I, for one, do not wish Obama to succeed!

Today, I am afraid for the future of America …

cryingeagle

The reason Barack Obama was elected by a relatively small margin …

The reason the Republicans lost the election is because they lost their conservative soul to the Rockefeller-wing of the party which believed that more government, more spending, less regulation and frat-boy cronyism were sufficient to guide our great nation. Pandering to those in the middle to join our party while catering to an ethnic/racial minority by promising what they could not deliver. In essence, turning into liberal democrats.

Simply stated: they lost their moral compass and failed to engage the democrats, as well as the American people, in a substantive conversation about the direction of the country. Primarily because both parties were heading the same way; down the primrose path to liberalism. 

We need to rebuild the Republican party using the precepts of Reagan-style conservatism.

Stating our principles and inviting all who agree to join us in the recovery of our great nation. And, there is nothing mysterious about these principles:

(1)  The first job of government is to uphold the Constitution and to protect us from our enemies, both foreign and domestic.

(2)  The second job of government is to regulate the relations between the individual states and to perform those duties which should be performed at a national level by virtue of being incapable of being performed by the individual states.

(3)  The third job of government is to perform jobs one and two with a minimally-sized government entity and at the lowest possible cost.

Where it went wrong …

Over time, the political parties became stronger and stronger and the support they received from the special interests began to interfere with the governance of the United States. Simultaneously, the public grew more and more apathetic as they were brainwashed by a complicit media into thinking that life was just grand. At some point in time, this apathetic public wanted assurances and guarantees that life would continue on as before – and entitlements were born.

Now we have two political parties which are competing in doling out entitlements to capture the vote and taxpayer dollars to the special interests in order to raise the funding to re-gain or remain in political office. Both parties have ignored the corruption, waste, fraud and mismanagement of the government in order to get their share of the political pie.

Government has grown so corrupt as to now offer illegal aliens the chance at amnesty, becoming legal citizens and being able to capitalize on the benefits which were once reserved for citizens – all in return for their future vote. Both parties have ignored that the influx of illegal aliens amounts to a hostile takeover of the United States.

These politicians watch our healthcare, educational, judicial, retirement, social and cultural infrastructure crumble as they count party votes which may or may not materialize in the next twenty years. In some states it has gotten so bad, that the illegal aliens are being offered the benefits of citizenship without even becoming citizens.

And so we find that the democrat party, cobbled together from special interests and fringe elements; and with financing which may come from those who do not wish the United States well, has managed to secure the Presidency and a majority of Congress. Soon to be a majority on the Supreme Court as well.

So how can I possibly bestow my blessings on this corrupt cabal of politicians – held in check only by public opinion, and then, just barely? One need only consider Barack Obama’s background, filled with dubious characters of questionable repute to see that he is less likely to represent change than he is the continuation of democrat party “machine” politics.

And I am afraid of the results!

Moving forward: consider California to be the “coal mine canary.”

In many cases, California serves as the model for the rest of the states. Whether fads or legitimate innovations, trends often start onthe left coast.

California’s Congressional leadership consists primarily of the same type of liberal democrats found elsewhere; primarily in the federal government. Democrats which have spent California into a budgetary deficit ranging from $12 billion to $44 billion depending on whose numbers you believe and the nature of their hidden agenda. California’s Governor, Arnold Schwarzenegger is a self-absorbed, narcissistic, actor playing the role of a governor. In spite of his public accolades by the fans and fawning media, he has proven he has very little intellectual horsepower and is, for all intents and purposes, a liberal democrat seeking his next office.

Why haave California’s politicians turned the once golden state into a disaster? And how likely is this disaster likely to malignantly spread to other states?

Let’s see what’s wrong with California:

A steadily enlarging government, filled with waste, fraud, corruption and malfeasance. With control being shared by the legislature, governor and the bureaucrats as they pander to the special interests, primary of whom  are the public service unions. No matter how much money is available from state revenues, the legislature manages to spend significantly more. Papering over the difference with borrowing and accounting schemes. California leads the state in spending on government employees. Consider their outrageous salaries and pensions which are unavailable in the private sector. Guaranteed employment is almost a given regardless of the employee's level of performance or even the need for such a functionary. This is unlikely to get better, even if tax revenue is raised – the legislature will continue to spend money they don’t have; on projects which have little or no lasting value. Instead of money being spent to repair or replace our crumbling infrastructure, money is being spent on social engineering efforts and projects which benefit the private interests.

A failed educational system which demands a fixed portion of all incoming funds   has proven that money does not necessarily improve education. One need only to look at California’s largest school system, the Los Angeles Unified School District, where the political players are more interested in soothing the ego of a billionaire by building a $230 million modern art high school monstrosity to serve as part of his overall development project than they are in graduating actual students. Performance, no matter how measured, is abysmal and the LAUSD has just paid their Superintendent $500,000 to walk away from his contract -- because the board failed to set achievable goals and thus were dissatisfied with his lack of performance. In the real world, you fire the non-performer for cause, not reward them with more than a half million dollar bonus.

A declining number of major corporations, wealthy individuals and others who support the bulk of the tax burden. These people are leaving California for Nevada and other states with lower taxes, reduced living expenses and a business-friendly environment.

An unelected sub-government consisting of those who act as Mexican nationals; as they confer the benefits of citizenship on non-citizens to the detriment of the state’s law-abiding citizens and legal residents. These politicians are engaging in social engineering to upgrade the lifestyle of illegal aliens who arrive in droves. Thus California consciously continues to import more  poverty and illiteracy – and demands that their legal and law-abiding residents pay for their good works. Consider that a member of the military or an out-of-state non-resident must pay the non-resident school tuition; and  yet, we spend approximately $200 million to provide free college educations for illegal aliens.

And let us not forget the special interests who spend pennies on the dollar to win lucrative government contracts which are somewhat unlikely to be audited or even produce tangible results. Purposely using low bids to win the contracts and "change orders" to insure a heafty profit. These are the people who have corrupted our government with their campaign donations and/or promises to deliver large voting blocks.

Outrageous!

Add to that the draconian rules and regulations that are imposed on California businesses and which insures that they are less able to compete in the nation as well as the world.

The numbers:  Since Governor Schwarzenegger was elected to curtail legislative spending and to bring government under control in 2003, legislative spending has increased by a an outrageous 40%. A real dollar expansion of $41 billion, to a total of $144.8 billion annually. And our tax base is eroding as people move out of state. Fourteen percent of wealthy Californians (earning more than $100,000) pay 83% of the income taxes

All-in-all, the Governor and the legislature have all but destroyed the California dream.

In addition to the special interests, we have the limousine liberals in both Hollywood and the Bay Area who support these confiscatory policies as they have more money than they can ever spend, tax shelters from the best advisors and who remain totally unaffected by the positions they advocate. These are the people who supported Barack Obama and fervently hope that the federal government will bail out California. The “do as I say, don’t do as I do” crowd.

And this is the democrat model …

So explain to me why I should wish Obama and his merry band of re-tread Clintonistas well. Let them fail and cause the people, the majority of the people, to demand real reform. Reform of the political parties, reform of the government – and above all reform of a large segment of our population that thinks it has a right to government handouts to exist in the real world.

If Obama fails to hold on tight to the far-left liberal tiger he rode to power, he will surely be consumed and make way for a conservative Republican political base. Not the effete North Eastern Harvard/Princeton/Yale liberals and snobs who play at government, but real working people who know that it takes more than saying “My name is Caroline Kennedy” to obtain a Senate seat.

A debt of gratitude …

No matter what you think of our current President, he has managed to keep up safe from terrorism and has taken the fight to the enemy. Although despised by those organizations which have been infiltrated by our enemies and those who naturally hate America, he has done his job to the best of his ability.

So pardon me …

while I wish Obama a one-term Presidency which will encounter a Republican reformation in the Congress in 2010.

