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Does the Mainstream Media Distortion of Space and Time leads to Effective Public Policies?

By aggregating news stories and concentrating the reportage of events that are geographically dispersed in a concentrated time period, it appears that the mainstream media may be giving rise to a false sense of rampant crime or social malaise in our country.

This trend appears to exacerbated by the concentration of certain stories which promote or detract from a political agenda that is supported by the reporter or the media outlets themselves.

Hence we see criminal stories come to the forefront during the debate on gun control, weather-related stories coming to the forefront in the discussion on global warming. And, health stories prevailing during times of healthcare deliberations. The old saying “if it bleeds, it leads” is generally true; with the bizarre and outlandish stories taking precedence over all other coverage.

Bottom line …

Consider the source when reading articles which appear to be advocating bigger government, higher taxes using the need for public policy adjustments to redress issues which are, in fact, relatively rare and do not occur in most communities.

-- 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

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

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



SCARY: POLITICAL TYPES CLOSE TO HOME ARE CONSIDERING "BAIL-INS" INSTEAD OF "BAIL OUTS" -- WHAT THIS MAY MEAN TO THE AVERAGE DEPOSITOR?

Stupidity and Greed on steroids … Consider the dot com boom, where companies that had never earned a profit and whose running costs (burn rate) were hundreds of thousands of dollars per month were still valued in the hundreds of millions of dollars because they had an “e” before their name.

Idiots who thought that that their “e-pet-food” ventures could ever be profitable when the shipping costs of a fifty-pound bag of discounted dog food erased the margin and turned the transaction into a loss. Not to worry these idiots said – we have thousands of people looking at our web site daily and we can make up the loss by selling other “high margin” merchandise. Unfortunately, all of the other e-tailers were crawling all over themselves to discount that other “high margin” product line.

Enter Wall Street with their IPOs (Initial Public Offerings) which earned them handsome fees, outrageous executive bonuses and made e-company founders into multi-millionaires. Life was good as stocks traded higher and higher and executive bonuses reached record levels.

Until the day of reckoning, when someone said “the emperor has no clothes” or in the vernacular “are you crazy, this company has no profits and the losses will continue forever.” So the banks were left with so much dodgy paper on their books that they were technically insolvent.

Enter Alan Greenspan who concocted the 1% solution. Let’s simply keep the federal funds rate artificially low at 1% and have the Federal Reserve loan the banks good money in loans collateralized by dodgy paper – that way they can earn a guaranteed profit, recapitalize and all will be well throughout finance land.

Well this did not sit well with those managing investment funds and the international pool of capital because they could no longer invest in safe United States Treasuries and get a decent yield.

Star fund managers could not command a bonus for investments with abysmal yields, so they turned to another “historically safe” investment, mortgage-backed securities.

Unfortunately, again, the tidal wave of available capital overwhelmed the existence of decent mortgages and the Wall Street Wizards ran out of product to sell investors. So they called their buddies, the corrupt politicians, relaxed prudent lending standards and made more product. With standards becoming ever lower and borrowers becoming ever more dodgy.

Until the day of reckoning, when someone said “the emperor has no clothes” or in the vernacular “are you crazy, these mortgage pools are eating themselves out of house and home as foreclosures mount and the losses will continue as the mortgage market declines.”

Enter Ben Bernanke, the hand-picked protégé of Alan Greenspan (of the 1% solution). Not to be outdone, Ben faced a worse crisis. This time, even more banks were technically insolvent, but the worst case had been realized – it was the huge interconnected signature banks that controlled the entire United States economy.

Ben’s solution was ZIRP! Yes, let’s recapitalize the financial institutions by changing the Federal Funds rate to ZERO as in Zero Interest Rate Policy. ZIRP! We will loan the financial institutions good money at zero to one-quarter of one-percent so they can make a guaranteed profit and all will be well in finance land. Again, taking dodgy paper as collateral for good money.

Enter the corrupt politicians, Representative Barney Frank (D-MA) and Christopher Dodd (D-CT) who were responding to the outcry of depositors and investors who were earning less than the rate of inflation on their investments. Seniors on fixed incomes who were rapidly joining the homeless and dog-food eating set. Both of these asswipes put forth Dodd-Frank legislation, more formally known as the dishonestly named Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act. There will be no more “too big to fail banks” because we will let them fail and their business activities will be “wound down” in a controlled orderly manner much as when the FDIC (Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation) takes over an insolvent depository bank and makes people whole (up to $250,000 – terms and conditions apply) and sells off the assets.

Which brings us to today …

One, the “too big to fail” banks have gotten larger and are imposing more of a systemic risk to our economy than ever before.

Two, those special regulations are still being written and have never been tested with a bank such as Citibank.

And three, the international financial community – including members in the United States – have figured out how to go beyond ZIRP (Zero Interest Rate Policy) to bail out a technically insolvent bank. “THE BAIL-IN!”

The “bail-in” is a simple concept. Instead of having the government bail our financial institutions with taxpayer’s money, it appears more efficient simply to steal the money directly – allowing the financial institution to be the agent of the government.

And, if you think Cyprus is a long way off, you may wish to look closer to home: the Canadian Version of Dodd-Frank …

From Page 144 -- Establishing a Risk Management Framework for Domestic Systemically Important Banks

Economic Action Plan 2013 will implement a comprehensive risk management framework for Canada’s systemically important banks. Canada’s large banks are a source of strength for the Canadian economy. Our large banks have become increasingly successful in international markets, creating jobs at home.

