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The Man Who Shattered Our Economy

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Posted on Nov 17, 2010
AP / Louis Lanzano

Sandy Weill, then CEO of Citigroup, exits Carnegie Hall where the annual shareholders meeting was held on April 18, 2006, in New York.

By Robert Scheer

Rejoice, the housing market is back. Sandy Weill just picked up a humdinger of a wine vineyard estate in Sonoma, Calif., for a record $31 million, so the foreclosure crisis—which the former CEO of Citigroup did so much to create when he successfully lobbied then-President Bill Clinton to sign off on radical deregulation of the banking industry—must be over.

After all, Weill wasn’t desperate for shelter, already being in possession of a 14-acre estate in über-exclusive Greenwich, Conn., and a 120-acre spread in New York state’s Adirondacks. Let’s also not forget the penthouse that he bought for $42.4 million in New York City in 2007 as the banking collapse he helped engineer was fast developing. Not too shabby for a guy who ran Citigroup into the ground by trafficking in what proved to be toxic mortgage-based securities. 

Thanks to legislation that Weill got President Clinton to sign off on, Citigroup was allowed to become too big to fail, and when fail it did, the taxpayers had to bail the humongous bank out—to the tune of $50 billion in a direct subsidy and $306 billion more for the housing mortgage-backed securities Citigroup was holding. The Treasury still owns a good chunk of Citigroup common stock, now trading at a paltry four dollars and change per share.

However, like all of the other top dogs involved in this scandal, Weill has emerged from a housing crisis that has impoverished tens of millions of Americans with his own personal fortune intact. Indeed, as evidenced by his vineyard purchase, he has quite a bit of money to throw around. 

Although the value of most housing in Sonoma County, in the heart of the wine country, is down 30 to 50 percent, Weill was willing to pay close to the asking price for his new property. And why not? As the San Francisco Chronicle website quoted one Coldwell Banker real estate agent as saying, the sale “is not an indicator of an emerging real estate recovery, but rather the ability of the world’s wealthiest individuals to buy what they desire.”

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Some guys have all the luck, particularly when they supply the dice. There would be no housing crisis were it not for radical financial deregulation legislation that Weill and other Wall Street hotshots got Clinton to approve. First Weill engineered a merger of the Travelers insurance company, which he headed and which included investment banking in its portfolio, with the commercial banking entity of what was then Citicorp. That merger would have been judged illegal because of the Glass-Steagall legislative barrier to merging investment and commercial banking that President Franklin Roosevelt signed into law to prevent another Great Depression, but Weill got the law changed to accommodate his plans. 

Boy, was Weill ever persuasive, not only enlisting the bipartisan support of Washington politicians but the enthusiastic backing of the establishment media. As The New York Times editorialized back in April of 1998 in praising the merger: “In one stroke Mr. Reed [John Reed of Citigroup] and Mr. Weill will have temporarily demolished the increasingly unnecessary walls built during the Depression to separate commercial banks from investment banks and insurance companies.”

A Times news story that same day also read like a Wall Street lobbyist’s press release: “In a single day, with a bold merger, pending legislation in Congress to sweep away Depression-era restrictions on the financial industry has been given a sudden, and unexpected, new chance of passage. … Indeed, within 24 hours of the deal’s announcement, lobbyists for insurers, banks and Wall Street firms were huddling with Congressional banking committee staff members to fine-tune a measure that would update the 1933 Glass-Steagall Act separating commercial banking from Wall Street and insurance. …”  Notice the Times’ use of “update” to mask what was a clear reversal of the law. 

It helped that former Goldman Sachs honcho Robert Rubin was Clinton’s treasury secretary, and after the bill was passed, Weill rewarded Rubin with a $15-million-a-year job at the new Citigroup, which was now legal, thanks to the legislation Rubin had helped pass. When Clinton signed the bill reversing Glass-Steagall and making the Citigroup merger legal, he gushed: “Today what we are doing is modernizing the financial services industry, tearing down those antiquated laws and granting banks significant new authority.” Clinton then handed Weill a pen he used in signing the bill, and that pen ended up framed on the wall at the CEO’s office near a plaque that paid tribute to Weill as “The Man Who Shattered Glass-Steagall.” And shattered our economy as well. His are the grapes of wrath.

Click here to check out Robert Scheer’s new book,
“The Great American Stickup: How Reagan Republicans and Clinton Democrats Enriched Wall Street While Mugging Main Street.”


Keep up with Robert Scheer’s latest columns, interviews, tour dates and more at www.truthdig.com/robert_scheer

Click here to check out Robert Scheer’s book,
“The Great American Stickup: How Reagan Republicans and Clinton Democrats Enriched Wall Street While Mugging Main Street.”


Keep up with Robert Scheer’s latest columns, interviews, tour dates and more at www.truthdig.com/robert_scheer.



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By garth, November 30, 2010 at 3:26 pm Link to this comment

I don’t mind a mistake—we all make them and when they were handing them out, I got in line twice.

————————————————-

That’s a good one.  I never heard it before.

You’re right we are seldom on the same page.  But some of that might be the limitations of an online blog like TD.

I have been following TD for about three years and I can remember some of your posts from 2008.  You always showed knowledge of what you are saying and you have showed compassion.

I think I might never agree with you about everything.  But you are what I call a National Trweasure.  You’re like the guy, Democrat or Republican, who knows where value is and what makes something important.

When I went anti-semitic about a year ago, and you and Folktuther called me on it, and later formed a sort alliance where you said it would be nice to have a beer with each other, I felt jealousy.

I wanted to sit down and talk with someone who understood the fight between Labor and Management in a capitalist economy.


Let the battles begin.

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By Inherit The Wind, November 29, 2010 at 11:25 pm Link to this comment

Thanks, Garth. We are not often on the same page.

I don’t mind a mistake—we all make them and when they were handing them out, I got in line twice.

But to deliberately mislead on facts…that’s different.

To continue the farce, in Duck Soup, Groucho starts a war with Sylvania just for the hell of it.  We laugh.

In Shock and Awe, Dubya starts a war with Iraa just for the hell of it.  Nobody laughs.

It isn’t funny the second time around, especially off the screen.

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By garth, November 29, 2010 at 12:40 pm Link to this comment

“Inherit The Wind, November 28 at 8:24 pm

Garth:

Groucho Marx told a story about losing about 1/4 million in the Crash of 1929.  He said that all explanations could be distilled down to the words his broker said to him:

‘Marx, the jig is up!’”

—————————————-

When I read that I could picture Groucho’s face. I liked Groucho’s movies and his tv game show, “Say, the secret word and win $100.”
The one thing that came through about him was that he was authentic, not a media personality created by Madison Avenue.

Your insight a few blogs ago that some of this crapola reminded you of a Marx Brothers movie made my day. A whole new insight.

The old saying goes something like this: First time around it’s drama.  Second time around it’s farce.

You nailed it.  It’s all (sick) comedy from the outset.
—————————————————-


To quote you again,

“It’s like the old commercial:

“It’s not nice to fool Mother Nature!”

————————————————-

I appreciate reading your back-and-forths with Mr. GRYMsley on the drums.  His bull snares a lot of casual onlookers.

When one takes the time to track down some of his wild claims, one realizes that it’s a waste of time.  To paraphrase you, If you catch them in a lie, it’s all bullshit.  When I see that that’s the way they operate, factless, I conclude that they are fuckin’ with us, the readers.

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By MycallMcb, November 29, 2010 at 9:19 am Link to this comment

Just finished reading the book “The Great American Stickup” Very informative well writing and NOT Funny nor is the ending .... all things considered….They should be in Jail and not working for Obama to “fix” the problem ABOLISH THE notFEDERAL noRESERVE !

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By Inherit The Wind, November 28, 2010 at 3:24 pm Link to this comment

Garth:

Groucho Marx told a story about losing about 1/4 million in the Crash of 1929.  He said that all explanations could be distilled down to the words his broker said to him:

“Marx, the jig is up!”

That’s about the best description of the current collapse as well.  It’s like the old commercial:

“It’s not nice to fool Mother Nature!”

You cannot ultimately MAKE money unless you actually make SOMETHING.  We’ve been making less and less in the United States for decades, in part because that was the way business could crush the unions, and, in part because business got RR to sign a HUGE tax break for “helping 3rd world countries by opening factories there”.  IOW, by shipping jobs from US to THEM!

The jig is up.

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By garth, November 28, 2010 at 1:14 pm Link to this comment

ITW

“The Lincoln Tunnel was moving (except for an accident involving an out-of-stater—not NY, NJ or CT).”

I bet the out-of-stater was from Massachusetts.  We have the world’s worst drivers up here.  The New Yorkers who come here are always amazed.
———————————————————

“So…the first Saturday at the start of the Xmas shopping season, in the very CENTER of Xmas shopping, the very symbol of it, Mid-town Manhattan, wasn’t a zoo. It wasn’t a giant parking lot.  It was even less crowded than a normal Saturday.

It’s not going to be a good holiday season for the retailers.”

————————————-

I heard the MSM news predict that shopping will start a comeback for the economy; it’s up 2.8%.

Next, I heard a political pollster who said just the opposite, the people of MA do not feel overly eager to spend what they don’t have anymore.

Thank you for your ground level description.  Now, I believe the pollster.

I went to work temporarily in a company that is sending its manufacturing jobs overseas.  The incentive is still there for corporations to go for the cheap labor and sell out their homeland.  Shopping doesn’t seem to be foremost on the minds of those who’ve lost their jobs.

The Republicans are cutting off the Unemployment relief.  Just before Christmas.

Reminds me of a place where I worked about 10 years ago.  My manager’s wife had a baby, and the baby had serious health problems.  He took a day off, the day of the birth, to be with his wife in the delivery room.

He got a call from the President of the company at the hospital, a woman, and she fired him over the phone.  I never could find out the exact reason.

Anyway, the company lasted about another year and went belly-up.  She never worked again at her old level.  My manager landed on his feet.

Karma? What goes around comes around?  I’m not sure what it was but I’ve got that strange feeling we’re headed for the same round-up.

Maybe one can ignore or abuse the primal forces of nature, but shitting on them goes a little too far.

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By Inherit The Wind, November 28, 2010 at 10:42 am Link to this comment

I was just in mid-town Manhattan yesterday—5th Ave, B’way, Madison Ave, all in the 50’s.  This is the Saturday after Black Friday.  Traffic was easy getting in and out of the City.  The Lincoln Tunnel was moving (except for an accident involving an out-of-stater—not NY, NJ or CT).  The streets were no more crowded than any ordinary Saturday, in fact, less, because there was an icy wind blowing.

So…the first Saturday at the start of the Xmas shopping season, in the very CENTER of Xmas shopping, the very symbol of it, Mid-town Manhattan, wasn’t a zoo. It wasn’t a giant parking lot.  It was even less crowded than a normal Saturday.

It’s not going to be a good holiday season for the retailers.

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By garth, November 27, 2010 at 2:27 pm Link to this comment

Roundtable:

“Financialization is a new term used to discuss the
emergence of a new form of capitalism in which
financial markets dominate over the traditional
industrial economy. Traditionally capitalism was the
accumulation of profit through trade and commodity
production. Financialization is understood to mean
the vastly expanded role of financial motives,
financial markets, financial actors and financial
institutions in the operation of domestic and
international economies.”
——————————————————

Your comment reminded me of something I read by Webster Tarpley in, “Surviving the Cataclysm.”  He wrote something like the investment in the financial markets exceeded that invested in the traditional
industrial economy in 1958.  And it hasn’t looked back.

