools to serve as daycare centers for the children of illegal aliens who are accepted with open arms into union-controlled positions.

We have voted to provide a set portion of the state’s income for education – an ever growing sinkhole of leftist learning theories and mediocre performance. The only thing that seems to be rising is the ratio of administrators to teachers.

In a time when we are being told that teachers must pay for school supplies out of their own pockets, we see state supervised school systems like the Los Angeles Unified School System waste $100 million or more on a failed payroll system, $500,000 to buy out an ethnic school superintendent who was unable to perform his job in a manner suitable for the school board, a $1 billion dollar high school project – for a single high school. Or a $230 million dollar modern art high school to stroke the ego of a billionaire who seems to have a lock on the school board politics.

We see union employees lollygagging on the job, only to perform the real work after hours at double and triple time.

Nobody, including Governor Schwarzenegger is watching out for the average Californian – Californians who are migrating out of the state in increasing numbers. An action that is not lost on the socialists in Mexico who are steadily gaining influence in the state and want people to move out  of their “land.”

Taxation without representation …

We are heading for a recreation of the Boston Tea Party. A taxpayer revolt over the imperialistic actions of the petty dictators that we somehow were persuaded to elect. Whether by a complicit media, who has abandoned any semblance of journalistic ethics and has moved to crass commercialism, or the cult of celebrity – charlatans and incompetent people are now running our government.

And now we are being told that we are not being taxed – we are merely paying fees. Even when the dumbest among us knows that a tax is charged to the general public and a fee is something someone pays to defray the cost of a service which they receive.

From the Associated Press …

“California lawmakers have approved an $18 billion Democratic plan to address the state deficit.”

“They passed several pieces of legislation with a simple majority Thursday, avoiding the two-thirds requirement typically needed to approve tax increases.”

“Republicans voted for some of the bills that made sweeping cuts to California programs. In all, the legislation trims more than $7 billion from schools, health programs and prisons.”

But you need to ask yourself – are these sweeping cuts actual reductions in relationship to money that was previously spent or merely sham reductions of proposed budgetary spending. If our state government was serious, we could come up with a budget in less than 30 minutes. We simply say that the spending for the next fiscal period is the same as the actual dollars spent last year minus 20%. All of the public safety functions would be funded first – less a 10% reduction; education would be next with a full 20% reduction and all of the other services would have to fight it out to obtain the rest of the money – eliminating commissions, boards, bureaus which no longer serve a public purpose.

And, above all forcing the government employees to suffer in direct proportion as those suffering in private industry by reducing the number of part-time and full-time employees in government in the same proportion as the job loss in private industry. No more tenured teachers. No more lifetime jobs. No nepotism. And no more overtime when it appears that employees are drifting through their days pushing paper from one department to another.

“Democrats and Republicans have been at odds since the beginning of November over how to solve the state's ballooning deficit. It is expected to hit $42 billion in the next 18 months.”

I ask again, how the hell did a budget deficit balloon from $12-24 billion months ago to $42 billion when the legislature is telling us they are cutting spending? Someone is lying – perhaps they are all lying.

The liberal democrat answer …

“The Democratic proposal would address $18 billion of the state's shortfall over the next 18 months through a scheme that would cut some taxes, raise others, impose a new fee on gasoline and slash more than $7 billion in spending on health, education and prisons.”

If they say that the deficit will hit $42 billion dollars in the next 18 months and then say their democrat proposal will address $18 billion over the next 18 months – what is it that they are doing wrong. Ask me and I will tell you that they are planning to spend more than ever.

Is their proposal constitutional and legal?

“Taxpayer groups threatened to sue if taxes pass without a two-thirds majority, but Democrats claim their proposals are constructed in such a way that only a simple majority is required.”

“Sen. Dennis Hollingsworth, R-Temecula, said Democrats were disregarding the will of the people, noting that the two-thirds requirement to raise taxes is in the state Constitution.”

What the hell is this “constructed in such a way?” Financial legerdemain worthy of Penn and Teller? More hocus pocus based on legal interpretations? Or a criminal conspiracy of legislators who know that the legislation is legal and that the collected funds must be returned to the taxpayers sometime in the indeterminate future? It’s happened before – but the state got to use the funds for years before they grudgingly returned the money – not the real cash – but by using a reduction in certain taxes and fees.

Deepening the depression …

Out socialistic friends who are more interested in the extending citizenship to illegal aliens – in essence importing more poverty and illiteracy into California and those fretting over gay rights seem to be oblivious of the fact that raising taxes at this critical juncture in California’s history my deepen the recession into a long-lasting depression. At least they will have achieved one of their primary goals: wealth redistribution – everybody will be equally poor except for the ruling elites like Schwarzenegger and his legislative democrat friends.

"’Make no mistake, it is indeed an increase in taxes right at a time when people are trying to keep their jobs, hoping to be able to hang on to their mortgage and their homes, hoping and fighting to pay bills, to make ends meet,’ Hollingsworth said.”

Enter Schwarzenegger the RINO …

“’Republican Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger hasn't taken a position on the Democrats' proposal. Much of his criticism of legislators' inability to approve a budget plan has been leveled at members of his own party.’”

Schwarzenegger was so out of touch with his own party, that as a joke they wore name tags to one of their negotiation sessions.

The most egregious example of a far-left liberal democrat …

"’Merry Christmas Californians, indeed, because we're going to save the economy of this state. We're going to jump-start the economy,’ said Sen. Mark Leno, D-San Francisco.”

The deal they propose …

“The Democratic proposal would generate another $9.3 billion in general fund revenue by replacing gasoline taxes with a variety of fees.”

“The plan would raise the taxes Californians pay on gas by about 13 cents, replacing an 18-cent-a-gallon excise tax and a fluctuating sales tax with a 39-cent-per-gallon fee; raise the state sales tax by 3/4 of a cent; boost personal income taxes by 2.5 percent; tax oil produced in California; and collect taxes from independent contractors upfront.”

As for the gas tax, it is still a tax and not a fee. Perhaps if we label Mark Leno a heterosexual, he would no longer be gay. A cruel example, but one deserved by this asshat politician.

The 2.5% increase on state sales taxes is being billed as a surcharge. A tax on a tax? Or a fee for paying your taxes? Don’t ask, don’t tell seems to be the operative democrat legislative credo.

