Saturday, October 22, 2011

John Bolton: WH Removing All References To Islam In Terror Training Manuals

John Bolton: WH Removing All References To Islam In Terror Training Manuals, ‘Form Of Thought Control’

Statement from the Islamic State of Iraq: Victory Over America

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Tea Party Nation poll shows 52 percent will vote for Romney if he is GOP nominee

By Alicia M. Cohn - 10/21/11 02:35 PM ET

Most self-affiliated members of Tea Party Nation, one of the largest national organizations for the grassroots conservative movement, would vote for Mitt Romney as president if confronted with a choice between him or President Obama, according to a poll of members released to The Hill on Friday.

The group surveyed its members this week in an informal poll posted at the group’s website. The question asked was: If Romney is the GOP nominee, what will you do in the general election?

Fifty-two percent of about 1,150 respondents said they would “hold their nose” and vote for Romney if he becomes the GOP nominee, while 23 percent said they would vote for an unspecified third-party candidate. Twelve percent said they would not vote in the presidential election at all if the choice is between Romney and Obama.

Twelve percent of those polled said they would “vote enthusiastically” for Romney.

The unscientific results underscore a general lack of enthusiasm for Romney from the conservative wing of the Republican party, but also contrast with a poll taken by the same group in August. In that survey, 45 percent of 1,700 members answered 'no' when asked, "If Romney is the nominee, will you vote for him in the General Election?"

“Romney has a huge problem and this flies straight into the face of the idea that he is the most electable candidate,” said Tea Party Nation founder Judson Phillips. “If he is nominated, he will face the same situation [Arizona Sen. John] McCain did in 2008 where conservatives are going to stay home.”

Phillips, who endorsed candidate Newt Gingrich in September, told The Hill earlier this month that he would vote for Romney if he became the nominee.

“He is better than Obama, but not necessarily by a whole lot,” Phillips said.

Moral responsibilities are linked to fiscal responsibility

Article by: STAR PARKER
Scripps Howard News Service
Last update: October 21, 2011 - 11:47 AM

Last week the House passed with bipartisan support the Protect Life Act, which amends the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) to assure that no taxpayer dollars will be used to fund abortions.

It also assures that health care providers who do not wish to provide abortions are not forced to by government.

The bill's Republican sponsor, Joe Pitts, R-Penn., had co-sponsored essentially the same amendment along with then-congressman Bart Stupak, D-Mich., when Obamacare was in the making in 2009.

Because a similar provision was not in the Senate version of the bill, and had no prospect of making it through the Senate, Stupak stood as a major obstacle to the passage of Obamacare.

In the end, the ways of Washington prevailed, and Stupak caved to pressure from the White House.

He agreed to support the health care bill without his anti-abortion provision, in exchange for President Barack Obama issuing an executive order prohibiting the use of taxpayer dollars for abortions in health care provided in the framework of Obamacare.

An executive order is a flimsy substitute for law so Pitts found another pro-life Democrat, Dan Lipinski, D-Ill., to co-sponsor his amendment, which has now passed the House 251-172.

However Pitts' new bill faces the same prospects as the amendment that he co-sponsored with Stupak in 2009. Its chances of passage in the Senate are remote.

So why bother?

After the bill passed, I was asked on a PBS talk show "To the Contrary" if Republicans were being frivolous in taking up congressional floor time to deal with abortion when what Americans want today is congressional action on the economy.

My response was "no, we can walk and chew gum at the same time, and actually in light of Obamacare, it is critical for lawmakers to protect healthcare workers and hospitals with a conscience clause."

In fact, the attention that the bill has gotten in the short time since it passed the House indicates that the level of interest in abortion, and the potential use of taxpayer funds for it, remains high.

Two high level Democrats -- former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of California and Debbie Wasserman Schultz of Florida, the Democratic National Committee chairwoman -- issued statements criticizing the bill shortly after it passed.

According to Pelosi, the provision assuring that health care providers, including hospitals, are not forced to provide abortions, even though they receive Medicare and Medicaid funding, means "that women can die on the floor and health care providers do not have to intervene."

Wasserman Schultz said, "This extreme legislation is dangerous for women's health and does nothing to address the jobs crisis facing American families."

Liberals love to frame the killing of developing humans as being about women's lives, health and rights. But, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, about 3 percent of abortions are performed for reasons of a woman's health.

Abortions that are performed because a woman's life is in danger amount to a fraction of 1 percent. That leaves more than 96 percent for convenience with some 50 percent repeat customers.

Regarding abortion, the liberal agenda is really about two things. One, an alleged right to sexual promiscuity and two, an alleged right to have others bear social and financial responsibility for that promiscuity.

Fortunately, a sizable part of the American population doesn't see things this way. And, fortunately, a sizable part of our population remains in awe of the miracle of life and our responsibilities toward all aspects of life, both in and outside the womb.

It doesn't take that much thought to realize the fallacious thinking that suggests that matters of economy and matters of morality have nothing to do with each other.

The "right to abortion" culture is simply a subset of the entitlement culture, the culture that says your life is about making claims on others rather than personal responsibility.

Disrespect for life and disrespect for property go hand in hand. We can't divorce our sexual promiscuity from our fiscal promiscuity.

Restoring personal responsibility in both areas is what we need today to get our nation back on track.

* * *

Star Parker is an author and president of CURE, Coalition on Urban Renewal and Education (

Health expert condemns park rats

Last Updated: 8:50 AM, October 22, 2011

Close this pigpen!

Filth-ridden Zuccotti Park is a breeding ground for bacterial infection loaded with potential health-code violations that pose a major risk to the public, an expert who inspected the area warned.

“It’s like Walmart for rats,’’ Wayne Yon, an expert on city health regulations, said yesterday.

“There’s a lack of sanitation, a lack of controls for hot and cold water,” Yon said. He saw at least 15 violations of the city’s health code -- the type that would easily shut down a food establishment.

He noted the lack of lavatory facilities, as neighbors repeatedly complain about protesters defecating in the area and the stench of urine.

Yon also pointed to unsanitary conditions in wash bins for cleaning food utensils.

“It looks extraordinarily dirty, and [the bin] should be changed once it starts to get dirty,” said Yon, who works for EHA Consulting Group Inc. Then he pointed to a pigeon in a tree right above where the protesters were washing dishes.

“There’s no overhead coverings. Pigeons are basically vermin,” Yon said.

He said there’s inadequate hand washing, the No. 1 culprit for food-borne illnesses in restaurants

The Decline of American History in Public Schools

Daniel Doherty

A few weeks ago, several friends and I braved the impending rainstorm and went to the National Book Festival on the Washington Mall. The purpose of attending -- besides the obvious reason of wanting to stand in the company of Hollywood actors, renowned historians and poet laureates -- was to hear David McCullough speak. As one of the nation’s most prolific writers, and author of numerous biographies including John Adams and Truman -- David McCullough is also one of only a handful of Americans to receive the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

While there was always an interest, it wasn’t until I read his seminal work 1776 that I developed a genuine appreciation for American history. This short book, which exemplifies his unrivaled ability to present dense subject matter into riveting and lucid prose -- should be required reading in public schools as an authoritative text on George Washington and his generals during the most significant year of the American Revolution.

Yet, after arriving at the crowded venue, and expecting to hear a scholarly lecture on his latest book – The Greater Journey: Americans in Paris -- I was surprised to hear him speak about the condition of U.S. public schools, and in particular how students lack a basic understanding of American history. Incidentally, the reason people were often thrilled to read his books, he said, was because they had never learned about these important subjects in school.

Nonetheless, after investigating what I imagined to be an exaggerated contention, I was appalled by what I discovered:

Apparently U.S. students are unfamiliar with the famous paraphrased aphorism, “Those who cannot learn from history are doomed to repeat it.” That’s because a new report shows that students anywhere from high school to fourth grade are solely lacking in their knowledge of American history.

Results from the 2010 gold standard of testing, the National Assessment of Educational Progress, only 13 percent of the nation’s high school seniors showed proficiency in their knowledge of American history, and only 18 percent of eighth grades and 22 percent of fourth graders scoring as well.

These statistics, of course, should concern parents, teachers and local communities across the country. But, at the end of the day, shouldn’t every American care?

We study our own history, at least in part, to commemorate and remember all of those who gave their lives to preserve the liberties and freedoms we cherish as Americans. To forget the suffering of Washington and his army at Valley Forge, the determination of the soldiers at Normandy, or the courage of the passengers aboard Flight 93 would be an affront to their legacy and reflect the narcissism and ingratitude of our own people.

Furthermore, by reducing the importance of U.S. history in public schools, we deprive American children of an opportunity to learn about their heritage. And in so doing, we fail these students by neglecting to adequately educate them. The study of history -- and particularly American history – cultivates an understanding and appreciation for the ideals the nation was founded upon. Thomas Jefferson, for example, believed deeply than an educated citizenry was essential to the preservation of the American experiment. After all, how can one expect posterity to preserve American democratic principles if they cannot define what they are?

The notion that American history -- a once a valued subject -- is no longer a priority in public schools is profoundly disconcerting. The denigration of history, in my view, will have dire ramifications as children grow up ignorant and unaware of the essential beliefs which have guided our nation for nearly three centuries.

An undereducated and disengaged public, however, is only the beginning. As David McCullough suggests, a firm understanding of history is paramount to the success and effectiveness of our political leaders:

“All of our best presidents -- without exception -- have been presidents who’ve had a sense of history. Who’ve read history, in some cases who wrote history -- who cared about history and biography. The only obvious two who never went to college would be Abraham Lincoln and Harry Truman, and both of them read history, in particular, all the time.”

In other words, if the youngest generations of Americans lack a basic understanding of the past, what kind of nation will we be in ten, twenty or even a hundred years from now? What kind of leaders will we produce?