Kevin Phillips book, “Bad Money” says pretty much the same thing.

In Amy Goodman’s interview of John le Carre on DemocracyNow!, le Carre cited news paper articels about the movement throughout the world of money being laundered by banks such as Credit Suisse, Barclays, Wachovia, etc.

They paid fines of around $500 million, but no one went to jail.

I can’t even imagine the sums of money that are being laundered.


T

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By roundtable, November 27, 2010 at 9:23 am Link to this comment

Financialization is a new term used to discuss the
emergence of a new form of capitalism in which
financial markets dominate over the traditional
industrial economy. Traditionally capitalism was the
accumulation of profit through trade and commodity
production. Financialization is understood to mean
the vastly expanded role of financial motives,
financial markets, financial actors and financial
institutions in the operation of domestic and
international economies.
The Glass Steagall Act, the FDR Banking Bill, was
setup over 70 years ago . On November 12, 1999
Council on Foreign Relations member William Jefferson
Clinton stated the, ” Glass- Stegall is no longer
appropriate for our economy. This was good for the
industrial age. The Financial Modernization Bill is
the key to rising paycheck and great security for
ordinary Americans”. Council on Foreign Relations
member William Clinton then signed the ‘Financial
Modernization Bill’.
With the signing of the bill old capitalism and free
market economics died and the “new capitalism” and
markets controlled by a small group of elite
investment bankers was born. The repeal was the
foundation that provided for non transparent
financial manipulation and use of leverage to
revolutionize the activities of investment beginning
in 1999, to amass huge fortunes for the investment
bankers who designed, marketed and oversaw the use of
leveraged investments, and to generate awesomely
speculative endeavors at hedge funds, which have gone
unregulated by government oversight.
Investment leverage snapped with the $20 Billion
Council on Foreign Relations run Carlyle Group bond
fund experiencing margin calls, where risk was
multiplied by 33 to 1 and the underlying assets
represented only 3% of the portfolio value; and those
assets were illiquid, thinly traded issues: it was
reasonable that this fund would be the first of many
countless to break causing a sharp sell off in the
finance, real estate and banking sectors as
investments were sold at fire sale prices to meet the
margin calls. Council on Foreign Relations member
David Rubenstein, co-founder of Carlyle Group, in a
keynote speech at the 15th annual venture capital and
private equity conference at Harvard Business School,
laid some of the blame for the private equity
industry’s troubles on investment banks, “I analogize
it to sex,” Council on Foreign Relations member
Rubenstein said. “You realize there were certain
things you shouldn’t do, but the urge is there and
you can’t resist.”
A major trophy of Council on Foreign Relations member
Sanford Weill is the pen Council on Foreign Relations
member Bill Clinton used to sign the REPEAL of FDR’s
Banking Act. In April 1998 Travelers Group announced
an agreement to undertake the $76 billion merger
between Travelers and Citicorp, and the merger was
completed on October 8, 1998. The possibility
remained that the merger would run into problems
connected with federal law. Ever since the Glass-
Steagall Act, banking and insurance businesses had
been kept separate. Council on Foreign Relations
member Sandy Weill bet that Congress would soon pass
legislation overturning those regulations, which
Council on Foreign Relations member Weill considered
not in his interest. To speed up the process, they
recruited Council on Foreign Relations member ex-
President Gerald Ford (Republican) to the Board of
Directors and Council on Foreign Relations member
Robert Rubin (Secretary of Treasury during Democratic
Council on Foreign Relations member Clinton
Administration) whom Council on Foreign Relations
member Weill was close to. With both Democrats and
Republican on their side, the law was taken down in
less than 2 years.

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By TAO Walker, November 23, 2010 at 7:00 pm Link to this comment

It’s good of “radson” to remind us that the Natural Language of Organic Functional Integrity can be spoken in any tongue.  If theamericanpeople should take it up, they too can acquire some effective immunity to their wannabe rulers’ attempts to propagate CONfusion by perverting the terms of discourse.

More simple and clear-eyed description, and less judgmentally “self”-serving argument, would be a good place to start.

HokaHey!

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By radson, November 22, 2010 at 7:10 pm Link to this comment

Tao Walker

Tnx for the reply and your clarification of ‘CON’ .Yes your right there are way to many Euphemisms in use ;not only today ,but throughout history .The so called Elitists’ whether it be the Religious class ,the
Business class or the Military class ,all have their own lingo which is deceiving to the majority of the masses and the reason is as obvious as you state .Actually I have witnessed the exact opposite of this
Elite lingo in Polska , where the average persons were utilizing the same method ,but at a grass-roots level to deceive the ruling class.

hoka

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By garth, November 22, 2010 at 5:21 pm Link to this comment

There should be no mystery about what is going to happen.

First they set up a polarity (this is within the duopoly) of the left argument and the right argument.  The points can be as different as Progressive is to Regressive. -0 to +0

As the issue goes on, and the arguments grow clear and more specific, it reaches the point of being nit-picking. 

The public’s clamor builds and the tension seems to mount and the counfusion is felt as if it were the ringing of the Basilica bells within ones head, and the public says ‘Stop!’

That’s when the agreement that has been hashed out all along by the Businsesses Bureau and the Guys & Gals called our representatives is unleashed upon us.

This is like a locomotive.  I heard the chug-chug on the Ed Schultz radio call in show. 

But I don’t believe it.  People giving up their freedom so stupidly.  They never knew what freedon is.

Like John Updike said, “He never knew what hit him.”

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By TAO Walker, November 21, 2010 at 5:18 pm Link to this comment

There was no intention to disrespect “radson”‘s native tongue.  Nor is this Old Man the only Person to notice that language’s (and its kins’) diminished capacity, as it is most widely employed here in these latter days and extreme CONditions, to provide its users with any reliable “handle” on their deteriorating circumstances.  On the CONtrary, today’s techno-speak is proving highly useful to those who would prevent any genuinely effective resistance to their globe-girdling “program.”  Chris Hedges, for example, has remarked several times on the crippling inadequacy of the dominance-paradigm “language” (in whatever local lingo) when it comes to enabling users to comprehend and respond in mutually beneficial ways to CONtrived CONditions impacting their lives in CONsistently destructive ways.

The repetition of “CON-” is meant to signify this Old Indian’s observation that much of what our tame Sisters and Brothers seem to take for “gospel” is in-fact the purposeful prostitution of language, by interests vested heavily in maintaining in the masses a state of chronic semantic CONfusion, to accomplish their “self”-serving aim.  The entire “global” pyramid scam is, by its perpetrators’ own boastful admission, a CONfidence scheme. 

Among us surviving free wild Human Beings it is understood and accepted, as it has been by our Ancestors since the time before “time,” that almost nothing of All-That-There-Is can be put into words.  We’ve observed, besides, that trying to force the Living Arrangement to CONform to the limits of “language” (written, especially), locks those who attempt it into a CONceptual framework that inevitably gets rendered obsolete (and thus debilitating to those stuck with it) by the ceaseless “changes” being rung by the Song ‘n’ Dance of Life Herownself.

So, as the Sages have noted, those abiding within the Vision of our Mother Earth find there just isn’t that much that is that worthwhile to say….and even a lot less to bother writing-down.

Though, as “prgill” has remarked, here in the throes of this Heyoka World we’re all having to play against “type,” as we reintroduce to homo domesticus the Natural Language, much of it “signed” and none of it “symbol”-ized, of Organic Functional Integrity.   

HokaHey!

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ETNIKS's avatar

By ETNIKS, November 21, 2010 at 5:13 pm Link to this comment

godistwaddle You are WRONG to say we can’t do anything about it.
We sure can but with that attitude you’re already defeated.
We need to convince enough people to start using SOVEREIGN MONEY not created by the Fractional Reserve Banking System.
Money is a STATE OF MIND shared by enough people to make it a trading medium. THAT’S ALL.
The Banking cartel is using the issuance of currency to control us all as puppets on a string.  If we cut off that link they lose their power.
We close down the FED by not using its currency and instead pay their debt dollars with the new currency.
Search for THE MONEY MASTERS, MONEY AS DEBT, on google and watch them as many times as you need to understand it and follow their suggestions.
Of course we have recourse.

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By ETNIKS, November 21, 2010 at 4:55 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

This guy Damon has a very accurate point of view on this, and we need to assimilate what he says to make the next step.
The Fractional Reserve Banking System is the foundation where the Munster gets its power and control.  We need to dump the FED AND the system to start anew with no debts, using SOVEREIGN MONEY as opposed to DEBT MONEY.
Check it here
Damon Vrabel
Renaissance 2.0: Lesson 1 - Revisiting American History - Financial Empire
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l37RhdFGVsM

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By REDHORSE, November 21, 2010 at 4:13 pm Link to this comment

PHREEPHAN/TRUTHDGGR: In a sense, you’re both correct. There is (my opinion) an intentional manipulation by imperialist/capitalist forces to consolidate regions for easier political/financial control. The reality (my observation/opinion) that communications technology has unified World Consciousness to such an extent that “isms” of all types are obsolete is driving financial oligarchs in a desperate attempt to maintain power by seizing totalitarian control of World financial systems and natural resources.

  Two examples of why I believe this are: (1) Their fear of, and fight to gain control of the Internet, to prevent the inevitable dialogue between Peoples that will bring their venality to light, prevent their continued exploitation of Peoples and resources, and destroy the manufactured lie they hold in place at gunpoint. (2) There has been an obvious merger of International, National and Worldwide Black Market Criminal Finance (shadowland drugs-human trafficking-weapons-money laundering)). This is reflected in the absolute amoral vacuum present in the decisions made by National Governments in regard to the Peoples they represent. There is tacit acknowledgment in the psychology of the press, National financial systems Worldwide and by the prescence of so called Military “black ops” that an “above/outside-the-law-elite” is efforting to establish World domination. “homeland” vs. Country. “Patriot Act” vs. Constitutional Law. Etc. The merger of politics/entertainment and the need for a propagandist media vs. a Free Press is proof.

    At the same time intelligent Peoples throughout the World recognize that avaricious greed and exploitation of human lives and natural resources without regard to consequence has pushed us to an environmental/social/political tipping point. To paraphrase Lincoln: “You can suppress some of the people some of the time, murder and terrorize a lot of the people part of the time, lie to the people whenever you want, but you can’t lie, murder, terrorize and suppress all the people forever”. The thugs are over. “The “above/outside-the-law-elite” beyond the danger all insane criminals pose to themselves and others are no longer relevant to human destiny. And they know it. The Peoples of the World are turning from the manufactured gunpoint lie and becoming ever more reliant on the Cultures, Languages, Religions and lands that have sustained them. Hence the fractures and splits. Like the Tower of Babel, hubristic arrogance has so violated the Spiritual Universal reality of the Natural World that Consciousness is fractured in such a way that WE can no longer understand each other. So, we retreat into ourselves.

    Americans are experienceing an open assault on their social/financial systems, and human dignity. The call in the 1960’s for a realignment of American values, equality, return to the Earth, sane energy, and the opportunity for a meaningfull life free of the mindless corrupt valueless “plastic” manufactured Corporate Culture destroying Liberty was countered by an assault on civil rights through the imposition of a for profit prison/industrial complex (insane drug laws), the gutting of American Industry and Education, the destruction of the Free Press, and now, the open looting of the American Economy.

    TAO WALKER is correct that we lead “half lives” and, we do need to redefine the word “Civilization”. Faith that somehow corrupt hogs will turn into Swans is a fools view. Change has come. Those who mean us harm see it clearly. It’s a New World. It’s OUR World. Let the dead bury the dead.