And for those of you who claim that President Obama will move farther to the center from his leftist position, may I remind you that President Bush moved the center so far left with his spending policies that Hillary Clinton, Ted Kennedy and John Kerry almost look like moderate liberals instead of far-left loons. So any attempt for an obvious reconcilliation effort with the right is likely to be simply a strategic ploy to make President Obama appear to be something he his most definitely not: a Joe Liberman-style moderate democrat. For those who follow politics, this is the Dick Morris "triangulation" gambit where one side simply co-opts the issues of the other in order to deny the other side traction.

We should also beware of faux-Republicans like California's Arnold Schwarzenegger, and Senators John McCain and his new best friend, Senator Lindsey Graham who are all too willing to rush into the democratic camp and serve as Judas goats.

There is no doubt that America will survive due to the resiliency and resourcefulness of the American people. Hopefully, the politicians and other evil-doers who put us in this precarious position will be prosecuted and lose their ill-gotten gains. Or at the very least, shamed into silence.

-- steve

flag

P.S. At this point in time, we are not experiencing the worst economic times since the great depression, we are experiencing the worst economic times since democrat Jimmy Carter's Administration.


“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



What? Global warming is a myth? How can this be with all the smart people like Al Gore promoting their new religion?

In spite of those self-interested parties who would have us enlarge the government, pay more in taxes, allow the government to curtail our personal freedoms – all based on the supposition that man can affect the global climate … there are people who are beginning to smell a hoax or, at least, the birth of a new cultish religion.

According to the Flint Journal …

“If you're wondering why North America is starting to resemble nuclear winter, then you missed the news.”

“At December's U.N. Global Warming conference in Poznan, Poland, 650 of the world's top climatologists stood up and said man-made global warming is a media generated myth without basis. Said climatologist Dr. David Gee, Chairman of the International Geological Congress, "For how many years must the planet cool before we begin to understand that the planet is not warming?"

I asked myself, why would such obviously smart guy say such a ridiculous thing? But it turns out he's right.

The earth's temperature peaked in 1998. It's been falling ever since; it dropped dramatically in 2007 and got worse in 2008, when temperatures touched 1980 levels.”

“Meanwhile, the University of Illinois' Arctic Climate Research Center released conclusive satellite photos showing that Arctic ice is back to 1979 levels. What's more, measurements of Antarctic ice now show that its accumulation is up 5 percent since 1980.”

“In other words, during what was supposed to be massive global warming, the biggest chunks of ice on earth grew larger. Just as an aside, do you remember when the hole in the ozone layer was going to melt Antarctica?”

“But don't worry, we're safe now, that was the nineties.”

Dr. Kunihiko, Chancellor of Japan's Institute of Science and Technology said this: "CO2 emissions make absolutely no difference one way or the other ... every scientist knows this, but it doesn't pay to say so." Now why would a learned man say such a crazy thing?

The myth of CO2 as a determinant factor in global warming …

“This is where the loony left gets lost. Their mantra is atmospheric CO2 levels are escalating and this is unquestionably causing earth's temperature rise. But ask yourself -- if global temperatures are experiencing the biggest sustained drop in decades, while CO2 levels continue to rise -- how can it be true?”

“Ironically, in spite of being shown false, we must now pray for it. Because a massive study, just released by the Russian Government, contains overwhelming evidence that earth is on the verge of another Ice Age.”

“Based on core samples from Russia's Vostok Station in Antarctica, we now know earth's atmosphere and temperature for the last 420,000 years. This evidence suggests that the 12,000 years of warmth we call the Holocene period is over.”

“Apparently, we're headed into an ice age of about 100,000 years -- give or take. As for CO2 levels, core samples show conclusively they follow the earth's temperature rise, not lead it.”

It turns out CO2 fluctuations follow the change in sea temperature. As water temperatures rise, oceans release additional dissolved CO2 -- like opening a warm brewsky.”

Give the money to the banks …

“To think, early last year, liberals suggested we spend 45 trillion dollars and give up five million jobs to fix global warming. But there is good news: now that we don't have to spend any of that money, we can give it all to the banks.”

Obviously this column was based on the Pravda article which I covered in my blog entry “Are the Russians stepping up their propaganda war in America?”

But the scientific findings and the opinions of the scientists remain valid. It does appear that the CO2 levels lag the global temperature by 800-1000 years and that this can be easily explained by the temperature-dependent oceanic-atmospheric balance of CO2. Of course, a simple answer makes it extremely difficult for the politicians to work their magic if they cannot easily convince citizens to enter the Orwellian world of politics where “up is down,” “right is left,” and “good is evil.”

Common sense tells us when there is a simple solution to a problem, the special interests will find reasons to support their version – proving once again that special interest money in politics trumps logic and the rights of the citizens.

Reference Links:

It's time to pray for global warming, says Flint Journal columnist John Tomlinson - Flint, Michigan Columns, Letters & Opinion - The Flint Journal – MLive.com


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

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

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

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

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

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



Dr. James Hansen: ecoNUTcase?

While I have some level of technical respect for Dr. James Hansen of NASA’s Goddard Institute of Space Studies, he has become a sad reminder that some well-credentialed people with extensive subject matter knowledge can become hyper-focused nutcases when it comes to their own work and pet theories.

Crying wolf since 1971 … only this time it is global warming instead of global cooling …

President 'has four years to save Earth' -- US must take the lead to avert eco-disaster

Barack Obama has only four years to save the world. That is the stark assessment of NASA scientist and leading climate expert Jim Hansen who last week warned only urgent action by the new president could halt the devastating climate change that now threatens Earth. Crucially, that action will have to be taken within Obama's first administration, he added.”

Assumes facts not in evidence …

“Soaring carbon emissions are already causing ice-cap melting and threaten to trigger global flooding, widespread species loss and major disruptions of weather patterns in the near future. ‘We cannot afford to put off change any longer,’ said Hansen. ‘We have to get on a new path within this new administration. We have only four years left for Obama to set an example to the rest of the world. America must take the lead.’"

Hansen said current carbon levels in the atmosphere were already too high to prevent runaway greenhouse warming. Yet the levels are still rising despite all the efforts of politicians and scientists.”

There is absolutely no way to determine what the level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere should be – and there is nothing that points to anything called “runaway greenhouse warming.”

“Only the US now had the political muscle to lead the world and halt the rise, Hansen said. Having refused to recognise that global warming posed any risk at all over the past eight years, the US now had to take a lead as the world's greatest carbon emitter and the planet's largest economy. Cap-and-trade schemes, in which emission permits are bought and sold, have failed, he said, and must now be replaced by a carbon tax that will imposed on all producers of fossil fuels. At the same time, there must be a moratorium on new power plants that burn coal - the world's worst carbon emitter.”

Why NASA continues to employ someone with such a political agenda is beyond me – unless they are counting on Hansen to attract funding from the government?

“Hansen - head of the Goddard Institute of Space Studies and winner of the WWF's top conservation award - first warned Earth was in danger from climate change in 1988 and has been the victim of several unsuccessful attempts by the White House administration of George Bush to silence his views.”

“Hansen's institute monitors temperature fluctuations at thousands of sites round the world, data that has led him to conclude that most estimates of sea level rises triggered by rising atmospheric temperatures are too low and too conservative. For example, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change says a rise of between 20cm and 60cm can be expected by the end of the century.”

Since when has the United Nations ever been right on their projects of mass calamity? Remember their little error in a global population catastrophe when they found that the world’s population growth was not linear and that their projections were less than accurate? In fact, their projections were little more than conjecture designed to attract media attention, funding and increase the power of the United Nations.

Ditto with the HIV-AIDs numbers. How embarrassing that there projections on a worldwide catastrophe were sidelined by the science and that the UN assumption that almost everyone with a fever and malnutrition in a particular part of the world must be suffering from HIV-AIDs.

