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Topic: Politics (Read 112655 times)
Reply #650 on:
October 29, 2011, 12:56:04 PM »
How exactly would you win over these confused young people?
Reply #651 on:
October 29, 2011, 01:34:39 PM »
Well, I would use them as Exhibit A as to why one would not want to be part of OWS
Self-Reliance for Dunces
Reply #652 on:
October 30, 2011, 09:24:39 PM »
October 30, 2011
Self-Reliance for Dunces
By Clarice Feldman
America is divided between those who think her citizens are helpless and stupid, and those who don't. People who need the direction and control of such bright lights as Nancy Pelosi and the folks who okayed the Solyndra and Fast and Furious fiascos, the apparatchniki of TSA , those who destroyed the housing market by jiggering the rules at Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac stand on one side of the gap. On the other side are those of us who believe we are smarter than the political and media elites and, in any event, think the daily decisions of millions of free people acting in what they believe is their own self interest yields more satisfying outcomes than we get from top down fiats by blinkered cubicle rats, credentialed morons and politicians responding to the wants of connected crony capitalists.
The contrast was in bold relief this week.
(a) Democrats Embrace Freedom From Want of Free Diapers Movement
In Connecticut, worried that those whose financial situation has become so perilous (ironically as a result of failed government programs and actions), Democrats are trying to add to the list of ever expanding but invisible to constitutionalists rights, the right to free diapers. Dan Malloy, governor of the Nutmeg State has decreed Diaper Need Awareness Day with no sign that he recognizes how ludicrous a decree this is. Connecticut Congresswoman DeLauro (who like Michelle Obama is a very fashion forward dresser) has introduced a Diaper Act, stating she thinks a program to provide free diapers to the poor will stimulate the economy. I think this all takes the notion of Change We Can Believe In and free loads a bit too far. I listened to the great Congressman Paul Ryan this week, and I don't think he'll go along with the Connecticut scheme. Just in case in case I'm right and the Act doesn't get enough votes from those tight fisted Republicans in Congress, here's some very neat ideas on how to launder diapers. Consider this my first big self-reliance tip of the week.
To be sure, DeLauro's nonsensical view of how to stimulate the economy has a long history in her party. Seems like just yesterday we were promised that the passage of the huge spending bill ObamaCare would do what we are told diaper handouts would. It didn't work, and -- perhaps this is something we might keep from the opposition -- even their own base no longer believes that law will improve their situation:
Support for President Obama's health care reform law has reached an all time low, in part because of Democrats' diminished faith that the law will improve their lives, a new poll by the Kaiser Family Foundation finds.
Only 34 percent of Americans now support Obamacare, a 16-point drop from an all-time high of 50 percent in July 2010. A small majority of Americans, 51 percent, now say they oppose the law.
According to the survey, just 27 percent of Democrats say they will be better off under the law and 55 percent believe it will not impact them. Just last month those numbers were 43 percent and 38 percent, respectively.
I don't know if anyone has polled Americans on the diaper need awareness thingy but I 'm sure that if more of them learn about it the stampede to the exits from the Democratic party will only gain momentum.
(b) The Right To Get You to Further Subsidize Pampered Indebted Students
In Colorado, President Obama, ever the community organizer divisively sowing class resentment, fear and envy, announced that by executive order he is easing the student loan terms for those who entered into their indebtedness since 2008. And in announcing this taxpayer funded new giveaway -- which ends on 2012 -- with his term, he made clear that he sees the federal government as the only way to assure equal opportunity. He urged the beneficiaries of his largesse with our money, that if he is not re-elected we will face a "new era of painful self-reliance." It might be better translated as," This giveaway will end with my time in office so get out there and work for my re-election or the gravy train goes off the rails."
In the hope that this new era of self reliance is just around the corner, let's consider why this new era would be a good thing and how you can get prepared to do those hard things like sewing on your own buttons and buying your own diapers, selecting your own diets, paying for your own housing and feeding your own children, and managing your own assets.
The great American political philosopher P.J. O'Rourke has a lot to say on the subject of self-reliance versus dependence on government and here's a sample:
Under collectivism, powers of determination rest with the entire citizenry instead of with the specific citizens. Individual decision-making is replaced by the political process. Suddenly, the system that elected the prom queen at your high school is in charge of your whole life. Besides, individuals are smarter than groups, as anybody who is a member of a committee or of a large Irish family after six in the evening can tell you. The difference between individual intelligence and group intelligence is the difference between Harvard University and the Harvard University football team. [snip]
Collectivism makes for a very large and, hence, very powerful group. This power is centralized in the government. Any power is open to abuse.
Government power is not necessarily abused more often than personal power, but when the abuse does come, it's a lulu. At work, power over the whole supply cabinet is concentrated in the person of the office manager. In government, power over the entire military is concentrated in the person of the commander-in-chief. You steal felt tip pens. Hitler invades Poland.
Most government abuse of power is practiced openly, and much of it is heartily approved by The Washington Post editorial board and other such proponents of the good and the fair. But any time the government treats one person differently than another because of the group to which that person belongs -- whether it's a group of rich, special-interest tax dodgers or a group of impoverished, minority job-seekers -- individual equality is lessened and freedom is diminished. Any time the government gives away goods and services -- even if it gives them away to all people equally -- individual dependence is increased and freedom is diminished. Any time the government makes rules about people's behavior when that behavior does not occasion real and provable harm to others -- telling you to buckle your seat belt or forbidding you to publish pornography on the Internet -- respect for the individual is reduced and freedom is diminished.
Should you find yourself in an elevator, airplane, subway, prison, or at the dinner table with someone prattling on about income inequality and how important it is for the government to do something about it, it would be well to have fortified yourself beforehand with this brilliant interview with New York University law professor Richard Epstein. Thanksgiving and the in gathering of all your friends and relatives -- including the not so smart ones -- is just around the corner, and you have the opportunity to watch this and be vaccinated from the mental pestilence headed your way.
Of course, as Monty Python's "Life of Brian" reminds us in a clip eerily reminiscent of the occupiers' human microphone shtick, some people just cannot make the leap to independent thinking:
Brian: Look, you've got it all wrong! You don't NEED to follow ME, You don't NEED to follow ANYBODY! You've got to think for your selves! You're ALL individuals!
The Crowd: Yes! We're all individuals!
Brian: You're all different!
The Crowd: Yes, we ARE all different!
Brian: You've all got to work it out for yourselves.
The Crowd: Yes, we all have to work it out for ourselves.
The light breaks through in even the darkest cave sometimes even without any effort on our part as it has to the Occupy Wall Street crowd. Labor donated by chefs, themselves out of work, and food -- mostly organic and all first rate, donated by sympathetic growers -- was the standard fare for those voguing, grubbing it on the streets. In no time at all , as you can imagine, homeless grifters got wind of the sumptuous repasts and lined up for them, too. The chefs grew furious and have cut back to (brown) rice and beans until this outrage stops:
We need to limit the amount of food we're putting out" to curb the influx of derelicts, said Rafael Moreno, a kitchen volunteer.
A security volunteer added that the cooks felt "overworked and underappreciated."
Many of those being fed "are professional homeless people. They know what they're doing," said the guard at the food-storage area.
A good, and absolutely free, learning opportunity , indeed. As Michelle Obama's Mirror notes:
Anyway, here's the education that the chefs got for free: if you give stuff away, there will be freeloaders: more and more each day. That's why collectivism breaks down, and with this group apparently quite quickly. So, if the mostly unemployed chefs take advantage of their free education, they'll all go back and open restaurants of their own where they can charge for their food. Now that they've learned they can't just give the food away for free, they've discovered how capitalism works! Because if you give stuff away, all you'll get are a bunch of free loaders and you'll never be able to pay your bills. Wow, that's awesome insight just for the taking.
I think it's a good day when anyone learns something about human nature -- no matter how late in the game.
(1) Hand out free stuff and ever increasing number of moochers will come.
(2) There are "professional homeless people."
(3) Those sanctimoniously protesting the greed of others fight as hard as anyone to keep their own special privileges even if those are just organic beet salad with goat cheese.
Three more good tips to put in your growing How to Be Self Reliant folder.
Reply #653 on:
October 31, 2011, 11:00:56 AM »
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Brief • October 31, 2011
"Liberty must at all hazards be supported. We have a right to it, derived from our Maker. But if we had not, our fathers have earned and bought it for us, at the expense of their ease, their estates, their pleasure, and their blood." --John Adams
Opinion in Brief
Michelle's message is not an American one
"[Michelle Obama is] back on the campaign trail, and for some reason is returning to the same hardball politics. The other day, she thundered, 'Will we be a country that tells folks who've done everything right but are struggling to get by, "Tough luck, you're on your own"? Is that who we are?' Given that the federal budget has increased by $2 trillion in just a decade, entitlements are at record levels, and this administration is now running $1.5 trillion annual deficits, it is hard to imagine that any government has told anyone 'tough luck.' And it is even harder to suggest that nine months of a Republican-controlled House -- voted in as part of the largest midterm correction since 1938 -- has had much effect on the Obama employment agenda of nearly three years, the majority of which time Obama controlled both houses of Congress and borrowed nearly $5 trillion in sending unemployment over 9 percent. And when Ms. Obama charges, 'Will we be a country where opportunity is limited to just the few at the top? Who are we?' one wonders, why, then, in the past three years of hard times, did she insist on vacationing, in iconic fashion, at Vail, Martha's Vineyard, and Costa del Sol, the tony haunts of 'the few at the top'? In these rough times, surely a smaller staff, less travel, and budgetary economies would have enhanced her populist message of some at the top enjoying perks at the expense of others. In short, even if she does not revert to 2008 style and restart her lamentations about life in her country being unfair, I think it a mistake for any president to put the First Lady out, in highly partisan fashion, on the campaign trail to attack her husband's political rivals. And, I think, the public unease with it will soon prove the point." --historian Victor Davis Hanson
"Free market capitalism is unforgiving. Producers please customers, in a cost-minimizing fashion, and make a profit, or they face losses or go bankrupt. It's this market discipline that some businesses seek to avoid. That's why they descend upon Washington calling for crony capitalism -- government bailouts, subsidies and special privileges. They wish to reduce the power of consumers and stockholders, who hold little sympathy for blunders and will give them the ax on a moment's notice. Having Congress on their side means business can be less attentive to the will of consumers. Congress can keep them afloat with bailouts, as it did in the cases of General Motors and Chrysler, with the justification that such companies are 'too big to fail.' Nonsense! If General Motors and Chrysler had been allowed to go bankrupt, it wouldn't have meant that their productive assets, such as assembly lines and tools, would have gone poof and disappeared into thin air. Bankruptcy would have led to a change in ownership of those assets by someone who might have managed them better. The bailout enabled them to avoid the full consequences of their blunders. ... The Occupy Wall Street protesters are following the path predicted by the great philosopher-economist Frederic Bastiat, who said in 'The Law' that 'instead of rooting out the injustices found in society, they make these injustices general.' In other words, the protesters don't want to end crony capitalism, with its handouts and government favoritism; they want to participate in it." --economist Walter E. Williams
"This country wasn't built by men who sought handouts. In its brilliant youth, this country showed the rest of the world what greatness was possible to Man and what happiness is possible on Earth. Then it began apologizing for its greatness and began giving away its wealth, feeling guilty for having produced more than its neighbors. ... Examine your values and understand that you must choose one side or the other. Any compromise between good and evil only hurts the good and helps the evil." --novelist and philosopher Ayn Rand (1905-1982)
"The trouble with the [Occupy Wall Street] movement is that it's centered around two concepts, both of which are abject lies. First and foremost, it doesn't represent ninety-nine percent of anything, no mater how many time the protesters themselves, their enablers, or a corrupt mainstream media repeats the slogan. Second, there is nothing inherently virtuous about being poor or middle class, any more than there is anything inherently evil about being wealthy. ... And make no mistake: it is a virus that infects every ethnic group, both genders and, as you may have guessed, every income class. Until some kind of national integrity is restored, everything else comes down to dealing with the symptoms of the problem instead of the problem itself. How do you restore integrity? One self-aware person at a time coming to the realization that without it, you're nothing but the member of a mob, whether that mob resides in Zuccotti Park, a bank boardroom, or the Beltway in Washington, D.C. You want to camp out all winter and rail against the inequities of the world? Knock yourself out." --columnist Arnold Ahlert
"Conventional wisdom is that government must run the schools. But government monopolies don't do anything well. They fail because they have no real competition. Yet competition is what gives us better phones, movies, cars -- everything that's good. ... In 1955, [economist Milton Friedman] proposed school vouchers. His plan didn't call for separating school and state -- unfortunately -- but instead sought a second-best fix: Give a voucher to the family, and let it choose which school -- government-run or private -- their child will attend. Schools would compete for that voucher money. Today, it would be worth $13,000 per child. (That's what America spends per student today.) Competition would then improve all schools. ... Vouchers aren't a perfect solution, but they are better than leaving every student a prisoner of a government monopoly." --columnist John Stossel
"Those nations and states which have secured man's highest aspirations for freedom, opportunity, and justice have always been those willing to trust their people, confident that their skills and their talents are equal to any challenge." --Ronald Reagan
Re: The Left
"According to the Taranto Principle, first identified by distinguished Wall Street Journal writer James Taranto, the mainstream media concocts false truths that actually encourage liberal Democrats to extravagance; thus, Al Gore hyperventilates over Global Warming, Jean-Francois Kerry presents himself as a Vietnam War hero, and Barack Obama sits awash in red ink and promises more. Operating in accord with the principle, the liberal Democrats abandon themselves to a riot of fantasies far removed from the American consensus, and the result is catastrophe for them and much amusement for the rest of us. ... It doesn't sound like the Occupiers are making much headway with the average American. But they are making headway with liberal Democrats. White House adviser David Plouffe says, 'The protests you're seeing are the same conversations people are having in living rooms and kitchens across America. ... People are frustrated by an economy that does not reward hard work and responsibility, where Wall Street and Main Street don't seem to play by the same set of rules.' And the brightest president in American history has said, 'I think people are frustrated. And the protesters are giving voice to a more broad-based frustration about how our financial system works.' Once again, the Taranto Principle is vindicated." --columnist R. Emmett Tyrrell
For the Record
"If I were a liberal, I would have spent the last week in shock that a Democratic audience in Flint, Mich., cheered Vice President Joe Biden's description of a policeman being killed. ... Biden's audience whooped and applauded ... when he said that without Obama's jobs bill, police will be 'outgunned and outmanned.' ... What is liberals' evidence that there will be more rapes and murders if Obama's jobs bill doesn't pass? Biden claims that, without it, there won't be enough cops to interrupt a woman being raped in her own home -- which would be an amazing bit of police work/psychic talent, if it had ever happened. (That's why Americans like guns, liberals.) Obama's jobs bill tackles the problem of rape and murder by giving the states $30 billion ... for public school teachers. Only $5 billion is even allotted to the police.... [D]id Flint [Michigan] use any money from Obama's last trillion-dollar stimulus bill to hire more police in order to prevent rape and murder? No, Flint spent its $2.2 million from the first stimulus bill on buying two electric buses. Even if what Flint really needed was buses and not cops, for $2.2 million, the city could have bought seven brand-new diesel buses and had $100,000 left over for streetlights. ... The 'green' buses were never delivered because the company went out of business -- despite a $1.6 million loan from the American taxpayer." --columnist Ann Coulter
Rolling Stone: WS is not winning, it is cheating
Reply #654 on:
October 31, 2011, 11:09:25 AM »
Again, I repeat my point that we of the American Creed are missing opportunities here to woo and win a goodly percentage of these people.
