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Self-entitlements: the invisible business of politics and special interests ...

It has become increasingly popular for politicians and others to scream about the increasing costs associated with running the government.

With the proximate cause being the profligate union contracts which were apparently negotiated with a “wink-wink, nod, nod” between the union negotiators and the politicians who relied on the unions for campaign funding and voter support; not to mention the implicit threat of running and funding an opposition candidate if the politician-negotiators didn’t roll over on the taxpayers who were not being represented at the bargaining table.

While there is little or no doubt in my mind that public employee unions represent the worst possible scenario for the taxpayer …

  • rewarding seniority over merit;
  • rewarding mediocrity over innovation;
  • demanding onerous work rules to increase the employment of unionized personnel; and, in general,
  • insuring that costs continue to rise while productivity continues to fall

there is also the issue of a large and growing bureaucracy that serves only to serve, not the taxpayers, but those who are eligible for entitlements. With bureaucrats going so far as mounting mainstream media campaigns to advertise for more people eligible for entitlements.

These are the bureaucrats who create complex rules and regulations to insure that everything requires the maximum amount of paper-shuffling and administrivia. Overlooking their sworn duties to purge the entitlement roles of those ineligible for benefits or ferreting out costly fraud which is, in many cases, blatantly obvious.

Immigration as a big business …

Even without the bureaucratic and law enforcement components, immigration is big business to any number of lawyers and activists who purport to help the downtrodden illegal alien who has absolutely no legal right to be in this country.

Fraud is rampant and the government declines to take affirmative (no pun intended) action against those who knowingly violate the law.

IRS knows which employers hire illegal aliens and which illegal aliens are using forged or stolen Social Security Numbers. A simple computer matching program would tell you who the suspects for further investigation are.

But government as a whole appears to be incompetent in order to serve the bureaucracy …

Medicare knows which medical providers are cheating the system and declines to hire additional investigators or put automated systems in place to limit the amount of fraud.

From a data processing standpoint, one notes that a new provider appears in the system and then monitors the activity for that provider; not so much for coding accuracy, but for the timing and volume of reimbursement claims. Pattern analysis, such as that routinely used by credit card companies to ferret out fraud, could detect and deter much of the fraudulent activities by itinerant fraudsters and scam artists and the doctors and providers involved.

Likewise, hospitals are perpetrating a scam which is costing us all significant amounts of money. How does the government allow a two-day usage of a CPAP machine used for treating sleep apnea to be billed at $3800 when that it the cost of owning four top-of-the-line machines? But that’s not the real scam. The real scam is to allow the insurance companies to pay $400 dollars of the bill and allowing the hospitals to write off $3400 as an unrecoverable loss – thus insuring their overwhelming losses will offset any possible profits in other areas.

America is being screwed …

The politicians, the special interests, the unions and the bureaucrats are all feeding at the public trough. And there is no end in sight with the progressive democrats who want to enlarge the size of government, insert the government into every aspect of your personal life, raise your taxes, and curtail your ability to protest. Not that the republicans are much better as they fight for power and the right to carve up the taxpayer’s pie for their own benefit.

We are now finding that Members of Congress are exempt from insider trading regulations. That they can hide their ill-gotten gains in their offices and reduce the possibility of discovery or law enforcement access. They can say anything during the course of their official duties and not be held responsible.

We are now learning that former Treasury Secretary Henry “Hank” Paulson apparently was telling the investing public one thing about the Government Sponsored Entitites Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and telling a group of high-powered hedge fund managers and financial types quite another thing.

“Paulson had been pushing a plan in Congress to open lines of credit to the two struggling firms and to grant authority for the Treasury Department to buy equity in them. Yet he had told reporters on July 13 that the firms must remain shareholder owned and had testified at a Senate hearing two days later that giving the government new power to intervene made actual intervention improbable.”

“On the morning of July 21, before the Eton Park meeting, Paulson had spoken to New York Times reporters and editors, according to his Treasury Department schedule. A Times article the next day said the Federal Reserve and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency were inspecting Fannie and Freddie’s books and cited Paulson as saying he expected their examination would give a signal of confidence to the markets.”

“At the Eton Park meeting, he sent a different message, according to a fund manager who attended. Over sandwiches and pasta salad, he delivered that information to a group of men capable of profiting from any disclosure.”

Around the conference room table were a dozen or so hedge-fund managers and other Wall Street executives -- at least five of them alumni of Goldman Sachs Group Inc., of which Paulson was chief executive officer and chairman from 1999 to 2006. In addition to Eton Park founder Eric Mindich, they included such boldface names as Lone Pine Capital LLC founder Stephen Mandel,Dinakar Singh of TPG-Axon Capital Management LP and Daniel Och of Och-Ziff Capital Management Group LLC.”

“After a perfunctory discussion of the market turmoil, the fund manager says, the discussion turned to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Paulson said he had erred by not punishing Bear Stearns shareholders more severely. The secretary, then 62, went on to describe a possible scenario for placing Fannie and Freddie into ‘conservatorship’ -- a government seizure designed to allow the firms to continue operations despite heavy losses in the mortgage markets.”

Paulson explained that under this scenario, the common stock of the two government-sponsored enterprises, or GSEs, would be effectively wiped out. So too would the various classes of preferred stock, he said.”

“The fund manager says he was shocked that Paulson would furnish such specific information -- to his mind, leaving little doubt that the Treasury Department would carry out the plan. The managers attending the meeting were thus given a choice opportunity to trade on that information.” <Source>

But what irritates me the most, are the comments made by the chattering experts ...

“And law professors say that Paulson himself broke no law by disclosing what amounted to inside information.”

“William Black, associate professor of economics and law at the University of Missouri-Kansas City, can’t understand why Paulson felt impelled to share the Treasury Department’s plan with the fund managers.”

“’You just never ever do that as a government regulator --transmit nonpublic market information to market participants,’says Black, who’s a former general counsel at the Federal Home Loan Bank of San Francisco. ‘There were no legitimate reasons for those disclosures.’”

“’The bottom line is that senior-level people in Washington, in the name of keeping in touch with their stakeholders, are tipping their hands,’ says Adam Zagorin, a senior fellow at the Project on Government Oversight, a Washington watchdog group. ‘You can’t prosecute them for insider trading if they didn’t trade the shares. You may not be able to even reprimand them. What the hell are the rules?’”

An official such as Paulson has no legal obligation to keep material nonpublic information to himself, says Phillip Kaplan, partner for litigation at Manatt Phelps & Phillips LLP, where he specializes in securities and class-action cases.”

’I don’t think a government person is liable,’ he says.“’he didn’t profit from the information or trade on it.’” <Source>

Payback?

“Paulson is now a distinguished senior fellow at the University of Chicago, where he’s starting the Paulson Institute, a think tank focused on U.S.-Chinese relations.”

Is Obama’s Chicago the center of the criminal universe? Were normal rules are suspended for all – except those who only serve as a distraction from the greater corruption? Obama buddies Tony Rezko and Rod Blagojevich come to mind.

I wonder if this will be a privately controlled, non-profit, tax-exempt foundation to push public policies favorable to Paulson’s constituency – with significant tax-deductible contributions coming from the big players on Wall Street? Will this sinecure provide Paulson with a handsome salary and the ability to live well as he travels the world doing research and acting as an unregistered lobbyist?

And I am greatly disappointed, mainly because I believed that Paulson was an honest, straight-up technocrat who wanted to reform the Treasury Department and bring about a solution to the economic problems that were induced by his former friends at Goldman Sachs. But then again, he might just be incompetent and propelled by those around him?

While we will need to wait to see how this particular situation plays out in the media and the courts, it does highlight the type of crony capitalism that was and is rampant in the Clinton, Bush and Obama Administrations. Not to forget the states like Illinois, New York and California.

Bottom line …

We are mired in political corruption of historic proportions. Both parties are neck deep in the slime and may be unable to rescue themselves and the taxpayer. We know that the progressive democrats are on the wrong side of history and appear to be rooting for the destruction of capitalism – so that a new coalition government can be formed along the lines of European democratic socialism.

We know that most of the GOP candidates are rather lame and growing lamer with each day of mainstream media exposure.

So who does that leave? Who do you want at the levers of power?

Is it only Newt Gingrich has a sense of historical proportions and may want to be a historical reformer?

But I really don’t know. I don’t trust Romney, another progressive “go along to get along liberal” who is looking more like John Kerry as time goes by. Cain has suffered an enormous blow to his credibility, both in subject matter expertise and, more importantly, to his business credibility when it comes to managing a crisis. Perry is another George Bush. Bachmann is wonky. Rick Santorum, sanctimonious. Jon Huntsman, another progressive RINO like Romney. Ron Paul is, in my opinion, a whack job.

No wonder people give up on politicians and go about their own lives – leaving the beetles to inhabit the dung heap and parasitically infect the body politic.

Anyone with any ideas?

-- steve


“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



Facebook screws the pooch: Is Wendy E Aylworth a troll? (Update)

February 22, 2012 -- FACEBOOK SUSPENDS MY ACCOUNT ...

For some unexplained reason, this particular post has been receiving quite a bit of traffic. Nothing new on my end, so I will assume that someone cross-posted it on Facebook.

And, it is my belief that someone -- possibly Wendy herself -- once again complained to Facebook.

So Facebook has decided to suspend my account rather than simply e-mail me with a request for further information. I am positive that I could resolve this issue in time ... but it presents a unique opportunity for me to move on to other things.

These things always work out for the best, because I was considering deleting my Facebook account because I had little or no regard for their latest policy of forcing everyone to use their, in my opinion, ugly and ungainly "Timeline" feature. An attempt to gather even more information about your personal life to feed to their money-spinning machine. Not that their policies are any more different or restrictive than Google+ or other social platforms, I just don't believe in documenting my life from birth so that it can be sold to advertisers, insurance companies, government agencies or anyone else who can pay the tab.

But there is a lesson here -- one about dealing with trolls and other miscreants who post comments to your site. SIMPLY DELETE THEIR POSTS!

As you can see in the original post, the commenter was openly contentious and briddled when confronted. She was attacking another poster with, in my opinion, abusive and provacative comments. If anyone was an innocent victim, it is One Citizen Speaking who provided the wall space for the original issue. I presented the issue to the entire community for comment with the intention of removing the original post if they thought that I was being unduly harsh. No one commented in the negative so the post remained.

Unfortunately, a Google search on the person's name now ranks this post as high as her other entries and she will need to live with the consequences of her actions on the Internet. Perhaps I would be willing to delete the post had she simply contacted me using the prominently displayed e-mail address. Anyway, feel free to add your comments below. -- steve

Original post ...

Imagine my surprise when Facebook demanded I reaffirm my identity and then was presented with a content removal notice for rebuking a poster for beating up another poster.