The purpose of the U.S. education system -- and the reason it was established -- is primarily to provide students with the requisite knowledge and skills to live more successful lives. Yet, when we perpetually fail to teach American history in schools, we inevitably weaken the nation because our children grow up without any real sense of a national identity.

And that, in the end, is ultimately what the Founding Fathers pledged their lives, their fortunes and their sacred honor to establish.

“The Organizers vs. the Organized in Zuccotti Park”

All occupiers are equal — but some occupiers are more equal than others. In wind-whipped Zuccotti Park, new divisions and hierarchies are threatening to upend Occupy Wall Street and its leaderless collective.

As the protest has grown, some of the occupiers have spontaneously taken charge on projects large and small. But many of the people in Zuccotti Park aren't taking direction well, leading to a tense Thursday of political disagreements, the occasional shouting match, and at least one fistfight.

It began, as it so often does, with a drum circle. The ten-hour groove marathons weren’t sitting well with the neighborhood’s community board, the ironically situated High School of Economics and Finance that sits on the corner of Zuccotti Park, or many of the sleep-deprived protesters.

“[The high school] couldn’t teach,” explained Josh Nelson, a 27-year-old occupier from Nebraska. “And we’ve had issues with the drummers too. They drum incessantly all day, and really loud.” Facilitators spearheaded a General Assembly proposal to limit the drumming to two hours a day. “The drumming is a major issue which has the potential to get us kicked out," said Lauren Digion, a leader on the sanitation working group.

But the drums were fun. They brought in publicity and money. Many non-facilitators were infuriated by the decision and claimed that it had been forced through the General Assembly.

“They’re imposing a structure on the natural flow of music," said Seth Harper, an 18-year-old from Georgia. “The GA decided to do it ... they suppressed people’s opinions. I wanted to do introduce a different proposal, but a big black organizer chick with an Afro said I couldn’t.”

To Shane Engelerdt, a 19-year-old from Jersey City and self-described former “head drummer,” this amounted to a Jacobinic betrayal. “They are becoming the government we’re trying to protest," he said. "They didn’t even give the drummers a say ... Drumming is the heartbeat of this movement. Look around: This is dead, you need a pulse to keep something alive.”

The drummers claim that the finance working group even levied a percussion tax of sorts, taking up to half of the $150-300 a day that the drum circle was receiving in tips. “Now they have over $500,000 from all sorts of places,” said Engelerdt. “We’re like, what’s going on here? They’re like the banks we’re protesting."

All belongings and money in the park are supposed to be held in common, but property rights reared their capitalistic head when facilitators went to clean up the park, which was looking more like a shantytown than usual after several days of wind and rain. The local community board was due to send in an inspector, so the facilitators and cleaners started moving tarps, bags, and personal belongings into a big pile in order to clean the park.

But some refused to budge. A bearded man began to gather up a tarp and an occupier emerged from beneath, screaming: “You’re going to break my fucking tent, get that shit off!” Near the front of the park, two men in hoodies staged a meta-sit-in, fearful that their belongings would be lost or appropriated.

Daniel Zetah, a 35-year-old lead facilitator from Minnesota, mounted a bench. “We need to clear this out. There are a bunch of kids coming to stay here.” One of the hoodied men fought back: “I’m not giving up my space for fucking kids. They have parents and homes. My parents are dead. This is my space.”

Other organizers were more blunt. “If you don’t want to be part of this group, then you can just leave,” yelled a facilitator in a button-down shirt, “Every week we clean our house.” Seth Harper, the pro-drummer proletarian, chimed in on the side of the sitters. “We disagree on how we should clean it. A lot of us disagree with the pile.” Zetah, tall and imposing with a fiery red beard, closed debate with a sigh. “We’re all big boys and girls. Let’s do this.” As he told me afterwards, “A lot of people are like spoiled children." The cure? A cold snap. “Personally, I cannot wait for winter. It will clear out these people who aren’t here for the right reasons. Bring on the snow. The real revolutionaries will stay in -50 degrees.”

“The sunshine protestors will leave,” said “Zonkers,” a 20-year-old cleaner and longtime occupier from Tennessee. (He asked that his name not be used due to a felony marijuana conviction.) “The people who remain are the people who care. You get a lot of crust punks, silly kids, people who want to panhandle ... It disgusts me. These people are here for a block party.”

Another argument broke out next to the pile of appropriated belongings, growing taller by the minute. A man named Sage Roberts desperately rifled through the pile, looking for a sleeping bag. “They’ve taken my stuff,” he muttered. Lauren Digion, the sanitation group leader, broke in: “This isn’t your stuff. You got all this stuff from comfort [the working group]. It belongs to comfort.”

And as I spoke to Michael Glaser, a 26-year-old Chicagoan helping lead winter preparation efforts, a physical fight broke out between a cleaner and a camper just feet from us.

“When cleanups happen, people get mad,” Glaser said. “This is its own city. Within every city there are people who freeload, who make people’s lives miserable. We just deal with it. We can’t kick them out.”

In response to dissatisfaction with the consensus General Assembly, many facilitators have adopted a new “spokescouncil” model, which allows each working group to act independently without securing the will of the collective. “This streamlines it,” argued Zonkers. “The GA is unwieldy, cumbersome, and redundant."

From today’s battles, it’s not yet clear who will win the day: the organizers or the organized. But the month-long protest has clearly grown and evolved to a point where a truly leaderless movement will risk eviction — or, worse, insurrection.

As the communal sleeping bag argument between Lauren Digion and Sage Roberts threatened to get out of hand, a facilitator in a red hat walked by, brow furrowed. “Remember? You’re not allowed to do any more interviews,” he said to Digion. She nodded and went back to work. But when Roberts shouted, “Don’t tell me what to do!” Digion couldn't hold back.

“Someone has to be told what to do," she said. "Someone needs to give orders. There’s no sense of order in this fucking place.”

Killer Angel?

Saturday, October 22, 2011

It appears that killing people is easier than creating jobs. Is Barack Obama morphing into the foreign affairs president, having determined that there is no chance of the economy turning around before the next election?

Who is next on the hit list?

Are those war drums beating for Iran part of the Obama re-election strategy? I would not want to be and Iranian - or Syrian - leader right now, a dead Ahmadinejad or Assad could be a great boost for Obama's second term.

NYPD arrests OWS organizer Debra Sweet

Debra Sweet, an organizer of the Occupy Wall Street (OWS) movement, has been arrested by New York police, just minutes before her interview with Press TV news channel.

On Friday, about 30 anti-corporate protesters, including Debra Sweet, were arrested after they demonstrated in front of a local police precinct house.

The campaign's organizer Sweet was detained only minutes before her scheduled interview with Press TV.

“The US government does not represent people's interests. All of these decisions that are happening, the huge amount of US wealth that's poured into these occupations in Afghanistan and Iraq was never chosen by anyone in this country, but the people who run it,” Sweet had said in an earlier interview with Press TV.

Also, more than 20 anti-corporate protesters were arrested in Cincinnati, Ohio, where they had been camping out at a park for nearly two weeks.

The Occupy Wall Street movement, which began in New York in September, has galvanized Americans who are against corporate greed and the influence of corporate money in politics into action.


Police Arrest Six Occupy Tampa Protesters

TAMPA — Police arrested six Occupy Tampa protesters Friday morning who they said refused to move from a downtown sidewalk.

They were the first arrests since protesters began their demonstration at Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park two weeks ago. All six were warned and told to get off the sidewalk before they were arrested, records show.

Protesters called the arrests the latest example of police harassment. But city officials said they have bent over backward to accommodate the demonstrations and the protesters brought the arrests on themselves.

"We've tried to be hospitable. We've tried to maintain a good relationship," said Mayor Bob Buckhorn.

Police wanted to avoid the kind of confrontations that have marked similar protests around the country, most notably in New York City, where hundreds of Occupy Wall Street protesters have been arrested.

"But at some point you have to draw the line," Buckhorn said. "And at some point, when some people step over that line and refuse to abide by the police department's instructions, then there are consequences."

Last week, officials gave protesters a list of rules. One said protesters are allowed to sleep along the edge of sidewalks between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m.

When police arrived about 8 a.m. Friday, they said, several protesters were sleeping on the ground.

Arrested were Kevin Andrew Flynn, 32, of Brandon; Alicia Anne Dion, 24, of Redington Beach; Pepe "Slamdunk" Kovanis, 30, of Dunedin; Gregory Michael Priem, 29, of Clearwater; Skylar W. Sabey, 22, of Riverview; and Fitzgerald C. Scott, 40, of Tampa.

All six were accused of obstructing a city sidewalk.

The ordinance police cited typically prevents objects such as tables or chairs from blocking pedestrians' passage.

"We have to balance their First Amendment rights with the rights of everyone else, including those who live and work in this area," said police spokeswoman Andrea Davis.

Protesters said they have tried to comply. "We've been policing ourselves to make sure we have no issues," said Stephanie Cannon, 24, who slept on the sidewalk and was lying with a sign Friday morning.

"We've made sure there's no way we could be violating the law, but it doesn't matter," Cannon said. "We've been harassed and harassed and harassed."

A dozen of the remaining protesters marched a few blocks to police headquarters, clutching signs, waving American flags and chanting, "Arrest corrupt police," and, "TPD is oppressing me."

A few remained lying on the sidewalk after police left, holding up slogans in silence. One asked, "Why aren't they arresting me, too?"

Officers looked on as the impromptu march made its way into police headquarters. The protesters sat inside chanting to a drum accompaniment for five to 10 minutes. On their way out, they shouted, "police are not your friends" at a group of visiting schoolchildren.

Buckhorn and police said they will continue cooperating with protesters, including allowing them to use facilities inside police headquarters overnight, but can't allow laws to be ignored.