The Government also recognizes the need to manage the risks associated with systemically important banks—those banks whose distress or failure could cause a disruption to the financial system and, in turn, negative impacts on the economy.

This requires strong prudential oversight and a robust set of options for resolving these institutions without the use of taxpayer funds, in the unlikely event that one becomes non-viable.

The Government proposes to implement a -- bail-in regime for systemically important banks. This regime will be designed to ensure that, in the unlikely event that a systemically important bank depletes its capital, the bank can be recapitalized and returned to viability through the very rapid conversion of certain bank liabilities into regulatory capital. This will reduce risks for taxpayers. The Government will consult stakeholders on how best to implement a bail-in regime in Canada. Implementation timelines will allow for a smooth transition for affected institutions, investors and other market participants.

This risk management framework will limit the unfair advantage that could be gained by Canada’s systemically important banks through the mistaken belief by investors and other market participants that these institutions are ―too big to fail.

Source:  Canada’s Economic Action Plan for 2013 – “Jobs Growth and Long-Term Prosperity”

The language of this Canadian document parallels U.S. documents in both intent and language …

House Resolution H.R. 4173, know by its short title as the “Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act” is an act “to promote the financial stability of the United States by improving accountability and transparency in the financial system, to end ‘‘too big to fail’’, to protect the American taxpayer by ending bailouts, to protect consumers from abusive financial services practices, and for other purposes.

SYSTEMICALLY IMPORTANT AND SYSTEMIC IMPORTANCE.— The terms ‘‘systemically important’’ and ‘‘systemic importance’’ mean a situation where the failure of or a disruption to the functioning of a financial market utility or the conduct of a payment, clearing, or settlement activity could create, or increase, the risk of significant liquidity or credit problems spreading among financial institutions or markets and thereby threaten the stability of the financial system of the United States.

Source:  Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act

The danger is in the disclosure …

In almost all countries, politicians and financial operatives believe that disclosure is equated with legality. That is, if an onerous practice is disclosed in the fine print, the acceptance of the disclosed terms and conditions by you, the counterparty, is acceptable. Of course, you might not see those terms and conditions as they are buried in other terms and conditions. Or, while they are written using the English language, the construction of the wording renders the text either meaningless to the ordinary person or susceptible to adverse interpretations by the legal profession. And, if that were not bad enough, most transactions represent a “Hobson’s Choice” – essentially a “take it or leave it” proposition. Especially egregious after your hard work in jumping through the hoops as you qualified for credit. 

So, let me translate Canadian financial speak and provide my humble non-legal opinion.

One, there are certain systemically important banks that are “too big to fail.”

Two, rather than claiming the taxpayer will “bail-out” these systemically important banks, the government and its regulatory agencies will still allow them to survive by recapitalizing themselves by the very rapid conversion of certain bank liabilities (your deposits) into regulatory capital (money to keep them afloat). The very essence of a “bail-in.” 

And three, you are screwed because you have no control over the situation and the politicians and regulatory agencies in thrall to the financial special interests.

Here in the United States, I cannot find a smoking gun that would permit “bail-ins,” but so much of Dodd-Frank has yet to be codified – so there is a potential for corrupt politicians to assist their special interests in the financial sector with an inserted clause in some bill that allows for the practice.

Let me also remind you that we are not just speaking about regulated depository institutions (banks, credit unions, thrifts, etc.), but all large financial institutions (including unaffiliated corporations with large financing operations such as GE Capital, etc.) which may present a systemic risk.

In the case of the United States, as it appears to be happening in Greece, the FDIC (Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation). NCUA (National Credit Union Administration), SIPC (Securities Investor Protection Corporation) insurance limits may be the truest test of what you can expect to recover over some time period should an institution become insolvent and the government regulatory agencies be unable to “resolve” the situation.

Bottom line …

Perhaps it is prudent to transfer all of your funds to regional or middle-tier financial institutions that can prove their solvency in the absence of large positions in mortgages, car loans, credit card debt and derrivatives relating to those underlying collateralized obligations. It is unknown at this time whether or not a large technically insolvent financial institution would be allowed to purchase any other financial institution for the sole purpose of providing access to good funds.

And, more importantly, to elect honest brokers to represent “We the People.”

But, in the final analysis, all I can say is watch your assets.

-- steve

Reference Links …

Here are a few of my financial blog posts that you might want to review …

Banking: The emperor's new clothes ...

Barney Frank & Company: Lying about "too big to fail"

THE MOTHER OF ALL CONSPIRACY THEORIES MAY BE TRUE!

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



California Communists would have you believe that a small fish is more important than a man

As anyone who has ever seen the movie Chinatown knows, water is a critical resource in Southern California, essentially a desert reclaimed by sufficient water flowing from Central California and the High Sierras …

Nobody is declaring a state of drought in California, but ...

But with statewide snowpack at only 52% of the norm for this time of year — when it is usually at its peak — state and federal water managers are expecting below-normal runoff this spring and falling reservoir levels.

Water officials say protections for the imperiled delta smelt severely restricted delta pumping when the early winter storms were pouring water into the system. Had a controversial diversion system proposed by Gov. Jerry Brown's administration been in place, they say the big government water projects could have shipped a lot more water south to the San Joaquin Valley and Southern California.