“However, Hansen said feedbacks in the climate system are already accelerating ice melt and are threatening to lead to the collapse of ice sheets. Sea-level rises will therefore be far greater - a claim backed last week by a group of British, Danish and Finnish scientists who said studies of past variations in climate indicate that a far more likely figure for sea-level rise will be about 1.4 meters, enough to cause devastating flooding of many of the world's major cities and of low-lying areas of Holland, Bangladesh and other nations.”

“As a result of his fears about sea-level rise, Hansen said he had pressed both Britain's Royal Society and the US National Academy of Sciences to carry out an urgent investigation of the state of the planet's ice-caps. However, nothing had come of his proposals. The first task of Obama's new climate office should therefore be to order such a probe ‘as a matter of urgency,’ Hansen added.”

The problem with James Hansen …

The problem with James Hansen is he has become a professional “alarmist” and political player. Along with Al Gore, they want to rush the world into seeing things their way – without answering some fundamental questions in an open forum. Both practice message control and only spew forth in controlled environments where hostile questions are brushed aside and people are referred to as “deniers.” A word stolen from the “holocaust deniers” and used in the same derisive and mocking tone. There is no doubt in my mind that Hansen wants a major position in the Obama Administration. And considering Obama’s past associations with people of dubious character and intent, he just might become the “global warming czar.”  Personally, I would like to see him fight to

We have seen this behavior before …

On June 23, 2008, I wrote a blog entry titled “NASA Researcher crosses the line between politics and science: suggests oil chiefs should be tried for crimes against humanity.” I am quoting it here because it is even more relevant today.

Just because you have scientific credentials and a large microphone does not mean your “theory” is valid and you speak the truth …

From London’s Guardian …

Put oil firm chiefs on trial, says leading climate change scientist

James Hansen, one of the world's leading climate scientists, will today call for the chief executives of large fossil fuel companies to be put on trial for high crimes against humanity and nature, accusing them of actively spreading doubt about global warming in the same way that tobacco companies blurred the links between smoking and cancer.”

If nothing else, this marks Hansen as a zealot and probably a nut case.

“Hansen will use the symbolically charged 20th anniversary of his groundbreaking speech to the US Congress - in which he was among the first to sound the alarm over the reality of global warming - to argue that radical steps need to be taken immediately if the ‘perfect storm’ of irreversible climate change is not to become inevitable.”

Does Hansen understand that climate change is cyclical? That any examination of the historical record, using real temperature records or climate proxies such as ice cores or tree rings, does not indicate any past climate change was irreversible? Perhaps Hansen is using the United Nations population models which were said to prove linear population growth would imperil the Earth – when that was clearly not the case?

“Speaking before Congress again, he will accuse the chief executive officers of companies such as ExxonMobil and Peabody Energy of being fully aware of the disinformation about climate change they are spreading.”

Why are there major well-respected and equally well-credentialed scientists who doubt Hansen’s theories?

“He will tell the House select committee on energy independence and global warming this afternoon that he is now 99% certain that the concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere has already risen beyond the safe level.”

What about Hansen’s past work ?

If he is 99% certain, let him explain why the rise in carbon dioxide lags the rise in temperature by 600-1000 years and how, if this is true, an increase in carbon dioxide can lead to global warming.

If he is 99% certain, let him explain why this theory regarding carbon dioxide is not valid: oceanic carbon dioxide and atmospheric carbon dioxide for a stable feedback loop. As the oceans warm, dissolved carbon dioxide is emitted into the atmosphere much as a warming soda bottle discharges carbon dioxide into the surrounding air. Under this scenario, we would be 600 – 1000 years into the next ice age by the time carbon dioxide levels start to fall.

And if he is 99% certain, how does he explain the ice age he and his associated predicted, using the same type of modeling, and that never materialized and exactly the same prescriptive remedy 30+ years ago … 

cyan_right THE ICE AGE THAT NEVER WAS …

“On July 9, 1971, the Washington Post published a story headlined ‘U.S. Scientist Sees New Ice Age Coming.’ It told of a prediction by NASA and Columbia University scientist S.I. Rasool. The culprit: man's use of fossil fuels.”

“The Post reported that Rasool, writing in Science, argued that in ‘the next 50 years’ fine dust that humans discharge into the atmosphere by burning fossil fuel will screen out so much of the sun's rays that the Earth's average temperature could fall by six degrees.”

Sustained emissions over five to 10 years, Rasool claimed, ‘could be sufficient to trigger an ice age.’"

“Aiding Rasool's research, the Post reported, was a ‘computer program developed by Dr. James Hansen,’ who was, according to his resume, a Columbia University research associate at the time.”

Wait a minute …

Before we turn our society topsy turvy and initiate measures which drastically restrict our personal freedoms, raise taxes, enlarge government and weaken our economy,  perhaps we should put James Hansen on public trial before a  jury of his scientific peers. A trial with evidence, proof and logical thinking without the politics and emotion.

Hansen goes political …

How can one take Hansen’s position seriously when he has allied himself with Al Gore and is being used much in the way Cindy Sheehan was used by the far-left to drive public opinion?

The current concentration is 385parts per million and is rising by 2ppm a year. Hansen, who heads NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies in New York, says 2009 will be a crucial year, with a new US president and talks on how to follow the Kyoto agreement.”

“He wants to see a moratorium on new coal-fired power plants, coupled with the creation of a huge grid of low-loss electric power lines buried under ground and spread across America, in order to give wind and solar power a chance of competing. ‘The new US president would have to take the initiative analogous to Kennedy's decision to go to the moon.’"

He is also considering personally targeting members of Congress who have a poor track record on climate change in the coming November elections. He will campaign to have several of them unseated. Hansen's speech to Congress on June 23 1988 is seen as a seminal moment in bringing the threat of global warming to the public's attention. At a time when most scientists were still hesitant to speak out, he said the evidence of the greenhouse gas effect was 99% certain, adding ‘it is time to stop waffling’".

“A group seeking to increase pressure on international leaders is launching a campaign today called 350.org. It is taking out full-page adverts in papers such as the New York Times and the Swedish Falukuriren calling for the target level of CO2 to be lowered to 350ppm. The advert has been backed by 150 signatories, including Hansen.”

“It is one thing to force a debate and it is quite another to force an action …”

“Scientists, except for those on the far-left, very rarely engage in political debate to promote their positions. Because it is a waste of time considering that it is an immutable fact is that science is not subject to public opinion or political whim.”

“If Hansen were truly a scientist, rather than a computationalist, he would be attempting to force a rigorous scientific debate based on his work. He would be presenting at scientific conferences, not political rallies.”

“And, one should remember, that a Congressional inquiry is not a scientific forum or even a place when open and honest debate takes place. It is where asshat politicians extend their fifteen minutes of media fame.”

“The mere thought that people like Maxine Waters, Barbara Boxer and others of their ilk that can hardly understand the science or formulate a cogent question, points to the ludicrous nature of Hansen’s Congressional appearance.”

Hansen, shopping for a political appointment?

“It is my personal opinion that Hansen is lobbying for a major political appointment in an Obama administration”

What can YOU do?

There is no doubt in my mind that NASA’s James Hansen has become a political and scientific zealot who is seeking a position of prestige and power within the Obama Administration.

I firmly believe that Hansen is every bit as dangerous to our nation as al Qaeda – forcing a radical change in our economy and personal freedoms --  based on his particular unproven ideology.

Send Hansen off to commune with Cindy Sheehan and all of the other far-left kooks and let the rest of the country continue to rebuild our nation.

-- steve

Quote of the day: “You can fool too many of the people too much of the time.” - James Thurber

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

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

Reference Links:

President Obama 'has four years to save Earth' | Environment | The Observer


“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



PROSECUTION OF BUSH ADMINISTRATION OFFICIALS A DOUBLE-EDGED SWORD?