    This is not a time for sleep.

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By garth, November 21, 2010 at 3:42 pm Link to this comment

If Mr. Sandy Weill is Attila the Hun of the US economy, we should take note that the rest of officialdom at Washington and the banksters of New York are ravenous mongrels.  They are like the pilferers that must have followed Attila and picked up all the valuable odds and ends that remained.

For example, Pfizer drug would not and could not under law tell Gov. Schweitzer of Montana the price per pill that they were charging his state as part of the Medicaid.  They say, “Just hand us the $25 million and shut up.  Now, there’s a fine how d’ya do!

All the talking heads on the Sunday morning circuit are making joke of the use of X-ray scanners at the airports, while they show anecdotal reportage about the advanced pat down, or groping. Nice ploy.

The advanced groping technique is meant to force people to go through the scanner.  They want more X-rays. 

The specifications for the scanning machines called for storage memory and network access.  Why is that?  They stated unequivocally that these X-rays would be deleted after they were reviewed.

The next step is to heighten the advanced groping technique.  They’ll introduce something like a dildo that’ll ream you out if you resist the groping and the scanner.  If that doesn’t make you back down, they’ll take you to a private room and introduce you to Vlad the Impaler.  I can almost hear the screams in the airport now.

Young travelers talk about ‘touching their junk.’  To me it’s more like my memorabilia, but I still don’t want it handled, fondled, or mutilated.

I bet Dr. Chertoff, besides being the lobbyist for the company that makes these death ray machines, also has money invested in Cancer Treatment Centers.  Consider it drumming up business for them with a smile on his face and a shine on his shoes.

Now, they tell me through the mail, that Medicare Part D is mandatory.  And if I hold off or miss the enrollment, I have to pay an extra 1% per month.

The letter gives the example of 19 months.  If I don’t cough up the mandatory Part D money for the pills for 19 months, I have to pay an extra 19% per month for the coverage.

When and how’s this shit going to end?

My question was, What are they going to do after they’ve won?  I heard one critic say that we’re headed for a neo-feudalism. 

I saw that in the aftermath to Katrina.  A vibrant American city turned into a lily white tourist attraction.  Who will be the feudal lords?

To Shuole, let’s see you come up with a body suit made of Lead (Pb).  Slip into it before going to the airport.  It’ll be be paper thin, just enough to protect us from Chertoff’s X-rays. 

Call the suit ‘PlumBum.’  It’s made of Plumbum (Lead) and protects your plum and your bum from these diabolical killers.

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By PhreedomPhan, November 21, 2010 at 1:38 pm Link to this comment

truedigger3 says:

PhreedomPhan,

You are projecting your shortcomings and attitudes on me and that is another often used tactic from fox news.. Suppose for the argument sake, I explained “enlightened” to your heart satisfaction, what REAL difference willthat entail. You know damn right what I mean by “enlightened”.
Get Lost!  Over And Out.!

PhreedomPhan says:

Whatever you say, Katharine.

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By truedigger3, November 21, 2010 at 11:59 am Link to this comment

Re: By PhreedomPhan, November 21 at 12:45 pm

PhreedomPhan,

You are projecting your shortcomings and attitudes on me and that is another often used tactic from fox news.. Suppose for the argument sake, I explained “enlightened” to your heart satisfaction, what REAL difference willthat entail. You know damn right what I mean by “enlightened”.
Get Lost!  Over And Out.!

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By PhreedomPhan, November 21, 2010 at 7:45 am Link to this comment

truedigger3

“I expect this kind of blanket statement from fox news…”

I expect this kind of statement from a pseudo-intellectual party-liner who will tolerate no difference of opinion.  Typically, they come roaring in as a Grand Inquisitor when someone says something they don’t like.

I’d be glad to review any error I might make if it’s pointed out by someone with a brain that’s functioning on both sides.

Semantics???

Your pathetically weak explanation of what you mean by enlightenment is exactly what I now expect from you.  I’d ask what your definition of reason and scientific thinking is, but I don’t want to be responsible for blowing your lone gray cell.

Here’s my answer to anything else you might say:

“Whatever you say, Katharine.”

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By truedigger3, November 21, 2010 at 6:53 am Link to this comment

Re: By PhreedomPhan, November 21 at 2:33 am

With all due respect when you make a blanket statement like the following:
“Right now, the greatest resistance to international finance is Islam”, that mean you don’t know what are you talking about.
I expect this kind of blanket statement from fox news but not from soemeone who knows what he is talking about.
I tried to explain to you, but you insist on your error and revert to semantics.
What did I mean by enlightment? Okay, I meant adhering to reason and scientific thinking.
I regret wasting my time with you.!!

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By prgill, November 21, 2010 at 3:37 am Link to this comment

HokaHey, Tao Walker, I just left a note for you on:

‘White Material’: Portrait of the Colonist in a Post-Colonial Land

A provocative film review.

For my part, I’m still struggling with “the Living Language of Organic Functional Integrity”. Could you refresh my mind, and perhaps the minds of other contributors to this thread, as to what exactly this means, or alternatively, where in previous posts you defined this concept?

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By radson, November 20, 2010 at 10:06 pm Link to this comment

Tao Walker

You use the word CON repeatedly in your posts almost like a Con -in French - that is .Are you you cognizant to its meaning or are you just being a CON in order to state your case ,as far as the English
language being limited in its vocabulary-really - in comparison to what -the native lingo,which probably has more significance using sign language than actual words ,hell you guys didn’t: even have a written
vocabulary until when?So don’t piss on a language even though it borrows so much from other civilizations including Francais ,as you are doing with your Con -comme un vrai Con.

PS i still appreciate your philosophy

hoka

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By PhreedomPhan, November 20, 2010 at 9:33 pm Link to this comment

truedigger3,

I made every effort to give you an honest and sincere explanation to your question even though I didn’t think for a moment that there was an ounce of honesty or sincerity in that question.

It would take a book to try to cover all aspects of almost any issue.  I don’t have time and comments don’t allow enough characters to cover everything.  You do a lot of stating the obvious even if it has no bearing on what I said.  I also noticed you did an excellent job of avoiding my question for you.

I have no objection to discussing subjects with sincere people, but until I see a satisfactory answer to my question from you, I can’t see wasting anymore time with you.

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By truedigger3, November 20, 2010 at 7:31 pm Link to this comment

Re: By PhreedomPhan, November 20 at 11:28 pm,

The trend is not toward Federation but toward fragmentation.
Iraq is now de facto 3 coutries, Suni, Shia, Kurds parts.
Bangladesh seceded from Pakistan and both are Muslims.
Yoguslavia broke up into 6 countries.
Chekoslavakia broke up into two countries.
Many Catalonians and Basques want to secede from Spain.
Israel is now a wedge that seperates Egypt from the rest of the Arabs in the Middle East.
How the Arabs, Indonisians, Iranians, Pakistanis,  the Muslim black Africans, the Turks,  the Muslims in the former Soviet Union , the Muslims in China, the Muslims in Albania and the former Yugoslvia etc etc.. will be all in one Federation??!!
These are all different peoples, with different cultures, races, ethnicities, languages, customs, interest etc etc ...
And you mix between Arabs and Muslims. Not all Arabs are Muslims and not all Muslims are Arabs. There are a sizable Christian Arabs minority in the Arab World.
If there is a problem between Iran and the International finance as you say, that does’nt mean all Muslim have the same problem too!!!
When someone asks you for an explanation or elaboration for a statement you wrote, that does’nt mean he is asking for a legal brief or research document as you complain!.

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By TAO Walker, November 20, 2010 at 6:35 pm Link to this comment

The induced estrangement of the subspecies homo domesticus from the Living Arrangement of our Mother Earth, in the process here of the invasive “civilization” disease, has about run its inevitable course.  Manufactured “individuals” are not only in CONstant CONflict each “one” with every “other,” most are beset with crippling CONfusion within their own CONtrived “self.”

In the “global” arena there is world-wide gang warfare between fanatical adherents to various religious and “national” and other make-believe ideological CONstructs….much of it supposedly over “resources.”  All of this renders our tame Sisters and Brothers, who nevertheless remain components of Her immune system, helpless to resist the ravages of the disease on our Mother Earth’s Living Arrangement, as well as in their own miserably isolated half-lives.

It may be correct, as “Gerard” says and “prgill” seconds, that those with pulpits of one kind or another are better positioned to be more influential in “the-marketplace-of-ideas” than are most people.  At this stage of the sickness, though, all such CONceptual talk is at-best cheap.  Most of it, however, is now downright septic, because it’s CONfined to loaded terms in an intentionally impoverished “language” serving the Life-draining purposes of the same retro-viral “invader” we’re all responding-to as best we can here.

This Old Indian uses (within the deliberately CONstricting limits of “English”), and has several times recommended here, the Living Language of Organic Functional Integrity for those facets of our Living Response that can be perhaps beneficially talked-about together.  Otherwise we’re just passing gaseous poisons back-and-forth.

For the rest, and despite the domesticates’ long-time degenerative addiction to abstract CONceits reduced to words, the less said the better.

HokaHey!

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By PhreedomPhan, November 20, 2010 at 6:28 pm Link to this comment

to truedigger3 (cont.)

On to specifics.  I made this observation based on the progress made on the 1941-42 map and plan shown in my lostliberty blog.  I point out that not all of the plan has been achieved, but much has.  In some cases, plans may have changed.  In other areas, fulfillment continues today.

An example of changed plans is the release of the East European countries from the Soviet Union.  They were likely needed to make the “United States of Europe” a viable regional superstate.  A major step toward the “Union of African Republics” was achieved with the destruction of the white governments in S. Africa and Rhodesia.  We continue to build China as the premier military and economic power in Asia moving toward the United Republics of China.

The one area that appears to be a total failure is the Islamic Middle East.  They’ve failed miserably in their design for a “demilitarized union of “Arabian Federated Republics” and the Muslims of Pakistan threw a major Monkey Wrench in their plans for India.  Afghanistan also resisted inclusion in the India plan and Iran refused to become an SSR.  It seems their only success was the little isolated Hebrewland that was apparently not designated to be part of a superstate.

Not to worry though.  We’ve already put in a puppet government in Iraq that is probably more amenable to the NWO plans and we’re working on Iraq and Pakistan.  Iran is likely to be bombed into the stone age soon and we’re already working on a excuse to obliterate Yemen.

Here’s part of the plan outlined with the map.

21. The areas known as Saudi Arabia, Syria, Lebanon, Iraq, Hejas, Yemen, Aden and Oman, shall be unified as a demilitarized union of “ Arabian Federated Republics.”


You don’t have to go to lostliberty to see the map and plan.  It’s available at the Library of Congress and the University of San Diego.  I recommend the U. of S.D. copy because it’s easier to navigate.

http://hdl.loc.gov/loc.gmd/g3200.ct001256
http://history.sandiego.edu/gen/maps/1900s/1942world4000.jpg

But you don’t have to take the word of a poor, uneducated bumpkin like me.  Dr. Ellen Brown wrote an excellent article debunking some of the excuses for war with Iran.  What she considers the real motive is Islamic law which prohibits usury and thwarts the plans of Daddy Big Bucks.

Under a major section heading “Compound Interest: Financial Weapon of Mass Destruction,”  Dr. Brown says “What bankers call the “miracle” of compound interest is called “usury” under Islamic law and is considered a crime. It was also a crime under Old English law until the sixteenth century, when Martin Luther redefined the offense of “usury” to mean the taking of “excess” interest. Modern Islamic thinkers are not averse to a profitable return on investment when it takes the form of “profit-sharing,” with investors taking some risk and sharing in business losses; but the usurer gets his interest no matter what. In fact he does better when the borrower fails. The borrower who cannot afford to pay off his loans sinks deeper and deeper into debt, as interest compounds annually to the lender.  Does that last sentence sound like any country you know?