As for collecting taxes from independent contractors upfront, this is aimed squarely at the small businessman or entrepreneur who is being asked to bankroll big government. Since these taxes must be paid in the future (or the excess refunded), it amounts to a no-interest loan to the California legislature to continue their wayward ways.

“Republican lawmakers warned the plan would hit Californians hard during an already difficult recession. They have called for deeper cuts to education and social services instead of raising taxes.”

"’We're talking about substantially raising taxes on the people of this state,’ said Senate Minority Leader Dave Cogdill, R-Modesto. "’This proposal before us today will raise the gas tax, it will raise the car tax, will raise the personal income tax, and it will raise the sales tax to the tune of about $1,000 a year for an average family making about $50,000.’"

What the hell are they telling us?

“The shortfall for the fiscal year that ends in June is nearly $14 billion, about 10 percent of the state's $144.5 billion budget. But that hole is expected to grow in the next fiscal year unless lawmakers cut spending, raise revenue or do a combination of the two.”

We are back to a deficit of $14 billion dollars – somewhat the same number floated months ago. You know, the number between $12-$24 billion. So how do they manage to project a budget deficit of $42 million without spending another $28 billion that they obviously do not have.

Someone is playing games. Someone is not telling the truth. And someone is planning to continue to rob the State of California taxpayer. And there appears to be nobody willing to stop them.

Scare tactics …

“In a sign that the impasse was taking a toll, a state panel on Wednesday voted to stop lending money for an estimated 2,000 infrastructure projects statewide through June, an unprecedented move that the board said was necessary because California can no longer afford the work.”

Once again, the legislators and public officials are threatening to let criminals out of jail to cut costs – never considering for a moment that their priority task is to protect the public safety and that everything else – including education – is secondary. If any official increases the risk to Californians, let them be tried for dereliction of duty and tossed out on the behinds – if not criminally prosecuted for aiding and abetting criminal activity.

Whoops, Wall Street has dried up …

“California has not been able to borrow money for months and faces a cash shortage in February.”

Imagine, the state can’t simply borrow money to paper over the deficit and continue to kick the can down the road. They need to step up to the plate and take responsibility for the mess they and their predecessors have caused. And those asshat legislators who just named fellow politicians to $132,178 positions on the Integrated Waste Management Board, cut their salaries to $65,o00 and extend the same cuts to all of the other unimportant positions.

And, oh by the way, stuff the global warming initiative which promises to add billions in energy costs to California residents – all based on feel good dodgy science where results will not even be measurable in the next 200 years.

What can YOU do?

Call your elected officials and demand budgetary reform.

If the bums will not reduce the amount of actual dollars spent by 20-25%, do not re-elect them and where appropriate recall them or charge them with a crime.

Send Arnold Schwarzenegger back to Hollywood to star in The Terminator XIX: The Revolt of the Geriatric Legislators

Consider the formation of a citizens watchdog group: let’s call it Citizens Audit Program. Our motto: Put a CAP on spending in California.

Demand transparency in government operations. Perhaps putting the actual expenditures of each governmental entity – with full check detail – in a searchable database on the Internet. The Sacramento Bee built an interactive database of state worker’s salaries – now it is time for the state to do it with payments to individuals and corporations.

Be well. Be safe. And this too shall pass.

-- steve

Quote of the day:  “There are no wise few. Every aristocracy that has ever existed has behaved, in all essential points, exactly like a small mob.” -- G. K. Chesterton

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

Reference Links:

GCI.net - News


“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


SNOW IN MALIBU: Christmas Tree Safety ... (Updated)

HLINE_thin

After Holiday Action Report ...

1.  Do not assume that flame resistant materials won't burn -- they do burn,  just a little bit slower than something that is not flame resistant.

2.  Invest in a good fire alarm and place it in the vicinity of your holiday display. Make sure the batteries are new and test the alarm to see if it is working. A few seconds warning can make a tremendous difference.

3.  Keep an ABC (Powder) fire extinguisher nearby. Aim it at the base of the fire and don't stop until it is out. If you sense that you are losing the battle, get out and call for help.

4.  Verify the placement of all decorations and candle-holders personally. Do not delegate this to anyone.

5.   If you are using live candles (i.e. in a Menorah or candelabra) allow sufficient space all around the candle-holder and make sure that it is not set on a flamable decorative base. Be sure that there is nothing over the candle area. Make sure that the candle-holder is tip-proof and will not slide under light vibration.

6.   Do not assume the fire is out until you check for embers and place a wet rag over the burned area until it is cool to the touch. Clear out the entire area when you perform this check. It is not sufficient to just "eyeball" the area.

7.  Remember, you can replace physical goods. Preserving life and avoiding injury is your prime objective.

Hint: if your livingroom is near the front door, leaving a hose and nozzle in a convenient position can't hurt. 

While sitting watching television, the fire alarm behind my head went off with both tone and voice alert. Looking around I saw nothing until I saw the mantle ablaze; I am not sure if one of the candles had slumped over or the rush of air from the heater register blew some of the gauze-like artificial snow material into the flame; in any event, one of the candles had caught the snow-like material on fire. Grabbing a fire extinguisher (in this case Halon), the fire was quickly extinguished leaving only a few deep char marks in the mantle. Has this been near the Christmas tree -- it might have been a radically different story. Note, I was surprised at the force of the fire extinguisher output and noticed that it was blowing the burning material around. I kept the handle down until I saw there was no flame. While Halon is no longer available (thanks to the environmentalists), substitutes can be found. I use this more expensive extinguisher as it can be used on electrical devices, does not corrode electronics and leaves little or no residue. Not so for ABC powder extinguishers.

lights09

It is unseasonably cold here in Southern California – with snow in Malibu – which causes people to turn up their home heating systems or put on their fireplaces.

Therefore, One Citizen Speaking would like to take this opportunity to remind you that Christmas Trees, Wreaths, Runners and other live decorative reminders of the holiday season will dry out faster than may be anticipated. Keep your tree well-hydrated, discard dried branches, check your Christmas tree lights and place your tree away from heat and other  ignition sources.

A dry Christmas Tree or any other decoration used with lights can explode and burn with ferocious intensity.

Check 0ut this short NIST  (National Institute of Standards and Technology) demonstration of how quickly a Christmas Tree fire can engulf a room.