Police had hoped to avoid arrests, Davis said. "We want their voices to be heard," Davis said. "And they can't be heard in the back of a police car."

Hours after the arrests, several television news vans lined the sidewalk as crews interviewed protesters. The fact that no police officers told them to move upset James Cox, 43, who called it a double standard.

"We are here as human beings, expressing our right to peaceably assemble," Cox said. "But we get arrested. Meanwhile, news crews are allowed to block the sidewalk. Why? Because they have a lot of money?" Cox pledged to post the photos online and call authorities.

Police did not respond to several calls for comment about the TV trucks.

Occupy St. Pete will be assembling today in St. Petersburg between 2 p.m. and 6 p.m. at 2nd Ave. N and Beach Drive at South Straub Park.

Federal Judge Grabs Bank Of America's $8.5 Billion Settlement

Nathan Vardi, Forbes Staff
10/19/2011 @ 9:48PM

A federal judge ruled on Wednesday that the approval process for Bank of America’s $8.5 billion mortgage put-back settlement should be moved to federal court, making it more vulnerable to attack from investors and public officials.

William Pauley, a federal judge in Manhattan, said the case must be heard in federal court because it “implicates core federal interests in the integrity of nationally chartered banks and the vitality of the national securities markets.”

Bank of America in late June struck the $8.5 billion deal with 22 big institutions like BlackRock that had invested in Countrywide’s mortgage-backed securities and claimed that Bank of America had to make good on allegedly breached representations and warranties Countrywide made in connection with the quality of the underlying mortgage loans. Bank of New York Mellon, serving as the trustee for many of these deals, moved to get a New York state judge to rule it was acting reasonably in entering into the settlement on behalf of mortgage-bond investors.

But other investors in a relatively small number of these mortgage bonds sought more money by organizing as Walnut Place and intervened in the settlement. It is these investors that removed the case to federal court and for now have won a big battle by convincing Pauley it should remain there. The decision is a setback for Kathy Patrick and her big group of investors who hope to extend the Bank of America settlement to other big banks that underwrote soured mortgage-backed securities.

“This Court recognizes the procedural difficulty inherent in continuing this action in federal court,” Judge Pauley wrote. “But procedural complexity is not a ground for remanding an otherwise removable case.”


It’s not a theory anymore – Islamists, Socialists, Marxists to unite on Wall Street

Friday, Oct 21, 2011 at 11:48 AM EDT

Remember that time, when Glenn was called crazy for predicting radical Islam, socialists/communists & anarchists would unite to destabilize and dismantle capitalism? Everyone said that was crazy talk and Glenn was of course mercilessly raked over the coals for saying so. Well, chalk another one up for the old crazy talker Glenn Beck – CAIR has now fallen in line with the Marxists, Communists and anarchists down at Occupy Wall Street.

The Blaze reports, “An official invitation issued by CAIR’s New York chapter tells members to show “solidarity” with ‘the 99%” by attending Friday prayers in Zuccotti Park at 1:00pm. CAIR’s stated goal in hosting the prayer service at OWS is to “expand the role of New York Muslims in the Occupy movement.’”

Wow, so a group with ties to radicalized Islam is uniting with Occupy Wall Street. Shocker.

Add to that the latest from progressive publication AdBusters which advertises, “Open your insurrectionary imagination. Anything, from a bottom up transformation of the global economy to changing the way we eat, the way we get around, the way we live, love, the way we communicate. Be the spark that sustains a global revolution of everyday life! Let us occupy the core of our global system. Let’s dethrone the greed that defines this new century. Let us work to define our one great demand.”

“Let’s see if I have this right,” Glenn said. “Marxist, communists, anarchists, revolutionaries, and Muslim extremists will join to destabilize capitalism and overthrow the western way of life.”

“Can you imagine having somebody say something so stupid that. That will never happen you idiot,” Stu joked.

“They don’t have common goals,” Pat added.

“It looks like the headlines are taken from old scripts of the show,” Glenn said.

Could a Russia-US rail tunnel be built?

Russian officials have backed the idea of a rail tunnel linking Russia and the US.

It would run under the Bering Strait for 105km (65 miles) - twice the length of the UK-France Channel Tunnel.

The tunnel itself has been estimated to cost $10-12bn and to take 10-15 years to build.

But an additional 4,000km (2,485 miles) of new track would be needed to link it to Russia's rail network, plus another 2,000km (1,243 miles) to connect to existing services on the US side.

Of Interest to ALL

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Bank of America in real trouble

If You Have Any Doubt That Bank Of America Is Going Down, This Development Should Settle It

10/19/2011 10:43

Editor’s Note: We’ve received numerous emails from readers regarding this most recent development with Bank of America, and we’re seeing the report from Washington’s Blog spreading like wildfire across alternative media like The Daily Crux and The Intel Hub. Why? Because this is big news. Really big. One of the oldest banking institutions in America is now on the brink of total insolvency. The only way to for them to be saved at this point is to take billions of dollars in losses and force those losses to be covered by the U.S. taxpayer or innocent account holders. If you’re an account holder, it might be time to reconsider your allegiance, because in the near future you may be dealing with the FDIC instead of a BofA customer service representative.

The Federal Reserve and Bank of America Initiate a Coup to Dump Billions of Dollars of Losses on the American Taxpayer

Bloomberg reports that Bank of America is dumping derivatives onto a subsidiary which is insured by the government – i.e. taxpayers.

Yves Smith notes:

If you have any doubt that Bank of America is going down, this development should settle it …. Both [professor of economics and law, and former head S&L prosecutor] Bill Black (who I interviewed just now) and I see this as a desperate move by Bank of America’s management, a de facto admission that they know the bank is in serious trouble.

The short form via Bloomberg:

Bank of America Corp. (BAC), hit by a credit downgrade last month, hasmoved derivatives from its Merrill Lynch unit to a subsidiary flush with insured deposits, according to people with direct knowledge of the situation…

Bank of America’s holding company — the parent of both the retail bank and the Merrill Lynch securities unit — held almost $75 trillion of derivatives at the end of June, according to data compiled by the OCC. About $53 trillion, or 71 percent, were within Bank of America NA, according to the data, which represent the notional values of the trades.

That compares with JPMorgan’s deposit-taking entity, JPMorgan Chase Bank NA, which contained 99 percent of the New York-based firm’s $79 trillion of notional derivatives, the OCC data show.

Now you would expect this move to be driven by adverse selection, that it, that BofA would move its WORST derivatives, that is, the ones that were riskiest or otherwise had high collateral posting requirements, to the sub. Bill Black confirmed that even though the details were sketchy, this is precisely what took place.

And remember, as we have indicated, there are some “derivatives” that should be eliminated, period. We’ve written repeatedly about credit default swaps, which have virtually no legitimate economic uses (no one was complaining about the illiquidity of corporate bonds prior to the introduction of CDS; this was not a perceived need among investors). They are an inherently defective product, since there is no way to margin adequately for “jump to default” risk and have the product be viable economically. CDS are systematically underpriced insurance, with insurers guaranteed to go bust periodically, as AIG and the monolines demonstrated. [Background.]

The reason that commentators like Chris Whalen were relatively sanguine about Bank of America likely becoming insolvent as a result of eventual mortgage and other litigation losses is that it would be a holding company bankruptcy. The operating units, most importantly, the banks, would not be affected and could be spun out to a new entity or sold. Shareholders would be wiped out and holding company creditors (most important, bondholders) would take a hit by having their debt haircut and partly converted to equity.

This changes the picture completely. This move reflects either criminal incompetence or abject corruption by the Fed. Even though I’ve expressed my doubts as to whether Dodd Frank resolutions will work, dumping derivatives into depositaries pretty much guarantees a Dodd Frank resolution will fail. Remember the effect of the 2005 bankruptcy law revisions: derivatives counterparties are first in line, they get to grab assets first and leave everyone else to scramble for crumbs. [Background.] So this move amounts to a direct transfer from derivatives counterparties of Merrill to the taxpayer, via the FDIC, which would have to make depositors whole after derivatives counterparties grabbed collateral. It’s well nigh impossible to have an orderly wind down in this scenario. You have a derivatives counterparty land grab and an abrupt insolvency. Lehman failed over a weekend after JP Morgan grabbed collateral.

But it’s even worse than that. During the savings & loan crisis, the FDIC did not have enough in deposit insurance receipts to pay for the Resolution Trust Corporation wind-down vehicle. It had to get more funding from Congress. This move paves the way for another TARP-style shakedown of taxpayers, this time to save depositors. No Congressman would dare vote against that. This move is Machiavellian, and just plain evil.

The FDIC is understandably ripshit. Again from Bloomberg:

The Federal Reserve and Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. disagree over the transfers, which are being requested by counterparties, said the people, who asked to remain anonymous because they weren’t authorized to speak publicly. The Fed has signaled that it favors moving the derivatives to give relief to the bank holding company, while the FDIC, which would have to pay off depositors in the event of a bank failure, is objecting, said the people. The bank doesn’t believe regulatory approval is needed, said people with knowledge of its position.

Well OF COURSE BofA is gonna try to take the position this is kosher, but the FDIC can and must reject this brazen move. But this is a bit of a fait accompli,and I have NO doubt BofA and the craven, corrupt Fed will argue that moving the derivatives back will upset the markets. Well too bad, maybe it’s time banks learn they can no longer run roughshod over regulators. And if BofA is at that much risk that it can’t survive undoing this brazen move, that would seem to be prima facie evidence that a Dodd Frank resolution is in order.

Bill Black said that the Bloomberg editors toned down his remarks considerably. He said, “Any competent regulator would respond: “No, Hell NO!” It’s time that the public also say no, and loudly, to this new scheme to loot taxpayers and save a criminally destructive bank.