Capture11-29-2011-4.49.57 PM

My comments …

“Wendy: Truth be told, I would more likely ban you – first, because you appear to be snarky and two, because you would have me censor another person on my page. As for your representations and characterizations, I don’t recall electing you as an arbiter of what is correct and incorrect.”

“You were the one that started the ‘Building Seven’ craziness, so the burden falls on your side of the line.”

“Dan was inappropriate when he used the word “feisty.” He should have used the word ‘foolish’ or ‘contentious.’”

“Your assertion that we need the Federal Reserve is technically incorrect. We need a central banker which is a function that is normally performed by the Department of the Treasury, but was outsourced with a charter to the Fed. As for fractional banking, it is inflationary in concept if one could purchase a bond from the Treasury, pretend it is an arm’s length transaction, use that bond to anchor another 90% of lending power and order currency from the Department of Printing and Engraving to complete the fiction.”

“You madam, appear to be the bully.”

Here is the transaction …

OneCitizen Speaking

When Cain writes ... "Rather, this appears to be an accusation of private, alleged consensual conduct between adults - a subject matter which is not a proper subject of inquiry by the media or the public. No individual, whether a private citizen, a candidate for public office or a public official, should be questioned about his or her private sexual life. The public's right to know and the media's right to report has boundaries and most certainly those boundaries end outside of one's bedroom door." he is toast!

 

Georgia Woman Claims 13-Year Affair with Herman Cain | Ginger White

www.myfoxatlanta.com

An Atlanta businesswoman is breaking her silence, claiming she has been involved in a 13-year-long affair with Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain. Over the Thanksgiving weekend, FOX 5 senior I-Team reporter Dale Russell sat down with Ginger White, who had an amazing story to tell.

 

    • Kim Castro Another one bites the dust...

      23 hours ago · LikeUnlike · 1Loading...

    • Angela Ackmann Epic fail....

      23 hours ago · LikeUnlike · 1Loading...

    • Jenny Bernhard Kelly Eww

      23 hours ago · LikeUnlike

    • Wendy E Aylworth · 426 mutual friendsLoading...

      Wasn't that a statement by Cain's attorney? (I didn't see where anyone claimed Cain had written the statement)

      23 hours ago · LikeUnlike

    • Wendy E Aylworth · 426 mutual friendsLoading...

      Even if it is just from his attorney, I'd like to know how much influence a client generally has on statements made by their attorney. Anyone know?

      23 hours ago · LikeUnlike

    • Bob Jones OCS, that's what I thought when I read the quote from Cain's lawyer. It sounds like an admission!!!

      23 hours ago · LikeUnlike · 1Loading...

    • Wendy E Aylworth · 426 mutual friendsLoading...

      It does, doesn't it?

      23 hours ago · LikeUnlike · 1Loading...

    • Bob Jones Wendy, I believe it is common for attorneys, when making a statement on behalf of their client, to have gotten permission or at least acceptance from the client as to the content of the statement....

      23 hours ago · LikeUnlike · 1Loading...

    • Bob Jones Yes, Wendy, it does....sad to say...

      23 hours ago · LikeUnlike

    • Wendy E Aylworth · 426 mutual friendsLoading...

      Oh, thanks. That would make sense that an attorney would at least have to clear the statement with the client.

      23 hours ago · LikeUnlike

    • Wendy E Aylworth · 426 mutual friendsLoading...

      It's very disappointing about Cain. I really liked him as a person, although as time went on I didn't think he was quite prepared to be president.

      23 hours ago · LikeUnlike

    • Bob Jones Its pretty sad, because Cain kind of exuded the non-political candidate that a lot of people were looking for. I do not think he will get himself out of this one as easily as the other four (whom I really didn't believe). Its too bad, but that is the nature of politics now-a-days...

      22 hours ago · LikeUnlike · 2Loading...

    • Wendy E Aylworth · 426 mutual friendsLoading...

      Yes, but I do want to know the truth. Research shows that a person who has a pattern of infidelity tends to have other behaviors that are very unethical, & also a personality disorder.
      And POTUS is too important to risk putting someone in who has a personality disorder.

      22 hours ago · LikeUnlike

    • Deb Baer Fraij Windsor If this is true - the Cain sign is coming down on my yard and I cannot express how truly disappointed I am in him.

      22 hours ago · LikeUnlike · 1Loading...

    • Dan Carlisle Well I liked Cain but never could get over the Fellowship of the Federal Reserve that alone made him untrustworthy.

      10 hours ago · LikeUnlike

    • Dan Carlisle I have know reason to believe he is lying but his own words shows he can't be trusted. If we want to vote him in to office based on transparency and trust when does that stop only at the bedroom door or also at the Federal Reserve door and the UN door and the people door at the white house?

      10 hours ago · LikeUnlike

    • Wendy E Aylworth · 426 mutual friendsLoading...

      It's not the Federal Reserve System that's the problem. It is corrupt people who have used the system to enrich themselves.
      We do need a Reserve Bank. Why do you think Capitalism works? Fractional Reserve Banking is the foundation of Capitalism:
      Banking 3: Fractional Reserve Banking
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nH2-37rTA8U

      9 hours ago · LikeUnlike

    • Dan Carlisle capitalism worked fine until the bankers wanted to corrupt the system so they could create the Federal Reserve. No way is the federal reserve good. If it was so good how come they would rather kill than let the people see their books?

      8 hours ago · LikeUnlike

    • Wendy E Aylworth · 426 mutual friendsLoading...

      Dan, do you think Building 7 was brought down intentionally?

      8 hours ago · LikeUnlike

    • Dan Carlisle The Federal Reserve is the enemy of capitalism and their track record proves it. Capitalism works on winners and losers created by consumers let it.

      8 hours ago · LikeUnlike

    • Wendy E Aylworth · 426 mutual friendsLoading...

      Dan, tell me, please, Do you think building 7 was brought down intentionally?

      8 hours ago · LikeUnlike

    • Dan Carlisle As far as Building 7 or the Towers what I believe matters little because it will not honor or change what happen but recognizing it was evil and all evil comes from Satan that is who we wage war with.

      8 hours ago · LikeUnlike

    • Wendy E Aylworth · 426 mutual friendsLoading...

      Dan, do you believe Osama bin Laden was a CIA operative?

      8 hours ago · LikeUnlike

    • Wendy E Aylworth · 426 mutual friendsLoading...

      Why won't you answer my questions Dan?

      8 hours ago · LikeUnlike

    • Dan Carlisle If we don't know our true enemy we are sure to fail in our mission for the Way the Truth and the Life. Keep The Main Thing The Main Thing his LOVE will never fail you. The Federal Reserve is evil in my opinion so then who would be its master?

      8 hours ago · LikeUnlike

    • Wendy E Aylworth · 426 mutual friendsLoading...

      So Dan you believe the Israelis were involved in bringing down the World Trade Center buildings, don't you?

      8 hours ago · LikeUnlike

    • Dan Carlisle Cain was never going to be on the ticket look at the last election who among conservatives would willingly chose McCain except liberals and rhino scoundrels. We may have to write in our votes to actual have a choice this time very sad state of affairs. Looking for the next crises to save the left just in time for November.

      8 hours ago · LikeUnlike

    • Wendy E Aylworth · 426 mutual friendsLoading...

      I see Dan. You have to change the subject because you are a 9/11 Denier aren't you?
      (of course you believe it's 9/11 Truther)

      8 hours ago · LikeUnlike

    • Dan Carlisle

      Gee Wendy I have no opinion because of lack of knowledge what facts or myths should I look at to make a judgment? And why is it so important to you will it make closure? Closure sucks I don't want Closure its a myth that closure has some so...rt of healing effect it works no better than time, time heals nothing it just makes it tolerable on a daily basis. Forgiveness because Christ forgave me is the only fix for the problem and to be honest I have not surrendered totally to forgiving them and other such evil doers but it is part of a process I am walking through .See More

      8 hours ago · LikeUnlike

    • Wendy E Aylworth · 426 mutual friendsLoading...

      You have NO OPINION on the most HORRIBLE Terrorist Attack ever perpetrated on U.S. soil ?????

      8 hours ago · LikeUnlike

    • Dan Carlisle What is your motive for your comments toward me and why do you get angry at me? All I know is we have enemy's inside and outside of our country and we are so busy fighting among ourselves the enemy is winning.

      8 hours ago · LikeUnlike · 1Loading...

    • Wendy E Aylworth · 426 mutual friendsLoading...

      Dan. I think you are being dishonest when you say you have no opinion on the worst TERRORIST attack on U.S. soil.
      I believe you do have an opinion - only a person with their head in the sand for 12 yrs would have NONE.
      You really should tell the truth. So tell us what is your opinion on who was involved in carrying out the 9/11 attacks?

      8 hours ago · LikeUnlike

    • Dan Carlisle Well aren't you a feisty one:-) I told you who was the author of the attacks Satan I also got you comment that I thought the Israels did it.

      8 hours ago · LikeUnlike

    • Wendy E Aylworth · 426 mutual friendsLoading...

      You still aren't going to answer the question. Do you think an airplane hit the Pentagon on Sep 11, 2011 ?

      8 hours ago · LikeUnlike

    • Dan Carlisle

      If you know anything about me its that I have a LOVE for Israel that only GOD could give me. If you look at my Facebook and Twitter accounts you would see more Jews per...centage wise and Pro-Israel posts and comments than anything else and just to let you know I have Jewish blood running in my veins and I thank GOD for it. I attend on occasion the Congregation Beth Messiah in Houston TX and I am also personal friends with Messianic Rabbia Ron Aaronson. Yesterday I was attacked online from a replacement theology christian for being a Jew LOVER he was correct and today I seem to be confronted for not blaming either the US government or the Jews or the Muslims when the only thing, I know for sure is Satan is the ring leader. So take it or leave it that's my answer to you.See More

      7 hours ago · LikeUnlike

    • Dan Carlisle

      Did you really ask me if a plane hit the pentagon, Wendy just what do you think happened for the record? Lets see how honest you are to your convictions. What unbiased proof do you stand on for your beliefs. ... As far as I know we have been fed lies from both sides and the truth is not in them, so no I do not have an opinion that could be based on truth. I would be a fool to believe what I see or hear and then go out and spread rumors so the enemy can use that against our cause for freedom.See More

      7 hours ago · LikeUnlike

    • Wendy E Aylworth · 426 mutual friendsLoading...

      Dan, it's so sad that you are unable to be honest with people. Thanks for letting me know you cannot be honest.

      7 hours ago · LikeUnlike

    • Dan Carlisle

      Wendy why the games? You got my answer plain and simple and you will not except it because you have an agenda that's fine but the one being dishonest is not me. I meant ...what I said also living in the past is stopping to many people from living in the NOW! To win our country back we need to live in the NOW! We should not forget what happen but we must not use it to stop us from moving forward either the opposite by using it to move forward on.See More

      4 hours ago · LikeUnlike

    • Wendy E Aylworth · 426 mutual friendsLoading...