More NIST videos demonstrating Tree fires can be found here.

A Season for Sharing in Fire Safety can be found here.

It would be a shame to compound the problems of the economy and foreign affairs with a totally preventable accident.

Be well. Be safe. Be in good spirits.

lights03


“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


Message to California Gay Activists: Enough is Enough

California Proposition 8 …

PROPOSITION 8
This initiative measure is submitted to the people in accordance with the provisions of Article II, Section 8, of the California Constitution.

This initiative measure expressly amends the California Constitution by adding a section thereto; therefore, new provisions proposed to be added are printed in italic type to indicate that they are new. 

SECTION 1. Title
This measure shall be known and may be cited as the ‘California Marriage Protection Act.’

SECTION 2. Section 7.5 is added to Article I of the California Constitution, to read: SEC. 7.5. Only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California.” <Source>

The people have spoken …

No matter how much money was spent on California Proposition 8 campaign to define marriage, no matter how many prominent people are for or against the proposition, the people have spoken and their collective will should be respected.  If you disagree, you can turn to the courts to rule on matters of constitutionality and law or mount another campaign to attempt to persuade the majority of Californians to adopt your views.

Enough is enough …

When the egregious actions of a small band of gay activists are designed to punish and intimidate other law-abiding citizens who may believe differently, it might also be time to start considering legal procedures for denial of civil rights relating to the injured party’s right to freedom of free speech and freedom of religion. 

Per the Los Angeles Times …

“A life thrown into turmoil by $100 donation for Prop. 8”

“Margie Christoffersen didn't make it very far into our conversation before she cracked. Chest heaving, tears streaming, she reached for her husband Wayne's hand and then mine, squeezing as if she'd never let go.
’I've almost had a nervous breakdown. It's been the worst thing that's ever happened to me,’ she sobbed as curious patrons at a Farmers Market coffee shop looked on, wondering what calamity had visited this poor woman who's an honest 6 feet tall, with hair as blond as the sun.”

“Well, Christoffersen was a manager at El Coyote, the Beverly Boulevard landmark restaurant that's always had throngs of customers waiting to get inside. Many of them were gay, and Christoffersen, a devout Mormon, donated $100 in support of Proposition 8, the successful November ballot initiative that banned gay marriage. She never advertised her politics or religion in the restaurant, but last month her donation showed up on lists of ‘for’ and ‘against’ donors.”

“And El Coyote became a target. A boycott was organized on the Internet, with activists trashing El Coyote on restaurant review sites. Then came throngs of protesters, some of them shouting ‘shame on you’ at customers. The police arrived in riot gear one night to quell the angry mob.”

“The mob left, but so did the customers.
Sections of the restaurant have been closed, a manager told me Friday during a very quiet lunch hour. Some of the 89 employees, many of them gay, have had their hours cut, and layoffs are looming. And Christoffersen, who has taken a voluntary leave of absence, is wondering whether she'll ever again be able to work at the restaurant, which opened in 1931 (at 1st and La Brea) and is owned by her 92-year-old mother. ‘It's been so hard,’ she said, breaking down again.”

“Christoffersen, raised Mormon by her late father, told me she has no problem with gay people. ‘I love them like everybody else.’
But she supports her church's position that marriage is between a man and a woman.
I, on the other hand, opposed Prop. 8. And as I wrote more than once, I think organized Christian religion reached new levels of hypocrisy in using the Bible to preach discrimination and promote the initiative.”

Ending discrimination by discrimination …

There is no rational justification for any gay activist to attack a person who is expressing their Constitutionally-guaranteed right to free speech and freedom of religion. Especially when the person participated in a lawful demonstration of their constitutional right to vote on a matter of public importance. It is even more egregious to attack the innocent employer of such a person in order to force a person to behave in a manner contrary to their rights and nature.

The process of attempting to end discrimination by discriminating is both illegal and immoral and those who engage in these activities should be required to answer for their actions in a court of law.

It is one thing to boycott a company whose company position makes them liable to the public for their statements and actions … it is quite another to boycott a company with regards to seeking action against a particular individual.

In an Orwellian world where up is down, right is left, and words are continually re-defined to fit some political agenda, we are faced with a major problem that is not being confronted by the media or our politicians.

One, marriage is popularly defined as “the state of being united to a person of the opposite sex as husband or wife in a consensual and contractual relationship recognized by law.”

Two, laws the recognize this particular definition are not “hate speech” promulgated by “haters” as the gay activists would want people to believe.

Three, the premise that all people are equal under the law, should receive equal protection under the law, and that there should be no class of people who should receive special privileges  not available to others is being overlooked.

My position …

I am all for giving gays access to all of the legal rights and privileges of a state-sanctioned union.

I will not concede them the right to re-define any word in the English language to fit their own political/sexual agenda. Unless the word marriage becomes defined through common usage, as historical precedent, then the word’s original definition applies.

And I am dead set against giving gays or any other group special rights which they may wield as a legal hammer to pound all of us into the ground.

This has not worked well in the past as there are those who abuse the law. Fire an incompetent Black person and it becomes a racial issue with legal consequences. I do not want to see the same misuse of the law by any additional groups. Unless you are covered under the ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act), then you are to be treated like everyone else.

It has been the historical policy of far-left democrat liberals and others to use the courts when they fail to achieve their political agenda at the ballot box. I see no reason why any group can be permitted to maliciously and malevolently attack individuals without legal consequences.

Time to carefully watch our politicians …

Politicians and others who are courting donations and votes from special interest parties with their own agenda should not be elected or, if currently serving, should not be re-elected.

The Governor’s race …

Here in California, we are about to face an upcoming election (2010) in which the far-left democrat liberals are most likely to win. People like Diane Feinstein, Jerry Brown (who coincidently authored the wording of Proposition 8), San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom, Los Angeles Mayor Tony Villar (his real name is not Villaraigosa) and others who are openly courting the GLBT community and might continue to support their aggressive stance.

It is up to the rest of us, providing that we haven’t left the state for economic reasons, to insure that San Francisco far-left liberal democrats do not continue to rule California and assist in the further devolution of the formerly Golden State into a third-world reception area for the importation of additional poverty and illiteracy.

What can YOU do?

Support equal rights for all while respecting precedent and tradition – become a conservative Republican.