Professor Black provided a “bottom line” summary in a separate email:

1.The bank holding company (BAC) is moving troubled assets held by an entity not insured by the public (Merrill Lynch) to the Bank of America, which is insured by the public
2. The banking rules are designed to prevent that because they are designed to protect the FDIC insurance fund (which the Treasury guarantees)
3. Any marginally competent regulator would say “No, Hell NO!”
4. The Fed, reportedly, is saying “Sure, no worries” by allowing the sale of an affiliate’s troubled assets to B of A
5. This is a really good “natural experiment” that allows us to test whether the Fed is protects the public or the uninsured and systemically dangerous institutions (the bank holding companies (BHCs))
6. We are all shocked, shocked [sarcasm] that Bernanke responded to the experiment by choosing to protect the BHC at the expense of the public.

Karl Denninger writes:

So let’s see what we have here.

Bank customer initiates a swap position with Bank. In doing so they intentionallyaccept the credit risk of the institution they trade with.

Later they get antsy about perhaps not getting paid. Bank then shifts that risk to a place where people who deposited their money and had no part of this transaction wind up backstopping it.

This effectively makes the depositor the “guarantor” of the swap ex-post-facto.

That the regulators are allowing this is an outrage.

If you’re a Bank of America customer and continue to be one you deserve whatever you get down the line, whether it comes in the form of higher fees and costs assessed upon you or something worse.
Stand Up to the Coup

Bank of America has repeatedly become insolvent due to fraud and risky bets, and repeatedly been bailed out by the government and American people. The government and banks are engineering an age of permanent bailouts for this insolvent, criminal bank (and the other too big to fails). Remember, this is the same bank that is refusing to let people close their accounts.

This is yet another joint effort by Washington and Wall Street to screw the American people, and totrample on the rule of law.

The American people will be stuck in nightmare of a never-ending depression (yes, we are currently in a depression) and fascism (or socialism, if you prefer that term) unless we stand up to the overly-powerful Fed and the too big to fail banks.

This article has been contributed by SHTF Plan. Visit for alternative news, commentary and preparedness info.

Read more at SHTF Plan

The Best Countries for Starting a Business Now

Which Countries Love Start-ups?

The World Bank's annual Doing Business report ranks the ease of doing business within 183 countries based on business-friendly regulations. The formula takes into account the ease of starting a business, factoring minimum cost, time, and available capital. Which economies are fostering start-ups? Get this, entrepreneurs: While the United States ranks fourth in the over-all ease of doing business in 2011, it didn't crack the top 10 for start-ups. Here's the count-down, starting at No. 9.

Start Here

No Teacher Left Behind: Congress Removes Teacher Evaluations From Education Bill

Education reformer Michelle Rhee speaks out against the bi-partisan effort to appease teacher unions.

Tea Partier Forced To Break Down Flag Pole, Occupy Protesters Left Alone

In the following footage, a tea party event was required to disassemble or dispose of any pole or stake over 2 ft long. Matthew Purdy, who had taken his flag across America or an epic walk for freedom, was required to disassemble his flag as he entered the capitol grounds. However, as occupiers rallied under similar circumstances they were allowed to have a variety of poles and stakes up to 6 ft. long, without a word from the capitol police.

Are We the Wall Street Protesters?

by Bill O'Reilly

If you believe a column in Newsweek magazine, most of the Occupy Wall Street protesters are just regular folks, people like you and me. Writer Michael Daly puts forth that the demonstrators simply have had enough of an unfair economic system, and what's wrong with that?

But a survey taken at the protest site in New York City tells quite another story. Pollster Doug Schoen, who once worked for President Clinton, had his staff ask 200 protesters to define themselves.

-- Just 15 percent are unemployed.

-- Most voted for Barack Obama in 2008, but now only 44 percent approve of the job the president is doing.

-- Fifty-two percent have participated in political demonstrations before.

-- Thirty-one percent say they would support violence to advance their agenda.

And what is that agenda? Schoen writes: "The protesters have a distinct ideology and are bound by a deep commitment to radical left-wing policies. ... (The movement) comprises an unrepresentative segment of the electorate that believes in the radical redistribution of wealth..."

In other words, these folks want our stuff.

Throughout history, there have been human beings who did not want to compete in the marketplace. That sentiment drives a hatred of capitalism. The American economic system is a meritocracy. If you work hard and do well in your job, you usually will prosper providing you practice patience. If you don't work hard and smart, you will be out on your keister -- unless a union saves you.

Some believe this survival-of-the-fittest system is unfair because all people are not born with equal aptitude. And that's true. Capitalism is not fair to everyone. But it gives the largest number of folks the best chance to succeed because there are many different routes to prosperity and some disinterested bureaucrat isn't standing around calling the economic shots.

But the Occupy Wall Street protesters want those bureaucrats. They believe governments have a moral obligation to provide a measure of success and education to everyone, no matter the cost. This, of course, is impossible.

I respect dissent, but not stupidity. Do these anti-capitalists ever read a newspaper or a history book? Greece and other European countries are collapsing under entitlement debt, and the entire world is suffering economically because of it.

The Soviet Union fell apart under communism. Cuba is a disaster. Zimbabwe is unspeakable. Every place on Earth that tries to seize private property implodes. Most human beings are built to better themselves, not to throw their talents into a collective kitty usually run by corrupt killers.

Generally speaking, the Occupy Wall Street crew is comprised of bored morons who want handouts. Every American has a legitimate beef about something, but most of us don't want to burn the system down. The protesters do.

Maybe if their brains were occupied with some perspective, we could get somewhere.

EU Perspective: Pizza mogul Herman Cain, the unlikely Republican presidential frontrunner

A conservative African-American CEO of a successful pizza chain, Herman Cain has no political experience, low name recognition and a campaign with little cash and even less staff. But he's the current frontrunner for the Republican presidential nod.

By Jon FROSCH (text)

In a quirky field of Republican presidential contenders that includes a foster mother to 23, a former Obama administration employee, and a doctor who advocates the legalisation of heroin and prostitution, Herman Cain is the unlikeliest candidate of all.

A conservative African-American radio personality and former CEO of a successful pizza chain called Godfather’s, the 65-year-old Cain has no political experience, relatively low name recognition, and a campaign with little cash and even less staff.

But in the game of musical chairs that seems to determine who is leading the Republican field on any given day, it is now Cain’s time in the frontrunner’s seat. Capitalising on a lack of enthusiasm for presumptive nominee Mitt Romney and a string of shaky debate performances by Texas Governor Rick Perry, Cain has used his humor-inflected brand of populism, business credentials, and Washington-outsider status to surge to the top of the pack; recent polls show Cain tying with Romney or trailing by just one point in Republican preferences nation-wide and beating Romney in key states like Iowa, Florida, Ohio, and South Carolina.

In the early phase of the campaign for the nomination, Cain coasted on witty debate performances and interviews, as well as appearances to promote his new book (exuberantly titled “This is Herman Cain! My Journey to the White House”).

But now that Cain has made it into the first tier of conservatives vying to unseat Obama, press, pundits, and rivals have started scrutinising his positions more closely – and the future of his candidacy depends on how he navigates that attention.

A ‘lean and mean’ approach to politics

That Cain has become something of an overnight political success without any background in politics can be attributed to Republican voters’ dissatisfaction with the candidates who have been front and centre, according to political scientist John Fortier of prominent Washington DC-based think tank Bipartisan Policy Centre. “Despite the fact that Romney’s doing well, there’s hunger on the Republican side for a more authentic conservative,” Fortier explained. “Cain is very charismatic and outspoken, and he more or less has not strayed from traditional conservative principles.”

Romney and Perry, on the other hand, are frequently accused of having shifted their positions on issues from abortion to healthcare to immigration during lengthy careers that have led them from governors’ mansions to the presidential campaign trail.

Indeed, Cain has been able to hone his image as an American success story without political baggage. Having grown up poor in Georgia, Cain went on to earn degrees in mathematics and computer science. Before presiding over his restaurant franchise, he chaired the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, Missouri.

“There’s appeal to being an outsider,” Fortier assessed. “And in this election, even more than others, the idea of a businessman is attractive: someone who can balance a budget and make tough economic decisions.”

Cain is aware of that allure. “I’m trying to run this campaign like a start-up business, which means lean and mean,” he told journalists in New York earlier this month. Indeed, the candidate has not made the rounds of typical meet-and-greet events at restaurants and factories or employed the usual army of volunteers and consultants.

But Cain has managed to turn his reluctance to engage in classic campaigning into a niche amid a crop of candidates who have increasingly seemed to be clawing at each other for a bit of the spotlight. Cain’s now-famous economic proposal, the “9-9-9” tax plan, is emblematic of his pared-down, no-nonsense approach to politics: the reform would set individual and business income tax rates, as well as a national sales tax rate, at 9 percent, getting rid of all other federal taxes.

Cain’s has presented other simple, catchy ideas that have endeared him to Tea Party supporters who favour fiscal and constitutional conservatives: he has said that if elected, he would require staff to keep a copy of the Constitution, cancel half the traditional inaugural balls (which he called “a waste of time”), and combat any attempt to use Shariah law in US courts.

Another, though less quantifiable, possible reason for Cain’s popularity stems from the rarity of a having a black Republican presidential candidate. The party has recently intensified efforts to encourage conservative candidates of colour, and according to Fortier, “there are a number of Republican voters who don’t like the president’s policies, but are tolerant and open-minded, and think it’s a good thing for there to be an African-American Republican presidential candidate”.

That may explain why Cain’s rivals for the nomination have been reluctant to attack him with the same ferocity they have unleashed on one another. In the debate this week, candidate Rick Santorum prefaced his criticism of Cain’s tax plan with “Herman’s well-meaning, and I love his boldness”, while Perry softened his jab with an even more effusive disclaimer: “Herman, I love you, brother.”