      OneCitizen, evidently you haven't had lots of conversations with self-labeled "truthers."
      OneCitizen, it is not abusive to ask people questions.
      And NO I do not believe the Conspiracy garbage.

      3 hours ago · LikeUnlike

    • Dan Carlisle I come from TEXAS and one of my most favorite places history wise is the Alamo in San Antonio. My most favorite Phrase associated with the Alamo was used at the battle of San Jacinto! It was' REMEMBER THE ALAMO REMEMBER GOLIAD" This is not living in the past but we also had the facts of what happen you don't!

      3 hours ago · LikeUnlike

    • Dan Carlisle Actually Wendy it is abusive when you accuse people of outlandish things look at the long list above. We probable agree on much but how to confront others is not one of them.

      3 hours ago · LikeUnlike

    • Wendy E Aylworth · 426 mutual friendsLoading...

      Accuse? I asked questions you wouldn't answer.

      3 hours ago · LikeUnlike

    • Wendy E Aylworth · 426 mutual friendsLoading...

      OneCitizen, does it matter to you if one of the people on your threads wants to insinuate to people that the 9/11 Terrorist Attack was done by someone other than Islamic Terrorists?
      Are you willing to stand up against bullies who desire to... deceive people about the terrorists by insinuating someone else did it?
      And did you notice how this man is degrading to me when he says to me "Well aren't you a feisty one:-) " ? Did you notice that remark? Why haven't you banned him for it
      ?
      See More

    THIS IS WHERE MY REMARK WAS INSERTED…

    • 3 hours ago · LikeUnlike

    • Dan Carlisle My Opologies for the Fiesty comment where I come from that is usually a compliment and was meant as one. It is usually used to break the ice in a hot situation. In other words it was suppose to be funny not negative.

      2 hours ago · LikeUnlike

    • Dan Carlisle

      I do believe Muslim terrorist flew the planes into the towers and the pentagon. I don't believe the Osama Bin Laden group was the only one involved. ... I consider it traitorous to blame our own governments complicity except for the fact that they were irresponsible for not protecting us more than they did. That would be Politics not military that should be held responsible. Most conservatives and Christians knew we were at war and were a sitting target. I did not believe Wendy deserved that answer at the time of her interrogation of me. I was still trying to figure out what started this in the 1st place and just what she was up to.
      We do need to stop shadow boxing with our own and go after the real enemy:
      Ephesians 6:12
      For we are not wrestling with flesh and blood [contending only with physical opponents], but against the despotisms, against the powers, against [the master spirits who are] the world rulers of this present darkness, against the spirit forces of wickedness in the heavenly (supernatural) sphere.See More

      2 hours ago · LikeUnlike

    • Dan Carlisle Oh I guess it was because I don't trust the federal reserve that she considered me a threat and a loon. I did not see that one coming! I guess I am getting slow now that I am over the 50 mark.

      2 hours ago · LikeUnlike

Bottom line …

Obviously, this was an automated reaction to a reported issue or the Facebook moderators did not have the time to read the sequence of posts.

Clearly Wendy E Aylworth appears to be disrespectful of the Constitution’s First Amendment. My FB friends now point out that there is a distinction between the First Amendment which controls the government's action and "censorship" which is a matter between individuas and/or non-governmental entitites.

But the larger question, why would Facebook go along without taking a look at the overall issue? Or was the process automated into an algorithmic response.

I leave it to the readers to pass judgement.

-- steve


“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



A CRISIS OF FINANCIAL FAITH: IT IS ALL BEGINNING TO MAKE SENSE ...

We’ve been played …

There is little doubt in my mind that the major financial players have played the American people. Through a combination of “revolving door” political appointees and paid lobbyists, they have managed to corrupt politicians and the regulatory agencies to manipulate the financial sector to their own advantage.

And it is all starting to make sense …

On December 3, 2007, I posted a list of financial institutions and asked if the top three banks were candidates for merger/acquisition to prevent their collapse.

Borrower
Amount
Citibank, N.A. $98,682
Countrywide Bank, NA
$51,050
Washington Mutual Bank $43,711
World Savings Bank, FSB $24,241
RBS Citizens, NA $21,856
Sovereign Bank $21,078
Bank of America
Rhode Island, NA
$19,581
World Savings Bank, FSB $17,263
U.S. Bank $16,806
Bank of America
California
$14,750

Looking back over the list, we find that:

  • Citibank, being one of the nation’s signature financial institutions is still in business – apparently by the grace of unseen hands at the U.S. Department of the Treasury and the Federal Reserve.
  • Countrywide Bank is no longer in existence, the assets were acquired by the Bank of America.
  • Washington Mutual Bank is no longer in existence, the assets were acquired by JPMorgan Chase.
  • RBS Citizens Bank still operates as a wholly owned subsidiary of the Royal Bank of Scotland Group, with the company's controlling shareholder being the British government.
  • Sovereign Bank is still operating and is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Spanish Grupo Santander.
  • World Savings Bank is no longer in existence, the assets were acquired by Wachovia. Wachovia was acquired by Wells Fargo.
  • U.S. Bank is still operational and appears to be one of the best managed banks in the group.

So why am I not surprised to find that Bloomberg Financial is reporting …

“Secret Fed Loans Helped Banks Net $13B”

“The Federal Reserve and the big banks fought for more than two years to keep details of the largest bailout in U.S. history a secret. No one calculated until now that banks reaped an estimated $13 billion of income by taking advantage of the Fed’s below-market rates, Bloomberg Markets magazine reports in its January issue.”

The Treasury Department relied on the recommendations of the Fed to decide which banks were healthy enough to get TARP money and how much, the former officials say. The six biggest U.S. banks, which received $160 billion of TARP funds, borrowed as much as $460 billion from the Fed, measured by peak daily debt calculated by Bloomberg using data obtained from the central bank.”

We now know that the Treasury Department was either disingenuous or incompetent because it is apparent that some of these financial institutions may have been technically insolvent when decisions were being made. It is one thing to argue that these institutions are systemically important and needed to be kept afloat to prevent a domino-like cascading crash of the financial industry; and quite another to pretend that these institutions were solvent and posed little systemic risk.

I remember one story floated in the media that some of these big financial institutions were “forced” to take billions of government cash in order to protect the weaker institutions among them from being stigmatized and precipitating a bank run. What a crock?

“The Fed, headed by Chairman Ben S. Bernanke, argued that revealing borrower details would create a stigma -- investors and counterparties would shun firms that used the central bank as lender of last resort -- and that needy institutions would be reluctant to borrow in the next crisis.”

The big six …

‘The six -- JPMorgan, Bank of America, Citigroup Inc., Wells Fargo & Co. Goldman Sachs Group Inc., and Morgan Stanley --accounted for 63 percent of the average daily debt to the Fed by all publicly traded U.S. banks, money managers and investment-services firms, the data show. By comparison, they had about half of the industry’s assets before the bailout, which lasted from August 2007 through April 2010. The daily debt figure excludes cash that banks passed along to money-market funds.”

How big a bailout?

“$7.77 Trillion”

“The amount of money the central bank parceled out was surprising even to Gary H. Stern, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis from 1985 to 2009, who says he“wasn’t aware of the magnitude.” It dwarfed the Treasury Department’s better-known $700 billion Troubled Asset Relief Program, or TARP. Add up guarantees and lending limits, and the Fed had committed $7.77 trillion as of March 2009 to rescuing the financial system, more than half the value of everything produced in the U.S. that year.”

So where did it go? What counterparties were made whole and what counterparties were disadvantaged?

What should happen to those who have been caught overtly lying to their shareholders or even lying by omission?

“On Nov. 26, 2008, then-Bank of America Corp. Chief Executive Officer Kenneth D. Lewis wrote to shareholders that he headed ‘one of the strongest and most stable major banks in the world.’ He didn’t say that his firm owed the central bank $86 billion that day.”

Compared to Citibank, perhaps he was telling the truth; as I had always believed that Citibank may have been technically insolvent and much of the government’s machinations were designed to protect this signature bank.

“JPMorgan Chase & Co. CEO Jamie Dimon told shareholders in a March 26, 2010, letter that his bank used the Fed’s Term Auction Facility ‘at the request of the Federal Reserve to help motivate others to use the system.’ He didn’t say that the New York-based bank’s total TAF borrowings were almost twice its cash holdings or that its peak borrowing of $48 billion on Feb. 26, 2009, came more than a year after the program’s creation.”

But he wasn’t the only one lying through his teeth as there were those in Congress swearing that the Government Sponsored Entitites, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, were well capitalized and soundly run enterprises. Had these statements been made by corporate officers without the protections of Congressional immunity, they would be behind bars.

Bottom line …

What have we learned?

One, through massive government corruption, many financial institutions were allowed to engage in unsound practices which were never detected, deterred or prosecuted by the regulatory agencies.

Two, through the Federal Reserve’s ZIRP (Zero Interest Rate Program) the financial institutions were re-capitalized at the expense of shareholders and depositors. Forcing those who lived on fixed incomes, required their nest-egg or who were facing retirement, earned a paltry return on their investment while the financial institutions were charging 22.9% or more to carry the debt of daily living expenses. Not to mention the multi-million dollar bonuses for executives who did little or nothing to earn these windfall profits.

Three, many of the financial institutions that were judged to be “too big to fail” have gotten larger.

Four, the executive bonuses which were roundly criticized by all – continue unabated and undisclosed.

What can we do?

Other than march around like fools on Wall Street, perhaps we should be marching on the White House and institutions of government that allowed this economic catastrophe to occur on their watch.

But more than that, we need to boot the bastards out of office – along with their political nominees who turned a blind-eye to the developing tsunami or incompetently failed to do their jobs.

People are upset, myself included, as we continue to learn the depths of the corruption within the political system that allowed the resources of our nation’s citizens to be drained into the pockets of the politically-connected special interests.

Perhaps presidential candidate Ron Paul is correct when he calls for the Federal Reserve to be abolished. Not that I endorse Paul or his whack-job foreign policies, but it seems that the Fed has not been truthful with the American people and has been operated like the private bank it is – for the profit of its owners. And perhaps that’s where we need to start, even before an audit, to disclose the ownership shares of the Federal Reserve and how much money has been down-streamed to these investors.

The 2012 election cycle is now upon us and we have little choice but to make things right. We can no longer trust President Obama, a socialist who is out to bankrupt our nation. We can no longer trust the democrats with the progressive policies which brought our nation to the brink of insolvency. And we are barely able to trust the GOP which proved that they were not the party of fiscal restraint and could act like progressives given the opportunity by circumstance.

We need to elect constitutional conservatives and unlike my best friend Al who believes that Barack Obama will be re-elected, we are now faced with only two viable candidates: Romney and Gingrich. And as the lesser of evils, I will go with Gingrich because he has proven he can work with competing congressional factions and has balanced a budget.