"If we had that delta fix in place, we'd have moved another 800,000 acre-feet plus already," said Jeffrey Kightlinger, general manager of the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California. (One acre-foot is enough to supply two average families for a year.)

Metropolitan is a major backer — and future funder — of a proposed $14-billion tunnel system, which would carry supplies from the Sacramento River to existing pumps in the south delta. Proponents hope that changing the diversion point will improve the ecological health of the delta and loosen environmental restrictions on pumping. Opponents, who include delta farmers and commercial salmon fishermen, say the answer to the delta's problems is to take less water from it, not to construct two massive tunnels they fear will increase exports.

It is rare that the giant Westlands Water District and other irrigation districts on the west side of the San Joaquin Valley get full contract deliveries from the federal Central Valley Project. But this year's allocation of 20% is particularly low, eliciting protests that the west side's farm economy is being sacrificed for the delta smelt.

"The decrease in our water allocation once again demonstrates how broken the state's water system has become.... Our priorities are misaligned," Tom Birmingham, Westlands' general manager, said in a statement. He said fields will be left unplanted for lack of water.

Read more at: Nobody is declaring a state of drought in California, but ... - latimes.com

Bottom line …

Massive construction projects based on environmental restrictions are nothing more than politicians pandering to the environmentalists who want fewer people and less growth in California, and unions which will see their members massively benefit from the construction. It should also be noted that these construction projects never come in on time or on budget. A never-ending source of funding to the special interests.

Unfortunately, the communists and socialists who have infiltrated the environmental movement now are using our own laws against us. Hampering our economy and way of life with endless lawsuits based on nothing more than junk science.

When are we going to see honest political leadership in California. Leadership that concentrates on the here and now rather than some speculative future in the fictional people’s paradise? Demanding accountability from scientists who propose radical restrictions on our economy and lifestyle?

When are we going to curb the corruption in the democrat party that panders to the unions, the environmentalists and others as they pursue their socialist agenda?

And, when are we going to return this formerly Golden State to its former glory instead of being the socialist canary in a coal mine for the rest of America?


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



Global Warming: Are Politicians, Institutions and Scientists Worried About Funding in Face of REAL Science Disclosures? Prepared to Perpetuate the BIG LIE or simply say they don’t know what is happening to a scientific certainty?

Have we reached the tipping point?

No, not the tipping point for irreversible climate change leading to a planetary disaster as many global warming activists would have you believe, but the tipping point when the global warming activists are confronted with scientific observations that puts their global warming hypothesis in question.

The problem being faced by even the most credential climate activists is that their dire predictions, especially in the mainstream media,  have given rise to those who are demonized as “skeptics” or, more pejoratively, as deniers.  It appears that there is no real “consensus theory of global warming.”

What are they really saying?

Twenty-year hiatus in rising temperatures has climate scientists puzzled -- DEBATE about the reality of a two-decade pause in global warming and what it means has made its way from the skeptical fringe to the mainstream.

In a lengthy article this week, The Economist magazine said if climate scientists were credit-rating agencies, then climate sensitivity - the way climate reacts to changes in carbon-dioxide levels - would be on negative watch but not yet downgraded.

  • Another paper published by leading climate scientist James Hansen, the head of NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies, says the lower than expected temperature rise between 2000 and the present could be explained by increased emissions from burning coal.

<<To refer to James Hansen as a leading climate scientist is grossly misleading. He is the leading global warming activist and has been since his paper 40 plus years ago was cited in the prediction of the possibility of another mini-ice age. Coincidently, the demon was also carbon dioxide and many of the same politically-driven carbon-dioxide curtailment public policies cited today were also cited as prescriptions. >>

  • International Panel on Climate Change chairman Rajendra Pachauri recently told The Weekend Australian the hiatus would have to last 30 to 40 years "at least" to break the long-term warming trend.

<<How convenient is it for climate activists to cherry pick their timelines and heavily manipulate their data to prove their specious hypothesis – especially when any time frame less that 800 – 1000 years would produce inaccurate results. It should be remembered that the rise in the atmospheric carbon dioxide lags the rise in temperature by 800 – 1000 years (depending on the dataset used) and that there is no current explanation why we have cooler temperatures and higher atmospheric carbon dioxide levels.>>

  • But the fact that global surface temperatures have not followed the expected global warming pattern is now widely accepted. Research by Ed Hawkins of University of Reading shows surface temperatures since 2005 are already at the low end of the range projections derived from 20 climate models and if they remain flat, they will fall outside the models' range within a few years. "The global temperature standstill shows that climate models are diverging from observations," says David Whitehouse of the Global Warming Policy Foundation.  "If we have not passed it already, we are on the threshold of global observations becoming incompatible with the consensus theory of climate change," he says.

<<Science is not performed by consensus and no matter how many people may agree with you, the output of models, especially those that do not agree with observed values, is not scientific fact. We are recently learning that the speed of light in space may not be constant, something which will not upset the laws of physics other than to treat the speed of light as a variable and not a constant. Like all hypotheses, the findings of the research group working on the speed of light will be discussed, verified, amplified, refuted or modified as additional work is done. This is the scientific method, unlike the pronouncements from a relatively small gaggle of scientists whose reputations and funding depends on their allegiance to politics and public policy rather than science.>>

  • Whitehouse argues that whatever has happened to make temperatures remain constant requires an explanation because the pause in temperature rise has occurred despite a sharp increase in global carbon emissions. The Economist says the world has added roughly 100 billion tonnes of carbon to the atmosphere between 2000 and 2010, about one-quarter of all the carbon dioxide put there by humans since 1750. This mismatch between rising greenhouse gas emissions and not-rising temperatures is among the biggest puzzles in climate science just now, The Economist article says. "But it does not mean global warming is a delusion." The fact is temperatures between 2000 and 2010 are still almost 1C above their level in the first decade of the 20th century.