Should members of Congress be emboldened to attempt the criminal prosecution of members of the Bush Administration regarding actions taken while defending America against her enemies, they would be wise to consider that the American people may also demand the investigation and prosecution of those sitting members of Congress whose family members have engaged in acts which were never disclosed and which may be considered to be prosecutable under the law. In addition to members of Congress who filed “amended” reports of actions which were not only unethical, but may have been criminal.

This is a Pandora's box which, once opened by the politicians, may not be shut in time to prevent both sides from embarrassment and incarceration.

One need only to remember that any public official, be they local, state or federal who takes something of value might be charged with bribery.

According to Fox News …

“Pelosi Open to Prosecution of Bush Administration Officials”

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is receptive to the idea of prosecuting some Bush administration officials, while letting others who are accused of misdeeds leave office without prosecution, she told Chris Wallace in an interview on ‘FOX News Sunday.’"

" ‘I think you look at each item and see what is a violation of the law and do we even have a right to ignore it,’ the California Democrat said. ‘And other things that are maybe time that is spent better looking to the future rather than to the past.’"

“Rep. John Conyers, chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, announced Friday he wants to set up a commission to look into whether the Bush administration broke the law by taking the nation to war against Iraq and instituting aggressive anti-terror initiatives. The Michigan Democrat called for an ‘independent criminal probe into whether any laws were broken in connection with these activities.’"

If Conyers had half a brain … he would realize that a replay of the news sources of the time could produce members of both sides of the aisle, as well as the foreign heads of state, parroting the same message about Saddam Hussein and Iraq. Case closed.

If Obama should attempt to re-politicalize the Department of Justice and other agencies, this could result in yet further criminal prosecutions brought against those who inappropriately applied political standards to the people’s business. 

Obama would be wise to step lightly …

President-elect Barack Obama has not closed off the possibility of prosecutions, but hinted he does not favor them.”

Considering the President-elect’s past environment and associations, I would think that he would be sensitive to any prosecutions based on favoritism and special privilege.

" ‘I don't believe that anybody is above the law,’ he told ABC News a week ago. ‘On the other hand, I also have a belief that we need to look forward as opposed to looking backwards.’"

“Pelosi, during the interview in her ceremonial office, said there is merit in both arguments.”

"I don't think that Mr. Obama and Mr. Conyers are that far apart," she said. ‘There are different subjects and you treat them differently.’"

“She hinted that the law might compel Democrats to press forth on some prosecutions, even if they are politically unpopular, adding: ‘That's not up to us to say that doesn't matter anymore.’"

Hint to Madam Chairperson Pelosi …

Again, it might compel some Republicans to level corruption and other criminal charges on those Members of Congress and their families who received “special” assistance” in profiting from the war on Iraq. What about the House member who was found with $90,000 in his freezer? Or what about an investigation of Senator Christopher Dodd, the Chairman of the Senate Banking Committee, who allegedly received a mortgage loan at preferred rates from Angelo Mozilo of Countrywide Financial? Pelosi and others should know full well that corruption is bi-partisan and that misuse of federal agencies in the post-Nixon, post-Clinton, post Bush era is becoming increasingly problematical to the American public.

Unbridled hypocrisy …

" ‘We cannot let the politicizing of, for example, the Justice Department to go un-reviewed,’ she added. ‘I want to see the truth come forth.’"

Considering Bill Clinton, Janet Reno and matters like the Henry Cisneros Affair (See the Barrett Report), one can hardly believe that one can prosecute those who might have politicized the Justice Department without a review of the previous Clinton Administration; many members of which will be assuming high office.

“The Barrett Report is a 400 page report created by special prosecutor David Barrett. Initially tasked with investigating allegations of lying to the FBI against Henry Cisneros, Secretary of the U.S Department of Housing and Urban Development under U.S. President Bill Clinton, the investigation eventually delved into allegations that President Clinton had used the U.S. Department of Justice and the Internal Revenue Service as political tools against American citizens.”

What can YOU do?

Personally, I believe it is all just another attempt of one political party to demonize the other. Truth be known, both parties are replete with dirty politicians who have enough skeletons to fill Arlington Cemetery to overflowing. Therefore, these pronouncements and idle threats should be considered to be somewhat playing to the base.

We need to become aware of the inherent corruption in the campaign funding process and the influence of lawyer/lobbyists and other special interests in regard to existing and pending legislation.

As always, take care of yourself first. Be well and be safe.

-- steve

Quote of the Day: “If you want to be miserable, think about yourself, about what you want, what you like, what respect people ought to pay you and what people think of you.”    -- Charles Kingsley

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

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

Reference Links:

Pelosi Open to Prosecution of Bush Administration Officials | Political News - FOXNews.com


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

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

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

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

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

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



RESPONSE TO SCHWARZENEGGER AND HIS TAX PLAN ...

Capture1-15-2009-6.20.41 PM

Capture1-15-2009-6.25.41 PM


 california_1a


“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



Special interests queue-up for disguised bailouts and special privileges ...

We are now seeing national companies attempting to overcome their failed business models and seek government funding of unsustainable programs.

Some like the automakers, could realize substantial savings by disintermediating  their  outmoded distribution network of dealers which have been pampered and protected for years by politicians who were the recipients of substantial campaign funds. By compressing the dealership network into regional distribution centers and enabling “manufacturer-direct pricing, the consumer would benefit greatly. Present-day dealers, many of whom sit upon valuable real estate or who are closing their doors, could still act as repair stations – only this time around with more competitive repair pricing and faster services. The days of waiting a full day for a simple repair at a dealership should come to an end. The focus will be on customer service and benefit rather than a “take it or leave” it business model which features predatory practices every bit as onerous as those found in mortgage lending.

So why are we not surprised …

So why are we not surprised when Sprint attempts to sell their outmoded and failing “push to talk” technology and attempt to carve out a “gatekeeper” profit for processing Internet traffic.

At one point in time, I was a Nextel fan and thought that the walkie-talkie features of a handheld mobile phone were “peachy keen.” As time went on, the devices appeared to become less attractive and the service less reliable. Finally pushing us over the edge and discarding our Nextel units in favor of Verizon phones.

According to Reuters …

Sprint pitches $2 billion emergency network to Obama

“Sprint Nextel Corp., the third biggest U.S. wireless company, wants the government to fund a $2 billion emergency network to make first responders better able to communicate during disasters.”

This is an admirable goal: multi-service interoperability. However, considering the costs of the dispatching, networking and delivery of classified and specialized information via a patchwork of local, state and government systems, one would assume that there is much, much more to this goal than claiming an ability to provide a turn-key system.

For those who want to perform a common-sense reality check, consider what is about to happen during the upcoming inauguration. Some cellular service might be blocked as a precaution against remote detonated explosive devices. Not to mention the sheer number of people who might be trying to connect to others, perhaps to upload high-bandwidth phone-based pictures, video and sound files.

Without a major disaster implementation plan, of which communications is of the utmost concern – but not the only concern, one needs to consider the problems experienced during hurricanes and earthquakes which impaired first-responder communications. Not to mention the freaky reception patterns in metal-shielded locations.

“The company, a major supplier of equipment including push-to-talk phones used by police and fire departments, pitched its 5-year plan to President-elect Barack Obama's transition team in a letter on January 6, which was made public on Friday”.

“A Sprint official described it as a ‘ready to deploy emergency communications system that can be programmed to be interoperable with existing public safety networks.’"

If this system is so great and advantageous, why are investors in Sprint stock not funding the venture as a pilot product whose effectiveness and efficiency can be gauged during an actual emergency? Or is this another “all or nothing” pitch which requires further “study” contracts, pilot projects and other incremental costs?