-- steve

Reference Links …

ARE THE TOP THREE BANKS ON THIS LIST AT RISK FOR MERGER/ACQUISITION TO PREVENT THEIR COLLAPSE? (Updated)

Secret Fed Loans Helped Banks Net $13B – Bloomberg

Banks forced to take bailout money they don’t want or need


“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



SAVE SANTA MONICA AIRPORT!

Full disclosure …

I grew up in a home on Clover Avenue overlooking Santa Monica Airport, also known as Clover Field. The flight path was a block North from my backyard. I loved planes, kept a radio tuned to approach control and loved to play on the airport grounds. I washed planes when I was eight in exchange for rides. My parents were perfectly fine with my adult pilot friends. And, best of all, I learned to fly at Santa Monica Airport.

Following the rules set down by my primary flight instructor whose rules went far beyond the responsibility you assume when piloting an aircraft. He taught me to slow down and read the question a second time before dashing off an answer. He taught me that the most useless things are altitude above you, runway behind you and one-tenth second ago. He taught me that there are old pilots and bold pilots, but damn few old, bold pilots. He taught me to think and act with a command authority when necessary. He also taught me the pleasure of a $50 hamburger (mostly a Cessna 150 rental) at an airport slurp and burp – hanging with other pilots and shooting the breeze.

Therefore I have strong negative feelings against the progressive democrats who decimated Santa Monica – the People’s Republic of Santa Monica -- forcing great companies like Douglas Aircraft out of the neighborhood. Allowing artists, architects and other non-airport businesses to locate on airport property. Leaving the South side of the airport a dilapidated ghetto. These are the people who forced light manufacturing out of Santa Monica in favor of touristy-type attractions. Raising taxes rather than increasing the tax base.

How many people can say they got to hang out with people like Donald Douglas, Jr., the great inventor Bill Lear or go flying with people like Frank Sinatra or Elvis Presley who used the airport frequently? How many people could land late at night and find the Friendship 7 Space Capsule on a transport skid in the middle of Airport Avenue; awaiting transfer to the aircraft museum? Or goof around with guys whose fathers were personal secretaries to Howard Hughes who kept old planes like his Convair and DC-6 on the airport.

So it really pisses me off when I see stories in the Los Angeles Times that literally spew progressive activist venom and suggest that the end of the Clover Field is near …

“Battle over Santa Monica Airport's future revs up”

When leases expire in 2015, the city says, it won't be obligated to operate the facility as an airport. The FAA disagrees, standing with pilots and passengers. Foes cite noise, pollution and plane crashes.”

“Does the endgame loom in the decades-long tussle over Santa Monica Airport?
In 2015, all land and building leases at the airport expire, and city officials — and thousands of Westside residents weary of life in the flight path — say the obligation to operate the facility as an airport ends too. Santa Monica has hired consultants to study the 227-acre campus and early next year will begin asking for the public's input on potential future uses.”

The Federal Aviation Administration, meanwhile, asserts that the city must operate the airport in perpetuity under a 1948 ‘instrument of transfer. The agency, long a potent adversary on the airport issue, has vowed to stand pat for pilots and passengers.
The dispute could well end up in court.”

“At the least, it is revving up an ongoing battle that has pitted flight-school operators and convenience-loving Westside jet-setters against airport opponents fed up with noise, pollution and plane crashes — most recently in August, when a student pilot in a small plane clipped a tree and plunged into the side of a Santa Monica house.”

These people knew that the airport was there and chose to live there anyway. All of their bitching and moaning has to do with property values. Noise is not a major issue as the airport is virtually a ghost town after 10 p.m. and there are severe noise restrictions for airport operations.

As for crashes, both West Los Angeles and Santa Monica have seen their share of horrific auto crashes and major fires – which greatly outnumber the occasional incident at the airport; which has one of the best safety records in the nation.

When I was twelve, a pilot crashed into a flower field next to where I was walking. My thoughts were to get the pilot out of the aircraft and insure the master switch was off. No thoughts about how unsafe the neighborhood might be. We we taught to take off Runway 21 and take our flight path over Penmar Golf Course – flying to the Coast before making a turn to minimize the impact on those under us. Other than touch-and-goes, there was no stunt flying or buzzing neighborhoods.

“ Although many residents embrace the airport for its economic value and its dog park, athletic fields, art galleries and plane-watching opportunities, activists say the risks and disruptions outweigh the benefits.”

If it was up to me, airports would remain airports, not mixed use developments designed by progressives. Flying has become so expensive these days that only the rich can continue the rich traditions of recreational flying; and the Internet has made face-to-face meetings almost obsolete. A sad state of affairs in my humble opinion.

Leave it to the progressives and their useful idiots to bring up ecological issues …

"A lot of people in the community would really like to see the airport closed," said Cathy Larson, who lives in Sunset Park at the airport's western edge. "There are lots of obstacles to achieving that."
Los Angeles Councilman Bill Rosendahl, who represents Mar Vista, Venice and other neighborhoods surrounding Santa Monica, has dived into the turbulence, citing constituents' complaints about the aerial meanderings of student pilots in the densely populated area and elevated levels of potentially hazardous particles from jet exhaust and lead from propeller-plane fuel. "The airport doesn't belong there anymore," he said. "…There's no physical buffer between the airport and the lungs of my constituents."

I love the smell of avgas and jet fuel, the sound of aircraft overhead makes me happy. Thousands of people lived next to airports without harm. So this progressive crap just annoys me. The freakin councilman appears to be an instrument of the developers who can’t wait to get their hands on this prime Westside property.

A little history …

“Santa Monica Airport, established in 1917, is described on a city website as the oldest continuously operating airport in Los Angeles County. After Santa Monica acquired the original 170 acres in 1926, the property became the home of Douglas Aircraft Co., whose DC-3 would introduce average Americans to commercial air travel in the 1930s. At its peak, the company had 44,000 employees, and both Los Angeles and Santa Monica encouraged the building of housing right up to the airport's perimeter.

Another progressive Marxist weighs in …

"It really ties in with the 1% vs. the 99% issue," said Martin Rubin, a Los Angeles air-quality activist who has helped lead the charge against the airport. "The 1% are jet-setting in and out of Santa Monica Airport … and polluting the air for a large number of residents."

Then why isn’t he railing against Arnold Schwarzenegger, Tom Cruise and a host of other progressive celebrities and politicians who use the airport as a convenient waypoint or base of operations?

Bottom line …

Santa Monica Airport is a historical treasure, national defense facility and the gateway to the area should there be a area-wide natural disaster.

As for those who moved into the airport believing the subtle musings of the real estate agents who allowed them to believe that the airport would be gone after 2015 – move!

Want to curb noise and pollution? Shut down the 10 Freeway from Bundy to Pacific Coast Highway – and then watch the political squawking.

Even though children are no longer allowed access to the airport property without adult supervision and some of the best fixed base operators have moved on, the airport remains a wondrous place, and I can’t help but visit when I am in West Los Angeles.

Among my most cherished pieces of memorabilia is a ragged page from the now-defunct Santa Monica Evening Outlook with a commemorative page consisting of all the pilots who used the airport at the time. Since I couldn’t be the first signature on the page, I insisted I would be the last.

-- steve

Reference Links …
Battle over Santa Monica Airport's future revs up - latimes.com

From Wikipedia: Aircraft Crashes at Santa Monica Airport

  • On Labor Day weekend in 1989, a P-51 Mustang crashed into a home on Wade St near Brooklake St in Mar Vista. The pilot and passenger were both injured.[5]
  • In 1994, the pilot of a single-engine Piper Saratoga died when a fuel system misconfiguration led to an in-flight engine shutdown. The aircraft stalled in a subsequent 180 degree turn for a forced emergency landing and struck the ground, which resulted in a post-crash fire.[6]
  • On March 28, 2001, an inexperienced pilot rented a Cessna 172 from Justice Aviation at the airport and subsequently lost control of the aircraft over the Pacific Ocean upon encountering dark, instrument meteorological conditions. Three were killed.[7]
  • On November 13, 2001, the pilot of a twin-engine Cessna failed to remove the device that locks the control system for parking (to prevent wind damage) and two were killed when the aircraft overran the runway after an unsuccessful aborted takeoff.[8]
  • Game-show host Peter Tomarken and his wife Kathleen died when his Beechcraft Bonanza crashed during climb-out from the airport on the morning of March 13, 2006. The Federal Aviation Administration reported that the aircraft had engine trouble and attempted to turn back before crashing into Santa Monica Bay.[9][10]
  • On January 13, 2008, a home-built aircraft ran off the end of runway 21 after a brake failure, jumped over the hillside, landing on a service road. The three passengers on board were not hurt although the kit-built aircraft was damaged severely. The runway was closed for 20 minutes.
  • On January 28, 2009, a single-engine SIAI-Marchetti SF-260C lost power following takeoff and attempted to return to the airport. The aircraft struck the ground on the north side of runway 21 and caught fire, killing two people on board. Paulo Emanuele, the general manager of Airliners.net, was the pilot-in-command, and his passenger was Martin Schaedel, a well-known internet entrepreneur and engineer in his twenties. After an investigation The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows: The pilot’s failure to select the proper fuel tank for takeoff, which resulted in a loss of engine power. Contributing to the accident was the pilot's failure to maintain aircraft control while attempting a return to runway maneuver.[11][12]
  • On August 2, 2009, a Rutan Long-EZ experienced engine failure after takeoff. The pilot attempted to turn back to the runway but crashed on the taxiway in the process of landing. The pilot, flying alone, was severely injured and the airplane was destroyed.[13]
  • On July 1, 2010, a Cessna 152, owned by Justice Aviation, crashed into the Penmar Golf Course shortly after take-off. The pilot was killed.[14]
  • On August 29, 2011, a student pilot operating a small plane owned by Justice Aviation crashed into a home at 21st St. and Navy St. after take-off. [15]

“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



Newt Gingrich: stealing the Illegal alien issue from the democrats ... and they are mad!

Watch the progressive democrats and mainstream media gang-up on Newt Gingrich …

How dare Newt Gingrich steal the illegal alien issue from the progressive democrats? Everyone knows that the progressive democrats own the issues involving civil rights, Blacks, Hispanics and the poor.

First, they are upset at Newt because he has co-opted what many progressive democrats believe is their coalition group.

Second, the are upset at Newt because he is proposing a common-sense solution for a long-standing problem which has been treated with as much sincerity as the so-called bi-partisan “Super Committee” treated the nation’s finances.

And third, because Newt is capable of pointing out that the progressive democrats have been disingenuous with their coalition partners. Asking the questions that will force them to publicly answer questions that should be puzzling the rest of the nation.

Where are the billions of dollars that were allocated for cleaning up the inner cities -- the ghettoes and barrios – when most of these areas are under progressive democrat control?

What have the progressive democrats done to improve education, employment opportunities, drug and gang-related crime; not to mention the massive corruption of the political system by the unions and special interests.