Do not create any more special classes or privileged constituencies for purposed of political manipulation.

Do not allow any politician or group to impose San Francisco politics on the rest of California. It hasn’t worked, it isn’t working and it is not likely to work in the future.

Support those whom the GLBT community has unfairly attacked. It may be your rights and your job that is compromised next … all because you exercised your rights to free speech and freedom of religion.

-- steve

Quote of the day: “I hate mankind, for I think myself one of the best of them, and I know how bad I am.”  - Joseph Baretti

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

Reference Links:

A life thrown into turmoil by $100 donation for Prop. 8 - Los Angeles Times


“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


NO BAILOUTS FOR THE MADOFF "BIG BOYS"

According to published news sources, there are suggestions that those injured by the Madoff "Ponzi Scheme" scandal should receive government TARP (Troubled Assets Relief Program) funds.

This should be a non-starter. Every investor in Madoff's scheme was wealthy and had the resources to independently investigate Madoff's operations. They all allegedly signed "big boy" letters attesting that they were financially sophisticated and had sufficient capital to make such financial investments. The returns that were offered by Madoff were not made available to the individual citizen/investor and so no public money should be used to bail out people caught up in this growing financial scandal.

"U.S. District Judge Louis L. Stanton ordered that clients of Madoff's private investment business seek relief under a federal statute created to rescue cheated investors. Stanton also ordered that business be liquidated under the jurisdiction of a bankruptcy court and named attorney Irvin H. Picard as trustee to oversee that process." <Source>

If these investors were covered under SIPC (Securities Investor Protection Corporation) by virtue of dealing with a bona fide brokerage company (and not a hedge fund or investment bank), I see no reason why their accounts should not be covered to the legal limit of $500,000 ($100,000 cash). But nothing more.  I do not see why SIPC protection should be extended to these people if they were not covered at the time they made their investments. In fact, to extend coverage to this group at the detriment of other insured parties may be illegal without an act of Congress. And then it would simply be immoral.

Today's news ...

Today’s news is filled with tales of political and corporate fraud, mismanagement, defalcation and malfeasance … and nobody seems to be especially responsible or culpable under the law.

Our legislators, the very finest that the special interest lobbyists and lawyers can purchase, have almost eliminated even the concept of penalizing inappropriate activities that do not involve clear-cut criminal activities such as robbing a bank using a gun or stealing a loaf of bread from the neighborhood market.

But what about those who rob banks with computers or use schemes to bilk money out of the public. In many cases, these people are politically connected and as the term goes, lawyered-up. In many cases, top executives are expected to simply step down from office – often with a multi-million dollar golden parachute – and thus allow the corporation to plead guilty to a technical violation and pay a “record fine”  to some agency without ever having admitted their guilt. Considering that the fine is actually paid by those who have been swindled out of their property, it only adds insult to injury when these settlements take place.

Only when the fraud is committed by a single person or a few people acting in concert do the authorities seem to seek jail time.

Trust: the basis of all banking …

Trust, the basis of all banking, seems to be rapidly eroding. As one who is somewhat involved in the financial industry as a systems designer and management consultant, I find that while the bankers are trying every which way to snag customers, they are overlooking the most critical factors involved in creating a trust relationship.

Most banks have no system for resolving the central issue of trust. On a one-to-one relationship with an organization, we find that the fiduciary responsibility to the client has been significantly eroded or totally erased from consideration.

In a fiduciary relationship, one party has the legal responsibility to represent the best interests of the counterparty in such a manner as to always act for the sole benefit of the represented party – especially over the self-interests of the counterparty.

In a nutshell, this is the basis of all financial transactions, a trust relationship between the customer who is placing their money with another person or institution with the expectation that it will be prudently managed and that an explicit or implicit fiduciary relationship has been established between the parties.

Introducing the weasel words …

Most financial institutions present potential customers with a unilateral account agreement on a “take it or leave it” basis. Within these agreements one can find that the explicit or implicit fiduciary responsibility has been waived by the customer in favor of a generalized acceptance that the financial insitutions will try their best to satisfy the customer’s expectations – without any really enforceable guarantees. Within these documents one can find their remedies against individual corporate officers and executives are limited and there may be “hold harmless” and “arbitration clauses” which prevents the customer from seeking damages on behalf of themselves and others similarly situated – the dreaded class action lawsuit.

What these unilateral agreements disguise in a plethora of words is that there is an inherent conflict of interest that may prevent the financial institution from acting as a fiduciary. That is, they have the conflicting duties to earn an acceptable rate of return on their shareholder’s investments and that this duty may conflict with any duty to an individual customer.

Now before bankers start screaming foul and claiming that I am misrepresenting the situation, consider for a moment the number of executives who have been caught making decisions or altering accounting rules in order to earn an outrageous bonus.

The executives at the nation’s largest mortgage operations, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, were accused of doing exactly that. Manipulating the numbers to earn outrageous bonuses. (Yes, they only got a slap on the wrist, the big penalty was paid by the shareholders, and nobody went to jail)

Also consider the number of organizations in which executives traded securities among themselves to boost commission income and/or simply manufactured products to sell to their own clients – while knowing that the full extent of the risk was being masked by institutional happy talk and pointing to the marble and bronze home office edifice that conveyed a sense of permanent solidness.

How can this happen?

Greed plays a big part. Trying to capture market share plays a big part. But, when all is said and done, one is confronted either with gross laziness and stupidity or an outright intent to defraud the customer – hoping of course that the problem can be resolved from future profits.

But when those profits do not materialize – it is tempting to pay off the early investors with the capital being received by the recent investors. Of course, all of the early – and probably influential – first investors will be touting the performance of your organization and pointing to the handsomeness of their returns. As long as you can keep the ball in the air and continue to attract new investors, everything appears to be in order. However, let one adverse action occur and the whole thing collapses as an unsustainable PONZI-style scheme.

Big names = laziness!

Many financial and corporate organizations lard their board of directors with prominent people or otherwise use prominent people to tout their wares. People who are compensated for their time and effort; if not with money and extra stock, then with special perks and privileges unavailable to the ordinary customer.   

People naturally assume that people of previous accomplishment, be they the President of a large corporation or a high-ranking political person, could not possibly be involved in a fraud. And so these people of accomplishment lead others to their financial demise.