“Obama's transition team has sought ideas from industry to solve communications problems that surfaced during disasters like the September 11 attacks on the United States and Hurricane Katrina.”

Perhaps the answers should be filtered through the professionals who work for the Department of Homeland Security rather than given to politicians who are ill-equipped to read legislation they are sending to the President, and would be hard-pressed to understand the details of a complicated communication’s system.

The real pitch …

There is no doubt in my mind that telecommunications carriers compete on confusion and chaos, multiple-bundling schemes with an almost infinite combination of dates, prices and services which is designed to bamboozle the consumer into paying much more for a simple service offered by other carriers.

Everybody is getting “stimulus” or bailout funds, why not us?

“Sprint officials, who are also lobbying lawmakers, hope to include the proposal in the billions flagged for technology in the economic stimulus plan working its way through Congress.”

Calling “bullshit!”

“Sprint's plan calls for 100 satellite-based light trucks that would respond to emergencies, and 100,000 or more mobile handsets and equipment at up to 40 pre-selected sites.”

The sites would allow for equipment to be shipped and arrive anywhere in the United States within four hours.”

Common sense tells me that  a four-hour over-the-road delivery of equipment at 60 miles per hour (unlikely in a disaster area) limits the range to 240-miles. Delivery of equipment by rail, aircraft and boats is far more difficult and complex. The four hour limit therefore is bullshit considering the number of sites and amount of equipment described in this report! Of course, the plan could rely on a fleet of military and state helicopters –- but four hours? One needs only to consider how long it takes to place water-dropping helicopters and other aircraft on scene in California.

While there might be ways to make this work, it is extremely unlikely in a wide-spread regional emergency.

Pre-staged equipment caches, unless well-maintained and continually tested, tend to deteriorate into obsolete technological junk extremely fast – especially as new technologies are deployed. There is no guarantee that the entire stockpile of costly equipment would not become worthless in a matter of a few short years.

Competition?

“Sprint has been struggling with market losses to AT&T Inc and Verizon Wireless, a venture between Verizon and Vodafone Group Plc.

“Motorola Inc developed and supplies handsets for Sprint's iDen network, which is often used by emergency workers.”

Single source suppliers using proprietary methodology is not the way I see the contracting process going. We are talking simpler, easier-to-use systems; not complex and fragile systems that require a confluence of good luck to operate under adverse conditions.

Whoops … look what these bastards are trying to sneak through … an end to network neutrality …

“A second Sprint proposal submitted to the transition team is for the Federal Communications Commission to look at re-regulating prices on telephone lines that route phone and Internet service.”

“Those lines are now controlled mainly by AT&T and Verizon, the remnants of the old Bell phone company monopoly that existed until 1984. Sprint says it spends one-third of the operating costs for its 60,000 cell sites to use the special access lines.”

Not only is this totally anti-competitive, but it would also insure a significant rate increase to the consumers and others who use these services.

Bottom line: in a time when foreign countries have better telephone and Internet networks than the United States and costs, which should have dropped long ago are increasing, we should not be subsidizing any company that cannot compete on its own – and without significant government subsidies.

Perhaps, as a cost-savings effort, we should demand that all government agencies re-verify those who are using mobile phones which are not necessary to their jobs. It has been reported than many cell phones have been issued to desk jockeys who have landlines and rarely work outside of their offices. Not to mention those who cross personal and professional message traffic on taxpayer-funded devices.

What can YOU do?

Just say NO!

Unless Sprint can make a compelling, competitive case for proven and demonstrable technology that will not be obsolete in the next few years; as well as providing matching investor funds – I say NO to a bailout of Sprint.

As for Sprint’s push for re-regulation – HELL NO! Anyone who pays a local or state utilitiy bill based on regulated tariffs knows that costs continually rise, services continually degrade and the regulated utilities continue to grease the political wheels.

Do not allow the common carriers to continue bribing politicians with campaign contributions when the politicians should be serving their constituents. Monitor campaign contributions (including those of lawyers, lobbyists, unions and public relations counsel) for disguised payments.

Emergency services are one thing: corruption and malfeasance in the contracting process is quite another.

- steve

Quote of the Day: “Details are the playground of the devil and his political representatives.” -- steve

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

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

Reference Links:

Sprint pitches $2 billion emergency network to Obama | Technology | Reuters


“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



OBAMA INAUGURATION: HYPOCRISY ABOUNDS!

Don’t do as we do, do as we say …

Politicians and their cadre of so-called Hollywood elites such as Barbra Streisand, Tom Hanks  Susan Sarandon, Sean Penn and Danny Glover are all fond of telling us how we should live our lives and sacrifice for the common good. (A socialist theme that has historical roots)

So where is Al Gore and the rest of the global warming crowd when we are told that:

Obama’s inauguration is projected to generate 575 million POUNDS of CO2 which “would take the average U.S. household 57,598 years to produce a carbon footprint equal to that of the new president’s housewarming party.”

I wonder how much of this “alleged damage to the planet” will be covered by the politicians and celebrities who plan to pay a “guilt tax” and purchase Al Gore’s carbon credits?

And it is all detailed in a free 9-page downloadable report from the Institute for Liberty…

Capture1-15-2009-3.06.57 PM

Some of the reports highlights:

  • “The 600 private jets expected to fly visitors to and from the event will produce 25,320,000 POUNDS of CO2”
  • “Personal vehicles could account for 262,483,200 POUNDS of CO2”
  • “In the parade, horses alone will produce more than 400 POUNDS of CO2”
  • “The total carbon footprint for the Inauguration will likely exceed 575 million POUNDS of CO2”
  • “It would take the average U.S. household 57,598 years to produce a carbon footprint equal to that of the new president’s housewarming party”

But don’t worry …

The hysteria over CO2 as a greenhouse gas that demands immediate reduction, has little or no basis in fact. In fact, it is a trumped-up factoid to make you think that the “carbon cap and trade” system which benefits nobody except politicians, the Wall Street Wizards and the special interests is vital to containing global warming.

It’s not real – and those who are promoting this scheme – are acting in their self-interest.

Point One:  Even if we curtail carbon dioxide, it will not produce a measurable result since any benefit would be lost in the noise of nature’s natural climate variability. If you can’t measure progress, than no program can be fairly judged. If CO2 lags temperature rise by 600-1000 years, the Earth will be in 600 years into the next ice age before we see a reduction in CO2. A free pass for evildoers and freebooters.

Point Two: The research shows that the rise in carbon dioxide lags the rise in temperature (by 600 to 1000 years)and as such can not be a causal factor in global warming.

Point Three: A more likely explanation for the rise in carbon dioxide is the warming of the planet which allows more carbon dioxide to be emitted from our oceans into the atmosphere. When the planet cools, the oceans are able to absorb more carbon dioxide from atmospheric sources.

One need think only of a cold soda bottle. As the bottle warms, CO2 bubbles up from the cold liquid and enters the atmosphere.

Point Four: there are natural cycles dealing with the Earth’s passage around the sun, its inclination and other technical factors which correlate with global mean temperatures.

Only by controlling the production and use of energy, can governments increase their size, increase their revenues and curtail the freedom of its people. And the politicians and others who promote this scheme are as big a danger to the free world as socialism and communism. Whoops, lets add another point: our enemies, the socialists, communists and despotic dictators would all benefit from a weakened United States – and therefore have infiltrated the environmental movement to use our own laws, rules and regulations against us as they act in their own best interests. Leading one to the conclusion that the majority of our politicians and others are: intellectually lazy, corrupt, fellow travelers or just plain stupid.

What can YOU do?

Remember: common sense in government and politics is never common.

Always, follow the money and decide who gains and who loses when public policy is implemented. Consider that it is rarely the public in matters not involving safety and security.