<<There are four important points to consider when speaking about the observed temperature rise in the first decade of the 20th Century. One, it would appear to be a normal occurance of nature to see the temperature of our planet warm as we emerged from the Little Ice Age. Two, the timeframes used by most scientists for the modern generation are wildly smaller than required to really view long-term trends. Three, since we have become industrialized, we may be observing the “urban heat island effect” rather than true warming. Especially when researchers combine disparate datasets (tree rings, observed land temperatures, observed sea temperatures, and satellite data> to feed the incomplete or flawed models that produce the dire projections.  And four, we still have no reason to believe that these observations are not just part of nature’s normal variability and that any signal of man’s influence is being incorporated and dissipated in nature’s self-regulating mechanism. After all, we are part of the planetary ecosystem whether or not we like it.>>

"The mismatch might mean that for some unexplained reason there has been a temporary lag between more carbon dioxide and higher temperatures in 2000-2010. "Or it might mean that the 1990s, when temperatures were rising fast, was the anomalous period." The magazine explores a range of possible explanations including higher emissions of sulfur dioxide, the little understood impact of clouds and the circulation of heat into the deep ocean. But it also points to an increasing body of research that suggests it may be that climate is responding to higher concentrations of atmospheric carbon dioxide in ways that had not been properly understood before. "This possibility, if true, could have profound significance both for climate science and for environmental and social policy," the article says.

<<It appears that there is much work to still be done and that basing any public policy that restricts economies and freedoms on what might be”anomalies” is both foolhardy and  downright dangerous.>>

  • There are now a number of studies that predict future temperature rises as a result of man-made carbon dioxide emissions at well below the IPCC best estimate of about 3C over the century. The upcoming IPCC report is expected to lift the maximum possible temperature increase to 6C. The Research Council of Norway says in a non-peer-reviewed paper that the best estimate concludes there is a 90 per cent probability that doubling CO2 emissions will increase temperatures by only 1.2C to 2.9C, the most likely figure being 1.9C. Another study based on the way the climate behaved about 20,000 years ago has given a best guess of 2.3C. Other forecasts, accepted for publication, have reanalyzed work cited by the IPCC but taken account of more recent temperature data and given a figure of between 1C and 3C.

<<The United Nations has a history of admitting to the overstating of scientific research for the purposes of increasing public awareness and issue-based funding. They are not a credible source of information when it comes to their self-interest which would convey great regulatory and taxation powers to an institution that currently begs member nations for support.>

Read more at: Twenty-year hiatus in rising temperatures has climate scientists puzzled | The Australian

Bottom line …

With the current level of corruption in both political and global climate research institutions, we cannot allow corrupt politicians and their special interest supporters develop public politics which greatly affect our economy, way of life and freedoms as they attempt to implement the tenets of a centrally-planned international socialist society.

It should be recognized, especially after ClimateGate-2 and ClimateGate-3 e-mail dumps, that many scientists and their institutions have acted improperly and many deserve both defunding and criminal sanctions. While there are honorable well-credentialed scientists with valuable input on global climate, many are simply afraid to jeopardize their jobs and research grants to become politically active or make media statements which would bring them the scorn of those who might peer review their research.

Even if we stopped the production of all man-made carbon dioxide on the planet, it still would be 600 – 1000 years before we might see any results, if at all because of nature’s normal variability. The Earth has been hotter, colder, with more atmospheric carbon dioxide and less atmospheric carbon dioxide – all before the industrial revolution. All of the fear and dire predictions are being promoted to promote a political agenda. Or as the wise men say: follow the money and the power.

-- 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

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

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



IT APPEARS THAT TAMPERING WITH THE MAIL IS NO LONGER A SERIOUS OFFENSE -- IF YOU ARE A LAZY UNIONIZED POSTAL WORKER

There used to be a time when tampering with the mail resulted in heavy prison sentences. But it now appears that tampering with the mail is punished as a routine federal crime. For stealing and burring thousands of letters, a letter carrier got a virtual slap on the wrist: 120 hours of community service and three years on probation, now currently unsupervised.

But, wait – there’s more … 

Investigators: Disgraced mailman caught burying thousands of letters

Caught burning mail he was supposed to deliver in 2010, Richard Farrell put himself forward as a changed man. Farrell’s attorney described the Hood Canal contract mail carrier as “genuinely remorseful” and ready to get “his life back on track.”

For burning or stealing thousands of letters, Farrell, now 47, was sentenced to 120 hours of community service and three years on probation. His probation was cut short late last year after authorities determined he didn’t need government supervision any longer.

Now, though, investigators contend they missed the bulk of Farrell’s thefts while examining his Belfair property in 2010. According to court papers, thousands of letters previously missed by investigators were found buried on his property during a recent search.