Here is an example of such an attack from the widely-distributed Associated Press article that appears to be designed to split Newt Gingrich from the GOP nomination …

You will also notice that the Associated Press choses to use the term “undocumented immigrant” which is similar to documented immigrant – refusing to use the term illegal aliens which is truly their immigration status.

“Newt Gingrich Immigration Stance Risks Conservative Ire”

“Newt Gingrich has charged into the fray over undocumented immigration, risking conservative ire just as his Republican presidential campaign – once declared all but dead – has vaulted into front-runner status.”

“The firebrand former House speaker broke with what has become a reflexive Republican hard line on immigration, calling for ‘humane’ treatment for otherwise law-abiding undocumented immigrants who have been in the United States for decades, establishing deep family and community ties.”

“Gingrich suggested they should be provided a pathway to legal residency but not citizenship. Republicans, he said, should see undocumented immigrants through the prism of another issue near and dear to the GOP faithful: family values.”

"’I don't see how the party that says it's the party of the family is going to adopt an immigration policy which destroys families that have been here a quarter-century,’ Gingrich said at a televised debate Tuesday night.”

Newt is correct in his assertion that there needs to be a solution between full amnesty and deportation. The children of illegal aliens are already United States citizens so the problem has a generational solution. If we close the borders and tighten immigration policy, the illegal immigrant problem will slowly fade away.

“The response was swift.”

Some conservatives asserted he had wounded his candidacy, perhaps fatally.”

Most of the fire did not come from the conservatives as the mainstream media tried to gin up another candidate-busting controversy.

"Newt did himself significant harm tonight on immigration among caucus and primary voters," tweeted Tim Albrecht, deputy chief of staff to Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad, whose state holds the lead-off caucuses in January.”

Who the hell cares what progressive democrat Tim Albrecht says in a tweet? What did you expect him to say?

Immigration has proven to be politically treacherous for Republicans trying to appeal to the party's conservative base. Just ask Texas Gov. Rick Perry, who said critics of in-state tuition for undocumented immigrants ‘did not have a heart.’ Perry had to apologize for the remark.”

While people might be upset a Texas Governor Rick Perry for allowing state funds to be used to educational benefits for illegal aliens who were brought to this country by their parents, conservatives should also realize that this is a Tenth Amendment, States Rights’ issue, and the citizens of Texas have spoken.

Not so different …

On July 18, 2010, I posted a blog entry titled “Immigration: simple as 1-2-3.” As you can plainly see, Newt’s position is not that different from mine – and I consider myself a conservative Republican – even though I left the party in disgust and registered as an independent.

It is not a complex issue and it doesn’t require another 2,000+ page bill laden with special interest carve-outs and unrelated pork grants which further deplete our treasury with no benefit to repairing and replacing our crumbling infrastructure.

Immigration is a simple matter …

One: We close the borders and get control over arrivals, departures and over-stays.

Two: All non-citizens must register with the appropriate authority within 180 days, with the only exceptions being the critically ill. This is all current law, so there is no real problem. Unregistered aliens will be deported – with their families upon discovery.

Three: Everybody will get a conditional work permit pending a background check, proof of insurance and meeting other requirements such as paying a processing fee. Upon a satisfactory outcome, they will be issued a five-year renewable work permit.

This is the relief valve …

The above steps will give the United States breathing room to actually develop a better immigration policy and examine the key issue of those who do not plan to assimilate and those who use social services. Perhaps adopting Mexico’s immigration system which does not provide for anchor babies and the dilution of their population with “foreign cultures.”

Workplace enforcement is a must. Forged or stolen papers will be treated as a crime and the subject instantly deported after serving time for forgery. They will be permanently ineligible to re-enter the United States.

If the Mexican government fails to assist in halting illegal immigration, all money transferred to Mexico will be taxed at 50%.

If the Catholic Church persists in aiding and abetting illegal immigration, they will lose their tax exempt status and be forced to assist the country in paying for services to illegal aliens.

Obama has shown that the government is willing to cap medical services on ordinary tax-paying, law-abiding citizens, perhaps social services should be capped for those who are non-citizens.

A clear and present danger to our society …

During our formative years, immigration was a necessity. Rules were tight and there was very little immigration. The key idea is that most immigrants wanted to be Americans; speak English and adopt the American lifestyle. They were here for life.

Fortunately, we have never been faced with an immediate influx of 12 – 20 million illegal aliens, many of which still support their third-world home and cling to ethics and beliefs which may be fundamentally incompatible with mainstream American beliefs.

Should real immigration reform fail and “we the people” are faced with a solution crafted by corrupt and self-serving politicians, there will be no going back. The die will have been cast for a group large enough to influence local, state and national elections in order to preserve their “entitlement” culture or, heaven forbid, their legal attempts to inculcate Marxism into the fabric of our national consciousness.

For those bleeding hearts who buy the picture of innocent, hard-working individuals who broke our laws to make a better life for themselves and their families, this is an incomplete picture. The real picture is seen by pulling back from the individual and looking at the numbers – we are not faced with a few stray illegals, we are faced with a hoard of locusts which will devour everything in its path. Ruining America to the point where America is just another third-world country, governed by those who can be pressured into doing the bidding of their new masters – the people with the money and the power.

Bottom line …

The GOP and conservatives should not let progressive democrats and the mainstream media define us or our candidates. The progressive democrats will do or say anything to gain or maintain power – especially in a year when they are hated by a majority of the population.

While Newt has significant baggage, let us see if the GOP can be as forgiving as they pretend they are. Newt is older, wiser, and possibly less ill-tempered. He may not be anyone’s idea of an ideal candidate, but he is surely better than Obamney and his more liberal stance.

And there is nothing more entertaining that Newt tying the media and Barack Obama in knots during a debate. That is, if Obama has the guts to actually debate him and not hide behind the type of limited access that controls democrat campaigns. We should also note that Mitt Romney has the same media strategy and is ducking the media while the other GOP candidates slug it out for the top anti-Romney slot in the party.

Be extremely careful lest we elect another aisle-hopping RINO whose idea of compromise is to bend over and say yes to the democrats.

-- steve

Reference Links …

Newt Gingrich Immigration Stance Risks Conservative Ire

Immigration: simple as 1-2-3 | OneCitizenSpeaking


“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



THANKSGIVING 2011: ARE YOU THE TURKEY?

turkey

While it is intuitively obvious that many of us have much to be thankful for: our health, happiness, family and friends – there should be reserved a moment to consider the future.

Many of our fellow Americans may not be enjoying the comfort of a home, a hot meal or the pleasant companionship of family and friends. And in these days of a 15-trillion dollar national debt, that is a crime.

No, I am not suggesting that we turn towards socialism and the failed prescription of “from each according to their ability, to each according to his needs,” but I am suggesting the manner in which public funds appear to be used to promote the self-interests of the political ruling class and their benefactors, the special interests.

Why, I am bound to ask, are so many people suffering when the politicians are telling us that they are acting to improve the lives of American citizens? Where have all the billions spent on eliminating poverty, crime and decaying neighborhoods gone? And why do inner city cesspools of decaying neighborhoods, crime and corruption still exist with such “enlightened” political leadership?

Truth be told, we are witnessing the most corrupt government in the history of the United States. On all levels – local, state and federal. Politicians whose votes are for sale, year-after-year, to those who provide campaign funds, voter support and personal enrichment for themselves, their relatives and “special friends.”

We can plainly see thuggish union leaders who have used the strength of their non-complaining members to push citizens away from the bargaining table so self-serving deals can be struck between themselves and their paid representatives in government. Deals which cost citizens billions of dollars in higher costs, lost productivity and the reward of seniority over merit, complacency over innovation and most of all – the stifling of individualism to support the unexceptional collective.

We allow our leaders to speak of education – to inform and uplift our children to new heights, preparing them for competition on a global scale; while the evidence shows that the bulk of the money targeted for education is used for adults – the administrators, unionized employees and the special interests – and never reachs the classroom. We see our children becoming mind-numbed robots; worshiping an empty celebrity culture and playing mind-warping games on the latest electronic devices. The promise of computer assisted teaching has become the plague of computer-assisted babysitting. Our children cannot do math without a calculator and cannot prepare a research paper without Google, Wikipedia and a cut-and-paste environment.

We allow the nation to be led by a virtual unknown; a man who hides his credentials from the public and who needs a speech writer and teleprompter to speak to the American people about goals and what he really believes.

We allow a political party to field eight or more candidates, most of them babbling platitudes while disguising personal failings that would not be accepted for a position on a school board much less high public office.

What the hell happened to those who believed that this generation was the “best and the brightest?” What happened to individual responsibility where individuals actually paid for what they wanted in terms of real time, effort and money?

So I ask you on this Thanksgiving holiday, where did we go wrong and are we going to allow a relatively small bunch of pandering politicians and their special interest friends to rule our lives?

Are we going to demand a return on the investment in our own taxable labor to benefit ourselves, our family and our friends rather than those who contribute nothing to society, but take their piece of the action for non-performance?

Are we going to stop pretending and realize that the “emperor has no clothes” and has become an imperious Marie Antoinette?

Are we going to hold people accountable for their actions. Charity is one thing, but state-directed charity towards themselves is quite another. Especially when it is promoted behind a political agenda of “wealth redistribution” to gain the support of the masses.

Please open your eyes, look about and realize that there are those who do not wish America and its citizens well – and that there is a great likelihood that these people have infiltrated our educational, law enforcement, government and institutional infrastructure.

Think about next Thanksgiving and whether or not you will really be thankful for what the corrupt politicians and more easily manipulated voters among us have wrought.

-- steve

flag


“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



HOLDING UNIONS RESPONSIBLE FOR COLLATERAL DAMAGE

When are the citizens of the United States, especially those located in economically and educationally depressed areas going to wake up and hold the public employees’ unions responsible for the collateral damage caused by their transformational changes in education and the workplace which appear to have decimated decades of Americans?

Consider geographical areas where high-skill/high-wage jobs are nowhere to be found and that a large portion of the workforce consists of those with low to moderate educational and skill levels. And many of them lacking soft skills such as basic hygiene, dressing appropriately, showing up on time, and being respectful of authority.

Can you forgive the unionized educational establishment for mandating that everyone should have a college education and the subsequent elimination of trade programs for those who did not want to participate in a “college prep” program?

How many citizens have been lost in depression, the  dejection of circumstance when they were unable to understand higher mathematics or the subtleties of comparing and contrasting 19th century English authors? Citizens who would have eagerly embraced training in the so-called manual arts. Comprehending  required mathematical and communications concepts as a part of learning a marketable trade that could be exchanges for a middle class lifestyle?

Can you forgive a progressive unionized educational system which produced a cadre of political activists with few marketable talents? How many productive companies will hire someone who possesses a degree in Transgendered Hispanic Studies?

Can you forgive the unions in demanding that all workers be graded by the same season when some individuals clearly have superior skill levels?