Here’s the link to her article: “Behind the Drums of War: Nuclear Weapons or Compound Interest”

http://www.webofdebt.com/articles/war-with-iran.php

BTW, on what basis did you write that “Some Muslims are enlightened and some are not.”  What constitutes “enlightened?”  Surely it doesn’t just mean they agree with your point of view?  Can you elaborate and explain your statement?

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By PhreedomPhan, November 20, 2010 at 6:27 pm Link to this comment

truedigger3,

It’s difficult to pinpoint a specific basis on why I said Islam is the greatest resistance to international finance.  Much of it is general observation and knowledge of the “money powers” for some 35 years.  I’m not a writer or academic, so I can’t always site specific evidence to prove my points, but then I don’t think I have to.  The idea that some form of legal brief is required of the private citizen to prove their beliefs and statements is an underhanded trick used by intellectual prostitutes who have sold their minds to money.  It’s an attempt to silence all opposition.

Unfortunately, a lot of people are caught up in this who are not the pawns of money, but they seem to adopt this technique to try to refute opposition to their ideas or maybe just because it seems to be the “intellectual” thing to do.

(Ran out of characters for my complete answer. so I’ll follow this introduction with the main body of my post.)

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By PhreedomPhan, November 20, 2010 at 10:45 am Link to this comment

aacme88,

As you said, when someone accumulated all of the money and property, the game was over.  But I grew up in a really rough neighborhood.  When we found out that someone was printing their own money to buy everything and swindle the rest of us out of our money and property, we hanged them.  Game Over!  wink

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By truedigger3, November 20, 2010 at 9:51 am Link to this comment

Re: By PhreedomPhan, November 20 at 2:43 am


PhreedomPhan wrote:
“Right now, the greatest resistance to international finance is Islam.”
____________________________________________________

I am not sure on what basis did you writte that statement?.
Islam and Muslims are not monolithic homoganeous entity.
Islam is not a political economic philosophy but a religion who like any other religion has many sects and many different interpretations and is spread across many continents and nations
Muslims are Suni, Shia and Alawi etc etc etc..
Some Muslims are enlightened and some are not.
Muslims are black, white, yellow and brown etc..
Muslims are rich and poor and the rich of them are part and parcel of international finance and the poor of them are powerless and struggling to survive like any other poor group.
Can you elaborate and explain your statement?

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By aacme88, November 20, 2010 at 6:18 am Link to this comment

Oh, yeah. I guess we have to ask ourselves. Do we want it to be over, or do we still want a chance to play?

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By aacme88, November 20, 2010 at 6:14 am Link to this comment

@ garth

Re: motivation. Why do they do it? What happens then?

Ever play Monopoly? It takes a while, but the object of the game is to get more. Eventually someone begins to emerge as getting more than everybody else. And eventually that person, or another if that person missteps, gets it all.
What then? The game’s over.

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By Trudi, November 20, 2010 at 12:10 am Link to this comment

Thanks for helpful comment/perspective from By PhreedomPhan,
written November 18 at 2:22 am:

“. . .Our industry has been systematically and
deliberately dismantled and shipped all over the world
leaving us on the brink of third world status.

One man did not shatter our economy.  It didn’t happen
over night.”

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By PhreedomPhan, November 19, 2010 at 9:43 pm Link to this comment

Lafayette, the only difference between the world of Big Brother and the world today is that surveillance and control is far greater than Orwell could ever have imagined.  He could foresee where Fabian Socialism (IngSoc) was taking us, but he couldn’t predict the tremendous advances in technology.  In Winston Smith’s world, it was only the party members who were so carefully watched.  The people were not considered a threat.  Today, everyone is watched and people who believe in liberty, who oppose big government and support Constitutional limitations are considered by the Dept. of Justice to be a threat to “national security.”  [I wrote this earlier today but had to go out before I could post it.  Now I see Truthdig has an article about it, but I haven’t had chance to read it.  Well, I’m not the first to make this observation and I won’t be the last.]

In terms of what you call “Income Fairness,” we were way ahead of Europe.  Wilson, with the help of House, imported Fabianism in 1913.  The graduated income tax was set up to “tax the rich.”  That was the myth.  The reality was that the super rich had already put their money into the tax free foundations and other loopholes their agents in Congress and the Administration had built into the law.  The tax itself was designed to create a method of extracting the wealth of the independent middle class to pay interest on the perpetual national debt that was to be created through the Federal Reserve.  WWI was, in turn, created to start the debt ball rolling.

There are several reasons, in my opinion, for the “success” of the European socialist systems.  Firstly, they haven’t any major segments in their societies that think they are entitled to support from the government.  Secondly, the U.S., still running on the momentum built by a now defunct comparatively free enterprise system, poured billions into the economies of Europe.  I now believe much of the “foreign aid” that left this country was to build the infrastructure needed to transfer American industry around the world.  Thirdly, money poured out to maintain our military bases has helped maintain European economies and many others around the world.  Now that the United States is fast becoming a third world country through blood letting produced by the incisions of the Welfare/Warfare State and “Foreign Aid,” I wonder who is going to prop up the rest of the world.  China?  She has to feed her own first.

Prgill, there hasn’t been a war fought for America in at least a century.  Teddy’s war was fought to take the Empire beyond the continental limits.  The “big ones” were fought to make the world safe for the New World Order, and the others largely mopping up operations to quell resistance.  Right now, the greatest resistance to international finance is Islam. 

By the way, folks.  An article in UK’s Financial Times inspired me to set up a fund to help bankers like Weil make their mortgage payments in these difficult times.  Have you sent your check yet?

http://phreedomphan-lostliberty.blogspot.com/2010/10/please-help.html

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By PhreedomPhan, November 19, 2010 at 9:27 pm Link to this comment

You’re welcome, Redhorse.  I hope you find the information useful.  Gomberg’s “New World Moral Order” map clearly shows the plan for world domination by the “planners.”  When I first saw a copy about 35 years ago, I thought that would be all that was needed to wake people up to the fact that all of this has been well planned in advance.  I never dreamed people could rationalize and dismiss it as they have.  That’s what scares me.

If I may make a suggestion, it may be a good idea for those who do not like the name “American Indian” to refer to “Indigenous Americans.”  My great-grandparents immigrated here (legally) from Germany early in the last century.  I was born in Philadelphia and am, therefore, a “Native American.”

In reference to the idea of the system denying financial independence, someone once observed that a government that depends on the people for its support is controlled by the people.  A people dependent on the government for its support is controlled by the government.

Garth, be careful what you wish for.  Teddy Roosevelt, the man who launched the American global empire, was styled a “progressive.”  Jimmy Carter, billed alternately as the “progressive” or “conservative” Georgia Democrat with no ties to the Eastern Liberal Establishment is the one who brought in the Trilaterals, the shock troops of the Council on Foreign Relations.  This was expanded by “conservative” Ronald Regan.”

Felicity, I have some problems with your T-Shirt.  You’re trying to say too much.  You probably need a billboard unless you’re a very big girl.  As to content, I’m afraid your first line ignores the fact that the ultimate responsibility to protect ourselves lies with us.  That’s one of the reasons for the right to keep and bear arms.  The second point is valid only if we accept the premise that we are the property of the State which then has the right to protect its property.  Otherwise, the State has no business protecting us from ourselves.  The third should emphasize that those are State and/or local functions and not the business of the federal government.  As I said, you need a billboard.

But if you’re still intent on doing it, I would make this suggestion.  Unless you are planning to produce a large number of these shirts, commissioning production could be an unnecessarily expensive way to go.  You can probably buy a package of Transfer Sheets at Staples or OfficeMax or a similar store and make your own using your printer and an iron.  It’s easy.  I’ve done it.

Someone once made an observation that would be good for T-Shirts.  “We have met the enemy and they are our leaders.”

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By garth, November 19, 2010 at 6:06 pm Link to this comment

Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, aka Omar Farooq al-Nigeri aka the Christmas Day bomber, was born in Lagos, Nigeria, and he is a Muslim.  Dontcha kno’.

While on board Northwest Airlines Flight 253, en route from Amsterdam to Detroit, Michigan, on December 25, 2009, according to reliable sources, Umar was a squirmin’ and a scratchin’ in in his seat. 

One passenger in the aisle on his way to the lavatory noticed this muffled sound.  As he approached Umar it became clear. 

The young lad was saying, “My balls itch.”

The passenger thought it was a re-enactment of a Cheech and Chong movie.

As it turns out, Umar went to the airport with a well-dressed Swiss man.  The Swiss gent insisted to airport security that Umar did not need a passport, that he was a victim of tribal warfare and was going America to meet his new parents, dontcha kno’.

He got on board and that’s where the news media picked up the story.

A few days after Christmas, Dr Chertoff went around screaming that if we had scanners, this would’ve never happened.

Dr. Chertoff, as it turns out, was a lobbyist-salesman for the company that makes the scanners.

Maybe Dr. Chertoff goofed around a little too much at the sales kickoff demos and allowed himself to be scanned once or twice too often.  Or maybe he needs a pizza.

Anyhoo, it’s all comedy. 

I can’t wait for the sequel.

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By Frederick Blize, November 19, 2010 at 4:43 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I just wanted to thank Mr. Scheer for focusing a spotlight on this issue. The right
wing media is running a revisionist campaign to conceal or distort the truth.
Deregulation is one of the primary causal factors the lead to the housing crisis.
Conservatives are still trying to blame minorities and first time homebuyers, and of
course Fannie/Freddie, Barney Frank, CRA, blah, blah, blah.

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By Peter, November 19, 2010 at 3:34 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Any event ocurring within and under a debt driven
economic model is vudu.
Hi-jacked Fractional Reserve Banking is the greatest
crime in human history. The sheeple’s ignorance is
meticulously molded at every level.
Solution? Honesty Money.
Peter.

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By Frank Nelson, November 19, 2010 at 3:24 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

So, it is Dr. Chertoff and the X-ray scanning machine business you’re protecting.  Dr. Chertoff himself looks like a victim of too many x-rays.

Cats are mysterious animals.  And so are helpless, defenseless, unsuspecting Jews. I don’t wish my cats any ill and I don’t make threats.

If Chertoff arranged the Christmas Day Bomber, then that’s his schtick. The results are starting to become clear. 

What, in the world, are you after? 

You bastards might win, but what is winning?  Will you have to live amongst yourselves afterwards.  Ever live with a camel?

Is intelligence all that important to you?  Have you have no soul?


It’s tough to be fearful.

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By Frank Nelson, November 19, 2010 at 3:21 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

So, it is Dr. Chertoff and the X-ray scanning machine business you’re protecting.  Dr. Chertoff himself looks like a victim of too many x-rays.

Cats are miraculous animals.  And so are helpless, defenseless, unsuspecting Jews. I don’t wish my cats any ill and I don’t make threats.

If Chertoff arranged the Christmas Day Bomber, then that’s his schtick. The results are starting to become clear.  what in the world are you after? 

You bastards might win, but what is winning?  Do you have to live amongst yourselves afterwards.  Ever live with a camel?

Is intelligence all that important to you?  Have you have no soul?


It’s tough to be fearful.