Reply #655 on:
October 31, 2011, 12:05:19 PM »
Crafty I agree wholeheartedly with your point.
Remember when banks would give US 5% on our savings account? Now we get nothing but fees.
I think there is an opportunity for Repubs to acknowledge the special and unfair (in my view) advantages the extreme wealthy have. I am not sure what to do about it. I have nothing against people getting rich and only wished I was one of them.
I do have problems with a system that gives them advantages no one else has.
The OWS is a crowd of different stripes and probably all Democrat party types. Yet not all of their rants are meritless.
The republicans can only win so many people over with their usual arguments.
I don't how to win over any of the 47% who pay no income tax without expressing at least some concern about maintaining a fair playing field.
Yes we all want freedom but we also want some government to do its job and make the playing field fair by going after crime (not being a part of it), getting rid of special favors, tax breaks for some, revolving door fascism etc.
I just don't hear many Republicans saying any of this. Or am I missing something?
Do you have any idea how to woo some of the OWS types? (Other then sending in a Panama red care package
Reply #656 on:
October 31, 2011, 12:21:54 PM »
I would begin by emphasizing how much of what they say agrees with us!!! The first step of communication is to establish what is held in common. Then let them see how serious, indeed how radical to the ruling fascist structures (both corporate and liberal) much of what we propose is. Share with them the understanding of how the Constitution is a bulwark against the ruling fascist structures-- and put the cold hard evidence of liberal fascism's collusion with, indeed creation of what that which they protest-- and how they are disserved by association with the Left in its various manifestations.
Reply #657 on:
October 31, 2011, 12:42:00 PM »
I recall you thought him an old crank (I think I am getting that way - or am) but the only talking head I hear discussing this is Michael Savage who seems banned from Fox. Not so much the reaching out to OWS people but at least the right AND left fascism that polutes our nation.
Other conservatives including Levin, Rush, Hannity seem to as far as I know totally miss this point in their partisanship rants.
As for people like Huntsman, Scarborough and the other conciliatory, middle road, supposed self proclaimed adults and arch canons of being "reasonable" they not only miss the point they are actually part of the DC problem. The "mainstream" if you will.
Perhaps? Bob Grant would agree with our sentiments here. He is an all time great still on 77 AM radio on Sundays noon to I think 2PM. I don't know if you get him on the leftist coast.
Reply #658 on:
October 31, 2011, 01:49:17 PM »
Crafty: "Again, I repeat my point that we of the American Creed are missing opportunities here to woo and win a goodly percentage of these people."
I have mixed feelings about it. Yes, get rid of favoritism and present these benefits of conservatism with greater emphasis and fewer diversions into trivial matters while the future of the Republic really is at stake. I have long believed that the far left and far right should be able to find many areas of agreement, especially with the so-called corporate welfare. On local issues it is stadium subsidies that having the poorest people in the community help out multi-millionaires and multi-billionaires that just can't make a go of it on their own - because they don't have to. And it happens in so many industries and so many levels of government. Perry was just saying no federal money preferences to energy. OWS'ers, that is a big step, lock it in! I'm sure Ron Paul has said that with every preference. It was mostly people from the right that opposed TARP and the bailouts and phony stimuli. Yes we could be out trumpeting areas of agreement, but in many ways we are, and they aren't listening. Tea party activists in GOP primaries were the ones knocking out their own in Washington that were operating without core principles. Both the Perry and Cain plans literally remove favoritism from the tax code which is a huge first step in ending the favors for sale industry. I have argued this before, but it is the extreme regulations that make it so that only a few elite firms can handle the compliance issues of large business transactions. It was mostly liberal justices in Kelo v. New London that supported taking people's family homes against their will and giving them to big business.
OTOH, this is a non-specific, incoherent cause with a bunch of poorly behaved people, leftists gone mad, much like what they hoped the tea party would turn out to be on the right. Their view of community and anti-capitalism is not what centrists are seeking nor the answer to our economic woes. The main belief is that wealth is rigged and their main hatred IMO is aimed at the fact of achievement and success rather than at the special treatment. Lending credibility to class warfare is not the way forward IMO. We have too few people that are driven to achieve or that even understand our economic system.
The other strategy is to sit quietly and let these people be themselves, illustrating what it means to be anti-market and leftist. These are almost all Democrat-run cities that are slow to decide how to deal with this human mess without inciting greater disturbances.
We may think him Marxist, but Obama is a corporatist worse than Ralph Nader predicted and worse than any Republican. Just look at where he goes for fund raisers and who he chooses to invite for special events. Wall street's and Hollywood's biggest contributions went to Obama and not without expecting rewards.
Meanwhile the President is rich from ghost written books that play on his public celebrity and Mrs. O. gets 8 weeks a year of exotic vacations, including beaches overseas even without the husband and flying separate government jets out of Martha's Vineyard for a 4 hour difference in schedules. She wore $600 shoes to serve at a soup line photo opp. The kids are in the best private schools as was young Barack growing up, while the policy position remains anti-school-voucher. Flying Air Force One to NYC for date night. Now they want to appeal to the 99%? This group is total elitist 1%'ers and never had to invent or build a product or risk their own capital on any of it.
Reply #659 on:
October 31, 2011, 02:18:04 PM »
So, what do you make of the Rolling Stone piece I posted?
Reply #660 on:
October 31, 2011, 04:29:28 PM »
The Rolling Stone piece is now blacked out so I can't re-read it.
Could it be posted?
Reply #661 on:
October 31, 2011, 04:43:59 PM »
"So, what do you make of the Rolling Stone piece I posted?"
CCP says it disappeared so I'll try to post the text and come back and try to answer.
Wall Street Isn't Winning – It's Cheating
POSTED: October 25, 9:26 AM ET
occupy wall street london sign
A protestor's sign expresses the sentiment of the Occupy Wall Street movement at a Occupy Wall Street protest in London.
BEN STANSALL/AFP/Getty Images
I was at an event on the Upper East Side last Friday night when I got to talking with a salesman in the media business. The subject turned to Zucotti Park and Occupy Wall Street, and he was chuckling about something he'd heard on the news.
"I hear [Occupy Wall Street] has a CFO," he said. "I think that's funny."
"Okay, I'll bite," I said. "Why is that funny?"
"Well, I heard they're trying to decide what bank to put their money in," he said, munching on hors d'oeuvres. "It's just kind of ironic."
Oh, Christ, I thought. He’s saying the protesters are hypocrites because they’re using banks. I sighed.
"Listen," I said, "where else are you going to put three hundred thousand dollars? A shopping bag?"
"Well," he said, "it's just, their protests are all about... You know..."
"Dude," I said. "These people aren't protesting money. They're not protesting banking. They're protesting corruption on Wall Street."
"Whatever," he said, shrugging.
These nutty criticisms of the protests are spreading like cancer. Earlier that same day, I'd taped a TV segment on CNN with Will Cain from the National Review, and we got into an argument on the air. Cain and I agreed about a lot of the problems on Wall Street, but when it came to the protesters, we disagreed on one big thing.
Cain said he believed that the protesters are driven by envy of the rich.
"I find the one thing [the protesters] have in common revolves around the human emotions of envy and entitlement," he said. "What you have is more than what I have, and I'm not happy with my situation."
Cain seems like a nice enough guy, but I nearly blew my stack when I heard this. When you take into consideration all the theft and fraud and market manipulation and other evil shit Wall Street bankers have been guilty of in the last ten-fifteen years, you have to have balls like church bells to trot out a propaganda line that says the protesters are just jealous of their hard-earned money.
Think about it: there have always been rich and poor people in America, so if this is about jealousy, why the protests now? The idea that masses of people suddenly discovered a deep-seated animus/envy toward the rich – after keeping it strategically hidden for decades – is crazy.
Where was all that class hatred in the Reagan years, when openly dumping on the poor became fashionable? Where was it in the last two decades, when unions disappeared and CEO pay relative to median incomes started to triple and quadruple?
The answer is, it was never there. If anything, just the opposite has been true. Americans for the most part love the rich, even the obnoxious rich. And in recent years, the harder things got, the more we've obsessed over the wealth dream. As unemployment skyrocketed, people tuned in in droves to gawk at Evrémonde-heiresses like Paris Hilton, or watch bullies like Donald Trump fire people on TV.
Moreover, the worse the economy got, the more being a millionaire or a billionaire somehow became a qualification for high office, as people flocked to voting booths to support politicians with names like Bloomberg and Rockefeller and Corzine, names that to voters symbolized success and expertise at a time when few people seemed to have answers. At last count, there were 245 millionaires in congress, including 66 in the Senate.
And we hate the rich? Come on. Success is the national religion, and almost everyone is a believer. Americans love winners. But that's just the problem. These guys on Wall Street are not winning – they're cheating. And as much as we love the self-made success story, we hate the cheater that much more.
In this country, we cheer for people who hit their own home runs – not shortcut-chasing juicers like Bonds and McGwire, Blankfein and Dimon.
That's why it's so obnoxious when people say the protesters are just sore losers who are jealous of these smart guys in suits who beat them at the game of life. This isn't disappointment at having lost. It's anger because those other guys didn't really win. And people now want the score overturned.
All weekend I was thinking about this “jealousy” question, and I just kept coming back to all the different ways the game is rigged. People aren't jealous and they don’t want privileges. They just want a level playing field, and they want Wall Street to give up its cheat codes, things like:
FREE MONEY. Ordinary people have to borrow their money at market rates. Lloyd Blankfein and Jamie Dimon get billions of dollars for free, from the Federal Reserve. They borrow at zero and lend the same money back to the government at two or three percent, a valuable public service otherwise known as "standing in the middle and taking a gigantic cut when the government decides to lend money to itself."
Or the banks borrow billions at zero and lend mortgages to us at four percent, or credit cards at twenty or twenty-five percent. This is essentially an official government license to be rich, handed out at the expense of prudent ordinary citizens, who now no longer receive much interest on their CDs or other saved income. It is virtually impossible to not make money in banking when you have unlimited access to free money, especially when the government keeps buying its own cash back from you at market rates.
Your average chimpanzee couldn't fuck up that business plan, which makes it all the more incredible that most of the too-big-to-fail banks are nonetheless still functionally insolvent, and dependent upon bailouts and phony accounting to stay above water. Where do the protesters go to sign up for their interest-free billion-dollar loans?
CREDIT AMNESTY. If you or I miss a $7 payment on a Gap card or, heaven forbid, a mortgage payment, you can forget about the great computer in the sky ever overlooking your mistake. But serial financial fuckups like Citigroup and Bank of America overextended themselves by the hundreds of billions and pumped trillions of dollars of deadly leverage into the system -- and got rewarded with things like the Temporary Liquidity Guarantee Program, an FDIC plan that allowed irresponsible banks to borrow against the government's credit rating.
