Monday, June 29

Food, Inc.: "Where's the Beef?" and "What's for Dinner?" Code for Lethal Additives

A new documentary on giant agri-business food production released 12 June reveals more appropriate commercial jingles would be "What's the doctor's number?" and "Where's the shame?".

Sunday, June 28

WWJS?: "Who Would Jesus Shoot" ?

Kentucky "straight shooters" for Jesus doing me proud to be a Southern Appalachian American. A new church tradition in Louisville makes it too easy for uppity BBC Brits to poke the finger of fun at Americans who still love the 19th century.

Gun-toting parishioners listen to Pastor Ken in church
Gun-toting parishioners attended Pastor Ken Pagano's service in Kentucky

A pastor in the US state of Kentucky told his flock to bring handguns to church in what he said was an effort to promote safe gun ownership.

Pastor Ken Pagano told parishioners to bring their unloaded guns to New Bethel Church in Louisville for a service celebrating the right to bear arms.

He said he acted after church members voiced fears the Obama administration could tighten gun control laws.

When the service began, some 200 people were present, AP news agency said.

"We are wanting to send a message that there are legal, civil, intelligent and law-abiding citizens who also own guns," Mr Pagano told the congregation.

"If it were not for a deep-seated belief in the right to bear arms, this country would not be here today," he said.

Ken Pagano, pastor of New Bethel Church in Louisville, Kentucky
Pastor Ken Pagano says he wants to show that gun owners are law-abiding

The pastor also held a handgun raffle, as well as providing information on gun safety.

"I wish more churches did this, I wish more people did this," the Louisville Courier-Journal quoted one attendee, Doreen Rogers, as saying.

"For some reason, most people think that carrying guns is sinful. It's not. I think my life is worth protecting."

About 10 members of a private local militia also attended, the Courier-Journal said.

A coalition of religious groups and campaigners held a rival gun-free event at the same time on the other side of Louisville.

"The idea of wearing guns to churches or any sacred space I think many people find deeply troubling," organiser Terry Taylor told AP.

In the US, the right to bear arms is enshrined in the Second Amendment of the US Constitution. There are thought to be more than 200 million firearms in private hands.

But some gun owners fear that the new administration in the White House could try to challenge or amend some gun ownership laws.

Critics of the laws, meanwhile, link high levels of gun crime with high levels of gun ownership.

Tuesday, June 23

9/11/2001 Hoax Redux: Revisting a Manhattan Crime Scene

I reprise this disturbing 84-minute documentary chronicling the biggest criminal swindle of the American 21st century--though the 2008 global economic meltdown and ensuing U.S. trillions in welfare bailout for banks, insurance companies (AIG the most infamous) and car manufacturers may rival the 9/11 hoax.

Time will confirm the significance of this later crime.

In any event, the U.S. is devolving into one of those Third World "banana republic" police states our wealthy ruling elite so fondly sponsored throughout Latin America since the 19th century.

Here's a blurb on the documentary provided in the margin notes at Google Video:
... The families present their 2 1/2 year struggle to create an investigation and inquiry into the events of 9/11 -- which was at first heavily resisted and even explicitly prohibited by the President and Vice-President. For an example of contrast in funding; the internal disruption of a Clinton-Lewinski "sex scandal" the event was awarded a budget of 100 million dollars in total. Initially the 9/11 Commission was only allotted 3 million dollars and their time-limit was severely cut beyond the expectations of those who brought it into existence.

Wednesday, June 17

U.S. High Court Nails Coffin on Collapsing Dollar, Rule of Law

Should U.S. history books ever become honest, they will chronicle how the manufactured subprime financial meltdown and ensuing banking bailout preceded the High Court's refusal to support the last vestiges of traditional American law that protected average, middle-class investors.

The U.S. Supreme Court's refusal on 8 June to hear lawyers for teachers and firemen's pension fund is, according to financial advisor and author Peter Schiff, tantamount to ending the rule of law in the United States. Read Schiff's online commentary here.
June 12, 2009

Property Rights Take a Hit

“Crony capitalism” is a term often applied to foreign nations where government interference circumvents market forces. The practice is widely associated with tin-pot dictators and second-rate economies. In such a system, support for the ruling regime is the best and only path to economic success. Who you know supersedes what you know, and favoritism trumps the rule of law. Unfortunately, this week’s events demonstrate that the phrase now more aptly describes our own country.