Agents with the U.S. Postal Service Inspector General’s Office searched Farrell’s home on March 15 and seized 159 postal tubs filled with letters, according to recently unsealed court documents. While an exact count isn’t offered, Farrell previously packed about 220 letters into each tub found at his property; if he remained true to form, investigators may have recovered more than 35,000 letters and packages.

Farrell, who was fired from the Postal Service after the 2010 thefts were discovered, has not yet been charged with any additional thefts. Investigators writing the court for permission to search his home suggest Farrell stole the mail prior to being fired, and has held onto since.

Previously faulted by prosecutors for “extreme laziness,” Farrell went to work for the Postal Service in 1991 as a contract mail delivery driver, a role he continued until his misconduct came to light in 2010. The investigation was launched after other employees found a load of letters Farrell was to deliver dumped in a recycling bin. Investigators followed Farrell on a route, watching as he spent his day at a tavern before taking the mail to his home and burning it in a fire pit. A search of Farrell's residence at the time uncovered nearly 8,000 letters.

Farrell, it turned out, had no malicious reason for keeping the mail. He just didn't feel like doing the work he was paid for.

"His conduct reflects extreme laziness and a complete lack of consideration for the customers that he serviced," Assistant U.S. Attorney Thomas Woods told the court then. "Farrell repeatedly made the decision that he would rather spend his work hours not working, covering up his crime by stoking a fire pit with the very mail that he was supposed to be delivering."

The agent noted the sheds on Farrell’s property – where he is now alleged to have hidden thousands of letters – were not searched in 2010. The woman called investigators at 6:30 a.m. the day after she was interviewed to say she told Farrell she had gone to authorities. Agents searched the property the hours later after obtaining a search warrant. Agents recovered 117 empty postal tubs from the property, as well as the 159 filled tubs, according to court papers. Farrell does not appear to have been arrested in the matter. Read more at: Investigators: Disgraced mailman caught burying thousands of letters - seattlepi.com

Bottom line …

What has become of the United States Postal Service? And they wonder why people prefer to ship critical documents by private courier services and overwhelmingly choose e-mail over snail-mail. But, I am most shocked that the storied United States Postal Inspectors – some of the best federal investigators ever – did not conduct a thorough search and investigation.

As for the lazy mail carrier, perhaps now he will serve the prison time he deserves for interrupting so many lives.

-- 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

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

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



Former Customs & Border Protection officer admits to receiving bribes to allow aliens to enter the U.S. illegally -- So why aren't the democrats similarly charged?

President Barack Obama, DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano and their fellow travelers in Congress have allowed more illegal aliens to enter the United States than the former Customs and Border Protection Officer who allegedly took bribes to allow illegal aliens to enter the United States.

So what is the difference between direct bribes and the campaign funding and voter support from illegal alien activists to “persuade” our elected officials to aid and abet an illegal activity which violates their oath of office to protect the Constitution of the United States – and the sovereignty of our nation?

OFFICE OF THE UNITED STATES ATTORNEY - SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA

FORMER CUSTOMS AND BORDER PROTECTION OFFICER ADMITS TO RECEIVING BRIBES TO ALLOW ALIENS TO ENTER THE U.S. ILLEGALLY

United States Attorney Laura E. Duffy announced that Hector Rodriguez, a former Customs and Border Protection Officer, and Gerardo Rodriguez pled guilty today in front of Magistrate Judge David Bartick to conspiracy to bring in aliens for financial gain and to receive bribes, bringing in aliens for financial gain, and bribery.

According to court records, defendant Hector Rodriguez agreed that from around 2010 until his arrest on July 13, 2012, he received bribes from codefendants Gerardo Rodriguez and Maria Guerrero, in the form of cash money, use of luxury vehicles, and use of an apartment, in return for failing to enforce U.S. immigration laws by admitting illegal aliens into the U.S. through his inspection lane at the San Ysidro Port-of-Entry. Defendant Hector Rodriguez provided his lane assignment information to codefendants who would then drive vehicles containing illegal aliens from Mexico to the United States through his assigned inspection lane.

On their date of arrest, July 13, 2012, codefendant Gerardo Rodriguez drove a vehicle containing 8 illegal aliens and codefendant Vanessa Moya drove a vehicle containing 6 illegal aliens through defendant Hector Rodriguez’s inspection lane. To conceal the smuggling, defendant Hector Rodriguez would enter into the government database false information about who was driving the vehicle and the number of occupants, thereby concealing the fact that the vehicles contained illegal aliens.

As part of his guilty plea, Defendant Hector Rodriguez has agreed to forfeit a 2009 Jaguar, 12 luxury watches (5 Rolexes), jewelry, televisions, and computers that were obtained as a result of his criminal activity. Codefendant Gerardo Rodriguez has agreed to forfeit a 2005 Mercedes, 2006 Harley Davidson, $60,000, televisions, and computers that were obtained as a result of his criminal activity.

SUMMARY OF CHARGES

Count 1 – Title 8, United States Code, Section 371- Conspiracy to Bring In Aliens For Financial Gain and Bribery; Maximum Penalties – 5 years= imprisonment and $250,000 fine

Counts 2-4 & 9 – Title 8, United States Code, Section 1324(a)(2)(B)(ii)- Bringing In Illegal Aliens For Financial Gain; Mandatory Minimum Penalty of 5 years= imprisonment; Maximum Penalties – 15 years= imprisonment, and $250,000 fine

Counts 16-17 – Title 18, United States Code, Sections 201(b)(1), 201(b)(2) – Bribery; Maximum Penalties – 15 years= imprisonment, and a $250,000 fine or three times the amount of bribe, whichever is greater

INVESTIGATING AGENCIES

The Border Corruption Task Force is composed of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Customs and Border Protection – Internal Affairs, Customs and Border Protection – Field Operations, Border Patrol, Transportation Security Administration, and Drug Enforcement Administration.