This is equivalent to a trust fund teenager who trashes six consecutive off-campus apartments and gets rewarded by having Daddy co-sign his next lease. The banks needed programs like TLGP because without them, the market rightly would have started charging more to lend to these idiots. Apparently, though, we can’t trust the free market when it comes to Bank of America, Goldman, Sachs, Citigroup, etc.
In a larger sense, the TBTF banks all have the implicit guarantee of the federal government, so investors know it's relatively safe to lend to them -- which means it's now cheaper for them to borrow money than it is for, say, a responsible regional bank that didn't jack its debt-to-equity levels above 35-1 before the crash and didn't dabble in toxic mortgages. In other words, the TBTF banks got better credit for being less responsible. Click on freecreditscore.com to see if you got the same deal.
STUPIDITY INSURANCE. Defenders of the banks like to talk a lot about how we shouldn't feel sorry for people who've been foreclosed upon, because it's their own fault for borrowing more than they can pay back, buying more house than they can afford, etc. And critics of OWS have assailed protesters for complaining about things like foreclosure by claiming these folks want “something for nothing.”
This is ironic because, as one of the Rolling Stone editors put it last week, “something for nothing is Wall Street’s official policy." In fact, getting bailed out for bad investment decisions has been de rigeur on Wall Street not just since 2008, but for decades.
Time after time, when big banks screw up and make irresponsible bets that blow up in their faces, they've scored bailouts. It doesn't matter whether it was the Mexican currency bailout of 1994 (when the state bailed out speculators who gambled on the peso) or the IMF/World Bank bailout of Russia in 1998 (a bailout of speculators in the "emerging markets") or the Long-Term Capital Management Bailout of the same year (in which the rescue of investors in a harebrained hedge-fund trading scheme was deemed a matter of international urgency by the Federal Reserve), Wall Street has long grown accustomed to getting bailed out for its mistakes.
The 2008 crash, of course, birthed a whole generation of new bailout schemes. Banks placed billions in bets with AIG and should have lost their shirts when the firm went under -- AIG went under, after all, in large part because of all the huge mortgage bets the banks laid with the firm -- but instead got the state to pony up $180 billion or so to rescue the banks from their own bad decisions.
This sort of thing seems to happen every time the banks do something dumb with their money. Just recently, the French and Belgian authorities cooked up a massive bailout of the French bank Dexia, whose biggest trading partners included, surprise, surprise, Goldman, Sachs and Morgan Stanley. Here's how the New York Times explained the bailout:
To limit damage from Dexia’s collapse, the bailout fashioned by the French and Belgian governments may make these banks and other creditors whole — that is, paid in full for potentially tens of billions of euros they are owed. This would enable Dexia’s creditors and trading partners to avoid losses they might otherwise suffer...
When was the last time the government stepped into help you "avoid losses you might otherwise suffer?" But that's the reality we live in. When Joe Homeowner bought too much house, essentially betting that home prices would go up, and losing his bet when they dropped, he was an irresponsible putz who shouldn’t whine about being put on the street.
But when banks bet billions on a firm like AIG that was heavily invested in mortgages, they were making the same bet that Joe Homeowner made, leaving themselves hugely exposed to a sudden drop in home prices. But instead of being asked to "suck it in and cope" when that bet failed, the banks instead went straight to Washington for a bailout -- and got it.
UNGRADUATED TAXES. I've already gone off on this more than once, but it bears repeating. Bankers on Wall Street pay lower tax rates than most car mechanics. When Warren Buffet released his tax information, we learned that with taxable income of $39 million, he paid $6.9 million in taxes last year, a tax rate of about 17.4%.
Most of Buffet’s income, it seems, was taxed as either "carried interest" (i.e. hedge-fund income) or long-term capital gains, both of which carry 15% tax rates, half of what many of the Zucotti park protesters will pay.
As for the banks, as companies, we've all heard the stories. Goldman, Sachs in 2008 – this was the same year the bank reported $2.9 billion in profits, and paid out over $10 billion in compensation -- paid just $14 million in taxes, a 1% tax rate.
Bank of America last year paid not a single dollar in taxes -- in fact, it received a "tax credit" of $1 billion. There are a slew of troubled companies that will not be paying taxes for years, including Citigroup and CIT.
When GM bought the finance company AmeriCredit, it was able to marry its long-term losses to AmeriCredit's revenue stream, creating a tax windfall worth as much as $5 billion. So even though AmeriCredit is expected to post earnings of $8-$12 billion in the next decade or so, it likely won't pay any taxes during that time, because its revenue will be offset by GM's losses.
Thank God our government decided to pledge $50 billion of your tax dollars to a rescue of General Motors! You just paid for one of the world's biggest tax breaks.
And last but not least, there is:
GET OUT OF JAIL FREE. One thing we can still be proud of is that America hasn't yet managed to achieve the highest incarceration rate in history -- that honor still goes to the Soviets in the Stalin/Gulag era. But we do still have about 2.3 million people in jail in America.
Virtually all 2.3 million of those prisoners come from "the 99%." Here is the number of bankers who have gone to jail for crimes related to the financial crisis: 0.
Millions of people have been foreclosed upon in the last three years. In most all of those foreclosures, a regional law enforcement office -- typically a sheriff's office -- was awarded fees by the court as part of the foreclosure settlement, settlements which of course were often rubber-stamped by a judge despite mountains of perjurious robosigned evidence.
That means that every single time a bank kicked someone out of his home, a local police department got a cut. Local sheriff's offices also get cuts of almost all credit card judgments, and other bank settlements. If you're wondering how it is that so many regional police departments have the money for fancy new vehicles and SWAT teams and other accoutrements, this is one of your answers.
What this amounts to is the banks having, as allies, a massive armed police force who are always on call, ready to help them evict homeowners and safeguard the repossession of property. But just see what happens when you try to call the police to prevent an improper foreclosure. Then, suddenly, the police will not get involved. It will be a "civil matter" and they won't intervene.
The point being: if you miss a few home payments, you have a very high likelihood of colliding with a police officer in the near future. But if you defraud a pair of European banks out of a billion dollars -- that's a billion, with a b -- you will never be arrested, never see a policeman, never see the inside of a jail cell.
Your settlement will be worked out not with armed police, but with regulators in suits who used to work for your company or one like it. And you'll have, defending you, a former head of that regulator's agency. In the end, a fine will be paid to the government, but it won't come out of your pocket personally; it will be paid by your company's shareholders. And there will be no admission of criminal wrongdoing.
The Abacus case, in which Goldman helped a hedge fund guy named John Paulson beat a pair of European banks for a billion dollars, tells you everything you need to know about the difference between our two criminal justice systems. The settlement was $550 million -- just over half of the damage.
Can anyone imagine a common thief being caught by police and sentenced to pay back half of what he took? Just one low-ranking individual in that case was charged (case pending), and no individual had to reach into his pocket to help cover the fine. The settlement Goldman paid to to the government was about 1/24th of what Goldman received from the government just in the AIG bailout. And that was the toughest "punishment" the government dished out to a bank in the wake of 2008.
The point being: we have a massive police force in America that outside of lower Manhattan prosecutes crime and imprisons citizens with record-setting, factory-level efficiency, eclipsing the incarceration rates of most of history's more notorious police states and communist countries.
But the bankers on Wall Street don't live in that heavily-policed country. There are maybe 1000 SEC agents policing that sector of the economy, plus a handful of FBI agents. There are nearly that many police officers stationed around the polite crowd at Zucotti park.
These inequities are what drive the OWS protests. People don't want handouts. It's not a class uprising and they don't want civil war -- they want just the opposite. They want everyone to live in the same country, and live by the same rules. It's amazing that some people think that that's asking a lot.
Reply #662 on:
October 31, 2011, 05:06:18 PM »
***"The point being: we have a massive police force in America that outside of lower Manhattan prosecutes crime and imprisons citizens with record-setting, factory-level efficiency, eclipsing the incarceration rates of most of history's more notorious police states and communist countries.
But the bankers on Wall Street don't live in that heavily-policed country. There are maybe 1000 SEC agents policing that sector of the economy, plus a handful of FBI agents. There are nearly that many police officers stationed around the polite crowd at Zucotti park."***
Well that is one reason I suggested we pay police officers more to start with and get rid of the early retirements. If they are too old or decrepid to walk the beat then retrain them to go after the 100s of billions in white collar crime that is never touched because it is too hard or not a priority. Just a thought.
****These inequities are what drive the OWS protests. People don't want handouts. It's not a class uprising and they don't want civil war -- they want just the opposite. They want everyone to live in the same country, and live by the same rules. It's amazing that some people think that that's asking a lot.****
On this point I cannot totally agree. Many of the OWS protesters certainaly do want handouts. They think they are entitled.
Furthermore before I sound like I am cozying up to them it is obvious this is coordinated by Democrats providing cover for for Obama. If that was not the case they certainly would be protesting at his doorstep just the same as WS.
Otherwise I do agree with the RS author about the disparity of justice he notes. Republicans might capatilize on these points if they choose. Doug and Crafty both point out ways that they can do so and still be consistent with the principles of the right.
Yet so far they have not connected.
Re: Politics - Rolling Stone piece
Reply #663 on:
October 31, 2011, 07:15:07 PM »
CCP, If the author's conclusion were correct, they would be jumping to our side. Not so IMO.
I found the beginning to be unpersuasive, contains falsehoods, and a view different than mine. He makes a good point later about two justice systems. For sure, white collar crime is harder to track and no one seems to be trying.
My own experience in the housing debacle: a couple of houses next door to rental houses of mine sold for far more than everyone knew they were worth at the peak and later I bought both of those houses for 1/8th of those prices (pre-tornado). One in particular was an obvious fraud. They never fixed up the house before or after an over-priced sale and no one moved in after closing. Total fraud in my estimation. Nobody wanted that house that badly, it was play money to somebody. Seemed obvious to me was that if you tracked the appraiser, the originator, the closer, the realtor and the pigeon or whatever you call they guy that takes title just to default, you would find a prosecutable pattern. Instead no one cared and no one investigated. This happened IMO because of government pressure on lenders to lend in the wrong areas for the wrong reasons. To crash from there isn't that surprising. Every home but mine on that block went into foreclosure.
On Wall Street though, people that I know at that level play VERY carefully by the rules. The gripe is or should be with the rules, and that comes out of Washington, not Wall Street.
Back to the Rolling Stone story, quoting: "Dude," I said. "These people aren't protesting money. They're not protesting banking. They're protesting corruption on Wall Street."
I don't think the majority of 'protesters' are that precise, especially in Occupy Madison, Occupy Richmond and Occupy Denver, etc.
[Cain said he believed that the protesters are driven by envy of the rich.] "Cain seems like a nice enough guy, but I nearly blew my stack when I heard this. When you take into consideration all the theft and fraud and market manipulation and other evil shit Wall Street bankers have been guilty of in the last ten-fifteen years, you have to have balls like church bells to trot out a propaganda line that says the protesters are just jealous of their hard-earned money."
From what I have heard, Cain has it right - they are largely driven by envy of the rich. Saying guilty of evil shit is cool but does not establish guilt beyond reasonable doubt. It is sold as evil in our politics just to have success. Unless you are a supply sider, you mostly believe they took a share of your slice.
"there have always been rich and poor people in America, so if this is about jealousy, why the protests now?" ... "Where was all that class hatred in the Reagan years, when openly dumping on the poor became fashionable?"
What an unserious observation. The anger was there in the 1980's, and how did we dump on the poor? Pure BS. Domestic spending roughly doubled and Dems held the House the entire decade.
"At last count, there were 245 millionaires in congress, including 66 in the Senate."
He should have counted
illionaires. A million in assets or net worth is not filthy rich - your kids still might qualify for free school lunch in America.
"That's why it's so obnoxious when people say the protesters are just sore losers who are jealous of these smart guys in suits who beat them at the game of life."
The non-achievers in America aren't losing they are NOT PARTICIPATING in our economic system. They aren't the CEO of your second place competitor or running a small family owned investment banking house. Half the people are not contributing. But let's say you are a skilled tradesman instead of a banker and you married to a teacher, secretary or nurse. If you aren't rich and comfortable on that combined income, it is because of the combined tax burden, not because you were cheated by Wall Street bankers. Do the math. It is a ridiculous premise.
"They just want a level playing field, and they want Wall Street to give up its cheat codes"
No. Our side wants the level playing field. Take away the excess regulation that keeps competition away from entrenched players. Take the preferences out of the tax code, and gut the spending down to real safety net and legitimate government functions. Did you see Cain 9-9-9 sign or Perry 20-20 at the OWS rallies? I haven't.
He says: [Bankers have] "things like: FREE MONEY."
Yes banks pay close to zero. So do borrowers. I pay 2.75%. Meanwhile banks make zero off of savings which used to be the main source of funds for lending because, as he points out, they can get money cheaper at the Fed. Is that the bank's fault or Fed policy which we know comes out of congress - the people's representatives. If banks are making such outrageous money right now, why are they broke? The policy of micro-managing commercial banks comes out of federal deposit insurance. Does he favor that or oppose it? He doesn't say.
"Your average chimpanzee couldn't fuck up that business plan, which makes it all the more incredible that most of the too-big-to-fail banks are nonetheless still functionally insolvent, and dependent upon bailouts and phony accounting to stay above water."