It took the Nobel-prize winning Cal-Tech physicist, Richard Feynman, to find the cause of the space shuttle Challenger explosion due to a cold o-ring. He often postulated that the simplest explanations were often the answers – as they did not require twisting assumptions and great leaps of faith. Think about the soda bottle analogy to the rise of atmospheric carbon dioxide.

It takes hubris (pride) and chutzpah (gall) to believe that man’s puny efforts can affect global weather – especially since those who believe in the concept of “perfect people for a perfect planet” are always pushing for advanced population controls.

Remember, the Obama Administration will also pass into history. To be followed, perhaps, by an Administration which will have to work harder to reverse the damage that they may do to our society, our military, our economy and to our freedom.

Participate in the political name and never be afraid to stand up and say NO!

Be well and be safe.

-- steve

Quote of the day: "All great things are simple, and many can be expressed in single words: freedom, justice, honor, duty, mercy, hope." -- Sir Winston Churchill

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

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

Reference Links:

Carbon Bigfoot|Institute for Liberty

A thank you to the folks at the thechillingeffect.org project who sent me the heads up on this report. Their site contains a wealth of materials which should be considered before you make up your mind on global warming.

Capture1-15-2009-3.37.13 PM


“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



Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger: State of the State Speech Demonstrates INCOMPETENCE!

Schwarzenegger's 11 minute speech said nothing ... and was a demostration of his incompetence as California's governor.

According to Arnold’s Official Website …

ARNOLD SCHWARZENEGGER
38TH Governor of California

Capture1-15-2009-10.37.17 AM

“The world knows Arnold Schwarzenegger as a famous bodybuilder and a Hollywood action hero, but he is also a successful businessman, generous philanthropist and California's 38th Governor.”

Unfortunately, many Californian’s now know Governor Schwarzenegger as a narcissistic, ego-driven "movie star” who seeks adoration over results.  He is no politician – he merely plays one!

Notable accomplishments?

“Governor Schwarzenegger's most notable accomplishments in his first five years in office include the nation-leading Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006 - a bipartisan agreement to combat global warming by reducing California's greenhouse gas emissions - and overhauling the state's workers' compensation system - cutting costs by more than 35 percent. In addition, Governor Schwarzenegger is the first governor in decades to make major investments in improving California's aging infrastructure through his Strategic Growth Plan, helping to reduce congestion and clean the air. He established the Hydrogen Highway and Million Solar Roofs Plan, continuing his leadership in creating a greener environment.”

There is no proof that any program that Arnold Schwarzenegger recommends will change the global climate one iota. In fact, there is absolutely no way to measure any weather-related deviation as any miniscule change would be lost in the noise of the weather’s normal variability.

Fails to notice the fat, bloated government and his fat cat special interests …

“As Governor, he has been California's most effective marketing tool, traveling across the country and around the world promoting California-grown products, cutting-edge technologies and the state's diverse travel destinations. In addition, using his background as an internationally recognized athlete, Governor Schwarzenegger has made restoring health and fitness a top priority. He signed legislation making the state's school nutrition standards the most progressive in the nation and continues to promote healthy habits by taking harmful trans fats out of California restaurants and ensuring nutritional information is available to diners.”

Fiscal reform?

Additionally, since he took office, Governor Schwarzenegger has worked to reform California's fiscal policies, create a better business environment, reduce burdens on employment, boost exports and stimulate job growth. Through the end of 2007, California's Gross State Product had grown by 29 percent since the governor took office in 2003.

The governor is a stone cold, bold-faced liar! Under his watch, spending has increased over 40% in real dollars. His promises of eliminating waste, fraud and corruption in the California Government is a sham public relations effort – as he appointed his cronies and politically important people to the high-paying boards he vowed to eliminate.

The governor’s entire public policy can be defined as “LOOK AT ME, I AM GREAT, IT IS SO BECAUSE I SAY IT IS SO!”

2009 State of the State Speech …

In approximately eleven minutes, three or less if you take out the acknowledgements of other politicians and the routine crap, there was nothing of substance contained within the speech.

"Let me tell you, I have big plans for this state. They include action on the economy, on water, environment, education, and health care reform, government efficiency and reform, job creation, and the list goes on and on," Schwarzenegger said. "But our first order of business is to solve the budget crisis."

What the hell has Schwarzenegger done in the past five years? He stands before the people and claims we are in a major fiscal crisis and then goes on to say he wants to spend even more.

This man is delusional and will do or say almost anything to get approval …

His proposal that legislators should lose their salaries and per diem if the budget is not submitted on time – like a few measly dollars would mean something to people who raise and spend multi-million dollar amounts on their campaigns.

“We should make a commitment that legislators -- and the governor too -- lose per diem expenses and our paychecks, for every day the budget goes past the constitutional deadline of June 15.”

“You have to admit it is a brilliant idea.
I mean, if you call a taxi and the taxi doesn't come, you don't pay the driver. If the people's work is not getting done, the people's representatives should not get paid either.
That is common sense in the real world.”

Additional stupidities …

  • “So, I am encouraged that meaningful negotiations are underway. And, as difficult as the budget will be, good things can come out of it.”
  • “Because, in spite of the budget crisis, when we have worked together in the past, we have passed measures that moved this state -- and even the nation -- forward.”
  • “There is no course left open to us but this: to work together, to sacrifice together, to think of the common good -- not our individual good.
    No one wants to take money from our gang-fighting programs or from Medi-Cal or from education.”
  • No one wants to pay more in taxes or fees.
    But each of us has to give up something because our country is in an economic crisis and our state simply doesn't have the money
    .”

Sacrifice to ratify and continue the legislature’s continued profligate spending? Where are the substantive budget cuts? Where are the real dollar cuts rather than the phony claim that a reduction in a budgetary increase is a tax cut?

What is he trying to do …

It appears that he wants to take the current budget deficit and roll it into the next budget and then fund both together … all with the purpose of papering over the problem, kicking the can down the road – so he can run for the Senate in 2010 with some form of accomplishment. No mention of the other real problem facing the state: illegal aliens and their union and church supporters.

Bottom line: Schwarzenegger has been an abject failure as a governor and would make an even worse Senator.

What can YOU do?

Remember what Schwarzenegger failed to do in two terms of as California’s governor.

Remember the broken promises to curtail spending and reduce the costs of government.

And remember that the man is a RINO (Republican In Name Only) and turned his back on those who bought his loyalty with their votes and money. He is a liar, cheat and thief – when you consider he took money under false pretenses when he ran as a conservative Republican and then morphed into a liberal sycophantic democrat.

END SCHWARZENEGGER’S  POLITICAL CAREER AND ELECT A GOVERNOR WHO ACTUALLY CAN FUNCTION WITHOUT PUBLIC RELATIONS COUNSEL AND HOLLYWOOD STYLE SMOKE AND MIRRORS.

-- steve

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

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

Reference Links:

2009 California State of the State Speech Text|Los Angeles Times

Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger - About Arnold, Biography


“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



Banks don't commit financial crimes, people do -- so where is the prosecution of the people involved?

Lloyds TSB Bank PLC was graciously allowed to pay a fine of $350,000 for falsifying wire transfer records and enabling Iranian and Sudanese banking clients to access the United States banking system – a violation of clear and unambiguous financial sanctions against the two countries.

According to the Manhattan District Attorney …

“Manhattan District Attorney Robert M. Morgenthau announced today a Deferred Prosecution Agreement with the British bank, Lloyds TSB Bank plc (“LLOYDS”) in settlement of a ‘stripping’ scheme in which the Bank caused the falsification of the records of New York financial institutions and enabled its Iranian and Sudanese banking clients to access the U.S. banking system in violation of federal sanctions prohibiting such conduct.  As a result, LLOYDS will pay fines and forfeiture totaling $350,000,000. 

“In the agreement LLOYDS admits that from 2001 – 2004, LLOYDS falsified the business records of banks in Manhattan by engaging in a systematic process of altering wire transfer information to hide the identity of its clients.”