On Monday, the Supreme Court refused to hear an appeal from Chrysler’s secured creditors based on the government’s argument that the needs of other stakeholders outweighed those of a few creditors. In this case, the Administration concluded the interests of the United Auto Workers outweighed the interests of the Indiana teachers and firemen whose pension fund sued to block the restructuring. Given the enormous financial support that the UAW poured into the Obama campaign, such partiality is hardly surprising.

When making their investment in Chrysler just a few months ago, the Indiana pension fund agreed to commit capital because of the specific assurances received from the company. In allowing this sham bankruptcy to be crammed through the courts, we have shredded the vital principal of the rule of law, and have become a nation of men, rather than one of laws.

The risk that legal contracts can now be arbitrarily set aside will make investors think twice before committing capital to distressed corporations. Oftentimes enforcing contracts imposes hardships. That’s precisely why we have contracts.

Without absolute faith that deals will be honored, it will be extremely difficult for U.S. companies to borrow money. This will be particularly true for those companies already struggling with too much debt. Without the ability to issue secured debt, how will such companies access the necessary capital to turn around? If secured creditors cannot count on the courts to enforce their claims, they will not put their capital at risk. What good is being a secured creditor if courts can allow the assets securing your claim to be sold for the benefit of others?

Another problem with the government imposing losses on secured Chrysler creditors is that in its bailouts of financial companies (like Citigroup and AIG), the government took steps to specifically pay back creditors, even when those creditors should have been wiped out. This inconsistency and lack of equal protection further undermines faith in our economy.

The message here is clear: loan money to financial entities with friends in Washington and no matter how risky the loan, taxpayers will bail you out if it goes bad. However, loan money to a unionized manufacturer, even if prudently secured by real assets, and you have as much chance of getting your money back as finding Jimmy Hoffa’s body.

As if this wasn’t bad enough, testimony on Thursday from former Bank of America CEO Ken Lewis revealed a concerted effort on the part of Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke and former Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson to pressure Lewis into hiding relevant financial information regarding Merrill Lynch losses from B of A shareholders. Recently released e-mails make it clear that the government threatened to remove corporate leaders if they failed to go through with the merger and keep quiet about the losses.

Again, the justification for the interference seemed to be the “greater economic good” the merger would serve. The right of B of A shareholders to be informed that their company was about to buy a financial black hole was clearly considered to be an acceptable sacrifice.

More importantly, the fact that two of the highest-ranking government officials can conspire to violate both securities laws and private property rights is abhorrent to everything America supposedly stands for. If they get away with it, which I believe they will, the precedent and the message will be chilling.

As a broker who specializes in foreign investments, I am always wary of political risk. I must consider how the threat of arbitrary government action could undermine the value of my investments. However, recent events show that political risk is now greater here than abroad, and U.S. assets, which have historically traded at premium valuations based on faith in our legal system, will soon trade at discounts to reflect this new threat. The fear of having contracts abrogated or property rights violated when doing so serves some contrived greater good will substantially raise our cost of capital and further reduce our competitiveness.

For a more in depth analysis of our financial problems and the inherent dangers they pose for the U.S. economy and U.S. dollar denominated investments, read Peter Schiff’s book "Crash Proof: How to Profit from the Coming Economic Collapse".

Friday, June 12

Banksters Bribe Congress with $Billions$ for Banishing Federal Oversight, for Bailout

We closer we look at the $5 billion money trail left on Capitol Hill from 1998 to 2008, the more last autumn's "Banskters' Bailout" resembles patiently planned looting.

On 9 March 2009, MSNBC Countdown's Keith Olberman cites chapter and verse in chronicling how banksters bought and paid for Congress to remove all financial safety nets to leave consumers--but especially homebuyers--protectionless against illegal financial scams.

As the biggest financial heist in American history become patently obvious to so many, we wonder what draconian containment strategies our Ruling Elite will deploy to save themselves from an eventual public backlash.