Bottom line …

Politics equals organized crime for the purposes of self-enrichment. What more can I say, other than to suggest we need to elect competent, law-abiding representatives to represent “We the People” and to faithfully discharge the duties of their office, primarily upholding and protecting the Constitution of the United States.

-- 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

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

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



Malignant Government: A Clear and Present Danger to America and Our Way of Life

Here is a story, courtesy of Senator Ron Johnson, that highlights one man’s efforts to save his neighborhood from flooding – following the government’s own recommendations and with his own money. This man is an American patriot – and instead of being hailed as a hero, he is vilified and driven towards bankruptcy by a malignant government bureaucracy.

Bottom line …

Is there any wonder why some people hate the government and want to preserve the Second Amendment to fight governmental tyranny. Obviously, seeking redress from a malignant government is not as easy as petitioning that government or bring a case before a court of competent jurisdiction. Remember, Steve broke no real laws – only administrative rules and regulations promulgated for the benefits of the agency that created them and the political special interests they serve.

This is akin to claiming that the government owns the right to rain water that falls on your property or game that is born and raised on your property. Using the specious legal theory that trapping such rainwater or eating such game disadvantages your neighbor who should have equal rights to those resources.

Elect honest politicians to serve “We the People.”

-- 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

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

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



Before you celebrate the success of the stock market and the spin that the economy is recovering ...

Sometimes I hate financial analysts in the media who are little more than story-telling shills for the financial industry; providing the news that ostensibly affects the consumer confidence that drives the stock market or excuses the poor performance of those who professionally manage investments. Which is bull pucky when you consider that a corporation whose stock drops today and rises tomorrow is fundamentally the very same company on both days. So before we jump up and down for the stock market and celebrate the spin that our economy is recovering, let’s consider a few issues  …

One, much of the trading on the market exchanges is automated trading on factors relating to price, trends and velocities – some of which is actually divorced from the real activities of the underlying corporations. We have seen large hedge funds deliberately sell short and drive a security downward, only to re-purchase the same security for an artificial profit.

Two, much of the trading is done by aggregated owners in mutual funds, pension funds and investment vehicles rather than individuals acting individually. One need only look at the trading as a reporting period comes to a close and the traders scramble to get rid of securities that have fallen out of favor to see how artificial depressions of the market occur.

Three, individuals and especially senior citizens living on a fixed income have been artificially forced into the stock market and mutual funds because of the abysmal rate of return on bank deposits. All caused by the Federal Reserve’s plan to re-capitalize secretly insolvent financial institutions with their ZIRP (Zero Interest Rate Program) policy which allows banks to borrow good funds collateralized with their dodgy paper.

Four, most of the yields today are less than the actual rate of inflation – which is grossly understated by government reporting.

And five, there are still those who are securitizing underlying assets (mortgages, car loans, credit card debt, leasing obligations, etc.) and forming companies to hold these assets. Since some of these securities have been classified by the ratings agencies as triple-A investment grade securities, mutual funds, pension funds and companies who invest their short-term capital remain vulnerable to significant fluctuations in the underlying market.

Record-Smashing Quarter: S&P 500 Ends Above 2007’s Record Close, Dow Posts Best Q1 Since 1998

Stocks closed out the first quarter on a high note with the S&P 500 piercing through levels last seen in 2007 to end at a record high near 1,570 and the Dow logging its strongest quarter in 15 years. Source: Record-Smashing Quarter: S&P 500 Ends Above 2007’s Record Close, Dow Posts Best Q1 Since 1998

Bottom line …

For the conspiracy theorists among you, I would like to note that taxing financial transaction involving stocks and securities appears to be more palatable than putting a tax on bank deposits which is likely to produce a public outcry and political backlash. This is an important area as the United Nations and various international organizations are proposing a tax on all financial transactions no matter how they occur and without any exemptions.

So before you jump up and down about the recover, state all costs and yields in constant dollars and subtract inflation from any yields earned on your investments.

-- 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

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

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



MUTUALLY ASSURED DESTRUCTION (MAD): THE DOWNSIDE OF DIVERSITY

Once again, I was struck by the politically correct musings of Black politicians as they celebrated the politically correct concepts of diversity and multi-culturalism. Claiming that America was an open tent that should be welcoming immigrants (although the talk was about illegal aliens) and being tolerant of their diverse viewpoints. Admirable concepts delivered in high-sounding rhetoric, but what the hell did it really mean?

As far as I can tell, it meant support our political agenda by donating money to our causes, voting to promote our legislation, agitate for reforms that we are proposing. And, above all, don’t do as we do, do as we say.

Being somewhat rational, something my friends and enemies may argue, I noticed that their was a logic flaw in their “diversity and multi-culturalism” argument. Simply put, the concept overlooks the overarching subject of sovereign allegiance. An allegiance to place your nation above the needs of the diverse multi-cultural individuals. Something bigger than the individuals wants and needs, and something that serves as the glue to bind society together so that disparate segments of society can co-exist in a relatively peaceful manner, respectful of the rights of others and the need to preserve tolerance and freedom.