The key factor being: people who have, for what ever reasons in the past, managed to achieve a notable position or accumulate a significant amount of money – are just a vain, stupid and lazy as those in the general population. Perhaps even more so as they may have developed a sense of “entitlement” after years of subordinate kowtowing and being surrounded by “yes” men.

Lead to slaughter like lambs …

Associating with so-called “people of quality” at events which reinforce the “specialness” of you and your potential relationship are often a significant “red flag” when it comes to financial firms. Imagine how privileged – and less likely to ask pesky questions – if you are a guest in one of those fancy, expensive skyboxes in a stadium named for the host organization. Think Enron Stadium.

It is no different for large organizations …

Put together a consortium of large, well-respected financial institutions and as the night follows the day, other financial institutions will follow along. It is the difficulty of getting that first, second and third financial institution that is the problem. After that, almost everybody, from top executives to the lower level employees believe that the first group of name banks has done their due diligence and everything was found to be proper, prudent and in order. The executives of lesser organizations wouldn’t dare to assume, let along accuse, the top people of the lead institutions of shirking their duties. Even when they may see these very same people on the golf course at four o’clock in the afternoon.

Which brings us to today’s outrageous story …

From AFP News …

“Top banks admit huge losses in Wall Street 'pyramid' fraud”

“Top world financial groups on Monday revealed massive potential losses from an alleged scam run by Wall Street trader Bernard Madoff, admitting they were fooled by a classic pyramid investment fraud.”

“British, French, Japanese and Spanish banks and funds said investments totaling billions of dollars (Euros) could be wiped off their balance sheets by a scandal that is set to affect some of the richest people in the world.”

Who were some of these banks?

According to published reports, some of the largest foreign banks may have exposures estimated at:

  • Royal Bank of Scotland - $598 MILLION
  • Santander (Spain) - $3 BILLION
  • HSBC (Britain) $1.5 BILLION
  • France's Natixis (France) - $606 MILLION
  • BNP-Paribas (France) - $480 MILLION
  • Nomura (Japan) - $303 MILLION
  • BBVA (Spain) - $685 MILLION

Add to that some of the smartest and wealthiest people in the world and you have one major collective instance of stupidity.

“Madoff, a 70-year-old Wall Street veteran, was arrested last Thursday.”

The trigger event which caused the collapse of the Ponzi-like scheme …

“He is alleged by US prosecutors to have confessed to defrauding investors of 50 billion dollars in a long-running scam that collapsed after clients asked for their money back as a result of the global financial crisis.”

Where were the regulators?

Hedge funds, investment banks and other specialized financial entities function without any substantial regulation through the use of so-called “big boy” letters. In essence, the customer attests that they are financially sophisticated enough to weight the risks and rewards and that they have sufficient capital to make the transaction. No betting the farm for these people.

“British investment fund Bramdean Alternatives Limited, which said it had put about 31.2 million dollars in Madoff's company, said that the scandal raised ‘fundamental questions’ about the American financial regulatory system.”

" ‘It is astonishing that this apparent fraud seems to have been continuing for so long, possibly for decades, while investors have continued to invest more money into the Madoff funds in good faith,’ the firm said in a statement.”

The fact is that these firms trusted the other financial firms, never believing that they would serve as a “Judas goat” and lead them down the path to financial ruin.  In addition, they wanted desperately to believe that there was one individual and one firm smarter than all of the rest who seemed to be making extraordinary returns with minimal risks. Even though history has taught us that this is unlikely in a close-knit environment such as Wall Street.

What are they saying …

  • insolvent for years
  • losses up to $50 BILLION
  • may be the largest fraud perpetrated by a single individual

(Courtesy of the Associated Press)

What can YOU do?

As per the old recommendation of the Better Business Bureau: Investigate before You Invest.

And as the old saying goes, “if it seems to good to be true… it is often a scam.”

My favorite, “If it’s so great, why would they want me to participate.”

Trust not banker nor politician – and especially a banker who has a politician on his board. Watch your wallet at all times.

-- steve

Quote of the day: “The very first law in advertising is to avoid the concrete promise and cultivate the delightfully vague.” - Bill Cosby

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

Reference Links:

Top banks admit huge losses in Wall Street 'pyramid' fraud


“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


WHY McCAIN LOST THE ELECTION ... AND IS DAMAGING THE REPUBLICAN PARTY

In my humble opinion, the reason that John McCain lost the election and the reason that the Rockefeller-wing of the Republican Party finds themselves outdistanced by a bunch of re-tread Clintonistas and  far-left liberal democrats …

is that both the Republican Party and John McCain in particular are afraid of fighting for their cause – full out and with all of the tools at their disposal.

The are simply too cowardly to stand up and say “this is what the Republican Party stands for, this is what I stand for – and you can join me if you wish.”

It seems that the leadership, if you can even call it that, wants to soften their rhetoric so as to attract that great mass of “middle Americans” who have great disdain for politics and the dirty infighting it takes to win elections.

The very same electorate that seems to respond better to negative ads rather than ones containing positions and messages.

Quite simply put: John McCain responded to conditions instead of boldly articulating a Reagan-like vision. He petered out in the end – a shadow of a candidate limping along next to a vibrant, forceful Sarah Palin – the only candidate in the election, outside of marginal players like Alan Keyes, Ron Paul and Dennis Kucinich whose opinions were expressed forcefully. While these somewhat off-beat characters had little or no chance to attract a national audience, McCain chose to play gentleman rather than fight like a politician; losing sight of the fact that he needed to win before he could engage the country on his reform package.

An overall disappointing performance as that of the late Fred Thompson, fading until all that was left was only a smile without substance.

The thought that John McCain wants to become the elder statesman and a guiding hand of a re-vamped Republican Party sickens me. Let McCain and his best friends: weak-kneed Lindsey Graham (R-NC) and liberal democrat Joe Lieberman (I-CT) fade into obscurity while the Party is helmed by people like Michael Steele, Bobby Jindal and other conservatives.

McCain wants to give Obama a break .,.

According to Politico.com …

McCain scolds GOP for whacking Obama

“In a surprising rebuke to the warriors who fought for him through tough times, Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) on Sunday sided with President-elect Barack Obama and scolded the Republican National Committee for fanning the Illinois corruption scandal.”