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By zafar khan, November 19, 2010 at 1:08 pm Link to this comment

What I resent most is being played for a fool by politicians and big business. Perhaps two sides of the same coin. Quick. Do you know of any investment that offers a 400% return on your money? I do. Suppose you are really dumb and lose your investment. Not to worry, the US Govt, meaning us, the tax payers will bail you out. Please see my post at http://www.silentconscience.org/2010/11/name-business-backed-by-us-government.html

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By felicity, November 19, 2010 at 11:14 am Link to this comment

Redhorse - as to the necessities of life you
mentioned, I’m going to commission someone to print
my t-shirt with the 3 responsibilities of government
:  to protect us from each other; to protect us from
ourselves; to do for us what we can’t do for
ourselves (like fund a private fire department,
police department, dig a water well, build a private
natural gas line to my house…) 

I intend to wear it to the next Teabagger
conflagration.

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By garth, November 19, 2010 at 10:46 am Link to this comment

Let Sandy Weill who just picked up a humdinger of a wine vineyard estate in Sonoma, Calif., for a record $31 million, have his vineyard.

At this point, so much of this complaining and revelation is just pounding sand.

A while back, I was overweight and out of shape and I mentioned to a man who was sort of my mentor that I was going to get into great shape, you know, get down to my fighting weight.  He asked me, “What are you going to do then?”

I ask the same question to the world’s landlords, “What are you going to do after you have everything? 

It should be obvious now with the TSA brouhaha about groping and scanners that the Christmas Day ‘bomber’ was a set up.  Chertoff was hard on the heels of that news selling scanners, of which he was the company’s lobbyist. 

They are after it all.  I mean ALL.

But what are they going to do then?  What’s in Act II or is it Act III.

I say, Fuck ‘em.  Let ‘em have it all.  Let them have the solace and the solitude of being obscenely wealthy in a world devoid of humanity.

In the meantime, we should raise money for the 90 or so Progressive Democrats who remain in the House.  Don’t give to the DNC!  They piss it away on who knows what.

Form a PAC.  Headed by Ralph Nader, a man who can squeeze a nickel till the buffalo defecates.  (I heard that from one of the founders of Air America, I forgot his name, who once worked for Nader.)

Provide the funds for Progressive causes and give only to the Progressive Caucus.  To hell with the rest of those pickle farmers in the Democratic Party.

Tend our own garden.  It’ll grow!  And it’s going to take time.  One doesn’t just wake and say, the world has changed.  We have to accept the fight and engage them by doing what hurts them and what helps the Progressive cause.  Money is all they unnerstan’.

Organize, invest and rejuvenate the Progressive Caucus.  Right now in the House, it looks like 90 against the rest of them bastards.


The wealthy remind me of a quip about God taking a few recent arrivals on a tour of Heaven.  He turned off the engine as the craft passed a cloud.  God turned to the passengers and said, “It’s the Christians.  They think they are the only ones up here.”

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Lafayette's avatar

By Lafayette, November 19, 2010 at 5:07 am Link to this comment

BIG BROTHER

OU: The next step is to live a “thoughtful” life and understand what compassion to your fellow humans means; and it all falls from there.

Well Put.

Now throw out your TV set. Or, at least, lock out all channels that peddle the mind-numbing ideology of superlative “greatness” of Uncle Sam and his economic system.

Which is nonsense ... it needs major lipo-suction. And that will must come from the grassroots that has somehow found the common good sense to no longer elect those who will connive with the God of Mammon for personal gain.

The single notion of Income Fairness, as an economic objective, would do wonders for the country. Like Robin Hood, it will take from the far-too-rich (by means of taxation) and give to the poorer classes (by means of Public Services).

That formula has worked in Europe for close to half a century since it was imposed after its almost total destruction in WW2.

Whilst America went on its merry way (“victorious”) catering to the Military-Industrial-Complex that it had established during the war. And which brought us yet further wars that cost the lives of tens of thousands of “our boys” and countless wounded and mentally affected.

Greatness has is price. And the charlatans would have us believe a sick individual, hiding and (probably dieing from a medical insufficiency) in a mountain cave in some part of western Pakistan, is a somehow a major threat to our lives.

So we cower, fearful, behind the shield of Homeland Security; when the rot that indeed will cripple us, in fact, comes from within.

Familiarize yourself with George Orwell’s “1984”. The novel’s plot foresees what is happening today (with BigBrother); not exactly, but sufficiently well to make us think hard about what is happening presently within America.

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By prgill, November 19, 2010 at 4:08 am Link to this comment

HokaHey, Tao Walker.

Great comment and great thread. I like Gerard’s November 17 rejoinder on punditry:

It’s just that in pundits the addiction is more dangerous because it guarantees that they will not—probably cannot—think and say anything that has not been thought and said before.

Tenants of Turtle Island have become inured to logic and reason, having been fed the gruel of mass media punditry, financed and paid for by the people who brought you the Mexican American War, which is not to say Pearl Harbor.

Deception is built into the system and works best when the many thousands are channeled so that their walk resonates and synchronizes with a “medium’s” natural frequency. (To understand what I am talking about you might have a look at “London Millenium Bridge Opening”.)

The only reasonable way out is to think for yourself and follow the Tao, or simply not cross at the bridge.

All the best from the “old continent”.

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Ouroborus's avatar

By Ouroborus, November 18, 2010 at 11:36 pm Link to this comment

For most of us, what has happened, happened: the real
question is; what will we do about our future?
For the millions of Americans in financial ruin, this
could be looked at as an opportunity. Most, but not
all, have only themselves to blame for their
ridiculously materialistic life-styles.
I for one will never be led by anybody, any religion,
philosophy or belief system.
The first step is to withdraw from consumerism. The
next step is to live a “thoughtful” life and
understand what compassion to your fellow humans
means; and it all falls from there.

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By REDHORSE, November 18, 2010 at 5:45 pm Link to this comment

I’m heartened to see a few here (ALTURN/TAOWALKER/M.B.BARNES) who ask we consider our lives, the living forces within them, and within ourselves. The concept that “life,liberty and the pursuit of happiness” as THE primary value vs. $$$$$ makes me feel folk may be waking up to their own power. LIFE IS WHERE MEANING RESIDES. ALTURNS quote at the end of his/her post is exactly correct. World Human Consciousness HAS transcended “isms”. Is your life of so little value that you can be driven from your home because of criminal Wall Street manipulations? It’s the same snake belly evil that drove Native Americans onto reservations.

    I also appreciate LAFAYETTES attempt to quell the panic onboard. We’re a long way from whipped. I agree with, and enjoy posters comments, indignation, links and debates but a dying-cockroach-legs-in-the-air attitude often developes when rage overwhelms reason. “WE the people-” (both civilized and wild) are the power. A good inventory of loss IS necessary, but we’re still standing. What’s the SLOW TRAIN Dylan line:“Strengthen the things that remain—”. I’m glad Mr.Scheer outed the thug Weill. Look at his face. Would you want to be THAT?

      Thanks for the links and comments ANDERSON/PHREEDOM PHAN!! “Man, if you ain’t scared you ain’t right.” (“They” knowingly aware of the consequence do harm. That’s evil. “They” suffer from a disease of the Soul. It is the willingness of “their” inate greed to exploit systemic weakness for gain at the expense of a Nations future andpeople that makes them irrelevant and obsolete.) The Supreme Courts “United” decision, and the necromancer Roves rise, without shame or MSM comment, to infamy makes it clear the destruction is intentional.

      FAT FRED and FELICITY and their repeated discussion of our “debt economy” and the (my opinion) intentional system to deny the independence financial savings allows always calls for an inventory of personal action and reponsibility. I’ve mentioned a talk Russel Means (AIM) gave in which he ask’d the bare bones question: “Can you access food, water and shelter independently of the Federal Government?” Can you? The thugs are dangerous, paranoid and dying. “We the people—” refuse to die with them!!

      Most all on the thread acknowledge that human choice, finance, American society/culture and life itself has been reduced to a shell game by a corrupt Washington and the “company store” financial manipulations of the Wall Street Weill type thugs who control it.

      We’re already outside the box. Hell, there is no box: Think!

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By garth, November 18, 2010 at 5:21 pm Link to this comment

The Boston Business Journal reports that US has slipped for 6th to 10th in Pension Fund savings, below Chile.  That was thanks to (1) the Dot.com bubble and (2) the Finacial Meldown.  That was the coup de grace.

Many can no longer retire, and it looks like we haven’t reached bottom yet. 

Read Matt Taibbi’s piece ths Month in Rolling Stone on the foreclosure debacle.

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By balkas, November 18, 2010 at 4:25 pm Link to this comment

yes, god, nature or godnature gave us at birth everything we need; there is no
extras to be had after that.
however, in inegalitarian societies and after robbing us of our inheritance:
interdependence, honesty, telling the truth, sharing of what there is, that wasn’t
sufficient and never ever will be as things stand now.

we are destined to forever be servants and a minorty of people our masters.

swiss model show that it doesn’t have to be that way; however, study of that
model is even banned on dissident sites let alone msm.

and then one resurrects a dead ‘communist’ [means socalled] like lenin, stalin
mao, or dead prez like lincoln, jefferson, adams to prove hod bad ‘communism’
was-is and how good americanism is.
but it works; the swindle or snake oil sale and alwys. but how about forever? tnx

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By Lafayette, November 18, 2010 at 3:37 pm Link to this comment

BZ: FDR would not be happy that a Democratic president went along with a Republican Congress to dismantle Glass-Steagal.

But ask yourself why the Dem PotUS went along.

My take on that question: Rubin had convinced Billy-boy that should he agree to the demise of Glass-Steagall, then the Money Mavens on Wall Street would look kindly upon funding Hillary’s run on the Presidency.

As always, follow the money trail ...

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By BobZ, November 18, 2010 at 3:03 pm Link to this comment

If FDR were alive today, he of course would recognize the Republican party as the
charlatans they have always been. Give credit to the Republican’s. They haven’t
changed their stripes since Warren G. Harding was president. But FDR would not
recognize his own party and the way they have sold out the liberal values that
Roosevelt and his administration put in place. His policies set the foundation for
five decades of prosperity that only started to falter when Reagan came in to
power and he and his GE mentors put in place the marketing plan to sell
conservatism and corporatism. FDR would not be happy that a Democratic
president went along with a Republican Congress to dismantle Glass-Steagal. FDR
would be especially unhappy with the way Wall Street has dictated economic policy
to Washington D.C. FDR was more than happy to take on Wall Street and treat them
as his enemies which they were. FDR was such a powerful force in our 20th
Century that to this day Republican’s still hate him. What a legacy.

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By Inherit The Wind, November 18, 2010 at 2:10 pm Link to this comment

Yeah, well, reading Rand is like mining for gold—there’s an awful lot of slag to be washed away, including her own totally screwed up sexuality.

The whole Rand-Brandon split came because she decided by “reason” that they should be lovers and expected her husband, Frank, and his wife, Barbara, to accept it as pure and natural.  After a few years, Brandon got tired of sleeping with a woman 20 years older than himself, it wasn’t working for him and he wanted to end that part of their relationship. She went insane, hitting him repeatedly (a “logical response”?) and vindictive with all the jealousy and vitriol of a woman spurned.

She destroyed her whole movement as a result of her desire to destroy Brandon. Barbara and Brandon divorced, and husband Frank drank himself to death.

There’s much gold in her work, but there’s also a ton of slag, which devout Randians try to claim is gold as well.

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By oldog, November 18, 2010 at 2:00 pm Link to this comment

Every bankers dream: squeeze every dime from employees
salary,  bet customers funds on failure of economy,
borrow interest-free from government to buy out
competitors, become too-big-to-fail so all profits can
be embezzled as “bonuses” while taxpayer covers debts.