Seeing as these were Black ministers, one might infer that they were speaking about the acceptance of their community in the broader context of American society. But to achieve that aim, one would, of necessity, demand that all community members have a shared allegiance to America and what it stands for, primarily the rule of law and the rules set down by the majority. Not that dissent is not healthy or welcome in such as society, because dissent is what drives reform and better conditions.

So, instead of claiming America is a racist nation and demanding special treatment in the form of affirmative action, enhanced race-based criminal penalties, reparations codified as social assistance and subsidies, perhaps they should be looking at the behaviors that separate their community from the rest of society. I am not speaking about being Black, but those actions which serve to divide and separate their community from the rest of America.

While there is nothing wrong with celebrating one’s culture, one might consider the damage that this celebration causes when it ranks higher than the cultural norms. How aberrations in demeanor, language, dress, personal adornment (tattoos, piercings) and behavior (no consequences for the promiscuity that portends poverty and lack of opportunity) that sets an individual apart from the majority and makes assimilation into society – and the sharing of society’s benefits – more difficult.

There is historical evidence, especially in the inner cities, that minority youth are more violent than their suburban counterparts and that walking in these areas wearing the wrong color clothes or failing to respond to flashed gang signs can bring about robbery, bodily injury or death. There is also historical evidence that cultural symbols and behavior also conditions employment – with public-facing companies preferring not to upset their customers or drive customers to their competitors by employing people who are perceived by the public as being “scary.”

Not to generalize, or in a sense profile an entire segment of the population, but there is something to be said about the exception making more of an impression than the rule. And, as any psychologist can tell you, people are more defined by their flawed behavior than they are by more benign characteristics.

Bottom line …

Perhaps, the general public should be wary of those among us who attempt to foment trouble by continually demonizing America and mainstream society as racist or intolerant; especially when this hatred is driven by self-interests including prestige, power and profits. You may ask yourself where would so-called community activists like Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton be without a continuing race issue – something they seem to exacerbate at every opportunity for their own self-interests?

Without the hyphenated-American and those who use our diversity against us, corrupt and incompetent politicians would no longer be elected to office based on little more than their race or ethnicity. Perhaps, people would see that these politicians need to drive a wedge between their constituency and mainstream America; to promote a culture of victimhood which requires the election of these “special” politicians to redress. Even though these politicians are corrupt, incompetent and have not fundamentally changed attitudes or conditions for decades. Continually repressing their own constituents in the promotion of their own self-interests.

Never before have we seen such a polarized America – subdivided by race, ethnicity, religion, class, and sexual orientation. A division which promotes our mutually assured destruction by allowing corrupt and incompetent politicians to be elected by a very slim majority of votes – giving the minority power over the majority – and the winning politician the impetus to double down on the type of division that will insure our defeat at the hands of our enemies, both foreign and domestic.

It is not time to put America above race, religion, ethnicity, sex and all of the other diversity that makes us strong as a culture, but can divide us and allow us to be conquered by those who do not wish us well. It is time to call out those who are damaging America with their proclamation that America is an evil country and responsible for the planet’s ills. This is nothing more than race-baiting writ large. Truth-be-told, with all of our flaws, America has done more to advance mankind than any other modern nation. We are a generous people. We have brought freedom, health and extended life to oppressed people everywhere. We are not a perfect people, but we sure are not the monsters that are typified by Stalin, Lenin, Pol Pot, and those in China, North Korea, Cuba, and elsewhere.

It should be remembered that it is our Constitution that allows our enemies to attack us with our own laws – even though the Constitution is not a suicide pact. It is our Constitution that allows these race-baiters and haters to say what they want in public – and in protected speech on the floor of Congress.

Time to wake up people and see that there are certain elements in our political class that want to dominate America in perpetuity. And, they are damn close to accomplishing their nefarious task.

It is now time to think about freedom of opportunity, not a guaranteed outcome. It is not time to think about restructuring the non-productive or counter-productive elements of our societies (e.g. the unions) that are assuring our destruction. It is time to think about choosing representatives, not by race, ethnicity, gender or sex, but by competence and ability to manage and lead.

I can’t tell you how to vote – because I have yet to see someone who exerts any degree of competency and leadership. I can tell you to be wary of the provably corrupt Hillary Clinton and her numerous scandals. I can tell you to be wary of Rand Paul who is much like his father and only speaks “conservative.” I can tell you to be wary of wolves in sheep’s clothing who pretend they are for something before they are against something – the finger in the wind politicians who use polls to determine the popular opinion. And, I can warn you about the corruption of both political parties.

But a good start on your analysis might begin with a single question: Why are the politicians attempting to disarm law-abiding Americans and creating a larger pool of victims, when the real problem, curbing violent gangs, is not being addressed in a meaningful manner? The answer to this single question should go a long way to conditioning your thinking about political corruption and the necessity to pander to certain segments of our society.

I am open to any ideas you might have and am willing to debate any ideas I have shared.

-- 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

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

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



DEVIL'S RED LIGHT CAMERA BILL IS BAIT AND SWITCH FOR THE BENEFIT OF RED LIGHT CAMERA VENDORS

It's about municipal revenue and political corruption, not safety ...