“This process allowed the illegal transfer of more than $300 million on behalf of Iranian banks and their customers; the Iranian banks involved included Bank Melli, Bank Saderat, Sepah Bank and others. While LLOYDS voluntarily exited the Iranian business by 2004, the Sudanese business, which resulted in the illegal transfer of over $20 million, continued into 2007, after the beginning of the investigation.

Support military purchases, dual purpose technology, terrorism?

“The transfers were made to buy goods and services from U.S. companies and to finance the purchase of goods and services from foreign vendors that sought payment in dollars.”

Question: Did the United States companies know who they were dealing with? 

What is a deferred prosecution agreement?

“Mr. Morgenthau said that today’s settlement was the result of a joint investigation undertaken by the District Attorney’s Office and the Asset Forfeiture and Money Laundering Section of the United States Department of Justice (“DOJ”).  As a result of the settlement and Deferred Prosecution Agreementwith both the District Attorney’s Office and DOJ, LLOYDS has agreed to adhere to best practices for international banking transparency, to cooperate with ongoing law enforcement investigations, to conduct an internal review of past transactions, and to pay the fines and forfeiture.”

Deferred Prosecution: “Legal deal where in response for public acknowledgement and/or payment of a fine/restitution and/or co-operate in ongoing investigations, corporations can escape prosecution. Should the corporation comply with the conditions in the agreement for a specified period, the indictment is dismissed.”  Source>

Background …

“The United States government prohibits certain countries, entities and individuals from accessing U.S. financial institutions and the U.S. banking system.  These sanctions are administered and enforced by the United States Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (‘OFAC’).”

“New York banks use sophisticated computer systems to monitor and screen all wire transfer activities to ensure that the banks do not engage in prohibited transactions.  The banks depend on these automated systems to prevent sanctioned entities from accessing the United States banking system.”   

“The investigation revealed that LLOYDS engaged in a systematic practice of ‘stripping’ wire transfer information.  Stripping is the practice of removing wire transfer information that would identify that the transfers originated from a prohibited source.  By stripping out the originator information, the wire transfers could pass through the screening software used by New York banks that would otherwise have rejected or frozen them for further inquiry.  The stripping of wire transfer information in this manner made it appear that the transactions originated at LLOYDS in the United Kingdom rather than the sanctioned banks.”

Our allies?

It is unclear whether or not this prohibited activity was perpetrated in the United Kingdom, and if so, I would expect the British government to sanction the individuals involved. However, if it happened in New York, I would expect our government to sanction those who created, implemented and supervised the scheme.

“The investigation of LLOYDS focused primarily on its handling of accounts for financial institutions from two designated countries: Iran and Sudan. Knowing that they could not legally access U.S. banks, Iranian and Sudanese banks with accounts at LLOYDS sought to evade U.S. sanctions.”

“Beginning in the mid-1990s, LLOYDS began removing any information from Iranian and Sudanese wire transfers that would trigger the detection systems at New York correspondent banks.  To execute this policy, LLOYDS personnel removed any information that identified the payment messages as originating from Iranian, Sudanese or other sanctioned countries.  The falsified wire transfers would then be processed undetected by the OFAC filters in place at the U.S. banks.” 

The trigger …

“Mr. Morgenthau said that the investigation into LLOYDS’ stripping activities grew out of an investigation into the suspicious movement of money by alleged Iranian front companies and charities.  Specifically, the District Attorney’s Office began an investigation in 2006 into the relationship between the Government of Iran and two New York entities, the Alavi Foundation and Assa Corporation, which jointly owned an office building located at 650 Fifth Avenue in Manhattan. During the course of this investigation, the District Attorney’s Office uncovered evidence that LLOYDS was engaged in the illegal transfer of funds into Manhattan on behalf of sanctioned Iranian banks.  At about the same time, the District Attorney’s Office learned that DOJ was engaged in an investigation of similar stripping activity at other banks

According to Bloomberg News

“Last month, federal prosecutors in the U.S. sued to gain control of a 36-story Manhattan office tower they claim belongs to the Iranian government’s Bank Melli. Farhsid Jahedi, President of the Alavi Foundation that owns a 60 percent stake in the tower, also was arrested for destroying documents.”

Strong deterrence would be a few jailed banking executives  …

“Mr. Morgenthau said that the Deferred Prosecution Agreement is designed to send a strong message of deterrence to other banks.”

Whoop-de-do …

Important mitigating factors that led to the agreement were that LLOYDS exited the Iranian business voluntarily before being contacted by the District Attorney’s Office, provided full cooperation with the investigation from the time it was contacted by prosecutors, readily admitted its criminal wrongdoing, and agreed to conduct an extensive internal look-back at its misconduct to identify the real parties in interest in the stripped transactions.”

Why we need vigilance ...

"The Iranian businessman was looking for high-quality American electronics, but he had to act stealthily: The special parts he coveted were denied to Iranians, especially those seeking to make roadside bombs to kill U.S. troops in Iraq. With a few e-mails, the problem was solved. A friendly Malaysian importer would buy the parts from a company in Linden, N.J., and forward them to Iran. All that was left was coming up with a fake name for the invoice. Perhaps a Malaysian engineering school? "Of course, you can use any other company as end-user that you think is better than this," the Iranian businessman, Ahmad Rahzad, wrote in an e-mail dated March 8, 2007."

"The ruse succeeded in delivering nine sensors called inclinometers to Iran, the first of several such shipments that year and the latest example of what U.S. officials and weapons experts describe as Iran's skillful flouting of export laws intended to stop lethal technology from reaching the Islamic republic."

"Despite multiple attempts by the Bush administration to halt illegal imports -- including sanctions against several Dubai-based Iranian front companies in 2006 -- the technology pipeline to Tehran is flowing at an even faster pace. In some cases, Iran simply opened new front companies and shifted its operations from Dubai to farther east in Asia, the officials said".  (For the rest of the story, click here.)

Our enemies walk among us …

Facilitated by lawyers, lobbyists, public relations firms and sham United States companies or divisions of foreign-registered companies, our enemies are often allowed free and easy access to our banking system, media for the purposes of propaganda and to purchase goods and services which they procure on behalf of some “neutral” transfer agent in a neutral country.

What can YOU do?

While programmatic systems can trap some of those who wish the United States harm, like most criminal activities, it often takes an informed tip to create official interest in he case. If you know or suspect that foreign nationals from hostile countries appear to be operating inside the United States, let your friendly FBI know about it by contacting your local field office.

Demand that the government prosecute the people who designed, implemented or enabled the prohibited practice as well as the organization. Like they say: guns don’t commit crimes, people do! The same applies to corporations: the corporation cannot be jailed, only people can be jailed. While these deferred agreements are money-makers, the perpetrators of financial crimes are often allowed to skate free; and thus send the wrong message to the financial community: getting caught and paying a fine is just another cost of doing business.

And let us not forget, that if you are rich enough and have political connections, you might be able to buy a pardon after the fact. See Bill Clinton’s last day in office pardon of Marc Rich and Pincus Green who allegedly traded oil from Iran during the Iranian hostage crisis and evaded United States taxes. Both fled to Switzerland. <Source>

Eric Holder …

Consider a Department of Justice employee who ignored the procedures of his own agency and went directly to the White House with a pardon request that was likely to be denied by the Department of Justice.

Do you want this man as our next Attorney General … and what did he get for his efforts on behalf of those seeking pardons?

Not so coincidentally, Barack Obama’s nominee for Attorney General, Eric Holders, allegedly facilitated the pardon of both Rich and Pincus. You may wish to read the New York Times article, “Panel Says Top Justice Dept. Aide Held Information on Rich's Pardon” which states: “The most controversial pardon went to Mr. Rich, a commodities trader who fled the country in 1983 rather than face trial on charges of tax evasion, racketeering and trading with the enemy [IRAN]. The report says that Mr. Rich's lawyers tried to circumvent prosecutors, who would oppose the pardon, and take their case straight to the White House.”