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By gerard, November 18, 2010 at 1:56 pm Link to this comment

From TaoWalker:  “If what we need now is not already in our Human Nature, then it is nowhere at all….certainly not in mere words or sophisticated thought-systems.  Thing is, what we need IS in our Nature. We’re well into finding out whether it can emerge from the suffocating shroud of CONfusion and institutionalized ignorance CONtrived by the process of the “civilization” disease, to come out and play freely and wildly again here, to a degree adequate to the needs of our whole Living Arrangement.”
  Truer words were never spoken!  And our Human Nature does include the effort to translate thought and feeling into words. (Whether that is even possible is another subject.)
  But—the translation of certain ideas into action is thwarted by religions, governments, ideologies and by “civilization” itself, while other ideas (ifteb destructive) are promoted as “orthodox” or “correct”. 
  My interest in non-violent resistence stems from a conviction that it is an idea for action that has been thwarted (for various reasons) and that it should be studied and considered as viable and brought into the current “arena” as a different, and perhaps more merciful way of killing the “bull”—metaphorically speaking, the “bull” being, in a word, the greed of a system that benefits a selfish minority at everyone else’s expense.
  I believe that nonviolent resistance is a potential of a fully “Human Nature”, just not understood.  At the same time, I want to put emphasis on the admission that “civilization as we know it” has become largely a criminal enterprize, and that my heart is on Turtle Island even as my mind swims frantically against the undertow, trying to reach shore.

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By Fat Freddy, November 18, 2010 at 9:25 am Link to this comment

Inherit The Wind

Greenspan was one of Rand’s inner circle of admirers.

So was Murray Rothbard. Operative word being “was”.

http://www.lewrockwell.com/rothbard/rothbard23.html

He was excommunicated because he refused to divorce his Protestant wife.

In fact, today, many Objectivists distance themselves from Rand. Probably because of statements like this:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2uHSv1asFvU

This is completely against the principles of Objectivism.

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By PhreedomPhan, November 18, 2010 at 8:56 am Link to this comment

It’s hard to believe, but there are still some people in this country who are fool enough to believe it’s a “democracy.”  Let’s take a look at the facts.

Our form of government today is a combination of democracy and leadership.  It works like this.

Whenever the people can be persuaded to want what the money powers want, inspiring songs are sung to the glories of democracy, the people are praised for having the ability to understand “complex” issues, and we get what the money powers want. 

Whenever the people can’t be so persuaded, inspiring songs are sung to the glories of leadership (das Fuehrer Prinzip), the politicians are praised for having the “courage” to make unpopular decisions, and we get what the money powers want.

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By Lafayette, November 18, 2010 at 5:10 am Link to this comment

PSYCHO-DRAMA IN A BLOG

Shattered Economy? What shattered economy? You got a dictionary? Look up the meaning of the word. Our economy is not “shattered”.

Every day, 238.5 million Americans go to work to provide sustenance, shelter and other goodies to either themselves or their families. Since December 2009, non-farm payroll employment has risen by 874,000. (Look at the employment facts here.)

The psychodrama that is unfolding in this blog is way, way off base.

Nobody likes what is happening to the unemployed. Everybody dislikes how a select, privileged caste of people have ripped-off the rest of their fellow citizens. But to think that this economy is shattered (broken, destroyed, in smithereens) is the sort of hyperbole all too common in any American discussion - and of this journalist in particular. It is needless exaggeration.

If you have some cogent ideas about how to fix the mess, then that surely would be welcome.

All the rest is just histrionics in search of empathy. We know who the plutocrat scoundrels are. We know what motivates them. (Lucre.)

What we don’t know evidently is how to deal with them. But, beating a dead horse will not advance us either.

POST SCRIPTUM

And some of the ideas (about money) are just plane wacky, from people who haven’t the faintest notion of how an economy works or how it does not work.

We’ve taken more than two centuries to build the most solid democracy on earth. Tearing it all down because of a relatively minor recession (compared to historical fact) is more than stupid; it’s insane.

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By kdyson, November 18, 2010 at 1:38 am Link to this comment

“There are two novels that can change a bookish
fourteen-year old’s life: The Lord of the Rings and
Atlas Shrugged. One is a childish fantasy that often
engenders a lifelong obsession with its unbelievable
heroes, leading to an emotionally stunted, socially
crippled adulthood, unable to deal with the real world.
The other, of course, involves orcs.”—John Rogers, on
the blog Kung Fu Monkey, as quoted on
rec.arts.sf.written by James Nicoll

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By SteveL, November 18, 2010 at 1:38 am Link to this comment

Last personal experience with Citibank:  Had a small (real small) CD come due for renewal.  Citibank told me I could not renew CD with out opening checking account.  I said fine give me my money.  Buy behind desk said don’t shout at me.  I said I don’t think I shouted at you.  I took small recorder out of my pocket and asked him if he wanted to hear the recording.  Horrified the guy gave me my check within a minute.  The batteries were actually dead in the recorder.

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By Inherit The Wind, November 17, 2010 at 10:57 pm Link to this comment

Greenspan was one of Rand’s inner circle of admirers.  The only ones closer were her husband and the Brandons.

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By radson, November 17, 2010 at 10:05 pm Link to this comment

Boom: heading for the proverbial cliff,and the war economy lingers on.I just thought that a little music would be comforting ,nevertheless there is a connect or is it ,a disconnect that occurred during the Cold War!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T0AxCD84Rfs

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By garth, November 17, 2010 at 9:54 pm Link to this comment

PhreedomPhan reminded me of something that illustrates his point.

In the early 60s, a road called the Causeway connecting Lynn, MA to an island, Nahant, was blessed on the ocean side with huge sand dunes.  Picnic tables were placed between the dunes.  It was like Provincetown on the Cape.  A great getaway from the city.

The Metropolitan District Commision (MDC) Police didn’t like policing the area, so they paved it over and made a huge parking lot.  They literally tore down paradise and put up a parking lot.  People younger than 50 never knew it was there.

The MDC Police was later subsumed into the MA State Police. The parking lot is still paved.  It is hot as hell in the summer and ugly as all hell all the year round.

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By reynolds, November 17, 2010 at 9:37 pm Link to this comment

short sleeved shirts and bad haircuts might be legal
but that doesn’t make them right. this is both a
tantrum and an adult opinion, phrase maker.

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By PhreedomPhan, November 17, 2010 at 9:22 pm Link to this comment

No one man shattered our economy.  The fact is, our economy wasn’t shattered at all.  It was systematically dismantled over nearly a century.

Studies have shown that those who dominate the economy of an area usually dominate the politics.  However, as their economic interests spread over a wider area, the participation of these dominants in local affairs is seen as “outside” interference.  The logical thing for them to do is to seek transfer of local governmental powers that would affect their interests to higher levels of government.  We see this happening within our borders through the drive for regional government which transfers local powers to ever larger and more remote governments or bureaucracies.

For 90 years or more there has been an ongoing program to eliminate our townships and boroughs and consolidate them into the counties to make them effectively cities in much the same way the city of Philadelphia swallowed the townships and boroughs of Philadelphia County.  But the program doesn’t stop there.  Those consolidated counties are then to be merged with nearby cities to form Metropolitan Regional Governments, often across State boundaries in violation of the U.S. Constitution.

Why is this being done?  They tell us it’s to eliminate duplication of services and to make government more efficient and less costly.  Is there anyone still foolish enough to believe big government is more efficient and less costly?  The reason is to allow the country to be more easily managed by prefects of the Washingtonian Empire on behalf of the money powers that rule it.  These powers are just too big to be bothered with dealing with so many local governments. They want government as close to them as possible to avoid problems from those pesky little insects called “the people.”

It is to the great misfortune of the American people and all of the peoples of the world that those financial dominants are now international in scope.  They operate outside our borders and want to tear them down.  They no longer want to deal with so many sovereign nations, so they are working toward consolidation of all, first into regional superstates like the North American Union, and then into a world government.  That government will be owned and operated by them in their interest and their interest alone.  We are told that all this is for the “good of the people.”

There is no way Americans would have accepted this idea of world government when it would mean redistribution of their wealth (minus 20-30% for handling) to the undeveloped third world countries.  The answer was to redistribute our wealth ahead of time.  That’s exactly what has been done to us.  Our industry has been systematically and deliberately dismantled and shipped all over the world leaving us on the brink of third world status.

One man did not shatter our economy.  It didn’t happen over night.  Nor was our decline an accident and it can’t be attributed to stupidity.  Only one word describes what has been orchestrated by those at the top of our government and in the boardrooms of major corporations in collusion with international finance. 

Treason!

See part of the game at:
http://phreedomphan-lostliberty.blogspot.com/2008/07/new-world-order-death-of-america.html
http://phreedomphan-lostliberty.blogspot.com/2008/07/regionalism-death-of-american-system.html

See some of the perpetrators at:
http://phreedomphan-americasenemies.blogspot.com/2008/08/americas-ruling-party.html
http://phreedomphan-americasenemies.blogspot.com/2008/08/americas-enemies.html

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By garth, November 17, 2010 at 7:57 pm Link to this comment

All I can say at this point is a quote the cartoon character of the 60s named Reg by Reg Smythe,

“Show me the one who stole me beer.”

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By TAO Walker, November 17, 2010 at 7:26 pm Link to this comment

We are at a stage, in the process of the “global” disease called “civilization,” that is every bit as grim as suggested by “Gerard” in her most recent comment below.  What even the numerically monstrous subspecies homo domesticus has going for it, though, is the given organic function of Humanity within the Living Arrangement of our Mother Earth.

As vital components in Her immune system, Human Beings can only do (as best we can in the face of CONcerted efforts to suppress it) what we are.  It remains to be seen whether that will be sufficient to the need.  The physical forms of “planets,” like those of people, can be rendered unable to support and “contain” the Kind of Life they embody.

“Gerard,” as always, is obviously sincere in her concerns for all “the little guys.”  Her suggestions for addressing their common plight, however, derive from her own domestication, with its original effectuation, millennia-long perpetuation, and paradigmatic dominance by institutional arrangements employing all the methods she recommends (for “liberating” people) to get and keep them in captivity.

If what we need now is not already in our Human Nature, then it is nowhere at all….certainly not in mere words or sophisticated thought-systems.  Thing is, what we need IS in our Nature. We’re well into finding out whether it can emerge from the suffocating shroud of CONfusion and institutionalized ignorance CONtrived by the process of the “civilization” disease, to come out and play freely and wildly again here, to a degree adequate to the needs of our whole Living Arrangement.

Us surviving free wild Native Peoples can help best simply by being and doing what we are.

HokaHey!

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By Fat Freddy, November 17, 2010 at 6:37 pm Link to this comment

Blackspeare

No, the man who shattered the US economy was Alan Greenspan and his Randian concepts.

Yes, it was Greenspan, and no it was not Objectivism. Objectivism is a philosophy, not economics. Greenspan was a Chicago School monetarist. Anyway, he abandonded his “Randian” philosophies, and his monetarist policies, and developed a God complex, much like Rand, herself in the end. Believe it or not, at one time, Greenspan was a good economist. Rand was a first class bitch, but Objectivism is not without merits, and should not be dismissed.