All style, no substance?

But if other candidates have greeted Cain’s rise with smiles and shrugs, commentators have been less indulgent. Prominent political analyst Ron Faucheux called Cain’s latest debate performance “unconvincing and superficial”, while top newspapers have lately been awash with stories detailing recent gaffes – particularly Cain’s statement during an interview with major TV channel NBC that “he was not familiar with the neoconservative movement”, as well as his proposal to build a border fence that would electrocute those who tried to cross illegally (a joke, he later said).

Also raising eyebrows is Cain’s unapologetic lack of foreign policy expertise. He has argued that a commander-in-chief can surround himself with international relations specialists, and that knowing, as he cheekily phrased it, “who is the president of Ubeki-beki-beki-beki-stan-stan” is not necessary. The comment was the source of a shared chuckle at a high-level diplomatic meeting two days later; in Kabul, Afghan President Hamid Karzai joked to US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton that Cain’s remark – which he summed up as “all the ’stans whatever” – “wasn’t right…but anyway, that’s how politics are”.

Meanwhile, Cain has been forced to start clarifying his proposals and positions. Responding to claims that his “9-9-9” plan would raise taxes on poor and middle-class Americans, Cain acknowledged in an interview with NBC that “some people will pay more”. And pressed on his staunch pro-life stance on abortion, Cain conceded to Piers Morgan on CNN that “it’s not the government's role ... to make that decision” – a remark that Iowa conservative Bob Vander Plaats slammed as “a pro-choice position”.

A ‘credible alternative’ to Obama?

In order to address concerns that Cain does not have a firm enough grasp of even the conservative platform, the candidate’s campaign has recently announced the addition of policy advisors.

But many pundits predict that Cain’s frontrunner status will be fleeting, because Republican primary voters will ultimately see him as vulnerable against Obama in a general election. “He would have to do a lot to convince people that his background and credentials are enough to be a credible alternative to the president,” said Fortier.

Thomas Mann, a specialist in US elections at the Brookings Institution, a prominent public policy organisation in Washington, is even more unequivocal: “He is so obviously unqualified for the position that his leading the polls is a commentary on the field of candidates and the rationality of the Republican primary electorate.”

For the moment, though, that electorate is placing him above his more seasoned rivals – a fact that enables Cain to brush off criticism. “You know you must be doing something right when you get a lot of arrows in your back,” Cain said last week in a speech to lawmakers in the state of New Hampshire. “But this is the first time that arrows have felt really, really good.”

Anchor Babies Sue Fla. Over Tuition

Last Updated: Fri, 10/21/2011 - 2:57pm

In a case that could set a national precedent, Florida anchor babies are suing public education officials for making them pay the higher college tuition rate charged to out-of-state students because their parents are in the U.S. illegally.

Born in the United States to illegal aliens, the students were required to prove that their parents are in the country legally in order to pay the discounted tuition fee offered to Florida residents at public colleges and universities. Most states offer the same perk, which saves residents a big chunk of change at taxpayer-funded schools.

That’s why controversy has erupted recently over states, many of them cash-strapped, that grant the public benefit to illegal immigrants. This case is different, however, because the plaintiffs were actually born in the U.S. Florida has long required students to provide evidence of their parents’ citizenship to get discounted college tuition, even when the kids graduated from a local high school.

The policy is discriminatory and a clear violation of the equal-protection clause of the U.S. Constitution, according to a complaint filed in federal court this week by five students who were charged higher out-of-state tuition. "Many talented American students must either forgo higher education or incur extraordinary costs, in both money and time, in order to obtain the same education made available to other Florida residents at a small fraction of the cost," the suit says.

A nonprofit civil rights organization dedicated to fighting hate and bigotry filed the complaint in Miami on behalf of the students. It’s part of a broader effort to “reform school policies that unnecessarily push students out of school or otherwise limit their opportunities for a successful future.” In this case the higher tuition puts a college education out of reach for these particular Hispanic students.

"In short, United States citizen students who reside in Florida but whose parents are undocumented immigrants are charged three to four times as much as other Florida residents for the same education at Florida's public colleges and universities," the complaint states. It further points out that the difference is staggering to the tunes of thousands of dollars.

The defendants named in the lawsuit are Florida’s Commissioner of Education (Gerard Robinson) and the chancellor of the state’s university system, Frank Brogan.

12-Year-Olds To Get Gardasil Without Parents’ Consent

Last Updated: Fri, 10/21/2011 - 1:30pm

In a few months 12-year-olds in the nation’s most populous state can, without parental consent, get a controversial vaccine in public schools to treat a sexually transmitted disease.

Even for ultra-liberal California this may seem astounding, that children can receive any sort of non-emergency medical treatment without the approval of a guardian. As if this weren’t atrocious enough, the costly vaccine (Gardasil)—linked to dozens of deaths and thousands of debilitating side effects— will be largely financed with taxpayer dollars.

Worse yet is that a disturbing number of girls and young women who received Gardasil have died or suffered serious adverse effects such as paralysis, seizures and blindness since the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) fast tracked its approval under pressure from the pharmaceutical giant (Merck) that makes it. Just this week Judicial Watch released the latest of many daunting federal reports exposing the deaths of 26 girls who received the shot in the last year alone.

Before that Judicial Watch uncovered droves of FDA records, obtained by suing the agency, that document the damage associated with Gardasil which is promoted as a miracle shot that can prevent certain strains of cervical cancer caused by Human Papillomavirus (HPV). In 2008 JW also published a special report detailing Gardasil’s approval process, side effects, safety concerns and marketing practices. Undoubtedly, it illustrates a large-scale public health experiment.

Yet, incredibly, at least 20 states have passed laws requiring funding for Gardasil or education programs promoting the vaccine. Among states that have enacted Gardasil-related measures are Colorado, Indiana, Iowa, Maine, Michigan, Nevada, Rhode Island and Utah. In all 50 states, tax dollars help pay for the shots because the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) makes them available through the federal Vaccines for Children program.

But California has broken away from the pack in a big way by making Gardasil, which is administered to girls as young as 9, available without permission from a parent. Signed by Governor Jerry Brown this month, the new measure (Minors: Medical Care: Consent Bill) will take effect in January. That means anyone 12 years of age or older can consent to medical care related to the prevention of a sexually transmitted disease, according to the actual language of the law.

This includes the strains of cervical cancer, communicated only by sexual contact, that Gardasil’s manufacturer claims to prevent. The new law was clearly crafted for this one drug and a chunk of it is dedicated to touting it because “HPV vaccination prior to the onset of sexual activity is critical since most infections occur within a short time frame post initiation.”

Of interesting note is that the key California legislators who passed the Gardasil law received campaign money from Merck, according to a Sacramento-based investigative journalism group that published a database with the names and numbers. All of the lawmakers are Democrats who each got between $300 and $3,500 from the huge pharmaceutical conglomerate.

LightSquared refuses to release communications with White House

By Brendan Sasso - 10/20/11 04:10 PM ET

Wireless company LightSquared has refused a request from Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) to release its communications with the White House and the Federal Communications Commission.

Grassley, the ranking Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee, requested the documents earlier this month to probe whether the company benefited from improper influence in its effort to secure regulatory approval. LightSquared told Grassley it would "respectfully decline" his request in a letter Wednesday night.

LightSquared plans to launch a wholesale wireless broadband service, but tests earlier this year revealed its network interferes with Global Positioning System (GPS) devices. The company is currently undergoing a new round of testing to determine if technical modifications have addressed the interference problem.

FCC officials have said they will not allow the company to move forward until the GPS issues are resolved.

Republican lawmakers began calling for an investigation of the company's lobbying efforts after emails revealed LightSquared had communicated with senior White House aides. The administration also reportedly asked an Air Force general to change his testimony in a congressional briefing to make it more supportive of the company.

The White House and LightSquared deny any improper influence.

"If LightSquared has nothing to hide and would like to put questions of improper influence at the FCC, Department of Commerce and White House to rest, the public release of these communications would allow Congress and the American people to fully examine the facts and decide for themselves," Grassley wrote in his request to the company earlier this month.

But in LightSquared's response, the company worried that the GPS industry would only try to distort any documents that the company released.

"Given the transparent efforts of the GPS industry to politicize this issue, I admittedly have concerns that any materials we provide may be used selectively or taken out of context," wrote Mark Paoletta, a lawyer representing LightSquared.

A LightSquared executive told The Hill last week he believes the GPS industry has pushed negative political stories about LightSquared in an attempt to discredit the company and prevent the launch of its network.

In the letter to Grassley, the company argued that the senator should also request documents from the GPS industry to gain a complete picture of the lobbying efforts surrounding LightSquared's proposed network.

A spokeswoman for Grassley said the senator would request similar information from GPS makers Garmin, Trimble and John Deere if it would mean that LightSquared would release its communications.

“The public’s business ought to be public,” Grassley said Thursday.

Socialism, Communism and Cultural Marxism: Spiritual Diseases of Our Time

October 22, 2011
By Linda Kimball

"In 1919, Georg Lukacs became Deputy Commissar for Culture in the short-lived Bolshevik Bela Kun regime in Hungary. He immediately set plans in motion to de-Christianize Hungary. Reasoning that if Christian sexual ethics could be undermined among children, then both the hated (traditional) family and the Church would be dealt a crippling blow, Lukacs launched a radical sex education program in the schools. Sex lectures were organized and literature handed out which graphically instructed youth in free love (promiscuity) and sexual intercourse while simultaneously encouraging them to deride and reject Christian moral ethics, monogamy, and parental and church authority. All of this was accompanied by a reign of cultural terror perpetrated against parents, priests, and dissenters." "Hungary's youth, having been fed a steady diet of values-neutral (atheism) and radical sex education while simultaneously encouraged to rebel against all authority, easily turned into delinquents ranging from bullies and petty thieves to sex predators, murderers, and sociopaths." (Cultural Marxism, L. Kimball)

Today the words Marxist, communist, and fascist have devolved into essentially meaningless, emotionalized epitaphs brandished by people whose understanding of their true meaning is so lacking as to be on a par with "I hate you!" and "you miserable scum bag!"