“On ABC’s ‘This Week,’ host George Stephanopoulos asked: ‘The chairman of the Republican National Committee, Mike Duncan, has been highly critical of the way President- elect Obama has dealt with this.’ 
‘He's had a statement every single day, saying that the Obama team should reveal all contacts they've had with Governor [Rod] Blagojevich. He says that Obama's promise of transparency to the American people is now being tested. Do you agree with that?’”

“McCain replied: “I think that the Obama campaign should and will give all information necessary. You know, in all due respect to the Republican National Committee and anybody — right now, I think we should try to be working constructively together, not only on an issue such as this, but on the economy stimulus package, reforms that are necessary.”

Correct me if I am wrong, but …

Didn’t the democrats jump on every financial and sexual peccadillo associated with Republicans? Did they not vigorously and viciously pursue these matters in the media – often without pause?

Wasn’t it the democrats who continuously highlighted  President George Bush’s cronyism and their rather incompetent and corrupt handling of Administrative agencies? The firing of the U.S. Attorneys – even though every Administration seem to do more or less of the same thing? The perversion of  the Justice Department under Alberto Gonzales?

I do not see where the Republicans should ease off and not exploit the corruption in the democrat party and,  in particular, the Chicago machine. After all, wasn’t it widely alleged that Richard Nixon lost to John Kennedy because the Chicago machine had rigged the Illinois vote that put Kennedy in the White House.

Not only John McCain …

This is the same gentlemanly behavior exhibited by the Bushes – becoming RINOs (Republicans In Name Only) while they supported causes more likely to be championed by far left liberal democrats. Immigration comes to mind. To appear to a large segment of illegal interlopers – to promise some form of path to citizenship in exchange for future votes and the current Hispanic vote – was boneheaded. Those in the Hispanic demographic who are conservative will join us for our message – not for the future promise of further destroying the nation’s infrastructure by importing more poverty and illiteracy.

I am tired of the go-along to get-along culture …

It seems that this nation has devolved into a cult of celebrity and name-value politicians which are feted more for their telegenic appearance and oratorical skills than they are for their vision – supported by concrete ideas.

The Senate is a gentleman’s club – and unfortunately a club which has lost its way in the hyper-partisan bickering across the aisle. 

At the tipping point …

Make no mistake, our country is at an historic crossroads … the point when we will have institutionalized corruption to the point that it is accepted behavior. And McCain seems to be mitigating any democrat attempt to soften the impact of what has just occurred.

I don’t really consider Blagojevich’s attempt to sell a Senate Seat to be all that bad – they have been for sale to the highest bidder for a very long time. What is more blatant is the rampant corruption of his Administration and the degree to which the people of Chicago and the State of Illinois accepted this theft of public funds and the promotion of special interests as everyday fact.

Our nation seems to be at a tipping point, when every piece of public business requires high-priced lawyers, lobbyists, friends of politicians and campaign contributions in order to move forward. And mostly for the benefit of the special interests paying the freight. Little or no concern is expended on the public except when the time for an election nears.

We have just gone through one of the longest Presidential election cycles in history … and it appears that the President-elect, even before he takes office, is considering exactly what he needs to do to secure a second term.

Enough of McCain and his well-bred ilk. Yes, I admire John McCain for his past actions and the strength of character he has shown as a prisoner of war. But I admire him less and less as a politician as the days go on. He needs to stand up to the democrats and point to corruption. He needs to make the distinction that we are not cut from the same cloth and that the past actions of the Republican Party (such as the profligate spending, cronyism, pandering to special interests, etc.) were aberrations and that they are  a thing of the past as we move forward.

Is this the truth or not?

Time will tell if President-elect Obama was the only virgin to emerge from the political whorehouse that is Chicago politics.

Meanwhile, we need to weed out those potentially corrupt democrats before handing them the keys to the family car and the password to our national bank account.

If John McCain does not support Republicans in differentiating themselves from democrats – let him retire to his well-ordered and well-deserved life.

What can YOU do?

Demand that President-elect Barack Obama fulfill his pledge to be the most open and ethical Administration in the history of the United States. (Whoops, didn’t Nancy Pelosi promise the same thing as the democrat Speaker of the House of Representatives?)

Do not even consider that Barack Obama and his Chicago Machine pals like Rahm Emanuel were not part of the overall corruption without a closer inspection. Perhaps President-elect Obama is relatively clean. Let him prove it by making the tapes, transcripts and agendas of his people available to the duly sworn U.S. attorney, Patrick Fitzgerald – and to instruct the Justice Department to keep him on during this coming Administration in order to finish the work he has apparently started.

Stop electing crooked politicians and vote for those who have the least previous contact with government unless they are known or suspected to be corrupt.

Re-call politicians who avoid the doing the people’s business in favor of personal prestige, power and profits. 

It is time to throw the bums on both sides of the aisle out.

-- steve

Quote of the day:  “The problem with beetles in a dung heap is that, while they may realize that they are beetles, they accept their environment as being normal.” -- 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

Reference Links:

McCain scolds GOP for whacking Obama - Mike Allen - Politico.com


“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


Congressional Back Door: Bush Administration said to be considering using TARP Bank Funds to bail out automakers ...

The government system is broken …

First, where is all of this openness and transparency that was widely touted by Congress and the Treasury Department when they were selling the $700 Billion Bailout Package. The required reports have not been filed, the oversight committee not fully staffed and a widely-advertised public  transparency website is non-existent.

Second, we have already seen Treasury Secretary Paulson openly admit that the TARP (Troubled Assets Relief Program) initiative, which was designed to allow the government to purchase toxic loans from financial institutions, was not having the desired effect on the economy and that the remaining funds should be used in a somewhat different manner than that originally anticipated by Congress.

As if Congress really cared; as they larded the original bailout legislation with pork and tax incentives for their democrat special interests.

Third, we now have the possibility of the Administration potentially telling financial institutions (aka the Wall Street Wizards) to create some securities which can be purchased by the United States Government – and further rewards these financial evildoers with additional commissions.

Fourth, in two instances, Ford and Chrysler, we would also be bailing out the Ford Family (40% of Ford) and private hedge fund Cerberus Capital (Chrysler). Cerberus is headed by former Treasury Secretary Snow and former Vice President Dan Quayle. 