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By Mychael B. Barnes, November 17, 2010 at 6:27 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Look inside folks. Put your spiritual life in order and at the fore. Wringing hands make blisters. Thinking on it causes migraines and despair. Take solace in the fact that you and I will never have the misery of others to thank for pornographic wealth.
True wealth will never be measured in $$. Love for ourselves, family, and neighbors produces immeasurable wealth and profits ethereal. This is the power unseen to those blinded by the zeros on their paychecks, and their atrophied souls. Look to 2012 brothers and sisters. No pole shifts, global destruction, or other horrifying cataclysm. Yet, a fundamental shift in the human condition. It only takes one well aimed computer glitch to erase the accounts of the murderers and hoarders. The meek are now actively inheriting the earth. And guess what? We are most willing to share it.Fairly. I guess that would make us “commies”. One can never legislate nor lobby
grace.

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By garth, November 17, 2010 at 6:21 pm Link to this comment

What?  It’s 5:11 EDST and all the rebels have gone to bed.

Don’t cry for me Argetina?

I guess that Dancing with the stars is on.  I went to a ‘pahtee’, doncha know, with friends of my wife who were ‘gradumates’ of Brandeis. 

Well, they all talked about “Dancing with the Stars.”  These were ex-educators, and personnnel types.

So, to the ones who want to turn us into an amorphous blob, you might not have far to go.

BTW, these Brandies gradumates were African American. 

I guess there’s nothing like arriving.

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By gerard, November 17, 2010 at 5:58 pm Link to this comment

TaoWalker, thanks for this:  “Maybe too many of these pundits remain addicted themselves to cold comfort and crippling CONvenience.”

And it’s true not only of the pundits.  It’s just that in pundits the addiction is more dangerous because it guarantees that they will not—probably cannot—think and say anything that has not been thought and said before.  A common difficulty of us all, when it comes right down to specifics.
  It’s easy for Scheer and others to criminalize criminals.  But how to get under the skin of the little guys—millions of little guys who deserve to know enough to climb out of the sewer (so to speak), wash themselves off and clean up the mess between them and their future.
  How to not only indicate their respnsibility, but to visualize the creative possibilities in concrete terms of how, when and why.  How to encourage the timid and inexperienced.  How to inform the ignorant.  How to free a people who are more or less self-imprisoned by fear, anger and confusion.
  If this is not the job of pundits, whose job is it?  But alas!  They are mostly out to lunch at the Club.
  P.S.  Somebody’s gotta do it.

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By garth, November 17, 2010 at 5:18 pm Link to this comment

Lafayette,

ABOUT THE REPEAL OF THE GLASS-STEAGALL ACT

Excerpted from the WSJ:
——————————

Anyone who has the balls to excerpt from the Wall Street Journal is surely a co-conspirator. 
===========================


The goal was to paralyze the inter-bank lending, and freeze the economy.  Baer Stearns didn’t do it,  So they jettisoned Richard Fuld and Lehmann Brothers. And that did it. (Check the news.) 

All business stopped after Paulson caused the crash of Lehmann brothers.  Fuld-Paulson will not be seen in the Betrothal pages of the NYT) (Sep 2008)

To them, it’s all a wonderful game. 

Ever catch Paulson in his testimony before the Senate or in his sales pitches for his book?  It’s a something to behold. 

English is a foreign language,  That’s why the Iranian, Kashfucky, or whatever his name is, took the center seat in the Senate hearings to talk for this monosyllabic, ex-Dartmouth football lineman, the goon.  He took too many to the head, I presume.

Now, they have what they wanted.  You and the rest of us fighting over nothing.

I say don’t agree to disagree.  Just disagree.  This shit is untenable!  Plain and simple.  Let’s work it out.  Let’s get to the truth.

My premonition is that all of these characters are just that—characters.  Bahamas, and where else?  Sarkozy in France killing 1000s of Haitians.  Cameron with his cover of Prince William’s marriage, how can he go wrong.  William and Kate are going to play down the wealth of Prince Charles.

And the loving shmucks of dreamers wherever you are will continue.

Hey, did you catch Brian williams’s interview wih Prince Charles.  His emphatic support of the idiot Prince, makes one want royalty in the United States of America. 

His empathy makes me think that his next interview might be with Dimon, Blankfein or een Sandy Weill.

Now, there’s a get.

Thanks TD


What has been done to us is the unforgivable sin.

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By alturn, November 17, 2010 at 4:18 pm Link to this comment

The best thing that can happen is that people digest the lies such as this one that we have been fed since the early 1980s about what makes for a good life.  It isn’t about who has the most toys wins.  Life is about something far more beautiful and inspiring.  When we search for that all those obsessed with making life about nothing more than making money will lose their power.

“All the changes taking place in the world are creating awareness in people, who have decided that enough is enough; they have a right to be free and to enjoy life. They no longer want to be conditioned by politics, religion or commercialization.
Life has to be balanced, and we have to be aware of the Self in the heart.”
- World Teacher Maitreya, from April 1990 Share International magazine

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By Lafayette, November 17, 2010 at 3:46 pm Link to this comment

ABOUT THE REPEAL OF THE GLASS-STEAGALL ACT

Excerpted from the WSJ: The Long Demise of the Glass-Steagal Act

In August 1987, Alan Greenspan—formerly a director of J.P. Morgan and a proponent of banking deregulation—becomes chairman of the Federal Reserve Board. One reason Greenspan favors greater deregulation is to help U.S. banks compete with big foreign institutions.

In January 1989, the Fed Board approves an application by J.P. Morgan, Chase Manhattan, Bankers Trust, and Citicorp to expand the Glass-Steagall loophole to include dealing in debt and equity securities in addition to municipal securities and commercial paper. This marks a large expansion of the activities considered permissible under Section 20, because the revenue limit for underwriting business is still at 5 percent. Later in 1989, the Board issues an order raising the limit to 10 percent of revenues, referring to the April 1987 order for its rationale.

In 1990, J.P. Morgan becomes the first bank to receive permission from the Federal Reserve to underwrite securities, so long as its underwriting business does not exceed the 10 percent limit.

In December 1996, with the support of Chairman Alan Greenspan, the Federal Reserve Board issues a precedent-shattering decision permitting bank holding companies to own investment bank affiliates with up to 25 percent of their business in securities underwriting (up from 10 percent).

This expansion of the loophole created by the Fed’s 1987 reinterpretation of Section 20 of Glass-Steagall effectively renders Glass-Steagall obsolete. Virtually any bank holding company wanting to engage in securities business would be able to stay under the 25 percent limit on revenue. However, the law remains on the books, and along with the Bank Holding Company Act, does impose other restrictions on banks, such as prohibiting them from owning insurance-underwriting companies.

In August 1997, the Fed eliminates many restrictions imposed on “Section 20 subsidiaries” by the 1987 and 1989 orders. The Board states that the risks of underwriting had proven to be “manageable,” and says banks would have the right to acquire securities firms outright.

In 1997, Bankers Trust (now owned by Deutsche Bank) buys the investment bank Alex. Brown & Co., becoming the first U.S. bank to acquire a securities firm.

From Dunn & Bradstreet (May 1995): Rubin calls for modernization through reform of Glass-Steagall Act

Robert E. Rubin, secretary of the Treasury, recommended that Congress pass legislation to reform or repeal the Glass-Steagall Act of 1933 to modernize the country’s financial system. In testimony before the House Committee on Banking and Financial Services, Rubin said Clinton administration proposals would permit affiliations between banks and other financial services companies, such as securities firms and insurance companies.

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By omop, November 17, 2010 at 3:43 pm Link to this comment

Blackspeare,


And that is why Queen Elizabeth made Alan Greenspan a “Sir” either at the same
time or just after making Elton John a “Sir” too.

Awarding “Sirs” is designed to acknowledge howmuch the individual contributed
to the economy/welfare of Elizabeth and her family.

And all the sheeple in America think they control their own currency.

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By garth, November 17, 2010 at 3:39 pm Link to this comment

Thanks, felicity for bringing it up and thanks to Fat-Freddy for the reply.

That’s the part of the puzzle that wasn’t reported on clearly.

I noticed that Sen Dood, Uncie Drunky, had something to say on this news before he goes home to take care of his kids.  I’d keep an eye on him if I were his wiffenpoof. 

Rico,  (I lost a college sweetheart to drug dealer named Rico once so my animosity to your handle is somewhat (I can’t think of a word).)

Matza, Matzoh, what’s a few letters amongst friends, right?

I go on with my ‘teories’ mainly because they are mine, and also because I keep tabs on how often I am right, close, or off the mark.

To compare, listen to the Talking Heads on the NEWS and listen to what they say and keep track of it.  These people are supposed to be in the know.  They have access to the News Makers.

They are now batting about 0 to 369 on the issues that I have followed in the last 10 years.

That means they are wrong 100% of the time.

In otra mots, it’s entertainment.  Do you like George Will with his neatly parted hairdo, turtle-rimmed specs and what I presume is an tweed jacket with elbow savers.

You know the type.  The creeps that used to come to Poli-Sci class and you thought they were smart.  Only later to find out when exams and grades were returned that he was nothing more that just a boob.  George Will!  He became a faux journalist.

And the rest.  You can go down the line.

They are part of, as REDHORSE named them, BABOONUS WASHINGTONUS.

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By Inherit The Wind, November 17, 2010 at 3:32 pm Link to this comment

Blackspeare:

And who appointed Alan Greenspan….Ronald Reagan!

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By lasmog, November 17, 2010 at 3:31 pm Link to this comment

A more progressive income tax with fewer loopholes would fix a lot of these problems.

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By srelf, November 17, 2010 at 3:19 pm Link to this comment

“...and in the eyes of the hungry there is a growing wrath. In the souls of the
people the grapes of wrath are filling and growing heavy, growing heavy for the
vintage.”

Chapter 25, The Grapes of Wrath

Will we never learn? We are not educating our children correctly!
I hope a new solution, with less suffering, comes to fruition!

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By Blackspeare, November 17, 2010 at 3:18 pm Link to this comment

No, the man who shattered the US economy was Alan Greenspan and his Randian concepts.  Greenspan opened the door and the rest just followed in!

The housing bubble was an example of how past results do not indicate future rewards.  Yes, the mortgage lent people money to buy homes they couldn’t afford.  But it was all done with the false impression that home values would continue to rise and when the owners could no longer afford the mortgage payments, the bank would foreclose get their money back plus some because the home increased in value and the securitization value of those mortgages sold to investment houses would not be undermined.  As they say shit happens and home values did not increase, but actually decreased, the banks lost money, the investment houses who owned the securitization of those mortgages lost value and the whole deck of card crumbled.  The US had no choice but to institute a bailout or there would have been a wholesale collapse of the world financial markets since the securitization of those mortgages was global.

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By TAO Walker, November 17, 2010 at 3:10 pm Link to this comment

“The economy,” as such, hasn’t been “shattered” at all.  As the “operating system” for this “global” retro-viral disease called “civilization,” the economy is simply being purged of its redundant, obsolete, and unprofitable “human element”....dead-weight demographics among the subspecies homo domesticus who are dragging-down a CONtraption already fatally disabled by its own internal CONtradictions.

This vain attempt by the owner/operators to keep their foundering criminal enterprise “aloft” (or “afloat”) a little longer, by throwing overboard those helpless to resist, will go on (and intensify) until the entire privateering pyramid scheme has come to its natural and inevitable CONclusion….more-or-less catastrophic disintegration.  So what is Robert Scheer’s object here in trying to catch one feckless “individual” perp in the cross-hairs of common-peoples’ institutionalized fear and manufactured rage?

Wouldn’t self’-professed progressives’ reputed dedication to “the general welfare” be better served by offering those billions already thrown-out-of (or never allowed into) “the economy,” and those billions more rapidly becoming superfluous to its purposes, some guidance on responses to their plight which might hold some (however remote) chances of living through it together?  If not, why not?