So just what are Fascist Socialism, Marxist Communism and its contemporary version, Cultural Marxism?

At the deepest, most important level of all, these ideologies are really about the human condition after the Fall and the causes of evil and suffering as defined by fallen mankind.

From the moment that Adam and Eve were ushered out of paradise, men began complaining:

"Why must we die? Why must there be decay? Why must we work? Why does he have (fill in the blanks) but I do not? That's unfair! Why can't we say, do and have whatever we desire? If it feels good (libidinous impulses) then why shouldn't we do it? Why must there be authority, rules, norms, absolutes, and consequences? Why does it have to be this way? Why can't it be the way we want it to be?"

And finally: Who or what is the cause of our suffering?

From Nimrod to Karl Marx and contemporary rebels and apostates, the answer is the transcendent Authority of God the Father Almighty together with the fallen condition of man and the world:

"Now it was Nimrod who excited them to such an affront and contempt of God." He "changed the government into tyranny" in order to turn them away from God and make them dependent upon his own power. He also would be revenged upon God "if he should have a mind to drown the world again; for that he would build a tower too high for the waters to be able to reach!" And he would "avenge himself on God for destroying their forefathers." (Jewish historian Josephus cited in" Who was Nimrod?" Dr. David Livingston)

Karl Marx dreamt of ruining the world created by God the Father and proclaiming himself 'god.' In his poem "Human Pride," he writes that after ruining the world:

"I will wander godlike and victorious /Through the ruins of the world/ And, giving my words an active force/ I will feel equal to the Creator." ((Marx and Satan, Richard Wurmbrand, pp. 30-31)

Marx's comrade in arms, Mikhail Bakunin, aligned himself with the Devil and declared:

"The Evil One is the satanic revolt against divine authority....Socialists recognize each other by the words, "In the name of the one to whom a great wrong has been done....Satan (is) the eternal rebel, the first freethinker and the emancipator of worlds." (Mikhail Bakunin, ibid, p. 27)

After confessing to his 'cosmic authority' problem, New York University professor Thomas Nagel admits:

"I want atheism to be true and am made uneasy by the fact that some of the most intelligent and well-informed people I know are religious believers. It isn't just that I don't believe in God (but) that I hope there is no God! I don't want there to be a God; I don't want the universe to be like that." (The Rage Against God, Peter Hitchens, p. 150)

It is when the terrible-willed and their followers — most generally pleasure-seeking hedonists — become possessive of the things of this world and resentful of the "way things are" that they rebel against God the Father and raise up new Towers of Babel — separate paradises — here on earth. With Nimrod it was Babylon. Marx's Tower was the materialist Communist worker's paradise while Hitler's Babel was his socialist Third Reich. Today's occult New Age heralds the coming of the final Tower — a planetary communist paradise, but it will be blatantly Luciferic rather than materialist.

In the preface to "The Silmarillion," the all-important creation account that sets the stage for the subsequent Lord of the Rings trilogy, J.R.R. Tolkien observes of the terrible-willed:

".... (they) will rebel against the laws of the Creator — especially against mortality." Possessiveness toward the things of this world alone or together with hatred of death and decay "will lead to the desire for Power, for making the will more quickly effective — and so to the Machine (magic)." (p. xiii)

Tolkien defines magic as the abuse of God-given talents and powers fueled by the:

"corrupted motive of dominating: bull-dozing the real world, or coercing other wills" by way of ideologies designed for the unmaking of the world as it is.

In other words, when pride, wrath, lust and envy inflate to monstrous proportions it is then that the terrible-willed declare the death of God, usurp His powers, declare themselves gods and invent reality-denying ideologies such as rationalism, materialism, liberalism, secularism, determinism, green environmentalism, socialism, and evolutionism to seduce and coerce other wills:

"Darwinism came at the desired time; Darwin's theory that man is the descendant of a lower animal destroyed the entire foundation of Christian dogma. " (Anton Pannekoek, Marxism And Darwinism, Translated by Nathan Weiser. Transcribed for the Internet by Jon Muller, Chicago, Charles H. Kerr & Company Co-operative Copyright, 1912 by Charles H. Kerr & Company)

And of course straight-forward questions are absolutely forbidden lest they expose the corpus of lies, hate, hypocrisy, deceit and delusion underlying and fueling the 'Machine.'

On the subject of the Machine, Herbert Schlossberg perceptively observed:

"Exalting mankind to the status of deity...dates from the farthest reaches of antiquity, but its development into an ideology embracing the masses is a characteristic of modernity." (Herbert Schlossberg, cited in The Seduction of Christianity, Dave Hunt and T.A. McMahon)

Ex-Communist atheist Alexander Solzhenitsyn described the terrible-willed god-men as the masters of the world who, bearing no evil within themselves, have declared that all the evils of the world are caused not by man's fallen human condition but by deterministic external or natural causes — unjust, unfair systems.

In his book, "Cry Havoc: The Great American Bring-Down and How it Happened," Ralph de Toledano identifies the unfair, unjust systems:

"the morality that derives from the Old and New Testaments, the traditional family, the respect for the past as a guide to the future, the restraint of man's baser instincts, and a socio-political organization which guaranteed freedom without license. Of these obstacles, the two greatest were God and the family." (p. 26)

Former atheist Peter Hitchens notes that throughout the West the Left's hostility to Christian theism is specific because orthodox Christianity:

" the religion of their own homes and homeland, the form in which they have encountered — and generally disliked and resented — the power of God in their own lives.....the Left sympathizes with Islam because (it is) the enemy of their (own enemy, the Christian culture)." (Hitchens, p. 131)

Hostility to God and Christianity is not confined to just the Left but shared equally with GOP atheist insiders. Because of their hostility to God and Christianity they hold in utter contempt the middle-class, mainly Christian constituents they must rely upon to be re-elected.

Solzhenitsyn summarized the whole meaning of Fascism, Marxist Communism and Cultural Marxism when he described their three main causes as rebellion against God the Father quickly followed by apostasy and denial of man's fallen condition, allowing the rebels and apostates to comfortably "forget" that evil cuts right through the hearts of all men, themselves included.

Peter Hitchens writes that atheists and antitheists who have the good fortune to live in a society governed by religious belief:

"....may feel free from absolute moral bonds, while those around them are not. This is a tremendous liberation for anyone who is even slightly selfish. And what clever person is not imaginatively and cunningly selfish?" (Peter Hitchens, p. 148)

Modern ideologies and the murderous utopian systems spawned by them are spiritual diseases of fallen men. The only cure is spiritual regeneration through submission to God the Father Almighty.

© Linda Kimball

Occupy Charlotte founder resists efforts to oust him

Group's attorney says Tom Shope misused funds; he calls claims 'rhetoric and lies.'

By Doug Miller
Posted: Friday, Oct. 21, 2011

A battle for control over Occupy Charlotte has divided the group's founder and new members camping out on the grounds of Old City Hall.

Attorney Ken Davies this week sent a letter to founder Tom Shope informing him that the group expelled Shope for "untrustworthy" conduct. The letter accuses Shope of having opened a secret bank account and depositing contributions into it.

Davies asked Shope not to return and to hand over donations collected on behalf of Occupy Charlotte.

Shope, 47, a Charlotte gem cutter, said Friday he has done nothing wrong and that he won't quit. He accused a small group of about eight young people at the camp of being too radical and spreading "rhetoric and lies."

The conflict reflects the movement's struggle to remain inclusive and without a leader one month into the local offshoot of Occupy Wall Street, the protest that has spread across the country.

It also highlights the role of social media and the Web in the modern era of protests.

In expelling Shope, Occupy Charlotte asked him to relinquish his popular Facebook page and website, the group's main outlets of communication.

Shope refuses to do so. He also believes his opponents have tried to hack into his accounts. "They say, 'We believe whoever owns the 5,000-person Facebook should turn it over to us,' " Shope says. "That's a big focus with the young high school kids."

The squabble follows escalating tensions surrounding the group. The lack of portable bathrooms has gained attention in recent days. City officials say they're not required to allow restroom facilities on city property for demonstrations.

Campers use facilities at the transit center, government offices or nearby private businesses.

Others have questioned whether the city should allow protesters to stay on the property. Former Mayor Pat McCrory questioned what will happen when large crowds descend on Charlotte for next year's Democratic National Convention.

Davies said he is working on behalf of the group at no charge. He said friends asked him to get involved because they felt Shope was taking charge in violation of the group's principles of collective decision-making.

Davies said he shares many views of the group, which believes the economy is rigged to benefit the wealthy and corporations while ordinary citizens struggle. "I think lawyers should get involved if they think they can help make the world a better place," Davies said. "I think the two-party system isn't working. The government is dysfunctional."

Shope says he is fighting back so he can regain control and keep pushing the group's message. Technically, Shope owns Occupy Charlotte. He registered the name as a business at the Mecklenburg County Register of Deeds earlier this month. Shope said he did so with the intent of maintaining control and to one day create a nonprofit of that title.

He said the hundreds of Charlotteans who turn out for weekend marches are the true membership of Occupy Charlotte, not the campers.

"I'm not trying to be a leader. It's stewardship," Shope said. "These kids have had their run and their say long enough."

Occupy Cleveland permit has expired

A showdown with police could be developing.