Here's an excerpt of a 4 March press release by Robert Weissman and Harvey Rosenfeld of Wall Street Watch--the group publishing a 231-page report (pdf; executive summary here) Olberman references in the first minute of his 9 March report--that characterizes the backroom machinations and resultant snake-oil deal made by Wall Street.

Steps to Financial Cataclysm Paved with Industry Dollars

March 4 - The financial sector invested more than $5 billion in political influence purchasing in Washington over the past decade, with as many as 3,000 lobbyists winning deregulation and other policy decisions that led directly to the current financial collapse, according to a 231-page report issued today by Essential Information and the Consumer Education Foundation.

The report, "Sold Out: How Wall Street and Washington Betrayed America," shows that, from 1998-2008, Wall Street investment firms, commercial banks, hedge funds, real estate companies and insurance conglomerates made $1.725 billion in political contributions and spent another $3.4 billion on lobbyists, a financial juggernaut aimed at undercutting federal regulation. Nearly 3,000 officially registered federal lobbyists worked for the industry in 2007 alone. The report documents a dozen distinct deregulatory moves that, together, led to the financial meltdown. These include prohibitions on regulating financial derivatives; the repeal of regulatory barriers between commercial banks and investment banks; a voluntary regulation scheme for big investment banks; and federal refusal to act to stop predatory subprime lending.

"The report details, step-by-step, how Washington systematically sold out to Wall Street," says Harvey Rosenfield, president of the Consumer Education Foundation, a California-based non-profit organization. "Depression-era programs that would have prevented the financial meltdown that began last year were dismantled, and the warnings of those who foresaw disaster were drowned in an ocean of political money. Americans were betrayed, and we are paying a high price -- trillions of dollars -- for that betrayal."... read more

Do you think the 111th Democrat-controlled U.S. House Committee on Financial Services (Rep. Barney Frank, D-MA,chair) will exercise its prerogative to subpoena witnesses to investigate these allegations by MSNBC and Wall Street Watch?

Apart from a few self-promoting C-SPAN sound bites of feigned outrage enacted in hearings that legislators steered clear of in droves, Frank et al. have initiated no oversight or investigative measures into the wholesale looting.

That inertia remains the status quo even after Frank's committee in February uncovered Citibank's sweetheart bailout deal by which the bank, rather than pay back taxpayer bailout loans as originally planned by Congress in its 2008 legislation, allows it to stiff the U.S. Treasury--that's you and me, folks--with over $230 billion in toxic debt.

Can there remain any reasonable doubt that all this looting intends to kill democracy's best and final chance to counteract wealthy U.S. fascists' quest for more global wealth and total domination?

H.R. 8791: Homeland Terrorism Preparedness Bill, i.e., "Are You Ready for Martial Law?"

Just listen for two minutes as Rep. John Haller (R-PA) reads the raw wording of this bill up for a vote before the U.S. House last summer.

As he nears the end of his statement, the religious values Republican is so disturbed by the classified wording that he utters "Jesus...".

What Fresh Fascist Hell is This? US Taxpayers Bail Out Foreign Banksters, too?

Just what the fuck are my good-for-nothing congressman and senator doing with--and for--their salaries?

The Wall Street thieves--AIG in particular served as a foreign money conduit--continue to loot the U.S. Treasury with impunity--and now for their bankster pals abroad.

When do we have enough of this sheep shearing? For Christ's sake...

I apologize for being delinquent in registering these elite felonies, but hey, it's hard to stay current with the Democrat-abetted Beltway crime spree begun on the Bush-Cheney watch.

Here's an excerpt from the George Washington blog's 9 March 2009 entry:

Your Hard-Earned Money is Being Shipped to France, Germany and China

Under the guise of "bailing out" AIG, your hard-earned money is actually being shipped by the U.S. government to:

Moreover, bailout money that went to Citigroup was loaned to Dubai, bailout money that went to Bank of America China was invested in China, and bailout money given to JP Morgan was invested in India.

And the government is in the process of providing billions more - along with trillions more in guarantees of worthless assets - to sovereign wealth funds and hedge funds.

And remember that the U.S. may have already given hundreds of billions to foreign banks. Indeed, foreign banks - including certain Chinese banks - can receive bailout money through the TARP program itself.... read more

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