Inflammatory BS statement. The bank business plan is f*cked up, as I said because they are micro managed by government, insured by government and considered too big to fail.
"Stupidity Insurance" ... "When was the last time the government stepped into help you "avoid losses you might otherwise suffer?"
Again he fails to acknowledge that they get propped up because if they fail further we are on the hook for the losses. That is the law of the land out of Washington, not from the management of the bank. We stepped in as taxpayers and Bush, McCain, Paulsen, Obama, Volcker, Bernancke and ever other reputable person favored it because they believed the cost to the taxpayer and to the economy would be greater if they didn't. The alternative system is a free market, and neither side is calling for that, nor does he. Just bitching and moaning.
"UNGRADUATED TAXES. I've already gone off on this more than once, but it bears repeating. Bankers on Wall Street pay lower tax rates than most car mechanics."
Again, BS, right out of Buffet and Obama. If that really were true, why all the uproar of the so-called populists against a flat tax and all the studies that that would even tax rates help the rich not the poor. Which is it?? Capital gains that come to bank execs already were taxed (forget to mention that?) and social security insurance isn't a supposed to be tax, it is insurance against growing old beyond your money and the required contribution is capped so the benefits are capped. I would be the first to end that system. Use your own money; choose your own policy.
"Bank of America last year paid not a single dollar in taxes"
Oh really? Not a single dime, such a bone headed statement! For one thing I will estimate that they pay a billion in property tax which happens to be a federal tax deduction. By my rough estimate, they pay another $100 million just in the employer contribution of their 300,000 employees social security. They pay the rest of the employees' employment tax that never gets to the worker. Who does he think pays those taxes. They pay sales tax on nearly every product they buy in 50 states unless they are reselling those products in some retail business. So he must mean federal corporate income tax. Okay, then say it and call for reform. All the Republicans are calling to fix it and all the Occupiers are ignoring it, as far as I can see. One problem with the income tax is that these banks are using up all their revenues on ... expenses, including regulation compliance and things mentioned above like employment taxes and property taxes.
In conclusion he writes: "These inequities are what drive the OWS protests. People don't want handouts. It's not a class uprising and they don't want civil war -- they want just the opposite. They want everyone to live in the same country, and live by the same rules. It's amazing that some people think that that's asking a lot."
No, if that's what they want, we already have a movement - that is what the tea party is calling for. Public urination, public masturbation, public drug use and attracting the homeless for hire doesn't get you there IMO.
I'm not an expert on OWS. I assumed from the beginning it was a continuation of the anarchists from Seattle along with the ACORN type liberals from our city that tried to get me to vote again and the groups in Milwaukee who gave free cigarettes to people to get on the vote bus. My view was summed up yesterday in the Unified Theory post. Find something wrong and then call for another big government program to solve it. I would love to find out I am wrong.
Reply #664 on:
October 31, 2011, 07:19:37 PM »
I'm missing out the connections from what the article states and the rapes, riots and public sh*tting seen at the various OWS events.
Reply #665 on:
October 31, 2011, 08:24:20 PM »
You are right, you are
There ARE plenty of people who make the points that the article does. You simply focus on the admittedly numerous others.
Last Edit: November 01, 2011, 10:14:48 AM by Crafty_Dog
Reply #666 on:
October 31, 2011, 09:54:15 PM »
Funny how one writer from Rolling Stoned magazine can articulate an idea otherwise lost in translation from the mass of zombies at OWS protests.
Reply #667 on:
November 01, 2011, 05:15:03 AM »
And, yet, it is political speech and therefore due higher protection than it has been given:
Reply #668 on:
November 01, 2011, 06:57:20 AM »
And, yet, it is
political speech and therefore due higher protection than it has been given:
Some animals are more equal than others.....
More equal than others......
Reply #669 on:
November 01, 2011, 07:02:10 AM »
Richmond, Va. — The Richmond tea party is demanding a refund of about $10,000 from the city, claiming it unfairly charged them for rallies while allowing the Occupy protesters to use the same space for several weeks for free.
The political organization is sending the city an invoice for the charges incurred for three rallies held in Kanawha Plaza over the past three years. The Occupy protesters have been camped in the plaza since Oct. 15.
Richmond Tea Party spokeswoman Colleen Owens says it's not fair that her group had to pay fees for permits, portable toilets, police presence and emergency personnel. The group also had to purchase a $1 million insurance policy.
Tea party groups across the nation have raised similar concerns since the protests spread from New York earlier this month.
Reply #670 on:
November 01, 2011, 07:09:55 AM »
Quote from: G M on November 01, 2011, 06:57:20 AM
And, yet, it is
political speech and therefore due higher protection than it has been given:
Some animals are more equal than others.....
I hope you realize that I do not make this distinction.
Your article on the cost to the Tea Party is very interesting. Thanks.
Reply #671 on:
November 01, 2011, 07:14:58 AM »
"I hope you realize that I do not make this distinction."
Just pointing out that many judges and elected officials sure seem to. Did CNN include this in their coverage of the OWS protests? If not, why not?
Reply #672 on:
November 01, 2011, 09:09:30 AM »
Quote from: G M on November 01, 2011, 07:14:58 AM
"I hope you realize that I do not make this distinction."
Just pointing out that many judges and elected officials sure seem to. Did CNN include this in their coverage of the OWS protests? If not, why not?
I know what you were doing. The thanks was sincere.
Reply #673 on:
November 01, 2011, 09:47:41 AM »
Doug and GM,
Thanks for your thoughts. I agree with both of you on most issues.
Yet I still see, and perhaps Crafty would agree you both seem to argue "around" or ignore (the term Crafty used) some truly legitimate points made in the RS article.
I am not sophisticated enough to know what the best (if any exists) solution is but clearly there are problems with both regulating and unregulating the banks and the fact that the regulators AND the politlicians and the bankers are al like a country club of people merry go rounding in a whilrpool (or better - cesspool) of gigantic money.
With due respect to both GM and Doug, I love both of you as a frequent poster on the board your posts somehow seem to display the lack of ability for Republicans to make real inroads with independents.
Maybe it is mostly the fascist nature of the WS and the government that IS the main problem - it is very complex - probably more than my average brain can work through yet every time I try to think through this this aspect of it keeps coiming in my stepwise logic as a core problem. I don't see how we can not have some regulation. Lest WS will drive the economy into a ditch. I cannot see how we can thrive with too much regulation either though. And then the problems that always complicate the situation is that the regulators fail to do their jobs in enforcement because of many reasons, too hard, not enough manpower or enforcement legislative power, bribes, embezzelment, nepotism (the Fed people going into the private sector and vice a versa), money to politicians. Too much regulation which is counterproductive ( I certailly live this everyday in the medical field). I can go on.
Yet with all due respect (sincerely) I think GM and Doug somehow make the point by not responding or not seeing a legitimate beef on this.
OK I am off my soapbox - go ahead and tear me apart - if you want.
Reply #674 on:
November 01, 2011, 10:19:58 AM »
May I suggest reframing from the rather crude metric of "how much regulation" to one that analyzes the basis for the regulation?
For example, regulation that is based upon prevention of fraud (e.g. the box should have in it what it says it has in it in the amount claimed) and the proper allocation of the costs of externalities (costs should be born by the buyer and seller to the transaction-- thus pollution is a proper reason for regulation) is one thing.
Regulation that seeks to redistribute wealth or give bureaucrats nanny powers are another thing.
Reply #675 on:
November 01, 2011, 10:36:45 AM »
Reply #676 on:
November 01, 2011, 10:50:58 AM »
I'm still torn on the bailouts of 2008. My core belief is that there is no such thing as "Too big to fail", but credible people made convincing arguments that it was crucial to do so to avoid a global economic meltdown. Having said that, I'm not sure we didn't just delay that day to a little further down the road.
Are the protesters advocating for anything but the same things marxists of various stripes have been since those toxic ideas were first formulated? I don't see the Union bailouts getting protested, or Solyndra or the other lefty boondoggles looming. Why not?
Reply #677 on:
November 01, 2011, 11:17:48 AM »
CCP, Likewise, I respect your views very much. I read your posts very carefully for your insights especially because we don't come at these things from the exact same point of view. I know I am hardened in some of my views but I am always open to the political side of how to draw more people into what I call a conservative course of action, smaller government, freer enterprises and restored personal liberties.
I did acknowledge one valid point in the piece - the two systems of justice, but I don't see where the author in Rolling Stone showed that crimes were committed. He did give one example but it was after he had lost all credibility with me, so I would have to study it further to know. It was your idea CCP that I like very much that law enforcement personnel too old (like me) to walk the beat should be trained in white collar areas instead of just given pay and pensions for youthful retirements if that is what is happening now. If you can learn homicide and arson detective work, I can train you on bank accounting. No doubt that isn't workable because of public union contracts, but the idea is correct, and (credit to Crafty) resources committed to finding and prosecuting of fraud and therefore deterring it is a worthwhile public purpose.
On the question of banking, it is certainly the most egregious of the so-called public-private relationships that we tend to hate in in every other industry, auto manufacturing, health care etc. But we wanted it that way, didn't we? What I don't get is that if the bankers are doing exactly what they are allowed to do by government, why is the anger aimed at this pretend private sector instead of at the controlling government? If this is a Republican problem, why was it not fixed during the 2 years that leftists had all the votes? If this is anger that goes back to the panic bailouts of fall 2008, why did it start in fall 2011?
The special treatment of the rich who make far more than their 1% of political contributions is the fault of the politicians who give special treatment and the voters who tolerate it. Among the very worst offenders were Dodd and Frank, so we made them the authors of the latest reform. Where was OWS while reform was being written and why the delay to come out after? How many of these street occupiers wrote their own congressman before finding out so many shared their view. Mark me down as skeptical. The only group I know that recently stood up and took out their own incumbent representatives for abandoning principles is the tea party. They did it with some success and they did it willing to lose general elections over it.
I will listen to any serious idea to privatize banks and I will listen to any serious idea to nationalize banks - they are already under complete federal control except for the choices of coffee in the lobby.
What I don't like economically and politically is the ad hominem attacks on the successful. I say that from the lowest quintile of income; I pay roughly 100% of take home income in property taxes state and local before the federal government can take a swipe at it. The 99% argument is not aimed only at rigged industries or all of them would be conservative tea party members IMO.
I know that it is only the people with money who can invest and that employment will never come back without investment, and we need more people with money in this country to invest and grow jobs. We need more serious startups and we need existing companies that want to be here to be economically welcome to stay here. I know that businesses and manufacturing left this country not because of high wages, but because of high costs and there is a difference. I know a few ways we could out from under this but I don't know how to persuade other people to get on board. I am all ears.
The CNN story says OWS is about 'corporate greed'. While gas prices were spiking under Bush and Katrina, a good friend said to me that the prices jumped up because of greed and something to the effect that it is because the oil companies have their buddies in the White House. Trying so hard not to use the words 'economic illiteracy' I said back to him that the only thing that remained constant during the whole price volatility thing was corporate greed. These companies have been maximizing profits since they first struck oil. What changes is supply and demand. Supply was affected then by a hurricane and supply is always affected by regulations. Some regulations are worthy (see Crafty's post) but all of them drive up prices.
The collapse of 2008 spilling over into 2011 was not a surge in banker or corporate greed. That is ridiculous. Bankers have been maximizing their profits since before the Federal Reserve Act of 1913.
What happened in the current crash is that we created an extreme bubble in a market that affects all of us with runaway government policies and it was finally burst when the policy arrow shifted sharply to the anti-growth direction and investors saw with certainty that asset price collapses were coming. At this time now when we so desperately need economic growth to get jobs, income and our revenues up, our policies on every level are still anti-growth.
Meanwhile, greed has remained constant.
Politics - Thomas Sowell: Mob Rule?
Reply #678 on:
November 02, 2011, 09:44:45 AM »
"...you can become the greediest person on earth and that will not increase your pay in the slightest. It is what other people pay you that increases your income."
I could save myself a lot of time at the keyboard if I would just let Thomas Sowell express my view for me.
November 1, 2011
Democracy Versus Mob Rule
By Thomas Sowell
In various cities across the country, mobs of mostly young, mostly incoherent, often noisy and sometimes violent demonstrators are making themselves a major nuisance.
Meanwhile, many in the media are practically gushing over these "protesters," and giving them the free publicity they crave for themselves and their cause -- whatever that is, beyond venting their emotions on television.
Members of the mobs apparently believe that other people, who are working while they are out trashing the streets, should be forced to subsidize their college education -- and apparently the President of the United States thinks so too.
But if these loud mouths' inability to put together a coherent line of thought is any indication of their education, the taxpayers should demand their money back for having that money wasted on them for years in the public schools.
Sloppy words and sloppy thinking often go together, both in the mobs and in the media that are covering them. It is common, for example, to hear in the media how some "protesters" were arrested. But anyone who reads this column regularly knows that I protest against all sorts of things -- and don't get arrested.
The difference is that I don't block traffic, join mobs sleeping overnight in parks or urinate in the street. If the media cannot distinguish between protesting and disturbing the peace, then their education may also have wasted a lot of taxpayers' money.