Can you forgive the unionized government establishment who accepted seniority over merit, complacency over innovation and insured that more and more workers were hired to do smaller and smaller portions of work? Until the labor of an ordinary worker – complete with salary, perks, healthcare, benefits and retirement – priced them out of the real marketplace. Rewarding non-existent skills that involved looking busy while doing no productive work and which produced a generation of bureaucratic functionaries who reveled in their small piece of administrivia – and could do virtually nothing else unless re-trained in an expensive training program.

We are now finding that the government will be funding the re-training of bankrupt Solyndra’ s workforce …

“The Labor Department today announced that it had approved Trade Adjustment Assistance for the former employees of the bankrupt solar panel maker Solyndra.”

“That means all of the firm’s 1,100 ex-employees are eligible for federal aid packages, including job retraining and income assistance. The department has valued packages at about $13,000 a head.”

“Taxpayers will have to cough up yet another $14.3 million as a result of Solyndra’ s bankruptcy. They are already on the hook for $528 million in federal loan guarantees to the company that are unlikely to ever be paid back.”

Excuse me? Why is this even necessary? Why were these employees hired? Did they possess fundamental skills necessary to build solar panels or were they simply an assembly line necessity? Were they educated? And  why should the public engage in providing these employees with the education, skills and training that they should have already had when they graduated school.

Was Solyndra a Potemkin's village designed to milk millions out of the government; providing the investors and executives with underserved riches? If not, why could the physical plant not be re-purposed to produce something of value that can be exported to other countries? Or will the plant be purchased by some special interest “friends” at a sweetheart price?

With all of the government billions sloshing around in the contemplation of building high-speed rail systems to politically-determined destinations of no practical value, why don’t we hire these people to clean up the inner cities?

To push back the rot and decay in the same manner that individualists pushed back the desert that was Southern California? But without the political interference of bureaucrats who add absolutely nothing to the process. Without the bloated contracts to special interests for cleaning supplies which could be purchased locally at the Wal-Mart or other superstore for a fraction of the price.

Obama talks about community organizers – what the hell do they organize except political power and government-derived profits for themselves.

An idea …

We have an overabundance of bank-owned abandoned property … so what would be the harm in giving the financial institutions 90-days to clean it up – or face condemnation; paying the fair market value in tax credits  which could be retained by the financial institution, sold to others for cash money, used to meet core capital requirements or CRA (Community Reinvestment Act) goals.

Bottom line …

It is time that we remove socialism from our national agenda; reducing the size of government, reducing taxes, buying America and most of all – eliminating unions who do nothing for our national agenda.

-- steve


“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



WHO WON THE CNN AEI HERITAGE DEBATE IN WASHINGTON -- NOVEMBER 22, 2011

Capture11-22-2011-6.00.25 PM

There were no clear winners. Romney was status quo, Newt was status quo smart. Paul looked quirkily out of touch. Cain looked like he reached the limits of his knowledge. Perry looks stale. Huntsman appears to be a moderate diplomat, not a leader. As for Bachmann and Santorum, who cares?

Venue: On November 22, eight Republican candidates will meet for the CNN/AEI/HERITAGE FOUNDATION Republican debate to be held at DAR [Daughters of the American Revolution] Constitution Hall in Washington, D.C..

Moderator: CNN’s Wolf Blitzer will serve as the moderator for the debate. In addition to Blitzer, foreign policy experts from the American Enterprise Institute and the Heritage Foundation will ask questions of the candidates.

Format: Podium format.

Subject: The debate will be centered on foreign policy, national security and the economy.

Still too many people! While each of the candidates will add contextual material, there are still to0 many people on the stage to get a meaningful feel for the top-level candidates who reply in short sound bites and refer to off-air position papers at their websites.

Bias: None apparent from the moderator. Stacked deck with the AEI, Heritage crowd.

Full disclosure: Danielle Pletka, who was allowed to ask a question is married to former lobbyist and Bush administration official Stephen Rademaker who is a Romney campaign adviser. Gingrich worked with both AEI and Heritage for years.

Each of the candidates will have something to prove or a point to make …

Mitt Romney. Romney appears to have no particular foreign affairs or national security expertise but has access to older Republican advisors.

Newt Gingrich. Widely regarded as the smartest man in the room, Newt’s historical perspective on foreign affairs is beyond question.

Herman Cain. Severely damaged with prolonged silence when asked a question about Libya, Cain must overcome his fundamental lack of foreign affairs knowledge. Cain can no longer bull thing through by claiming “Americans want leaders, not readers.” The suggestion that Cain would even consider advice from Henry Kissinger is an anathema to many older Americans who have noted that Kissinger does not have the best track record when it comes to outcomes in foreign policy.

Rick Perry. Perry claims that he was the Commander-in-Chief of his State’s National Guard and the only one with military and command experience. Strong supporter of Israel. Look for him to claim that the U.S. Southern Border is a major issue.

Ron Paul. This will be a tricky debate for Ron Paul who professes a policy of non-interventionism, removal of troops from foreign lands, little or no foreign aid and letting Israel defend herself against overwhelming odds.

Rick Santorum, look for Rick Santorum to push his conservatism, family values and legislative expertise. Known to be a fierce debater on the subject of a nuclear Iran and has previously faced Ron Paul in a foreign policy debate.

Jon Huntsman. Again, Huntsman has an advantage, having served as an Ambassador to China. Huntsman is the type of moderate Republican (RINO) that can serve as the alternate to Mitt Romney. Huntsman believes in diplomacy above all and is likely to avoid military options.

Michelle Bachmann. A member of Intelligence Committee, Bachmann is a strong supporter of Israel and appears to have little foreign affairs knowledge. Often compared unfavorably to Sarah Palin.

The Players, comments and result …

Regardless of the candidate’s position on foreign affairs, the dominant factor remains who can beat Barack Obama.

WIN

CANDIDATE

COMMENTS

cyan_rightcyan_right Capture11-9-2011-8.43.36 PM
MITT
ROMNEY

"There is a different body of law that relates to war."

Can rework TSA. Differentiates war from crime.

As for keeping troops in Afghanistan – “This is not a time to cut and run."

Amnesty is a magnet. Turn off the magnets of illegal immigration. Secure the border.

Pulling precipitously out of Afghanistan would put at risk our extraordinary investment of treasure and blood.

We need to dump Obamacare, not to cut money to the military.  They are cutting the capacity of America to defend herself.

Claims Obama’s agenda: we are going to be friendly to our foes and we are going to be disrespectful to our friends.

The right course for America is to stand up to Iran with crippling sanctions, indict Ahmadinejad for violating the genocide convention; put in place the kind of sanctions that stop their economy. There is no price that is worth an Iranian nuclear weapon.

Show Israel we are their friend.

Secure the borders. Turn off magnets of amnesty, in-state tuition and employers who hire illegal aliens. Doesn’t want people to become a permanent residents (like Newt’s suggestion).

Does not support no fly zone over Syria. Wants sanctions and covert actions to effect regime change.

Worries about: Iran becoming nuclear. Latin America.

cyan_upcyan_right Capture11-9-2011-8.45.12 PM
NEWT GINGRICH
Pointed out the difference between national security requirements and criminal law requirements when speaking about the Patriot Act. Would not change, but strengthen the Patriot Act.

Should have been furious with Pakistan over finding bin Laden in their country.

If we want to keep troops in Afghanistan, you accept hot pursuit, no sanctuary [in Pakistan], change the rules of engagement, put the military in charge of the military side, overhaul the State Department and you do it for real and you do it intensely.

Wants to sabotage Iran’s oil fields. [A dangerous proposition considering other nations rely on Mideast oil.]

We need to become energy independent and be prepared to tell the Europeans we could replace their Iranian oil.

Sabotage Iran’s only gasoline refinery.

If we were a serious country, we would open up enough oil fields in the next year so the price of oil would collapse. Lean Six Sigma would help the country.

Replacing the Iran regime before they get a nuclear weapon without a war beats replacing the regime with a war which beats allowing them to have a nuclear weapon.

Pushes Chile model of Social Security model.

On immigration: let’s be humane in enforcing the law without giving them citizenship.

Worries about: Weapon of mass destruction in an American city probably from terrorists. Electromagnetic Pulse attack which would destroy the country’s  capacity to function. Cyberattack. All three are outside the capacity of the system to deal with.
cyan_downcyan_right

Capture11-9-2011-8.46.06 PM

HERMAN     CAIN

We can do better with TSA and Targeted Identification ( refuses to use the word profiling). Supports the Patriot Act and that we should “refine” it if there are problems or concerns.

Terrorists want to kill all of us, so we should use every means possible to kill them first or identify them first.

Would support Israel attack on Iran if they had a credible plan.  Must be clear about the definition of mission and victory.

On humanitarian and development aid – look at the whole problem and determine of the programs have been successful.

Insecure border is a national security threat. Enforce the laws that are already there, we don’t need new laws. About illegals: empower the states to do what the federal government is incapable of doing.

Does not support Perry’s “no fly” zone in Syria and would work with our allies in the region to stop buying oil from Syria.

Worries about: cyberattacks.

cyan_downcyan_right Capture11-9-2011-8.43.58 PM
RON
PAUL
Most of the candidates disagree with Ron Paul on most issues, so he was a focal point during the first part of the debate.

Thinks the Patriot Act is unpatriotic because it undermines our liberty. 
Brought up Timothy McVeigh as a terrorist and puts for the position that terrorism is a crime.

“You never have to give up liberty for security. You can still provide security without sacrificing our Bill of Rights.”

Cites careless use of words and does not remember voting for declaring war. American citizens are vulnerable to being charges as terrorists – and vulnerable to assassination.

Would not support Israel because he doesn’t expect it to happen. Israel is not about to attack Iran. Why would Israel need our help, we need to get out of their way. 

Aid is worthless and it doesn’t do any good for most of the people. You take money from poor people in this country and you end up giving it to rich people in poor countries. And it is used as weapons of war, so you have accomplished nothing. 

The biggest threat to our national security is our financial condition.

On the subject of the border: Cancel the drug war. It’s to nobody’s benefit and that where the violence is coming from.

If you subsidize something, you get more of it – a direct shot at Perry’s incentives and road to citizenship. Eliminate all of these benefits and the welfare state. “I fear the drug war because it undermines our civil liberties.” 

Paul suggests meddling in the region to inspire terrorism. No fly zone over Syria is an act of war.

Practice a policy of good will to other people.

Why don’t we mind our own business?

Worries about: overreaction on our part and getting involved in another war.

Keeps making moral equivalency excuses for Taliban just wanting to stop us from occupying their country like we would get upset if someone tried to occupy us.
cyan_right Capture11-9-2011-8.44.53 PM
RICK
PERRY
Strange introduction that effusively honored his wife.

Need to keep Patriot Act and build capability for foreign intelligence.