Fifth, in the last bailout program aimed specifically at the automakers, there was no notice of the previous pledged $25 BILLION Department of Energy appropriation for energy-efficient car research etc. which has yet to be disbursed and the fact that the bailout included funds for government organizations (municipalities and agencies) who sold government transportation assets to private investors (with assurances from now-nationalized AIG) in return for unrestricted funds that could be used for other purposes. They then leased-back the assets to provide the mandated service to the public. Due to revenue shortfalls, they are having trouble paying their private investors – and that money was included in the legislation.

And sixth, this current bailout of the automakers appears to be a democrat appeasement of one of their largest constituencies: the unions. The unions who, along with a fat and complacent management, have milked the system dry and are now stumbling about as they await a rescue which would effectively reward their corrupt and complacent leadership for their previous poor judgment and lack of action.

Bankruptcy is a good thing …

Consider the wisdom of pouring good money after the bad money that was consumed under a flawed business model?

Cars are piling up at dealerships and people are concentrating on keeping their vehicles longer. Consumer money is more likely to be spent on repairs than on new vehicles. Dealerships are closing nationwide. The definition of insanity that is jokingly applied is: continuing to do the same thing and hoping for a better outcome.

The Court would force a large degree of transparency on the automakers and would be able to discard union and vendor agreements which no longer serve any purpose.

There is very little downside – except for the incompetent members of management which will be eliminated without golden parachutes.

THE BUSINESS MODEL IS BROKEN!

Chapter 11 (Reorganization) bankruptcy would force the automakers to revamp their business model or face Chapter 7 bankruptcy (liquidation).

No more paying workers to show up and play crossword puzzles. No more onerous work rules that stifle innovation and increased productivity.

Perhaps even breaching state franchise laws to allow for a lower cost distribution system that bypasses the auto dealerships (still used for delivery and repair). You build your dream vehicle on the Internet, make a downpayment, it is scheduled for production and/or delivery and you cut out a large chunk of the vehicle cost. Before you feel sorry for owners of car dealerships, check out the disproportionate number of yachts owned by those who own the dealerships.

Allowing the automakers to devolve into bankruptcy will not affect all of their workers and, in many cases, ongoing operations can proceed without interference. If the unions balk, perhaps it is time to investigate the ways they spend their members money on personal perks and self-interest deals.

What can YOU do?

Realize that it is now a given that the great majority of our elected Congressional officials are corrupt and are pandering to the special interests. It is also a given that the same is true for an Administration which has hyper-politicized its Agencies and has appointed incompetent cronies to positions of great power.

Further realize that the Obama Administration will probably no different that the Clinton Administration – or perhaps, at worst, the Carter Administration. As the countdown towards the inauguration proceeds, many people surrounding President-elect Obama are of the corrupt Chicago Machine (as is the President-elect himself) and are associated with past and present wrongdoing.

Our treasury is being looted by a financial crisis that is not abating. In essence, we are creating Russian-style Oligarchs that will ultimately influence all governmental organizations. It’s not that Obama is moving towards the political center – and towards the majority of Americans – but the Bush Administration has moved the government so far left, it only appears that Obama is moving toward the center.

We need to stop incentivising bad behavior with our bailouts lest we encourage more of the same.We need to resist the temptation to bailout everyone who has the political clout and connections to jump aboard the gravy train. Demand that the government end their bailout efforts and use the funds as intended: to promote lending liquidity. If the automakers are worthy of a loan, let them apply to a consortium of financial institutions without the necessity of guarantees. Personally, I see no reason for bailing out a private hedge fund or preserving the wealth of a single family at the expense of the American taxpayer.

We need to curtail the "tin cup" mentality which shells out money to everybody that asks.

We need to take back our government by electing more honest politicians (if there is such a thing), rotating them out of office sooner rather than later, and re-calling those who do not meet our standards.

We need also to reform the legislative process to remove the lawyers and hyper-technical language that allows for loopholes. The system is broken and we need to fix it before we become Russia with a nicer climate and more personal amenities.

-- steve

Quote of the day: "Crime is contagious. If the government becomes a law breaker, it breeds contempt for the law, it invites every man to become a law unto himself; it invites anarchy."                           -Justice Louis D. Brandeis: Olmstead v. U.S.

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

Reference Links:

U.S. to use bank bailout to aid automakers - International Herald Tribune


“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


How could Obama rise from the muck-ridden swamp that is Chicago politics, without taint or stink?

"I had no contact with the governor or his office, and so I was not aware of what was happening. ... And as I said, it is a sad day for Illinois. Beyond that, I don't think it's appropriate to comment." -- Barack Obama

Complicit media?

Is the media now being forced to confront their slavish fawning over “The One” and their demonstrable left leaning bias to confront facts and circumstances which should have been brought to the attention of the American people during the past election cycle?

Is it possible that the media will attempt to save face by covering up key details of the growing Blagojevich scandal or blurring the lines of distinction when it comes to reporting on Obama’s friends and supporters?

Even now, we are seeing instances when Blagojevich is not mentioned as being a democrat and that Rahm Emanuel, who is part and parcel of the Daley Chicago machine, is mentioned as a Clinton backer.\

I cannot believe that the media is downplaying the situation by claiming: "it's only Chicago-style politics" when they should be screaming to the rafters: stop the corruption, jail the bastards!

Above it all?

The central question is simple: How did Barack Obama work effectively with the Chicago machine, apparently voting for every major democrat initiative and supporting corrupt Chicago politicians – in addition to spending 20+ years listening to Reverend Wright and his anti-American, racist rants; in addition to working with unrepentant domestic terrorists William Ayers and Bernadine Dohrn; supporting the corrupt community activist organization ACORN – and still walk away clean?

Plausible deniability?

Like all major political players, it is subordinates who make contacts and do the preliminary negotiation. The principal is almost never involved to create an air of plausible deniability should the media question the matter.

Someone from the Obama entourage had to be talking to Governor Blagojevich, otherwise he could have never made that statement that Obama would only respond with “gratitude” in return for appointing Obama’s hand-picked candidate for his recently abandoned Senate seat.

Lawyerly “parsing” …

Watch the extremely careful manner in which Barack Obama answers media questions. There is no doubt that he is a lawyer in the party of lawyers, but sometimes his answers are absolutely Clintonian. And how is it that the widely-hailed orator stammers and stutters when deprived of his beloved TelePrompTers and must respond in a real-time environment. 