Among the favorite sloppy words used by the shrill mobs in the streets is "Wall Street greed." But even if you think people in Wall Street, or anywhere else, are making more money than they deserve, "greed" is no explanation whatever.
"Greed" says how much you want. But you can become the greediest person on earth and that will not increase your pay in the slightest. It is what other people pay you that increases your income.
If the government has been sending too much of the taxpayers' money to people in Wall Street -- or anywhere else -- then the irresponsibility or corruption of politicians is the problem. "Occupy Wall Street" hooligans should be occupying Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington.
Maybe some of the bankers or financiers should have turned down the millions and billions that politicians were offering them. But sainthood is no more common in Wall Street than on Pennsylvania Avenue -- or in the media or academia, for that matter.
Actually, some banks did try to refuse the government bailout money, to avoid the interference with their business that they knew would come with it. But the feds insisted -- and federal regulators' power to create big financial problems for banks made it hard to say no. The feds made them an offer they couldn't refuse.
People who cannot distinguish between democracy and mob rule may fall for the idea that the hooligans in the street represent the 99 percent who are protesting about the "greed" of the one percent. But these hooligans are less than one percent and they are grossly violating the rights of vastly larger numbers of people who have to put up with their trashing of the streets by day and their noise that keeps working people awake at night.
As for the "top one percent" in income that attract so much attention, angst and denunciation, there is always going to be a top one percent, unless everybody has the same income. That top one percent has no more monopoly on sainthood or villainy than people in any other bracket.
Moreover, that top one percent does not consist of the "millionaires and billionaires" that Barack Obama talks about. You don't even have to make half a million dollars to be in the top one percent.
Moreover, this is not an enduring class of people. Nor are people in other income brackets. Most of the people in the top one percent at any given time are there for only one year. Anyone who sells an average home in San Francisco can get into the top one percent in income -- for that year. Other one-time spikes in income account for most of the people in that top one percent.
But such plain facts carry little weight amid the heady rhetoric and mindless emotions of the mob and the media.
Last Edit: November 02, 2011, 09:49:21 AM by DougMacG
Colbert takes over OWS
Reply #679 on:
November 02, 2011, 01:00:29 PM »
10 political scandals that ended in election
Reply #680 on:
November 02, 2011, 10:00:22 PM »
Reply #681 on:
November 04, 2011, 01:29:06 PM »
"Newspapers ... serve as chimnies to carry off noxious vapors and smoke." --Thomas Jefferson
Government & Politics
Leftmedia Welcomes Cain to Prime Time
Leftmedia outfit Politico dropped a bomb on Herman Cain's presidential campaign Sunday night with a story about two women accusing him of sexual harassment in the 1990s. Politico's story was anonymously sourced, though they claimed to have spoken to both women, and reporters later hedged when pressed on the specifics of their information. Regardless, in a culture that gets so much of its news in 140-character Twitter soundbites, the damage was done.
"During Herman Cain's tenure as the head of the National Restaurant Association in the 1990s, at least two female employees complained to colleagues and senior association officials about inappropriate behavior by Cain, ultimately leaving their jobs at the trade group," Politico reported. "The women complained of sexually suggestive behavior by Cain that made them angry and uncomfortable, the sources said, and they signed agreements with the restaurant group that gave them financial payouts to leave the association. The agreements also included language that bars the women from talking about their departures." Fifteen years later, that has come in handy.
Cain's initial response was not a good one. Politico claimed that it had contacted his campaign before publishing the story, and yet he seemed woefully unprepared to offer a counterpoint. When first asked directly if he had ever been accused of sexual harassment, he threw the question right back at the reporter. He denied any wrongdoing and said he didn't even remember a settlement, but later said that he did remember though it was a small one (there were two, of $35,000 and $45,000, respectively) and it didn't go through him. The fact that the settlements were small and it was the women, not Cain, who left the NRA lends credence to Cain's innocence (he certainly deserves that presumption), but it would help if he got his story straight.
As for the details, he described one incident, saying, "She was in my office one day, and I made a gesture saying -- and I was standing close to her -- and I made a gesture saying you are the same height as my wife. And I brought my hand up to my chin saying, 'My wife comes up to my chin.'"
It wasn't long before the blame game started. Cain's campaign accused Curt Anderson, a former aide who now works for Rick Perry, of being the source of the story. To add confusion, the campaign later retracted that accusation before Cain himself reiterated it. The Perry camp denied any involvement, instead blaming the Romney campaign, thus completing the circular firing squad.
If this benefits anyone, it could be Newt Gingrich, who may well be the only candidate who understands Ronald Reagan's 11th Commandment. We think he could be the next candidate to spike in the polls. Yet Cain's poll numbers are higher now than they were last week, particularly in the all-important early states of Iowa and South Carolina, and his fundraising is up as well. Perhaps that's indicative of conservatives rallying around one of their own who's under assault by the media juggernaut.
As for the Republican candidates, they need to cut the crap, quit attacking each other, and focus on beating Barack Obama in the general election. Besides, "the real story here is the media -- and Politico in particular," as National Review's Andrew McCarthy writes. "Politico's initial story was woven out of insufficient evidence, anonymous sources, and vague allegations that -- even if you construed every possible inference against Cain -- would amount to an impropriety that outfits like Politico would find too trivial to cover like this if the culprit were a left-leaning Democrat."
As if on cue, Bloomberg columnist Jonathan Alter wrote a column last Friday titled, The Obama Miracle, a White House Free of Scandal. No, Mr. Alter. Just because the media don't report Obama's scandals doesn't mean there aren't any, or that they aren't far worse than a hand gesture that made a woman uncomfortable.
What do you think of the allegations against Cain?
"If you are running for president of the United States and have a sexual-harassment complaint or two in your background -- no matter how specious -- what possible excuse can you have for not knowing how those complaints were resolved, well before you announce that you are running for president? Especially if the resolution reflected well on you? How can you possibly justify your not being in command of basic facts about your own career -- the career that is the centerpiece of your campaign?" --National Review's Kevin Williamson
We Can't Wait: Suddenly, a Slew of Co-sponsors!
House Democrats rallied around Obama's "jobs" bill this week, with 90 members signing on as co-sponsors. The bill sat with only one sponsor, Rep. John Larson (D-CT), for three weeks after he introduced it in September. The sudden surge of support came at the direction of the House Democrat leadership, attempting to combat Republican criticism of the bill. The plan calls for tax hikes and promises to public unions, but it will only end up adding to the deficit with no net gain in jobs. If an $862 billion stimulus couldn't trim unemployment, a $447 billion stimulus won't do any better. In truth, this bill proposes nothing more than a pre-election payoff to Obama's Democrat constituencies.
Other Democrats seem to understand this. The Blue Dog Coalition has kept its distance, as have other Democrats facing tough races next year. The recent rush of support by other Democrats is most likely the result of good old-fashioned arm-twisting by Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (such as threats to withhold campaign funds). There can't be many other believable explanations for 90 co-sponsors suddenly signing onto the bill after it languished without support for so long.
The Democrat Senate failed again Thursday on two separate votes to pass anything related to Obama's bill, but the Republican House has passed some 17 bills related to job creation. Here are some of them: March 31 they passed H.R. 872, The Reducing Regulatory Burdens Act, joined by 57 Democrats; May 5 they passed H.R. 1230, the Restating American Offshore Leasing Now Act, with 33 Democrats; May 11 they passed H.R. 1229, the Putting the Gulf of Mexico Back to Work Act, supported by 28 Democrats; May 12 they passed H.R. 1231, the Reversing President Obama's Offshore Moratorium Act, along with 21 Democrats; June 22 they passed H.R. 2021, The Jobs and Energy Permitting Act, and 23 Democrats voted for it; July 26 they passed H.R. 1938, The North American Made Energy Security Act, with 47 Democrat votes; October 6 they passed H.R. 2681, The Cement Sector Regulatory Relief Act, joined by 25 Democrats; October 13 they passed H.R. 2250, The EPA Regulatory Relief Act, H.R. 2250, with 41 Democrats; and finally, October 14 they passed H.R. 2273, The Coal Residuals Reuse and Management Act, H.R. 2273, along with 37 Democrats. In other words, Senate Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) is full of it when he blames Republicans.
This Week's 'Alpha Jackass' Award
"God wants to see us help ourselves by putting people back to work." --Barack Obama
Note: This is not satire from The Onion. Apparently, Barry has actually conferred with the Almighty and determined that He approves of the so-called jobs bill. And here we thought that Leftists were the great defenders of that mythical "Wall of Separation."
Regarding Obama's assertion, White House spokesman Jay Carney later claimed, "Well, I believe the phrase from the Bible is, 'The Lord helps those who help themselves.'"
Hilariously, an official notation at the bottom of the White House's own transcript notes: "This common phrase does not appear in the Bible." Not only did Carney flub the defense, he ended up making an argument for the opposition. In other words, the supposed biblical principle isn't, "God helps those who get help from government first." Way to go, Jay.
Sound off on Obama's claim
The BIG Lie
"I'll tell you this: If President Obama and the House congressional Democrats had not acted [with the 2009 stimulus], we would be at 15 percent unemployment." --House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), repeating her unprovable claim
Meanwhile, the economy added 80,000 jobs in October and headline unemployment fell from 9.1 percent to 9.0 percent. That, of course, doesn't take into account those who have simply quit looking for work, meaning the real unemployment rate may be twice the reported number -- and that's with the stimulus.
New & Notable Legislation
The minibus spending bill the Senate passed this week to fund agriculture, the FDA, and other agencies is apparently not all it's cracked up to be, according to Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL), the ranking member of the Budget Committee. Democrats claim that the bill cuts $1 billion compared to Fiscal 2011, which is a pitiful amount on its own, but Sessions argues that it will actually increase spending by $9 billion thanks to an accounting gimmick that doesn't factor in mandatory appropriations. No wonder the government has budget problems.
Several Senate Democrats proposed a constitutional amendment to give Congress power to regulate political campaign spending, specifically to prevent corporate donations. In a public statement announcing the proposal, Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island credited the Occupy Wall Street movement with the background research: "The extent to which money and corporations have taken over the process is something that is reflected across our cities in the Occupy movement." So not only do Democrats propose to regulate how campaigns are funded, but they took courage from a bunch of 20-something street-dwelling socialist malcontents.
News From the Swamp: Social Security's Future
The inevitable Social Security default is coming at a quickening pace, according to analysts who have been studying the program. Even The Washington Post took notice. In 2010, America's favorite government program went cash negative, meaning that it paid out more in benefits than it took in through payroll taxes. This unfortunate milestone came years earlier than originally anticipated because of the hit that government revenues took due to the recession and the ensuing payroll tax cut gimmick of the first "stimulus." If Obama's plan to extend that cut becomes reality, Social Security will face a $267 billion shortfall next year.
Politicians on both left and right for years have feared taking on the coming Social Security funding crisis. Yet the figures don't lie. The number of people receiving Social Security checks will nearly double by 2035, at which point there will be only two workers paying into the program for every retiree drawing benefits. The steady rise in life expectancy bodes even more trouble, since people will draw from the system for increasingly longer periods of time. Yet leftists, employing their powerful mouthpiece, the AARP, to frighten seniors, reject the idea of raising the retirement age to save the program. A dangerous combination of arrogance and ignorance is standing in the way of reforming Social Security to reflect new demographic and economic realities. Its survival is not guaranteed just because it's popular; it also has to function.
From the Left: Government Gifts
The State Department recently spent $70,000 on some unusual Christmas gifts for U.S. embassies to hand out: Copies of Barack Obama's three books, "Dreams from My Father," "The Audacity of Hope" and his children's book, "Of Thee I Sing." The White House claims it had no knowledge of the State Department's purchase, which puts money directly into Obama's pocket. Granted, $70,000 isn't much money in federal budget terms, and Obama's royalties represent but a fraction of the total, but such activities do not reflect the upright principles and ethics that Obama was supposed to bring to Washington.
OWS obviously racist
Reply #682 on:
November 04, 2011, 04:28:12 PM »
‘RACISM!’ – #Occupy Activists Clash After Internal Survey Reveals #OccupyWallStreet 81.2% White, 1.6% Black
by Joel B. Pollak
Big Government has learned that a major internal fight has erupted among Occupy Wall Street organizers after activists began circulating an infographic published by FastCompany, the “progressive business” magazine.
The infographic in question depicts the results of an internal online survey conducted by Occupy Wall Street supporters at occupywallst.org.
The data, compiled by advertising analyst Harrison Schultz and Ford Foundation sociologist Dr. Héctor R. Cordero-Guzmán, were intended to promote the idea, as Dr. Cordero-Guzmán put it, that “the 99% movement comes from and looks like the 99%.”
Some activists were outraged, however, that the survey results and the infographic show Occupy Wall Street to be 81.2 percent white, and only 1.6 percent black.
By comparison, the U.S. population is 77.1 percent white and 12.9 percent black, according to the U.S. Census Bureau–making the Occupy Wall Street movement disproportionately white.
The infographic, depicted below, caused instant controversy when it was shared among Occupy Wall Street organizers. One activist reacted: “81% white protestors–and you actually made a flyer proudly advertising this lie, in a multicultural city like NYC? You must be crazy and blind.”