Would privatize the TSA as soon as he could and get rid of “those” unions.

Wants Pakistan to demonstrate loyalty before one dime is sent to the country. Use American companies to provide aid, rather than writing a blank check.

Sanction Iranian Central Bank to shut down economy. No fly zone over Syria.

With respect to Secretary of Defense, Leon Panetta and the failure of the so-called Super Committee: “If Leon Panetta is a honorable man he should resign in protest."

Mentioned his tax plan and suggested making the Congress part-time.

Hamas and Hezbollah are working in Mexico as well as Iran. The idea that we need to secure our Southern border is paramount to the security of the Western hemisphere. Strategic fencing, boots on the ground, aviation assets and then working with Mexico to secure the border.
 
After borders are secured, Perry advocates for a program to keep illegal alien families together.

Syria is a partner of Iran in exporting terrorism. So we need to sanction Syria is we are serious about Iran. 

Worried about: How we are going to deal with China. Abortion of 35,000 Chinese children daily and cybersecurity.
cyan_right Capture11-9-2011-8.45.29 PM
MICHELLE BACHMANN
** WHO CARES **
Completely change the way we go about investigations. Obama handed over investigation of terrorists to the ACLU. Don’t give Miranda rights to terrorists.

Pakistan is epicenter of terrorist training, violent and unstable. Six attempts have been made by terrorists on nuclear stores.

Pakistan is too nuclear to fail, so we need to take that threat very seriously. Need to  continue aid to Pakistan. Argued with Perry about defunding foreign aid for Pakistan. Called him naïve.

Obama put U.S. in a position of unilateral disarmament. Canceled the Keystone pipeline which would have created jobs and helped us in energy independence. Obama – doctrine of appeasement; gave Iran the luxury of time.

First need to balance the budget and then chip away at the debt.

No amnesty for illegal aliens. No federal Dream Act.

Worries about: Giving the peace we won in Iraq away and bringing terrorism into the United States.
cyan_right Capture11-9-2011-8.45.47 PM
RICK SANTORUM
** WHO CARES **

Supports profiling the people most likely to commit terrorism. We should find the bomber, not the bomb. Privatization of TSA.

Agrees with Ron Paul – not fighting a war on terrorism, terrorism is a tactic. We are fighting a war against radical Islam.  Obama is validating what radical Islamists are saying about their being the last man standing in the region.

Continue spending on development and humanitarian aid.  Promote our values. Come to the aid of people in trouble in the world. Not our enemies, but people who would be our friends.

In response to Blitzer’s question about compromising with democrats, Santorum said you don’t work against yourself. You don’t undermine the ability of the economy to grow because of politics. Obama has poisoned the well – He has campaigned all over the country trying to divide group from group in order to position himself to win this election. 

Worries about what is going on in Central and South America. And the spread of socialism.
cyan_right Capture11-9-2011-8.44.29 PM
JON HUNTSMAN
** WHO CARES **

Huntsman also acknowledges his wife and children.

We have a “name brand” We are a nation of values. There should be a "balancing act between our individual liberties and securities." We need to be open, sharing and collaborative when it comes to intelligence.

We need to get our house in order before we can influence the world. Pakistan is the nation that should keep us up at night. Expanded drone program is fine.

Continues to push the wisdom of nation-building when we are in such debt.
Need to define the end-point in Afghanistan.

Defended Obama as Commander-in-Chief and remarked that “listening to the generals in 1967” didn’t serve us well. [Viet Nam].

People have lost trust in the institutions of power in America.

With defense spending, everything needs to be on the table.

Foreign policy should be driven by economics. 

We need to remind the world what it means to be a friend and ally of the United States.

Sanctions on Iran aren’t going to work because the Chinese are not going to play ball and the Russians are not going to play ball.

Let history be our guide. We do our national interests a disservice when we jump in too soon and taking up sides. Our interest in the Middle East is Israel and that Iran does not go nuclear.

Worries about: Our problems at home; joblessness, lack of opportunity, debt which has become a national security problem, trust deficit in institutions of power.

Best lines …

Nothing outstanding but the best of the lame lines goes to Romney: With regard to Syria … “They have 5,000 tanks, a no fly zone wouldn’t be the right military action; maybe a no drive zone.”

Cain called Wolf Blitzer “Blitz.” Blitzer responded at the end of the question. Thank you ‘Cain.”

Neocon Paul Wolfowitz called George W. Bush a conservative Republican. 

Ron Paul: “Aid is worthless and it doesn’t do any good for most of the people. You take money from poor people in this country and you end up giving it to rich people in poor countries. And it is used as weapons of war, so you have accomplished nothing.”  “The biggest threat to our national security is our financial condition.”

In response to budget cutting, Paul said to Romney: “They’re not cutting anything out of anything. All this talk is just talk.”

Bottom line …

This was pretty much as you would expect in a discussion of national defense and foreign policy with extremely limited time constraints. There was little agreement between the candidates on most issues, but they do all agree that Obama has done a horrible job in governing the nation and setting foreign and domestic policy.

We all agree …

Capture8-29-2011-7.21.20 PM

-- steve


“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



THE OBAMA ADMINISTRATION JUST CAN'T KEEP ITS MOUTH SHUT WHEN IT COMES TO NATIONAL SECURITY ...

I am deeply concerned when any information a bout United States clandestine operations leaks into the media using current and former sources who are quoted anonymously.

On my anger scale, this is one step above the former generals and colonels who spew forth as media talking heads on what our troops are likely to do in “hot spot” situation – in effect, providing study scenarios for our enemies.

The craziness of the White House Situation room photo-op in the bin Laden affair cost the United States the opportunity to act upon the intelligence that was found in his compound when it had real value. By publicizing bin Laden’s death as an ego booster for the empty suit in the White House, we lost a valuable commodity: time-sensitive information.

So who is behind this particular story and why would they make this information available, even anonymously, to the media?

Providing corroboration and aid and comfort to our enemies?

The Associated Press is reporting …

American spies outed, CIA suffers in Lebanon

“WASHINGTON (AP) - The CIA's operations in Lebanon have been badly damaged after Hezbollah identified and captured a number of U.S. spies recently, current and former U.S. officials told The Associated Press. The intelligence debacle is particularly troubling because the CIA saw it coming.”

“Hezbollah's longtime leader, Sheik Hassan Nasrallah, boasted on television in June that he had rooted out at least two CIA spies who had infiltrated the ranks of Hezbollah, which the U.S. considers a terrorist group closely allied with Iran. Though the U.S. Embassy in Lebanon officially denied the accusation, current and former officials concede that it happened and the damage has spread even further.”

“In recent months, CIA officials have secretly been scrambling to protect their remaining spies - foreign assets or agents working for the agency - before Hezbollah can find them.”

How casually the left-biased media regards the death of individuals who are rendering, for whatever motivation, a service to the United States …

“To be sure, some deaths are to be expected in shadowy spy wars. It's an extremely risky business and people get killed. But the damage to the agency's spy network in Lebanon has been greater than usual, several former and current U.S. officials said, speaking on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly about security matters.”

Robert Baer, a former senior CIA officer who worked against Hezbollah while stationed in Beirut in the 1980's, said Hezbollah typically executes individuals suspected of or caught spying. <Source>

Were these U.S. officials authorized to speak “off the record” or are they rogue elements freelancing for their personal and professional benefit?

The Lebanon crisis is the latest mishap involving CIA counterintelligence, the undermining or manipulating of the enemy's ability to gather information. Former CIA officials have said that once-essential skill has been eroded as the agency shifted from outmaneuvering rival spy agencies to fighting terrorists. In the rush for immediate results, former officers say, tradecraft has suffered.

The most recent high-profile example was the suicide bomber who posed as an informant and killed seven CIA employees and wounded six others in Khost, Afghanistan in December 2009.

Last year, then-CIA director Leon Panetta said the agency had to maintain "a greater awareness of counterintelligence." But eight months later, Nasrallah let the world know he had bested the CIA, demonstrating that the agency still struggles with this critical aspect of spying and sending a message to those who would betray Hezbollah.

The CIA was well aware the spies were vulnerable in Lebanon. CIA officials were warned, including the chief of the unit that supervises Hezbollah operations from CIA headquarters in Langley, Va., and the head of counterintelligence. It remains unclear whether anyone has been or will be held accountable in the wake of this counterintelligence disaster or whether the incident will affect the CIA's ability to recruit assets in Lebanon.

If we recognize the enemy, why the hell aren’t we bombing the crap out of their infrastructure or do we outsource it to the Israelis that Obama loves to denigrate …

In response to AP's questions about what happened in Lebanon, a U.S. official said Hezbollah is recognized as a complicated enemy responsible for killing more Americans than any other terrorist group before September 2001. The agency does not underestimate the organization, the official said.

The CIA's toughest adversaries, like Hezbollah and Iran, have for years been improving their ability to hunt spies, relying on patience and guile to exploit counterintelligence holes.

In 2007, for instance, when Ali-Reza Asgari, a brigadier general in the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps of Iran, disappeared in Turkey, it was assumed that he was either killed or defected. In response, the Iranian government began a painstaking review of foreign travel by its citizens, particularly to places like Turkey where Iranians don't need a visa and could meet with foreign intelligence services.

It didn't take long, a Western intelligence official told the AP, before the U.S., Britain and Israel began losing contact with some of their Iranian spies.

Apparently the funding of Hezbollah may not stop with Iran …

“The State Department last year described Hezbollah as "the most technically capable terrorist group in the world," and the Defense Department estimates it receives between $100 million and $200 million per year in funding from Iran.”

As reported by the Law Enforcement Examiner

“A top member of the U.S House of Representatives yesterday urged her colleagues -- both Republicans and Democrats -- to cease foreign aid to an Arab nation that is being run by a group on the U.S. State Department's list of terrorist organizations.”

“Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, said yesterday that no U.S. funds should be provided to the newly-formed Hezbollah government in Lebanon, or to a Palestinian Authority that includes Hamas.”

“The congresswoman and other lawmakers are concerned that U.S. taxpayer money may end up in the hands of terrorist groups claiming to be political organizations.”

Is the real purpose of the news leak to gin up public support for a strike on Iran?

Backed by Iran, Hezbollah has built a professional counterintelligence apparatus that Nasrallah - whom the U.S. government designated an international terrorist a decade ago - proudly describes as the ‘spy combat unit.’ U.S. intelligence officials believe the unit, which is considered formidable and ruthless, went operational in about 2004.”

Revealing methods and sources?

Using the latest commercial software, Nasrallah's spy-hunters unit began methodically searching for spies in Hezbollah's midst. To find them, U.S. officials said, Hezbollah examined cellphone data looking for anomalies. The analysis identified cellphones that, for instance, were used rarely or always from specific locations and only for a short period of time. Then it came down to old-fashioned, shoe-leather detective work: Who in that area had information that might be worth selling to the enemy?