In case anyone has not been paying attention, red light cameras were sold to the public as an accident prevention safety measure. However, statistical analysis has proven beyond a shadow of a doubt, that it is more about municipal revenue generation and the political corruption of red light camera vendors. There have been relatively few red light accidents, while there has been an increase in rear-end accidents as people jam on the brakes to avoid a camera ticket. In fact, the great majority of tickets are for rolling right hand turns, a far cry from the danger posed from running a red light.

It appears that, with ticket cost gouging ($400 – $500) for not stopping before a right turn on a red light, many motorists are becoming more cautious or are demanding that the red light cameras be removed altogether. This has lead to a significant reduction in municipal revenues and severely impacts the fortunes of red light camera vendors who partner with municipalities to share the bounty.

Now, the dishonest red light camera vendors appear to be, once again, lobbying “compliant” (spelled corrupt) politicians, to hoodwink the public into continuing the abominable camera systems.

Enter uber-liberal political tool and water carrier for the  red light camera industry, California Assembly Member Bob Wieckowski …

Bob Wieckowski is an American attorney and politician in California. He was elected November 2, 2010 to the California State Assembly. Wieckowski previously served as vice-mayor of Fremont, and was a member of their city council. Wieckowski attended the University of California, Berkeley where he earned a bachelor of art before attended law school at Santa Clara University School of Law where he earned a juris doctorate. Following law school he worked in bankruptcy law at The Law Offices of Robert A. Wieckowski.

Bait and Switch …

You would believe a progressive lawyer would want to protect consumers and our legal system? But you would be wrong. Because here comes Bobby Babble who is telling people that his legislation will reduce the amount of those onerous and pesky red light camera tickets.

The amount of the civil penalty for an automated violation that is recorded and cited under this section is an amount equal to one-half the total bail for a violation of Section 21453, 21455, 22101, or 22451, as the case may be, as set forth in the uniform countywide schedule of bail. As used in this subdivision, “total bail” means the amount established pursuant to Section 1269b of the Penal Code in accordance with the Uniform Statewide Bail Schedule adopted by the Judicial Council, including all assessments, surcharges, and penalty amounts.

Yes, the amount is one-half the total bail of an amount that the courts set – plus those outrageous “add-on” supplementary charges that jack up the fees.

 According to the California DMV 

Traffic fines in California are difficult to pinpoint due to additional penalty assessment fees and surcharges that vary by county. Consequently, a ticket with a $35 base fine may actually cost you $146.

Surcharges: The state charges a 20% surcharge on all traffic tickets. This means, for example, a $40 fine will incur a surcharge of $8.
List of Other Additional Fees
  • State Penalty Assessment
  • County Penalty Assessment
  • Court Facility Construction Penalty Assessment
  • DNA Identification Fund Penalty Assessment
  • Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Penalty Assessment
Auto Insurance Rate Increase

Depending on the infraction, points may be added to your driving record, resulting in a jump in your car insurance rates.

So, if a $35 ticket can cost $146, what do you think a $250.00 ticket might cost?

So what does the aptly-numbered Assembly Bill A.B. 666 really do?

  • Eliminates Your Right to a Trial if You Get a Red Light Camera Ticket
  • Makes You Responsible for the Ticket Even When Someone Else Is Driving
  • Sets up Kangaroo “Administrative Hearing” Courts Run By Those Who Gave You the Ticket
  • No Evidence Other than the Ticket Itself is Needed to Convict You
  • No Right to Face Your Accuser
  • You Are Assumed Guilty and Have to Prove Your Innocence
  • You Will Have to Pay a Fee If You Want Your Case Heard in Court
  • Expands the Use of Photo Enforcement to Other Traffic Violations
  • Red Light Tickets will Count on Your Moving Violation Point Count – Affecting Your Insurance Rates
  • Refusal of Registration for Nonpayment of Automated Violation Penalties

And, about those notorious “snitch tickets” …

If you were not driving, you, the car owner, must turn snitch and provide information on who was actually driving when it was ticketed or be responsible for paying the ticket! Why is this important? Because under current law, you are not compelled to respond to the red light camera operator. This turns YOU, the vehicle owner, into an agent of the municipality and their partners, the red light camera vendors.

There are several legal questions that remain to be answered.

  • If a husband, the car owner, is forced to testify against his wife, the driver, does this violate California's "Spousal Privilege" provisions?
  • Or, does this legislation violate the "due process" provisions of the Constitution?
  • Is there a problem with someone who swears that they have witnessed a violation by simply reviewing a film?
  • Is there a corrupt conflict of interest between those who install red light cameras for the sole purpose of revenue generation when a "disparate analysis" of the data shows that the installation of the cameras does not provide a meaningful increase in resident safety?

Here is a Google Chat Session with Journalists …

Bottom line …

Red light camera systems are not about keeping the public safe or I would be on the other side of the argument. They are just another revenue generation mechanism for funding an increasingly corrupt political system and corrupt politicians who are willing to carry the water of the red light vendors who influence this troublesome legislation. And, it is not just about those staggering fines, but about increasing your insurance premiums.

If you want to see the full impact of red light cameras, snitch tickets and other such political machinations, you may wish to visit www.highwayrobbery.net to see the full impact of these nefarious red light camera systems.

-- steve

Reference Links …

California Assembly AB666

Highway Robbery -- Best Site for Red Light Ticket Information and Advice


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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