She later accused Schultz of “insidious racism” and “white supremacy,” and demanded “serious mediation” from organizers on the Safer Spaces working group, the internal security apparatus of Occupy Wall Street.
The argument then escalated, according to Big Government sources, with threats of intervention from the “people of color working group” and the sarcastic suggestion that the analysts “join the Tea Party.”
Other activists defended the survey and confronted the original complainant, saying that she was “on thin ground” because “as an Arab, you’re also considered white in the country, by census returns.”
Schultz himself returned the accusation of racism: “I’d rather not spend what little time I have to enjoy sitting on my ass to deal with your silly bullsh**, which happens to be far more racist than any information I’ve produced for OWS.”
For his trouble, he was encouraged by another organizer to attend “anti-oppression workshops.”
The conflict apparently remains unresolved.
Re: Politics - OWS
Reply #683 on:
November 04, 2011, 06:57:48 PM »
GM, I have seen that 2% of OWSers consider themselves Republican. Crafty and others consider this movement to be an opportunity for better messaging from our side. I hope to learn how. It seems to me that Republican candidates are shouting from the roof tops to end ALL tax code preferences to all special interests and want to make similar strides on the spending side. I will not however share any part of the views I hear expressed that oppose expanding economic liberty and oppose the creation and accumulation of wealth.
Big tent conservative strategy: You describe your positions and policies that favor a better opportunity society for ALL Americans featuring equal protection under the law, lower tax rates, streamlined and focused regulations, and limited federal government based on constitutional principles - then ask all Americans to come join us. Cain and Perry and others are doing that, while the other side features piecemeal politics carefully constructed with special programs and policies designed to hold in each of their targeted constituent groups.
Re: Politics - OWS
Reply #684 on:
November 04, 2011, 07:08:53 PM »
I think the list of OWS supporters is very telling:
Reply #685 on:
November 04, 2011, 07:38:19 PM »
The list from GM's link. It would seem to me that this is the other team. Some groups I'm not seeing represented: tea party, Club for Growth, Center for the American Experiment, Cato, Heritage, Reagan Library...
Communist Party USA
Sources: Communist Party USA, OWS speech, The Daily Caller
American Nazi Party
Sources: Media Matters, American Nazi Party, White Honor, Sunshine State News
Ayatollah Khamenei, Supreme Leader of Iran
Sources: The Guardian, Tehran Times, CBS News
Sources: ABC News, CBS News, ForexTV, NBC New York
The government of North Korea
Sources: Korean Central News Agency (North Korean state-controlled news outlet), The Marxist-Leninist, Wall Street Journal, Times of India
Louis Farrakhan, Nation of Islam
Sources: video statement (starting at 8:28), Black in America, Weasel Zippers, Philadelphia Weekly
Revolutionary Communist Party
Sources: Revolutionary Communist Party, Revolution newspaper, in-person appearance
Sources: Talking Points Memo, video statement, davidduke.com
Sources: Talking Points Memo, video statement, Mother Jones
Sources: Mother Jones, Reuters, Examiner.com
Revolutionary Guards of Iran
Sources: Associated Press, FARS News Agency, UPI
Black Panthers (original)
Sources: in-person appearance, Occupy Oakland, Oakland Tribune
Socialist Party USA
Sources: Socialist Party USA, IndyMedia, The Daily Caller
US Border Guard
Sources: White Reference,
, Gateway Pundit, Just Another Day blog
Industrial Workers of the World
Sources: IWW web site, iww.org, in-person appearances
Sources: in-person appearance, Washington Post, CAIR, CAIR New York
Sources: Talking Points Memo, video statement, ABC News, The Weekly Standard
Communist Party of China
Sources: People’s Daily (Communist Party organ), Reuters, chinataiwan.org, The Telegraph
Sources: almoqawama.org, almoqawama.org (2), almoqawama.org (3), wikipedia
Sources: 911truth.org (1), 911truth.org (2), 911truth.org (3)
International Bolshevik Tendency
Sources: bolshevik.org, Wire Magazine
Sources: Adbusters, The Guardian, video statement
International Socialist Organization
Sources: Socialist Worker, socialistworker.org, in-person appearance
PressTV (Iranian government outlet)
Sources: PressTV, wikipedia
Marxist Student Union
Sources: Marxist Student Union, Big Government, marxiststudentunion.blogspot.com
Freedom Road Socialist Organization
Sources: FightBack News, fightbacknews.org
Sources: ANSWER press release, ANSWER web site, Xinhua
Party for Socialism and Liberation
Sources: Liberation News (1), pslweb.org, The Daily Free Press, Liberation News (2)
Reply #686 on:
November 04, 2011, 07:51:37 PM »
Apparently at this point OWS has become completely dominated by the organized elements of the hard left, especially in certain locations.
My original point was that the ORIGINAL crowd contained many people who were fertile ground for us. At this point, that would seem to be quite a bit less so. Nonetheless, IMHO MANY of those watching (especially the coverage by the Pravdas) share the Tea Party sentiment about liberal fascism/crony capitalism. I think it important that we continue to make clear that they share OUR sentiment and to offer them OUR solutions.
If we offer only snide comments, we create unnecessary resistance and unnecessarily inflame those whose operant modality is emotion.
OWS: 'offer them OUR solutions', (What would Reagan say?)
Reply #687 on:
November 04, 2011, 09:40:10 PM »
Crafty, Thank you. I was not criticizing but trying to draw your view out further. Except for walking through the scene of the alleged public masturbation problem with daughter on a college visit in Madison - we just saw bums and signs - I really haven't known anything firsthand at all about this, just stuck with my suspicions of who comes to these.
"I think it important that we continue to make clear that they share OUR sentiment and to offer them OUR solutions."
Agree and the challenge of articulating 'our view' more clearly is daunting. These candidates, even Huntsman and Pawlenty, have had revolutionary economic plans that are being received by everyone beyond the hard core base with a collective yawn. Perry, whose plan I have made clear that I like, was told by a mainstream interviewer that the rich with pay less in taxes (in static analysis) if the rate is lower and he said 'I don't care about that'... and went on to try to attempt a larger point that I'm sure didn't come through. I know what he meant or should have said but it is very hard to explain with clarity in quick bites and quick answers. The very few with the magic of being able to do that aren't running.
Rush L. has a way with words but admitted he can't let himself be judged by the minds he changes, if any. You work to present, express, explain to the best of your ability but you don't control the receiving end of the message. People have to allow themselves to be persuaded.
It is quite hard if not impossible to go up to a viewpoint that hates wealth and capitalism and have the simplest point of incentive-based economics make a landing.
Your point that the rest of the electorate is watching with interest is excellent. Ronald Reagan wasn't given much credit for being right until well into his Presidency and many still don't get it, yet he was espousing his views with clarity at least back to 1964 to those who would listen. Enjoy THIS:
Joe Biden conspicuously silent on Occupier sex-crime spree
Reply #688 on:
November 05, 2011, 03:47:35 PM »
November 4, 2011
Joe Biden conspicuously silent on Occupier sex-crime spree
Remember when all Joe Biden could talk about was rape? He kept saying the Republicans aren’t backing the American Jobs Act because they want everybody to get raped? Then he clammed up about it for some reason. But we’ll always have the memories. Good times.
As the media tries to feed the embers of a sex scandal despite a distinct lack of A) sex or B) scandal, let’s take a look at our good friends in the Occupy movement who are giving ol’ Sheriff Joe something to cry about. In less than two months, they’ve already racked up an impressive list of rapes, sexual assaults, and other assorted sex crimes across the country.
Denver Post, 10/15/11:
An Occupy Denver demonstrator was arrested late Saturday for “sexual misconduct” after allegedly groping a male television photographer.
Corey Donahue, a 28-year-old medical marijuana activist, was arrested at 10:20 p.m. in Civic Center park, according to three photographers who witnessed the event. Two of the photographers work for The Post.
This is Donahue’s third arrest in six weeks.
All of which go toward his Occupier Merit Badge. This one’s a tough call, though. If you think it’s wrong for a man to be attracted to another man, you’re a homophobe. But if you think it’s okay to sexually assault people, you’re a pervert. So it evens out.
Incidentally, Donahue showed up in another Denver Post story a couple of weeks later:
Infighting, backbiting and people she viewed as violent opportunists led one of Occupy Denver’s most visible participants to quit the local movement after the peaceful protest turned violent Saturday.
Rebecca “Becca” Chavez, 29, announced on Twitter on Sunday afternoon, “I support Occupy Wall Street whole-heartedly but I cannot, at present, support, endorse, or be a part of Occupy Denver…”
True to keeping the movement faceless, Chavez intentionally never called herself a leader, but no one at Occupy Denver would disagree that she was influential.
“Becca was a part of a contingency that thinks if we completely let them (the police) bash our skulls in, then we’ll win,” said Corey Donahue, 28, a self-identified anarchist who helps in the Occupy Denver kitchen. “That kind of ‘militant nonviolence’ won’t work.”
That’s right, people of Occupy Denver: This guy is touching your food.
CBS Cleveland, 10/18/11:
An “Occupy Cleveland” protester tells police she was raped in her tent over the weekend.
Cleveland police are investigating an alleged sexual assault incident Saturday at the “Occupy Cleveland” rally involving a 19-year-old female student from Parma.
According to police reports, the 19-year-old student was instructed by “Occupy Cleveland” personnel to “share a tent with the suspect due to a shortage of tents.” The suspect identified himself as “Leland” to the woman. The woman told police that after she had thought the suspect went to sleep in his own bed, she slept in a sleeping bag provided to her by the rally.
Emails from CBS Cleveland to the “Occupy Cleveland” movement were not immediately returned.
Well, they’ve got better things to do than worry about women being raped in the public place they’ve turned into a squalid Obamaville.
KOMO News in Seattle, 10/18/11:
A man accused of exposing himself to children at least five times across Seattle was arrested early Tuesday morning.
Seattle police say he was taken into custody at his Kenmore residence around 1 a.m.
Officers had been given a composite sketch of the suspect and detectives learned he had been at Westlake Park taking part in the Occupy Seattle protests.
This is what degeneracy looks like.
Apparently, sexual assault is such a problem at Occupy Baltimore that they drew up guidelines on how to report it. Baltimore Sun, 10/19/11:
Efforts by the Occupy Baltimore protest group to evolve into a self-contained, self-governing community have erupted into controversy with the distribution of a pamphlet that victim advocates and health workers fear discourages victims of sexual assaults from contacting police.
The pamphlet says that members of the protest group who believe they are victims or who suspect sexual abuse “are encouraged to immediately report the incident to the Security Committee,” which will investigate and “supply the abuser with counseling resources.”
The directive also says, in part, “Though we do not encourage the involvement of the police in our community, the survivor has every right, and the support of Occupy Baltimore, to report the abuse to the appropriate authorities.”
Despite this caveat, the heads of three rape crisis centers and a nurse who runs the forensic division at Mercy Medical Center called the message about not involving police dangerous. They said it contains erroneous information that could undermine efforts to convince victims to properly report crimes and get the counseling they need.
The memo was later revised to take out the “Don’t talk to the pigs” part. Hey, you know who has never put out any guidelines on reporting sexual assault? The Tea Party. What are they hiding???
NY Post, 10/30/11:
Wall Street protesters in Zuccotti Park battened down the hatches yesterday as the early October snow turned their tents into igloos, but the close quarters also made easy pickings for one predator.
A sex fiend barged into a woman’s tent and sexually assaulted her at around 6 a.m., said protesters, who chased him from the park.
“Pervert! Pervert! Get the f–k out!” said vigilante Occupiers, who never bothered to call the cops.
“They were shining flashlights in his face and yelling at him to leave,” said a woman who called herself Leslie, but refused to give her real name.
She said that weeks earlier another woman was raped.
“We don’t tell anyone,” she said. “We handle it internally. I said too much already.”
“Handling it internally” seems to be working out just fine so far.
A 23-year-old woman is accused of attempting to pimp out a teenage girl she met at an Occupy New Hampshire protest earlier this week.
After Justina Jensen, of Manchester, became friendly with the girl, she went on the Internet and arranged a tryst between her and a man — who was actually an undercover cop, according to Union Leader…
Jensen, who went by the alias Remy, made a deal on behalf of the teen to have sex with the man, who called himself Mad Mike, for $150.
When the man asked for a location for the duo to meet, Jensen gave her address and was arrested — after a brief struggle — in her home…
According to police, Jensen was going to start training the teen to become a prostitute.
Somebody call Julia Roberts. We’ve finally got a plot for Pretty Woman 2.
Pegasus News, 11/1/01:
Dallas Police confirmed that they have arrested a man named Richard Wayne Armstrong who they believe had sex with a 14-year-old female runaway in a tent at an Occupy Dallas protest. Armstrong is a non-compliant registered sex offender.
The girl told police during questioning that she told the man she was 19 years old. The girl is from Garland.
Armstrong was arrested on October 27, 2011 for Failure to Register as a Sex Offender and Sexual Assault of a Child, the Dallas Police Department reports.
What’s the big deal? It’s not like he put a crosshairs symbol on a map, or said, “Don’t retreat, reload.”
And then there’s Occupy Madison, which was denied a permit because a protester was caught publicly masturbating. Guess he couldn’t find anybody to rape.