(Cleveland) – Protestors on Public Square defied orders to leave when their permit for "Occupy Cleveland" expired Friday night at 10 p.m..

The protest has carried on for two weeks, with demonstrators setting up several tents.

Channel 3 News reports that dozens of CSU students came down and joined the demonstration shortly before 10 p.m. The majority of the demonstrators moved off the grassy areas and onto the sidewalk, but still remained on Public Square. A handful remained on the grass, with the intent of being arrested.

A number of Cleveland police showed up at Public Square, mainly to make sure things remained peaceful.

Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson released a statement indicating that all quadrants of Public Square are reserved for Winterfest, a holiday display funded by Huntington Bank.

The protesters, who are demonstrating against big banks, say they will not move.

They contend that the Constitution's right of free assembly trumps Winterfest, but have offered to help put up the Christmas displays.

(Copyright 2011 Clear Channel, all rights reserved.)

The GOP Pro-Growth, Flat-Tax Competition

Larry Kudlow
October 21, 2011 5:00 P.M.
The GOP Pro-Growth, Flat-Tax Competition
Stocks love it, too.

The latest Gallup poll pegs President Obama’s approval at a new low of 41 percent. That adds to the thought that the winner of the GOP presidential-primary sweepstakes is going to be the next president.

And inside that Republican contest, the policy pendulum is swinging toward pro-growth, flat-tax reform. A new agenda. With Herman Cain’s 9-9-9 plan and the announcement of a Steve Forbes-type flat tax from Gov. Rick Perry, the GOP flat-tax-reform competition is dominating the headline news.

While President Obama stumps for huge tax hikes — on incomes of $200,000 to the millionaire and billionaire level — and demoralizes businesses and entrepreneurs with his populist attacks on success and risk-taking, the GOP is fast coming up with a much better idea.

The handwriting is now on the wall. A huge part of the 2012 campaign will be pro-growth tax reform versus “fairness,” redistribution, and soak-the-rich. In a stalled-out economy, I’ll take the supply-side bet anytime. Pro-growth, flat-tax reform is going to win.

The stock market gets this. The flat tax is bullish. In late September, Herman Cain trumpeted his 9-9-9 flat-tax/fair-tax hybrid reform plan at the Orlando, Fla., debate. Since early October, stocks have come out of their funk, rising 12 percent.


Part of the stock rally is based on strong corporate earnings, the mother’s milk of stocks. So far for the third quarter, almost three-quarters of reporting companies have beaten estimates, with overall profits coming in about 14 percent ahead of year-ago. And investors are hopeful that Europe will solve its sovereign-debt and banking woes.

But the sudden stock rally could also be discounting a new GOP growth plan that will replace the dreary Obama tax-the-rich mantra.

Investors read the political polls as well as the earnings results. And investors sense that a rejuvenated Republican party — with candidates competing for the most pro-growth, incentive-oriented tax reform — bodes well for America’s economic future. So with the election a little more than a year away, stocks may be thinking about a new Reagan-like era in economic policy.

An era when success is rewarded, not punished. An era when consumption is taxed more while saving and investment are taxed less. An era when capital formation rises from the ashes to produce a new surge in productivity, jobs, and real incomes. An era when simplicity trumps $450 billion in compliance costs; when a new Republican party means business when it says it will drive a stake through a tax code that has been a ball-and-chain to the economy.

Add to that widespread agreement among the GOP candidates for strict spending limitations; a regulatory rollback; an unleashing of Americas oil-and-gas shale revolution (which will give us energy independence); and the likelihood that a Republican president will stop the Federal Reserve from devaluing the dollar and flooding the financial system with an overload of new money. All the GOP frontrunners would replace Ben Bernanke, and at least Cain and Perry have hinted at re-linking the dollar to gold.

And all these policies mark a return to the Reaganesque principles that rejuvenated free-market capitalism 30 years ago and could ignite an economic-growth surge once again — even amidst all of today’s doom and gloom.

Herman Cain’s 9-9-9 is not perfect. But it embodies important growth incentives along with simplification. Rick Perry’s plan comes out this week, and it’s likely to feature a single tax rate that resembles Steve Forbes’s 17 percent flat tax for individuals and corporations.

Both Perry and Cain include 100 percent cash expensing for new-business investment. Both Cain and Perry would eliminate the double tax on capital gains and other investments, as well as the double tax on the foreign earnings of U.S. companies. Cain recently amended his plan so that people living under the poverty line will pay a zero personal tax, while businesses locating in “opportunity zones” may get tax-free investment and even tax-free wages. This borrows from the late Jack Kemp’s empowerment-zone idea.

Earlier in the campaign, Jon Huntsman came out with a flatter tax, with a top rate of 23 percent and three brackets, which is similar to a number of Republican congressional proposals that would cap the top rate for individuals and corporations at 25 percent. Now it remains up to Mitt Romney to unveil a much bolder tax-reform measure that can compete effectively for the Republican nomination.

And all these ideas would represent a complete reversal from Obama’s vision of taxing the rich and penalizing successful small-business owners. In fact, on taxes, regulations, spending, and monetary policy, the expected GOP economic platform will represent a total repudiation of Obamanomics — a stark contrast for voters.

Stock markets and the general public are taking notice. GOP tax-reform competition will produce an outstanding pro-growth plan. And that is going to defeat Obama in the ultimate competition next November.

– Larry Kudlow, NRO’s economics editor, is host of CNBC’s The Kudlow Report and author of the daily web log, Kudlow’s Money Politic$.

Keeping Poor People Poor

John C. Goodman

If you live in a middle-class household, you generally expect your needs to be met through the marketplace. You buy or rent housing in the real estate market. When you aren't driving your own car, you catch a taxicab or maybe even hire a limo. You or your employer buy health insurance, and you choose your doctor in the medical marketplace.

For most poor families, the experience is very different. Regulations designed to protect entrenched special interests have succeeded in raising the costs of basic services so much that low-income families have been priced out of the market for many essential services. Middle-class and poor communities differ not just by income. For the middle class, basic needs are met by markets and they benefit from the customer-pleasing innovations that competition produces. All too often, the poor must turn to public programs with all of the customer-pleasing attributes of the Department of Motor Vehicles.

Take housing, for example. The cheapest form of housing is small, prefabricated homes for zero-lot developments. However, zoning regulations in most cities outlaw them — an act that effectively doubles the price of the cheapest housing. There are also other expensive restrictions on new housing, such as forcing builders to build on bigger lots and mandating specific types of materials and construction methods. Regulations vary widely across the United States. In Houston, a less restrictive city, regulatory costs add about $13,200 to the price of an average home. In San Diego, a multitude of regulations add $240,000. These cost-increasing regulations have essentially priced many low-income residents out of the market for a private home, forcing them to turn to public housing instead.

Then there is transportation. Did you know that people in the bottom fifth of income distribution take more taxicab rides than middle-income families? The reason: a lot of poor people don’t own automobiles. Taxi fares are far higher than they need to be, however, because local governments tightly control entry into the taxi market. There is no reason in principle why someone with a van couldn’t pick up workers in a low-income neighborhood and transport them to a jobsite, charging each passenger a few bucks. The problem: Most cities make this activity against the law.

When low-income families are priced out of the market for private transportation, they must turn to public transportation. Since only a few cities have subways, that means turning to buses. Yet, even a simple trip to work or a supermarket can be a logistical nightmare if you have to follow city bus schedules.

And consider health care. Sad to say, but the paramedics who treat our soldiers on the battlefields in Iraq and Afghanistan are not allowed to provide the same services back home for people who can’t afford, and perhaps don’t need, the attention of a physician. Although the restrictions differ from state to state, laws everywhere “protect” patients from care delivered by anyone other than a physician. This is despite studies showing that non-physician clinicians can competently provide from 60 percent to 90 percent of all primary care.

In some parts of the country, walk-in clinics in shopping malls allow nurses to give flu shots, take temperatures, prescribe antibiotics and deliver other timely, inexpensive care. But even these innovative services are often saddled with burdensome regulations. For example, in Massachusetts, regulations for clinics have such cost-increasing requirements as a separate entrance for patients, minimum size requirements for exam rooms, and a separate reception desk. When low-income families find they cannot afford private care, what’s the alternative? Community health centers and the emergency rooms of safety net hospitals. Yet these care sites often involve crowding and waiting, which limits access to care.

Child care is another basic service needed by many low-income families. In fact, low-income families spend about a third of their income on child care, as much as a typical middle-income family might spend on a home. In recent years, state and local governments have been making child care ever more costly, however. All manner of regulations are emerging, including the licensing of day care workers. Did you know that in most places, it’s illegal for a neighbor down the street to oversee children from the neighborhood for pay? Again, what’s the alternative? Low-income mothers must seriously consider abandoning the labor market altogether and rely solely on the welfare state.

Even a basic activity like keeping the neighborhood safe runs into regulatory barriers. In response to inadequate public police protection, an increasingly popular alternative is private police. In the United States, private security guards actually outnumber public police officers by a ratio of three to one; and they can perform most, if not all, of the necessary law enforcement tasks. Yet, government regulation has created substantial barriers for would-be security firms, including criminal background checks, examinations, training requirements, and insurance and bonding minimums.

A task force report produced by the National Center for Policy analysis calls for an end to these senseless policies, and advocates allowing our lowest-income citizens access to the benefits of the free market. I’ll write about it in a future column.

Medisnare Meet Obamasnare

John Ransom

For two years the federal government under Obama has shipped “enhanced” Medicaid reimbursements to states as high $2.68 for every dollar the state paid in to the healthcare entitlement program designed to help the poor. But, as was laid out in the bailout plan, “enhanced” reimbursements ended in July of this year leaving state budgets worse off then before.