Maybe too many of these pundits remain addicted themselves to cold comfort and crippling CONvenience.

HokaHey!

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By rico, suave, November 17, 2010 at 2:02 pm Link to this comment

garth:

Are you and diamond in the same flying saucer fan club?

And it’s “matzoh” I think.

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By Inherit The Wind, November 17, 2010 at 1:56 pm Link to this comment

Gee, I’d put the blame on Ronald Reagan, the man who told us that all government is fundamentally evil.

Unless, of course, it’s fighting wars to defend dictators who claim they are “anti-communist”.
Unless, of course, it’s breaking unions.
Unless, of course, it’s giving public property to airlines for free.
Unless, of course, it’s checking a woman’s body to see if she’s having an abortion.
Unless, of course, it’s banning “flag burning”.
Unless, of course, it’s filtering pork to Republicans.

Unless, of course, it’s building up the few at the expense of the many.

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By Jay Grassell, November 17, 2010 at 1:30 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The sanctimonious left is so fond of characterizing opinion from the right as superficial and myopic.  Yet, I’ve just read an otherwise insightful analysis of the genesis of the Crash (and numerous comments) sans any mention of such innocent bystanders as Barney Frank or Chris Dodd. Palin and Beck (neither of whom at any time supported the bailouts and Palin who was opposed by tens of millions of contributions from Goldman, AIG, the FANNIES, Lehman, etc.), however, are somehow labeled the “bad apples”. Nary a mention neither of the sainted Obama, the greatest recipient of Wall Street funding in history and, truth be told, its greatest benefactor.

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By felicity, November 17, 2010 at 1:16 pm Link to this comment

Fat Freddy - thanks. I’ve posted this before but,
given your post, I’ll repeat.

Rothschild’s ‘advice’ on introducing banking methods
into America, later 19th century.

“The few who can understand the system will be either
so interested in its profits, or so dependent on its
favors, that there will be no opposition from that
class, while, on the other hand, that great body of
people, mentally incapable of comprehending the
tremendous advantage that Capital derives from the
system, will bear its burden without complaint, and,
perhaps without even suspecting that the system is
inimical to their interests.”  Right on, Mr.
Rothschild.

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By montymarket, November 17, 2010 at 1:12 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Geithner and Bernanke just took Obama to the woodshed.  On his Asian trip.  Geithner told him to jaw-bone an adjustment to the Chinese currency—Bernanke a week before devalued the US currency by printing up $600B in new cash.  Pulled the rug right out from under Obama.  Then some bright bankster boy convinced Obama that the Korean trade pact was ready for signature.  Hah!  Once again, his brightest lights in the room pulled the rug out from under him and he came home with nothing from the Koreans.  (Howzabout asking them to sign or we start pulling out our 28,000 troops still stationed there?)  Why do we have troops in Korea?  To protect their car industry?

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By Fat Freddy, November 17, 2010 at 12:57 pm Link to this comment

garth

Didn’t Hitler own Napoleon’s penis at one time? I know it is a collector’s item and not just an Urban Legend.

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By Fat Freddy, November 17, 2010 at 12:51 pm Link to this comment

felicity

First, Freddie Mac packaged the first mortgage backed securities known as “pass-throughs”, at the time, in the early 80s. Before then, nobody was allowed to sell or package mortgages, if I’m not mistaken.

Next, you need to ask yourself, where did all the money come from that was being used to finance these mortgages? The banks? Where do the banks get their money? You know the answer to that.

Banks have always been allowed to purchase securities to meet their own capital requirements. The most common being Treasuries (thanks to the National Bank Act of 1834). Different securities have different weightings. What GLB did for banks, is allow them to invest money of their depositors. This created a huge conflict of interest. A bank can now take depositor money and invest it a company that owes the bank money. Whose best interest is the bank looking out for? The investor, or the debtor?

It is really difficult to get your head around everything that goes on in banking. There are sweeps and repos, where banks can take money out of reserves and invest it overnight, and return the money before the start of business.

I don’t know if Glass would have prevented the housing bubble. What I do know, for sure, is with all of that cheap easy credit and money, there would have been a bubble somewhere. And it would have burst. Perhaps, sooner, perhaps later. Does it really matter where the bubble was or when it burst???

Here’s a collection of essays I came across from a Post-Keynesian point of view on how banking and finance works in this country. I don’t agree with a lot of the conclusions, but it does give an accurate picture of the underlying system and how it works:

http://wfhummel.cnchost.com/index.html

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By garth, November 17, 2010 at 12:34 pm Link to this comment

rico, suave, (You remind of the character in the Jack Lemmon movie, “Save the Tiger”, a Jewish designer posing as an Italian.  But that’s neither her nor there.

In your picture you present yourself as someone employed by the Air Travel Industry. 

Tells the trooth, now.  Do those X-ray scanners reveal that the drugs are working?  Men’s balls are shrinking.  The procreation will be diminishing.

It’s all abaout gathering data for their experiments.  They make it very uncomfortable for thos who want to avoid an unnecessary blast of X-ray.  They want data.  Pictures. 

They want to look at men’s balls, the length of the penis.  Hitler and Nazi Germany, I understand, were excessively interested in the same thing, or is that thingy?”

I went throught a scanner once, and I haven’t felt right since. Not for privacy reasons.  I’d gladly show ‘em my dick and my balls if they asked politely. 

What bothers me is who is controlling the levels of radiation?  Is there a dimwit controlling the dials?  A racist dimwit?

YOU must know Rico Suave.

Or else you’re not worth your weight in matza.

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By G.Anderson, November 17, 2010 at 12:19 pm Link to this comment

Yes Freddy, there was a time when saving meant something, but now is not that time…

There was also a time when, we had somthing called the rule of law..think about that…

The law was not up for sale…it sure as hell is now…

Yes, we don’t have an economy in this country, instead we have a system of debt.

Since wages will no longer pay the bills.
The people, get into debt for everything from groceries to gasoline, and then they work hard to try and pay that debt off for their entire lifetime. But through tricks and trips and out right contract fraud, the banks turn you into debt slaves, never to return to solvency..

They then take you debt and sell it overseas, leveraging it in the process, slicing it and dicing it, and making up the rules as they go along. Until, who’s got the title, is just another game of blind mans bluff.

But when, they get into trouble, oops, guess who gets to pay?

At this point I can imagine slaves being whippped during the building of the pyraminds, for working too slowly.

Then the government at the behest of their masters, will pass bankrupcy reform to keep your from ever getting out of your debt. How else could they sell it to the Communist Chinese?

Then those same plutocratic genuises, will send all the jobs over seas, and gut labor laws, to ensure that, America no longer has any thing to sell but it’s debt. And America is reduced to begging for spare change from the Communist Chinese, our new BF.

And since the law is up for sale, the government guarantees, your slavery, it’s the enforcer…coming by to rough you up, or break a few fingers…Their number one job is guarantee that you won’t ever get out of debt…

This is our country, a state where the people, are plagued, by the government, and the plutocracy that owns them, they are a plague because they are diseased. Who else but someone whose thinking is sick and diseased would sell their country into slavery…

But that’s just what has happened.

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By rico, suave, November 17, 2010 at 12:12 pm Link to this comment

garth:

“It’s time to dust off the electric chair, get some nooses ready, perfect the sequence and the dosages in lethal injection.”

Is that a temper tantrum there, or an adult opinion? And again, where’s the illegality?

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By WriterOnTheStorm, November 17, 2010 at 12:05 pm Link to this comment

Repealing Glass-Steagle was part of Clinton’s dance to the right after his own
disastrous mid-term election defeat. Now we see Obama taking the exact wrong
lesson and doing the same thing with his compromise on upper income tax
breaks.

That’s team blue for you. Like Bill Maher said, a talent for seeking out the one girl
in the bar who’s never going to fuck you, and buying her drinks all night.

————-
And thanks Robert, for reminding us that the Times, that mossy old “paper of
record”, is nothing but a propaganda arm of monied interests.

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By garth, November 17, 2010 at 12:04 pm Link to this comment

I guess you could go on and on about what happened when Wall Street took over the Government.

I think the news is out.  It’s time to dust off the electric chair, get some nooses ready, perfect the sequence and the dosages in lethal injection.

Like serial killers, only worse, we don’t need these people cluttering up the landscape.

Maybe he gave some of our money to Israel, maybe he gave to a Cancer clinic, he’s just not worth keeping around, sucking up our air.

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By felicity, November 17, 2010 at 12:04 pm Link to this comment

OK, Fat Freddy, maybe Glass wasn’t reversed but Gramm
made possible sub prime mortgage-backed securities.
And the financial services industry was off and
running (us) right into a depression.

The amount of sub prime mortgages issued and embedded
in mortgage backed securities shot up from $56
billion in 2000 to $508 billion at the peak in 2005.

It’s called the mortgage ‘game.’  Who’s in it? 
mortgage brokers, banks that originally loan the
money, the loan distributors, the hedge funds and
institutional investors that purchase the loans
packaged with higher quality ones.  Believe me, every
one of those people in the ‘game’ made mega bucks, in
and out before it ‘hit-the-fan.’  Question - would it
have been possible if Glass had been in place.

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By rico, suave, November 17, 2010 at 11:53 am Link to this comment

Sasquatch:

What exactly did Weill do to merit a fine and confiscation of his property?

Rather than be pissed off at him, or even the lobbyists, be pissed of at the spineless lawmakers and Clinton who rolled for him and got the law changed.

If Michael Moore successfully lined up lobbyists and got congress to cut Defense spending in half, should I blame Moore for the next attack on us? Should I demand that Moore be fined or jailed for treason? I don’t think so.

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By hlouisnini, November 17, 2010 at 10:53 am Link to this comment

Congratulations Scheer - you are back to slamming the right wrong doers - which means you are off the back of the President - lest we forget he (the President) didn’t cause any of this - if you have a better idea let’s have it - if you don’t then shut up and get out of the wagon and push.

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By balkas, November 17, 2010 at 10:06 am Link to this comment

lest we forget, u.s constitution along other laws is still infallible and
unemendable.
so, everything is ok! except for palin, weill, bush, obama, beck, christine
mcdonnel, wrangel, blagojevich and a few other bad apples, there is nothing else
to be worried about! 

oh, i forgot the dancing ‘jews’ and about 12 ‘jews’, which also cause so many ills.
but they are not even being charged for breaking any law.
does this mean that they aren’t breaking any laws; i.e., indeed behaving as the
holy constitution demands?
ok! enough of my claptrap! tnx

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By Fat Freddy, November 17, 2010 at 9:56 am Link to this comment

The Man Who Shattered Our Economy

This is much more accurate, Mr Scheer:

http://dealbreaker.com/_old/images/thumbs/alan-greenspan.jpg

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By Druid, November 17, 2010 at 9:49 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

“c`mon, a vineyard, give me a break…”

c`mon, accountability, give me break…

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By DBtv, November 17, 2010 at 9:46 am Link to this comment

Guillotines could solve this pretty quickly.

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By omop, November 17, 2010 at 9:33 am Link to this comment

The quote attributed to Baron M. A. Rotschild 1744 - 1812 is still alive and
kicking in the US of A.

  “Give ME control over a nation’s currency and I care not who makes its laws”.

It remains to be seen who will be IT once Bernanke’s $600 billion stimulus
package hits Wall Street.

As Koumar the tent maker said eons ago, “a nation can only be destoryed by
those that inhabit it”.

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