This is by no means an exhaustive list, and I’m sure there’ll be more and more incidents like this by the day. Just a little something to remember the next time Barack Obama, Nancy Pelosi, or anybody else tries to tell you how great the Occupy movement is.
(Thanks to the MacIver Institute’s #OccupyCrimeWave map.)
P.S. Speaking of sexual harassment and the Occupy movement, TheDC’s Michelle Fields just experienced it at an Occupy DC protest:
So for about three hours, I had someone following me around, harassing me, screaming things out to me. And I actually did not feel comfortable, because at one point there were a whole group of men surrounding me saying, ‘F—Michelle Fields.’ And I went to a police officer and I told him that I felt these people were harassing me. And the police officer said he’d take care of it, but it never ended. These people were harassing me for the entire evening.
The Occupiers think everything should be free… except speech. And they’re all about respect for women… who know their place.
Occupiers terrorize us: eatery
Reply #689 on:
November 08, 2011, 10:02:30 AM »
Occupiers terrorize us: eatery
By AMBER SUTHERLAND and BOB FREDERICKS
Last Updated: 9:17 AM, November 8, 2011
Posted: 1:51 AM, November 8, 2011
A business owner near the Occupy Wall Street encampment claims she has been repeatedly harassed and threatened with bodily harm by protesters after she and her employees refused to give in to their outlandish demands.
“I’ve been told, ‘Watch your back!’ 10 times,” Stacey Tzortzatos, owner of Panini & Co. Breads, located across from Zuccotti Park, told The Post yesterday.
She and her employees are terrified by the constant threats, which she said began after she demanded the protesters stop using her shop’s restroom as a place to bathe every day.
The final straw came about two weeks ago, when the demonstrators broke a bathroom sink, flooding the shop, and clogged the toilet -- setting her back $3,000 in damages.
She put up a sign that said the bathroom was out of order, but they tore it down shortly afterward, she said.
PHOTOS: WALL STREET PROTESTS
“I have the police in here 10 times a day, [and] I’m the bouncer. I’ve been called the spawn of the devil. “It’s unbelievable what goes on in here every day, ” Tzortzatos said.
And on Friday, she said, a crazed squatter burst into the shop and demanded that workers fill a 10-gallon container of water.
When they refused, “he banged it on the ground and started yelling” and threatened the staff, she said.
“He said he was entitled to have it for free.”
Tzortzatos said the unsafe conditions begin at around 5 p.m. every day, when “they come from the park drunk, under the influence of something.
“They use one of our doorways as a bathroom, and we have to scrub it down every morning.
“I’ve had people come in here and yell, ‘Boycott! Boycott!’
“They unplugged my ATM machine and plugged in their computers,” Tzortzatos said.
Another businessman, who complained to The Post about the squatters’ behavior last week, said yesterday that the situation has since deteriorated, adding, “You don’t know the half of it.”
But the protesters appear to be digging in, erecting three of what will eventually be more than two dozen, 16-by-16-foot military-style tents that will help them stave off hypothermia in the coming winter.
And they’ll have some entertainment today.
Music legends David Crosby and Graham Nash are slated to perform an acoustic set of protest songs this afternoon at Zuccotti Park.
Reply #690 on:
November 08, 2011, 10:10:54 AM »
SoCal Street Cart Vendors Hurting After ‘Occupy’ Group Splatters Blood, Urine
Reply #691 on:
November 08, 2011, 10:48:43 AM »
SoCal Street Cart Vendors Hurting After ‘Occupy’ Group Splatters Blood, Urine
November 7, 2011 2:14 PM
SAN DIEGO (CBS) — A pair of Southland street cart vendors who were forced to shut down their businesses after “Occupy” protesters vandalized their carts are hoping to get some help from local residents.
KNX 1070′s Tom Reopelle reports a fundraiser in the Gas Lamp district in San Diego on Monday night is aimed at helping two vendors get back on their feet.
The coffee and hot dog carts were located in Civic Center Plaza, the same location as the Occupy San Diego protesters.
That group first settled in to the plaza Oct. 7 and set up a tent city which has since twice been taken down by police.
Coffee cart owner Linda Jenson and hot dog cart operators Letty and Pete Soto said they initially provided free food and drink to demonstrators, but when they stopped, the protesters became violent.
And according to one city councilman, bodily fluids were used in the attacks.
“Both carts have had items stolen, have had their covers vandalized with markings and graffiti, as well as one of the carts had urine and blood splattered on it,” said Councilman Carl DeMaio.
The damages will likely require at least a complete cleaning if not a replacement of the cart covers, DeMaio said.
In addition to the attacks, the vendors also said they recently received death threats.
Proceeds from the fundraiser will go directly to help the two business owners.
After a relatively peaceful start, the “Occupy” movement has sparked violent clashes with police in Oakland and recently saw protesters push an elderly woman down a flight of stairs in D.C.
Reply #692 on:
November 09, 2011, 07:39:23 AM »
Reply #693 on:
November 09, 2011, 10:30:43 AM »
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Chronicle • November 9, 2011
"In the first place, it is to be remembered, that the general government is not to be charged with the whole power of making and administering laws: its jurisdiction is limited to certain enumerated objects, which concern all the members of the republic, but which are not to be attained by the separate provisions of any." --James Madison
Corporate welfare from the community chest
"The Occupy Wall Street protesters aren't good at articulating what they want, but one of their demands is 'end corporate welfare.' Well, welcome aboard. Some of us have been fighting crony capitalism for decades, and it's good to have new allies if liberals have awakened to the dangers of the corporate welfare state. Corporate welfare is the offer of special favors -- cash grants, loans, guarantees, bailouts and special tax breaks -- to specific industries or firms. The government doesn't track the overall cost of these programs, but in 2008 the Cato Institute made an attempt and came up with $92 billion for fiscal 2006, which is more than the U.S. government spends on homeland security. That annual cost may have doubled to $200 billion in this new era of industry bailouts and subsidies. ... This industrial policy model of government as a financial partner with business can sound appealing, but the government's record in picking winners and losers has been dreadful. Some of the most expensive flops include the Supersonic Transport plane of the mid-1970s, Jimmy Carter's $2 billion Synthetic Fuels Corporation (the precursor to clean energy), Amtrak, which hasn't turned a profit in four decades, and the most expensive public-private partnership debacle of all time, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, which have lost $142 billion of taxpayer money. ... Americans understand that powerful government invariably favors the powerful, who have the means and access to massage Congress and the bureaucracy that average citizens do not. This really is aid to the 1% paid by the other 99%. Yet the parade of subsidies gets longer each year, perhaps, as the old joke goes, because in Washington Republicans love corporations and Democrats love welfare. As House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan puts it: 'How can we save billions of dollars from unjustified subsidy and entitlement programs, if we can't get corporate America off the dole?'" --The Wall Street Journal
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"With nine days to go before the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) faces default, a Senate committee on Wednesday is expected to vote on a new plan to address the crisis. ... The legislation would ... provide USPS billions in cash from taxpayers. Specifically, it would hand over some $7 billion in supposedly 'surplus' contributions the government has made to the Federal Employees Retirement System. Such temporary surpluses, however, are common and are typically erased by normal financial swings or amortization over time. Transfer of the entire pot to USPS leaves taxpayers vulnerable if USPS later falls behind (which, given its condition, is not unlikely) while allowing needed structural reforms to be delayed. ... USPS, and mail delivery itself, faces an uncertain future. Comprehensive change is needed to prevent massive losses and virtual bankruptcy. The reforms being considered by the Senate, however, fall short -- while putting taxpayers even more at risk for the consequences of failure." --The Heritage Foundation's James Gattuso
"The Internal Revenue Service can follow individual people over the years because they can identify individuals from their Social Security numbers. During recent years, when 'the top one percent' as an income category has been getting a growing share of the nation's income, IRS data show that actual flesh and blood people who were in the top one percent in 1996 had their incomes go down -- repeat, DOWN -- by a whopping 26 percent by 2005. ... [M]ost people who are in the top one percent in a given year do not stay in that bracket over the years. If we are being serious ... then our concern should be with what is happening to actual flesh and blood human beings, not what is happening to abstract income brackets." --economist Thomas Sowell
"[T]he White House revealed that it would fight a GOP House subpoena for internal documents related to the half-trillion-dollar, stimulus-funded, now-bankrupt Solyndra solar energy loan bust. White House counsel Kathryn Ruemmler fumed that the information request placed an 'unreasonable burden on the president's ability to meet his constitutional duties.' ... Ruemmler further complained that the subpoena represents 'a significant intrusion on executive branch interests.' ... While she paints the request as a last-minute surprise, the White House has been stonewalling on Solyndra all year long. And as Reason magazine's Tim Cavanaugh points out: Compliance would be 'the work of a few hours, at a time when the executive branch has 2.8 million employees. The whole thing could be done by staffers, leaving the president to focus on golf and fundraising and long, boring speeches.'" --columnist Michelle Malkin
"The state is the great fiction by which everybody seeks to live at the expense of everybody else." --French economist, statesman and author Frederic Bastiat (1801-1850)
"Back in the thirties we were told we must collectivize the nation because the people were so poor. Now we are told we must collectivize the nation because the people are so rich." --William F. Buckley Jr. (1925-2008)
A good pat on the back: "Well, I think we are better off now than we would have been if I hadn't taken all the steps that I took." --Barack Obama
"We were able to prevent America from going into a Great Depression. We were able to, after a series of quarterly GDP reports that were the worst that we've seen since the Great Depression, reverse it and get the economy to grow again. We've seen 20 straight months of consecutive job growth." --Barack Obama
Sure thing: "I have to tell you, the least of my concerns at the moment is the politics of a year from now. I'm worried about putting people back to work right now because those folks are hurting and the U.S. economy is underperforming." --Barack Obama
The BIG Lie: "From a policy standpoint I think it's really important to know that President Obama was a job creator from day one. Now, was the ditch that we were in so deep that when you're talking to people and they still don't have a job, that's any consolation to them? No. But I'll tell you this: If President Obama and the House congressional Democrats had not acted, we would be at 15 percent unemployment." --House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA)
Blame Republicans: "We've taken every important piece of the jobs bill and demanded that we have a separate vote. But our Republican colleagues in the Senate have voted unanimously to vote down each and every part so far: to restore 400,000 jobs for teachers, police officers, firefighters, putting them back in classrooms, on the streets and in the fire houses. ... So, look, we can't wait. If the Republican Congress won't join us, we're going to continue to act on our own to make the changes that we can to bring relief to middle-class families and those aspiring to get in the middle class." --Joe Biden
Non Compos Mentis: "Well, I'm going to be pilloried for this. I think get rid of the Second Amendment, the right to bear arms. I just think in the grand scheme of the rights that we have; the right of assembly, free speech, I mean, owning a gun does not, it does not tally on the same level as those other constitutional rights. And being more discreet about who gets to have a firearm and right to kill with a firearm, I think is something that would be in our national interest to revisit that." --Huffington Post's Alex Wagner when asked by HBO's Bill Maher what she would change about the Constitution -- she would take away the right that guarantees all the others
Pushing from the Left: "Do you not feel that by opposing [a tax hike on millionaires to pay for Obama's jobs bill] you're basically out of step with the American people on this issue? ... Do you agree at all that there should be any kind of tax increases?" --ABC's Christiane Amanpour to Speaker John Boehner
Another BIG Lie: "The American Dream is all about social mobility in a sense -- the idea that anyone can make it. ... The American dream seems to be thriving in Europe not at home." --CNN's Fareed Zalaria
Conspiracy theories: "[Herman Cain] is just the latest purchase by the Koch brothers. They purchased Michele Bachmann, they purchased Sarah Palin, for this purpose: it's to go out and talk crazy talk. It's to talk about taking more things away from the middle class and giving more to the rich. It's about deregulating virtually everything to where the Koch brothers can go ahead and kill more people with their toxins." --radio talk-show host Mike Papantonio
'We Are the 99%': "Hollywood Street Brawl Involving 100 People in Costumes Leaves 1 Man Critical" --KCBS-TV website
Longest Books Ever Written: "What Occupy Wall Street Gets Wrong" --Reason.com
Somebody Alert Michelle Obama: "Fat Yields From Overseas ETFs" --SmartMoney.com
When Life Gives You Lemons: "Santorum Makes Stand in Iowa" --The Wall Street Journal
Bottom Story of the Day: "Barack Obama's Jobs Drive Not Moving Polls" --Politico.com
(Thanks to The Wall Street Journal's James Taranto)
Random thoughts: "I've always thought that [allowing presidents a third term] should be the rule. I think as a practical matter, you couldn't apply this to anyone who has already served, but going forward, I personally believe that should be the rule." --Bill Clinton
Bad idea: "We need democracy in this country and not a democracy that is run by politicians that are bought by corporations. We need a democracy in this country where the people have the right to print money and not a nebulous Federal Reserve." --Occupy San Francisco protester
Good grief: "I wanted to say something about, if they're trying to find out who instigated this, much of, we owe a lot to the Arab Spring and the Democracy movement that were and are taking place across the Arab world. And we owe a lot to that young man in Tunisia who couldn't take it anymore and set himself on fire to make this statement that really ignited this movement. But, but even before that, what got him upset? What got him politically charged was that he read the truth about the corruption of his own government that was supplied to him by Wikileaks. And where did Wikileaks get that information allegedly? From a young private, a gay soldier by the name of Bradley Manning. And, let's give it up to Bradley Manning." --leftist filmmaker Michael Moore to the Occupy Wall Street movement
Two weeks ago we published a humorous exchange during an interview between CNN's Piers Morgan and Michael Moore. When asked to admit that he was "in the 1 percent," Moore objected, "How can I be in the percent?" Morgan cut to the chase: "Because you're worth millions." This time around, Moore grew even more agitated when a CBS reporter again questioned him on his wealth. Here's the exchange:
Reporter: How are you helping these [Occupy protesters]?