Stimulus dollars consequently have expanded Medicaid and the states’ financial commitment to it and then left state budgets in the lurch as the economy continues at the zero growth trajectory of the Obama presidency.

Like every program designed by Obama, he reckoned we'd all get caught in the snare of government spending and have no choice but to continue it.

Everyone saw this coming, but no one did anything about it and states now have been left cleaning up the mess.

“Budget gaps in fiscal 2012 will likely rival the critical shortfalls that states faced before enactment of the new stimulus package,” said Nelson A. Rockefeller Institute of Government in 2009. “Cuts or reductions in growth of spending on education, health care, and other programs, and/or major tax and other revenue increases, will almost certainly be on the table once again.”

They went on the table for 2011 as a result of Obama's failed economic programs.

As a consequence, states have been forced to take the only recourse they have, which is to cut payments to medical providers in order to balance their budgets.

“South Carolina is hoping to trim provider rates by 3% starting April 4 to help it close a $25 million deficit in its Medicaid department this fiscal year,” said CNN earlier this year.

“Managed care organizations would also see a 12.5% cut in their administrative fees. The move should save $7.5 million.”

And even the New York Times admits that the program has hurt patients and has helped drive healthcare providers out of the Medicaid market.

The Times says that Dr. Saed Sahouri of Flint Michigan quit the Medicaid practice when Michigan reduced payments to physicians thereby making Medicaid uneconomical for him professionally. “My office manager was telling me to do this for a long time, and I resisted,” Dr. Sahouri told the Times. “But after a while you realize that we’re really losing money on seeing those patients, not even breaking even. We were starting to lose more and more money, month after month.”

One of the complicating factors of the this Obama-induced crisis is a willful blindness that has government conveniently over-estimating tax revenues during recessions, in addition to over-estimating rates of return at all other times.

“During the 1990-92 revenue crisis, 25 percent of all state forecasts fell short by 5 percent or more,” finds the Rockeller Institute report States’ Revenue Estimating: Cracks in the Crystal Ball. “During the 2001-03 downturn, 45 percent of all state forecasts were off by 5 percent or more. In 2009, 70 percent of all forecasts overestimated revenues by 5 percent or more.”

If Bernie Madoff had used such sloppy account methods as state governments do in estimating pension liabilities and revenues, no doubt his house of cards would have collapsed more quickly.

If anything, government accounting methods are hurting those people who liberals claim to care so much about, low-income workers, by creating huge entitlement deficits that require cuts in benefits which will hurt those who will have the hardest time making ends meet.

One only needs to look at what government math has done to pension liabilities to understand the difficulties the country faces if it does not repeal Obamacare soon. The longer we leave it, the greater temptation politicians from both parties will have to start using it like a checkbook, as they have other entitlement programs.

In fact, if governments used the same math that private pensions are mandated under the law to use to figure their liabilities, experts say the entitlement shortfalls in states’ pension systems is two-to-three times larger than has been widely reported.

Tinkering around the edges of our demographics won’t help that much if politicians aren’t willing to come clean as to the size of the problem that faces us in the future. Neither party has shown a real willingness to tackle healthcare and entitlement reform yet, although some on the GOP side of the aisle have shown flashed that they have understand the scope of the problem and the potential difficulties.

“Is this a political weapon we are handing our adversaries? Of course it is,” GOP budget chair Rep. Paul Ryan said in March when putting forth some proposals for reform. “I think everybody knows that we are walking into I guess what you would call a political trap that arguably we are setting for ourselves ... but we can’t wait. This needs leadership."

That passes the verbal portion of the test. Now it they could just pass the math portion of the test, we'd be fine.

How Do We Care for the Elderly?

Linda Chavez

Last week, the Obama administration dropped one of the signature provisions of its healthcare plan. The CLASS Act (Community Living Assistance Services) was intended to provide affordable insurance for long-term care to individuals who, because of infirmity or age, could no longer care for themselves. But the reality that not enough healthy Americans would sign up to make it self-supporting finally doomed the program.

Many opponents of Obamacare will no doubt cheer this turn of events because it confirms the view that we cannot afford to, in essence, nationalize health care. I agree --but I also recognize that the problem that the CLASS Act was trying to address is a legitimate concern for which we now have no workable solutions.

The nation faces a looming crisis in caring for the elderly, whose life expectancy often exceeds their ability to live independently. Millions of Americans need long-term care, but we currently have no system that adequately provides it a cost that most Americans can afford.

This topic holds more than public policy interest for me. Three years ago, my then-87-year-old mother came to live with me when it became clear that it wasn't safe for her to continue to live on her own. Although in good health, my mother is virtually blind and quite frail. She values her independence, prepares all her own meals, has excellent long- and short-term memory and follows the news avidly. But without daily assistance, she could not shop for food, get to the doctor or clean her own living space.

Last week, however, her situation changed dramatically. After returning from a doctor's visit, my mother fell on the last step of a steep climb down from the car to our home. I was just a few feet away from her when I heard her hit the floor. In that instant, her life and future changed dramatically. She broke her hip -- the scourge of the elderly -- and within 24 hours had undergone partial hip replacement surgery. Three days later, she was released from the hospital.

Medicare provides coverage for up to 100 days in a rehabilitation facility so long as the patient needs daily services that can be provided only by a doctor or nurse or is receiving the rehabilitation therapies provided and making progress. But when the 100 days are over, the patient is on his or her own. My mother is now in an excellent rehabilitation center in Boulder, Colo. -- but it's unclear what will happen when she's released.

If you're very wealthy and can afford upwards of $60,000 a year in private, long-term care, the alternative of an assisted living facility is available. But what if you don't have those means? I would gladly take my mother back into my home, but I don't think it's feasible for her to continue to live there. If we can manage to get her down those same steep stairs and into the house again, she'll be trapped there indefinitely, unable to go to the doctor, grocery or anywhere else except to the hospital if she falls and injures herself again. And she'll need someone with her 24 hours a day.

Since my mother has never owned a home or any other assets -- only a meager Social Security and Veterans' pension and the help I've provided since my father died -- she is eligible for Medicaid. And unlike Medicare, Medicaid does provide coverage for long-term care. But having visited the local facilities that accept Medicaid, I can tell you the decent ones have long waiting lists -- a year or more -- and the ones that don't have waiting lists break a daughter's heart. I simply cannot imagine putting her in one of these crowded, dreary, hopeless places.

Currently, 40 million Americans are age 65 and older, and of these, nearly 6 million are 85 years of age or older. One in 5 elderly Americans are currently considered dependent, but the proportion will grow to nearly 40 percent by 2050. We continue to expand the frontiers of life expectancy, but we have yet to figure out how to care for our ever-growing population of older Americans.

The administration's failure to come up with a feasible plan to solve the problem is no cheering matter. We must find a way -- not only for our parents but for all of our sakes.

Demonstrations, Riots & Wars

Rich Galen

As I have told you before, I watch CNBC in the morning because I know about as much about politics as most of the guests on the morning cable news programs who talk about politics, but I know nearly nothing about finance so I watch the guests on CNBC who talk about finance.

Last Friday I was listening to CNBC on my Sirius radio as I drove to Ohio and heard Jim Cramer talking about the Occupy Wall Street crowd. Even though he made a very large pile of money as a trader and investor, he said that in his youth he was pretty far to the left of his colleagues.

When he was asked whether, if he were in his early 20s today, he would be camping out with the demonstrators, he paused and said he probably would.

But, that's not what caught my ear. He went on to say (and this is a pretty close approximation, but not guaranteed to be a direct quote:

There were real villains in [the Wall Street collapse of 2008]. I wish the people camping out on Wall Street were demonstrating against the people who did bad; not the people who did well.

There are demonstrations going on just about everywhere. In Athens, Greece this morning pending a vote of the Parliament on a new round of austerity measures (which passed by ten votes - 154-144) 70,000 Greeks demonstrated outside.

The demonstration turned violent when the Anarchists decided to do battle against the Communists. I know that sounds like a scene from "The Big Labowski:"

Donny: Are these the Nazis, Walter?

Walter Sobchak: No, Donny, these men are nihilists, there's nothing to be afraid of …

Nihilists! I mean, say what you like about the tenets of National Socialism, Dude, at least it's an ethos.

But, it's what was going on in Athens yesterday.

All these demonstrations are about the people who are (or claim to be) the "have nots" wanting to "have more" by taking it from those whom they believe "have too much."

My guess is, where you fall depends on whether you're standing in the unemployment line, or riding on the gravy train.

It is not just Anarchists v Communists; or Occupy Wall Streeters v Wall Streeters. It is nation v nation.

The United States is still the largest economy in the world. We are the Earth's richest country. Some other countries begrudge us that, but because we also own the world's biggest military (including everything from mess kits to aircraft carriers) the "have not" countries have no good way to take anything - much less everything - we have.

That may not be the case amoung the Europeans. The two big economies are the French and the Germans who have, as you know if you have watched any more than 37 seconds of the Military Channel, not always gotten along.

It seems that the Northern Europeans are growing wearing of bailing out the Southern Europeans which include Greece, Italy, and Spain.

Greece, Italy and Spain are among the "have nots" in this version of current economic mini-series; France and Germany are the "haves." Switzerland, although not a member of the EU and does not use the Euro as its official currency, is also one of the "haves" because … just because.

One person with a sign is a protest. A crowd of protestors is a demonstration. A crowd of demonstrators turned violent is a riot. A massive riot turned inward is a rebellion. A successful rebellion is a revolution. A nationwide revolution turned outward is ... a war.

Stay tuned.

On the Secret Decoder Ring page today: Links to the Reuters look at the Greek demonstrations yesterday and a link to the "Big Labowski." Also a Mullfoto from the Delta Sky Club at the Dallas/Fort Worth airport and a Catchy Caption of the Day.