“Mr. Holder, the report says, played a major role, steering Mr. Rich's lawyers toward Jack Quinn, a former White House counsel. Mr. Rich hired Mr. Quinn, whose Washington contacts and ability to lobby the president made the difference, according to the report. It says that Mr. Holder's support for the pardon and his failure to alert prosecutors of a pending pardon were just as crucial.”

“The report says Mr. Holder became involved through a chance encounter with Gershon Kekst, a prominent public relations strategist who has advised Mr. Rich since 1997.”

-- steve

Quote of the day: “The trouble with our times is that the future is not what it used to be.” - Paul Valery

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

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

Reference Links:

Lloyd's Bank Deferred Prosecution|New York County District Attorney's Office


“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



Are the Russians stepping up their propaganda war in America?

I was very much surprised to see a headline story on the Drudge Report announcing “Pravda: Earth on the Brink of an Ice Age...” What made this story somewhat unusual is that the story was originated by Pravda, a Russian publication with an historical link to the government and its propaganda apparatus.

Pravda was leading newspaper of the Soviet Union and an official organ of the Central Committee of the Communist Party between 1912 and 1991.

According to Pravda.Ru …

“At that time, a very serious split occurred in the editorial office. Over 90 percent of the journalists who had been working for Pravda until the coup d'etat of 1991 quit their jobs. They established their own version of the newspaper, which was then closed under government pressure.”

“These journalists had to take their fight to cyberspace, and the Internet newspaper PRAVDA On-Line was launched in January of 1999, the first Russian newspaper of its kind. We think that both the newly registered newspaper and PRAVDA On-Line (you are now on its server) have an equal moral right to continue the history of the newspaper that was closed by then-President Boris Yeltsin in August of 1991. The number of journalists that work in the head offices of both publications is comparable with the number of journalists who worked for Pravda at the time it was closed.”

“In spite of the fact that the journalists of both these publications are still in touch with each other, we have different conceptions about news about Russia and the world. The newspaper Pravda analyzes events from the point of view of the Party's interests, whereas PRAVDA On-line takes a pro-Russian approach to forming its policy.”

“Wouldn't you agree that this gives more diversity to the world?”

The link led to a well-designed American-style webpage that could have been published by any American newspaper.

Along with the features were items such as:

  • Russia: Conversation between President Medvedev and Gazprom CEO (relating to the current gas distribution crisis)
  • Opinion: Neo Warfare
  • Science: Earth on the Brink of an Ice Age
  • Society: Man Dismembers His Wife by Mistake
  • Business: Economic Manipulation as Political Strategy
  • World: The tower of Babel of the European left
  • Hotspots and Incidents: Israel, you are Serbia now
  • Sport: Dakar Argentina: Kamaz in front!
  • Photo Report: Brooke Berk demonstrates bikini
  • Photo Report: Cheerleaders: Healthy body and soul
  • Why God Didn't Have a Beginning?

A diversified mix of articles designed to capture the broadest possible audience. (Perhaps the New York and Los Angeles Times should take heed?)

In the “Breaking News” Section we find …

  • Israel launches massive military operation against Gaza Strip 
  • America chooses its future
  • Russia to retrieve its status of world's strongest superpower

Again, interesting subjects, except for the last item which is definitely speculative conjecture of a political nature and could be classified as propaganda.

Implicit dangers: But are there dangers hidden in the web pages or in the content?

In this day and age of Cyber-War, one can easily imagine the collection of non-public personal information from those who visit the website and wish to participate in online discussions. One can also appreciate the danger of replying to an online advertisement or link with credit card information. To note, Russia remains one of the hotbeds of criminality in the world and the technical expertise of their hackers is second to none. Cheap pirated software and pornography provide attractive lures to those seeking materials of this nature. All with the risk of computer system compromise.

And let us not forget the potential for subtle anti-American propaganda. This is not the heavy-handed obvious anti-American rhetoric of the past, these are carefully crafted and tested messages that are designed to introduce fear, uncertainty and doubt into discussions involving American politics and commercial operations.

Especially targeted at those far left liberals and others who already distrust and despise our nation and often believe that we are the instigators of much of the world’s problems. People who are unhappy with their lives, looking for social contacts and will accept alternative external solutions for their unhappiness.

The content is intriguing and interesting …

Make no mistake about it, the content is thoughtful and well written. The subject matter makes sense, especially if the audience member is predisposed to believing what is being written.

In the matter of anthropogenic (man made) global warming (AGW), the article’s information appears consistent with my beliefs and the science of the day.

“The AGW theory is based on data that is drawn from a ridiculously narrow span of time and it demonstrates a wanton disregard for the ‘big picture’ of long-term climate change. The data from paleoclimatology, including ice cores, sea sediments, geology, paleobotany and zoology, indicate that we are on the verge of entering another Ice Age, and the data also shows that severe and lasting climate change can occur within only a few years.”

“While concern over the dubious threat of Anthropogenic Global Warming continues to distract the attention of people throughout the world, the very real threat of the approaching and inevitable Ice Age, which will render large parts of the Northern Hemisphere uninhabitable, is being foolishly ignored.”

Weather (pun intended) or not  I believe the last part of the article pointing to the sudden possibility of serious global cooling is immaterial. But it does pose the question, why are the scientists who are modeling our global climate change patterns not perceiving this particular threat – or are they pursuing a “political” agenda in order to receive additional funding and recognition of their activities? And if this is true, what else might the government and its allied special interests be telling us?

As you can see, the process of introducing doubt into the geo-political conversation is extremely easy and unless one is trained in critical thinking and the is able to recognize subtle propaganda, it is possible for America’s enemies to wage a low-cost propaganda campaign using little more than attractive stories in an “alternative and recognized news source” on the web. 

But of course, the old saying “sometimes the paranoid are correct in their suspicions” is also true. The tagline on the website, "Pravda.ru forum. The place where truth hurts," simply makes me wonder whose truth is hurting.

What can YOU do?

Demand your local school system return to a curriculum which features the basics: reading, writing, arithmetic, history and critical thinking. Leaving the social activism featuring the far left liberal multiculturalism, diversity and political correctness for college-level political science classes. It is time we stop dumbing down our nation’s children and curtailing their growth by mainstreaming people who have language difficulties, discipline or other impairments into the classroom. Set aside language proficiency schools for those who need to acquire a working knowledge of English. Stop teaching subject matter classes in Spanish. Restore shop and craft curriculums for those who will not be going on to college and need to learn a useful trade in order to succeed and prosper.

Do not elect school boards that mix politics with education. Recall or prosecute those who waste funds on special interest infrastructure or divert funds away from the classroom. Demand that the administrator/teacher ratio be reduced and that teacher’s be required to take competency tests in their subject matter specialties.

Demand that union influence in the school systems be strictly curtailed – possibly using the funds collected from non-union employees in lieu of dues to be placed directly back into classroom programs without any additional administrative overhead.

Change local and state legislation to remove funding initiatives for education as the link between funds expenditures and the quality of education is tenuous at best.

As for accessing foreign websites, be very careful never to provide non-public personal information or make purchases using credit cards, replacement checks or other methods which can be used to drain your bank accounts or facilitate identity theft. Should you wish to purchase foreign goods, ask your credit card issuer for a one-time number which will facilitate your purchase.

Although much of the political threat comes from within, using our laws and regulations against us and collecting information using American subsidiaries, you can never be too careful when dealing directly with foreign powers.

-- steve


Quote of the Day: “He who laughs last has not yet heard the bad news.” -- Bertolt Brecht

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

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

Reference Links:

Earth on the Brink of Ice Age|Pravda.Ru


“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