Moore: Because I do well, I want taxes raised on people who do well, including mine.
Reporter: How are you helping these people with your $50 million?
Moore: I don't have $50 million.
Reporter: That's what it's rumored you are worth.
Moore: Well, really. Is that what you do is sell rumors?
Reporter: We're asking you for the truth.
Moore: You're just punk media is all you are. You lie. You lie to people. Stop lying to people. Stop lying.
Reporter: Are you not part of the 1 percent?
Moore: Just don't lie, okay?
Marine Corps Birthday
On Nov. 10, 1775, the Second Continental Congress resolved to create two battalions of Continental Marines for the War of Independence from Britain. In 1798, President John Adams signed the Act establishing the United States Marine Corps. The 13th Commandant of the Marine Corps, General John A. Lejeune, issued Marine Corps Order No. 47, Series 1921, directing that on Nov. 10 every year, in honor of the Corps' birthday, the Order's summary of the history, mission and tradition of the Corps be read to every command.
Reply #694 on:
November 11, 2011, 07:18:43 PM »
Helpful Chart: Tea Party vs. Occupy Wall Street #OWS
Update: Looks like the chart needs to include Missing Persons. Penny posts the Occupy movement's first Amber Alert:
Occupy Wall Street Starts to Crumble
Reply #695 on:
November 12, 2011, 12:23:55 PM »
November 11, 2011 5:15 P.M.
Occupy Wall Street Starts to Crumble
Inevitable divisions arise in Zuccotti Park.
Whether or not the Occupy Wall Street movement has a legitimate or coherent purpose and to what extent its ongoing “occupation” of lower Manhattan’s Zuccotti Park represents a violation of the law have been discussed and debated since the first tent was pitched on September 17. But we might put these questions aside for a moment and hope to agree on one thing: that, regardless of one’s views about its message, the camp itself has become a disgrace. If this is utopia, then deliver us from it, for imperfection has a fresh and heady appeal.
For an organization whose rhetoric casually claims “unity,” and which absurdly considers itself to be a mouthpiece for 99 percent of America, it is devastating that division and infighting increasingly mar OWS’s New York City franchise. The kibbutz has fractured. Walking around the site yesterday, it was clear that “one world” has become many. There are now palpable borders within the commune, and battle lines have been drawn.
The “original” protesters resent the “hangers-on” and the latecomers, as early fans of a rock band might hate those who discover their heroes only after they have become popular. As always, the hard-liners despise the reformers and those who would “compromise with capitalism,” and the anarchists predictably reject all such labels entirely. Meanwhile, an unfathomably asinine dispute rages over whether the movement should seek to represent the “100 percent” or the “99 percent,” with few taking the time to consider whether it actually does either. The homeless, much praised on placards and flyers, have clearly proven themselves useful only in the abstract, and have become a rather less attractive proposition now that they have joined the fray, bringing with them something of a crime wave.
Where unity does still exist, it is in the universal hatred felt toward the belt of “crazies” that surrounds the camp, even if the definition of “crazy” remains elusive to the vexed, and is largely reserved for anyone who “makes us look bad.” Fans of British comedy Yes, Minister will remember that “crazy” is an irregular verb: “I have an independent mind; you are an eccentric; he is round the twist.” Thus, in hushed tones, each faction complained to me about the others.
Moreover, OWS is discovering that it is by no means inured against the sort of political and economic problems that face all polities, utopian or not. A fistfight broke out yesterday on the testy northeastern side of the camp, when one protester fashioned and displayed a cardboard sign that read, “Food is for OWS only!” This, said some of those camped nearby, was “fascism.” “No, no,” came the rejoinder, “it’s only fair! We paid for it; it’s for us! You can’t just walk in and take our stuff!” And thus, in microcosm, the debate over welfare raised its head — as it always will.
Likewise, there is growing consternation over the group’s finances. The more than $500,000 that OWS has raised from supporters is in the hands of a shady eight-person finance committee, which is made up of “non-occupiers” who have a right of veto on proposals before they get to the General Assembly and are, thus, “becoming like the banks we are protesting.” Most of the money, the gripe goes, is “just sitting there doing nothing,” and “our ideas are not being listened to.” Worse still, some of this outrageous fortune has found its way into Amalgamated Bank, which has the temerity to deal with billionaires. To spend or not to spend, that is the question! It seems clear now that, however noble the protesters might consider themselves, and however unorthodox the community they have established, there will always be slings and arrows to suffer.
Then there is crime. Even as Zuccotti Park has become a sea of troubles, it has been regarded as unsporting to bring up its obnoxious elements, as if to report on the dark side is to tar all associates unfairly with the same brush. But the unpleasant are demonstrably in attendance, and are no longer necessarily in the minority. I asked a “press representative,” named Justin, how many of those in the park he considered to be genuinely part of his movement, and was surprised to hear him say “less than 50 percent.” Such a confession makes the “we are the 99 percent” chant seem somewhat comical. But then, it always has been. The idea that the camp represented something new by bringing a diverse group of people together was always solipsistic. Surely, I would ask, that is what America does? What is this country if not a grouping of different people who disagree, and who work out their differences through common institutions?
Every citizen has at least one gripe. There is something that abrades each and every one of us. But most of us do not join communes that earnestly and loudly pretend to be above the noisy and boisterous process we call democracy, even as our replacement society crumbles ignominiously around us.
— Charles C. W. Cooke is an editorial associate for National Review.
Reply #696 on:
November 16, 2011, 03:05:25 PM »
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Chronicle • November 16, 2011
"If it be asked, What is the most sacred duty and the greatest source of our security in a Republic? The answer would be, An inviolable respect for the Constitution and Laws -- the first growing out of the last." --Alexander Hamilton
"The 'constitutionality' of the Obama health care law, Harvard Law School's Laurence Tribe wrote in the New York Times earlier this year, 'is open and shut,' adding that the challenge against it is 'a political objection in legal garb.' In announcing [Monday] that it will consider the law's constitutionality, the Supreme Court said it would give an historic five-and-a-half hours to oral arguments. Perhaps by his Cambridge standard, Mr. Tribe thinks the nine Justices are a little slow. We prefer to think this shows the Court recognizes the seriousness of the constitutional issues involved. It makes those who cavalierly dismissed the very idea of a challenge two years ago look, well, constitutionally challenged. ... It's true that without the mandate the law is unlikely to work, but the law is such a Rube Goldberg contraption that it won't work with the mandate. We'd like to see the entire law overturned, but the mandate deserves its own constitutional judgment. It shouldn't be found constitutional merely because Justice's lawyers say its excision would ruin the entire law. Congress can't drop unconstitutional provisions into laws hoping that the Court will bless them simply because not doing so would invalidate the larger law. ... The Court itself deserves credit for deciding to take this case this year, even though it probably means issuing a decision in an election year. The law is already speeding the ruin of U.S. health care, increasing costs and reducing competition. It is easily the most unpopular major reform in decades and the most unpopular entitlement expansion ever. ... These are issues involving the nation's core understanding of the citizenry's relationship to its government. Voters should have the chance to include the Court's verdict on the law when they go to the polls in 2012." --The Wall Street Journal
"The justices reportedly expect to make a decision by June. Whenever it comes, they'd better get it right. The case's main focus is the law's individual mandate, a provision that requires every American adult who doesn't have health care insurance to buy coverage. If a majority of justices decide that such a demand is constitutional, this nation will suffer through a fundamental transformation that rises to the level of the 'change' candidate Barack Obama promised -- or threatened -- if he were elected president. An America in which Washington can require the citizenry to do its bidding in all things is no longer a free republic -- though some might argue that freedom and our republican style of government have been crumbling for decades. If Washington can force Americans to buy health care insurance, then Washington can do whatever it wants. Old limits will be gone. A soft tyranny will replace the liberties guaranteed by the Constitution. It's impossible to overstate the magnitude of this case." --Investor's Business Daily
How do you think the Court will rule?
"The individual mandate is the poster child of this Administration and the liberals in Congress overstepping their authority to inject the government into the lives of its citizens. ... If the Supreme Court strikes down the individual mandate, as it should, it should also strike down the rest of the law in its entirety. But the second step (the 'severability' issue) is a closer question. The Court might get the first part right (striking down the individual mandate) but get the severability question wrong and not strike down the rest of the law. So, until the day the law is fully repealed, the job is not done." --Heritage Foundation's Nina Owcharenko
"A couple of months ago, Deputy Assistant Attorney General Beth Brinkmann was standing before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, defending the federal law requiring Americans to buy government-approved health insurance, when Judge Laurence Silberman asked her about broccoli. Specifically, he wanted to know whether a law requiring Americans to buy broccoli would exceed the federal government's authority to regulate interstate commerce. 'No,' Brinkmann said. 'It depends,' she added. ... Imagine the fun that Congress could have coming up with mandates aimed at coercing healthier lifestyles once it has a constitutional blessing as well as a fiscal justification. ... If you value your freedom to spend your money as you choose, you should hope the Supreme Court rejects the Obama administration's open-ended view of the Commerce Clause -- no matter how you feel about broccoli." --columnist Jacob Sullum
"President Franklin D. Roosevelt was re-elected for an unprecedented third term after two terms in which unemployment was in double digits for eight consecutive years. We may lament the number of people who are unemployed or who are on food stamps today. But those who give the Obama administration credit for coming to their rescue when they didn't have a job are likely to greatly outnumber those who blame the administration for their not having a job in the first place. ... There has probably never been a time in the history of this country when we more urgently needed to get a president out of the White House, before he ruined the country. But will the conservative Republican candidates let that guide them?" --economist Thomas Sowell
"President Obama was wrong to say at the Asia-Pacific economic summit that America has gotten 'lazy' in the past few decades at attracting foreign investment. What he should have said, in the light of his administration's handling of the proposed Keystone XL pipeline, is that America has become quite adept at blocking foreign investment. ... TransCanada wants to invest $7 billion in building a pipeline across the United States to carry oil from Alberta to the Gulf Coast. If we were merely lazy, we'd have accepted the project and the thousands of associated construction jobs long ago. That would be the path of least resistance, not to mention common sense." --National Review editor Rich Lowry
"We are fast approaching the stage of the ultimate inversion: the stage where the government is free to do anything it pleases, while the citizens may act only by permission; which is the stage of the darkest periods of human history, the stage of rule by brute force." --novelist and philosopher Ayn Rand (1905-1982)
Reply #697 on:
November 17, 2011, 06:15:36 PM »
Orwell's family should get paid by OWS for their obvious copy of "Animal Farm".
Reply #698 on:
November 17, 2011, 07:33:38 PM »
I saw this the other night and was rolling on the floor.
Who could have seen this coming? Saudi Nukes
Reply #699 on:
December 05, 2011, 06:34:19 PM »
Quote from: G M on June 06, 2008, 03:59:30 PM
A headline from the future with President Obama: "The Sunni-Shia Nuclear Arms Race Escalates".
I wonder how much gas will be then....
'Saudi Arabia may join nuclear arms race'
Ex-spy chief says Saudi Arabia to consider acquiring atom weapons to match region rivals Israel, Iran
AFP Published: 12.05.11, 19:15 / Israel News
Saudi Arabia may consider acquiring nuclear weapons to match regional rivals Israel and Iran, its former intelligence chief Prince Turki al-Faisal said on Monday.
"Our efforts and those of the world have failed to convince Israel to abandon its weapons of mass destruction, as well as Iran... therefore it is our duty towards our nation and people to consider all possible options, including the possession of these weapons," Faisal told a security forum in Riyadh.
'Iran's missile program suffered serious setback'
Iran sanctions pose legal conundrum for expats
'We'll give up nukes if Iran does same'
"A (nuclear) disaster befalling one of us would affect us all," said Faisal.
Israel is widely held to possess hundreds of nuclear missiles, which it neither confirms nor denies, while the West accuses Iran of seeking an atomic bomb, a charge the Islamic Republic rejects.
Riyadh, which has repeatedly voiced fears about the nuclear threat posed by Shiite-dominated Iran and denounced Israel's atomic capacity, has stepped up efforts to develop its own nuclear power for "peaceful use."
Abdul Ghani Malibari, coordinator at the Saudi civil nuclear agency, said in June that Riyadh plans to build 16 civilian nuclear reactors in the next two decades at a cost of 300 billion riyals ($80 billion).
He said the Sunni kingdom would launch an international invitation to tender for the reactors to be used in power generation and desalination in the desert kingdom.
The United Nations has imposed successive packages of sanctions against Tehran over its refusal to suspend uranium enrichment. Those measures have been backed up by unilateral Western sanctions.
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