The damning evidence: quid pro quo…

Unfortunately, or perhaps fortunately, the investigation was cut short by the precipitous media announcement of the investigation by U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald. Or maybe that this was the intent. To prevent the actual deed from being done and causing further embarrassment – perhaps to someone in the Obama Administration.

The Eric Holder issue …

While it is no surprise that the incoming Attorney General will demand the resignations from all U.S. Attorneys –- that is unless you work for George Bush – Holder is uniquely positioned to quash any major fallout in the rapidly expanding Chicago scandal.

How can Obama name Eric Holder as the Attorney General of the United States since he was complicit in somewhat skirting the Department of Justice in arranging pardons for Marc Rich and the FALN terrorist bomb-makers. He is a hyper-partisan democrat who is likely to channel Janet Reno’s slavish attention, not to the law, but to the White House.

In the case of the FALN terrorists, it is believed that Holder worked behind the scenes on behalf of  the Clintons … “methodically spearheading the clemency—despite the fact that the sentencing judges, the U.S. Attorneys, the Federal Bureau of Prisons, the Fraternal Order of Police, and the FBI were unanimous in their opposition to pardoning the FALN.” <source>

Halos and Hosannas …

I am tired of hearing that Barack Obama represents hope and change. He has not even entered office and members of his staff and administration are already deemed suspect in tales of corruption and wrong-doing. What change? As time goes on, Obama looks more like a cross between Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton. Everyone surrounding him is a hyper-partisan and his administration’s employment questionnaire speaks more to protecting the “Chief” from adverse comments than it does to competence.

How can the media and democrat politicians continue to portray Barack Obama as a reformer – a pristinely clean new-style politician – when all evidence points to the stinking corruption in the Chicago political scene from whence he came?  There is no evidence that Barack Obama, at any time, tried to clean up the corrupt cesspool that he called home. There is no evidence that Barack Obama ever had a major disagreement with the Chicago machine over ethical issues.

So before we anoint him as Saint Obama, let him be further vetted by the media and viewed in the harsh light of reality.

Bottom-line ...

Barack, how do you live in the political whorehouse that is known as the Chicago Machine and emerge a virgin?

-- steve

Quote of the Day: “When it is a question of money, everyone is of the same religion.” --Francois Marie Arouet de Voltaire

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


China: Spying by administrative mandate?

What is going on here?

China has now required companies whose products feature security elements to disclose those elements to the Chinese government.

To which I reply: screw you! Didn’t you steal or purchase enough information in your ongoing efforts to penetrate American corporate and military secrets?

It should be remembered that China is ONLY a convenient trading partner of the United States. They are not our friends and they certainly do not wish us well. And while they benefit greatly from our technology, the line at which our corporations and military hands over security secrets to the Chinese government must be drawn.

If they want to play domestic trade games, let them live with a 100% inspection of container goods at our ports.

From the Associated Press…

China irks US with computer security review rules

“ The Chinese government is stirring trade tensions with Washington with a plan to require foreign computer security technology to be submitted for government approval, in a move that might require suppliers to disclose business secrets.”

“Rules due to take effect May 1 require official certification of technology widely used to keep e-mail and company data networks secure. Beijing has yet to say how many secrets companies must disclose about such sensitive matters as how data-encryption systems work.”

“But Washington complains the requirement might hinder imports in a market dominated by U.S. companies, and is pressing Beijing to scrap it.”

“Beijing tried earlier to force foreign companies to reveal how encryption systems work and has promoted its own standards for mobile phones and wireless encryption.”

Suppress your own people, but do it with your own technology …

“Those attempts and the new demand reflect Beijing's unease about letting the public keep secrets, and the government's efforts to use its regulatory system to help fledgling Chinese high-tech companies compete with global high-tech rivals. Yin Changlai, the head of a Chinese business group sanctioned by the government, has acknowledged that the rules are meant to help develop China's infant computer security industry by shielding companies from foreign rivals that he said control 70 percent of the market.”

“The computer security rules cover 13 types of hardware and software, including database and network security systems, secure routers, data backup and recovery systems and anti-spam and anti-hacking software. Such technology is enmeshed in products sold by Microsoft Corp., Cisco Systems Inc. and other industry giants.”

And what does China plan to do about all of the stolen software that is being used by Chinese nationals. In fact, weren’t they the ones that screamed the loudest when Microsoft started checking licensed software for authenticity before allowing access to all software features?

“Giving regulators the power to reject foreign technologies could help to promote sales of Chinese alternatives. But that might disrupt foreign manufacturing, research or data processing in China if companies have to switch technologies or move operations to other countries to avoid the controls. Requiring disclosure of technical details also might help Beijing read encrypted e-mail or create competing products.”

Yah think?

"I think there's both a national security goal and an industrial policy goal to this," said Scott Kennedy, an Indiana University professor who studies government-business relations in China. ‘I'm sure before they came out with this, there was a discussion with industry and industry probably was giving them lots of requests about what should be included.’"

“The agency that will enforce the rules, the China Certification and Accreditation Administration, said in a written statement they are meant to protect national security and ‘advance industry development.’ But it did not respond to questions about what information companies must disclose and how foreign technology will be judged.”

Boycott manufacturers that comply …

United States corporations and financial institutions have no other option than to boycott manufacturers who comply with Chinese rules. Otherwise, the ongoing cyber-warfare between the Chinese government, their hackers and United States institutions will be escalated with our enemies having greater access our secured systems.

We have already seen examples of attacks on our infrastructure which originated in China – enough is enough!

It was bad enough that we found distributors selling bogus Chinese CISCO routers – which were then found in some sensitive areas, but accepting this Chinese administrative demand for security information is sheer madness.

Unfortunately, some members of the far-left and those who succumb to greed will be stumbling all over themselves to provide this information, officially and unofficially. Let us treat those who supply the information unofficially as spies and traitors. Boycott the others.

What can YOU do?

Demand that the Administration officials rebuff this request on a national basis and instruct companies to withhold critical or sensitive information.

Toughen the penalties for industrial espionage and if that espionage involves a foreign national, invoke the maximum penalty for spying: a life term without the possibility of parole.

Do not purchase computers or software from companies which willingly cooperate with Chinese requests for information on security processes.

-- 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

Reference Links:

China irks US with computer security review rules


“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