Isn’t this the type of internal communications analysis and data-mining that the ACLU (American Communist Lawyers Union) and the progressives want to prevent in the United States?

Gee! I didn’t know that – and now I do …

The effort took years but eventually Hezbollah, and later the Lebanese government, began making arrests. By one estimate, 100 Israeli assets were apprehended as the news made headlines across the region in 2009. Some of those suspected Israeli spies worked for telecommunications companies and served in the military.

In Iran, intelligence minister Heidar Moslehi announced in May that more than 30 U.S. and Israeli spies had been discovered and an Iranian television program, which acts as a front for Iran's government, showed images of internet sites used by the U.S. for secret communication with the spies.

U.S. officials said the Iranian television program showed pictures of people who were not U.S. assets, but the program's video of the websites used by the CIA was accurate. <Source>

And obviously the techniques listed above worked because here is proof provided by your friendly media source.

“Back at CIA headquarters, the arrests alarmed senior officials. The agency prepared a study on its own vulnerabilities, U.S. officials said, and the results proved to be prescient.”

“The analysis concluded that the CIA was susceptible to the same analysis that had compromised the Israelis, the officials said.”

CIA managers were instructed to be extra careful about handling sources in Lebanon. A U.S. official said recommendations were issued to counter the potential problem.”

Yah think?

“But it's unclear what preventive measures were taken by the Hezbollah unit chief or the officer in charge of the Beirut station. Former officials say the Hezbollah unit chief is no stranger to the necessity of counterintelligence and knew the risks. The unit chief has worked overseas in hostile environments like Afghanistan and played an important role in the capture of a top terrorist while stationed in the Persian Gulf region after the attacks of 9/11.”

Helping to identify another covert operative using prior postings and history?

Discouraging recruiting of human intelligence assets and exposing lazy-man’s tradecraft?

"We've lost a lot of people in Beirut over the years, so everyone should know the drill," said a former Middle East case officer familiar with the situation.”

But whatever actions the CIA took, they were not enough. Like the Israelis, bad tradecraft doomed these CIA assets and the agency ultimately failed to protect them, an official said. In some instances, CIA officers fell into predictable patterns when meeting their sources, the official said.”

In Beirut, two Hezbollah double agents pretended to go to work for the CIA.

Hezbollah then learned of the restaurant where multiple CIA officers were meeting with several agents, according to the four current and former officials briefed on the case.

The CIA used the codeword "PIZZA" when discussing where to meet with the agents, according to U.S. officials. Two former officials describe the location as a Beirut Pizza Hut. A current US official denied that CIA officers met their agents at Pizza Hut. <Source>

“This allowed Hezbollah to identify assets and case officers and unravel at least part of the CIA's spy network in Lebanon. There was also a reluctance to share cases and some files were put in ‘restricted handling.’ The designation severely limits the number of people who know the identity of the source but also reduces the number of experts who could spot problems that might lead to their discovery, officials said.”

Yes, let’s breach the “need to know” barrier and expose this life-threatening sensitive information to the pointy head people at the state department and other agencies who have embedded moles.

“Nasrallah's televised announcement in June was followed by finger-pointing among departments inside the CIA as the spy agency tried figure out what went wrong and contain the damage.”

“The fate of these CIA assets is unknown. Hezbollah treats spies differently, said Matthew Levitt, a counterterrorism and intelligence expert at the Washington Institute for Near East Studies who's writing a book about the terrorist organization.”

No shit Sherlock … unlike the progressive wimps in our infrastructure institutions who regard waterboarding as torture, foreign spy agencies routinely torture spies to death to extract information – using power tools, hot pokers, chemicals and other unpleasant devices and practices which would turn your stomach. And if not for the information, to send a message of discouragement to those who might betray their country.

Pointing the bureaucratic finger of blame …

What possible benefit can occur from highlighting this issue and pointing a finger of blame?

Who's responsible for the mess in Lebanon? It's not clear. The chief of Hezbollah operations at CIA headquarters continues to run the unit that also focuses on Iranians and Palestinians.”

Is this the Chief’s shorthand way of saying “twasn’t me McGee?” Someone gunning for the Chief’s job? Or simply just another pointless bureaucratic turf war?

Can we “out” an operative?

“The CIA's top counterintelligence officer, who was one of the most senior women in the clandestine service, recently retired after approximately five years in the job. She is credited with some important cases, including the recent arrests of Russian spies who had been living in the U.S. for years.”

Can we out another operative?

“Officials said the woman was succeeded by a more experienced operations officer. That officer has held important posts in Moscow, Southeast Asia, Europe and the Balkans, important frontlines of the agency's spy wars with foreign intelligence services and terrorist organizations.”

Perhaps President Obama will reward the bastards with a medal – to be presented in the CIA lobby in sight of the now-weeping gold stars that signify covert operatives lost in action …

The U.S. official, speaking for the record but without attribution, gave grudging credit to the efforts of Iran and Hezbollah to detect and expose U.S. and Israeli espionage. <Source>

Speaking on or off the record – I find this official’s remarks repugnant. Let’s compliment the enemy who caused the deaths of those who died keeping America safe and secure from terrorists. Perhaps this asswipe might be concerned with hardening our systems and procedures and not so concerned about complimenting our enemies.

Want to know who is responsible for some of this “wonderful” reportage and how to follow them quickly and easily as they provide additional information?

“Contact the Washington investigative team at DCInvestigations(at)ap.org”

“Follow Apuzzo and Goldman at and http://twitter.com/mattapuzzohttp://twitter.com/goldmandc

Bottom line …

There is a point where the public’s right to know and the potential danger to covert operatives intersect … and it appears that the self-serving leftist media, including many of its members who do not wish America well, is willing to cross that line with impunity. Aided and abetted by politicians and bureaucrats who are fighting for credibility, name recognition and turf – willing to compromise the safety and security of the United States for their own selfish reasons.

We saw an innocent man, Scooter Libby, knowingly pursued and prosecuted for political reasons (hoping he would turn on the Vice President of the United States, Dick Cheney) by a partisan prosecutor who actually knew early on exactly who leaked the identity of a “covert operative” who was, in fact, not legally a covert operative. And a chicken-shit President, George Bush, who refused to give this man a full and complete pardon lest it affect his legacy. These are lives that are damaged in pursuit of Washington bragging rights.

It is time to face the sad fact that loyalty to the United States is no longer a requirement to work for the government. Self-professed socialists and communists who could not get a security clearance have been appointed to high office by the President of the United States – a man whose loyalty is not beyond question given his past and present associations with those who do not wish our beloved America well.

And it is about time that the media either self- censors these latent traitors and for those who consider themselves patriots to simply stop supporting those individuals or organizations who put our nation’s clandestine operators and national security at risk.

-- steve

P.S. There is the possibility that this story is part of a disinformation campaign – always a possibility with clandestine services. But I don’t think so because of the methods described in the article.

Reference Links …

My Way News - American spies outed, CIA suffers in Lebanon

U.S. foreign aid to Hezbollah-controlled Lebanon must stop, says Congresswoman

CIA Spies Caught, Fear Execution in Middle East - ABC 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



Why progressives are dangerous to society ...

I cannot think of a better illustration of why progressive politicians should be prohibited from making public policy based on so-called pseudo-scientific “research” and a political agenda.

No I am not speaking about global warming and corruption within the scientific establishment or the perversion of science itself to promote self-serving political agendas.

I am speaking of the sheer stupidity of the politicians who criminalized the act of stating a scientific fact.

According to London’s Telegraph …

“EU bans claim that water can prevent dehydration”

“Brussels bureaucrats were ridiculed yesterday after banning drink manufacturers from claiming that water can prevent dehydration.”

“EU officials concluded that, following a three-year investigation, there was no evidence to prove the previously undisputed fact.

Two years in jail if you claim water prevents dehydration …

Producers of bottled water are now forbidden by law from making the claim and will face a two-year jail sentence if they defy the edict, which comes into force in the UK next month.”

“Stupidity writ large” …

“Last night, critics claimed the EU was at odds with both science and common sense. Conservative MEP Roger Helmer said: ‘This is stupidity writ large.’”

“’The euro is burning, the EU is falling apart and yet here they are: highly-paid, highly-pensioned officials worrying about the obvious qualities of water and trying to deny us the right to say what is patently true. ‘”

Scientists?

“A meeting of 21 scientists in Parma, Italy, concluded that reduced water content in the body was a symptom of dehydration and not something that drinking water could subsequently control.”

“Now the EFSA [European Food Standards Authority ] verdict has been turned into an EU directive which was issued on Wednesday.”

Twenty-one scientists whose whack-job opinion is accepted by stupid politicians can now result in criminal penalties is absolutely insane.

About as insane as dictating a massive increase in the size of government, drastically increasing tax revenues, reducing the amount of energy generated and used by a growing industrial culture and reducing the personal liberties of citizens based on the opinions of a relatively few scientists and less than 50 trees located in Russia.

"Spend three years, with 20 separate pieces of correspondence before summoning 21 professors to Parma where they decide with great solemnity that drinking water cannot be sold as a way to combat dehydration.”

“Then they make this judgment law and make it clear that if anybody dares sell water claiming that it is effective against dehydration they could get into serious legal bother.”

Put ten professors in a room and you have at least twelve opinions all with deniability disclaimers …

“Professor Brian Ratcliffe, spokesman for the Nutrition Society, said dehydration was usually caused by a clinical condition and that one could remain adequately hydrated without drinking water.”

Bottom line …

Perhaps we should examine this finding from two perspectives.

The scientific perspective which illustrates a fundamental fact about scientists and especially college professors who present themselves as scientists …

An expert is a person who studies hard and concentrates on his niche area – until he begins to know more and more about less and less … until the end result is that he knows everything about nothing.

And the political perspective which illustrates the political reality of today’s society.

We must ask ourselves who lobbied for this insane ruling and what was its cost in terms of campaign funding, voter support or in-kind services like the employment of friends and relatives?

Since the ruling applies to bottled water, I can easily imagine that those who make faucet tap water purifiers would want to stifle the bottled water business.

But all silliness aside, this type of political action based on pseudo-scientific pronouncements from learned and credentialed people is a clear and present danger to our society. We can plainly see that our climate and our daily weather is governed by natural factors beyond our control. If we are about cleaning up air, water and ground pollution, that is an admirable task for a society who wants to be good stewards of God’s natural resources. However, the cause is not served by allowing politicians to promote a toxic agenda based on pseudo-science … and especially not by granting indulgences to gross polluters to continue polluting if they pay higher taxes and purchase wealth-redistribution trees in outer crapistan.

Enough is enough. We need to elect “honest brokers” to serve “We the People,” not create a class of pampered and well-compensated overlords who can dictate how free men live.

We need to remove progressives and their socialist policies from political life – lest we turn into the socialist fiasco that has become Europe.

-- steve

“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 …

EU bans claim that water can prevent dehydration - Telegraph


“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